It’s 2006. You’re in college. You’ve just got gotten back from class, the Shins softly playing on your iPod. As you enter your dorm, your roommate looks like he’s holding back a grin. “What’s up? you ask incredulously, as you sit in front of your computer, waking it up with a wave of the mouse. A webpage is already up.
The first thing you notice is the sound of Dead or Alive’s 1985 hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).”
The second thing you notice is a spinning penis, making infinite circles with each pump of another penis anally penetrating the owner of the spinning one.
The third thing you notice is a counter, slowly counting up with each subsequent rotation.
Your roommate explodes in laughter. You’ve just met Meatspin.
While today’s internet culture is heavily indebted to the chaos of the early ’00s web, it’s also more instinctively cynical because of it. Shocks are harder to pull off these days because we’ve all been warned about what’s hiding out there. That’s why Meatspin probably wouldn’t have the same impact today if it were released today.
The origin of Meatspin
Meatspin, one of the original shock sites, is a relic of a different time in internet history when casual homophobia was still a reasonable ingredient in the recipe for internet success. Launched on March 10, 2005, the site quickly took off. By December of that year, it had become infamous enough to be added to Urban Dictionary.
Meatspin is a reimagining of an earlier clip posted on You’re The Man Now Dog (YTMND) called “Ridin Spinnaz.” The original is basically the same, except it uses Three 6 Mafia’s “Ridin Spinnaz” instead of Dead or Alive. According to Know Your Meme, the clip used in both videos is from a trans porn film called TS Bitches.
Meatspin as a prank
As Meatspin’s notoriety began to spread, the site became a popular prank. People would load the site on their friend’s computers, change their homepage to direct to Meatspin, or post links on message boards under false names in hopes of shocking their friends. Each visitor was left with a record of exactly how many spins they made.
Today, the world record for the number of Meatspins in a single viewing is 10,000,112. According to Meatspin.cc, the site’s former home, the record is held by a group of Irish college students who worked in shifts around the clock to make sure someone was watching the screen at all times. Their record was set in 2009, but some sticklers point out that there is no proof they managed to complete the task. Meatspin stats, apparently, work on an honor system.
In March 2012, the domain name Meatspin.com expired briefly, but it was quickly brought back online. One year later, the domain expired again, and the site was left down until it was moved to http://Meatspin.cc. That website now hosts ads for other sites.
That brings us to the final chapter in the saga of Meatspin. At Florida State in 2013, student Benjamin Blouin, 26 at the time, hacked the Wi-Fi on Florida State’s Panama City campus to redirect everyone who used the service that day to Meatspin. Blouin claimed he was attempting to show the risks of using an open Wi-Fi system. He was dismissed from the school and charged “with offenses against computer users.”
The legacy of Meatspin
The legacy of Meatspin is one of stupidity and cheap homophobic humor, but it proved surprisingly effective. For proof, just search YouTube for Meatspin reaction videos and you’ll find hundreds of people exploding in shock and surprise, dating back as far as 2006. Here’s the original Meatspin reaction video:
Meatspin may be a relic of a bygone era, one that no longer shocks quite the way it used to. But for many people of a certain age, Meatspin was how they learned the internet was dark and full of pranksters. One spin at a time.