Friday night

At about 6:30 I noticed something with my kitty’s eye — I spent the entire evening and tonight in the emergency hospital. Tomorrow we have surgery. I don’t know if he’ll keep the sight in his eye; 11 months old and he has a thorn stuck in his eye. I have been told that he is in a lot of pain, and they gave me four kinds of meds on various schedules — one for pain that I wasn’t supposed to have, in a syringe — to make it to tomorrow, on a schedule that has me administering drops and salve every 3 hours. I just keep holding him. I’m so glad I’m not alone this weekend. My heart hurts.

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Please pass the porn

In a rare moment, I answered my phone:

he: “What are you doing?”
me: “I just got out of the shower.”
he: “Are you naked?”
me: “Pretty much.”
he: “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
me: “Eeeek!”

It’s not what you think — or maybe it is. Within 20 minutes Jonno was in my kitchen molesting my coffeemaker (“Can I drink out of the Hustler mug?!”) and on my couch needing blankets and pillows and wifi and publishing Fleshbot and playing horrible bad rock music set to a “support our troops gangbang” sent to us via tips@fleshbot (“America, fuck yeah! Terrorists can lick my balls! America, fuck yeah!”). My house is now Fleshbot ground zero for the weekend. Send help!

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I want to kick Yahoo Mail in the balls

I just sent out 191 rejection letters for submissions to Best Women’s Erotica 2007. I still have more to send. For some fucked up reason I decided to use Yahoo as my mail client for book subs. From the first reply to the last, I was stopped mid-send by Yahoo’s spam guard and required to decode a 4-6 number and (uppercase/lowercase) letter character combination. It was *so* not fair. All but 13 of the replies (done by hand, not in a batch) stopped me and made me solve an obfuscated string of characters. I got two wrong.

It reminded me of being a kid; I started reading really really early — I remember starting school a year ahead of everyone and then being pulled out of kindergarten to be put in a 4th grade reading class. I could read the books no problem, but fell asleep because reading class was during my naptime. At that time in my life, my mom took me on a lot of long trips to Stanford to sit and do tests and solve puzzles just like the Yahoo ones (my mom was a Stanford engineering graduate, maybe that’s why she took me there when I scared her by being able to read so soon).

Anyway, yay I got all the fucking puzzles right. I’m a mutant. I’m never, ever using Yahoo again; it’s a terrible mail service. I have a friend who works at Yahoo, and guess what? She doesn’t use Yahoo Mail.

On another note, isn’t that a pretty cover? I think the book *just* showed up on Amazon, because I saw the cover a while ago and was asked to hold off on blogging about it. What’s cool is that the model emailed me to say how excited she is to be on the cover — with her girlfriend going down on her, wow. I don’t think you can tell, though, so Barnes and Noble won’t get their panties in too much of a bunch. No more than usual, anyway. Yay for sexy covers!

Bored tonight? Check out Perversion for Profit. Better yet, watch the amazing Wonder Woman video on my pal Chriso’s blog! I’m going to go spin around in circles in my living room now.

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G33k Mafia

geek mafiaSo at BEA, Lucky Lana and I are walking around through all the white, washed, dockered masses with our black clothes and goth attitudes and tattoos blazing, and we see someone waving frantically at us down the aisle. It’s a girl — a cute girl! “Hey, Hey! I want you to have one of these! You need this!” She shoves a copy of Rick Dakan’s G33K MAFIA into my hands. A glow spreads over me, replacing the acrid taste of jesus and Midwest Mom Mullets in my mouth. “Yes.” I smile. “I need this.”

I’ve only read a little bit, so I can’t vouch for a lot, but it’s awfully cute. Here’s an excerpt:

“Sitting at the bar in Senor Goldstein’s Mexican restaurant in San Jose, California, Paul’s own artwork engaged him for the first time in months, maybe years. Under other circumstances, that would have made him happy. But today’s circumstances allowed only two emotions: despair and rage. Not wanting to succumb to the former, and not quite wanting to buy a gun and go back to the office, he decided to draw.

“Paul turned to a fresh page and had begun to sketch his most elaborate revenge scheme yet whan a woman walked into his line of vision. There were four of five other women in the resaurant already (most of them employees), but this one stood out. This one would’ve stood out anywhere. Her hair, cut short and spiky, was dyed a magenta so bright it seemed to glow. She wore a tight, violet t-shirt, baggy olive drab shorts that hung on shapely hips, and heavy black boots with two inch thick soles. She had a faded leather messenger bag slung across her chest, the strap pressing between her breasts. If Paul had to guess, she wasn’t wearing a bra. She definitely wasn’t your average Silicon Valley techie on an early lunch break, and certainly not a restaurant employee.”

