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What I Learned from Judging Pornhub’s Song Search Contest

It was hard work that required a lot of boning up.

Ladies and gentleman, I’m a regular guy. I’m just like you. I get up every morning, put my pants on, and go to work. I eat three square meals, brush my teeth, and take my vitamins. And just like you, I spend a healthy 10 to 20 hours per week looking at the pornography website Pornhub dot com. So you can imagine my surprise when I (who you’ll remember is a regular guy) was asked to be on the judging panel for Pornhub’s song search contest. Wow. Let’s back up on my life’s dream here.

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It all started back in September when Pornhub announced that they would be starting a record label. They were very upfront about the fact that they were still in the learning process of the whole music thing. I, being a full-time music writer and a very selfless and helpful guy (who, again, is regular), thought I would do them a favor and wrote an article, suggesting artists they should sign—acts like South African rave-rap Die Antwoord, terrifying rapper Stitches, and (no descriptor necessary because they are so famous) Crazy Town.

I had no ulterior motive other than to be a supportive and swell guy. But the internet worked its magic and the next day, at 10:27 AM EST, I got an email from Pornhub’s media comm team, asking if I’d like to be a part of their song search panel which would choose an bartist to award $5,000 and have their song featured on Pornhub TV. By 10:29 AM, I had written them back to say yes, absolutely I would. It would have been 10:28 AM but I took a full 60 seconds to just let the reality of the situation sink in.

Before long, Pornhub issued a press release, announcing their “esteemed panel,” which included myself (Regular Guy Dan Ozzi), Gossip Girl actress-turned-painfully-not-very-good-musician, Taylor Momsen, and none other than the King of Auto-Tune himself, T-Pain:

I printed up 5,000 copies of the press release. I had 4,000 mailed to my alma matter so they could hang them up around campus to give the journalism students something to aspire to. The other 998 copies I mailed to my mom so that she could include them in family Christmas cards and what not. And I sent the remaining ones to all my exes so they could see what they are missing out on. Then I immediately updated my LinkedIn profile to include my new title as “Pornhub Song Search Panel Judge.” I also added it to my Twitter bio and had 1,200 business cards made up. I have also scheduled a session with a local tattoo artist to have the press release inked on my lower back.

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My phone started ringing off the hook. I was contacted by countless publications—Buzzfeed and… I guess just Buzzfeed, really. But still, it was nice to have my achievements recognized by the press.

While I waited patiently for the contest entries to pile up, the good people at Pornhub kept me entertained by mailing a giant box to my office, full of porn paraphernalia. Inside was the following:

– Two Pornhub t-shirts (cut the sleeves off of them immediately)
– A Pornhub hat
– A pair of Pornhub booty shorts (these do not fit my dynamic physique and are up for grabs if anyone wants them)
– A Pornhub mug that says “I’m hard at work”
– A stress-relieving squeeze tit
– A bunch of stickers
– A deck of cards called “Porn the Game!”
– A stack of porn DVDs featuring parodies of movies like The Avengers, The Dark Knight, Star Wars, and Spider-Man (which seems antithetical to the nature of Pornhub but maybe they were just trying to get rid of them or something)
– And a device called an AutoBlow 2 which I’d rather not talk about if that’s all right with you

This is the best day of my life.

A photo posted by dan ozzi (@danozzi) on Dec 18, 2014 at 11:31am PST

But being an official Pornhub Song Search Judge isn’t all fun and boxes of things you can put your penis in. I take my judicial responsibilities very seriously. So when it came down to the judging, I hunkered down and spent some real QT with the finalists’ songs. Pornhub gave me a form to fill out for each entry, asking me to comment on every one and rank various criteria on a scale from one (poor) to five (faptastic!). [Side note: “fapping” is a word I refuse to acknowledge as part of the English lexicon and it must be eradicated.]

