T’was the night before Christmas…

…and all through the house, the hiphuggers were scurrying, searching for a victim to parasitize, a host they could control, forcing the host to violate all around, spreading their eggs in a gush of slime…

My wife decided that, given the alien from the Aliens movie has been the shape of my nightmares for years, I should make an alien xenomorph hiphugger strapon sex toy. And given that she loves cosplay, she’s also decided to do a Borg Queen costume, to go with it.

Because what’s worse than being parasitized by an alien hiphugger? The Borg Queen parasitized by an alien hiphugger, of course!

I’m helping her design those bits of the costume that require a 3D printer, so she’s made a life-sized dressmaker’s dummy casting of herself to better help me make sure the various bits and bobs I print are the right size.

I have the dummy sitting on my couch right now, and, well…

It’s a bit disconcerting when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee.

Come closer, and fertilize me with your reproductive stalk…

Orchids are cool, in a “nature is horrifying” way. There are species of orchid that have evolved structures that look like insects, which they use to lure in insects searching for mates.

Some orchids use these insect visitors to pollinate themselves. The insect does its thing and then flies off, horny and frustrated and covered with sticky pollen, but otherwise none the worse for wear.

But some orchids are carnivorous. They lure insects to their doom, slowly digesting their prey alive as the ill-fated insect struggles helplessly.

And some orchids mimic insect pheromones, sweeting the honeytrap with the same signals that female insects use.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about sexual parasitism of humans lately, in no small measure because I’ve finished the first version of the Xenomorph Hiphugger Strapon, a Giger-esque nightmare sex toy first conceived by my wife Joreth. Imagine an alien facehugger that wraps around the subject’s hips, then incites the subject to seek out victims, violating them in a parasitic frenzy. As creepy as this image is, it’s table stakes in the game of real-world sexual parasitism, which is horrifying.

Anyway, that’s got me thinking: what if an alien species created mimics of human females to lure in the male of the species? (An idea for a horror novel with this theme is bubbling in my brain; stay tuned!)

I’ve been playing with a version of the Stable Diffusion 2.0 AI image generator tuned to human faces, looking to take the images out of my head and drag them into the light.

What I’ve come up with so far is…well, pretty horrifying.

I’ve started work on a small, AI-illustrated graphic novella (is a graphic novella a thing?), though with all the projects in the pipe right now—including a version of the hiphugger strapon optimized for oral violation—it may be a while before it’s finished.

Adventures in Mad Science

I’ve done it! They said I was mad, but I’ve done it! After almost three years of work and countless redesigns, I present to you:

The Xenomorph Hiphugger Strapon!

Ripped straight from a nightmare

This Giger-inspired monstrosity comes from the deepest depths of my nightmares. It all started when my wife Joreth said, hey, you know what would be cool? A strapon that looks like the facehugger from Alien, but it goes around the wearer’s hips, and the tail is a dildo.

And now, here it is!

This thing is massive—almost eight pounds of silicone—and features a tube and a reservoir so that the tail can be made to spurt fluids. Because it isn’t really an alien if it’s not dripping slime, right?

The tube was actually a late addition—I’d finalized the design when joreth said “hey, can you make it spurt?” The version you see here is a bit of an accident: I’d intended to buy silicone tubing that was 3 mm inside diameter/5mm outside diameter, but accidentally ordered 5mm/7mm tubing instead. So it should, I think, have a rather more…voluminous fluid flow than I’d originally planned.

You can see more photos of the xenomorph hiphugger strapon in all its monstrous glory here. Sweet dreams!

Repugnant “Pro-Life” Views on Contraception

I first posted this on Quora in 2017, when we lived in a very different world. Now that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has explicitly said that Griswold v Connecticut should be overturned on the same grounds the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, and Mississippi governor Tate Reeves (R) has said he won’t rule out a state ban on contraception, and Trump-backed candidates in Michigan and Ohio have called for a Federal law banning contraception, I thought this deserved a repost.

