Have a holly jolly Christmas…

…now with 63% more blasphemy!

The true meaning of Christmas is often, I fear, overlooked in this day and age. This Christmas was a back-to-basics kind of holiday for me; in the spirit of remembering the meaning of Christmas, this year’s gifts to Shelly and I included a Baby Jesus Butt Plug, a Virgin Mary dildo, and a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. figment_j gave me the least blasphemous gift, a copy of Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love, and even that has plenty in it to upset the fine upstanding God-fearin’ folk.

But, it did keep me thinking about Jesus for the holidays!

I could write a great deal more, about rum and eggnog and having a part of my intentional family over for several days, but I’m installing Ubuntu Linux on one of my computers and it’s calling for my attention, so perhaps later.

Spam subject line o’ the Day

“Stupidly polygamy.”

I get a lot of spam. I mean a lot of spam. I know everyone gets a lot of spam, but I get a quantity of spam every day that’s just quite unreal.

About two-thirds of the spam I get is in Russian. Of the remaining spam, a good bit of it is in French, a lot of it is in Spanish, some of it is in German, some of it is in Chinese, a little bit is in Italian, a little bit is in Polish, every so often I get the odd occasional bit of spam in Hebrew (usually advertising a Web site I can’t make hide nor hair of but featuring expensive American electronics and watches with large bold prices and bulleted lists), and today I got my first spam in Arabic.

I was puzzling about that a while ago. Yesterday, I started working on a new page for my polyamory site, which lists all the mirrors of the page tat have been translated into other languages, and it clicked.

I did a Google search for my name in non-English languages, and found translations of my poly pages in Russian, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, and Hebrew, each with an email link to my primary AOL address. This suggests that spammers are actually scraping email addresses from Web sites and taking note of the language tags in those Web sites, and selling the email addresses scraped from the non-English sites (probably at a premium) to people who spam in languages other than English.

Today’s Arabic spam puzzles me, though. I can’t find any mention of my name or email on any Arabic-language Web sites, at least not via Google.

Mixed feelings on Global Orgasm Day

So, as many of you may already know, today is Global Orgasm Day–a day in which we can all show our fundamental unity by getting off.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m strongly in favor of orgasms. I mean really strongly in favor of orgasms. I like a good orgasm–or two, or three, or seventeen–as much as the next guy, and probably rather better than most. The idea of a “Global Orgasm Day” sounds great to me.

In fact, dare I even say it, I think that maybe a Global Orgasm Day shows a certain failure of imagination. I might humbly suggest a Global Orgasm Week, or–hell, let’s be wild!–even a Global Orgasm Month.

But the idea that there is some kind of “science” behind the Global Orgasm Day, and that this Global Orgasm Day can make the world a more peaceful place? C’mon.

I mean, here it is, right from the Web site:

The Global Consciousness Project (http://noosphere.princeton.edu), runs a network of Random Event Generators (REGs) around the world, which record changes in randomness during global events. The results show that human consciousness can be measured to have a global effect on matter and energy during widely-watched events such as 9/11 and the Indian Ocean tsunami. There have also been measurable results during mass meditations and prayers.

The Zero Point Field or Quantum Field surrounds and is part of everything in the universe. It can be affected by human consciousness, as can be seen when simple observation of a subatomic particle changes the particle’s state.

We hope that a huge influx of physical, mental and spiritual energy with conscious peaceful intent will not only show up on Princeton’s REGs, but will have profound positive effects that will change the violent state of the human world.

Seems to me someone’s been drinking too much Kool-Aid. I mean, seriously. This half-baked, lame-ass, uneducated, superstitious gobbledygook is what people these days call ‘science’? Jesus Hypothetical Christ on a three-legged camel! Someone’s started spouting quantum physics without actually, y’know, learning anything about quantum physics. If this is the sort of rubbish that the common man (or woman) on the street actually accepts as “science,” then I fear for the future of us all.

Look, orgasms are good. Orgasms are fun. I daresay orgasms can even change the world; if Bill Clinton woke up every Monday knowing he was going to get a blowjob from Monica the following Wednesday, seems to me he’d be less likely to put his finger on the button that blows us all to smithereens on Tuesday.

But, c’mon. There’s no need to wrap orgasms up in this ridiculous dressing of pseudoscientific babble and ridiculous nonsense in order to justify them. Orgasms don’t need validation. There doesn’t have to be this notion of “saving the world” to make an orgasm fun and healthy. Orgasms are fun! They are not quantum events that are going to unify to change the energy vibration of the global fucking energy field or some such bullshit; they’re just fun! Go out, get off, don’t wrap it all up in this pathetic junk-science rubbish!

Warning: do not use this blog if reeking of alcohol

Earlier this week, I challenged figment_j to a rematch after the beating she put on me in air hockey a few weeks back. She took me up on the challenge, and I sought to salvage the tattered remnants of my manhood after the air hockey pasting she’d delivered to me.

Se well and truly trounced me again, decisively crushing me four games to one, just as before. I am nearing the point where I may simply have to accede to her superior air hockey skills.

