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Entry: 2017-06-22 14:23:13.348446+00 Sex, brains & aging by Dan Lyke comments 0

Can sex in later life improve brain health?

Dr Hayley Wright discusses research which explores whether sex for the over 50s can protect – and even improve – cognitive functions.

That seems to be a little over-stating it, there's correlation, not cause. So we don't know whether being smarter and cognitively sharp leads to more sex, or vice-versa, but who's willing to take that risk?

Another article: Reuters: Healthy brain linked to active sex life in old age.

All about: Sex on the brain! Associations between sexual activity and cognitive function in older age:

Results: after adjusting for age, education, wealth, physical activity, depression, cohabiting, self-rated health, loneliness and quality of life, there were significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing and recall in men. However, in women there was a significant association between sexual activity and recall, but not number sequencing.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Health broadband Bioinformatics Mathematics Education ]

Entry: 2017-06-22 14:08:07.831388+00 Lesbian Ken Dos=lls by Dan Lyke comments 0

75 Lesbian Ken Dolls, Ranked By Lesbianism. Barbie got a girlfriend. And even if you run out of steam, because it does go on, scroll down to #s 3 through 1.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-05-31 15:49:26.511867+00 About a six pack by Dan Lyke comments 0

Journal of Social Psychology: Sexual willingness with same- and other-sex prospective partners: Experimental evidence from the bar scene

...Using moderated regression analysis, we found that alcohol intake predicted sexual willingness with the male target for both men and women, but not with the female target. The attractiveness of same-sex partners was related to sexual willingness. Sexual willingness was only influenced by alcohol intake and perceived attractiveness of a same-sex prospective partner. Most notably, alcohol intake was related to increased sexual willingness of men with a same-sex partner, suggesting a potential shift in normative casual sexual behavior among heterosexual men.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Psychology, Psychiatry and Personality Model Building ]

Entry: 2017-05-25 17:35:15.410348+00 Nudes OTD by Dan Lyke comments 0

A Nude Photo Series Imagines a World Without Clothes, a look at the photographic work of Sophia Vogel and her With and Without series.

Photographer Reveals What Hides Under Tattooed People’s Everyday Clothes, on Alan Powdrill

[ related topics: Photography Erotic Sexual Culture Nudity Work, productivity and environment Clothing ]

Entry: 2017-05-22 20:09:18.121259+00 Dating & Anime by Dan Lyke comments 0

Not sure if related or not:

* Japan's sex problem is so bad that people are quitting dating and marrying their friends:

The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with just 8.4 children being born per 1,000 inhabitants over the past five years.

Its population of 127 million people is predicted to decrease to 87 million by 2060.

* This Penguin Was Dumped By His Girlfriend And Is Now In Love With An Anime Cutout

[ related topics: Children and growing up Interactive Drama Erotic Sexual Culture Invention and Design History Current Events Marriage ]

Entry: 2017-05-21 06:10:11.080616+00 Just got told I'd make a fabulous gay by Dan Lyke comments 0

Just got told I'd make a fabulous gay man if I wasn't a lesbian...

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-05-04 20:43:01.706989+00 55 Lesbians by Dan Lyke comments 0

Autostraddle: 55 Lesbians Having A Bad Time In BDSM Stock Photos. Never too many spikes.

[ related topics: Photography Sexual Culture Economics ]

Entry: 2017-05-04 19:48:33.856519+00 The Warehouse by Dan Lyke comments 0

On a gay sex club, a generally tolerant city, and one man's quest to shut it down: An underground sex club is raided, and Minneapolis is forced to face the times.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture tolkien Current Events ]

Entry: 2017-05-03 21:19:28.608838+00 Pelosi softens on abortion by Dan Lyke comments 2

Nancy Pelosi: Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe party line on abortion.

Because the Democrats weren't doing a good enough job of self-destructing thus far.

[ related topics: Politics Sexual Culture Heinlein ]

Entry: 2017-05-03 16:08:56.10712+00 Twitter wisdom OTD by Dan Lyke comments 0

RT Nat Baimel:

If your penis stops working try taking the butt plug out then plugging it back in

RT Fran Wilde:

Women, in ponds, keeping the swords for themselves.

