Tracking the Unicorn

Anyone who’s been around in the poly community has met, on at least 724 occasions, a married couple looking for a hot bisexual woman to come be their “third.”

In the interests of presenting a public service, I’ve prepared this handy guide to unicorn hunting–a flowchart for people looking for that hot bi babe. You can all thank me later.

This actually popped into my head while I was in the shower this morning, and refused to quit bugging me ’til I did something about it. Clicky on the picture to embiggen.

More sexuality…it never ends!

It seems that no matter how thorough one tries to be, the total range of human sexual expression is always bigger than one thinks it is. Even if you, y’know, keep in mind that no matter how big you think it is, it’s bigger than that.

So here’s the latest update on the Map of Human Sexuality. As before, clicking on the small version will lead to a bigger version. A much, much, much, MUCH bigger version.

I haven’t had time to put the updated map into the interactive version yet; eventually I’ll do that, and fix some problems with the interactive version,a nd probably add a new “fantasized about it but not interested in experimenting with it for real” pin.

I still want to make posters of it, though the fact that the company I work with is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy is creating a problem as far as that goes.

Still haven’t heard back from Penthouse magazine. They are talking about running an article about the map in the March edition. Guess we’ll see.

ZOMG! ZOMG! I’ve created a meme!

And it’s taken me all day, too.

At the beginning of this day, when I woke up, everything I knew about PHP programming with MySQL would fit in the white space of a postage stamp. (Okay, so that’s not entirely true, but I’d never written database code from scratch before. Everything I’ve ever done up ’til now is modifying someone else’s code, which is a whole ‘nother ballgame.)

So twelve hours, a thousand Google searches, and a lot of head-scratching later, I’ve actually taken the map of human sexuality I created, and made it interactive! You can click on the map in a Web browser to place pins showing where you’ve been and where you want to go, and then save your map to a database so you can show other people!

Okay, so it’s still really, really crude. Scrolling around is a pain, there’s no way to remove a pin once you place it (you gotta erase the whole map and start again), and there’s no way to go back to a map and continue to edit it once it’s saved.

But still…it works! Words can not express how pleased with myself I am right now. It’s been tested in Explorer 7 and Firefox for Windows, and in Safari and Firefox on Mac. Should work in other browsers too, I reckon. And it even generates code to put into your blog automatically.

Give it a try!

Find out where I’ve journeyed
on the Map of Human Sexuality!
Or get your own here!

And now, I am going to bed. My brain is tired.

Some thoughts on human sexuality

[Edit] The map has been updated since this post was made! The new, improved version is here.

Some time ago, a person named Katharine Gates designed a map of human sexuality. Her Web site appears to be defunct now, but the map has recently gained exposure in other places.

My first impression upon seeing this fetish map was that it was woefully incomplete. About the same time as I became aware of this attempt to map the range of human fetishes and sexual activity, I also saw a conversation on another forum in which a woman was complaining that she wanted to spice up her sex life, but she didn’t want to do too much, because if she did too much too fast then by the time she was 30 she’d have done every sexual act there was to do, and where would she be able to find sexual ideas after that?

That particular conversation, and another with an 18-year-old who claimed to be “bored with sex” because he’d “done it all,” got me to thinking about the range of the human sexual condition (vast beyond all reckoning) and the range of sexual things many people think there is (tiny).

I wanted to try my hand at designing a fetish map that would be a bit more complete than Ms. Gates’, and I thought, why not do it as an actual map? One of the ideas I wanted to convey was how small most folks’ sexual experience is, how small most folks’ conception of the whole range of sexual expression is, and how vast the actual range of sexual expression is. And, I thought, a map of an imaginary world might be a way to do that.

So here it is, the first version of what I’m sure will be many revisions of the Land of Human Sexuality. (Clicky on this map to see a bigger version. A much, much, much, MUCH bigger version.)

The land of most folks’ awareness is the Island of Mundania and the surrounding islands. Across the Straits of Fear is the portion of the continent that folks are generally aware of to some extent (gay sex, threesomes, light bondage, and so on). Beyond the Great Barrier Mountains and the Lesser Barrier Mountains, which demarcate the limits of common knowledge of different fetishes, lie the more exotic forms of sexual expression (natori, shibari, cosplay, fisting, puppy play, and so forth). In the frigid arctic wastes to the far north are those activities which only a very, very tiny percentage even of veteran, seasoned kinksters finds appealing (nullification, erotic cannibalism, necrophilia, and that sort of thing).

There’s no particular meaning to the size or color of the various areas; it’d be an impossible task to try to, for example, figure out how many furries there are compared to how many folks are into TENS units. Likewise, some of the activities listed could reasonably belong to more than one classification, and some things (like “gay sex”) are within the realm of knowledge of most folks but aren’t really activities per se (most sexual activities not requiring physical possession of a penis or a vagina can be done by people of any sex or sexual orientation). Nevertheless, when folks think of “sexual things to do,” gay sex does seem to be considered its own thing, even though it’s not actually an activity by itself, so it’s on the map–right across the Straits of Fear.

Anyway, I’d love to hear feedback and commentary on this map. I’v actually been working on it for quite a long time, and I suspect it’s still a work in progress–I know there are things I’ve forgotten. (It’s hard work trying to remember every form of fetish out there!)