porn for the blind
porn for the blind

A Short History Of Porn For The Blind (NSFW)

To the sighted, the idea of pornography for the blind can be inherently funny. It’s a common comedy trope, and it usually plays out like a variation on this scene from Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men In Tights:

But porn for the blind actually does exist — and of course it does! The blind have sexual needs just like the rest of us, and strangely enough, some of it isn’t too far off from the raised-paper of the centerfold in Mel Brooks’ movie.

One example is the self-published book Tactile Mind (NSFW) by Lisa Murphy. Tactile Mind features 17 photographs — converted into raised images on thermoform plastic — of her friends, naked and wearing masks. Each picture is joined by a textual description of the image in braille to help blind readers know what they’re feeling. CNN shared a copy of Tactile Mind with blind people; the description proved helpful, as some of the people were thrown off by the masks.

Tactile Mind is not the only attempt at converting sexual images into raised images that can be enjoyed by the blind. Occasionally Blind is a Swedish-language book by Nina Linde. While Tactile Mind is based from photographs, however, Occasionally Blind features raised drawings.

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Image: Nina Linde

While Tactile Mind features photographs of both genders, Occasionally Blind features hetero and homosexual scenarios and diagrams of sex acts. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that it will be translated: Linde says “It would be nice to publish it in more countries. I just don’t have the time to translate it, I have a full-time job.”

Alternately, for those times you don’t feel like reading, PornForTheBlind.Org features audio descriptions of video clips. Unfortunately, though, this is an imperfect solution: The clips are all hetero, the audio quality isn’t the best and for describing sex…. they seem awfully dry, if you’ll pardon the pun. These shortfallings have made PornForTheBlind.org more of a punchline than an actual resource, and perhaps unsurprisingly, though the site is still online, it hasn’t been updated since 2009.

Similarly disheartening, London-based Lud Romano launched Click Foreplay in 2008 — a company producing erotic radio plays for the blind, sold at £2.99 — but their site’s no longer available, so blind people wanting auditory smut are stuck for searching out audiobooks of erotic novels, but those are usually dryly read by one narrator, and aren’t specifically targeted to blind people.

And for what it’s worth — Mel Brooks was half-right: A braille edition of Playboy does indeed exist, and it’s funded by the Library of Congress no less! But, unlike the Men In Tights scene, the real braille Playboy doesn’t include the nude centerfold… it’s just words. But then again, soon enough the forthcoming standard editions of Playboy won’t have nude centerfolds anymore either.

(Featured image via Melanie Hoff)

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