Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flash in the Pan

I was lucky enough to have two lovely lady friends (who I'm not in sexual relationships with) send flashing photos to me yesterday, and it totally made my Mardi Gras. I did solicit for them, but they were still kind enough to send personalized pictures. I'm a lucky guy with sexy friends.

Perhaps it's my long-time exposure to pornography, or maybe it's the slight taboo, but seeing exposed/nude/topless pictures of friends is one of the last sexually exhilarating pornographic experiences for me. I love naked pictures of anyone, but while arousing, porn generally isn't "thrilling" to me anymore. It's hot but not unique; the internet has put almost anything I could want a few clicks away. Pictures of friends, though, have to be given - they're not available anywhere else, and that makes them very special.

Part of me almost longs for a time when simple things and little peeks could provide the same response. But as I'm neither 12 nor living through cultural sexual repression, that's just not the case, nor would I want it to be.

I like sharing as well, but as I've stated before, the sweet spot between "arousing/interesting" and "creepy/uninteresting" is a small one for guys. I'm always open to requests, though. And I'm always open to seeing more of friends.

Monday, February 8, 2010

We're all a little bit creepy and perverted...

At least I hope so.

After washing my clothes yesterday in our communal laundry room, I opened the dryer next to my washer to find whites someone had put in the night before. They were cold, so I briefly considered just scooping them out and putting them on top of the dryer, but instead realized that the next dryer over was empty, so I moved my clothes there. Before leaving, however, I took another look in the full dryer, admired a pair of thong underwear, realized most of the load was men's socks, and closed the door.

Am I a weirdo?

As I get older, I'm realizing that I'm a very curious person, and I love getting little peeks into the everyday lives of other people. I love knowing (and sharing) personal minutia, and while I'm not a panty thief or peeping tom, if the opportunity presents itself, I'll most certainly take a look. Sometimes, I take steps to insure that opportunities are more common as well.

Internet barometer, I need to know how common this is.

The most interesting thing about this for me is that while I know it's an invasion of privacy, I don't care. It's kinda a psychopathic "I don't care" too - I feel no emotional pain or regret from doing it. I'm typically a very empathic person, especially when it comes to pain/suffering/hardship (of any sort). But regarding minor privacy violations, I don't feel anything at all.

So am I a creepy pervert? Probably. Are you? What do you do that you think might put you in this camp? I don't count any consensual sex as "perverted" (though you might) and usually for me the definition of perversion hinges on involving another party (with their knowledge or not). Is it something you fight against doing, or that you do happily? Does it get you off, or just satisfy your curiosity? You tell me yours, I'll tell you mine.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Alrighty, Eros.

On the general suggestion of The Girlfriend, and on the specific recommendations of several friends, I signed up for OKCupid account this week, and started playing around with their interface. For those of you who haven't used it, it's a dating site like a hundred others, though it tends to skew younger, and it pretty friendly toward folks who are poly/non-monogamous. It's also run by math nerds who take their algorithms very seriously. This alone is reason enough for me to stick around.

The dating part of it is still kinda weird to me. The Girlfriend and I have been in an "open" relationship for most of the decade-plus we've been together. That said, we generally look like a very standard, monogamous couple - our swinging is discreet, and while we've told friends in the past that we're "open", neither of us has really "dated" anyone else until recently (and that's pretty discreet now, too). There's also the fact that we have a very solid investment in each other (and a kid, and a house), so other partners are much closer to "friends" than anything else, even if there are benefits.

Because of all of that, using a dating site as an individual and filling out profile information there is pretty strange to me. Much stranger than swinging together or swapping, or even The Girlfriend dating (since that's happened more organically with the guy in one of our swinging couples). It's weird writing about myself, and tweaking it in hopes of attracting someone. I can only imagine the ratio of men-looking-for-women is higher than women-looking-for-men (as it tends to be everywhere in the online dating world), so while I've thrown a few lines out there, I don't expect a whole lot of random, well-matched encounters. But sometimes I'm surprised.

The other interesting thing is that I'm wondering how I'd match up with other in my real life, though to my knowledge, most of my friends don't have OKCupid accounts. The site matches you, at first anyway, by comparing your answers on a host of different relationship and life questions, and asking what you'd like a partner to answer (and how important their answer is). I've come up with a few people who I match almost completely, and I while we'd have lots to talk about, I don't know if we're actually good matches. A good way to compare, for me, would be to see what friends rank, given what I know about them. If you're on the site, let me know (I'm OCHedonist).

In the end, I'm not sure it'll be fruitful, but it's fun, and maybe I'll make some friends (I'm honestly just as interested in new friends, even if there's no sex involved). Either way, it's definitely weird.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The assumption of female bisexuality

One of the most positive developments to come out of the sexual and feminist revolutions of the past half-century is that women are much more free to express themselves sexually than any other time in post-Victorian western society. Add the internet, with it's reach and possibility for anonymity, and sexual expression is almost limitless. There are still obstacles to be overcome, of course, but in general we're living in very open times.

One outcome of all of this is the rise (or perceived rise) in female bisexuality. This is true both for "true" bisexuals (those interested in relationships with both men and women) and "the other kind" - those who enjoy sex with both men and women, but are still only interested in relationships with the opposite sex.

(There's much more to be written on the subject of the separation of these two "types" of bisexual activity in mainstream and sex-positive culture, but that can happen latter).

While positive, to be sure (sexual openness and pleasure are Good Things), there's an unintended consequence: straight but sexually adventurous women, like my girlfriend, find themselves in a weird place.

Some background: My girlfriend and I swing. We both like sex, and enjoy a variety of partners. When we started searching online for other couples to swap and swing with, however, we were constantly running into the "looking for a bi girl" roadblock. A huge percentage of couples online looking for couples seemed really to be looking for a girl, but since single bi girls aren't exactly a dime a dozen, they're "willing" to take a couple. If the girl in the couple's not bi, however, they're not interested.

If girl-girl play is a big part of the appeal for them, that's totally cool. We're all looking for some specifics when it comes to sex, and just like in all relationships, most people aren't good matches for most other people. But it makes me wonder where the line is between "women are free to express themselves sexually" and "my boyfriend wants to see me eat pussy, and I'll do anything to make him happy, even if it's not my thing".

None of this seems to both my girlfriend, who isn't going to do anything she's not interested in. But I wonder how many women out there feel like they "need" to at least experiment bisexually - not only because their boyfriends want them to, but because it's assumed that in order to be a good sexual person, you have to be willing to do things you'd really rather not.

Through all this, we've met some amazing people who self-identify as "bisexual", but enjoy us as a couple even without the girl-girl play. And there are plenty others out there, though finding them through the maze of "looking for a girl or couple" profiles is tough.

The line here isn't drawn at bisexuality - there are plenty of other sexual activities both men and women are expected to like, and if they don't, they're considered "bad partners", even by the "sex-positive" world (oral sex, most notably). While the credo of the sex-positive world is "do what you like with consenting partners", it seems to me like there are still some "expected standards", and those might need some reevaluating.

Your thoughts, as always, are welcome.