Better Sex on a DVD

So. A little while back, I was doing some research for an update to my my polyamory glossary, and I found another online glossary that had some innacurate definitions for words like “polyamory.” I fired off an email to the Webmaster, who emailed me back very shortly thereafter and offered me a T-shirt. We exchanged emails a few more times, and he asked me if I’d be willing to write reviews of some of the products his company produces.

I’ve actually been considering adding a reviews section to the Symtoys site, because, y’know, I don’t have enough to do to keep me busy as it is… Anyhow, I said yeah, sure, why not?

So he sent me a DVD, The Better Sex Video Series, Volume I; Advanced Sexual Techniques & Positions. I am SO not the target audience for this DVD…

Teeth and sex, World of Warcraft and sex, math and sex, and other canoodling

I used to believe that nothing could quash my sex drive. Being too tired? Hell, Shelly takes advantage of me in my sleep. Being sick in bed with mono? Slows me down a bit, that’s about it.

But it appears there’s one thing, at least, that’s all but guaranteed to quash my sex drive: the pain of a broken tooth.

Last week, before it started hurting too badly, S and I had a date, and I discovered to my surprise and delight that she still has her genuine Catholic schoolgirl uniform from the days when she was a genuine Catholic schoolgirl, and so we played a variant of Naughty Schoolgirl and Stern Headmaster that might be called “The Naughty Schoolgirl Confesses Her Sins,” and much fun was had by all…

…but since then, nothing. Ow ow ow.

I got a referral to The Best Oral Surgeon in the World (seriously, this guy is really, really cool), and the tooth is now fixed and has almost completely stopped hurting. It was a messy procedure; I won’t disturb you with the details because they would…err, disturb you, but I now have stitches in my mouth and a new appreciation for the capabilities of a handheld drill and a good old-fashioned lever. At any rate, I’m almost back to normal, for some value of “normal.” Which means that Shelly and I may be able to try out the carrot-shaped vibrator feorlen gave me last week; it has digital controls and lights up at the end. 🙂

Being in pain, or jittery and hazy from pain meds, or both, doesn’t appear to affect my ability to play World of Warcraft, however–something I’ve been doing a great deal of over the past few days. I’ve virtually stopped playing my warrior since he’s reached Level 60 (the highest level the game currently permits), and have been playing my warlock instead; he just reached Level 59, and I may get him to 60 tonight if I play.

The warlock is the only high-level spellcaster I have. Spellcasters in World of Warcraft use mana as energy to fuel their spells; a character has a certain amount of mana, which goes down as he casts spells and then goes back up again over time. As a character rises in level, he gets greater amounts of mana, but he also begins using a wider variety of more powerful spells, which consume mana more quickly, so the amount of mana scales pretty closely with the mana requirements of his new spells.

However, I’ve noticed that at very high levels, the rate at which mana regenerates does not scale with the amount of mana a character has; above level 45 or so, it starts taking a very long time for mana to come back after a fight. (There are potions and drinks things you can buy that speed the rate of mana recovery, but they’re expensive and take up space in your inventory.) What that means is that by the time a spellcaster reaches level 55 or so, he’s spending a considerable amount of time–sometimes several minutes–after combats, waiting for his mana to regenerate.

I’ve also hit something of a brick wall in the book on polyamory I’m writing, and progress has slowed dramatically; I’ll add a few pages over the course of a week, then not work on it at all for three weeks or so. (Yes, this does relate to World of Warcraft; bear with me.)

Since I want to stay in the habit of writing, even if I’m not working directly on the book, I’ve started writing fiction–specifically, erotica. I haven’t ever tried writing fiction before, so it’s been an interesting experience. What I’ve started doing is writing while my character is regenerating mana; I keep the laptop next to the game computer, and switch back and forth, typing on the laptop while my character is regenerating mana, then switching back to the game when he’s ready. It seems to work pretty well; I’ve already got some stuff posted on and have so far accumulated an average reader rating of 4.93 out of 5.00 for quality, not bad for my first piece of fiction evar.

A strange side effect, though, is that I’m beginning to eroticise World of Warcraft, and playing is becoming an arousing experience. The human mind is a weird, weird thing.

