[PHOTOS]: We Watch Porn In Bobst

Human excrement on your subway seat, an Orwellian flood of rats at every turn. Yes, New Yorkers are known for keeping calm in tough situations. You’d think nothing in this city could make a local blush, and we thought so too. That is, until we heard that the New York Public Library lets patrons openly view pornography, and decided to see what would happen if we watched porn in Bobst.

It was a sultry Tuesday afternoon and lust was in the air. Before heading to the dimly-lit sex cave of Bobst — the Avery Fisher Center — we’d consulted Wikipedia’s page on unsimulated sex in film to determine which DVD’s to borrow (You didn’t think we’d use our own, did you? Have you SEEN what Backdoor Sluts Nine goes for on eBay these days?). The pleasant ladies of the circulation desk retrieved our haul, and we realized that this is what our guide meant when they said AFC is great if you like watching Sex and in the City.

Flavor-blasted Goldfish in hand, we settled in to watch The Raspberry Reich, a 2004 film directed by actually-named Bruce LaBruce, described on its DVD jacket as a “Porno-political-palooza” that questions “the moral implications of what terrorism actually means.” Right. So that we might feel as awkward as our innocent bystanders, we chose this film, which Wikipedia notes for its graphic depictions of gay sex [NB: This heterosexual blogger had never before seen gay porn … er, any porn … yeah, any porn...]

As the opening credits rolled in the cramped AFC booth, we knew something wasn’t right. No, it wasn’t that we were wasting a $200,000 education pulling traffic-driving journalistic stunts in the library; we needed a bigger screen! Because when you want to watch big cocks in Bobst, you really want to watch BIG COCKS in Bobst! So we ascended to the capacious fifth floor — which we all know is the Wild West of the library — to enjoy the man-on-man action in 27” of high resolution, iMac glory.

If you’ve ever seen a hardcore sex scene, then this won’t surprise you; but reader, let us say: There were close-ups. Close-ups of men morphing their visages into what Office Space so perfectly described as an “O Face;” thrusting their organs into orifices of every shape and size, the camera zoomed in so close that on this large monitor the phalli were larger than life. Mr. LaBruce had not delivered some softcore half-assed excuse of a sex film. No, this picture was most certainly full-assed. We’d been thrown into the pornographic deep end.

The moment we pressed play, filling the screen with a mesh of fleshy beefcakes, our neighbor to the right broke out in laughter. This student’s giggles helped ease our nerves: Perhaps citizens of NYU would not react with squeamishness or Westboro-style shock, but with a chuckle.

But after she mustered the will to unglue her eyes from our sticky screen, we felt the full awkwardness of the situation bear down on us: We were alone on the fifth floor of Bobst, surrounded by a hundred people, snacking on Goldfish and watching some serious lovemaking (or… well… “barebacking”) in high definition. What if an administrator approached us? What if a professor passed by?

Two girls seated at the table behind us with a prime over-the-shoulder view did seem to be offended. One chuckled awkwardly, while the other turned her chair so she couldn’t see the screen. After a few minutes, when they realized we weren’t going away, the left for a farther table. Perhaps the initial laughs were just beginner’s luck.

But after ten or so minutes, an uneasy quiet descended over the floor. We sat acting enthralled with the scenes, while everyone around us seemed to do … well, nothing. They did homework. They listened to music. They sent Snapchats. Students went about their normal business, as if someone wasn’t screening high-resolution sex on an iMac in the middle of the floor. An occasional passerby did a double-take as they walked past, but nobody asked any questions. Nobody made a fuss.

And so, it seemed that like incessant noise or the constant assault on our personal space by Sexton’s “friendly” hugs, pornography in a public place is just one more immediately proximate affront on our senses that New Yorkers can act as though it doesn’t exist. While our deadened emotional reactions may be depressing (Or would be, if anything bothered us anymore AM I RIGHT?!), at least we now know that when you want to watch porn but the roommates are home, Bobst is the place to be.

Photos by Sophia Melas.



6 Comments

  • Cara Cifferelli
    February 28, 2013

    I was at the table next to those girls and me and my friend just started laughing/crying at someone actually watching porn in Bobst. Then I realized it was Aaron. Then I realized it was Local. That explained everything. But those girls who moved were SUPER offended

  • Lindsey Garland
    February 28, 2013

    I work at AFC and I remember this being returned because I was intrigued by the “porno-political-palooza” tag and read the back of the case, but that was pretty much the extent of it. Part of our training is that we can’t make comments or judge the movies people take out (if they’re sexually explicit or, like, Nazi training videos or something), so if you had watched it on one of our players, we probably would have just been very skeeved out in a quiet, professional way.

  • Lindsey Garland
    February 28, 2013

    However, food is not allowed in the AFC, so for future reference: watching porn– totally okay; snacking on flavor-blasted Goldfish– grounds for dismissal.

  • Ben Zweig
    March 1, 2013

    So much LOLZ happening right now, I can’t breathe.

  • Valencia Reyes
    March 2, 2013

    hi hello

    valuncia reyes he,

    re

    i am for to be talking about the disgrace,

    one school one mind.

    how can we be wasting such precious time? To many of us click without thinking about the full weight of our consequences. Where does the blood begin?

    I really want to know.

    Nursing student here.

    please tell

    -Valenci ruryes

  • H. Grafton
    March 2, 2013

    Not only food: NYU library regulations strictly forbid any “uncivil” conduct on the computers. It’s fine to watch as much porn as you like, but if you make fun of department chairs or other faculty officials by sending out tweets in their names or the like, you will be arrested and charged with identity theft and unauthorized access to a computer (and other crimes too). See this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/nyregion/online-battle-over-ancient-scrolls-spawns-real-world-consequences.html

    and the documentation here:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/about

    Incidentally, the Times article doesn’t mention that the department chair in question, now a vice provost at Yeshiva University, left NYU shortly a couple of years ago. Apparently no connection with the uncivil activities victimizing him on Bobst computers or the trial of NYU’s Internet criminal, but it does make you wonder.

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