Automatic Shaming

I was using Google voice-to-text to write down some notes while I was driving today.

First off, don’t do that.  The voice-to-text automatic translation falls behind and you end up losing big chunks of what you wanted to capture.  Learn from my mistakes.

But secondly, voice-to-text CENSORS your words! It turns “fucking” into “f******” even though you REALLY REALLY MEANT fucking.  At first I thought it would just be the traditional “bad” words – you know, the ones George Carlin spoke of.

But no!  Guess what else they censor?  Slutty!  I was trying to say that men and women are equally slutty at heart (in a good way).  But no!  Apparently I meant s*****.  And sexting (excuse me, s******) is just too explicit for voice-to-text to translate without an unseemly binary blush.

What the fuck?!  Who decided that slutty and sexting needed to be expunged from the written word?  Clearly the program KNOWS those words, or it wouldn’t have censored them – it would have come out as gobbledygook.  No, some asshole (sorry, a******) at Google has decided that slutty is a “bad” word.

Thanks, genius!  Your attempt at censorship helps promote shaming and the patriarchal assumption that women having sex is a BAD THING.

(Aside: I suppose you could argue that Google just thinks sex in general in a BAD THING – hence censoring sexting which is non-gendered.  But slut is a uniquely female-gendered word to most of the world.  So I think it qualifies for extra inspection.)

There are movements trying to reclaim the word slut (like Slut Walk, for starters) in order to highlight and fight against rape culture.  StopSlut addresses teenage bullying and slut shaming and it’s effects on young girls.  But by all means, try to assert your corporate control over the word without any consideration of its current import in feminist discussion.

Obviously, I can just go ahead and type out the word.  They aren’t stopping me from doing that:  SLUT SLUT SLUT SLUT.  But I live in San Francisco where I am often surrounded by clueless brogrammers building the infrastructure of my daily life.  The vast majority of people actually creating the internet services I use to communicate with the world are men.  And their pervasive lack of interest or knowledge about how their biases affect 50% of the population gets pretty FUCKING old at times.

When the cat’s away… date random guys on Tinder

My husband was recently away at some conferences.  He was gone for about 10 days and since he was at sex-related conferences he was having a grand old time.  Well, he always has a grand old time – he’s quite the charmer.  He was making out with someone on the bus on the way from the airport to the first conference.

Since we’re polyamorous, this is not a problem.  More than that, I think it’s great because he comes home with amazing stories to tell me.  I tend to have longer term relationships than he does, though, so I haven’t had any fun stories to tell about my other partners in quite some time and that was making me feel boring.

A friend of mine recently started dating on Tinder and had been telling me how easy and fast it is compared to other sites she’s tried.  It’s been quite a while since I tried online dating, and my last experience with OK Cupid was infuriating (but that’s a story for another day). So I was hesitant.  But the day after my husband left I got home from an evening out and wasn’t quite tired enough to go to sleep… so I installed Tinder and started swiping.

First off, Tinder is addictive.  It’s so fast to make a decision, and every few swipes you get this “yay, somebody likes me!” feeling when you match someone.  (This is before I realized that a lot of guys literally swipe right on EVERYONE and wait to see who matches them.)  I probably spent an hour swiping, just for the fun of it.  

And then the messages started rolling in.  And just kept coming.  Somehow while swiping I had managed to forget that some of those matches were bound to want to actually talk to me.  And since it was midnight or so on a Saturday, a whole lot of them assumed that I was looking for an immediate hook up.

Let me just take a moment to say that hook ups can be fun, it isn’t necessary to have a “relationship” before you have sex, and I have absolutely no judgement whatsoever for anyone who wants to hook up as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult. That’s your business.

But it was late and I was already in my jammies and that’s not really my style under the best of circumstances.

cc-by Greg Hernandez
cc-by Greg Hernandez

A little advice for the gentleman readers: a“hi” with no other information or questions or interest shown is basically an invitation to ignore you.  Unless you’re Gilles Marini, put at least 30 seconds of effort into it. (If you ARE Gilles Marini, may I recommend using the “Contact Me” link above?)

The first couple of times this happened, I attempted to start a conversation because I’m polite.  But monosyllabic is NOT SEXY, fellas.  At least you’re saving me the trouble of finding out later how boring you are.  

On the other hand, I was able to connect up with a few guys who are also poly or open, and I had a week with a light schedule ahead of me.

