I know I have a serious problem. I have no self-control when it comes to this addiction. I can't help it! I have to have it! It's an indescribable feeling.
Every month, it's the same thing: my mouth waters, my heart skips beats, and my face flushes. I rush to every newsstand in town, craving to see these coveted images of wanton desire. The world becomes a blur. I forget my name. I pick one up and let the pages slide through my fingers. I... I... I'm sorry, where was I?
Yes, I do admit that I am one of the few who does get a little excited when I flip through the pages of these magazines. I am sure that there are others, but they are not as brave as I am. I know there are those who love those shapes, those curves, those solicitous secret crevices.
My name is Steven, and I am a house porn addict.
When I reach for those unforgiving paradigms of sin, my sanity begins to falter and the one shred of dignity that I once had, vanishes like so many of my childhood dreams.
I can still remember experiencing the February 2003 edition of Canadian House and Home; the bible of stylish metrosexuals, ages 30 to 55, no children, two dogs, no cats, an average income of $50,000 to $100,000 a year. On the cover was Brian Gluckstein's home. Home
is a pejorative term, since not many people live in 7,500 square feet of living space.
But, I digress.
From the living room, to the dining room, library and master suite, every room is perfectly executed. The bed is made, there are no clothes tossed over a chair, the dishes are washed - it's too perfect!
I show my parents the house, eager for them to feel the same level of excitement.
"Well, if you want a house like that, you have to work hard and pray every night," says my father, passively eyeing the glossy pictures. My mother doesn't want to look at the magazine, for it reminds her of the imperfections of her own life.
Alas, I know I never will get to live in a house like that. The only way I can get close to them is if I am mowing their lawns or scrubbing their toilets. But, I doubt that
will ever happen (I'm not that fortunate). People who live in homes like these hover over their polished limestone floors, never drop a crumb on their velvet-chenille upholstery and leave no fingerprints on their Iittla crystal.
Perfect people live in perfect homes and I want to be like them.
It sounds like a simple equation: Buy one perfect home, add one imperfect person, and through the magic of residential osmosis, you will set an example of flawlessness for those with high hopes and loftier dreams.
Are these hopes and dreams a little unachievable? Maybe.
Vogue and Men's Health sell millions upon millions of copies of their magazines, showing us examples of (alternatively) perfect lifestyles. Vogue has incredibly beautiful models, wearing clothes that no one can possibly afford, let alone wear. Men's Health has sculpted men (with 6 per cent body fat - natch), running around on the beach, promoting the benefits of multiple hormone producing drugs.
So, doesn't Vogue and Men's Health have the same agenda as Canadian House and Home? You may never look or live like this, but it sure is nice to watch.
It becomes an integral part in our voyeuristic lives to look at how other people live, even though our lives have dust bunnies under beds and jam stains on walls. And, don't even talk about what lies in the basement.
Shouldn't we be happy? Shouldn't we do the things that bring a little joy to our lives? Shouldn't we do a little something that gives us a sense of pleasure? Yes, yes and yes.
Addictions are windows of opportunity: They allow less socially desirable desires become gratified in a socially tolerable form.
Now, if you excuse me, I have to get back to these pages. Ooh, the texture, those curves... That couch looks sooo comfortable...