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There were 18 finalists. I think. The website was confusing because I had to turn off all the ad blockers, prompting a little man to come out of my computer and ask, "You sure you wanna do that?" Of the 18 finalists, 13 mentioned Pornhub in the song title, which I felt was pandering. And of the 18, two were from female artists, a number which was higher than I expected if I’m being honest.

As I sat there judging each song, I imagined myself on an American Idol-type of show, with me as Simon Cowell and T-Pain as my Randy Jackson, while Taylor Momsen, who would normally be Paula Abdul, seemed to have been replaced on the judging panel at some point by producer Scott Storch, which leads me to believe that Pornhub finally got around to listening to Momsen’s music. Me and my close personal friend, T-Pain, in a very real photo with an alive bear.

I listened to song after song on my brand new SkullCandy Crushers™ headphones (since I am already being a corporate shill here, I might as well go full human brand and endorse ALL OF THE PRODUCTS. COMPANIES: MAIL ME FREE STUFF—90 North 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211). The artists had names like Bootleg Black Guys, Maserati Nick, and NastyBoyCity. I especially liked him because his name sounds like that of a Pornhub user you’d see commenting on a video with clever observations like “where the titts?” or “the balls are bigger then the dick.”

Some songs used samples from porn videos, some tried to be “sexy,” and some were straight up rapey. "Do you suck?" One artist sang. "Do you like being tied?" he continued. “This fucking sucks,” I wrote on that artist’s review. “No one wants to hear a bunch of white dudes in backwards baseball hats singing butt rock songs about sex. This song is the anti-boner.” I doubt that feedback was helpful but it’s what I wrote. Another song which I found particularly misogynist and Alan Thicke-y (even by porn standards) was called “Dick Will Make You Famous” and it was about how performing fellatio on this artist would make a woman famous. Which I sincerely doubt considering this guy is at the point in his career where he's entering song search contests. I gave this song the lowest possible rating: zero faps.

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Mark Twain once said to “write about what you know.” With that in mind, the strongest songs—in my opinion and maybe my fellow judge and close personal friend T-Pain will agree—were the ones that really got into the spirit of Pornhub. Some artists flexed their porn knowledge by name dropping pornstars, listing sex acts, or describing what gets their boners boning. One guy named Young Day Day, on his song “Can’t Stop Watching Pornhub,” sounded like he was just reading off porn categories. “Friday, double penetration. Saturday, I want a blonde girl. When Sunday come, I want a college girl. Where the white girls?”

I found myself strangely bonding with these artists. Watching porn is a very solitary experience. And yet, here I was connecting with these musically inclined strangers from across the country over the personal practice of watching two people (or more if that’s your thing) put their naked body parts together on a flat screen. It was kind of surreal how much I identified with some of the lyrics.

One artist, Jordan Royale (which would also make a great pornstar name), spoke straight into my soul with this line: "I like watching porn when I have a bad day. It's like jerking off flushes all the pain away.” Yes, Jordan Royale. YES. Let’s get a beach house together on Martha’s Vineyard and be soul mates because you understand me better than my family or my friends or my therapist, Dr. Gina Sussmann.

After several hours of listening to these songs (the longest and least pleasurable time I’ve ever spent on Pornhub), filling out form after form, I couldn’t help but think of fellow judge and life coach judge T-Pain who was also somewhere, undoubtedly personally tending to all this paperwork. Like me, he was probably also sitting on his couch with an episode of Maron playing in the background while he opened a new file in Microsoft Word, filled it out, saved it in a folder, then reverted to the original and started all over again.

I felt a connection to T-Pain. I felt a connection to everyone—to Jordan Royale and to Maserati Nick and to the Bootleg Black Guys and to Dr. Gina Sussmann and to the 500 million unique daily visitors (estimate) of Pornhub. And to myself. Like maybe the universe is just one big cosmic energy sewn together by pornography and auto-tune.

Pornhub will announce their winner today. I can't tell you who I voted for because I respect the democratic process. Butt suffice it to say, it's f*ptastic.

Dan Ozzi is on Twitter, just being a regular guy - @danozzi