And speaking of eroticising unusual activities, I just want to reiterate that having a girlfriend who is aroused by math is the hottest thing evar!

A while ago, I found an online sexual glossary that had a lot of definitions I found problems with (for example, it defined “polyamory” as something like “group sex between multiple people”). I dropped an email to the site owner, taking issue with the definitions in the glossary. He emailed me back immediately, and not only responded very positively, but also sent me a T-shirt.

We’ve emailed a few times since then, and he’s asked me if I’d be willing to write reviews of the various sex toys and stuff his company sells. That should be fun, I think. I’m considering adding a reviews section to the Symtoys site, y’know, because I don’t ever have enough to do.

And speaking of which, I’ve done yet another significant update to my own BDSM dictionary and polyamory glossary because, y’know, what else is there to do after oral surgery?

Tomorrow, hanging out with Shelly and S, and then camping with Shelly and smoocherie and her partner fritzcat66! Then next week, Front 242, and then the following week, Shelly’s other partner merovingian will be in town! *delighted*

And in the final piece of good news, alias_node isn’t going to die. 🙂 It’s not cancer, but rather an incredibly rare (and treatable) bacterial infection called Lemierre’s syndrome. They figured it out in time, and while he’s up for some misery that’s probably going to make a broken tooth look like a casual midafternoon stroll through the Golden City beyond the Elysium Fields, his prognosis is most excellent. Which is most excellent.


So Shelly’s been trying to think of ways to study chemistry that aren’t mind-crushingly tedious, and we’ve started working on a chemistry game similar in some ways to trading-card games like Magic: the Gathering. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

The game is played with decks of cards, each of which represents an element. For example, there are oxygen cards, hydrogen cards, sodium cards, chlorine cards, and so on. Each player has one deck of cards.

Each player begins the game with twenty hit points.

Each player has a field in front of him, consisting of eight spaces where hydrogen and oxygen cards can be placed, and consisting of three slots in front of him where defensive molecules may be placed. All these fields are empty at the beginning of play.

Game play takes place in turns. On each player’s turn, that player does each of the following, in order:

1. The player may place up to three Hydrogen or Oxygen cards from his hand into the field in front of him. At no point may the field contain more than a total of eight cards.

2. The player may then create molecules by combining atoms which are not hydrogen or oxygen from his hand and combining them with hydrogen and oxygen atoms from his field to form molecules. These molecules may be used to neutralize any molecules which his opponent has previously played against him which continue to cause damage until neutralized (see below). The molecule thus formed and the molecule played against him are then discarded.

3. The player then builds defensive molecules by taking atoms which are not hydrogen or oxygen from his hand and combining them with hydrogen and oxygen atoms from his field to form molecules. For example, if a player has a Sodium atom in his hand, he may combine it with a Hydrogen and an Oxygen card from his field to form sodium hydroxide, NaOH, which is an alkali of Rank 3. This means that if it is in his defensive field, it neutralizes acids of up to Rank 3. A player may place no more than 2 defensive molecules per turn.

4. The player then builds molecules with which to attack his opponent by combining atoms from his hand which are not Hydrogen or Oxygen atoms with Hydrogen or Oxygen atoms from his field to form molecules. For example, if a player has a Sodium atom in his hand, he may combine it with a Hydrogen and an Oxygen card from his field to form sodium hydroxide, NaOH, which is an alkali of Rank 3. This means that if the player plays this molecule to attack his opponent, the molecule will do 3 points of damage immediately to the opponent, plus one additional point of damage per turn until it is neutralized. If the opponent has an acid of Rank 3 or higher in the defensive position, it is neutralized and both the NaOH and defensive molecules are discarded from the table, the defending player receiving no damage.

5. As soon as a molecule is played on a defending player, that player may immediately combine atoms from his hand with Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules from his field to counter the attacking molecule. For example, if the attacking player plays HCl, hydrochloric acid, an acid of Rank 3, the defending player takes 3 points of damage if he has no defensive molecules on the table which can neutralize acids. However, if he has a sodium atom in his hand and a hydrogen and oxygen in his field, he may immediately play NaOH to neutralize the HCl. In this case, he takes 3 points of damage, but the HCl and the NaOH are immediately removed from the table and he does not continue to take damage on subsequent rounds.

