Davy Rothbart & Jason Bitner, editors
Available at Found Magazine, http://www.foundmagazine.com/
or at Last Gasp, http://www.lastgasp.com/
This second issue is even wilder than the first.
For those of you just joining us, let me explain real quick. Dirty Found is the smutty offshoot of Found magazine. Found is the magazine of "found" writing and art: notes and photos and lists and stuff, found on buses and at garage sales, tucked into used books or just lying on the street. (Full disclosure: I work for a company that sells both Found and Dirty Found -- that's how I discovered them.)
Dirty Found is, not surprisingly, the dirty version. People find dirty photos and drawings, filthy love letters and filthier lust letters, and they send them in to the magazine, which eagerly publishes them. It's like amateur porn that nobody meant to reveal, a glimpse at the sweet, weird-ass reality of ordinary people's sex lives. About a year ago, I reviewed the debut issue of Dirty Found for this magazine (you can see that review here).
A second issue just came out...
...and it's even wilder than the first.
See, the first time around, Dirty Found just published the sexy stuff that got sent into the regular edition of Found. But when that first dirty issue hit the stands, the Found followers went nuts. They deluged the magazine with dirty finds, giving the publishers a bountiful crop of sexual flotsam to choose from. And with so much more to choose from, the publishers could now offer significantly better material.
The difference is striking. I loved the first issue of Dirty Found, don't get me wrong; I thought it was touching, hilarious, appalling, profound, and just plain odd as hell. But this second issue is all of those things -- and it's totally hot to boot.
Like, really. Like, I took it home and immediately went several rounds with my vibrator in one hand and the magazine in the other. It seems like the publishers of Dirty Found #2 made an effort this time to include finds that were not just sexual, but erotic. The message of the first Dirty Found seemed to be, "Look at all the sexual things people are doing and imagining -- isn't it weird?" The message of the newest Dirty Found is, "Look at all the sexual things people are doing and imagining. Isn't it weird -- and isn't the hottest thing you've ever seen?"
Take the photos, for example. There are photos in Dirty Found #2 that are downright filthy. There's an entire page of split beaver shots, snapshots found around the country of women spreading their legs as wide as they'll go, shamelessly showing everything they've got in between. There's photo after photo of guys sprawled on their backs with serious hard-ons... and one photo of a guy sprawled on his belly with his legs splayed apart, luxuriously waiting to get fucked in the ass.
There's a snapshot of a slender young blonde woman, naked and on her back, blindfolded with her wrists tied to the bed, grinning around the gag in her mouth, while another naked young lady caresses her torso and a hunky young half-dressed guy positions an unidentified sex toy between her legs.
There's a two-page spread of a single woman in fishnet thigh-highs and pigtails, pouting and spreading her legs and brandishing a whip for the camera. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Yes, there are explicit photos here that are mostly just funny and weird. The naked guy who seems to be humping the hood of his car stands out. But plenty of the pics in this magazine weren't chosen just to illustrate the sexual Zeitgeist. They were chosen to make you stick your hand in your pants.
The writing is much the same. There's the two-and-a-half-page typewritten instructions for eating pussy, lovingly described in every detail. There's the shopping list with the offer of a secret tryst added at the end, promising (among other things) that "you can fuck me in the ass as hard as you want it, while pulling my hair." There's the handwritten note found at the highway rest stop, in which the author offers up his gay virginity to a total stranger in trembling and hopeful detail. There's the note to a lover, describing how excited the writer gets when she takes dirty pictures of herself to send him, telling him exactly what she does to herself when she takes the pictures and what she thinks about when she does. Dirty Found #2 has writing that'll make you shiver and blush, whether it's in hasty notes or lavish descriptions.
Like the photos, the writing isn't all fun and games. Some of it's silly, or sad, or even hostile. Some of it is utterly baffling. Some of the lists and questionnaires are just plainly descriptive, with no seductive intent. And some of the writing is so badly done that it's flat-out depressing (it's unnerving to see how much borderline illiteracy there is in this country). But it's clear that this time around, the publishers of Dirty Found have figured out what an unabashed hunger their readers have for the dirty stuff. And they've put the new mag together with an eye on the libido as well as the brain.
Don't get me wrong -- there's brain candy here, too. Dirty Found gives a vivid, unvarnished, clear-eyed look at the reality of our sexual dreams and practices. This isn't a view of what we should be doing and thinking, or what would be pretty and shiny and hot if we were doing and thinking. This is a view of what we are doing and thinking, in the most private and personal heart of our hearts, in all its sweet, awkward, tender, hot-headed, fucked-up, mediocre, laughable, inexplicable, and profoundly staggering variety.
In fact, Dirty Found #2 is that rarest of all rare creatures -- intense social commentary that works as tasty whack-off material. Or maybe it's tasty whack-off material that works as social commentary. I don't know which comes first, and I don't really care. Dirty Found isn't classy, and it isn't professional, and from a purely artistic standpoint most of it isn't even very good. It's just real, immediately and viscerally real, with that electric shock to the gut and the crotch of porn that could actually be happening somewhere, right this minute.
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