Tag Archives: controversy

Facebook & The Winter of Our Discontent

We’ve been betrayed. Zuckerberg and the rat bastards at Cambridge Analytica have done had their way with us.

Listen on Twitter and it sounds like everyone’s freaking out. Rightly so, in some regards. You’d think there was a mass exodus from the social network, but upon monitoring my followers and friends, it doesn’t seem like anyone has walked away from it just yet. The numbers are the same today as they were last weekend, before the bombshell detonated.

I know I’ve tightened my settings up, deleted all the apps that had access to me.

But, beyond that, not much.

Surprised? Really?

I’ve been hip to Cambridge Analytica for over a year. I’ve known that Facebook quizzes were datamining for at least two.

So, I’m not shocked. I’m disappointed that Facebook is so complicit in the situation. It disgusts me that Facebook has had such a hand in manipulating the election. My hint of betrayal began as far back as when Zuckerberg got lambasted by the GOP for what they felt was over-liberalizing the site, and he bent over backward to calm them down. It was around then that content got WEIRD on the social network and shit went sideways. Betrayal began then.

The out-of-control indignation shouted by some people, though, is beyond the pale.

Really? You had no clue you were the product? You didn’t know Big Brother was watching you to see how they could manipulate you? No clue? None?

Seems to me blaming others for such naivete is a bit rich.

The Forever of the Internets

Now, me, I walked out of the wastelands recently to resurrect this blog. The “why” on that is all over the place – so many reasons, so many motivations.

But part of why I stopped writing here was largely to do with some of what’s going on now – too much information about me out there. Too much history, too much background, too much access. I got a little “that’s not for you” about my life and pulled the curtains shut in at least one area.

It was futile though. Let’s not pretend. The stuff’s still out there. Even if I deleted the blog, took a flamethrower to the site, you could claw back through it all on the Wayback Machine, or the Internet Archive, as the normies call it.

Google is forever, man. Don’t kid yourself.

We like to think it’s all so impermanent on Facebook and Twitter. The marketing nerds will tell you the average tweet has a shelf-life of 12 minutes and the average Facebook update something like 23 hours. But, really?

It creeps me out sometimes that people will be combing through my content for days after the fact, and suddenly some follower makes a note about a six-day old tweet, where, for me, it was a throwaway comment in a moment in time.

Awesome illustration by Davide Bonazzi, from http://www.copyrightuser.org/understand/exceptions/text-data-mining/

It Just Seems Fleeting

And that’s how the social networks get us. We think it’s unimportant or temporary, a time-waster or distraction at best.

Oh, look, a quiz about what character you are on Downton Abbey. Great, do that. Really?

I used to routinely comment on these and say, “Well, you know that’s a datamining operation, right? They just want access to your profile?”

Invariably, I’d get “Yeah, I know, but it’s only Facebook.”

Well, “only Facebook” allowed information to become weaponized and then used against us in a way that has made society more divisive now than arguably any time since the Vietnam War, or even the American Civil War.

Storytime: The Blog Before This Blog

Part of why I brought this blog back from the dead was because I’ve had kind of a reckoning of identity here in Greece. It’s one of those times where I’m in the middle still, so I can’t really see around me yet, but… things are changing in me, in my mind, in who I am. And while that’s happening, I’m also taking ownership of who I’ve been and from whence I’ve come.

So, as part of that, about 8-10 days ago, I finally undertook the task of getting my first blog – it’s this shitty little Blogspot blog I called The Last Ditch – archived because I lost access to it years ago and Google, who own Blogspot, are completely useless. That’s how I came to pay some dude on Fiverr $20 to archive the whole site.

I’m thinking, “hey, in two or three days, I can finally stop sweating about this site crashing and me losing a few years of writing.”

But nerd writes me back. “Okay, wait. I will be done in a few minutes.”

Seriously? Six years of blog posts, scraped and archived in an Excel sheet in just a few minutes? But, yeah, that’s what happened.

Now, suddenly, I feel so naïve for all those times I thought, “Hey, I’ll just quickly take the quiz and delete access to my account immediately after I’m done.”

Because, well, obviously if some nerd on Fiverr can scrape my blog on in five minutes with the archive buttons broken on it, then clearly some high-end analytics and hacking company can do a whole lot more than that on Facebook.

