This week marks 35 years since I started to spank the monkey. I started as a young lad of 14 right after Labor Day in 1979, after I found my neighbor's discarded Playboy in his trash. I'm now 49 and on this special occasion, I look back on three and a half decades of chicken choking. The world was a tough place if you were a horny male teenager in 1979 and didn't have a steady girl (or even if you did). Porn was almost unattainable if you were that age. Porn movies were limited to theaters. VCR's were still in their infancy and were still pretty expensive (we didn't have one). The local candy stores stocked plenty of copies of Playboy, Penthouse and Oui (remember Oui?) but the owners back then were pretty strict about selling them to kids. More than one high school buddy of mine resorted to shoplifting to get an issue of Playboy. The problem then was getting it into your house and keepinjg your mom from finding it while cleaning your room. It was an especially torturous time for me, because my next door neighbor's husband had a subscription to Playboy - I used to be in their house periodically and sometimes saw the Playboy in the mailbox. (There were no camouflage covers back then.) I was practically drooling to get my hands on one. He never threw them out, though, or at least not in the main garbage. Except for that one time in 1979, when I found one copy. I used it a few times but it wasn't a very good issue - maybe that's why my neighbor's husband decided to throw it out. During those early years, there was precious little whacking material. Like many others, I resorted to the bra and girdle ads in the newspapers and department store catalogs my mom used to get. The New York Post was pretty good about giving lots of ad space to topless bars and theaters showing porn flicks, and those ads sometimes had photos of the female stars (edited, of course, to cover their boobs). But it was better than nothing. In 1980, I discovered Iris Chacon, the Puerto Rican bombshell, who had a Spanish-language variety show on Channel 41 in New York. Here was something as close to free porn on TV as you could get. If you ever watched her program, you know what I mean. Portions of her show consisted of musical numbers recorded in Puerto Rico, and Iris Chacon wore various VERY revealing outfits. She had some body, too - big boobs and a great ass. And she had no problem showing them off. There was one slow number that took place in the shower while she was wearing a thin undershirt. After getting it thoroughly soaked, she did the rest of the number through the flowered shower curtain. You could clearly see that her boobs were showing but you just couldn't see them clearly. But she was by far the best option out there so every Tuesday night, at 8:00 pm I tore down into the basement and tuned my parents' old 19" black and white Zenith to Channel 41 to watch her show. The reception was iffy (UHF was never a strong medium and weather affected the reception, as did passing planes and the use of any appliance in the house) but boy, was it worth it. Iris Chacon got me through 1980 and 1981, ages 15 and 16. She's still around today but obviously not doing her show anymore. God bless her. In 1982 or 1983, while desperately looking through the UHF channels for any kind of foreign language film that showed nudity, I discovered the wonder that was WHT - Wometco Home Theater. WHT was one of the first "over the air" cable systems that broadcast movies and sports events using a signal scrambler. The idea was to buy a decoder box from WHT so that you could tune into these programs. This was a very good product for people who lived in the outer boroughs of NYC, as cable did not come large swaths of the city outside Manhattan until the late 1980's/early 1990's. As many of you may recall, WHT showed adult films after 11:00 pm. every night. These were called "Nightcap Films" or "Black Cat Cinema" -the names changed over the years. Of course, the movies were edited so that actual penetrative vaginal, oral or anal intercourse was not shown but everything else was left in. As a boob man, I was in heaven - there were plenty of movies that showed topless women and bouncing boobs. As I did not have a decoder box, I had to watch the movies in their scrambled version. When the weather was just right, the picture was often very clear, and even had sound! My mom was always wondering what I was doing in the basement every night at 11:30 (or maybe she wasn't...but just didn't say anything). WHT was my sole outlet until about 1986, when my brother bought a VCR. I immediately located the most remote video store in my neighborhood and joined. I spent many a night in the porn section looking for a movie to wack off to. By this time, I knew my porn stars and knew what I wanted. Fortunately, my brother was also a porn fan but since he worked full time, he was able to buy porn films (he used a fake name and a P.O. Box so they were never delivered to the house - smart boy). Our house was pretty small so I was always able to find his stash. I spent the latter half of the 1980's in that porn store or looking for my brother's cache of videos. The mid and late 1980's were also the days when Howard was at his raunchiest. I used to record his shows when he did the Porn Review with that guy from AVN and also Lesbian Dial a Date. This was also the golden era of the 976 telephone sex lines. You'd call these 976 numbers on your phone and hear pre-recorded stories from breathy women who described their sex lives. That didn't last long, though - the owners of the 976 businesses quickly realized they could make a ton of money by charging for each call. The money was either charged to a credit card or to your home phone. I remember the outcry when parents started to get $500 phone bills every month. My buddy was smarter, though - he used to call the numbers, pay for the calls and then hold a tape recorder up to the earpiece so he could record the fantasies. I borrowed those tapes all the time, but recorded stuff never really did it for me. After that, things got much easier. We got cable in the early 1990's and I ordered a ton of PPV porn (I usually intercepted the cable bill every month so no one could so what I ordered). Then came the Internet with its pay porn websites. Those were a pain in the neck at first but then some enterprising individuals found ways to hack into these sites, steal usernames and passwords and distribute them for free on their own websites. The porn site owners soon learned about this and quickly developed software that would kill username/password combos that were used too often, but the battle raged on throughout the 1990's and into the 2000's. As the Internet continued to develop, the first Tube sites began to appear. Free porn for all, truly manna from heaven. And today, in 2014, we have sites like TBLOP, which can hook you up to literally dozens of tube sites of every genre and interest. Kids today won't understand what people like me went through to get to this point. As I look back, I remember that there were some desperate times in the early days. Thank goodness nobody will have to suffer like that anymore. Here's to the next 35 years!