I keep hearing the argument that Griswold is safe because the overwhelming majority of people in the US still think contraception should be legal. Well, that was also true of abortion before Ronald Reagan. People forget how a few decades of persistent, well-funded managing can shift the Overton window.

So let’s take a look at the “pro-life” groups in the United States and see what they say about contraception, shall we?

The largest pro-life group in the US is the Roman Catholic Church, which has no fewer than seven sub-groups within its overall organization dedicated to opposing abortion. The Catholic Church opposes all forms of contraception except the rhythm method across the board.

The second-largest group is National Right to Life. It takes no formal stand on contraception, a policy which it reiterates many times. However, it has consistently lobbied against bills in Congress that make access to contraception easier, as well as against bills that would provide education about contraception both domestically and abroad.

The American Life League opposes contraception. They repeat the false claim many times on their Web site that birth control pills work by inducing abortion. They also claim that other forms of contraception increase abortion, showing statistics that abortion and contraception use in the US increased at about the same time (which is like saying ice cream causes sunburns; prior to Roe v Wade, most places in the US also outlawed contraception). They seek to overturn Roe v Wade and also ban contraception.

The Susan B. Anthony List opposes contraception across the board. The group’s president says, “the bottom line is that to lose the connection between sex and having children leads to problems.”

Americans United for Life, the oldest pro-life organization in the US, opposes all forms of hormonal birth control and IUDs, repeating the false claim that they work by inducing abortion. They oppose measures to teach about contraception, domestically or internationally. They support laws forbidding a company from firing a pharmacist who refuses to sell contraception. They do not have a stated policy on condoms, but they endorse only abstinence-based sex ed and oppose teaching about condoms.

Live Action opposes contraception. They claim that hormonal birth control induces abortion. They also claim that condoms do not work, that statistics showing 97% efficiency of condoms are lies promoted by Planned Parenthood and the “abortion industry,” and that making condoms readily available increases teen pregnancy.

The Family Research Council opposes hormonal contraception and IUDs. They do not have a formal position on condoms, but their Web site does say “we do question the wisdom of making it available over the counter to young girls.” They support a system where hormonal contraception and IUDs are banned, and condoms and diaphragms are available only by prescription.

Focus on the Family opposes hormonal birth control, IUDs, and contraceptive implants. They are neutral on condoms and diaphragms within marriage but oppose making them available to unmarried people. They oppose sex outside marriage across the board.

The American Family Association opposes hormonal birth control and IUDs. They do not formally oppose condoms, but they do oppose advertising condoms, making condoms available for free, and any sex education that mentions condoms.

American Right to Life opposes all contraception. They use scare tactics claiming that hormonal birth control causes cancer and strokes. They support legislation banning hormonal birth control and restricting access to condoms and other barrier forms of contraception.

Campaign for Life in America has no stated policy on contraception.

The Center for Bioethical Reform, the anti-abortion group most famous for showing grisly pictures of dismembered fetuses at protests in front of clinics, opposes contraception. The group’s leader, Mark Harrington, compares condoms to “drugs, gangs, rapes, assaults, and murder” as proof that America is abandoning its moral heritage as a “Christian nation.” He says legal decisions overturning bans on contraception were done by “terrorists in black robes” with a “warped view” of the Constitution.

The Human Life Foundation opposes all forms of contraception except the rhythm method.

Operation Rescue opposes all forms of birth control and states that the only legitimate purpose of sex is procreation.

Choose Life opposes hormonal contraception, IUDs, and contraceptive implants. It endorses the rhythm method, condoms, diaphragms, and sterilization. It supports teaching of barrier methods of contraception.

Coalition for Life opposes contraception across the board. It claims that hormonal birth control and IUDs cause abortion. It states on its Web site that only the rhythm method for birth control should be used, and its Web site urges its members to “help end the ravages of contraception.” It supports legislation to ban all contraceptive methods.

