THE ACCIDENTAL PERVERT — “The puns are thicker than untrimmed pubes!”

THE ACCIDENTAL PERVERT

Written and Performed by Andrew Goffman

As you may know, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, or are even aware of the fact that I write for WHACK! Magazine… or my blog… or TheWomansPOV.com… or my column at McSweeney’s from a year or so back… I love pornography. I think it’s a valuable and important part of our culture, and it’s pretty fun to use. After years of publicly proclaiming this fact, I’m a seasoned pervert of the highest order.

So normally, if I’d shelled out good money to go see a play in which the main character ends up giving up the porn he’s loved for most of his life, I’d walk away feeling a little miffed. I’d go on some rant about how the predominating attitude toward sex and pornography in our culture is too Puritanical, and how it makes me angry to see works of supposed “art” falling prey to the fascist regime of anti-sex sentiment we’ve all had shoved down our throat since we were children. Perverts unite! And so on and so forth, ad nauseum.

But although The Accidental Pervert, a one-man show written and performed by Andrew Goffman at the 13th Street Repertory Company just off 6th Ave, ends with a renunciation of porn use, I didn’t walk away ranting to my boyfriend at all. As a matter of fact, I left with a big goofy grin on my face. An uncharacteristically un-pervy grin.

I couldn’t quite figure it out. I usually hate that kind of moralistic stuff. And how could I walk away from a perverted performance feeling so weirdly wholesome? But then I realized why Goffman’s decision to give up the dozens of porn tapes he found abandoned in his father’s closet as a child (and spent the next several decades watching repeatedly while performing a series of ritualized masturbation routines through which he takes the audience in hilarious detail) didn’t bother me. It wasn’t moralistic: it was honest. If there’s one thing you don’t usually expect from something with “pervert” in the title, something that incorporates jokes about masturbating with a T-shirt and plays clips of old-school titles like The Sperminator, it’s heartfelt candor. But The Accidental Pervert has it. This guy might have decided porn didn’t fit into his life after years of use so intense it bordered on addiction, but I couldn’t resent him for it. Watching The Accidental Pervert reminded me that not all of us can be sexual theory radicals or dedicated smut-sponsors, and that people following their own journeys through porn and sex is really the most important thing on the table when it comes down to it.

Goffman’s journey, lucky for me, wasn’t preachy. It was side-splittingly funny, filled to bursting with raunchy jokes that didn’t bother trying to lay off the sleaze or the cheese to look more sophisticated, unapologetically skeevy, and yet weirdly heartfelt in a way I didn’t expect. The story of little Andrew Goffman growing up into a porn-obsessed misfit with ideas about sexuality that would leave even the most seasoned of weirdos confused spoke to everyone in the audience, from the blue-haired set behind me to the self-consciously conservative couple beside me to the guffawing overweight couple on the other side of the small theater. The jokes were dirty all right, but told in such a bald-faced, honest way that they were somehow cute. As Goffman put it to me later, the whole show is “candid but not sleazy.  Good clean, dirty fun!” And though I hate  to use someone else’s words to make my point: I have to agree with him completely. The Accidental Pervert is, make no mistake, definitely perverted. The dick jokes pound away nonstop, the puns are thicker than untrimmed pubes, and the sight gags? Well… Let’s not even get into gagging. But the thing is, it’s somehow sweet at the same time. I can’t really explain it.

The Accidental Pervert might in its way contribute to stereotypes and misconceptions about porn and sexuality, but I can’t fault it. In fact, I can only laud it. Goffman boldly goes into excruciatingly embarrassing detail about the most intimate moments of his life as a young man with a candor and sweetness that’s hard to describe, and he makes some points that have been brewing in my mind and writing for a long time. When I asked him how he thought accessibility to porn might affect kids today (as opposed to his VHS-motherlode experience), he had this to say: “Ideally, you’d like young people to be more prepared and have a greater understanding of sexuality before they are exposed to pornography.  I know I wasn’t ready for some of the things I saw at an early age, so I can only imagine the impression kids today are getting of human sexuality long before they’ve even had their first kiss.” It’s a powerful point, and one I agree with totally. And he says it so simply. It’s kind of endearing, right?

Ok, no, I really can’t explain it… Best advice? Go see it. You’ll understand.

—Miss Lagsalot

1 Comment on THE ACCIDENTAL PERVERT — “The puns are thicker than untrimmed pubes!”

  1. This one is a biggy for me there ARE levles of use and I have studied it (giveaway) and learned a lot Pornography is ok, in appropriate doses, but there are some who view it so often, it becomes boring and they venture into more hardcore things. I was in such a relationship where the sex life was based on what level of pornography my partner had been viewing. If he had not viewed any for that day there was no sex, as he was unable to imagine anything to get aroused.A normal woman to this guy was an airbrushed woman with perfect curves, taking whatever he fantasised at the time.. any other woman was repulsive, and I became nothing but a vessel for his sexual gratification. I was too old, too fat, my skin wasn’t perfect, breasts not pert enough you get the idea I didn’t just investigate the men’s side of it.. in fact ran a forum for women who had problems relating to real people and who relied on porn to get a fix. They were gorgeous ladies, with all the home’ values, however could not appreciate a real man, they wanted more and more, and ended up viewing things we just can’t imagine.. and wanting it over what we see as a normal relationship. Eventually it takes over their lives.. and all outside relationships suffered because of it. It can be an addiction not unlike gambling, drinking, drugs etc.. In this respect there is a problem.. however viewing of pornography in an otherwise normal, healthy’ relationship can be an asset. I have since viewed it with a partner and had no problems as a result however the one who thrived on it in fact did not like me at all interesting subject!

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