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The first videocassette recorders were invariably seen as a device for watching porn movies as the first VCRs became available to a small group of high-ranking Communist Party bureaucrats, Foreign Ministry officials and a handful of rank and file with connections in household electronics dealerships in the Soviet Union of the mid-1980s. The phrase “they’ve got a VCR” was a declaration of envy; it always stood for “they watch porn.” Lousy copies of martial arts flicks featuring Bruce Lee were the only notable exception to the rule.
To a certain extent, watching porn is like playing with yourself. The similarity partly stems from the fact that people normally masturbate after watching a porn movie. Everybody does both things from time to time yet just the few have the guts to admit doing it – another reason for drawing parallels between the two activities.
There is yet another similarity. Some die-hard advocates of moral principles were busy making up scary stories about the so-called dangers of masturbation one hundred years ago. You know, masturbation leads to masturbatory insanity; those committing the “heinous sin of self-pollution” are likely to grow hair on the palms of their hands etc. Nowadays the like-minded defenders of public morals make a lot of effort in a futile attempt to condemn pornography.