Yup, he’s a wronged game designer and she’s in the g33k mafia, and I even skimmed ahead to find some bend-over-boyfriend dialogue, lots of revenge, hacking, gunplay and annoying right-wingers who are doing it “for the children”. This book just might have it all. Well anyway, I carried it all around BEA like a badge. Just so people would know. You know?

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Exclusive: Alan Moore’s erotic Lost Girls

lost girlsSometimes I wake up and my inbox is full of surprises — but this has to be one of the top five for sure. I’ve long, long been a fan of comic writer Alan Moore, who many of you will recognize from writing/creating Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta, and the first two sets of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (among others; though my cult faves of his are The Killing Joke and Brought to Light). So it’s with great, excited sleepless joy that I get to show you exclusive samples from his upcoming work Lost Girls (with Melinda Gebbie), featuring explicit sex — portrayed in a compelling, highly pleasurable way. Like the setting of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lost Girls has Moore revisiting characters from Victorian fiction, where the main female characters from Neverland, Wonderland and Oz meet as adults in a strange hotel in 1913 to set out on a sexual adventure together.

Why did they ask *me*? Because they thought I would present the work in an honest and respectful way, which seems difficult to come by these days when it comes to sex (especially for the sake of pleasure). In an interview about the book, sent to me in the email, Alan Moore said:

“It presents this material in a way which is every bit as sensual and beautiful and at times, startling, as the actual sexual act itself can be. I think that was probably why we did it. The sexual imagination, which is the biggest part of sexuality, is not well served in our culture, and I really don’t understand why that should be. The only way that we can talk about or refer to sex — we have two choices: we can either do it in grubby works of pornography that will be read by people who are desperately ashamed of what they are reading, or we can discuss sex in the clinical manner of sex manuals or The Joy of Sex. Neither of these things have got anything that I, or probably most other normal people actually associate with our sexuality. I doubt that many of us are clinical about our sexuality, or wish to be sleazy about our sexuality either, but these seem to be the only two options where this material can even be discussed — where the sexual imagination can even be talked about. That startling omission in culture was probably the biggest impetus behind Lost Girls — we felt that there ought to be something like that.”

Read the first half of the interview with Alan Moore on Lost Girls here.

Not that I’m *not* a fan of sleaze or grubby porn, but he’s hit on it. Our culture gives us either/or messages all the time about sex. And we’re all *so over* it. As if to prove it, if you want to get your hands on a copy of Lost Girls, you’re going to have to pre-order it, either via the publisher Top Shelf‘s site, Amazon or a comic shop. Borders is not touching it, and I was also told no comic shop will be ordering many, if any shelf copies, save Comic Relief in Berkley and the like…

Enjoy the art I was so graciously allowed to post, after the jump. Thanks, Matt!

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[Video] Metropolis: Maria

It’s four minutes of pure beauty — I just stumbled across this mesmerizing scene from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on YouTube. It’s the sexiest scene in the whole movie, where the mad scientist tramsmutes the human female into a humanistic android in a visually cacauphonous art deco scene. I find it totally soothing and sexually compelling. Watch and relax. Can anyone identify the music?

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The literal virtual clusterfuck

rebel hopeMy friend Scott is a huge Second Life fan. At his New Year’s party we spent a tipsy few minutes in the kitchen where he explained why I should be interested in it, and about its various controversies — which interested me more. I went home and signed up, downloaded it, and spent the next several hours trying to walk in a straight line. I knew I’d never get laid if I couldn’t stop plummeting down ravines or unintentionally “flying” into the side of buildings.

If you’re reading this wondering what the hell I’m talking about, Second Life is an online multiplayer “game” where people log on, create animated avatars and interact in various ways. Most of what goes on in SL is sex, and I was impressed that they were so open about the sexual elements (even providing porn to watch and featuring a billion places to hook up), and had a refreshing all-gender, all-orientations-are-welcome attitude on every level of the interface. Nothing was candy-coated “for women” or sexist, and they totally seemed to understand that the users wanted to enjoy and immerse themselves comepletely into fantasy genders, shapes and fetishistic expressions of whatever really turned them on.

The problem is that I don’t have the time to play things like this, I’m on a Mac Mini so it doesn’t look right, and I don’t really need to find anyone to hook up with. Plus, you can’t really kill anyone, so as a game it doesn’t attract me. (You *knew* I was that kind of girl.) But I was really surprised and happy to find out that someone I’ve known for a long time works at SL — he’s been on training staff over the years at San Francisco Sex Information when I’ve lectured there. That at least in part explains the nonjudgemental attitude about sex, who has it, and how that permeates the landscape at SL. Like me, SL is a San Francisco native.

