Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fake friends really helped me get laid

A recent New York Times article titled "Too Few Friends? A Web Site Lets You Buy Some (and They’re Hot)" takes a gander at some grand/gross ideas for managing your online networks, which in reality (I guess this is reality) might make me sad if they ended up popular.

Bright idea #1: fakeyourspace.com lets you buy MySpace, Facebook, Consumating and Friendster friends for $.99 a month. You can even see which "friends" have been bought the most times...and are therefore more guaranteed to help you get popular. You can even have a fake friend pretend that they are dating you by sending all sorts of messages/comments. Hmmm. The last time I logged into MySpace there were three friend requests from fake profiles trying to befriendme for free. Are these services really necessary? View a few of my fake friends here: Autumn and Red Hot'n'Sexy Tommy's chicks. Or check out this great story about kicking some fake-friend ass by blogger Micheal D. If you really think that having hot friendsters will make you popular, why not create profiles of fake people by yourself and make them virtually fawn over you?...at least it would be more creative.

Bright ideas #2: MobileAlibi.com lets you select a time to be called so that you can exit unsavory situations. You can choose from Chris or Samantha's voice. The problem is, when I tried to test it out, it wouldn't work. Popularitydialer.com offers a similar service. They also suggest that recieving calls in public or while on a date can actually improve your popularity because others overtly or inadvertantly listen in. In their own words: "Have you ever been in a situation where you wished your cell phone would ring? Maybe you wanted to look extra important or popular on that hot date. Or maybe you just needed an excuse to escape from an unpleasant meeting." If my new date answered their cell phone during our date and chatted with someone else because they tought it would make me like them more...I'd go home and have a beer by myself.

And lastly, the same people that brought you Fakeyourspace.com, now offer Breakyourspace.com. Now you can easily break up with any or all of your online friends and avoid the pain of doing it yourself. My favorite part of the site is a little FAQ: "Can I break up with my significant other?" Answer: "Yes you can. While although we do not recommend using our service as a means for breaking up any of your real life relationships, we do provide the service." The redeeming quality about Breakyourspace is that you can choose a themed messenger to deliver the bad news. My favorites by far are: "I want a divorce," featuring a broken wedding band, "I'm suing your ass," featuring a little wooden gavel and "I blame you," with some lovely finger pointing.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kink.com NEWS

This is no doubt old hat by now, but I re-checked kink.com's website and found their News section. Really fun to watch. First I watched "Kink.com Employees Respond to Protesters' Criticism," then "Plans to Light and Landscape the SF Armory." My favorite images from the second video are of the Armory all covered in plants...I think it's going to look really nice. Of course, I imagine protesters will end up arguing that the trees are providing more places for prostitutes and drug dealers to hang out. pfft.

So, the kink.com website touts competitive employee benefits, savings plans etc., I'm just wondering how the models enjoy working there. I've heard many opinions about the quality of the company except those of the models. I've gotten interested in this story mostly because I'm a local, but also because I haven't yet met an online porn company so willing to share its space and business philosophy with the rest of us. That's the easiest thing for most online porn sites to hide I'm sure (not that they all have something to hide of course).

Want to apply to be a model and then tell me what it's like to work for kink.com in that capacity? (I've heard rumors that it's tough to be a sub there, but no first hand accounts).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Screw with M4M-world, or else!

So I have a membership to M4M-World , a gay men's hookup/sex site. Yesterday I get this message from Steven Alexander, the director, and it totally creeped me out. I totally agree that adding extra insurances into your hookup site is a great idea, and whatever they come up with to verify some strand of legitimacy to their members I'm all for...I'm just surprised he's marketing the feature in this way. Is the possibility of turning into a bloody pulp going to make you want to go get it on with strangers? See below (complete with spelling errors):

"It is one of my worst nightmares. I have dreamt about it maybe a dozen times since I founded this dating site back in 1997. It always the same...I am sleeping. It is hot--mid summer...suddenly there is a loud knock at the front door. My dogs start barking and I look out the second story window from above down to the front portico below. There are two cops holding up a body of a man, slumped at the knees. I wonder "Is he a drunk? Do I know him? Is he a tresspasser?" I rush down the stairs through the center hall, to the front foyer and than through the wrought iron and glass French front door I now see a man badly beaten, barely breathing, dripping blood from his head. I am puzzled and horrified at once. And one of the cops starts screaming at me -- "Open up and tell us his name" "you are you responsible for this" "where does he live, we must tell his mother". I plead "but I don't know him I have never..." and I stop mid-sentence because the man's lips beging to move and he whispers "I just wanted to be with someone for a while, I really didn't do anything, why do they hate me?" I start crying. The man stops talking....stops breathing. I wake up.

Meeting men on line can be a lot a fun, it can be done quickly, but it has risks beyond those that come when you pick someone up in a club or bar. There are no witnesses and you don't always have the opportunity to meet in a public place. And I realize it can be a turn off to give the guy the 4th degree . A legit guy begins to wonder why are you so suspicious? Or he might be very smooth and talk you out of your fears. That's what happened in the sad tale of Michael J. Sandy when using a dating site (not m4m--Google his name in quotes to read his fate).

So listen...it's not just those awful dreams...I really care and worry that the men on m4m date safely. And that's why we developed member feedback currently beta marketed as the Player's Club. (There is a contest to find a new name....you have had email's on that). We created member feedback not as a popularity contest and not to learn who sleeps around and who does not get any... we put it into place so you know who has an honest ad and who has integrity in keeping their word and showing up. But in fact by giving and receiving feedback you help other members determine who's
-ad is accurate
-photos are current
-not a flake and show's up
-active on the site
-a safe bet for a hook-up!