The first guy I met, A., was a smart artist-type with an accent.  He has a great smile and fantastic long, curly black hair.  During dinner I also discovered that he grows pot to pay his rent and smokes out every single day.  Maybe since I already have a partner, whether another person qualifies for “long term” is not a huge concern for me.  But I still prefer to see people multiple times – the sex always gets better (if they have any promise at all).  So there were a lot of pluses here, and some minuses.  I don’t care if people smoke pot, but he was the epitome of a habitual pot smoker and that’s just not my thing.  The tide turned when he started talking about how “oral” he is.  I mean… it had been DAYS since I’d had sex, and here was this lovely man.  Who cares if he’ll still be around in a few weeks?

I was not disappointed.  And he was not exaggerating.  This man is obsessed with eating pussy.  We were in bed for maybe two hours and I think he went down on me about 6 times. He had no interest in me returning the favor.  The whole thing was fun, but a little bizarre.  I decided to leave it up to him to contact me again if he wanted to, and he hasn’t.  So, I guess that was adventure #1 from Tinder.

The other two men I met that week were lovely in their own ways, but only a few kisses were exchanged.  

M. is really into motorcycles, used to be a pro dom, and is completely snuggly and adorable.  I can tell already.  After we talked for 2 or 3 hours over a glass of wine, we kissed while I was waiting for my Lyft.  When the Lyft arrived it turned out the driver was a friend that he used to throw sex parties with.  San Francisco is a small place, I guess.  I’m seeing him again tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.

The third man, E., is a tall guy who showed up in a very tall hat that he had made from the leg of a pair of tuxedo pants.  So that’s a good sign.  But then he talked non-stop for the first hour of our coffee date and I couldn’t figure out whether he was nervous or simply self-centered.  Eventually he started asking questions and he turned out to be nice. He’s a cross dresser, which means there are SO many opportunities for playing dress up. But the kisses afterward were so-so, and I’m undecided about seeing him again.

The week is over, but I’m still getting Tinder messages.  I’m having trouble paying attention to them – I have so many other things I want to do!  I think the Tinder adventures will have to be episodic, but I’m glad I gave it a try.

The Sexologist’s Wife

I’m not kinky. When people find out I’m married to a sexologist, I’m pretty sure this is the first thing they assume. We don’t have a dungeon, nobody’s peeing on anybody, I’m not bisexual, and he’s not wearing my panties right now. Sorry.

Then again, we live in San Francisco, we’re poly, and we run in a pretty sex-positive crowd. So my definition of kinky might be different from yours.

My husband just got back from a couple of conferences, which means he has lube samples, a ridiculous amount of new toys, and a whole lot of inspiration. One of the toys is an intensely heavy insertable wand-thingy (that’s the technical term) that just scares me. I get it – it’s supposed to stimulate your G-spot – but it’s so heavy! I mean, what happens if I drop it while it’s inside of me? Yikes.

But, you know, Sunday afternoon and nothing to do. Well, not nothing. The house is messy and I need to do laundry and I got so involved working on a project that I never left the house today. But, you know, Sunday afternoon and a flotilla of new sex toys to be tried out.

First up, a feather tickler. It kinda looks like a feather duster, but smaller and prettier. And not dusty. I was dying to try this one. I love how a light tickling on your skin makes you feel awake and aware of your whole body. I recommend closing your eyes so you don’t know where you’ll be tickled next. This one was definitely a winner.

Then we tried the Womanizer – the worst product name in sex toy history. Who’s on their marketing team?! It’s also advertised as having a 100% orgasm guarantee, which is pure bullshit. So I was predisposed to not liking this one. It has a little “cup” thing (more technical terms!) that vibrates and has suction. You place that over your clit and it’s supposed to be magic. Somehow for me it kinda varied between not enough and too much sensation. But I admit, it did eventually get the job done.

njoy pure wandAnd last up for today was the absurdly heavy metal toy. The pure wand is really pretty – smooth, shiny, graceful. And scary heavy. Seriously, can I be the only one questioning the usefulness of that much weight in this area? At any rate, we tried this one out with some silicone lube (be careful of your sheets and don’t use any other silicone toys afterwards!). It’s… meh. I don’t get it. The hardness is kinda off-putting for me because my muscles squeeze so hard when close to orgasm, and it requires *management* because you do NOT want that thing to slip out of your hand or for your grip to loosen while you’re using it. At best it was fine, at worst it was slightly uncomfortable. Sorry, njoy, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there who would love it.

Oh, and there was some partner sex in there too – did I mention that? The tickling part was just too yummy; some plain ol’ fashioned P-V sex became absolutely necessary. We’ll have to try out some of the toys for him another day, because I’m exhausted.