Oct 012014

I use Google Drive. A LOT. And I’ve been enormously frustrated by its refusal to provide any useful tagging/labeling mechanism. Google did more than anyone else to promote the use of tags/labels, of non-hierarchical organization of files and information, in Gmail, and then, here, in Drive, where it actually would be more useful, they don’t provide it. I don’t get it.

For my purposes, I want to organize information along three axes – first, by the type of information it is; second, by the topic it concerns; and third, by the portion of my life in which it occurs. First of all, none of these is mutually exclusive – information might concern, say, three topics, and occur in, say, two corners of my life (say, work and this blog, or two different sub-sections of “work,” or this blog and some other blog I write). And second, sometimes I want to look at all the information that pertains to a particular topic, say, parenting; and other times, I might want to look at all the information that concerns, say, this blog; and another time, I might want to look at all my ideas for, say, “blog posts.”

Anyway, I was about to abandon Drive for Evernote (which I love, and which has infinite, and effortless, tags) but which lacks the enviable integration that Google Drive boasts with so much else), when I learned that, unheralded, un-promoted, there exists the possibility of adding a document to multiple folders. In other words, I can jury-rig what I wanted. I can have three different dimensions and add documents to multiple folders. (For those who want to know how to do it, you simply select the file/document, and press “Shift-Z,” which brings up an “add to folder” dialog box.)

Don’t get me wrong. This is sub-optimal. Google introduced and promoted labels and tags. They’d be much simpler.

But I get it.

The product is free. I’m not the customer. I have to keep reminding myself that.

Oct 012014

I’ve written a bunch in recent days about “the talk.” When most people imagine “the talk,” I think we picture one or two parents awkwardly subjecting a pre-teen or teen to ham-handed and unwelcome parental admonitions and explanations about sex.

This is not, at all, what I have in mind.

In my house, to my mind, “the talk” isn’t one conversation. It’s not even lots of conversations. Rather, it’s short-hand for the messages and values I hope to communicate and, to some extent, transmit. It began in the earliest days of my son’s life, and will continue for the rest of mine, I expect. Some of it is verbal, some is non-verbal. It’s what I say, what I do, how I react, what I watch, what I read. It permeates everything, all our communication.

There’s a scene in “Meatballs” in which Bill Murray woos (assaults) another counselor, Roxanne, played by Kate Lynch, saying, “Let’s wrestle!” The scene is drawn as comedy, a combination of “hapless boy nearly seduces reluctant girl” and physical slapstick – slippery girl repeatedly evades aggressive boy. (It gets ugly at about 1:00 into the video clip below.)

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Sep 302014

I’ve been writing about the topic of talking about sex with kids, and it occurs to me, porn is kind of a subject unto itself.

In one post recommended to me on The Good Men Project, Andrew Smiler, the author, wrote “porn is about as realistic as an unscripted ‘reality’ TV show and as healthy as junk food.” And then he recommended a porn site I hate.

Porn, like the internet, and TV, and technology, isn’t a thing. It’s a lot of things. When smart people talk about porn, for some reason, they often say dumb things. I hope to avoid that particular pitfall in this post, in which I explore my thoughts about porn as it relates to kids. In this conversation, smart people have a smart conversation about kids and porn. I disagree with a lot of what they say, but it’s an interesting conversation.

Here are my thoughts:

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Sep 302014

When I asked for people’s thoughts, I got a bunch. Here, I’d like just to respond to a couple of things that people posted/suggested:

1) Adam Savage tells the story of talking to his twin boys about the internet at The Moth.

Several readers suggested this, but I was underwhelmed. Take a listen. See what you think. Here’s what I think:

Savage’s somewhat giddily reporting that he has his sons’ first porn search terms, and analogizing this to video of their first steps, felt a little… creepy… to me. I mean, on the one hand, I like the sex-positivity that acknowledges that sexploration is inevitable and healthy and to be encouraged. But it’s not the sort of thing that parents should be intruding on. Our kids need privacy, and I felt a bit like I was being coerced into violating one son’s privacy by having to hear Savage quote him saying, “I searched for big boobs.”

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Sep 292014

There’s a meme going around in which we’re asked to nominate our top posts of the year, or other people’s top posts. Cara Thereon, who writes a blog I really enjoy, recently announced her decision not to participate. I’m with her.

It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of my thinking (and feelings) about these rankings that people do of sex blogs, and of blog posts. At the beginning (three years ago now!), I desperately wanted recognition. In the middle (one and two years ago), I think I felt somewhat bitter that my recognition – which was good, to be sure – wasn’t better. And now?

I think I’m almost entirely indifferent.

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Sep 292014

No one ever had “the talk” with me. My parents were, in many ways, quite up front and comfortable with sex and sexuality. In others, not so much. Early on, I knew the basic mechanics of penis-in-vagina sex. (A good friend and I made a fair sum from our second-grade classmates by winning a bet about how babies were made.) It wasn’t until my late 30s, though, that I had even the beginnings of a clue as to how sex and desire really work.

I’ve been thinking a bit about “the talk,” and about just what my talk should go like, what I wish I’d been told, what I think I might say. I’ve watched (and previously written about) Julia Sweeney’s hysterical account of her talk with her kid.

My own thoughts here are somewhat unformed. This isn’t so much a proposal or a plan as a brainstorming session – not so much the outline of a talk as the outline of the basic points I hope to get across as a parent. But I’m curious – have you had “the talk” with your sons/daughters? What’d you say? How’d it go? How did your parents’ talks with you go? What did they say? What do you wish they’d said? Have you read good things on the subject? Where? By whom? (I asked this question the other day and was sent lots of great links, and thoughts, by readers, both in the comments and in back-channel e-mails – thank you all. I’ll follow up with some thoughts on those links in a separate post.)

Here are the points I’m thinking I want to get across as a parent, to my child:
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Sep 272014

I’m thinking about “the talk,” you know, the one parents supposedly have with their kids about sex. I’m working on writing down my thoughts (I have a post in draft form), but before I get too far, I thought I’d ask you: have you had the talk? What’d you say? What didn’t you say? Have you read good things on the subject? Would you point me in their direction?


Sep 232014

Let’s perform for one another.

Stand in front of me. I’ll be sitting, stroking my cock through my jeans. You’ll be standing in front of me, in jeans of your own. Your legs will be spread for me, the top button of your jeans undone, so you can slide your hand down under the denim, under the white cotton of your panties, to your clit, to your slick cunt.

We both will move slowly, wordlessly, deliberately. Our eyes will be locked on one another, fluttering down periodically to take in what the other is doing with her, his hand. Our hips will be in sync, pressing forward, not quite bucking, but arching toward pleasure. You may lift yourself up on your tiptoes.

At some point, I’ll ease my cock out of my jeans. You’ll lick your lips and maybe lower your jeans below your hips.

Will you join me?