We’ve Always Been the Product

There’s a whole world out there that lives and dies by information alone, because information spurs whole markets. We’re the commodity. We’re the meal ticket. They need to know about us, and the more they know, the more they profit.

This is the world model now, and it’s not just Facebook. Facebook’s just who got caught. Are you kidding me?

Our radio habits, TV habits, reading habits – they’ve been scrutinized for nearly a century. From the Nielsen Ratings to Facebook “likes,” it’s all the same. We’re just bigger participants than we’ve ever been, giving them more and more data sets by which to judge us, watch us, learn from us.

Opting Out A Little at a Time

I’ve gone nomad, so I live out of my duffle bag. I can’t buy stuff, ‘cause I got no place to put stuff. Do you have any idea how categorically life-changing it is to have nowhere to put stuff, to not be a stuff-buyer anymore?

Think about all the times you browse shops mindlessly with friends. The last time I did that, it was August 2015, and I realized how this wasn’t a thing I could do, or wanted to do, anymore. Why look at things I can’t buy? Why browse? I distinctly remember standing in that Chinatown shop with my friends J and B, and their two kids, as they all pored over the knickknacks, and I stood looking out at the street, realizing I was no longer someone who could browse and impulse-buy. My life was designed against that.

Now, when I visit towns, people invariably tell me about some cute shop or consumer district I have to browse. Why? Nothing’s coming with me when I pack up in a month. I might as well just throw my time in the garbage, because there’s nothing for me in those shops. To browse is actively opting into feeling a sense of loss and desire, neither of which I can quell, because buying shit ain’t my solution. It can’t be. I gotta weigh in at another airport soon, and there’s nothing else I can take with me.

You’re Becoming Fuller, Not Fulfilled

Through all this when I started to realize how much of life is designed to make us unhappy with what we have, so we spend more. Because, face it, life on Planet Earth is about spending money we don’t need to spend, so we can buy things we don’t need, all so that industries that don’t care about our happiness can stay flush with our cash.

The advertisements, the commercials, the product reviews, the featured technology – it’s everywhere, all around us, and all of it designed to do one thing: To distract us from the fact that modern life is not fulfilling.

We don’t make stuff, most of us don’t see anything created from our day-to-day jobs – we see code. We see numbers. We see saved files. But we don’t make anything, we have no sense of creative pride. It’s just cogs turning on a wheel.

“Happiness” For Sale!

So, our Facebook trackers track us as we mindlessly browse the web, looking for some momentary sense of fulfilment or spectacle. Soon, a pop-up advertisement says, “Hey. Remember those Fluevog shoes you were browsing? We have those. Buy those! Come to our site! You’ll feel better with new shoes in your life. Because Fluevog!”

But do you? Do you feel better? Or is it just another hour or a day of distraction that you’ve rented to keep from being aware of how little you’re really satisfied with in your life?

Unfortunately, we’ve created a world where nearly all of us are cogs in this machine. We’re all involved in the conspiracy to make people buy stuff, acquire stuff, need stuff. Without them getting stuff, we’re out of a job. Quite the cycle.

And industry, it wants more ways to make money off us, and that’s where Facebook and social media come in. Never has marketing been able to watch us squirm under a microscope, but now they can.

But we’ve also never had a megaphone for our discontent like we do now, either. So, now people like me can speak up and say, “Whoa… whatcha doing? You don’t NEED that. Stop buying things. Stop being a part of the big machine.”

For every voice like mine, there’s another machination going to work to make sure you don’t listen to me. Algorithms. The matrix. It’s a thing. Of course you need a new phone. Pfft, no you don’t have enough shoes. How could you ever be happy without that sunflower jacket? Come on, spend a little, live a little. Buy joy!

Put your money where your happy is, little proletariat. Do it. Do it!

And God forbid you actually feel happy. Happy people are the worst possible outcome for business and politics.

If you’re happy, you’re content, and if you’re content, you don’t need anything, and if you don’t need anything, you’re not spending money, and if you’re not spending money, then industry can’t profit off you, and if industry can’t profit off you, the local politician can’t woo them to open a factory so they can employ locals to make more shit to sell to more people.

