Not long after my twenty-sixth birthday, having resigned myself to never owning a house or living in the city or finding a job in the arts that paid over 55k, I re-discovered porn. It’s hard to say how I let myself forget it. It seems that in my attempts to get my career and finances and general adult life on track, porn became the unwitting sacrifice. But now that the dream was dead, I was free to do anything I liked.
Scrolling through pornhub on a Tuesday afternoon, I realise it’s been such a long time between stints I no longer know my category. It used to be ‘lesbian’ — no brainer — but in the years since, I’d had to face the reality that I was almost definitely a plain-old-normal brand of heterosexual. Monogamous, missionary. No frills.
Browsing the stills of veiny dicks and waxed pussies on the homepage—images that come to thrusting, panting life for a moment if you hover your cursor over them — I come across a headline that makes me stop. PETITE ENTITLED MILLENIAL FUCKS HER LANDLORD. I click.
I’m fucking sick of this fucking girl, the video begins. It’s the first video in a category I never knew existed: PropertySex. The camera is held at the eye level of a Faceless Landlord — the ‘it-could-be-me’, ‘property-owning’ ‘every-man’ — eviction notice in hand. He knocks on the door and the Entitled Millennial opens it. She’s wearing a blue T-shirt with the word SAVAGE printed across it, knee-high socks and a pair of slides not dissimilar to the ones discarded at the foot of my bed. The Faceless Landlord hands her the eviction notice and the Entitled Millennial’s hand goes to her mouth in pretend shock, like she hasn’t seen this coming all along. She pouts and pleads. He refuses. She leads him into her living room where she perches on the ugliest sofa I have ever seen. Sprawled out on my own ugly sofa, hands down pants, I think of the furniture that came with the property I rent now — the drawers that flake sharp splinters of veneer every time I get out a sweater, the legless bedframe, the stained IKEA coffee table. I feel for her.
Four minutes in, plot twist: it’s revealed that the Entitled Millennial once turned down the Faceless Landlord for a date. Guys don’t like to be turned down, the Landlord says and the Millennial smiles appeasingly, in the way of a girl catcalled while walking alone late at night. She vaguely offers to go out sometime. You know I have a girlfriend now, he says. She may not be as pretty as the Entitled Millennial, but she has a steady job, which makes her attractive, apparently. I have a steady job, the Millennial says and the Landlord laughs. He knows all about the casualisation of the workforce, it seems.
This is the problem, and I hate to say this, about people your age—a pointed finger enters the frame, waggling gleefully, like the kind of finger that does not hate to say this—you guys think that you get everything fucken handed to you. The Entitled Millennial frowns cutely, running through a mental catalogue of all the things she’s had handed to her: unaffordable housing, increased university fees—but the landlord cuts her off. Every time you catch up you go behind (he’s talking about rent payments) (this video is fourteen minutes long by the way). Well, the Entitled Millennial says, what if I let you come up and come behind me? Jump shot to her sucking his dick. Gagging sounds, eviction notice crumpled in frame.
Lying spread-legged on the sofa, I think, if porn is supposed to be relatable, then this is kind of working?
Over the two years I rented in Sydney, I’d had my rent raised four times. The hole in our living room floor went unfixed for over six months, and when we were eventually evicted, our landlord tried to bill us $300 for letting the creeper ‘creep’ along the back fence. Moving to the UK, I’d been repeatedly rejected for a bank account on account of being a sub-letter. When I finally got myself on a lease, I came downstairs on my first day in the property to find my new landlord, a cab-driver with gel-spiked hair, taking photos of my living room. He’d let himself in with his key.
On the screen, they’re really going at it now, the slides discarded but the socks still on. (Cold feet in the winter—the gas bill was twenty pounds a week I couldn’t afford). He shoves the eviction notice in her mouth. That will shut her up. (It doesn’t). My laptop purrs warmly and my fingers work wetly while the Entitled Millennial cries out, angry and loud, and as I lie there masturbating on a Tuesday afternoon, I think to myself, if I was going to get fucked over, at the very least, just for a moment, I could enjoy it.
This is the second in a seven-part series called 'Levity', published in the Lifted Brow 37. You can purchase a copy here.
Rebecca Slater is a writer from Sydney currently studying at the University of Oxford. In 2017 she was awarded the Marten Bequest Scholarship for prose writing and is currently working on her first novel.