Computer-based fucking has been around since computers landed in consumers’ hands, and the hot and dirty hookup has been happening online since humans have been online. That’s the first thing I wanted to do on the web — see some sex, get off. So its no wonder multiplayer things like Second Life are emerging and becoming popular; there are new ones springing up faster than I can burn through two double-A batteries with a Japanese vibrator. Just check out qDot’s MMOrgy to get a sense of what’s going on here. It’s huge.

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So (to name a few) there’s Second Life, Red Light Center (sound alert) and the nauseatingly overhyped (and unreleased) Naughty America (sound alert: also, will they go the way of Spend the Night?). But do any of them have what it takes to make users want to log on and fuck like bunnies? A zillion years ago (in web years) I wrote an article for AVNOnline about Flickr (popup warning) and how it could be used as an awesome social networking sex site — this was before Flickr had a lot of users and waaaay before they got bought by Yahoo and became conservative in their public photo filtering. The same thing happened of course to; they got taken over by a new regime that wanted to clean it up, increase clicks and pageviews and pander to conservative advertisers, thus ruining it for the majority of users who were there to find community, be sexual, and network and hang out. As adults. In the article, I posited that what we needed was “ with gloryholes”. When Tribe tried to unsexify itself behind a bullshit 2257 legal screen, I certainly enjoyed ripping their (former) marketing director a new one when he tried to confront me at a holiday party last year.

So it was with a bit of dismay that I read Internet Life’s article The World of Digital Sex Games, which seems like little more than a Naughty America press release but is still interesting for a variety of reasons. Why is it like those oh-so-familiar regurgitated press releases that make up all of the content on sites like AVN? Because first off, the title is misleading; it’s only about one game. Too bad. It would be nice to have a real overview of all these games, and at least by someone who has tried them. And you pretty much miss the point if you don’t examine these games in context of their rivals. But what’s interesting (aside from the amazing fact that a game that isn’t even out yet got a 6-page writeup), is the way the game is explained and marketed — and here’s where my dismay comes in.

It’s difficult to peel away the author’s layer of attitude about sex to see what she’s trying to say but I think it’s a good indicator of how these games are going to be treated in the press. Which, as we all know, is vastly different than the users’ experience, attitudes and feelings. Here, we get the usual pastiche of “omg, someone put sex in the Sims!” and a lot of “heh-heh, sex!” The drama of the sexuality is overplayed and titillating, and down-to-the-bone heterosexual. There’s a pervasive attitude of the hookups leading to more — even marriage is suggested at one point. But what kills me is that tired old dead horse that just keeps getitng whipped and whipped and whipped — the pages of explanation on how they’re marketing the game toward women, and why they would do such a thing.

Because we need special marketing, otherwise we can’t come. Or, if the marketing is a little too forceful at first, or if you don’t move your tagline a centimeter to the right when we get really quiet, it’s going to take us longer to come in your face.

You know what I mean. My point is that the biggest flaw in the article is also the flaw in the game, and thus the flaw in marketing anything sexual “for women.” They state outright that they’re aiming at a female market to bring in more men; they’re also claming it’s a “dating site”. So they want it to be less “dirty” and crass to market to a wider, more mainstream audience (women). That softens it up — which is what ruins it, the perception of softening porn up with contrived relationships and Hallmark romance because us women are all just a bunch of pussies when it comes to fucking. We scare easy, like fillies, and our pocketbooks gentle down real good when you wave a “life partner” in our faces. As if. Yes, everyone wants love on one level or another, but everyone also wants to jack off on a fairly regular basis, and the two are not mutually exclusive.

Not to mention how, in my opinion, this all misses the point of online mmorgy games: these games bring us the promise of being able to be anything and anyone we want to in a sexual way — and this seldom fits in the confines of narrow mainstream heterosexual definitions. It’s like for these people sex comes in a holy hetero trinity of missionary, oral and anal. A big triangle on the playground. Which is fine if all you want to do is run around in circles all day. Most people don’t.

Anyway, Second Life seems to get it. Even if I can’t enact my Praying Mantis fantasies. I still wish I could find a with gloryholes. We’ll see who yells at me about this post when I’m onstage at the Sex in Video Games Conference next month.

* Image of Post Six Grrrl Rebel Hope via the Second Life Herald.

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