Am I oversimplifying? Pfft, of course I am. But I’m not far off the mark. The unhappier you are, the better it is for society, and when Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest can stoke the fires of discontent, it’s better for the bottom dollar on everything but you.

Saying No, That’s Also a Thing

Being content? It’s nice. Not buying shit? It’s good for the morale. Not having clutter? Great for the soul. Not racking up debt? Good for the sanity.

Unfortunately, we’re in the age of outrage. That’s a whole ‘nother post for another time. We’re far more likely to feel rage than joy, sadness than happiness. I’d like to say that’s all a choice, but it’s more complicated than choosing life, choosing joy.

Especially when social media is basically the harbinger of the winter of our discontent.

John Steinbeck wrote, in The Winter of Our Discontent, “Money does not change the sickness, only the symptoms.” Maybe the same can be said of Facebook and other forms of social media.

Social media didn’t change my sickness, just my symptoms. I spoke up, shouted, said my piece, and things never got better, things didn’t change. I wrote and raged and roared, but still I was unhappy. I was locked into a lifestyle. Like Billy Corgan sang, despite all my rage I was just a rat in a cage.

In a lot of ways, going nomadic probably saved my life. I wasn’t suicidal or anything, but I’d fallen into such a state of apathy and discontent that my life felt meaningless and soulless. It wasn’t until I walked away from the status quo and told myself “I am not my stuff” and sold everything that I began to plug into the matrix a little less.

I still had my plug in the wall. Just not as many of them.

Choose Better (At Least Some of the Time)

As time goes on, I realize this nomad life I’m living – a simple life where I collect snapshots of times, moments in different lives, in different corners of the world – helps me find my contentment and my joy in different ways. It’s in a sandwich or a coffee, a glass of wine as I watch the sun sink over my latest city. It’s in picking up a bunch of papers knocked over by an old Greek lady who can’t pick ‘em up, but who flushes a string of Greek gratitude for my momentary act of kindness. My fulfilment comes in small, strange ways every day, and nearly none of them are breaking the bank or filling my bag.

And yet I’m on Facebook. I’m on Twitter. The Mueller investigation kicks sand in my face. My friends with nice cars and boats and new beds and comfy homes make me realize I have this but want that too. So, I’m not fully content. I’m not completely happy with the life I live. Will I ever be? Is anyone?

Meh. I don’t know.

But in the meantime, Facebook will know if I am. You probably will too. Twitter will. The datamining motherfuckers crawling beneath it all, they’ll know too.

At least I know they know, and I understand their motivations. Maybe, in this brave new world of the winter of our discontent, that’s the only kinda winning we’ll achieve. Take my victories, however small and fleeting, where I can, right?

And I can keep clicking on all the ads on Facebook and Twitter, choosing to “hide ad” and then say the reason is, “it’s offensive.” Because, hey, man. It is. My happy ain’t for sale. Not anymore.

Dissenting Opinion: Raffi Torres Isn’t a Racist

I’m a little torn on the controversy around hockey player Raffi Torres dressed up as Jay-Z, which required painting his skin black in order to be less Mexican, more African-American. But only a little torn.

Judging by the angry internetz, apparently “blackface” is a special case in the world of race-mocking and racially-sensitive taboo costumes.

Well, okay. Except… this isn’t “blackface.” This is black makeup.

First, let’s point out the obvious here — I’m fish-belly white. I’m descended from a long line of fish-belly white people. I wear SPF 60 in the summer, and have green eyes and light-brown hair. I’m clearly a honky.

So, obviously I don’t have a fucking clue what it’s like to be discriminated against on the basis of my skin colour. I also don’t have the foggiest what being descended from slavery would be like. And, being Canadian, I don’t have the remotest idea what it’s like to live in a racially-charged country that has come from the Jim Crow laws of the South all the way to having a half-black president in office, all in 50 years.

I accept that I’m absolutely ignorant about what being black in America today is like. Guilty as charged.

That said…

What Raffi Torres did isn’t “Blackface.” He’s lampooning an actual person, not a whole race or culture. He’s goofing off on the one day of the year that everyone gets to dress up in masquerade.

I understand that, historically, “blackface” was a way of triggering long-felt hurt and mockery amongst socially-aware blacks who know their history. I get that there’s more to it than just being an ignorant theatrical past with stupid white people. I know this.