RT ToddInTheShadows‏ @ShadowTodd

Today's train of thought: The difference in connotation between "dick" and "asshole" as an insult

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Sexual Culture Work, productivity and environment Machinery Trains ]

Entry: 2017-04-24 17:44:40.08295+00 Quarter by Dan Lyke comments 0

The random quarter that landed Life magazine in court.

And a good reminder that the forces of "decency", the anti-pornography crusaders and the like, are just anti-feminists in drag.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Currency ]

Entry: 2017-04-24 17:43:20.320467+00 Ivory dildo by Dan Lyke comments 0

Victorian era ivory "lady's companion" (dildo) up for auction


[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Art & Culture ]

Entry: 2017-04-19 22:08:33.822645+00 On inclusion by Dan Lyke comments 0

Kimchi Cuddles: Good people are still able to do oppressive... (comic)

I think there are two things in here that are worth unpacking.

Listening to Tristan Taormino's Sex Out Loud interview with Kitty Stryker, and, paraphrasing badly, Kitty mentioned wanting to destigmatize sexual assault, that is: Make it easier to admit that we've all crossed consent boundaries, in order to better talk about where those boundaries are. I think we need similar discussions around racism.

Similarly, I was listening to Life on the Swingset #281: Finding and being community role models, and the participants of color were ranting about inclusive spaces and how hard it was to find them. I was thinking about this in the context of starting a square dancing group in Petaluma, and how to make it inclusive, and thinking "okay, so y'all are venting, give me some actionable advice", and then it hit me: It's not about advertising to me and trying to make it non-objectionable enough that everyone feels comfortable there, it's about deliberately calling out the marginalized groups, and saying "You, yes, you, are invited here."

Because when we do bland advertising, we're talking to our own culture, and no others.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Sociology Consumerism and advertising California Culture Pop Culture Community Race ]

Entry: 2017-04-04 16:24:08.12743+00 Rebuttal to Pen Test Partners by Dan Lyke comments 0

Internet of Dongs Project: Rebuttal to Pen Test Partners, or why that "OMG, hackers can see the inside of your vagina!!1!" clickbait about the Siime Eye is hogwash.

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Net Culture ]

Entry: 2017-03-31 17:39:25.542559+00 On Pence and Marriage by Dan Lyke comments 3

When Rolling Stone reported that Mike Pence referred to his wife as "mother", I thought that's fine, I know women who refer to their lovers as "daddy". "Little" role play kinda squicks me because of the pedophilia undertones, but I know that kink play can be deeply healing, and whatever floats your boat. Your kink is not my kink, and that's okay.

A few days ago, the Washington Post referenced a 2002 article in The Hill in which it was revealed that Mike Pence "never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either".

This, for obvious reasons, brought a bunch of "WTF?". I mean, lifestyle play is one thing, some people do D/s 24/7 and again, their kink is not mine, but the guy is a big player on a major stage, this seems like it's got to be a huge hindrance. Unless, you know, it wasn't and the fact that women were inconsequential at high level politics wasn't a huge deal to him.


But then various other conservative commentators started doubling down, like Matt Walsh, commenter for The Blaze, on Twitter:

Seriously what's the appropriate reason for a married person to go out for a meal alone with a member of the other sex (outside of family)?

(And Blaze gets weirder, and weirder, and weirder).

Then I read @Limericking on Twitter:

Mike Pence, an adult who is grown,
Cannot sit with women alone.
However, he can
Stand by an old man
Whose fondness for groping is known.

And my off-handed comparisons of the modern GOP to various repressive regimes came into clear sharp focus: These are horrible evil people who know that they can't be trusted, and rather than actually dealing with their psychoses closet them.


[ related topics: Religion Politics Erotic Sexual Culture Food Sociology Boats Machinery Marriage ]

Entry: 2017-03-28 16:23:21.539705+00 Sex Gor & Open Source by Dan Lyke comments 0

Some of you may be aware of the dust-up that's been happening in the Drupal community. Drupal founder Dries Buytaert asked Larry Garfield to leave the community. Garfield responded publicly with TMI about me:

I am involved in two such communities, specifically the BDSM community and the Gorean (Gor) community. The former is by far the larger of the two and more varied, although I spend more of my time and activity in the Gorean community. It's a small community, and sadly much of what is found online about it is utter crap, just as most in the BDSM community find the "50 Shades" representation of BDSM to be harmfully misleading. The Gorean subculture is inspired by a science-fiction book series written from the 1960s onward to today, and predicated on a strong sense of personal honor, integrity, and community. It also practices consensual Master/slave relationships, and has a strong gender bias toward male-Dom/female-sub relationships, but that is not the cornerstone of Gorean culture. There are other groups that are biased the other way, or have no gender bias. There are even groups in Chicago (where I live) that have regular "fem-dom" parties. To each their own.

