Archive for the ‘Sociology’ Category

The Thinker

Craigslist casual encounter weirdness: June 2016 (Worcester, MA) edition

Three months ago I first checked out the Worcester Massachusetts Craigslist casual encounters section, the state’s second largest city and about ninety minutes by car east of me. I’m back there for June for a second look around again, because I was surprised by the quality (such as it was) of its posters. For hunters of the bizarre I found more than a few choice quality nuggets.

Looking over my Craigslist hits during May, I count at least 209 web page views for these posts, or about 13% of traffic. This is about normal. 117 of them were for my May 2015 review of the Hartford, Connecticut section. On today’s first page of postings in Worcester I find:

  • 35 men looking for a man
  • 35 men looking for a woman
  • 2 men looking for a transgender/transvestite
  • 9 men looking for a couple (male/female)
  • 12 women looking for a man
  • 6 women looking for a woman
  • 1 couple (male/female) looking for a woman
  • 2 couples (male/female) looking for a man
  • No transgender/transvestite looking for anyone, strangely enough

Let’s see how high the spring fever is running here in the Commonwealth now that all the leaves are finally on the trees and we’re turning on the air conditioners.

  • This 25-year-old gay man from Worcester seems to be more into abuse than sex. He wants you to abuse his throat, not to mention his face, hair and neck. Curiously the rear end is off limits. Otherwise pretty much anything is open, including binding him up and slamming him hard on his bed. And when you are done, he wants you to do it again and again. I’m one of these old fashioned types that simply don’t understand the appeal of violence in a relationship. I think nine out of 10 therapists would agree with me that it’s unhealthy. Anyhow, the poster may also be this guy, as he also is gay and won’t do anal, but is looking for multi-partner sex.
  • Can a couple be “clean” and have Herpes Simplex Virus? This 40-year-old couple from Ayer / Leo / Fitch area apparently believe they can have safe sex with another woman, which sounds technically possible if they are not having an outbreak. It’s too chancy for us actually “clean” people. The man apparently also swings separately and is looking for his own couple. At least they are upfront enough to admit they have HSV.
  • If you are a female student in the Worcester area and are looking to combine your passion with sex with your passion for paying the tuition, this 25-year-old man from Worcester is willing to donate tuition money if you express your appreciation appropriately.
  • He’s actually just looking for a date … someone who wants to see the Dave Matthews band with him. Now that’s kinky!
  • If there are any women in the area that enjoy being urinated on, this man from Oxford is ready with his full bladder. He’d best not wait for an answer before answering nature.
  • 25-year-old male athlete ISO female athlete to do intimate indoor aerobic exercises.
  • If you are a couple in a cuckold relationship (and who isn’t?) of course you will want to party naked with your fellow cuckolders. There’s already a group in Worcester and they are looking for new members. Just to be clear, they are not wife swappers.
  • This ninety-pound 18-year-old lesbian from Winchendon is sick of masturbating alone. In fact, she is so hot for her own gender she can’t help but TYPE IN ALL UPPER CASE. She may also be this barely legal woman who apparently has mastered mixed case.
  • The bottom line is that this apparently gay transitioning 23-year-old man with a nice set of tits is willing suck you off (in five minutes or less guaranteed, he says) but only to get high. If you don’t have weed, no oral and no playing with his man jugs either.
  • To show you what a Luddite I am, I had no idea until today what kik is. It appears to be a newer way of hooking up using your mobile phone. Anyhow there is a Worcester area kik Kink Club and all you have to do is scan the kik image on the ad to get into their private chat room for fellow kinky kik-ers, or something like that.
  • Ladies, if you are so proud of your feet that you want to show them off, this 43-year-old man from Worcester with a foot fetish very much wants to admire and fondle them, and maybe more.
  • Also ladies, are you thrilled at the thought of getting caught with your pants down? This 59-year-old man from Worcester is into semi-public sex. If caught though the looks are more likely to be of disgust or pity than shock.
  • She’s a cutie patootie from Worcester all right and she has pictures to prove it, but she’s only interested in uncircumcised men. But she could also be this lady.
  • Underendowed? “She” is from Gardner and likes them small.

More next month.

 
The Thinker

Brave new carless world

Her graduation gift (if the over $100,000 we spent on her college education wasn’t enough of a gift) was the title to her car. It was a 2005 Toyota Prius, with about 110,000 miles on it. She had the mis/good fortune to have its battery go out on it a few days after delivery. It was good because these hybrid batteries cost about $3000 or more, so it was covered by the warranty.

So why is she giving up her car? It’s paid for and thanks to us she doesn’t have student loans to pay. It’s not like our daughter is convenient to mass transportation. She lives in the far-flung Washington D.C. suburbs, Manassas Park to be exact, known for its traffic, miles of tacky strip malls and its poor public transportation. What drove her to give up driving was a check engine light. A mechanic said it would be about a thousand dollars to repair it as well as replace some tires, as the old ones wouldn’t pass inspection. The Prius is about the most reliable car available. Despite its age for some modest repairs she could ride it another 100,000 miles.

The problem was she was hardly ever using it. She works from home doing closed captioning for television, mostly at night when most of us are asleep. Her life is a studio apartment on the third floor and a black cat. With her free time she mostly writes. Extremely introverted by nature she had no place she really needed to go to.

So she ran the numbers. It turned out that for her it was much cheaper to go carless. She has stopped paying hundreds of dollars a year for insurance, not to mention all the costs associated with maintenance. No more personal property taxes to pay. No more registration fees and license fees. No federal and state gasoline taxes either. To the extent she needs to get around she will now use feet, her new bike and Uber.

Mostly she will be using Uber. So it costs her $15 or $20 each way to take the cat to the vet, or herself to the doctor. It’s still much cheaper than owning a car. A bus is not out of the question, but it involves walking about a mile to the main drag and putting up with all sorts of inconvenient transfers. She’s not poor, just a bit monetarily challenged. So Uber it is, and sometimes the Schwinn bike when the weather cooperates. For food, she has Safeway deliver it and creates an order online. It usually costs $10, but she can save money by having deliveries during the off hours.