I think, in that way, that yes, it is somewhat racially insensitive, maybe a little boneheaded on Torres’ part given his public stature, but it’s not racist.

The outcry is over the top on this one. Is there cause for discussion? Yeah, absolutely. A lot of people probably need to know more about the history of blackface. Raffi Torres’ life has been spent without blackface being on television since its last appearance was in 1981, the year he was born.

If people want to talk about why his “costume” is inappropriate, then great. But the “he’s a racist” talk needs to fucking stop. First, he’s Mexican and probably gets it. Second, his agent is black. Third, he’s a Jay-Z fan and wanted to have a night pretending to be a great rapper — who’s black, and being a pasty-faced Mexican wouldn’t have pulled that off too effectively.

Some dude dressing up with painted skin that is done as MAKEUP, not as a mockery that has unrealistically huge lips, or excessive stylizing, isn’t racist — he’s just ignorant of the fact that some would deem it racially insensitive.

Take a look at the ACTUAL blackface shot here, the infamous The Jazz Singer take on it, versus Torres’ attempt at being Jay-Z. Slightly different style, no?

Was the movie Tropic Thunder racist because Robert Downey Jr. wore black makeup? No. It was funnier because of it, because his ignorance was amplified for comedic gain. It seems funny to us that someone could be alive today and be that ignorant, and that’s the joke.

Is Raffi Torres racially insensitive? A lot of people think so today. Would I have dressed up with blackface? No, but that’s mostly because it’s way too much work. Do I think Raffi Torres is racially insensitive? No. Would I advise someone against dressing up as a black person? Unlikely, but depends on the context. This context? I have no problems with it. Rappers by their very nature are pretty easy to lampoon, because they’re so stylized. But white southern folk are easy to lampoon too. That’s how it goes.

There are things we need to societally accept and just get over, and this is one of them. There’s a big difference between wearing black makeup that’s authentically done and wearing “blackface.” There’s a big difference between dressing up as an Asian and drawing “slant-eyes” on your face. One is authentic-looking in an attempt at mimicking, the other is blatant mockery and derision.

Raffi Torres wasn’t mocking, deriding, or insulting black culture. He was pretending to be someone that’s not the same race as him. It’s not an offense.

In some ways, it’s an example of how far we’ve come — that the new generation doesn’t see the offense, blacks have become millionaires and the movers-and-shakers of culture today. They’re as fair game as anyone, and that’s a good thing. That actually is progress.

We need to get to a place where we understand that there’s a difference between offensive behaviour and just having fun. There are sometimes shades of grey, but being unable to laugh at ourselves does us no favours.

This wasn’t racism. It’s not offensive. It’s impressionism, mimicry, and even wanna-be behaviour, but it’s not racist.

If everyone who’s bent out of shape about this could turn their righteous indignation towards the real offenses — like how a race that comprises 14% of the American population still manages to account for 60%+ of those in jail today in the USA.

Now that’s offensive.

Closet Skeleton Pioneers

A friend of mine laughed at me the other day when I suggested that I was an “oversharer” on the internet.

“Hah! You? Oversharing?”

Yes, I know. Just a smidge. The thing is, I’m pretty good at toeing a line these days. I don’t tell you what I don’t want you to know. Pretty simple.

Learning how to toe that line, though, WHOO. I done fucked up on more than just a few occasions, s o much so that I jokingly referred to myself and those like me, who’ve been oversharing for years, as “Closet Skeleton Pioneers”.

By that I mean that everyone’s got skeletons in their closets — some lover they treated like shit, a job they stole office supplies from, a friend they betrayed, a speeding ticket, you name it.

EVERYONE has been a dick at one point or another. Dig deep enough and you’ll find dirt. (If not, you’re boring, live a little.)

Luckily for me, I hit the age of 21 before the internet got invented.

And my record’s been expunged. Hardy-har, right.

The point is, despite what you think you know about me, I consider myself a really ethical person and there are things I’ve done and said that I hope never see the light of day because I don’t want them taken out of context, since we all know context is EVERYTHING.

And that’s the problem. When you see a photo on the web or a snippet of a conversational exchange, context gets lost and objectivity goes right out the window with it.

We all know that’s true of many events in our lives.