There has been much back and forth on this, with the Drupal board being very cagey, and on the other side a number of people wondering how long it was going to be before followers of the various Abrahamic religions started to get kicked out.

I've got complex feelings on this, on the one hand I didn't shed too many tears when Brendan Eich got outed for having donated to the Prop 8 campaign, an outing which led to his ouster from Mozilla, but I'm also very much in the "if it's consensual, what happens in Garfield's home is none of my business". And then, of course, we get into sub-discussions about what "consent" means in BDSM relationships...

Anyway, I've read a bunch of think-pieces on this, but not the one that Shadow sent me today, and I think this one is good: Jon Evans on TechCrunch: Sex and Gor and open source

[ related topics: Free Software Interactive Drama Books Erotic Sexual Culture Weblogs Open Source Theater & Plays Sociology California Culture Community ]

Entry: 2017-03-21 17:05:47.02837+00 Square Dancing & BDSM by Dan Lyke comments 0

Gathering this note up from Sunny Megatron as inspiration when I'm trying to put together an evening of square dancing:

One of the analogies that we use is a roller coaster analogy, and that is: If I am setting up a scene with someone, I am the dominant, I am creating a scene for my submissive. It is my job as the engineer of this mental roller coaster to get all of their information, all the stats from them: So what do you like? Do you like corkscrew turns? Okay, you don't like dark tunnels, I won't put any dark tunnels in my roller coaster. And that's the negotiation phase. And then it's my job to get the specs that they've given me, put together a roller coaster of everything that they want, but making it feel like a mental surprise. So even though I've engineered this roller coaster to have a very clear beginning, middle and end I know exactly what's going to happen and it's planned out, I want them to feel like they are mentally on a runaway car. That they might go off the rails, they might crash into the wall, because that's what we're getting at: We want that endorphin rush, we want that adrenaline going.

Sunny Megatron is host of a show about sex on Showtime, this quote is from Tristan Taormino's Sex Out Loud February 17, 2017 episode: Sunny Megatron and Ken Melvoin-Berg on Becoming the Dynamic Duo of Sex Educators and Offbeat Elements of Kink. Sounds like Sunny and Ken play on the far side of psychological role play.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Erotic Sexual Culture Psychology, Psychiatry and Personality Heinlein Automobiles ]

Entry: 2017-03-16 20:34:22.150776+00 girls & beliefs about their own sexual pleasure by Dan Lyke comments 0

TED talk: Peggy Orenstein: What young women believe about their own sexual pleasure. From the teaser text:

Why do girls feel empowered to engage in sexual activity but not to enjoy it? For three years, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed girls ages 15 to 20 about their attitudes toward and experiences of sex. She discusses the pleasure that's largely missing from their sexual encounters and calls on us to close the "orgasm gap" by talking candidly with our girls from an early age about sex, bodies, pleasure and intimacy.

From the talk:

... I also know what I hope for for our girls. I want them to see sexuality as a source of self-knowledge, creativity, and communication, despite its potential risks. I want them to be able to revel in their body's sensuality, without being reduced to it. ...

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-03-15 23:10:48.230282+00 Ricardo Scipio redux by Dan Lyke comments 0

Uncomfortably Me: Sex Goddess Project Explores Sexuality In An Unapologetic Way (NSFW). I've mentioned Ricardo Scipio before.

"Women have for too long and in too many cultures had their sexuality suppressed only to be pseudo-released within the stiflingly unkind world of porn. I'm extremely humbled and proud to provide a vehicle for women to unapologetically express themselves with love and authenticity; something porn cannot offer," Scipio says in a press release on his website.

As a male photographer, Scipio says he knew it was he who was "repressing how the subject should portray her sexuality." This made him rethink his boundaries and become more supportive of how his model wished to show herself intimately.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Archival ]

Entry: 2017-03-13 23:37:41.02183+00 Triad custody by Dan Lyke comments 0

Breakup of a polyamorous triad results in a judge granting child custody to all three:

The judge took cues from the boy himself in making the unusual decision.