The Right to Life Federation opposes all contraception. Its position is that “abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and contraception are intimately connected” and that a person opposed to any one of those things must be morally compelled to oppose them all. It claims that use of contraception is statistically correlated with abortion, and supports an across-the-board legal ban on both abortion and contraception.

If you support any anti-contraception group financially, even if you do not oppose contraception yourself, this is the message you are funding.

Make no mistake: Griswold is next.

Preorders for The Hallowed Covenant!

Preorders for The Hallowed Covenant, my new post-scarcity science fiction erotic novel with Eunice Hung, just went up today! And man, I am really, really excited about this book.

This is probably my favorite book I’ve ever coauthored. We take a deep dive into what it’s like to live in the City, along the way touching on themes like:

• How do you have a system of justice in a post-scarcity society with no police or codified laws?

• What are the AIs the people in this society worship as gods? What are they like?

• What do transgression and atonement look like when there’s no such thing as law?

And of course there’s lots of sex, much of it involving kinks so exotic they don’t even have names.

The novel follows seven friends as they wrestle with changes in their lives, set against the backdrop of the Festival of the Lady (the AI god of art and creativity)—think Burning Man in a society with a tech level that makes Star Trek look late Bronze Age, but more hedonistic.

The first two novels in the Passionate Pantheon universe have done so well people started asking us for audiobook versions, and guess what? We delivered! The Hallowed Covenant has an audiobook, narrated by the amazing (and incredibly sexy) Francesca Peregrine.

Thanks to a special arrangement with the Nobilis Erotica podcast, you can listen to the first two chapters here!

I am just incredibly, incredibly proud of this book. Like, I am absolutely giddy that it’s almost out. If you like science fiction and you like sex, I suspect you’ll probably like it too.

Check it out here! If you back the crowdfunding, you can score a copy before pub date for less than you’ll find it anywhere else. (And stay tuned for new perks coming soon!)

Hacking as a tool of social disapproval

“The street finds its own uses for things.” —William Gibson, Burning Chrome

Last year, my wife, my co-author, and I launched a new podcast, The Skeptical Pervert. We talk about sex…and more specifically, we talk about sex through a lens of empiricism and rationality.

The Skeptical Pervert’s website runs WordPress. Now, I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to web security, and I know WordPress tends to be a rather appetizing target for miscreants, so I run hardened WordPress installs, with security plugins, firewalls that are trained on common WordPress attack vectors, and other mitigations I don’t talk about openly.

I run quite a few WordPress installs. My blogs on franklinveaux.com and morethantwo.com run WordPress. So does the Passionate Pantheon blog, where Eunice and I discuss the philosophy of sex in a far-future, post-scarcity society. In addition, I host WordPress blogs for friends, and no, I won’t tell you who they are, for reasons that will soon become clear.

I automatically log hack attacks, including failed login attempts, known WordPress exploits, and malicious scans. I run software that emails me daily and weekly statistics on attacks against all the WordPress sites I own or host. I also subscribe to WordPress-specific infosec mailing lists, so I am aware of the general threat background.

Because WordPress is such a common target—it’s the Microsoft Windows of the self-hosted blog world, with everything that implies—any WordPress site will get a certain low level of constant probes and hack attempts. It’s just part of the background noise of the Internet. (If you run WordPress and you’re not religiously on top of security updates, by the way, you’ve already been pwn3d. I can pretty much guarantee it.)

The fact that I host WordPress sites not connected with me to the outside world gives me a good general baseline reading of this background noise, that I can use to compare to hack attacks against sites that are publicly connected with me.

And the results…well.

In all the years I’ve been on the Web—and I started running my own Web sites in the mid-1990s—I have never seen anything even remotely close to the constant, nonstop barrage of attacks against the Skeptical Pervert site. Joreth and Eunice are probably quite sick of my frequent updates: “Well, the firewall shows over a thousand brute-force hack attempts against the Skeptical Pervert site so far today and it isn’t even noon yet” (seriously, that’s a thing that happened recently).