After she delivered the second thrashing, we wandered around the arcade looking at all the other various and sundry video games offered for our passing fancy, all of which were lame beyond human reckoning. One of the games, the objective of which I do not fully understand, appears to have two side-by-side animated people racing over a BMX/dirt-bike style track; the players control the on-screen characters by means of two large, heavy levers with rubber bumpers. Apparently, each player can slam his lever up against the other player’s lever and attempt to knock the other player’s character off the track, or something. Near as I can tell, the game is an excuse to pummel the other player.

Anyway, it has this warning sticker affixed to it, which I photographed with my cell phone:

Yes, that’s right, boys and girls…don’t play this game if you are reeking of alcohol. You can play drunk, but for the love of God, eat a breath mint first!

I also think it’s interesting that it says “Caution” in both English and Japanese, but the rest of the label–presumably, the important bit–is only in English. (At least, I assume it says “Caution” in Japanese. It may actually say “Silly roundeye, we will kill you!”–I don’t know.)

Because it cannot be said enough…

…especially in modern-day America, currently in the grip of a wave of anti-intellectualism and a backlash against reason and logic that’s quite remarkable, and depressing, to behold:

I wish to propose for the reader’s favorable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. I must, of course, admit that if such an opinion became common it would completely transform our social life and our political system: since both are at present faultless, this must weigh against it.

— Bertrand Russell, On the Value of Skepticism, 1935.

A productive day.

I have just finished a significant update to my Web site, which includes the addition of an entire new wing, a collection of various essays on a number of different subjects. Because, after all, what the Internet needs more of is opinionated rantings.

Those who have read my journal for a long time will recognize that these essays are taken from various entries that first appeared here; people new to my flist may not have seen some of them.

I’ve also, for the first time in a long time, updated the occasional advice column Ask Agent Smith. I haven’t checked the Ask Agent Smith email address in months; wen I went there today, there were nearly 90 new messages waiting.

A bit less than half of them were spam. Of the messages that weren’t spam, a bit more than half of those were sexual solicitations.

No, I don’t get it either.

Most of them were of the form “Agent Smith is totally hot, I love how callous and cruel he is, the idea of Agent Smith giving advice is wonderful, will you hae sex with me?” I think I’ve stumbled on a very strange little niche sexual fetish here, one that I’m not quite sure I understand. I know some of the folks on my friends list like to write various flavors of fandom pr0n; anyone ever take a shot at Matrix pr0n? ‘Cause, you know, there might be a market for it. Just sayin’.

Shelly will be in town today! She’s coming up to Atlanta tonight, flying out to New York on Thursday to visit her mom, then coming back next week to stay ’till the new semester starts. Yay!

And finally, I’m still at the office. Not doing work, mind; I installed World of Warcraft on the monster Mac Pro system I have here, with its gorgeous 23″ Apple Cinema Display, and ZOMG. Hot wet sex. With all the graphics settings and rendering settings cranked up to max, I’m still getting 80 frames per second, and good God does it look gorgeous.

Now pardon me while I go drool all over my computer. Yeah, I’m a geek. Deal with it.

Let’s talk sex.

I tend in this journal to write a great deal about topics that deal, directly or indirectly, with sex. I wrote a lot about polyamory and BDSM, for example.

This is not one of those posts.

Instead, I want to cut right down to the heart of good old-fashioned sex. You know, knocking boots. Bumping uglies. Making, as Will Shakespeare said, the beast with two backs. Screwing. Banging. Humping. Fucking.

When it comes right down to good old-fashioned fucking people are, not to put too fine a point on it, fucked up.

A man noted for his nontrivial intellect and, occasionally, nontrivial cynicism on another mailing list I read recently said that, when it comes down to brass tacks, the real reason there is such unified and consistent objection in American society to legalized prostitution has less to do with moral concerns, or concerns about public health, so much as the unspoken truth that prostitution screws up the economics of sex.

People, particularly women, in American society are presented with cultural ideas that tell them there is an economic exchange in sex. Women give men sex, and men pay for that sex by giving women love and romance. It’s a tidy, neatly-packaged arrangement; the men get laid, which is what they want, and women get love, which is what they want. Each side has to give up something to get what they want, but hey, that’s what any economic exchange is all about.

Prostitution, he says, throws a monkeywrench into this convenient arrangement. If men can exchange currency for sex, then they no longer have to pay for sex with love and romance and fidelity. This is deeply threatening and offensive to women; if men can pay for sex with money, then women can not use sex to get love and attention, so how can they get what they want?

There is a certain amount of truth in the notion that women in American society often see sex as a way to get the love and romance they want. Romantic relationships are often defined by and predicated on sex; a partner isn’t really a partner until you fuck. And having fucked, now there are certain expectations associated with that fucking. Men are the pursuers of sex; women are the gatekeepers of sex; when the woman decides to provide the sex, she gets things in return, such as fidelity and devotion.

Don’t say you don’t know what I’m talking about. You may not do this, but I bet you know someone who does.

So the woman puts out, and in return she exacts a price in emotional support, in love and exclusivity. And, frankly, if you see the world in this way, everyone loses. It’s an attitude about sex that is predicated on false assumptions and poor understanding of human beings, and it tends to make those people who internalize this foolishness get twisted up in a number of ways.