Asked how he told his two moms apart, the child had explained that one was the “mommy with the orange truck” and the other the “mommy with the gray truck.”

Via Cosmopolitan

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Law Machinery ]

Entry: 2017-03-09 18:03:45.990819+00 Bodies at Tuam by Dan Lyke comments 0

Emer O'Toole in The Guardian opinion: The Catholic church is ‘shocked’ at the hundreds of children buried at Tuam. Really?:

So you will forgive me if I am sceptical of the professed shock of Ireland’s clergy, politicians and official inquiring bodies. We know too much about the Catholic church’s abuse of women and children to be shocked by Tuam. A mass grave full of the children of unmarried mothers is an embarrassing landmark when the state is still paying the church to run its schools and hospitals. Hundreds of dead babies are not an asset to those invested in the myth of an abortion-free Ireland; they inconveniently suggest that Catholic Ireland always had abortions, just very late-term ones, administered slowly by nuns after the children were already born.

[ related topics: Religion Children and growing up Interactive Drama Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-03-07 00:18:02.368469+00 Boobies! by Dan Lyke comments 0

Interesting little article on sex, reproduction and blue... feet: NY Times: On Galápagos, Revealing the Blue-Footed Booby’s True Colors:

Males avoid mating with females whose feet has been dulled with paint, the researchers also discovered. And when a male’s feet are artificially dulled after his mate has laid one egg, the female responds to the apparent decline in his condition through a downsizing of her own, making her second egg smaller than the first.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Sociology ]

Entry: 2017-03-04 00:30:10.451181+00 Just learned that some modern vibrators by Dan Lyke comments 0

Just learned that some modern vibrators have an "Airplane Mode". Imma let that sink in for a moment. #milehighclub

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Aviation ]

Entry: 2017-02-28 22:07:12.706224+00 Jacqueline Secor by Dan Lyke comments 0

A link to HuffPo: Artist’s Unapologetic Vagina Paintings Are A Force Of Body Positivity led to Google (and, of course, the requisite "that's a vulva, not a vagina") which led to Jacqueline Secor Art, with many spectacular abstract-ish art, paintings, drawings, mixed media, of vulvas. And other art and images that are pretty darned cool!

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Journalism and Media Art & Culture ]

Entry: 2017-02-24 22:10:47.150643+00 History to life by Dan Lyke comments 0

The Poignancy of Old Pornography (YouTube video)

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Movies Video ]

Entry: 2017-02-21 22:40:47.568875+00 Partners by Dan Lyke comments 0

Partners - a short film about gay square dancing.

One of my scenes (and, yes, I know a lot of the people in this film).

[ related topics: Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-02-21 21:41:06.302036+00 The end of Kink(.com) by Dan Lyke comments 0

Even as Kink.com Ceases Production in the Armory, the Bay’s Porn Scene Thrives

I missed Shine Louise Houston's talk at the local community college last year, and would have like to have seen that. Maybe she'll come back. My relationship with porn has never been committed enough that I could see paying for a subscription to "Crash Pad" (If I've got $40 a month for a subscription, that's going to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and then podcasts and investigative journalism), but it sounds like she and her team are doing some amazing things in terms of portraying safer sex practices in porn, and in finding actors who have real energy with each other.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Erotic Sexual Culture Theater & Plays Journalism and Media Work, productivity and environment California Culture Community Education ]

Entry: 2017-02-15 22:39:21.112489+00 Thoughts on HAI by Dan Lyke comments 0

Just making a note of it here so I have it in my blog history: Did a two HAI workshops in the last 3 weeks, doing another this weekend.

Level 1 ("Love Is a Miracle") HAI January 26th-28th.

HAI asks that we not talk about the workshop, both to protect the confidentiality of the participants, and because out of the narrative context the exercises of the weekend might lose some of their power.

Having been through several similar workshops, including the incredibly powerful-for-me New Warrior (now ManKind Project) weekend back in the spring of 1991, I totally understand.

So what I will talk about: There's an opening hand-on heart/sufi circle exercise, and a "sit opposite a partner and do gentle face touching" exercise, both of which are done in the free intro night. I highly recommend the intro night.

And there is nudity. It's always an option, but whether or not you choose to keep your own clothes on, other people will take their clothes off. Some people keep their clothes on all weekend.

