Content note: Brief descriptions of various sexual acts. Body parts, including genitals are named but not associated with a particular gender.
My porn collection consists mostly of GIFs. Earlier this year, I wrote:
“One of the most cherished folders on my computer holds my collection of hand porn GIFs. Hands touching genitals through underwear: clits and dicks of all shapes and sizes, cocks and cunts leaking through fabric in response to that touch. Fingers sneaking into panties, shifting under lace and mesh. Palms stroking cocks encased in soft, worn cotton. Smooth gloved fists sliding into wet cunts. Fingers rubbing hard clits in endless circles, thumbs brushing back and forth across a glans. Fucking. Fondling. Kneading. Tapping. Gliding. Squeezing. Countless variations of hands between legs in infinite loops.
Other GIFs in that folder show hands touching faces, throats, thighs. A gentle caress of a cheek, followed by a harsh slap; a finger trailing down a bent neck, a hand closing around an arching throat; fingers weaving into hair, grabbing, pulling. Spit-covered fingers sliding into mouths. Flat palms resting on chests, nipples held firmly between fingertips; hard hands smacking into large, soft butts. Fingers digging into flesh. And many, many hands moving up under skirts, sliding between legs, pushing thighs apart, invading intimate spaces that open up eagerly under their touch.
Sometimes, there’s a forearm to go with the hand, muscles moving under skin. Sometimes, swollen veins stand out on backs of hands. Finger joints bend, both delicate and strong. Maybe there’s a reaction face included, mouths open in silent gasps, heads thrown back, eyes closed in pleasure.
I could watch these GIFs for hours. And I probably have.”
There are other GIFs in that folder, of thighs sliding against each other, eyes closing, legs falling open, tongues gliding over boots, hips tilting towards hips. Of slow wet kisses, cocks rubbing against cocks, mouths on nipples, necks bending, backs arching, teeth scraping skin. Of lips between legs, cunts riding on thighs, breaths mingling, breasts exposed, panties drawn aside, skirts pushed up. Of loops of rope, threads of spit…
Without a doubt, my favorite type of porn is GIFs. Their content and style varies from hardcore fucking to tender caresses, from reaction faces to genital close-ups, from high gloss to low-res. I like the whole range, as long as it comes as a GIF.
As long as it’s captured in eternal loops of six seconds or less.
Because the loop is what makes GIF porn so unique. There’s something about the endless repetition of the same moment that draws me in. The focus created by seeing the same moment over and over and over. Of being able to really look at that moment, to see every single fraction of it, every element that makes it what it is: an angle, a shadow, the tightening of a muscle, a smile that’s almost out of the frame, that one single gesture. A porn GIF rarely captures the full screen of the original, so it allows me to zoom into the smallest detail and savor it. As often and as long as I like, without ever having to rewind or skip back to a moment before that moment.
A great porn GIF captures something that would get lost in an entire scene of too many other moments to count. I don’t want to watch the whole scene, the whole movie. I just want that one perfect fraction of a scene. Because that one moment, that one movement, that one look, touch, gesture is exactly right. A great porn GIF shows so much more than a still image; it’s not a frozen moment but a transition from one point in time to another. It feels alive, just slower and more focused. It breathes. It moves, shifts, undulates.
I credit Tumblr TV fandom for learning to see like this. For the collective search for the perfect moment, the perfect frame, the perfect time span, the perfect loop. For the ability to enjoy movement in tiny portions that suggest much bigger stories. For the rush of pleasure when in the sea of meaningless cuts and loops, there’s finally another GIF that is it. That is perfect. That I could watch for hours.
Like fandom GIFs, GIF porn often feels like someone carefully chose it, both for themselves and for the world they shared it with: They selected the original source (be it Hollywood movie, TV show, or porn film), they searched it for the perfect moment, they chose a frame and a length and edited it into a smooth loop. The final GIF is a glimpse into what someone else sees, what they think is important in an erotic scene. And because the GIF now exists, I know I’m not the only one to enjoy this moment. Even if I never even find out who originally created the GIF, let alone what the source material is, that creates a sense of connection.
The only thing I don’t like about GIF porn is the fact that it’s almost by definition pirated material that I haven’t paid for. I suspect that several performers also sell GIFs, but I mostly see offers for photos or clips that are much longer than six seconds — and neither of those two hits the spot for me. I’m also incredibly picky about the moments I actually save to my collection, so I tend to scroll through a lot of GIFs that do nothing for me until I stumble across one that pings my synapses. Almost every single one of roughly 1.000 GIFs in my folder comes from a different original source. In most cases, I don’t know what these sources are or how to even search for them (because more often than not, there aren’t even any faces or other identifying features in the frame). I’m not sure how to come up with a payment model that would allow for this much variety in such tiny doses of the original product. I also don’t want to buy a bunch of porn clips and make the GIFs myself. Instead, I want to find them, more or less unexpectedly. That element of chance, of randomness, of unpredictability is part of the joy for me. So for now, I’ve resigned myself to living with a bit of a bad conscience over not paying the creators of the original material (or even the GIF makers) for their work.
And I keep watching nothing but the perfect moments. Because GIF porn is porn that allows me to watch only the bits I really, really enjoy, without making me wade through all the rest that is either boring or a turn-off. I don’t have to brace myself for the moment that ruins things for me (and since I’m a very picky porn user, there are a lot of things that can ruin it for me). I can just relax into looking at that one super erotic second over and over again.
You see, the perfect porn GIF feels like a wave, without any harsh jumps from the end back to the beginning. Just movement merging into movement merging into movement. It can swoop me up and take me with it, letting everything else fall by the wayside as I zoom into that perfect moment, into that inevitable arousal.
And I’m still curating my collection of perfect loops.
By the way, it seems that I’m not the only one who likes GIF porn. There are even academic articles about the phenomenon (which I may need to read eventually), with titles like “Giffing a fuck: non-narrative pleasures in participatory porn cultures and female fandom,” “Pornophilia: porn gifs, fandom, circuitries,” and “Fleshy motions, temporal sinks: affect and animated gifs” (because it’s not a proper academic article title if it doesn’t have a pun, a list, an alliteration, and/or a double colon, right?).
Also: I still miss Tumblr how it used to be.
This is a post for the Kinktober prompt “pictures, videos.”
I’m also submitting it for the Wicked Wednesday prompt “Camera.”
Update (12 October 2019): This post has been chosen as one of the top 3 for the Wicked Wednesday prompt “camera.” Molly Moore Rebelle, who selected the top 3, said about my post:
“Turns out I am not the only one with a folder on my computer of porn gifs. Like K and N they are my favourite type of porn and in this piece they capture perfectly what it is about them that works for me too.”
Thank you! I’m especially proud to say that both of my recent two submissions to Wicked Wednesday have been chosen for the top 3 (the other one was this one, which I submitted two weeks ago).
Image source: Needpix / Violetta, cropped and color edited by me.