By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
By Leif Haven
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Kate Conger
By Brian Rinker
By Rachel Swan
Monday, August 18th
I signed up for MyBlackBook today, and boy was that place depressing.
I’m working on a new column about sites like MyBlackBook and Bedpost, which help you keep track of your offline sex life. As always, that means I need to sign up for them myself. Unfortunately, Bedpost is still in closed beta, and MyBlackBook looks dreadfully lifeless. Unlike OkCupid, it doesn’t scream, “Tell me your secrets!” It more screams, “I’m sterile and awkward to navigate!”
More importantly, I can’t say I see myself using their system. The basic idea is to make entries for every person you’ve slept with. So, after a night of fun, you log onto the site and record the who, what, where, when, and how. Not only does the system have the nerve to ask you exactly what sexual positions you tried, it also wants the full name and phone number of the people you jumped. Secure or not, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to tell the internet that. Then the site asks for your partners’ birthdays. Um, aren’t you happy I know their full names?Tuesday, August 19
It’s occurring to me that, for a cybersex researcher, I haven’t had much actual, down-and-dirty cybersex in a disturbingly long time. And by that I mean like two weeks.
So, in an attempt to rectify my dry spell, I embarked on a round of research cybersex today in OkCupid, where the only people roaming the instant messaging system at 2:00 p.m. on a Monday are horny bastards like me. Within moments, I had two IMs, one from a scruffy looking poet off in Southern California, and another from a doe-eyed college student somewhere over in the East Bay.
Now, when searching for research cybersex partners, there are a few rules to keep in mind: 1) It’s easier if you’re actually interested. That means I’m still more likely to pick a cute, 20-something subject than a balding, 50-something one because that way I have to pretend to care less. 2) The farther away the better. I’m not hooking up with these guys in hopes of someday dating them. At the same time, I can’t blow my cover and say, “This is all research. Got that straight?” Distance makes the situation easier. Someone who lives at least 50 miles away is a lot less likely to persistently invite me to dinner (yeah right, like what you want is to eat) after cybersex.
Both of these two guys fit the criteria well enough — though apparently I need to remember that the San Francisco bay isn’t enough of a divide to deter a horny suitor. So I started chatting with them, separately of course. Why both? Finding a decent cybersex partner and not a quick “a/s/l?” screw is a lot like fishing, or at least fishing as I imagine it. You cast out a bunch of lines, then sit around for what seems like a long, long time waiting for a catch. Sometimes you get it, but more likely your line breaks (your partner disappears, the connection cuts, etc.) or that thing you’ve been tugged on for the last half hours turns out to be an old, soggy boot.
Case in point: these two guys. We’ll call them IHaveHair and CrazyLove, in vague but respectful approximations of their actual screen names. CrazyLove seems promising, as one of his first questions is, “So, you’re home working. Does that mean you’re home all alone?” IHaveHair, being younger, has that lazy, masturbatory air of a bored 21-year-old.
Twenty minutes later, things aren’t looking good. CrazyLove has started ranting about his poetry (”Would you like to read some? You could critique it for me!”) and IHaveHair has decided to randomly blurt out that he’s a real-life virgin. Mood killer. Oh wait, now CrazyLove is saying he also writes erotic poetry. That could be a segway into an interesting cybersex session. Go on, guy, send over a sample.
Another 20 minutes later, and things are theoretically sexy, but still looking grim. In an attempt to turn the conversation away from IHaveHair’s maidenhead (there must be an equivalent, ridiculous/wonderful word for a guy), I’ve tried to get him talking about what he has tried, and what he likes. He types, “I love fingering a girl while playing with her tits :-) haha.” Why, oh why, are the smiley face and “haha” necessary? If you like fingering girls, be proud of it, and don’t sound like you’re 12 online. As for that erotic poem, it’s not awful, but it’s horribly cliché, and now I’m being asking to critique it. I thought I could get away with “Oh, it was really nice” and then we’d cyber make out. Instead, he wants line references and specific criticism. I feel like saying, “Actually, buddy, I’m a journalist with a degree in creative writing and extensive workshop experience. You really, really don’t want to hear my constructive criticism. Just take my bullshit compliments and have sex with me!”