I think my daughter maybe something of a trendsetter. Of course lots of young people are giving up their cars, but they tend to live in more connected neighborhoods, not way out near the edge of the frontier where she is living. If she wants to see a movie, she may be able to bike to it if she dares take her bike down the strip and under I-66 to the Cineplex. She is tight with a couple of longstanding girlfriends and usually goes with them. Most likely one of them will pickup and deliver. Or she can stream something online.

It’s quite a self-contained life, and I can empathize. I lived without a car for a few years in my early 20s (she is 26) and did not enjoy it. I couldn’t afford a new or used car and I could not afford to keep the old one going. Once a week I took the county bus to Rockville, Maryland for groceries at the Giant and lugged them home. They had to fit in two bags. It worked but it was not pleasant. Of course in those days there was no Internet and virtually no one worked from home. If you did, a car was essential to your business. You had to go meet people to make a living. I biked to work most days, took the bus if I could make it work with my schedule or simply walked toting an umbrella. I lived cheap but I didn’t like it. It made certain things that most people take for granted, like dating women, pretty much impossible.

This is not a problem for my daughter. She’s not interested in dating anyone, let alone getting serious and married. She says she is asexual, so she simply doesn’t feel attracted to anyone, at least not in a way that might lead to conjugal pleasures. There’s no place she is dying to go, at least at the spur of the moment. If she needs things, she buys it online and has it delivered. (Unsurprisingly, she has Amazon Prime.) She has discerned that we live in a service economy, which means you can get pretty much any service delivered these days. The exceptions are doctor and vet visits (and a few vets do make house calls) and hair stylists.

That’s where Uber comes in. She says Uber is better and much cheaper than a taxi, but it is effectively a taxi. Her smartphone tells her when the driver will arrive, so she doesn’t have to waste time waiting around. She pays in advance over the Internet. She knows of course that those Uber drivers probably aren’t making much money. Uber won’t treat them as employees. They are individual contractors, which mean they pay the freight for maintaining their cars, not her.

I’m waiting for her to tell me it was all a big mistake but I don’t think she’ll give me the satisfaction. It all works for her. It probably won’t work for those who still have to go to an office everyday, but that’s their problem, not hers. All this plus she got a nice chunk of change for selling her graduation gift. Meanwhile her parents still have two cars in the garage, even though being retired we use our own cars much less often. Apparently we are Luddites. We just don’t get the 21st century.

I wish her luck in her brave new carless world.

 
The Thinker

Craigslist casual encounter weirdness: May 2016 (Hartford CT) Edition

I would think it would be hard (no pun intended) to get horny today. We’ve had a week of clouds and as I write yet more rain is falling. But I just checked and yes there are plenty of local Craigslist casual encounters postings today, and by local I mean Hartford, Connecticut, about an hour south of me by car.

Scanning the titles that come up, I’m not going to have a hard time finding posts that shock, disgust or reset your already low opinion of our species. But then again, Republicans pretty much have decided to nominate Donald Trump to be their candidate for president. Elevated as a species we are not, as both Trump and Craigslist casual encounters postings attest.

I can document at least 229 web page hits for my Craigslist posts in April, about average, but 122 of them are for this post, so I expect it will appear in my top ten list this year. Overall this is 15% of my web hits, which is up from last month. Scanning the first page of postings for Hartford, Connecticut this first Friday in May I find:

  • 46 men looking for a woman
  • 36 men looking for a man
  • 6 men looking for a couple
  • 6 men looking for a transgender
  • 3 women looking for a man
  • 2 women looking for a woman
  • 1 couple looking for a couple
  • 2 transgender people looking for a man

Why is it that transgender people are never looking for a woman? Anyhoo, let’s dig into the trash pile and see if some of these posters can out Trump the Donald:

  • She’s 21, claims the bad weather is making her super horny and wants to suck off as many men as possible today … in you are young and in shape.
  • Women, this is as close as you are going to get to a zipless fuck. This 48-year-old married man’s version is a wordless fuck. It’s unclear if moaning and screaming count as words. It’s been my experience that “Yes! Yes!” is usually in there somewhere no matter what.
  • Speaking of kinks here’s another one I’ll never understand: wanting to be cleanup boy. Well, he’s no boy, he’s 28, from Manchester and he’s not talking about tidying up things in your bedroom while you go at it. No he wants to eat the woman out while the guy plows into her, which I would think would be impossible to do simultaneously. What he really wants to clean up is the mess after male orgasm. Umm, pass.
  • She’s so horny to try a woman she’ll pay for dinner and a hotel room.
  • Some women are into well-endowed men. This man is into well-endowed women and we’re not talking ass or breasts here. Is this a case of suppressed micro-penis envy?
  • I guess it’s never too late to act out your bi-curious feelings as if this comes to pass it will be a first time for this partnered 58-year-old woman. The partner would like to watch, if you’re willing. And speaking of older bi-curious people, here’s a heavy 60-plus bi-curious man from Manchester who wants to be bottomed by either the male in the couple or the woman or both.
  • Last month I confessed my ignorance about tribbing. Now I understand. (Warning: explicit picture.)
  • This 30-year-old man from Vernon claims to be newly bi-curious which means he really wants to try his own sex. I’m no fashion pro obviously but I strongly suggest you lose the black socks and repost dude.
  • He’s 24, looking for a mature daddy and says he is a “semi passable sissy”. Given the hair on that ass and the ridiculous pink panties I’d say semi passable is pushing it. Still, it’s more truth in advertising than you usually see on Craigslist.
  • Finally: safe sex on Craigslist! Watch this couple go at it on Skype and wank off to them!
  • This 29-year-old man from Bristol doesn’t understand that a FWB is not a one time casual encounter.
  • Boy, you do want them young if you are 24 years old and want to be the daddy in the relationship. Most likely whatever you have in mind would be statutory rape.
  • Ladies, will you trade free rent for sex? If so, this 33-year-old man from Hartford wants you to contact him. If you will trade a part-time handyman for sex, this 55-year-old man from Enfield is also looking for a fair exchange of value.
  • Speaking as a man, every once in a while I come across an adorable woman who in some fantasy world I passionately want to know in the biblical sense and then I find myself crestfallen when I learn they are gay. (Hint: One of them is Ellen DeGeneres.) I imagine women come across hunks like this black man and feel crestfallen too knowing he won’t want you. But guys, he’s very selective. To even get considered you must be packing at least nine inches.
  • She’s 20, from Windsor Locks and is looking for a woman who will help her tease her husband by having girl on girl sex in front of him, leading into a threesome, which is perhaps the strangest anniversary celebration ever. Kinky, yes. Romantic, no.
  • Ladies, she’s 29, from East Hartford and wants to use her strap on on you. Clearly, she likes to be on top of things.
  • Men, double your fun: two women from Hartford are looking for one lucky man.

