Saturday, November 16, 2013

Remembering Sex

This is another grown-up post. You've been warned.

I wrote in an earlier post that I was not averse to some sex play with my boyfriend, and that the more we played sexually, the less sex was a problem in our relationship. I've gotten a lot of questions about this and a lot of people were really imaginative in what they thought I was talking about. Many of them were way too imaginative. So I have learned that if you are on the internet, talking about sex, you have to be very clear or else your point just gets lost.

So here is what I mean when I talk about a healthy sexual relationship that does not require constant sex.

Sometimes when my boyfriend and I are at home, I put a male chastity device on his genitals. The chastity devices can be purchase at local sex shops or you can buy them online. We started out with one that he bought for himself online, and when he discovered he enjoyed it so much, he started to realize that the one he had chosen was not necessarily the best, because when he was soft and was wearing it for two days at a time, it would start to slip off and he'd have to readjust it. In other words, it seems that some chastity devices are designed for short term use, and others are designed for serious long term use.The short term ones, from what he tells me, are "pleasantly uncomfortable" but then they start to pinch or rub him the wrong way after 12 hours of use. The long term ones are a little less exciting in how they feel at first, but they are obviously actually designed for long term use.

The short term one that he first tried was called the bird cage (NOT SAFE FOR WORK) from extremerestraints.com. It was good, and he liked the heaviness of it, and the feeling of cold hard steel was a real turn on for him and me, but since the only point of attachment is at the top, it tended to slip around after a while.

When we started chastity play, he would either put himself into chastity or he would have to tell me outright to put him in chastity. EIther way, he would give me the key to the chastity device and it was up to me when he got released. At first, he would be in his chastity device for just an evening, then we tried it all day, and then later for three or four days at a time.

After the three day chastity stints we invested in another device, the CB3000, which he likes better for long term use because it stays in place better and doesn't pinch. Your mileage may vary, but that's what he and I have found.

It took me a very long time to understand why this was satisfying for him. But ironically, he has told me that being locked up by me is, to him, like having sex all day long. I never understood that at first, because locking him up so that not only does he not have access to his own penis but cannot even achieve a full erection when he is excited, seems like it would be the most opposite thing in the world to having sex. But for him, the excitement of feeling locked up like that and knowing that I and I alone can free him, is apparently wildly exciting.

I'm just gonna take his word for it.

So anyway, the point is we discovered that chastity devices for him are sexually satisfying. Moreso, in many ways, than having sex multiple times a day every day, because it just so happens that I am not going to have sex that much with him. It's not that I don't love him and am not excited by him, it's just my brain and body don't work that way.

SO instead of having sex with him, I lock him up. It keeps him happy, and I'm happy knowing that he's happy.

The one burden I have in all of this is remembering to lock him up. We found that it was vitally important for me to initiate locking him up some times. He used to always lock himself up, and I was more comfortable with that because I assumed that he knew when he wanted to be locked up better than I did.

That was wrong.

The answer is he always wants to be locked up. I could do no wrong.

So I would remind myself every three or four days to put him back into chastity. Three days in, three days out (more or less), and it worked!  He loves it. He's kept happy and blissfully sexually frustrated. But I have to remember. Even on days when I am not feeling sexy or sexual, I will make sure I either ask him about his chastity device (how does it feel? do you still enjoy it? aren't you just dying to get out? let's lock you up because you've been out of it for three days. don't enjoy your freedom too much because i'm locking you up in two days...  and so on.) or whatever is appropriate.

This all leads me to the conclusion that a big part of sexual problems in relationships is not necessarily the amount of sex or even the quality of sex. It's the lack of sexual engagement. The lack of sexual engagement is what causes the problems. One partner, usually the man I would bet, wants to think and talk and obsess about sex and one partner simply fails to acknowledge that sex is a thing. She thinks that they have great sex and that they have lots of sex but what she fails to realize is that the man is never satisfied. So problems arise.

But I think that men don't care what kind of sexual engagement they have as long as it's sexual and frequent. You don't have to have sex every day for the man to be happy. You just have to engage the sexual part of his brain in a way that satisfies him. For some men that might be something simple like telling him he's handome and that he turns you on. For other men, it might be locking him up in a chastity device for half the week and making him go crazy over whether he's going to get to cum at the end of it, or if he's going to have to wait another week. For other men it might be something different.

For my man, I lock him up in his chastity device, and sometimes (once or twice a week usually) when we're home together I tell him to leave his clothes at the door. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's a little strange to look over at my guy and see him naked with a plastic sheath over his penis. But then again, it's pretty damn cute, too. I love this guy, and it makes me sublimely happy to see him happy. And if that's what it takes to keep him happy, then that's what I'll do.