As the weekend started out I had a bit of feeling like "okay, I know what's going on here, I'm doing this to get my ticket punched and get invited to the cool parties", and the exercises were fun, but not mind-blowing. Then, for various reasons, I kinda started feeling like I wasn't connecting with people, until on Sunday morning someone came along and blew my mind.

The tears started Monday, about mid-day. It was a good thing. The weekend was an amazing exercise in limerence and constructed love, and deconstructing that. In understanding that the feeling of being in love can be a conscious choice, and some of the tools to play with that feeling.

On February 9th through the 11th I went to the Couple's Workshop, which was similarly powerful, and has opened up all sorts of avenues for conversation and exercise.

This weekend, February 16th through the 18th, off to the Level 2 ("Loving Yourself") workshop.

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Weblogs Invention and Design Bay Area Nudity Clothing ]

Entry: 2017-02-07 22:41:30.759443+00 Boys in Chairs by Dan Lyke comments 0

Boys In Chairs: That Time I Couldn’t Masturbate By Myself Anymore. A man with spastic cerebral palsy talks about masturbation and sexual satisfaction.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Furniture ]

Entry: 2017-02-07 17:27:09.989385+00 Ricardo Scipio patreon by Dan Lyke comments 0

Apparently I haven't linked to the work of photographer Ricardo Scipio before. He's started a Patreon feed for his more sexually explicit work:

In 2013, after years of non-sexual content in my work, I followed the lead of my models and decided that my next project was going to be a vehicle that allowed women to explicitly express their sexuality in an authentic and unapologetic way. I decided to embrace sex in ways I had never dared to in the past.

My Sex Goddess project is a celebration of women of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages, expressing their sexuality in an authentic and unapologetic way.

I'm kind of at my limit for Patreon, especially given that we've upped our various recurring donations to advocacy and legal organizations, and his reward tiers are a little steep for my tastes, but what I've seen of his work is pretty cool.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture History Law Work, productivity and environment ]

Entry: 2017-02-06 22:18:05.973149+00 Vizio TVs by Dan Lyke comments 2

Federal Trade Commission: What Vizio was doing behind the TV screen:

What did Vizio know about what was going on in the privacy of consumers’ homes? On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content. What’s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

Federal Trade Commission: VIZIO to Pay $2.2 Million to FTC, State of New Jersey to Settle Charges It Collected Viewing Histories on 11 Million Smart Televisions without Users’ Consent

[ related topics: Erotic Privacy Sexual Culture Weblogs Technology and Culture Movies broadband Invention and Design Current Events Consumerism and advertising Television Education Databases ]

Entry: 2017-02-06 16:44:38.152626+00 Brianna Wu for Congress by Dan Lyke comments 0

Brianna Wu is here, queer, and running for Congressin Massachusetts.

I’m about to use a word a politician probably shouldn’t, but the hell with that. The guy I’m going against is everything broken in the Democratic party. He’s a 62-year-old white guy that’s spent most of his career fighting gay rights and women’s rights. Do you know he once introduced an amendment to give people that committed hate crimes against LGBT people a get-out-of-jail-free card if they were found to have acted “lasciviously”? This is the guy I’m supposed to wait to get bored in the Trump era? Give me a break.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Politics Sexual Culture moron Civil Liberties Sports Race ]

Entry: 2017-02-03 16:31:15.039508+00 Federal gag rule & abortions by Dan Lyke comments 0

The Trump global gag rule: an attack on US family planning and global health aid

Moreover, there is no evidence that the global gag rule has ever resulted in its stated aim of reducing abortion. The first study to measure the effect of the gag rule showed that this policy could actually have resulted in an increase in abortions. Another study assessed the gag rule in Ghana and found that because of declines in the availability of contraceptive services, both fertility and abortion rates were higher during the gag rule years than during non-gag rule years in rural and poor populations. This is consistent with anecdotal data that the gag rule's main effect has been to reduce women's access to quality contraceptive services, thereby increasing the probability of unintended pregnancy and making recourse to abortion more likely.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30270-2 

[ related topics: Sexual Culture Health Sociology ]

Entry: 2017-02-02 18:18:40.820389+00 Bud Sex by Dan Lyke comments 0

Bud-sex: Sex between rural straight men:

...All of the straight men avoid effeminate men, and several insulted male effeminacy, contributing to the widespread devaluation of femininity. Moreover, thirteen were married and had extramarital sex without their wife’s knowledge, underscoring their male entitlement and unwillingness to consider ethical non-monogamy. The participants enjoy marginalized sexual practices, but they are unwilling to challenge heterosexism or other forms of domination, maintaining numerous systems of inequality.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Ethics Sociology Beer Marriage ]

Entry: 2017-01-31 17:43:23.491303+00 Thoughts on social media and politics by Dan Lyke comments 7

This was transcribed from me talking while driving, so has a different flow and style than my usual writing. Deal with it.

