Saturday , July 20 2024

The Ick Factor

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here, leaving myself open to various potential charges, but in the interest of open debate, I hope that what I say is taken in the spirit in which it is offered, friendly-like.

The following is a very human and touching story – it also made me say “ick” more than once, and “ew” as well.

This is the dichotomy now facing at least one of us (me) in the middle of a societal sea change regarding attitudes toward gays: many, perhaps most of us realize that it is patently unfair to deny gays equal rights and protections under the law, that sexuality is, for the most part, not chosen, that people are people and what they do privately among other consenting adults is their own business.

But there is still a very strong residual element of queasiness about the nuts and bolts of “nonstandard” sexual activity – man, I just don’t want to hear about it or be forced to think about it. In theory it’s fine with me, in reality I’m grossed out. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so.

    “Mom got a cease-and-desist letter from our internet provider. They found a copyrighted file on a computer coming from our house.”

    I couldn’t believe it. Just the day before, Mom had forbidden my brother and me from downloading music while at home on account of something she had heard on the news about the RIAA filing suits. We had obeyed, grudgingly, and apparently too late.

    Emily handed me a slip of paper with an IP address on it.

    “Is this your computer?”

    I nodded. It was indeed my computer.

    “Shit, Em, I’m so sorry. Of course, I’ll take the fall,” I added, shocked at what had just come out of my mouth. Take the fall? Where was I? Apparently in the land of shivs and bitches and nailfiles baked in cakes. It was all too absurd a situation to wake up to — but I meant it. It was my fault, and I was prepared to own up to it.

    “Well, here’s the thing,” Emily went on. “It’s not music.”

    I froze, then shuddered as I comprehended. I think a lot of information-age males have this nightmare — that their moms will find out they’ve been using the family internet to download porn — but for most it remains just that, a nightmare. At twenty-two, a week from starting my senior year in college, I felt like the most unlikely person to suddenly be living it. And this was a man-sized nightmare. This was gay porn, and I hadn’t yet come out to my family…

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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