Agony Column
by Wendell Ricketts

From Issue 2.3 - December/January 1995/6

A Bunch of White Guys Sitting Around Typing

Dear Readers:

I greet you from a strip mall somewhere along the Information Superhighway. Yep, it's the Internet, stupid. And here's a newsflash: Attracted as we are to all things new and shiny, whip-and-chain-ophiles are colonizing the bandwidth. We are everywhere: newsgroups like alt.sex.bondage and alt.sex.fetish.fashion, mailing lists like gl-asb (gay/lesbian alt.sex.bondage). We've got World Wide Web pages. We've got hyperlinks. And the Ethernet is positively throbbing with all the perverted e-mail zooming back and forth.

Or this is what people keep telling me.Myself, I come only reluctantly to the information revolution. If you ask me, the problem with this whole Internet thing is that not only do you use up all your free hours having on-line 'chats' with hot-sounding guys who later turn out to be Jabba the Hut (moral: beware of geeks bearing GIFs), you quickly learn that CyberSex is just a bad anagram for 'celibacy.' But we won't be reading about that in Wired magazine, will we? In fact, I am so much a Luddite that I staged a lockout of my entire office several years ago when someone suggested that we needed a fax machine. And now look what we've got! Twelve-step groups for people who go on-line too much, that's what we've got. But no one ever listens to me.

All right. So here's the deal. Like me, you've certainly been hearing about how all the great and important New Pervert Thought is now taking place on-line. Like me, you may also have been swayed by this argument, since it was obvious to you that it wasn't taking place in the pages of Drummer magazine. Still, you may have been reluctant to jump into anything without having all the facts. Well, you're in luck, because I've gone ahead and done it for you. Jumped, I mean. No, no -- no need to thank me.

What follows, for your edification, are descriptions of typical Internet 'conversations' in which actual kinky people discuss the pressing issues that face us today. They're the kind of interchange in which you, too, could involve yourself, if only you'd step into the '90s. And if this doesn't convince you to stop reading all those stupid books and invest in a modem, nothing will.

GL-ASB: A Glimpse Into The Working of Great Minds

Initial Posting: I keep hearing about 'Old Guard' leather. What does it mean?
Synopsis of Comments: Old Guard meant that you had to earn your leathers, but kids today think they can just trot down to the local boutique with mummy's charge card and put on anything they want... I don't owe you 'old guard' people a damn thing. You didn't buy my whips, my boots, my leathers, or my shackles, and you didn't teach me how to use them. You think something is due to you just because you're old... This is ridiculous! None of you can actually describe the specific activities you have to engage in or goals you have to achieve in order to be accepted in the 'Old Guard' scene... Of course there are no specifics, you moron. Earning your leathers is a personal rite of passage, a spiritual quest... You're an idiot!... No, you're an idiot!
Bottom Line: What is the sound of one hand spanking?

Initial Posting: Nazi uniforms really turn me on!
Synopsis of Comments: You have a lot of nerve calling yourself a Nazi-uniform fetishist when you don't even know the difference between a Wehrmacht Hasenpfeffer Elite Praetorian Guard Unit uniform with matching Honor Glintings and the uniform of the Fahnenjunker Death's Head Triple Umlaut Lightning Corps. You're also probably one of those jerks who shows up at American Uniform Association meetings with your Klempnerei buttons fastened backwards.
Bottom Line: No one's getting laid here.

Initial Posting: I say Tops outnumber bottoms by 10 to 1. What do you guys think?
Synopsis of Comments: Might be true. Might not be. But it might. Depends, though.

Bottom Line: Yeah, well, whatever.

A Pocket Guide For the Neophyte

Finally, because today's on-line world is a veritable hotbed of cutting-edge argot, particularly in the BDSM arena, I've fashioned a quick reference tool that will help you negotiate your fledgling forays into this stimulating new communications tool. Feel free to clip it out and tape it up near your computer. And have no fear! Before you know it, you'll be verbing nouns with the best of them.

IMHO: You assholes are lucky someone came along who knows what he's talking about.

BTW: I haven't figured out how to compose e-mail off-line, and I'm typing as fast as I can.

ROTF: All the really cool people use these abbreviations.Let's not start a flame war: I'm a bigger bitch than any of you.

Minor quibble: What follows is obscure and pedantic and designed to make you feel like an idiot.

Stop analyzing everything to death: No fair using words I don't understand.

I hesitate to say this for fear of agitating the PC police: I'm a middle-class white male and I insist on being thoughtless and offensive whenever I feel like it!

We as a community...: I have no idea who I'm talking about, do you?

There are no rights or wrongs in this discussion: But all of the other posters are still full of shit.

I found your last comment extremely enlightening: Blow me.

Just my $0.02: Unless you're some kind of hopeless mental defective, you'll see this my way.

This may not be entirely on the point: It has nothing whatever to do with anything.

I have only the greatest respect for So-and-So: So-and-So has pus for brains, but he's judging the Mr. Spandex Contest next Sunday at the Eagle.

Radical Sexuality: See "We as a community..."

So there you have it, my friends. I have seen the future -- and it is dull. A bunch of white guys sitting around typing, with all the insight and breadth of opinion that you'd find at your basic Grange Meeting (except for the leather and stuff). But that's just, you know, IMHO.

Please send dilemmas you would like to see addressed in future issues to WRicketts@aol.com.

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Last updated: December 1995