A few years ago, my wife found “Brad Pitt Nude” on my browser history. She refuses to let it go. She’s relentless. She’ll just blurt, “B.P.N!” out of nowhere and fall over laughing.
She’s whispered it during sex.
Before we go to dinner parties, she threatens to tell our friends. She never would, but she mouths, “B.P.N,” every time I get up to grab a beer.
I break out in sweats. My heartbeat gets all wonky.
My wife thinks it’s hysterical.
She taped this in our bathroom.
She likes seeing how flustered I get. She owns me and she knows it.
I can’t take it anymore. That’s why I’m typing this, why I’m telling the world, “I LOOKED UP ‘BRAD PITT NUDE!’”
And it wasn’t just once. It was TWICE. Go ahead and judge. I don’t care. I’m taking back the power. My wife can’t hold this over me anymore.
Thing is, it has nothing to do with me looking at a naked man. If my wife came home and I was beating off to two dudes on my computer, she’d say, “Oh, sorry, I’ll let you finish.”
It’s the fact that it’s so specific, that it’s Brad Pitt Nude.
She knows I’m a fan. We see all his movies. I own most of them.
And not that it matters, but I wasn’t jacking off to BPN when I Googled him.
I just wanted to see the picture.
In high school, Brad Pitt was arguably the coolest man on the planet, at least for me. Fight Club changed my life, and after seeing Se7en I actually outran a cop.
In the same way boys idolized Steve McQueen and James Dean, that’s how I felt about Brad Pitt. I didn’t want to kidnap or rape him; I wanted to meet him. I was a fan.
And in 1997 there was an issue of Playgirl. There were pictures of him naked. People were talking about it. It made the news. I was curious. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But it was 1997, and the Internet wasn’t like today. You couldn’t just Google “B.P.N.” and scroll through a million images.
You had to get a hard copy.
I was too scared to buy it, so I got my girlfriend, H., to do it. She was grossed out at first. She thought I was gay. I told her that wasn’t it. There was a lawsuit. They were going to pull the magazine off the shelves. This thing would be worth money. I convinced her it was a business investment. She wasn’t very bright.
The next day she brought it over. I tried not to look too enthusiastic as she pulled it from her backpack. And there it was, B.P.N. Problem was, it was sealed in plastic. I couldn’t see the pictures.
The front door unlocked. It was my dad. I hid the magazine under the couch. Later, I hid it in my closet. It stayed there for months. I couldn’t open it. It was one thing to “accidentally” flip to an image, but to break the seal somehow made it perverse.
And to be honest, I was afraid of what would happen if I saw the pictures. What if I really liked them? What if they turned me on?
So B.P.N remained in plastic. It protected us both.
Over the years, I moved a lot, even across the country. BPN stayed in boxes, until eventually, he was lost.
I’d actually forgotten about it until a few years ago. My wife had bought us tickets to a double-feature of Se7en and Fight Club. Se7en actually held up better than I remembered. But Fight Club really jogged my memory.
And so later that night, after my wife fell asleep, I typed twelve letters into Google and finally saw what I’d denied myself all those years ago. I wasn’t giddy or aroused.
I was sad.
I thought about that kid in high school who just wanted to see a picture. He was curious, but he was scared. He was ashamed. He worried people would think he was gay, or that he really was, and he’d lose his girlfriend and maybe even his father.
But he had nothing to be ashamed about.
He was just curious.
And gay or straight, who doesn’t want to see a little B.P.N?
Have you ever been busted for something in your browser history?