At first I was a little worried about what he could and could not do in chastity, but it turns out that he is completely unhindered by it. He can lift heavy things and run and do all the normal activities that he ever does. It's no big deal at all. He has not once asked to be let out of chastity, except when he's getting horny and wants to be let out because he wants some action. Those are fun moments, because I can choose to let him out. Or not. It's up to me. And either way, he has no recourse. He can't argue. There IS no pressure on the woman when the man is locked up. It's a BIG change from relationships where the woman is complaining that the man is too sexually aggressive or the man is yelling at the woman because she never gives him any action.

The funny thing about it is that ultimately the woman is always in charge of the sexual interaction of a couple anyway. Even in the cases where a woman likes to be swept off her feet by her man, she always only wants that when she wants it. I don't know any woman who actually wants her man to just come in a start fucking her, even when she thinks she does. So the woman is always the one in control of sexual ... access, shall we say? The only difference is, when the man's in chastity they both know that she's in control.

And I think, ultimately, that's what turns the man on so much.

If you are interested in this kind of relationship, you should definitely try it. It has changed my relationship for the better (not that it was bad in the first place, but it has been with other men in the past) and I know my man is happier for it.

I'm no expert on the subject so I don't know the best way to breach the topic. My boyfriend actually bought himself his first chastity device and said he wanted to try it, so I didn't have to break the ice on that. I had to perpetuate it, but that's relatively easy.

If you think your boyfriend would be interested in trying it, you can buy him a chastity device for his birthday or christmas. Believe me, he will probably be more excited about it than you would have guessed. Obviously use your common sense. Your man might be one of those alpha male meat heads who will be insulted by such a gift (although there again, you just might be surprised) so only try it if you know a little something about your man's willingness to try new things, and who is secure in his own masculinity enough to have it taken away from him!

You Lost Me, Sony

Playstation is the console of my childhood. It was the console I grew up with, and so it was the console I got as an adult. It has served me well as an easy, inexpensive platform for gaming. But it hit its peak early in the PS3 life-cycle, and is basically dead to me now.

According o reports, the PS4 is not going to allow users to play CDs, DVDs, or Blu Rays because Sony wants people to have to use their music and  movie digital-download stores. The PS4 isn't going to allow streaming media like it used to, so even though you have this computer console plugged into your TV, it's useless to you as a home entertainment console.

Well, Sony, you have fucking lost me. You and your silly restrictions were looking pretty good back when my only other choices were XBox or Wii. But Steam Machines are here now, and I'll be damned if I don't build a custom gaming and multimedia computer, install SteamOS onto it, and have a home entertainment system that will put consumer consoles to shame. With that, an Ouya, and a Roku, I can't imagine wanting for anything.

So thanks for the memories, Sony, and sorry you are such a god awful company. Enjoy your next gen failure.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MORE STEAM

So exciting!!! And so funny.

The exciting steamnews is the new Steam controller. It looks really cool, and like a very safe bet between a totally traditional controller with some new features. By "traditional controller" I mean more like a PS or Xbox controller than a Nintendo Wii Wand or Tablet. Thank God. And yet, it does have a touch screen on it, and it does use a lot of tactile interaction. So just how traditional is it?

Exactly my point.

I am not in the mood for a reinvention of the controller. Nintendo's latest offerings have partially been to blame for my alienation from NIntendo (the other part is their really bad game offerings). I don't know how many serious gamers feel the need for a reinvention of the controller. I wouldn't call this sanctimony or traditionalism, I just think that controller design that we've all been living with for the past 10 or 15 years really really works. Well. Very well.

And yet you still have die-hard PC gamers who insist that the only way to game is one hand on the mouse and one on the keyboard. So even the controller isn't fully integrated within the gaming community! So why try to reinvent it?

The funny steamnews is not about Steam but about some of the reactions online. Mostly I've only seen positive reactions. I mean, what gamer in their right mind would not be excited about the Steam Machine? I know of no one, but then there's the internet.

Here are two particularly asinine comments.

Why do we need another OS?

 Well, first of all, this isn't technically "another" OS. It's the same old boring Linux OS that you didn't even realize existed until SteamOS was announced. Which leads me to my second point: you have not been living in a two-OS world. Open your eyes, see the Matrix for what it is, and you will start to understand.

At this point, any "technological" device in this world has an OS of some kind. It might not be what you think of as an OS, but the fact that the device turns on and performs some task generally means there's an OS inside of it. WIthout an OS, you are the operating system. Very few tech devices now use mechanics for much of anything, sadly. At one point, microwaves were largely mechanical; you turned on the timer, started it, the timer triggered the switches for the plate to rotate and the heating element (or nuclear core or whatever it's called)  to turn on, and so on. But now almost all of them are controlled by a little chip with a tiny little OS on it. Your phone, of course, has its own OS. It might be branded by some other company, but really it's a very different OS than anything else that company makes for other devices. Computers have operating systems, but there are far more than just Windows and OS X; believe it or not, the internet runs on Linux and BSD, OS/2 is still alive and kicking in some indutries, there are still instances of BeOS and its open source reimplementation Haiku,


 and "Valve is taking advantage of gamers by offering a console that is just a custom built PC".