I've been "blogging" since before there was a term for it. The first entries in my blog's archives don't have timestamps on them are dated from sometime in February of 1998, so long about 19 years. I have, for years, read the essays by social scientists describing how social media provides us with little bursts of oxytocin, provides us with a thin veneer of interacting with people, and as someone with along history of participation in social media I kind of accepted that that was true, but online communication has, since the early to mid 1980s, has been a very strong part of my social scene.

So I thought "yeah, that's fine, but we carry on".

This last weekend I did a workshop that, among other things, had lots of hugs, lots of close eye gazing, lots of respectful physical contact, and everyone of those, too, sparks a little burst of oxytocin, a little burst of wonderful brain feeling.

And the workshop is designed to have a narrative arc which brings us through some experiences which can be scary, or exciting, into a place where we hopefully come out feeling amazing, and having learned some things. My own narrative arc was amplified by some long-standing social anxieties. Despite being a square dance caller, or perhaps that's why I'm a square dance caller, I don't enjoy free form dance much, I don't get much out of it. And so on Saturday night when the "how late do you want to stay up" activity was free form dancing, I was kind of feeling dejected, and and a little bit out of the space, and felt apart, as I often do in social experiences.

Sunday morning, an absolutely wonderful person, whether by design or accident, amplified my narrative arc. Came and gave me a huge burst of validation and absolutely wonderful connection. And so I'm also coming off the weekend with a tremendous limerence that feels amazing (The nice thing about being 48 rather than 18 is that I have some of the communication skills to work through this with the other parties involved, and some of the introspection skills to work through it within myself).

When I got home, the tools and skills that I learned in this workshop helped me to better re-connect with Charlene, too. So I had this absolutely amazing weekend, got to sleep very late, and on Monday morning, as is my habit, after Charlene left the house, I went down to my computers to start the day, opened up a tab on Facebook and Twitter, and was faced with pages and pages of wallowing in the horrors of current politics.

All of a sudden I was tremendously conscious of how I had been turning to Twitter and Facebook increasingly for these little bursts of validation, of interaction with other people, and how as social media has evolved to be passing around the same overly amplified horrible news stories, we've lost a lot of the personal connection that led to the friendships and amazing relationships that I have with people I've met online, from the BBS days, to Usenet, to early bloggers back in the late ྖs. Friendships and relationships that continue today. My favorite social media these days is email and private slack channels and other side channels that involve those same people.

I've never had a defined mission statement for my blog. The best I ever came up with was "sex, drugs & technology". It has always been "things that interested me", and was never really published for other people, at least not at first: The first time I looked at my logs and saw that I had 45 or so regular readers I was absolutely ecstatic. Later that ran up to probably about 1500, and it's probably down to 10 or so now. But it has served as an additional brain and memory for me, as well as a social connection. So I certainly post my share of political news, of things that I know that I will want to go back to: I often end up having conversations later where I wish I could cite exactly where that thought, feeling, factor number came from, and my blog lets me do that.

But as I gazed through Twitter and Facebook on Monday morning, what I saw was the same story repeated hundreds of time, the same people linking to different version of the stories, each of which was designed to create more and more anxiety in the reader, more and more clicks, more and more "oh my god, I have to read more".

So I'm searching in new directions. I want to find more personal connections. More places where the interactions aren't with repeated material, but are with the minutiae of people's everyday lives: The things that allow us to connect, and be human. And I suspect that much of this is actually going to be more in real life than online. Although there may be ways to build tools to get back to doing this online.

(Aside: There was talk about "real world", and going back to it, and why is "what we're used to" the "real world", and not the space we were in in the weekend?)

I have long complained that "news" is rarely something I can do something about. It's not like the latest events in Washington are things that my life can directly influence. That's why I elect legislators. That's why I participate in a society that has a tripartite system of government. So I would appreciated it if, as people post news of horrors and horrific statements by appointed officials that they think about what particular actions can be taken in the context of that news. Instead of the handwringing and the misery porn, concentrate on the positive direct actions we can do.