Don’t we?

So who the fuck is doing all the judging?

Are you? Are employers? Is your lover?

Who’s doing the judging when my friend on Twitter reacted yesterday morning after he received an email after a husband found his wife “Facebook cheating” and sent the entire exchange out to their kids’ school’s parents mailing list? Ain’t just the hubby judging now, is it?

What were employers digging up that led Germany to introduce a new law that will make it illegal for them to do job-applicant background searches on Facebook? Probably they were digging up a lot of skeletons, right?

It goes without question: Things you say or do on Facebook, Twitter, and in other areas of the web can absolutely destroy your life.

But who is doing the judging?

There’s a reason it’s so damn hard to become a Saint in the Catholic Church, you know — perfection’s pretty fucking difficult to come by.

When I was a kid in Bible school, I was told a story about Jesus intervening in a stoning, saying to the angry crowd of sanctimonious rock-chuckers “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone”, or somethin’ thereabouts.

Really: In 2010, who’s without sin?

I mean, the Catholic Church outlawed SPEEDING, for crying out loud. Everything’s a sin. The Pet Shop Boys had it right.

When I look back upon my life
It’s always with a sense of shame
I’ve always been the one to blame
For everything I long to do
No matter when or where or who
Has one thing in common, too

It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a sin
It’s a sin
Everything I’ve ever done
Everything I ever do
Every place I’ve ever been
Everywhere I’m going to
It’s a sin

Was Neil looking back at his life on the web? Woulda if he coulda then, I bet.

So, let’s just accept that everyone’s imperfect, and, instead, (like this guy here and his “degrees of evil” guide to killers), get ourselves a handy cheat-sheet of just what level of assoholic or just plain edgy social behaviour one is guilty of and how it ranks them on the Good Versus Dick scale, okay?

Such as:

  • Never emails or messages you back, but pathologically lurks and knows Everything That Happens every time you talk in person. Creepy but not mean.
  • Likes kinky sex and lets everyone know it.
  • Thinks “cleavage” and “profile pic” are synonymous.
  • Considers social media his personal dick-dipping pool and has more numbers in his contacts than the CIA does.
  • Just LOVES drinking wine and doing so liberally. While telling you all about it. Every single night.
  • Keeps getting caught in masturbatory lies that make them sound great, but you know through the grapevine that they’re barely making rent and are shopping at Thrift Stores, while judging others for doing the same kinda “posing”.
  • Has, like the majority of people over 21, tried marijuana or something else questionable at a party at least once.
  • Speaks frankly about their disgust for political figures or employers.
  • Has a spouse yet endlessly flirts with others, without boundaries, and in public.
  • Has a pulse.

I mean, seriously. Half the things I do on a daily basis would probably get me fired from most jobs, because I’d never keep my mouth shut about what I hate and why. My old employers got a giggle out of it, but I assure you — it’s an acquired taste.

Despite what you may think of my loudmouthed, in-your-face, drinks-too-much, full-of-innuendo online persona (and, yes, it somewhat exists offline, and without a backspace key), I’m a good person.

I’m a really, really good person.

I hold the door open for men and little old ladies. I say “please”, “thank you”, and “sorry.” I look people in the eye. I pay my taxes. I’m honest, I don’t steal. I’m a quiet neighbour, a good daughter, a great friend. I bake muffins for lovers. I pay back my debts.

So, if you want to jump to conclusions about me based on the image I portray on the web — knowing I’m a creative person with a gift for fiction — then you’re entirely entitled to do so, and I’m entirely entitled to think you’re a narrow-minded presumptive dick who’s not worthy of my time.

Or maybe I just see you as someone who needs to think outside the box a little more.

Who I am online might have hurt me in the past but it helps me now. I have something to gain from keeping this persona/point-of-view alive. There’ll always be a price I pay as a result of it, but I’m hoping that’s just the cost of doing business.

I’m not the only web-user with a persona, or with skeletons; I’m just hyper-honest about it.

As time goes on, though, all of us will have our skeletons exposed. Then, with more to compare and contrast, we’ll know who the real assholes are — unless, of course, none of it’s true.

And that’s the problem with reaching any conclusions based on the web.

How do you know it’s true? When everyone can enter information and nothing’s necessarily vetted on the web, how do you know it’s true?