No fucking duh, internet.

Steam in December??

The internet says that Steam Machines will be for sale on December 19th. On one hand, I find that hard to believe. It just seems too soon. On the other hand, Sony and Xbox are obviously going on sale for Christmas, so why wouldn't Valve? But then again, does Valve want to go head-to-head with Sony and XBox's next gen consoles or do they want to wait until the Christmas craze has died down and then slip Steam Machines into people's living rooms once the hubbub has died down?

I don't know, the internet doesn't know, only Valve knows. So we will all have to wait and see.

One thing I do know, is that the Steam Machine is absolutely MY console of choice. Yes, I'm walking away from Playstation.

I was not 100% decided on this idea when the Steam Machine was announced. I knew I wanted one, but I wasn't sure I wanted only a Steam Machine. But the more I hear about Playstation's refusal to play CDs, DVDs, or stream media, or register games, the less and less I want to support it.

Don't get me wrong, I am not under the illusion that Steam and Valve are going to be wonderful open source magic. I know completely what I'm getting into. I use Steam, I know that it is a beast all its own. But at least it's a reasonable beast, and so far it has treated me like a valued customer, not like a criminal, which is what Playstation and Xbox both do. It's like everyone who buys a game for a Playstation or XBox is basically a suspected crook, guilty until proven innocent. It makes me feel dirty.

At least Steam deals with you like a customer. You sign in, you pay your money, you play your game.

Get over yourself, gaming industry. We love you, but you don't own us.

So I'm going to Steam and Ouya, I'm totally decided, and I'm totally excited.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Valve is Serious

If you run an amazingly popular gaming company and decide one day to switch your entire operation over to Linux, you get invited to be the keynote speaker at LinuxCon, the world's premier Linux conference. And yippers, Gabe from Valve was a speaker at Linux Con, and said “Linux and open source are the future of gaming.”

This is kind of an obvious statement for him to make, given that Valve just announced that they are going whole hog into Linux. What else is he going to say? That they're kinda sorta interested in Linux and it might be okay? But still, it's encouraging to hear Gabe put his mouth where his money is, and affirm publically that he really believes in Linux. That is exciting.

I have been surprised and alarmed at Carmack's latest public announcements of just the opposite. I know he got burned, I guess, by the Linux market in the past but Steam's business model is drastically different than ID Software's model back when both 3d gaming and Linux were both just starting out. I don't see why Carmack has to publically express such doubt about Steam OS and Valve's venture into Linux. At first I thought it was because his company and Steam were competitors, but then I realized that they really aren't. After all, Steam is primarily a distribution platform and Valve's forays into games are relatively few. If Carmack is threatened by Valve, he shouldn't be, and he should be a little more open to the idea of Linux as a gaming platform. Especially since PS4 is going BSD. It just doesn't make sense to doubt Linux's ability as a thing that people could use to play games on top of. Between Android and Ouya, I think Linux has proven its ability at this point.

Go, Gabe! Go Steam!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Charging Money for Work

Here's a quick note to my fellow geeks out there. I wrote a little about this in my post "Being a Geek and Looking the Part" but that was a while ago and i never really followed up on it. So here's the follow up.

I decided long ago that I was going to stop giving away my computer expert services. I don't really think I'm an expert, but compared to others, oh my God..I am a goddess. I can resurrect "dead" computers, I can bring data back from Hades. Yes, I am that good.

I know, I know, any geek can do those things. Here on the internet it seems simple. But the minute I step out of my apartment, I suddenly really am that good.

I used to give out computer help because, ya know, I'm a nice person! I like to help people. When I rescue someone's wedding photos, I feel happy because they are happy, and they say nice things to me. Sometimes they offer to pay.

And sometimes they don't.

I tried not helping people with computer problems for a few reasons. Number one, I need money like everyone else. Number two, I'm sick and fuckin' tired of helping jackasses remove malware from their PCs, and helping artistic jackasses recover their broken or corrupt project files from whatever Mac application they made the mistake of investing in. Number three, I have better things to do than be a wandering vigilante for computer health.

At first, it didn't really work out. I do not want to be a mean person or an uncaring person, so I would always, eventually, cave. People would beg, and then I'd help them. Then I realized that people associate my computer help as being a part of who I am. I'm Samantha. I help people with computers.

No no no no no no. That's no who I am. That's my JOB.