More next month.

 
The Thinker

Craigslist casual encounters weirdness: April 2016 (Hartford CT) edition

I don’t know why but as I put together my monthly review of local Craigslist casual encounters weirdness, this snippet of lyrics from the musical Chess is running through my brain:

I’d let you watch, I would invite you
But the queens we use would not excite you

Anyhow, the first Friday of the month came early this month and that’s when I try to do these postings, as Fridays seem to be the best day of the week to find the weirdest of these postings, probably in anticipation of kinky expectations unlikely to be met by these posters over the weekend. So it’s generally anything goes. I decided to go back to Hartford, Connecticut’s section this month, mainly because I am lazy but also because my May 2015 post on Hartford continues to get lots of hits, 59 in March out of at least 166 hits for this stuff. That’s almost exactly 11% of my total web hits for March.

On the first page of postings I count:

  • 33 men looking for a woman
  • 41 men looking for a man
  • 11 men looking for a couple
  • 2 men looking for a transgender
  • 1 group of men looking for a woman
  • 4 women looking for a man
  • 4 couples looking for a woman
  • 5 transgender individuals looking for a man
  • 1 transgender looking for multiple men

Let’s jump into the postings and find the wheat in the chaff tonight:

  • Speaking of those two men looking for an attractive woman, they say, “Typically we’re available Sunday through Saturday with 2 days notice”, so I guess they never take a day off. They are 45 and 41, live in Norwich and have lots of explicit black and white pictures showing what they would do to a woman with men that obviously aren’t them, but at least the models are thoughtful enough to use condoms. Most likely they are married and probably need the two days to invent an excuse to give their wives for the odd hours they are going to put in at work. However, they are equal opportunity horn dogs, in that they don’t discriminate based on race but do discriminate on whether you are hot or not. That at least makes them more discriminating that most of their competition.
  • Here’s an ad from a woman looking for a man that sounds legit, mainly because she’s been scanning ads from men for women and finding them turnoffs. Are you real, as in not a creep? Then maybe you can get into her pants, but this is Craigslist so the answer is probably no.
  • He’s 26 and wants to go to the “art gallery”, i.e. Hartford’s “art” theater where apparently the stuff on the balcony is much racier than the XXX action on screen, or at least less faked than the stuff on the screen. But the balcony is only available to couples, so basically he needs a date in the hopes of seeing some people do kinky sex.
  • Ladies, no need to feel awkward joining this couple in their 30’s for a threesome because you won’t be their first.
  • If you are reading this, you are too late because this 46-year-old not totally gay man from Middletown is only available for the next hour or so.
  • Lady, I love the blue panties.
  • He’s a man from Suffield looking for a couple to have a threesome with but ick, none of this man-to-man stuff, he doesn’t want to even touch I would think that would make having a threesome very challenging and complicated. If that’s not enough to reject him, he’s also married and 52.
  • He might possibly be Richard Gere.
  • Here’s an unusual wish from a 50-year-old gay guy from Hartford: looking for a man with “alligator thick skinned ball sacks”. Maybe he should write bad erotic gay fiction. Oh wait, he just did.
  • Ladies: he’s here to serve you, be your slave and he’s not concerned about your body type or your age (unless you are over 60). Among the things he is willing to do is this one I haven’t seen before: be used as your footstool. Enjoy, dude.
  • She’s curious and looking for a Puerto Rican woman.
  • Guys: he wants you to be “IN SHAPE”, 18-30 and he appreciates a great haircut (see example pictures). In fact, he’s willing to be your stylist and is hoping you’ll want him to shave you bald or make you look like a Marine. Prefers college boys and will “manscape” you too.
  • It’s not easy being five months pregnant, especially when you are horny as hell.
  • Now here’s an unusual ad: a 35-year-old white dude is looking for a couple. He’s at Bradley International (Hartford area airport) in the cell lot and stroking until 11 PM. He’s probably in the car with the fogged windows. That’s good as it will be hard to be seen with him, although having a threesome in a car sounds very problematic. He may get a caller, but I’m guessing it won’t include a she.
  • He’s 25, gay, from East Haven, has a small one and wants to meet other men with small ones or big ones, just to compare.
  • I don’t know how this 18-year-old gay “twink” from Tolland can strictly be a “bottom” and has a “virgin ass”. I mean, how would you know unless you tried?
  • I’m sure hoping this 23-year-old Jewitt City man looking for a woman who is holding a newborn baby in his picture is a new uncle and not a new father. He says it’s been a while since he’s been with a woman. Maybe it’s because his wife won’t put out while pregnant or nursing?
  • Here’s yet another sexual practice that I have no idea what it is, but it must be something women do with each other. She’s 21, from Meriden, is a lesbian virgin but says she is into tribbing.

More next month.