6. Some molecules are special; for example, fluorsulfonic acid (HSO3F), is a superacid of rank 4 which will inflict 4 points of damage on the defender, 2 points of damage on the attacker, and an additional 1 point of damage on each player on each turn thereafter until it is neutralized.

7. When the player no longer has enough atoms in his hand to form molecules, he then takes any damage from any remaining cards played against him that do periodic damage, and both players draw cards (if necessary) until they each have 7 cards in their hand. That player’s turn is then over and the next player’s turn begins this same sequence.

For the purposes of simplicity, organic compounds are not part of the game. Atoms in the decks include all the halogens, all the alkali metals, sulfur, nitrogen, and so on.

So…whaddya think? Too geeky?

Getting a lot done!

Friday, I made a significant update to my VX2 malware page. Today, Shelly and I got a storage unit, cleaned up the apartment, and celebrated what my old college friend might call a Freedom From Possessions day. Binned a bunch of stuff (including an old PIII-800 computer…*sniff* datan0de, i thought briefly about donating it to you instead, then realized that femetal would probably kill me, and there are some kinds of grief I just don’t want.) Took a bunch of what was left to the storage unit, and…

…oh, my God, what a difference.

Also updated my BDSM dictionary and polyamory glossary. Interestingly, it seems that most of the terms used in the BDSM community refer to things (tawse, clover clamp, St. Andrew’s cross) or terms for people (top, bottom, domme, switch), whereas many of the terms in the polyamorous community refer to emotional experiences (compersion, limerence, NRE) or relationships (intimate network, triad, vee).

I am pleased.

Goddammit, can’t sleep…

…broke a tooth a while ago, and it’s keeping me up now.

Silly me, I don’t have dental insurance, and i figured I’d hold off on getting it fixed ’til I could find some. Well, all the dental insurance plans I found have at least a 60-day waiting period, and in the last few days, the damn thing’s gotten infected. Now I’m on a very heavy regimen of antibiotics and have to see an oral surgeon on Monday.

Should’ve not bothered trying to find insurance and just had it taken care of immediately. Grr.

In happy news, though:

– Shelly and I are going camping with smoocherie and her partner Fritz for Thanksgiving! Yay! I can’t wait!

– Front 242 is playing at Masquerade on December 2 (Friday). Any local and semi-local peeps interested in going? datan0de? nihilus? zensidhe? smoocherie? (Don’t know if that’s your speed in music or not.) johnnymoon? (I have no idea what kind of music you listen to these days.) nekidsteve? khepra and fangly? Anyone else I may have forgotten?

Links: Zombies, Philosophical canoodling, transhumanism, and more!

First, we have the world’s simplest role-playing game, with zombies

Genre: cinematic modern horror. Playing time: 2-4 hours tops.

1. GM supplies general setting of the game, e.g. Teenage Slasher or Suburban Zombie Apocalypse. Everyone creates a character accordingly.

2. List FOUR things that the character is especially GOOD at, such as running, driving, climbing, picking locks, survival in the outdoors, fast talking or decapitating zombies using only a vintage 1940s tea set. The GM must ratify these.

3. List TWO things that the character is especially BAD at, such as swimming, finding their way in the wild, avoiding alcohol, keeping their cool in a fight, or not flipping out in confined spaces. GM ratifies as before.

4. Everyone writes their name on a piece of paper and gives it to the GM.

5. The GM picks out one name at random. This person is the Survivor. No matter WHAT happens (except see below), this person will survive, so long as he is trying to. Everyone else will die. Without exception. Everyone. The players are not told who the Survivor is.

It goes on from there. Looks like a lot of fun. Hey datan0de, think you could turn it into a strip game?

Next up, a couple of links from nihilus:
Turing’s cathedral, an exploration of the question “What makes you so sure that mathematical logic corresponds to the way we think?”