Simple: You don’t.

Here’s how I operate.

I watch for how people actually are with each other, online and otherwise: How they argue, how they’ll never let up, how they want the last word, how they judge others, how they talk about others, how they scheme or gossip. Because it’s in their everyday words and behaviour that we really see who people are — special events, like parties with hijinks, are too out-of-context to really give us an inkling of who someone is.

Me, I’ve written a lot over the years, on topics about everything from drinking and drugs to kinky sex, but you’d be wrong if you thought I was particularly wild or exciting anymore.

I’m being boring nowadays. I just make it sound exciting.

And there you have the web in a nutshell, and why laws like Germany’s are long overdue — when it comes to the internet, you can’t believe everything you read. You certainly can’t dismiss it, either. But there are no litmus tests or polygraphs one can administer to online “personality” accounts to judge the veracity of their content.

It’s time people started realizing you really can’t judge any of us on the little you see of us online, and that the skeletons in our closet aren’t nearly as big or scary as you think they are, especially when brought into the light.

If you want to supplement what you know of someone by how they are online, and you can do so judiciously and with many grains of salt, then knock yourself out.

Just don’t be surprised when that spotlight hits your life, too.

In fact, some of your skeletons probably look awfully similar to ours. After all, dontcha know? It’s quid pro quo season on closet skeletons.

Should Irwin Have Changed After Kids?

So, earlier I asked if you have the right to ask a risk-taker to tone down their lifestyle once you get hooked to them.

My opinion? No. You do not. And if they tell you you can go ahead and tell them how to change; don’t. You’d fucking with what oughtn’t be fucked.

In a nutshell.

My posting was inspired by the death of Steve Irwin. There are those who apprently think he should’ve “settled down” since he had kids. Yeah, as a kid, the first thing I wanna know is that my father gave up almost everything he loved so he could raise me — sit in a fucking armchair with a remote and tell me how he “used to be like that” once.

Terri Irwin got a precious gift that most of us might never, ever, ever receive: She fell in love with someone who kept all the qualities that made him so loveable as the person he was when they first met. Bloody sweet, that. And she had it for a while. And then it got snatched. Love happens, death happens, it all is what it is.

Life’s a truckload of hurts some days and there’s no getting around that.

The point is, it’s hard enough to be ourselves in the face of everyday life. It’s harder still to remember who we are when we get lost in the arms of someone else. To be able to hang on to your identity despite your love for someone else and your wish to be with them, why, that’s as downright admirable as it gets.

To hell with those who think otherwise.

_________________

In other Croc-Hunter news, let me go on record to say that, while Germaine Greer periodically says something intelligent, I:

a) think she can be a complete twat who has done as much to hinder feminism as she has to further it. She’s arrogant, dismissive of men, flighty, inconsistent, hypocritical, and far too militant for my tastes. (Despite my believing I’m a feminist, thank you very much. Ain’t no fucking eunuch here, baby.)

b) think she’s a far bigger bitch than I’d thought before now that I’ve read her comments on the death of Steve Irwin.

I do not believe that to be a strong woman I need to demoralize men. I believe that, as a strong, independent chick, I can exalt men in my life and cater to them as I wish, because I fucking well know who I am when I go to bed at night (most of the time; we all get a little too lost in our relationships some of the time). I take no backseat to any man. But I’ll hold the door open for ’em if they’ll let me, because I have nothing to prove. I’m empowered by the mere fact that I don’t need to seek power, all right?

I’d get into my whole beef about how feminism has been executed, but I’m too tired and it’d take too damned long. Suffice to say that while I fight for my equality, I don’t think it needs to come at the cost of emasculating men. There’s room enough for us both, and I don’t think chicks like Greer understand that concept, but then I don’t like her enough to read her work. I listen to others gripe about her and praise her, so I’m ignorant, but by choice.

You asked? My thoughts on tit-fucking, then

I’ve opened the topic of handjobs, and I’ll continue on them, too, but first a foray into titty-fucking, as one male reader has asked my thoughts on it.

I don’t know the numbers for how many women enjoy titty-fucking, but I know I’m actually turned off by the thought of it, and I simply won’t engage. I wish I wasn’t actually turned off , but it is what it is.