 
The Thinker

Ending the privileged caste

Perhaps you’ve seen the “This is water” video. If you haven’t, spend nine minutes or so watching it:

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and if you keep up on contemporary American politics it’s not hard to understand why. We tend to take for granted what is given to us. For example, I appreciated my father who passed away last month but at the same time I took him for granted. I assumed most sons had fathers of his caliber. It wasn’t until many decades later – and particularly after having gone through the fatherhood process myself – that I realized how exceptional he was. I was barely able to emulate him for one child. He did it for eight of us.

Most of us go through life vaguely aware at best of the enormous resources expended on our behalf. Like a fish in a fishbowl, we take them for granted. The easiest ones to appreciate are our parents, who also become the easiest to despise if they don’t live up to our expectations. It takes a village to raise a child, Hillary Clinton opined in her book, but it takes much more than a village. It takes resources from the family level to the international level. These include clean water (something the residents of Flint, Michigan no longer take for granted), committed teachers, police, our military, ministers, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, doctors, orthodontists and even diplomats. The list is endless. In general, the more you can avail yourself of these resources, the higher the standard of living and your opportunities are likely to be.

Some of us are more favored than others. As we grow to understand this, our privilege becomes painful to acknowledge and sets up cognitive dissonance. At some level we of some privilege realize that our privilege was purchased at the expense of someone else’s. The dissonance generally results in denial. I am seeing it played out on the national stage, particularly in the candidacy of Donald Trump. Trump is riding collective white cognitive dissonance to a likely Republican Party nomination. Why? It’s because it is easier for many of us whites to support someone like this than to acknowledge, or worse address the bald fact that we are greatly disproportionately privileged. It’s not that we are better than other people, it’s that we got special treatment because we live inside a privileged caste generations in the making. Just as the fish is not aware of the water most of us choose to be deliberately ignorant of our privileged status.

In fact many whites in the United States are not privileged at all. Visit Appalachia and you will see plenty of them. Their lives are just as unprivileged and harsh as is a black child’s living in public housing in Southeast Washington D.C. and may be worse. Nonetheless, many of these whites won’t acknowledge this. They sincerely believe that because they are white they are better than the non-whites. In fact, Trump and other Republican candidates are exploiting them by pretending to throw the shield of white privilege over them, privileges that largely do not exist.

The Republican message is in two parts. First, it’s that because you are white you are better and deserve privilege and if you vote for the others you will lose that privilege. Second, is that you are “temporarily impoverished millionaires”. You just need to do a few things by yourself (never with the help of others) to become successful.

Both these messages are lies but are lies that most of us cannot acknowledge even to ourselves. On the first point, we all know innately that skin color has no more bearing on your capacity than does eye color. We even say these words while doing largely the opposite, and most of us aren’t aware of our inconsistency. On the second point we also know this is a myth with only a tiny kernel of truth. This perhaps had some truth in the past, when there were fewer hurdles to success. It’s painfully obvious that today to really succeed you need lifelong coaching and resources, plus a certain amount of tenacity and luck. You cannot rise from humble shoeshine boy to Elon Musk through tenacity alone. In Musk’s case you have to inhabit a rich technological world and have both the talent and resources to ride these changes to your own success and profit. This won’t happen to poor working class Appalachians or black children in Southeast Washington D.C. It’s not completely impossible, but your odds of winning the lottery are much better. Perhaps that explains why so many middle and lower income people play the lottery in the first place.

For someone like me who is white, privileged and can see that his success is largely a result of the rich nutrient “water” in which I was raised, the question then becomes what should I do about it. Should I emulate Jesus and give all my riches to the poor? Should I help out in soup kitchens? Just how much of my treasure and time should I give back? Of course, I give back already. I do give money to charity; in fact it’s an item in the family budget, currently $250 a month. Much of it goes to Planned Parenthood, environmental causes, a local food bank and a local abused women’s shelter. On the latter, I recently had coffee with an outreach director of the local women’s shelter and offered my time as a volunteer, coach and mentor; however I could be of use. Since I am otherwise retired, I don’t have lack of time as an excuse.

Perhaps my efforts deserve a pat on the back, but considering how privileged I have been in this life it deserves not even that. Of course I am quite interested in changing the dynamics, which is why I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. It’s quite clear to me that this institutional racism and classism is baked into our laws. To truly address these problems, laborers first have to be paid a living wage. Needless to say Donald Trump and all the other Republican candidates are running away from this idea, which has the effect of keeping the same failed policies in place. This in turn ensures more decades of inequality and will effective keep the others in poverty and in their place for future generations. Increasingly, we are the others and we are voting against our own best interests. Most of the lemmings following Donald Trump are being used to their own disadvantage.

I do know at some point I will inherit some money. My father left everything to my stepmother, but their wills are similar. When she dies all of us children (including our stepmother’s) will get 5% of their estate. I have no idea how much their estate is worth, but I’m guessing it’s about a million dollars. So perhaps I will inherit $50,000 or so.

I have been talking about this future windfall with my wife. We should not need the money to improve our standard of living and in our case $50,000 really doesn’t buy a change in our standard of living anyhow. Our daughter will get a hefty share of our estate when we are gone. $50,000 though can do a whole lot for someone further down the food chain.

When the windfall finally arrives, I plan to find one underprivileged but promising person and use it to move them a rung up the ladder. Aside from greatly reducing my own standard of living (which is actually reasonably modest but better than most), giving away my inheritance is the only significantly meaningful thing I can do, but only if done right. If it moves one poor but talented person from a life behind a fast food counter to doing something that gives them both meaning and income, it may set about a cycle of virtuous changes that may take many generations to flower. I am unlikely to witness these, as I will be planted six feet underground. It seems that the best I can do to make amends is to plant a seed, water it while I can and hope.

 
The Thinker

Craigslist casual encounters weirdness: March 2016 (Worcester, MA) edition

In my monthly samplings of weird but reasonably local Craigslist casual encounters postings, I’ve missed Worcester (it’s pronounced “wooster”), Massachusetts. It’s about an hour east of where we are living. I don’t think about it principally because I haven’t visited it, just driven through it instead. But it is Massachusetts’ second largest city with close to 200,000 people. Situated a bit outside Boston’s outer beltway, it’s had a reputation for being a faded industrial city, one of many here in the Northeast. It also has its own Craigslist community so it’s likely to have plenty of people into weird stuff. I’ll get to that in a minute.