The Ship of Theseus: Identity is not so static nor so clear-cut as you might think. You can never step in the same river twice, but what does it mean to take the same boat across the river twice? (Shelly and I have discussions about this as it relates to transhumanist ideas on an ongoing basis–is a copy of me, perfect down to the limits imposed by Heisenberg uncertainty, still ‘me’?)

I really, really like this photograph (may not be work-safe for some work environments).

BDSM themes are becoming more and more prevalent in everyday media, and beer ads are no exception…this Heineken ad plays with that to very amusing effect.

Work-safe, kinda (it is a network TV ad, after all), and very funny.

What happens when a pro-life protester needs an abortion? It happens more often than you think.

“I’ve had several cases over the years in which the anti-abortion patient had rationalized in one way or another that her case was the only exception, but the one that really made an impression was the college senior who was the president of her campus Right-to-Life organization, meaning that she had worked very hard in that organization for several years. As I was completing her procedure, I asked what she planned to do about her high office in the RTL organization. Her response was a wide-eyed, ‘You’re not going to tell them, are you!?’ When assured that I was not, she breathed a sigh of relief, explaining how important that position was to her and how she wouldn’t want this to interfere with it.”


Last night, Shelly and I visited alias_node in the hospital. We saw him at Necronomicon just a couple of weekends ago, and he was his normal (which is to say, bizarre) self, telling stories about physiological reactions to bromide, and sporting a new ‘do that almost makes him look respectable, for whatever value of “respectable” is most appropriate; perhaps it’s best to say “a new ‘do that takes him to the perigee of his extremely eccentric orbit around respectability.”

Somewhere between then and now, things got bad. I’ll just point to datan0de‘s journal entry for anyone who wants more information.

We’re both worried.

This afternoon’s entertainment brought to you by the Religious Right

The following was recently posted in the guestbook on my BDSM page. All grammatical, syntactical, and spelling errors preserved intact.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005
to: (human trafficking) this i say and read me good woe unto u and all that hurt these little one’s it would be better for u to have tide a mill stone around you’r neck and thrown into the deepest sea, then to fall into the angery hands of the living GOD.u will mark my words stand before god upon that great judgement day. upon you’re death or the great coming of the lord jesus christ. hear him never rest with out him. yes u can repent now today god is that forgiving his love is great and mighty this is why he is god and died on that cross of salvasion iam just forgivin because who ever u all might be u are full of darkness yea smile laugh party you can be with the party place god has prepard for the devil and his angels oh boy what fun for ever and ever and ever and ever and everburning burning in that for ever flame of fire the burning pain always upon u u u u u u no relift from the pain of fire and u that don’t repent u have sent you’re self to hells pitt.oh go ahead make fun of my spelling or anything else. because u human being here on earth the account ability age is 12 and i am writeing to all of u u adults u u u u u u uuuuuuuuuu.peace to u that known our lord. and no rest to u that choose the darkness, remeber this it will be for ever and eternity one day is like a thoudson years. oh can u imagein.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? well can u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder which “little one’s” he’s talking about. I’m also not quite sure what the reference to the “age of accountability” means, but there’s something in me that makes me wonder if this guy wasn’t abused as a kid.

Andrea: Chaos, Politics, and Urban Decay

feorlen spent the last few days with us, braving Florida’s humidity and a cat with an unfortunately-timed UTI to hang with Shelly and I.

Wednesday we wandered around downtown Tampa and Ybor City, talking about relationships and urban decay and taking pictures of the grafitti. Tampa has recently seen an explosion in political “treet art,” most of it preprinted and slapped up on abandoned buildings all over the place. Some of it is really quite sophisticated, and it’s everywhere.

We didn’t have to look too far to start seeing commentary; someone had made his views on the recent rate increases on downtown parking meters quite clear:

A few blocks from where we parked the car, we found an abandoned building totally plastered in political agitprop:

The image on the left is well-known in billboard hacking circles; it’s the face of Andre the Giant, and the icon was designed by activist Shepard Fairley as part of an anti-authoritarian and anti-consumerist propaganda campaign. (There’s an interview with Fairley here.)

Some of the other imagery, though, is even more interesting. Bandwidth-crushing photos lie beneath!