We know that the attitudes and opinions of those "in power" value certain power dynamics or economics over human decency. We know that modern government is heavily based in fear, and reactionary politics, and hate. We don't need a constant stream of reminders of these things, what we need is examples of ways to do things better, and reminders of how to effect that change within our world. And then we need the personal connections, the things which inspire us to be better in the world, which guide us to a better world. A world with more human connection, with more smiles, with more soulful longing, and the tools to gratify that longing and explore those spaces of social and psychological need.

So this is my call to you to think twice before forwarding that latest report of the horrors of some Washington DC official or political pundit. If you have specific issues you'd like me to contact my legislators on, I am all ears. If you have uplifting stories and examples of people who are striving to counter the horrors of more than half of our current government, I'm all ears. If you have photos of your kids and your kittens and your lunch, the things that are meaningful to you, especially if they're of your own kids, your own kittens, your own captions on on your pictures, I eagerly await your posts.

I want your updates of your joys and sadnesses, of your laughter and crying, and yes, of your concerns, but of the concerns that concern you, not the concerns that are generated externally.

But if social media continues to be full of these hits of hopelessness and despair, these clips of movies that cannot possibly have happy endings, I need to change the channel. I need to turn the television off and go outside.

So if I disappear from Facebook or Twitter, that's where I've gone. You can always catch me on my own blogs, although that may get a rework. On email, or the various other ways that I stay in touch with people. Ask for an invite to one of the various online communities that I also participate in, or come square dancing with me, or find hugs in one of the other physical communities in which I engage. But I need my communities to be uplifting and empowering. To be inspiring. I want people around me to be people I connect with, people I can be joyful with, people I can say "hey, you know, I'm crushing really hard on you right now", and we can talk that out and find safe boundaries in which to explore that relationship for all of us.

Places to make *human* connections. Because that's the way that can be inspired to save our world. To lift up our communities. To become more together than we can individually.

If you desire my political opinions and notes of the day, they're over at this blog entry: https://www.flutterby.com/archives/comments/23901.html

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Entry: 2017-01-31 14:35:25.317149+00 Dear auto-correct by Dan Lyke comments 1

Dear auto-correct: I don't know how you got "vaginal" from my attempt to type "casual", but I have mixed feelings.

[ related topics: Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-01-30 14:45:24.749711+00 Wonderfully transformative weekend has by Dan Lyke comments 0

Wonderfully transformative weekend has left me floating and unwilling to engage with the misery porn of social media current events.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Journalism and Media Boats ]

Entry: 2017-01-26 22:46:27.028209+00 Addiction & class by Dan Lyke comments 0

Wow, some good conversation on addiction in Life on the Swingset #275: The Myths of Sex & Porn Addiction with Dr. David Ley.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture ]

Entry: 2017-01-20 00:37:06.872617+00 political is a necessity by Dan Lyke comments 0

Ferrett Steinmetz: Dear FetLife and other kinky people: You don't have the luxury of being apolitical anymore

And that may not be just FetLife. It may also apply to those happy local kink clubs you’ve watched grow over the last decade or so. People wanna shut them down, and unfortunately, those people are in power. Read @Zetsu’s discussion on how Trump’s Attorney General’s #1 priority is stamping out porn. Read @NCD’s post on what happened to porn providers during the Reagan years. This isn’t just in America – England’s pondering new laws, Germany is, all around the world the tide is turning.

Remember that studies show that access to porn is linked to a decrease in sexual violence. It's gonna get worse over the next few years.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Movies Invention and Design Law Community Government ]

Entry: 2017-01-17 19:42:56.200122+00 Armory becoming repurposed by Dan Lyke comments 0

Kink.com is moving porn production out of The Armory: Historic SF site says goodbye to its porn movies.

Over the last three years, as porn has migrated to free sites, membership groups like Kink.com have struggled to make up revenue, Acworth said. Kink.com’s membership has dropped from 50,000 to 30,000, and its revenues have dropped by 50 percent. The company laid off half its workforce a year ago and is focused on providing an Internet platform for BDSM entertainment, rather than creating content.

“Porn is not nearly as profitable as it was,” he said. “We have had to change our business model.”

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