But first, let’s take a look at my February Craigslist post statistics. It’s been a very slow month for fans of my Craigslist posts. I can document at only 156 web hits in February, but site traffic in general was very slow last month. There were just 1514 web page views, so my Craigslist traffic was just ten percent of total traffic. 69 of those hits were for my popular May 2015 post about Hartford’s Craigslist casual encounters postings.

There is a light snow falling here today. Let’s see if this is suppressing the creativity of posters in the Worcester area. Pulling up the first page of posts I see:

  • 25 men looking for a woman
  • 61 men looking for man
  • 4 men looking for a couple
  • 2 men looking for a transgender
  • 5 women looking for a man
  • 0 women looking for a woman or a couple
  • 0 couples looking for anyone
  • 1 transgender looking for a man

So right off the bat it looks like men will be dominating the posts this month. Here we go!

  • Do you know what a tribute is? I mean in the kinky world of Craigslist. I had to look it up but it apparently involves a man jerking off on a picture of a hot woman and perhaps sending it to the woman hoping she will be aroused. If I were a woman and received one of these I would be calling the cops not to mention running for the Purex! In any event here’s a definitely weird post from a 52-year-old man from Acton looking for a man who will jerk him off on a picture of his wife. Curiously you have to do this while he is actually watching her, albeit surreptitiously, clothed or naked. Wow! This is exactly the sort of gem that makes this area so special! Just when you think you have seen it all, something new pops up. And it was the first post at the top of the page!
  • Even if you are “gurl” friendly, you will want to avoid this ugly “woman” from Milford. “She” gives you plenty of pictures just in case the first one isn’t enough to convince you to hurry to the next ad. Maybe you should choose this 37-year-old gurl.
  • I’m definitely behind on how sex reassignment surgery is done. Not feeling the inclination myself, it’s a mystery to me how the surgeons do this magic. Apparently in male to female surgery, the surgeon gets to shape the new woman’s private parts including her most sensitive spot, the clitoris. And that’s what this 51-year-old Worcester man is looking for: a new woman with an extra large clitoris. Presumably nature doesn’t provide this naturally to many women. It also helps if you are a “squirter”. Anyhow, if you got one, hit him up! He’d best not wait by his mailbox for replies.
  • He’s 52, divorced, from Shrewsbury and has a sandbox he wants a woman to play in with him. Ladies, bring your plastic shovel and bucket!
  • This is strange: a man looking for a couple so the woman can watch while he deep throats her husband. All this plus he’s 58. He must be particular however as you must live in Worcester.
  • If you are a 23-year-old male virgin perhaps making your first sexual experience with a couple is not a bad way to get introduced to sex. It’s unclear what role if any the husband has in this other than as voyeur. Just in case the couple ad doesn’t work out he also has a more traditional ad.
  • He’s 46-years-old, a recent widower and actually from Rhode Island and needs a fuck buddy while presumably he works through his grief. Or maybe since he’s looking he’s beyond that stage. Anyhow, unlike most of these posters he looks like a normal guy, so hit him up, ladies.
  • There are lots of bad things that can happen in a casual encounter, but a lot that can be avoided. Here’s a gay 45-year-old man from Winchendon who wants you to bring a camera so you can join him in taking pictures of them naked. As I’ve noted before, testosterone makes men suggest crazy things and this is definitely one of them.
  • He’s 42 and from Webster and is looking for Jennifer Sherman so that he can peak at her through her window again. I do hope this was consensual last time. Any Jennifer Shermans in the Webster area should lie low for a while and if asked say it must have been that other Jennifer Sherman. Which brings up another unwritten rule for these encounters: if you are stupid enough to go through with them, never tell him your last name.
  • He’s young, from Worcester, has nice abs and wants to see you (a woman) gain weight. No, really!
  • She 27 and really likes dominant men, so much so that her dominant husband is not dominant enough. So hubby needs help from a second super dominant man to finally put her in her place.
  • In a similar vein, here’s a couple from Worcester looking for a gay or bi guy to join them because she gets off on seeing man on man, or at least a man enjoying her husband. That sounds fair given that so many men are into watching lesbians. The ultimate goal here is double penetration of the same orifice.

While few women are posting in Worcester, I am impressed by the weird postings mostly from men in Worcester, so it’s definitely worth a return visit.

More in April.

 
The Thinker

The art and value of meeting up using meetup.com

Meetings once consumed my life. It was hard to get actual work done because I was too busy attending meetings. Shuffling from conference room to conference room all day drove me nuts since so little of the conversation was productive. Over time and mainly due to changing jobs more of my meetings became virtual. There were still plenty of meetings but they mainly involved conference lines and Webex sessions while you sat at your desks. Teams stared at virtual shared screens, where usually someone was pasting notes, but often we were off to look at websites collaboratively. When we were not in meetings there was continuous email and instant messaging streaming back and forth. You tried to work while all this was going on.

Mostly this went away when I retired. At first it was welcome but over time it felt weird. I am not wholly retired. To keep myself busy I started consulting part time. My work happens from home but my clients are all over the Internet. Mostly I use email, but occasionally when I need some face time I will kick up a Skype session with a client. POTS (plain old telephone service) works too for my clients who are less technologically fluent. My instant messaging service now is just Skype and it’s mostly with family.

Meeting in person is becoming a lost art. But when you work alone, as so many of us do these days in our new telecommuting universe, too much alone time is not good. You want to meet new people but it can be hard. There are the neighbors. Fortunately I live in a very social 55+ community, so there is plenty of neighborliness to be had, including a monthly guys-only dinner night and various social events. There is church but I’ve been slow to reengage in Unitarian Universalism since I moved. There are people you might chat with at the store, on the bike trail or at the park, but these are ephemeral. So mostly I talk to my spouse and my cats these days.

