Giving Away A Free Box Of Porn On The Internet Was Uplifting, Until It Wasn’t

Ilana Gordon

Who knew that one free box of porn could teach a person so much about humanity?

For as long as I’ve known him, my husband, Dan, has owned a wholesale box of porn. It’s stored in a fairly unobtrusive brown box, and contains 45 titles of really low-quality adult films.

Dan received the box of porn back in 2008 as a birthday gift from his roommate, Matt. Matt remembers that he ordered the porn from an online bulk porn supplier and that he chose the gift for two reasons. One, he was inspired by a conversation they recently had about how you can’t, in good conscience, return porn. And two, Dan liked comically giant gifts and this was a comically giant box of porn.

The box of porn accompanied us as we moved in together. It followed us as we bought a condo and got a dog. I remember we took it out once, during a party. We watched about 10 minutes of half-hearted clown sex, then muted the sound and left the video on as background entertainment for the rest of the evening.

While clearing out our storage unit this past weekend, I decided it was time for the porn to find a new forever home. But who do you ask to take 225 hours of niche erotica off your hands?

Obviously, you post about it on the Internet. Only in this case, that’s not really something I was eager to do.

Confession: I’m terrified of the Internet. For a lot of women, the Internet is a warzone, one where threats against our welfare, lewd comments about our appearances and unwarranted insults are leveled at us every day.

Whenever I post something online, I worry about the reaction. For every yin there is a yang. For every thought a woman puts out into the ether, there is a dick pic ready to be flung back in her face.

With all this said, I still needed to get rid of the box of porn. So I placed an ad on Craigslist.

Within an hour, my inbox was completely full. I opened the first message with some trepidation, certain someone was going to yell at me or threaten me or invite me to go fuck myself.

But all the messages were surprisingly polite.

And I really appreciated how straight up honest this one was.

At this point, Craigslist flagged my post for removal. But there were still so many messages that it seemed impossible to pick a worthy recipient. So I requested additional information.

Three guys responded with facts. I was honestly kind of touched by their stories and flattered that they were game enough to continue engaging with me.

In the end, I decided to go with the dog rescue guy (I’m a sucker, SUE ME.) We e-mailed back and forth and arranged to meet up at a coffee shop later in the week so that he could claim his prize.

On the day of the predetermined pick-up, I arrived at the cafe early to meet up with a friend who was in from out of town. While we waited for the porn guy to arrive, I bragged to my friend about how positive all my online interactions had been. I told him that giving away this free box of porn had restored my faith in humanity and the Internet.

My experience meeting the guy and relinquishing the porn was completely benign. We made awkward small talk about our dogs and his commute into the city. Then he left with the porn. I wish the story ended there.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Thirty minutes later, I received an e-mail from said porn guy. In his e-mail, he told me that he was an amatuer photographer and invited me to partake in some “lingerie, topless, nude and erotic modeling.” I was bummed — partly because I felt objectified, but moreso because I really wanted this story to have a happy ending.

So much of life is spent in search of meaningful human contact. I may not have realized it at the time, but when I posted an ad for a free box of porn on Craigslist, I was looking to connect. And I assume the three guys who responded with their stories were seeking something as well. I wish I could wrap this story up in a nice, neat bow, but all I can really say is that I wish I had given the porn to the garbage man.