Here’s a graph showing what I mean. This graph covers one week, from June 13, 2022 to June 20, 2022. The “baseline” in the graph is an average of several WordPress sites I host that aren’t in any way connected to me in the eyes of the Internet at large—I don’t run them, I don’t put content on them, my name isn’t on them, I merely host them.

Note that the attacks don’t scale with traffic; the More Than Two blog has the most traffic, followed by franklinveaux.com, then the Passionate Pantheon blog, then the Skeptical Pervert.

So what to make of this?

Part of it is likely the long-running social media campaign my ex has been running. Attacks on franklinveaux.com and morethantwo.com increased in the wake of her social media posts.

But that doesn’t explain what’s happening with the Skeptical Pervert, which has turned out to be targeted to an extraordinary degree.

Now, I don’t know who’s attacking the site, or why, so this is speculation. It’s hard to escape the idea, though, that when a site and podcast explicitly about sex, co-hosted by two women of color, talking about non-traditional sexual relationships is targeted, at least part of the answer might simply be the same old, same old tired sex-negative misogyny and racism we see…well, everywhere, pretty much. The fact that my ex doesn’t like me (and will say or do anything to get other people not to like me) doesn’t explain what’s happening here.

It’s easy to blame conservative traditionalists, but Eunice reminded me there’s another factor at work as well. The Skeptical Pervert approaches sexuality from a rational, evidence-based, skeptical lens. In the United States, there’s a stubborn streak of misogyny amongst the dudebros of the skeptics community. A podcast with two women that looks at sex from a highly female-focused, feminist point of view taking on the mantle of skepticism? It’s possible there are dudebros who will perceive that as an encroachment into their space.

In short, I don’t think this is about me. I think this is about women talking openly about real-world non-traditional sex, and getting the same pushback that women always get when they dare to do that.

If the podcast were just me, or me with obviously male co-hosts, I don’t think the level of Web attacks would be anywhere near the same.

The street finds its own uses for things. In the hands of people threatened by or frightened of non-traditional voices, the Internet has become a safe, anonymous tool of harassment.

New projects in the pipe!

This has been an incredibly productive year. Well, years, actually. The last three years have been the most creative, most productive time in my life. And I’m pleased to share some of that creativity with you!

First up, a new novel, The Hallowed Covenant! This is the third book I’ve co-authored with the marvelous Eunice Hung. It’s also the third book in the Passionate Pantheon series of far-future, post-scarcity science fiction theocratic pornography.

Yes, we invented a genre.

Anyway, I’m incredibly proud of this novel. We explore (I think) some really interesting ideas about autonomy, responsibility, atonement, and forgiveness, amidst all the really hot super-kinky sex.

This is also the first Passionate Pantheon novel that will have an audiobook version, narrated by the amazing Francesca Peregrine. She had some lovely things to say:


The book publishes this October. Preorders are up on Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but watch this space! You’ll be able to get a copy before pub date at a special price (and an early peek at the audiobook and the fourth novel in the series, Unyielding Devotion) if you back our crowdfunding next month!

I’ve also just launched a new website for makers who like sex: Tentacle Love. This is a DIY site full of tutorials and tips for making your own silicone sex toys, and includes downloadable 3D printable molds for you to cast sex toys yourself.

(And yes, you can also get a Team Tentacle T-shirt if you like.)

I’ve been making silicone sex toys for a while, so from time to time I also plan to put one-offs on the site for sale. These aren’t your typical sex toys, oh no—my tastes being what they are, I’ve made everything from kazoo ball gags (yes, seriously) to double-sided tentacle gags to…well, stranger things.

Spintriae, sex work, and ancient history

I’ll admit I’m probably a bit late to the party here, but I’ve only just recently learned of the existence of Roman spintriae coins, coins that were (allegedly) minted at Roman brothels either as a form of token patrons could buy representing different sex acts or as an alternative form of currency because Roman law forbade paying sex workers with coins bearing the likeness of the Emperor, depending on which archaeologist you believe. Or maybe neither of the above; it’s complicated.