Being introverted it doesn’t particularly bother me to be somewhat socially isolated, but I did miss communing with fellow tech-heads. It used to be I lived in a nutrient-rich tech universe during my working hours. Now I can read stuff online but it’s not the same as direct person-to-person exchange and collaboration.

So I have been meeting up instead. In the 21st century this means going to meetup.com and finding events worth attending where you get to sit down with people who are essentially strangers and chat about something you have in common. Locally there are all sorts of meet ups I could attend, some of them pretty weird. For example, there is a Dr. Who meet up that I’ve encourage my wife to go to, since she is a Dr. Who fan, which I am not. There is a group for polyamorous people. For you unenlightened, this means people who feel pulled to having more than one intimate/romantic relationship at a time, ideally in the same household, and often with different genders, where ideally no jealousy is happening. Okay, whatever, not for me. Looking at my local meetup.com calendar I find that there are all sorts of stuff going on. Local atheists are meeting tomorrow night to take on Scientology. Guided mediation and shamanic drum journeying is happening on Tuesday. There is a Yoga & Beer meet up on Wednesday. I don’t know what they could possibly have in common.

Still, you go to meetup.com to find people like you. Given that I’m a techie I’m interested in techie meet ups. Surprising there is quite a bit of this stuff out here in Western Massachusetts. At first I found the experience a bit nervy, since I’m not the type to go into bars and talk with strangers. But to go to a restaurant or a meeting room in a library and talk with a bunch of tech people, well, all-righty then!

It started last summer when I ventured to a “Webdive”, which is basically a bunch of tech people (usually just guys) meeting at a watering hole in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts. There they drink beer, eat bar food and yammer on mostly about technical stuff. The bar food didn’t impress me but the quality of the technical conversation did. There was quite a buzz about AngularJS, a Javascript framework, and its many virtues. I was still in the jQuery world. It was useful to know this is where trends were going in many instances. Without the meet up, I likely would never have known.

Still, it’s hard to hold a meaningful conversation in a noisy bar. I didn’t need the calories either, although it was useful to find out how much tech was actually going on here in Western Massachusetts, where it seems hidden. So I started attending another meet up in Easthampton, Massachusetts. There in an old industrial building I met others in a startup’s office interested in “full stack” development. This turned into a much more interesting meeting, as the topics were topical and relevant. Wednesday night found about a dozen of us watching a demonstration of Travis, software used to continuously compile, test and deploy complex software systems. It’s neat stuff.

Last night I was at yet another meet up, this one across the Connecticut River in Amherst, on search marketing for websites. I happened to be friends with Roger the organizer, who I did some work for. While not particularly technical it was fascinating to learn how search engines (Google in particular) rank websites and what you can do to make your website more noticed by search engines. There is a lot of misinformation out there. We all found it relevant and useful. Not one of us walked out. We were so immersed in the stuff that we almost missed the library’s closing time.

Meet ups, principally facilitated by meetup.com are turning out to be important to me, both to meet like-minded people but also to keep up my technical prowess. There is also a lot of marketing going on between attendees. You learn not just to bring a notebook and take notes but also to bring business cards, because someone or more will probably want one. Curiously, these business cards come in handy. I got a query from a local network of technical people who needed some fast turnaround on a WordPress job. I was swamped, but I pulled out the business card of a guy who gave me his at a meet up. I recalled that he had the skills this person was looking for. He got some work and he sent me a little thank you note afterward.

So meet ups can be both interesting and profitable. There is no substitute for face-to-face encounters, particularly if you work alone. Meet ups are an easy way to market yourself and to keep up your skills, as well as meet other people you might want to collaborate with on future projects. You will often learn about local opportunities or listen to some interesting suggestions on markets in the area that need to be filled.

All this, plus I feel less socially isolated. I guess I’m a meetup.com kind of person after all.

 
The Thinker

Craigslist casual encounter weirdness: February 2016 (Hartford CT) edition

I’m back indulging my monthly habit of looking into naughty areas of the Internet. I’m back to my most recent favorite spot: Hartford, Connecticut. I’m there to see what crazy shenanigans its residents hope to get into this weekend by hooking up with strangers using Craigslist’s casual encounters section. Few of these potential encounters will actually happen, at least on Craigslist, but when posting on Craigslist it helps to think not just big but grandiose. In recent months I looked at postings in both Boston (feh!) and Albany, New York (hmm), but Hartford (about an hour’s drive south of me) has postings that rarely disappoint. Let’s find out who’s hoping to shake their booties down in Connecticut’s capital this first Saturday in February.

But first: a look at my January statistics. There were at least 260 web page views for these posts on my site last month, with the top rated post my first May 2015 review of Hartford’s postings (96 views). That’s nearly forty more page views than in December and about 11% of my web page views in January, which is about average.

On the first page of ads in Hartford this afternoon I see:

  • 20 men looking for women
  • 57 men looking for men
  • 7 men looking for a couple
  • 1 man looking for multiple women
  • 2 men looking for multiple men
  • 1 group of men looking for a man
  • 5 women looking for men
  • 1 woman looking for a woman
  • 2 transgender women looking for a man
  • 1 couple looking for a woman

So there are lots of horny gay men posting this cold and snow-covered first Saturday in February. Let’s dig in to the posts:

