Six questions from [personal profile] miang

Apr. 21st, 2012 12:04 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (working)
[personal profile] tim
0. How old were you when you first learned about sex (the relational kind, not the personal characteristic), and under what circumstances?

In your edit, you said you thought you asked me this before, but I don't think you ever did! Hence, bonus question.

I knew the basic mechanics of normative heterosexual intercourse when I was quite young, since my mom, being one of those ~progressive parents~, bought me Where Did I Come From?, the age-appropriate guide to normative heterosexual intercourse. But, not being in school, there was a lot I didn't get to learn on the street. Perhaps that's good, since I never absorbed much inaccurate information to unlearn. There was still a lot I didn't know, though, that it would have been better to know. I had some sort of vague sense that oral sex (much less anything more kinky than that) was a bit deviant and edgy until, well, sometime in college. (This may be true for a lot of other people my age, I don't really know.) And I think age-appropriate sex information shouldn't mean only talking about the kind of sex that might make babies, because how is it age-appropriate for anyone to be taught that pleasure isn't okay unless there's some other reason for it?

The first literary book I read that had even a slightly explicit sex scene was _A House Like a Lotus_ by Madeleine L'Engle, and since I know I checked it out from the adult section at the Wellesley Hills Branch Library, I must have been 10 or 11 when I read it. (IIRC, it was one of the first books I ever checked out from the adult section.) Actually, I think I may have answered a question about "what was the first real sex scene in a book you ever read?" at some point in the past, but it was a long time ago so probably nobody remembers ;-) Anyway, the sex scene in the book was sentimental and idealized, but still explicit enough that I read it over and over again. That, perhaps, began my era of intense intellectual curiosity about sex coupled with (due to wrong-puberty) utter lack of a physical sex drive coupled with experimenting with masturbating and wondering why it didn't feel good like everybody said it did. I didn't actually *have* sex with somebody else till I was 16, but arguably I still didn't know anything (experentially) about sex when I was 18 and realized that sex didn't turn me on unless I imagined having a penis. And the rest is history...

1. Somehow despite also holding down a job, exercising, feeding and clothing yourself, etc., you find the energy to participate in online fora to an extent that would have made total sense to me 10 years ago but is unthinkable now. What keeps you coming back to all these different spaces? (FB, DW, G+, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) Do you use each for different purposes, or do your social networking activities form a compact set mostly overlap under the banner of 'connecting with others'?

Well, first, exercising? Heh. Second, you may or may not be remembering that I carry around a phone and read Twitter / email / FB / Reddit on it at all available spare moments (while riding buses, waiting in line at the grocery store, showering, etc.), and also use it to get connected on my laptop during long train rides and such. In the pre-ubiquitous-Internet era, I would have been reading books instead, but the intertubez are easier to handle intellectually at times when I'm likely to be interrupted, and there's a higher reward from interacting with people.

Then there's my job, which involves long periods of sitting still at a computer, with a fairly high amount of downtime because my compiles are really, really slow. I've been met with pretty limited success setting up technological ways to use the downtime, because switching between two demanding tasks with a 5- or 10-minute interval just makes me anxious, which kind of interferes with productivity. So... checking the internets. Yeah. I'm not particularly proud of that, but I'm not sure what to do about it until our compiler gets faster, outside perhaps of literally having two different computers (which I do now!) to make it slightly easier to work on two things at once.

And even if my compiles weren't slow, probably, there's still the need to deal with being pretty isolated during the day, since I often work from an office that nobody else on my team works from; and with doing work that's pretty lonely except during the rare periods when I'm part of a design discussion or something like that that involves working with other people. Hence, the intertubez.

And yeah, I've often thought I should have a job that doesn't involve sitting at a computer all day... but I haven't yet figured out what that is. So it's really not so much a matter of having the energy to participate in online fora, as not having the energy to do anything else (or, if it's during the work day, the spare time to do anything that has to be done in more-than-5-minute chunks).

As for what keeps me coming back... I go to DW because it's my blog, and where I put things that I write that are more than two paragraphs. The community hasn't really developed here the way it used to be on LiveJournal, but that's because we're not all 23 anymore as much as anything else. That's okay; my blog has always been mainly for me, and even though I don't always understand why other people want to read it, they still do, so that's a nice bonus. FB is for keeping up with people who I would have forgotten about years ago otherwise (it's your call as to whether that's a good thing). G+ is for keeping up with the couple of people who quit FB; it doesn't seem to be good for much else, besides attracting the most horrible concern trolls in a way that no other forum (including Usenet) I've ever used has ever done. Reddit, horrible as it is, is a source of trans-related discussions that I just can't have elsewhere, although some of that has migrated onto Twitter. Twitter is actually my favorite right now. I was skeptical for a long time, and the medium is pretty lacking in a lot of ways, but a pretty good community has built up there, and it's easy to deal with during spare moments.