Anyway, they’re super cool: each coin shows a sex act on one face and has a number on the other. And, of course, the world being what it is, you can buy replicas on Etsy, because of course you can (though this particular design is, at the moment, sold out).

Roman spintria front
Roman spintria back

I have, for completely unrelated reasons, also been doing a dive into the archaeology and anthropology of sex work in ancient Rome and Greece, since we’re doing an episode on the subject for the Skeptical Pervert podcast, and it turns out nobody really knows how sex work worked back then.

I mean, there are lots of competing ideas, and the general consensus was that sex work was definitely a thing, but if you try to drill down deeper than “yes, it existed” you quickly run into all kinds of ambiguity.

Like, surviving writings from ancient societies frequently make no distinction between “prostitute” and “woman who likes sex and wasn’t ashamed of it” (rather like, oh, I don’t know, modern society today!), and on top of that, few records exist that detail how brothels worked.

In fact, it’s not entirely clear if there were dedicated, single-purpose brothels at all; some archaeological evidence suggests “brothels” may have been any place where women worked, and that dedicated sex workers were few—people who did sex work may typically have had other jobs as well.

And its not entirely clear spintriae were used exclusively or even primarily as currency or tokens for sex work. They’ve been discovered all over the place, leading some folks to the hypothesis that they may have been used as part of a game.

Which, I mean, I can get behind that—the folks in my social circle have already started talking about fun kinky uses for Etsy spintriae coins, and I reckon they’d be a big hit at a play party. But I digress.

Anyway, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, and I appreciate the fact that people in ancient societies were complex, messy, cool, and, well, very human.

Unwrapping a new project!

The Skeptical Perverts podcast

After years of thinking about doing it (seriously, I’ve wanted to do this since 2009), and a ton of work this year, I’m pleased to announce the noew sooper-sekrit project I’ve been working on with Joreth and Eunice:

The Skeptical Pervert podcast!

What is it?

The Skeptical Pervert is a sex education podcast where we look at human sexuality through an empirical, fact-based, evidence-backed eye. We examine myths, attitudes, and ideas about sex with the goal of figuring out what’s fluff and what’s true.

I am absolutely chuffed, as they say over in the far distant reaches of the globe across the pond, to have launched this project. Joreth and I have been talking about it for over a decade. We brought Eunice on board because she’s often slow to say “no,” and the podcast was born!

We plan to release new episodes monthly. You can find the first two episodes online now.

Episode 1, which we wanted to call Episode 0 but couldn’t because Libsyn was written by folks who don’t know C and don’t understand how lists work, is an introduction.

Episode 2 talks about aphrodisiacs, the mythology around them, and our experience with bremelanotide, a synthetic melanocortin agonist and the world’s first aphrodisiac to pass double-blind trials.

You can find us on Libsyn, Apple, Amazon, or your podcatcher of choice. Check it out!

“You,” me, and More Than Two

That feeling when you wake up one morning to find a book you’ve written is featured on a TV show about serial killers…yes, that’s a thing.

I don’t watch TV shows about serial killers. I honestly didn’t even know the TV show You existed. If you’re similarly unaware of the vagarities of popular entertainment, it’s a show about a serial killer who stalks and murders women. In the third season, he marries another serial killer and they stalk and rape women together. Yes, that’s also a thing.

So imagine my surprise when I woke to learn that a recent episode featured my book More Than Two, and the most hilariously awful attempt at group sex ever imagined by Hollywood, which has a long history of pretty flippin’ awful depictions of group sex.

Yeah, um…yeah.

The episode isn’t as big a trainwreck as you’re probably imagining. Oh, no. It’s worse.

Anyway, I have a lot of complicated feels about this, which I talk about here:

You, me, and More Than Two