  • A 45-year-old Farmington man does not have so much as a foot fetish as a toe fetish. He’ll massage your feet and kiss your toes, but curiously makes no suggestion of moving toward further intimacy. It’s probably just as well as he’s unlikely to get any takers, unless she is a working “gurl”. Considering the next post is also from a 45-year-old Farmington man, it looks like he is also interested in watching couples in his hotel room.
  • She’s 27, a big (fat) girl, but is looking for a special kind of guy: skinny but well endowed, 9 inches plus and thick. She wants photographic proof and asks that you host their booty call. Oh, and stop flagging her ad. Lady, if I were you I’d go with this guy from Windsor.
  • This 68-year-old widowed gay man seems very particular of who he will service. You have to be youngish but it’s not clear what that means when you are 68. The good news is you don’t have to reciprocate, which is probably just as well as I’m betting he has erectile dysfunction.
  • She’s virtually 29, lives near Bristol and really wants to try her own gender for the first time. She’s into lesbian porn but has a few unique requirements, including that you must be shaved below the waist. Dominant women preferred.
  • It’s odd to see what looks like a legitimate ad from a woman looking for a man, but this black woman, age 23, has one and she’s into white guys. Looks like she’s got the condom thing already figured out so no point in stopping by the CVS first.
  • Ladies: sounds like a good deal. He’s a generous (read “willing to pay”) man who simply wants a “pillow princess” to give to oral love to. You don’t have to do anything else. There is no clue what he looks like but just in case he’s ugly, obese and/or very old you might prefer to keep a blindfold handy. Don’t feel that this will be your best offer, however. This 50-year-old man from Southwick is also interested in covering you with sugar.
  • It’s not uncommon to find people posting for family role-play, i.e. “daddy/daughter”, “brother/sister” etc. This is the first post I’ve seen for a daughter looking for a mommy. She’s in her late 30s, and mommy must be 45+. Gosh, mommy started pushing them out young!
  • There are few things worse than going to the Hartford Cinema Arts Theater where XXX movies run all day and night and having to get off by watching the naughty action on the screen instead of in the seats. Which is why since couples occasionally show up to do the nasty and invite audience participation, this 40-year-old man wants to hook up with you there, and he’s hoping the husband is a cuckold.
  • This 30-year-old gay man from Wethersfield is trying to set some sort of record on how many men will take him orally or anally this weekend. Why do I think I see a HIV+ sign above his pictures of his ass? Probably because in the last picture he’s got a bruise on the right cheek. Avoid.
  • It’s curious how a pedestrian ad can seem kinky in this section. He’s 59, looking for a woman and is almost waxing poetic about how he’s working to be at the forefront of American history and will be creating millions of jobs. He’s even posted his name: Roy E. Cline. Umm, Roy, ever hear of okcupid.com or eHarmony?
  • He’s a gay guy very disturbed by the poor quality of men at Hartford’s local glory holes. Speaking of glory holes, here’s a couple from New Britain looking to find one for the wife to try out.
  • Can a woman be a whore to another woman? This 26-year-old “very submissive” and fit woman wants to find out.
  • You would think that a married man who want to see their woman with another man would just give up, particularly when the woman doesn’t want to move beyond fantasy. This 36-year-old man from Windsor is seeking to hire an endowed personal trainer who will seduce his wife.
  • Guys, if you are going to try a “gurl”, go with this 25-year-old “woman”.

More in March.

 
The Thinker

Craigslist casual encounters weirdness: January 2016 (Albany NY) edition

It skipped my mind to survey Craigslist’s casual encounters section this month until now. I’ve been trying to do it on the first Friday of the month, which this year was New Years Day and I had statistics to post instead. Moreover, I forgot it yesterday, on the second Friday. But it is still the weekend, and that’s when these posts tend to be at their weirdest. I was disappointed in my survey of Boston’s posts in December but I was impressed when I surveyed Albany, New York last year. So I’m off to Albany again this month hoping to strike weird posting gold again.

First to note that Google Analytics recorded at least 221 page views for these posts last month. That’s 22 more than in November. However, my traffic was up some fifty percent in December so this was only six percent of total traffic of 3652 page views. 52 of those views were for my first review of the Hartford, Connecticut site in May of last year.

Who’s posting this Saturday in the Albany metro area? On the first page of postings I see:

  • 25 men are looking for a woman
  • 53 men are looking for a man
  • 12 men are seeking a couple
  • 1 man is looking for a transgender
  • 3 women are looking for a man
  • 0 women are looking for woman or anyone else
  • 1 couple is looking for a man
  • 1 couple is looking for a woman
  • 3 transgender individuals are looking for a man

And we’re off:

  • Men, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be transformed into a woman? Umm, no, at least not me. Now that I think about it I’m sure Frankenstein would look prettier in a dress. However, this “gurl” (45) and her friends are hosting a makeover party for the serious and experienced. You can bring a wardrobe but they have their own pretty extensive wardrobe too. Maybe they take pictures when they are done, and you can attach them in your next Craigslist post. Appropriately, these gurls are from Queensbury. Looking at “her” pictures, she could use a makeover herself. I’m afraid not even a quart of Jack Daniels would convince me to make a pass at her.
  • Meanwhile, this gurl in Latham is looking for a real girl (woman) to dress her up.
  • Speaking of the transgendered, this “gurl” is looking to make her first appearance at Adult World this weekend, if she can summon up the nerve. I’m guessing this is the local poorly lit porn shop. Basically she needs a sponsor so if you go there regularly, grab her arm and help “Ashley” through the door.
  • Women aren’t the only ones in this section looking to trade sex for money. This six foot black gay man from Albany with nine inches to spare is looking for a rose. Make that two roses. I guess he figures those extra inches are worth the extra money.
  • They are a couple looking for a woman and she wants a lap dance. If you dance well enough, she will give you your reward.
  • You wouldn’t think a couple in their 50’s would need to be taught how to have sex, but this couple from Fulton County needs help learning how to swing. Lesson #1: there is (usually) no actual swing involved.
  • He’s late 40s, from Albany, married and says he has his wife’s permission to hook up with you, a blonde woman. Why am I suspicious? Because I’m betting he is this poster.
  • He’s just another horny 38-year-old married guy who pines for his own sex. He wants to discreetly hook up with a similar married guy at his hotel room near the Albany airport on January 22 when he will be in town. Apparently he is an ex Boy Scout because he plays safe and here he is proving he knows how to be prepared, as two weeks should be plenty of time to screen dates. Maybe he should hookup with this dude.
  • Here’s the only legitimate young couple looking for a man post tonight, and they have very explicit pictures to prove it.
  • He’s 37 and was weaned too early; in fact he craves the breast milk. If you have some to spare, he’ll be your milking machine.
  • The last time I looked at Albany’s postings I found a guy that wanted to bottom another guy in a Schenectady bookstore. Weird, but today I found a 26-year-old man who wants to orally service a guy in a Troy bookstore. Perhaps it’s the same dude. I had no idea that bookstores were favorite spots for perverts and voyeurs. Next time I’m in a Barnes & Noble, I’ll keep a sharper eye out.
  • Draya is a 21-year-old working “gurl” and I guess if I had to cross the transgender and color line “she” would make a great choice. Not sure I could afford “her” however.
  • Some married men just want to be humiliated, i.e. sort of get off with a woman by getting no sex. Make love to his wife while berating him. It’s a strange idea of “fun”.
  • Not many men are interested in age 60+ women. Not many … unless you are divorced and 59 years old.
  • Speaking of older men, he’s 63, chubby and wants a hand job from a similarly chubby and age-appropriate woman. I hope that Cialis prescription has been recently filled.
  • If I were a woman looking for a woman I’d definitely check out this buxom beauty, 32, from Albany. I wouldn’t say no to this 46-year-old blonde honey looking for a woman half her age either.
  • They are a couple looking for another man but with no male-to-male contact. In fact, all that will happen is she will give you a hand job and I guess he watches. They are in their 30’s and from Albany.
  • I thought slavery was illegal but this couple in their 20s wants to own you (a woman). Expect to be degraded; in fact degrading may be putting it too mildly.
  • Ladies, this man would like to get to know you over coffee, but you’ll know him quite well before you ever get to the coffee shop, at least what he’s packing. It sounds like he’ll pass the truth-in-packaging law but don’t expect to spend much time sipping coffee.