Fortunately, it’s never been a problem. I’ve actually never expressed the dislike until a conversation with the Guy tonight, but no guy I’ve ever been with has been interested. Why not? Maybe it’s not as common a fetish as porn would have us believe. Nonetheless, I have a couple reasons for why it’s not my thang.

First off, depending who’s doing the measuring and my time of month (breasts swell and reduce in relation to the cycle), I’m between a generous B-cup and a smallish C-cup. I don’t care, I’m fine with my breasts as-is, but their size would limit the benefit for titty-fucking, IMHO.

Second, I just don’t find it attractive. It’s not my thing. I won’t apologize for not liking it, either. I won’t judge others, since I really don’t give a fuck what you do in your home. It gets you off? FABULOUS. Not me.

There’s an interesting dichotomy in the sexual world. One aspect is the woman who enjoys almost any sexual act. She’s often portrayed as lewd, slutty, easy, or loose, just because she’s an enthusiast. And that’s bullshit, my friends. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the activities you enjoy surrounding sex should not judge who you are as a person.

But then there’s the flipside. If you’re hesitant to do some of the so-called edgier/pornified things, you get painted a bit as a vanilla lover, or someone who’s “conservative” in the bedroom, which is also bullshit, my friends. There are many things I’ll do, and I’m caught between both extremes on the perception of what kind of woman I am, too. I’ve probably had more public sex than a lion’s share of the people out there, I’ve dabbled in bondage and many other little game-type scenarios. I dirty talk, I’m creative, and I sure as hell take the initiative. I’ll talk about nearly any aspect of sex, but there are things that pull me back into my shell a bit, things that sometimes daunt me, things that even turn me off. I shouldn’t be judged for knowing what I like or dislike, and that’s precisely what happens too fucking much.

There are sex-bloggers who might even snicker at me for admitting I have found handjobs awkward, or that I’m not as come-friendly as others might be, or that I view titty-fucking with great disdain, but you know what? Get the fuck over it. It’s my prerogative.

Being a good lover is: A) Knowing what you like, dislike, and love. B) Knowing how to express your needs. C) Being open-minded without compromising yourself, whatever that might mean for you. D) Not judging your lover’s desires, but being true to yourself so you’re not going to resent them after the fact. (Always, always consider how you’re going to feel if you perform an act that’s not generally your cup of tea. Some things I’ll do because I know how “he’ll” feel, and thus, I know I’ll feel great seeing that expression on “his” face. Some things, “his” response just doesn’t matter because I know I’ll be left feeling like I’ve compromised who I am as a result of my actions.)

Sex and love and intimacy are minefields. There are things that will hit and miss with each of us, and our likes or dislikes need to be respected, or the collateral damage leaves all players pretty frickin’ fragged.

Honestly, titty-fucking’s just one of those things that I suspect every woman has a multitude of thoughts on. Personally, being a woman with a little more to grab around the mid-section, there’s nothing that turns me on better than a guy who navigates my entire body and who enjoys every inch of me. I’m fortunate in my present relationship to have a great guy who appreciates the whole of the female form, not just the three money-shot areas that many guys obsess over: Twat, tits, and ass.

And that’s one of the problems with titty-fucking. It takes some of us back to the boring same old shit that focuses on specific regions of our bodies when not enough of our bodies get explored during the rest of the act. When’s the last time you kissed her behind the knees? Or nibbled her low back? Or sucked the folds of her elbows? Huh?

My opinion on tit-fucking isn’t going to change any time soon. It’s one of those things that’s just true to who I am. I’m open to anything from anal to bondage to outdoor sex and sex toys of all kinds, but there are some things I’m just not in the mindset to ever enjoy, and I don’t even want to humour the guy and do it, just because I know how I’ll feel at the end of it, and it probably will be something along the lines of feeling cheap. No, thanks.

Again, this is MY perspective on tit-fucking. There are women who absolutely love it, and kudos to them. Whatever gets your rocks off, baby. But don’t judge me for what I dislike. Instead, realize that my knowing not only what I dislike but being able to express why takes maturity, insight, and self-knowledge – things I wish more people had the courage to express. Until, however, we stop judging people for what they do or don’t do, the sexual self-knowledge club might remain on the exclusive side of things. A real fucking pity, that.