Sex is often seen in a light different from any other human activity. I don’t know any reasonable person who would say “My partner let someone else cook for him; he must not love me any more!” or “My partner likes another person’s cooking; why am I not good enough for him?” Any person saying something like this would likely be recommended for counseling; yet if we’re talking about sex, people nod sagely and say “HAh, yes, the bastard, clearly he does not love you, for he is getting his sex elsewhere. Best to dump him.”

And you see the damage it causes all the time. People place their value and their worth as human beings on the fact that their partner is not having sex with anyone else. People’s self-esteem and sense of dignity gets all wrapped up in sex. Should their partner look at another woman, there can be only one explanation–it’s because they are not valued, not “good enough,” and their partner is seeking to replace them with someone “better”–whatever “better” means.

It’s fucked up.

Even the attitudes people have about porn rest, I think, on the notion that sex is what you pay for love. If some guy can go and get sexual gratification without paying for it at all (isn’t the Internet great?), then what need does he have to spend love to get his rocks off? If some guy is in a relationship, and he watches porn, then the woman better feel threatened, because now he may withdraw his love from her. He doesn’t need to get the sex from her any more, so why should he pay her in love, right?

This attitude is insulting to both men and women. It’s insulting to men because it starts with the premise that men don’t want love and romance and intimacy; they have to be tricked or cajoled into giving it, with the promise of sex. It’s insulting to women because it debases their position to that of a common merchant, a person who sells sex to get what she needs–and there’s not even any money in it for her, at least not directly. And the price it exacts in self-esteem and self-confidence is devastating.

And buried in there somewhere is an inconvenient truth, one who divide the world into the pursuers and the gatekeepers of sex, don’t like to acknowledge…Women like sex, and men like intimacy.

There is no need to buy one with the other. There is no need to exchange sex for intimacy; and in fact, the two have nothing to do with each other. Women and men like sex; women and men like intimacy; the one need not be predicated on the other. And certainly one’s self-image need not rest on the foundation of sexual exclusivity–a slippery and uncertain foundation indeed. When anyone places their self-esteem on external factors, especially factors controlled by another person, then that self-esteem will always be precarious and uncertain.

On another forum, a message I read described how absolutely devastated a person was when she discovered her boyfriend wasn’t a virgin. It reduced her to tears; because if she is not her boyfriend’s only sexual partner, then what makes her special? How can she ever hope to feel special?

I can’t really quite apprehend how it is that the idea of specialness got so wrapped up in sexual exclusivity, but I don’t think it’s healthy. Predicating one’s ego on the sexual past or sexual activity of another person seems harmful and destructive to me.

And it keeps getting worse. Not only is sex the vehicle for getting love and value, but love and value flow only from one specific type of sex. Any other sex is perverse, coarse, crude; sex in this position shows love, sex in that position does not. Ergo, if he loves me, he will have sex with me in this position; but if he wants to have sex with me in that position, it means…disaster. He doesn’t value me; he doesn’t care about me; I am worth less as a person.

Now, my tastes may be unconventional, but I am quite capable of calling my partner a dirty, filthy whore in the midst of sodomizing her, and still being in love with her. Love, you see, is not a question of what position one’s body is in at the moment of coitus, or which part of my partner’s body my cock is in. Love is greater than that. You see…

…and at this point I will ask all those peculiar species of feminists who believe that there is only one ‘right’ way that women ‘should’ be to leave the room…

…I have lovers who like being called a filthy whore while they are being sodomized.

I do it because it gets me off, and it gets my partner off. A nasty little fact of life, this: not all women have the same tastes. Sex is supposed to be enjoyable; and sex is most enjoyable when it presses the buttons of all of the people involved.

And here’s another dirty little secret:

Sex and love are not the same thing. If I love someone, then I still love her even if she’s on her hands and knees and I’m yanking her hair and calling her my dirty little slut. If I don’t love someone, then no amount of candles and rose petals scattered across the bed will make me love her. All sex done when i love someone is an expression of love. Even the raunchy, dirty, hair-pulling, name-calling sex. Love does not depend on the words you say during sex; love is not counted in terms of candles and rose petals. If you have love in your heart, it is there regardless of what you’re doing while you fuck. If you do not have love in your heart, the rose petals and candles won’t put it there.

If you want to draw a distinction between “fucking” and “making love,” fine. The distinction is in what’s in your heart, not what position you’re in on the bed, or on the floor, or in the back of the closet with your wrists bound to the bar and your face pressed into the winter jackets. The distinction is in your heart. If you and your partner love each other, then you’re making love no matter what you’re doing.

Predicating your sense of self-worth on the number of candles around the bed or the number of seconds your lover spends gazing soulfully into your eyes is stupid, destructive, and insulting. Your partner loves you or he doesn’t. If he loves you, the number of partners he’s had and the positions in which he likes to do the deed don’t change that. If he doesn’t, you’re not going to buy his love with sex.

Get over it. You’ll be a happier person, I promise.