More next month.

 
The Thinker

Retirement is great (for introverts)

So what’s it like being retired? I can faithfully report that it’s great! But it’s only recently that I figured out why it’s great. It’s great because I’m an introvert.

Doubtless you have heard stories about how many people are miserable in retirement. There is nothing to do, you hear. That is not a problem for me at all. I still like to keep busy, although I do it now mostly at home as opposed to doing it in an office. When I worked in an office though much of what I did was not a whole lot of fun. It’s the nature of work. I was fortunate enough to have a career that meant that a lot of work was fun, but a lot of it (probably most of it) wasn’t fun. The not fun part included a lot of management. That’s no longer a problem. To the extent I “work” in retirement it’s for fun, and it’s doing nerdy stuff that I enjoy doing.

My theory is that those who are miserable in retirement are extraverts. Extraverts thrive on social interaction. In retirement unless you plan your transition very well extraverts are likely to feel a loss of social connection. So lots of retirees volunteer, join clubs, hang out at church or engage in community events. If successful they can energize themselves socially the way they used to do when they worked. However, it is likely to be a challenge.

That’s not a problem for us introverts. We get energy not by cutting ourselves off socially but by engaging in problem solving activities that we enjoy. I have a long list of things I want to do, most of them nerdish, and it’s likely I simply won’t have time to get to more than a handful of them. There are so many choices on any particular day it’s hard to know where to start. And if I don’t want to start on a particular day and instead spend it surfing the web reading political content, I can do that with no feelings of guilt.

Curiously I still work, I just do the stuff I wanted to do when employed but largely couldn’t due to my position and responsibilities. I don’t require the income but it’s nice to earn some income, so I consult as work comes in. I have a website. People send me queries. I fix their Internet-related problems from the convenience of my office. I bill them and they pay me, usually through PayPal. Most of the social interaction is via email, but occasionally I’m chatting with a client on Skype, which I’ve done twice this week.

And while this nerdish work usually involves untying some electronic knots, occasionally I end up participating in a larger cause. I once wrote that I did some work for a porn star. I did not have to take off my clothes but I did have to fix her forum. I’m in something similar now. She’s a woman that used to be in the prostitution business (“adult professionals”, as she calls it) and is trying to organize these women. There are lots of problems if you provide sex as a service. Aside from the possibility of contracting a disease, there are a lot of creepy clients out there. This woman wants to create a service so vetted clients can connect with vetted “adult professionals”. No, this is not in the United States. I won’t mention too much more except I am part of a team she is hiring to get this done.

(I personally think prostitution should be legalized, taxed and regulated. Moreover, I certainly care about women so I want women that choose to be in this business to be as safe as possible. So it’s consistent with my values and furthers a larger cause. It’s safe to say that I would never meet such people otherwise. I have never used a prostitute and can’t imagine ever doing so. For a little while though doing work like this lets me peek behind the lace curtain and it’s interesting.)

When there are no clients who want to exchange my services for money, there are some open source projects I contribute to. Because I am no longer engaged daily with people doing information technology, I attend local meet ups instead. A few weeks ago I attended a seminar on cloud computing, comparing Amazon Web Services with Google Compute Engine. So I do get around socially among a limited set of people a lot like me, and it’s both fun and educational.

I had dreams of writing custom apps in retirement for paying clients but I haven’t even started looking at that. The other work has kept me too busy. And there are plenty of things I can do during the day that are not work related. I can go biking or walking, and I usually do one of these a day. My pension pays most of the bills. My supplemental income improves my standard of living but mainly keeps me engaged in a profession, helps me feel useful and makes me feel nerdishly happy.

I also do most of the household management. This probably falls into the category of work. I keep the books. I propose a budget. I track our spending. I do a lot of the housework and shopping as well. This sort of work is part of living, but I make it as fun as I can. One example: I’ve created a spreadsheet that finely estimates my probable state and federal income taxes, so I can carefully adjust withholding amounts.

So if you are introverted you are probably really going to like retirement. It’s you extraverts that have to worry. You will have to plan to replace the social interaction that came with work with a lot of other stuff instead.

For me this is truly the best time of life. I can spend most of my time doing stuff I like, without the crushing responsibilities that come with your middle years like child rearing, paying the mortgage and putting your kids through college. What to do next is never a problem. It’s almost guaranteed to put a smile to my face.

 

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