--- After all even if a guy has an accurate ad and shows up, no one leaves positive feedback for men with evil intentions!

So leave feedback when you meet someone---even if it's just for a coffee---it tells others he is real, he is honest, he is safe. And he will return the favor! And watch your email for a very special invitation later this month. It will admit you to a new concept in online hook-ups...something we know you have not experienced before. Steven AlexanderSite Directorm4m-World.com"

So, in other words, use M4M-World and you won't get hurt. How's that for scare tactics?
Can you think of other ways to ensure that the folks you meet online are legit?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Kink.com is good for the neighborhod!

The Armory at 14th and Mission, Former National Guard Facility and National Monument (built in 1914), is the new home of Kink.com, a model online porn company that has done quite well for itself. And while you might think that a porn studio is no threat to this sexy city, you're wrong. There's been quite a stink. Metroblogging SF has covered it quite well, as had the Chronicle. There have also been several lovely protests and countless editorials.

Kink.com, on my glance, seems to have a pretty awesome business practices, and they're hiring. They offer a 401K, full health benefits, and have a low employee turnover.

But...here's what folks from the Mission Armory Community Collective think:

"We are working to stop the State Armory and Arsenal in San Francisco's Mission District from becoming a center for human bondage and the mass distribution of degrading images of men and women. We are opposed to Kink.com, the online fetish porn site, buying this San Francisco building for a film studio."

"We can and do tolerate the rights of our adult neighbors and consenting adults as they practice their lifestyle, but we also expect respect for the rights of our families as we seek to live in a healthy and safe community..."

"We do not want our neighborhood degraded with these images and with what Kink.com symbolizes."

So when 'innocent children' walk by the Armory in SF, the only way they are going to know anything about what's inside is when there are a gaggle of protestors telling them.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Black books...let's count!

I used to try and keep a running tally of everyone I've ever made out with. A good friend of mine had been trying all her kissing life to kiss someone with a first name starting with each letter of the alphabet. For her this meant once grabbing a cab driver in New York named Xavier and giving him some tongue to snag that hard to reach X. Regardless, I lost count of my own alphbetical kisses. So, my little black book could have helped me. So its for listing when you do-it, but hey, it would have helped me count how many letters I have left.

Another little black book program can be downloaded at Californiamen.net, a non-cruisy place for gay and queer guys who hookup online. This little black book takes it one step further and includes a basic risk assessment. If you record an encounter that oversteps your self-defined risk level, you are sent a kind reminder to get and STD or HIV check.

What's helpful about both of these is that you can list all sorts of info about your conquests, including their phone number, email etc. If you're a happy hussy that could come in handy if you ever get an STD and need to do the courteous thing...tell them.

Webcam meets social networking sites

The New York Times recently featured an article about several news social networking sites that combine a youtube free-for-all mentality (although youtube is cracking down) with the personal touch from Myspace and Friendster that excited us all back in the day. So how much is new here?

Stickam: Out of L.A., Stickam allows users to build profiles (nothing new there), post videos of themselves (nothing new there) and add a live webcam feed to your profile! Stickam's first project was to create a product that allowed for the addition of webcam to myspace profiles...they were blocked pretty instantly. One good thing about cams however is that you know who you're talking to. Seems like a bit of extra insurance to me..better than the Kids Act of 2007 that I blogged about a few days ago that basically offers an old gummy bandaid to the let's-protect-minors-from-scary-internet-predators craze. Stickam also doesn't have the staff (nor the desire) to censor what's posted, or fed to the site. Hmmm...the possibilities are endless.

Dailymotion: Out of Paris, allows nudity (it's French!), puts no length limits on videos, and also allows a "videoroll."

Liveleak: Out of London, seems to be mostly a site for news...war footage, and heavy stuff. But, I also found this -->

Paltalk: Another live video chat service. The Times article i cited above mentioned that because Paltak charges for some features, minors may be less willing to choose it. That doesn't mean they won't go elsewhere...but whatever.

Monday, February 5, 2007

KIDS Act of 2007 -- Pfft!

Of all the plans to weed out sexual predators in online spaces such as Myspace, this has got to be the worst idea. This Bill (called "Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007" or "KIDS Act of 2007") proposes that registered sex offenders hand over their email addresses, IM handles, etc to authorities so that they can be provided to network sites who will then give them the boot. The bill says that non-compliance could cost an offender up to 10 years in prison.

Another piece of the bill that seems randomly sandwiched in, is about misrepresented ages. If an offender is caught misrepresenting their age with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with a minor, it could get them 20 years.

So, I'm all about protecting kids, who isn't? That's precisely why these creepy plans can slip right through the do-gooder voters. My questions are: What idiot wouldn't submit one address and then use another? (Even sex offenders are smart, jeez) And, proving "intent to have sex with a minor..." come on, that's just one more thing in place to ensure that folks will never be rehabilitated or allowed to join society ever again (read: cruel). Did anyone see Little Children?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Microbicides by the wayside...??

I opened the paper to some sad news this morning. Two microbicide studies, one in South Africa, Benin, Uganda and India, and the other in Nigeria were stopped because out of 35 seroconverters, more were in the study group than the placebo group. I don't think this will totally kill the microbicide dream, however it may be hard to bounce back from this. When nonoxynol-9 was smashed in 2001 because it actually increased STD and HIV transmission nothing really replaced it as a spermacide. The beauty of microbicides is that they put more power in the hands of women who have sex with men who may refuse to wear condoms.

This press release from CONRAD summarizes the quick decision and also puts some worries to rest by outlining their basic research design and their commitment to learning from what went wrong this time around.