And that's all it took. The minute I started saying that it was my j-o-b to help people with computer problems, hardly anybody approached me for free computer help. Admittedly, a few family members and close friends still did (some still do. hi, mom and dad!) but mostly, once I started really pushing the idea that I was a Professional computer person (usually saying "like the geek squad" would help. I try to avoid likening myself to the "genius bar" because  of the negative connotations most people have for the "geniuses" at the Apple Stores), people just stopped assuming that it was OK to ask me for free help.

To really drive it home, I printed up some business cards (I think it was ten dollars online) with my name and a short list of all the problems I can solve, like dead computers, setting up a network, data rescue, malware removal, yadda yadda yadda...  Printed up those cards, handed them out to people when they looked like they needed it, and especially handed them to people who dared talk to me about their computer problems. I did that as a preventative measure. Give them the professional business card before they could ask me for a friendly helping hand.

And so far it has worked out pretty well. I have not actually gotten that many jobs just from not helping people and handing them a business card. That has, however, stopped me from taking non-paying work that eats up a lot of my time and effort. What I have gotten a lot of paying work from are the usual ads posted on community boards, craigslist, bulletin boards at local schools, and word of mouth.

Those for-free jobs are great for experience. But you start noticing something about those jobs. It's always the same. You're a good enough geek to know how to rescue their ass when malware is chewing up their data, but somehow once it's all rescued and cleaned, I'm just a dumb nerd who can't stop talking about how Firefox is better than IE, how bad links lead to malware, and how Linux would be a lot easier to support.

So here's my philosophy. If you're only going to listen to a third of what I say, and only up until your problem is solved, then you get to pay for everything I do. Period. I would say that was pretty fair.

Hey, I saw a bumper sticker on a pickup truck a long time ago. It said "Yes this is my pickup. No I will not help you move."

 I thought it seemed rude at the time.  I don't think that any more.

Next Gen or No Gen?

I have been a Playstation gal for as long as I have played games, mostly because it was better than the NES systems and it wasn't Microsoft. That being said, I have no special allegiance to Sony itself, or even to the Playstation as a platform.

Lately, a lot of interesting new possibilities have been arising on the horizon. The two that have caught my attention are both, coincidentally, pretty damn portable. And, also coincidentally, based on fvcking Linux, which is pretty freakin' awesome since Linux is my platform of choice for everything and it is the one platform (I would say "company" except it's not a company) that I do have a special allegiance to.

Ouya

When I first heard about the Ouya console, I was, to be honest, not impressed. I never saw Android as a gaming platform and I'd never seen a proper immersive RPG or FPS or anything available for Android. All the games for Android tend(ed) to be aimed at the time-killer market. Games on mobile operating systems are always very very aware that they have to be games that people can drop in and out of at any time, and they are careful never to have long sections of gameplay where interruption would be damaging to your success. This means short and simple storylines, short and simple tasks or quests, few or very brief cut scenes. They are also all built for mobile platforms, so the control scheme is usually horrible, since they have to allow for the idea that people are poking and stroking the touchscreens of their phones and do not have the luxury of having multiple buttons or even a good d-pad.

I looked at the game listing for Ouya recently, though, and it really has boosted my interest. Obviously I have not actually played any of the games that are listed as Ouya titles because I do not (yet?) own an Ouya, but the list looks very promising! Titles like Bard's Tale, Ravensword, Final Fantasy 3 (yes, that Final Fantasy), Legends of Aethereus, and a hell of a lot more, I can actually see the Ouya as being at least a semi-serious console. Almost a cross between a casual gamer's console like the Wii (yeah you heard me) and a "real" console. PLUS it has the obligatory media center tools like XBMC, Plex, and even VLC.

At $100, I don't really see a good reason not to get it. At worse, it would be a casual gaming box that sits next to my monitor that gets used for light gaming, media streaming. But that's not all!  It's also a tiny little cube that I could literally throw into my bag when I'm going over to a friend's place or to visit my parents, or whatever.

SteamBox

I don't think Ouya is prepped to be my only gaming console, at least not any time soon. But what is poised to be that for me is Valve's Steam console. I'd buy one of those at pretty much any cost (I mean any competitive cost compared to the PS4) in part because I love the idea of Steam, and in part just to get more Linux into my home!

Steam as a platform is great because it is portable. I can play a game on my SteamBox, or if I'm out with just a laptop, I could play the game on that. That's leveraging a cloud in a way I can actually live with.

Steam as a platform on Linux is just too amazing to even describe. So, yes, I want SteamOS, I want SteamBox, I want it all. Give it to me, Gabe!

Next Gen or No Gen?

I can't say I'm ready to give up the idea of the next generation of consoles. PS4 looks amazing and the games are looking beautiful and exciting. But let me put it this way...if SteamOS/Box starts getting most of the AAA titles that PS4 and Xbox are getting, and Ouya keeps getting more serious about gaming, I don't see why I would want to bother with a PS4.

And hey, if all of that fails, at least I can still get a PS4 and be happy knowing it is running BSD underneath!