Polyamory: My Take?

Polyamory – it’s the new bi, man. Everyone’s doing it, so why aren’t you?

Oh, you haven’t heard? All right, then. Polyamory’s basically the “new” polygamy, ‘cept polygamy’s against the law, and since no one’s getting hitched, polyamory’s legal.

I’ve been asked, oh, a few times now to weigh in on the topic. So, you wanna know what I think? You really, really wanna know?

Yeah, me too. I can’t truly decide. Personally, that’s not a cookie I’m ever gonna sink my teeth into. It’s just not my taste of the month, and probably never, ever will be. I’m a one-guy gal, always have been.

But what do I think? Hmm. I’m torn. I think there are merits to both sides of the argument. Let’s start with the opposition, shall we? That’s always a fun ball to get rolling.

One of the things I absolutely loathe about our modern society is our inability to commit to anything, let alone anyone. We live in the On-Demand Age. Download the TV show you just watched, TiVO and pause. Single much? Log on to any chat site and find someone willing to cam with you, sans all the relationship bullshit. Hungry? Just around the corner there’s a 24-hour Mickey D’s drive-thru waiting to solve your woes.

We’re a society of spoiled brats. We want what we want and we want it when we want it. We honk our horns, rage our way down the street, ignore each other through our iPODS and portable DVD players, do whatever the hell we want, and seldom consider consequences.

And here’s a contingent of society saying, “Hey, let’s disconnect even more. I’ll get the sex I want when I want it, but I won’t have to actually, you know, be in, like, a ‘relationship’ type relationship.”

Is it really what we need? More disconnect? The easy way out?

Or is that oversimplifying what is, perhaps, one of the more ingenius ways of dealing with the stresses of modern living? Should you really have to decide between being with someone and being alone? Is the secret to balance found in distributing the weight more evenly, rather than off-setting it? Can you not have your cake and eat it, too?

There are those who argue that humans aren’t built for a lifelong commitment, so why are we trying to seek just one? Stats show the average pairbonding succeeds for only 4.5 years. Then what? Try it again, and fail again? Repeat the cycle of hurt? But is more cooks in the kitchen really a productive way of combatting that problem? Doesn’t a greater human element mean greater probability of arguing and hurt?

There are those who state that what they love best about polyamory is the not needing to be there for one person 24/7. I’m in an interesting situation where I’ve just met a great guy, and whammo, he busts his leg, and suddenly the dynamics of this new relationship have become far more complex than I could have foreseen just 48 hours ago. And that’s life. Me, I’m prepared to deal with that. Others, maybe not.

Relationships are hard. They take work. Lots of. When you spread that responsibility around, perhaps it takes some pressure off of you, but it also weakens the bonds you share, whether you want to admit it or not. I could absolutely relate to those who may have gone through hard marriages, who want the practicality and safety of being in a committed relationship, but never, ever want to be that solo go-to person again.

Hell, shit happens, and so does cynicism. Is polyamory cynical? No, I’m not saying that, but it’s certainly self-serving. But aren’t all relationships, to a degree? We wouldn’t be in them if we weren’t getting something out of it, don’t you think? With polyamory, there’s more control over what you’re getting out of it (and putting into it), and when, than is offered in nearly any other kind of relationship.

Control can be pretty attractive when the threat of being hurt enters the picture. Committing to one person, that’s giving a single soul an awful lot of power over yours. Opting to be one of seven women in a relationship with two men, on rotating shifts or however the hell you’ve managed to divvy your time, well, you know you’re one of a number, you know where you stand, and you know you can always pass and protect your own ass.

I don’t disapprove of polyamory, and sometimes I even get it. Maybe when I’m in my late 40s and love has fucked me around and I’m past needing whatever the hell it is a single, committed relationship gives me, maybe then I might drink that Kool-aid when it comes around.

But likely not. I may not be a fan of marriage, but I like commitment. I like knowing who’s going to be in my bed, and I like knowing all the little peccadilloes. I like not having to stack up against competition. I just like it. I don’t have a musical-chairs heart, and probably never will.

If you do, and you’re cool with it, then all the power to you.

Just don’t expect everyone to understand, and don’t get your panties in a bunch when they don’t, ’cause most won’t.