2. Irrespective of health, cost, availability, etc., what is the most delicious food you've ever eaten?

Questions of the form "most [adjective]" or "favorite [noun]" make me anxious, so instead I'll write about what may not be the most delicious food I've ever eaten (also, I'm using a definition of "food" that excludes "dessert", because otherwise, yeah), but what I do keep thinking of in re-reading this question, which is the bhattura cholle at Vik's in Berkeley. When I had it for the first time, I'd never had anything like it before, and while "puffy bread on top of chickpeas" may not seem like much, it was a revelation. Also: pickle. So, yeah.

3. What is your opinion of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Specifically, do you think I should read it -- and, more importantly, do you think I'd really enjoy it if I did?

It was a book that I didn't understand when I was 8-ish, but that was perfect when I re-read it at 12 or 13 when I was in that "everything you know is wrong" stage (granted, that stage has never really ended for me, but like the bhattura cholle, it's more intense the first time), and has never been as good when I've re-read it since. I don't think I've re-read it in the past ten years. So at this point, reading it for the first time, you might wonder what everyone was raving about so much. I think it has much more of an effect when you're a young teenager and haven't yet encountered the concept that it's possible to be sarcastic and cynical.

I actually would recommend reading Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency first, which is a better story and not as much a collection of jokes, IMO, and if you like it, you'll want to read HHGTTG; if you don't like it, you won't like HHGTTG either.

4. Have you named your kitties yet? If so, what and why; if not, what are you leaning toward?

I ended up keeping their shelter names, Spotty and Spreckles. I don't like those names that much (as [ profile] badasstronaut said, you can't go through life with a name like Spotty), but nothing better occurred to me, and I decided it was time to get tags made for them, so obviously it's set in stone (or aluminum) now :-) I used to really look forward to any opportunity to name anything (like a computer), but maybe now I just get too nervous about such a monumental task as giving something (especially something that's not a thing) a name to do it properly.

5. How does your experience of Facebook!Community compare to your experiences with FirstAss!Community?

Facebook!Community is a lot easier to ignore, for one thing ;-) Also, I might have been so much happier at Wellesley if I'd had the ability to block people on FirstAss. Blocking people on FB has made it so much easier to read Facebook!Community. That said, I don't read it that much, since notifications on it are pretty unobtrusive (except when a friend posts) and when I do read it, I generally regret it...

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-21 08:16 pm (UTC)
juli: 21 Novinskiy (america)
From: [personal profile] juli
And I think age-appropriate sex information shouldn't mean only talking about the kind of sex that might make babies, because how is it age-appropriate for anyone to be taught that pleasure isn't okay unless there's some other reason for it?

Plus, we teach kids how to get knocked up, and then get mad when they do, instead of teaching them to go down on each other to relieve their sexual whatevers. Urgh.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-24 01:29 am (UTC)
miang: Miang Hawwa (with Opiomorph), Xenogears: May God's love be with you (and there's nothing I can do). (Default)
From: [personal profile] miang
Re: #0, wow, I'm not sure I can imagine a world where oral sex was considered deviant and edgy, but I found a few of these books in our basement when I was 10, so. FWIW, I mostly asked this question because I thought the notion of your mom in particular trying to give you The Talk would have been hilarious. :D But then I got a weird deja vu feeling, like I've had that thought before and likely expressed it to you, possibly in the form of this five-questions meme...

Re: exercising, you are known to bike and/or hike at times! It counts. (My standards are perhaps lower than usual, since between surgery and random colds and shit I consider it an accomplishment if I remember to attach my pedometer.)

Re: #1 for real, I think I consume a little less electronic media than you, but only a little less. The time and energy required to read, I understand. It's the time and energy required to formulate a (semi-?) coherent response, even to people you like and/or who you expect not to be awful to you in return, that blows my mind. I manage to think up parts of responses to most of what I read, but can't seem to sit myself down and focus long enough to type it all out anymore when there are books to read and shows to watch and kitties to play with and and and --

(I mean, see how long it took me even to reply here, and I got an email notification that led me to read this post within seconds of you originally posting it. And this itself is a half-formed reply, but those are the only new ideas I really have to introduce. I do appreciate your thoughts on the other questions as well!)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-28 04:43 am (UTC)
luinied: Doing stretches and really not thinking about what's going on in the other room. (idea)
From: [personal profile] luinied
[responding] doesn't really take much more energy for me than reading.

This might explain a lot of my astonishment over how you use the Internet, especially in as much as people are often wrong on it. I am definitely another person who needs way more time and energy to write than to read.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-28 09:21 pm (UTC)
luinied: Down with car culture! (resilient)
From: [personal profile] luinied
We may have, but either it was not quite exactly the same or I am getting absent-minded. So thank you for replying again.

(I just recently spent way too much effort replying to friends of a friend on G+ about how poor people exist. One of them just kept repeating his obnoxious lines, while I think the other may have blocked me.)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-04-29 06:59 am (UTC)
luinied: This is from the Sega Saturn game, which I haven't played. (dark)
From: [personal profile] luinied
Hrm, does blocking work that way on Google+? (I know it does on Facebook.) Because, in that case, she didn't block me; she just proceeded to ignore the points I raised in her continued quibbling over technicalities with our mutual friend. Lovely.


tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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