Mr. S Gets Married

Mr. S and Ms. R were still together, but things were not looking good. Mr. S was still down in the dumps. He was not taking care of himself or taking care of his relationship. Their finances were another source of stress. Before I knew her, Ms. R had a good-paying job as a social worker, but she had burned out and left that job, and she was struggling to adjust to her reduced income. Often they would not budget properly, or they would splurge on a purchase, and then they would have trouble making rent at the end of the month. Even if Mr. S had been willing to help out financially, he still did not have a work permit. Although I do not believe there was physical violence, Mr. S and Ms. R were bickering regularly.

I felt their relationship was in trouble. Silly me. Little did I know that straight people have a magic ritual that fixes all relationship problems and binds people in eternal love. That ritual is called marriage. Mr. S and Ms. R decided to make things right by getting married.

I attended the wedding. It was the second wedding I attended in my life, and I hope the last. It was a relatively informal affair: a potluck affair in a room booked with the organization where Mr. S and I volunteered. It was attended by a few family members and several dozen people from the community.

There was a ceremony. From what I remember it was not very religious, although it did mention God. In particular, Mr. S and Ms. R made a covenants to each other, and the wedding guests collectively (and verbally) made covenants to uphold their relationship and support their marriage as a community. Silly me. As a wedding newbie I did not know that these covenants were just for show, and that I was not to take them seriously, because I did take them seriously.

I felt absolution for some of the naughty fantasies I had surrounding Mr. S and Ms. R, and the struggles I felt to be friends with them without overstepping boundaries. I knew my role was to do what I could to help them succeed as a married couple, and I felt relief at that.

That did not mean I was spared naughty thoughts. It did not help that both Mr. S and Ms. R were touchy-feely people. Ms. R demanded a hug every time we said goodbye. Mr. S had a bad habit of massaging people’s shoulders unexpectedly, which I did not take well when I was the target of these shoulder-rubs. Both engaged in sexual innuendo from time to time. Mr. S had a bad habit of taking off his shirt in my presence. None of these actions were intended as any kind of sexual proposition, but that is not how my body reacted — particularly when touch was involved, because touch is strong magic and I am weak.

But I had a role. And if I could channel my feelings and affections for Mr. S and Ms. R into the health of their marriage then maybe the messier feelings would go away. At the very least I was prohibited from being a homewrecker; at the very best I might do some good.

But I screwed up somehow. The straight-person magic ritual of marriage did not work as well as expected. Marriage was supposed to repair all relationship problems and bind people eternally in love, and it didn’t quite work. Things did improve a little. Mr. S’s mood lifted a little and he started participating in community activities more. Mr. S and Ms. R seemed to be getting along a bit better. But their financial situation had not improved, and they still bickered.

More worryingly, they had not made progress on Mr. S’s immigration status, and more importantly his work permit. They needed to fill out some paperwork to get the process started, and for some reason they were dragging their feet.

Nonetheless, I was associating with them and trying to support them. I loaned them money a couple of times. They invited me to their house, which was good (company, cats) and bad (bickering, cigarette smoke). They moved house and I helped. Ms. R became a grandmother via a child from an earlier marriage. It would be an exaggeration to say that things were going well, but they were going.

Then came the music, and everything fell apart.


Mr S the Visionary

What happened was housing.

Lurkville was starting to gentrify even back then, and housing/anti-homelessness advocates were agitating for more social housing. Mr. S decided to act. He started a group with the goal of building affordable housing in the area, getting his local contacts together to plan around the issue. Mr. S found an ally in a builder with development experience. A particular parcel of land was potentially up for redevelopment, and Mr. S wanted to put in a proposal.

He held meetings for the group at his house. I attended the first one and maybe the second. People brainstormed all of the facilities properties they wanted on this building. It went well beyond basic housing. As Mr S. heard new suggestions or found other initiatives online, he would add more and more to his wishlist.

I was so happy for him. Mr. S did not have a work permit yet and so could not make money, but he was putting in energy into developing the community in other ways. But Ms. R seemed more cautious. She did not appreciate the frequency or tone of these meetings in her house.

After a few meetings I started to see her point. There was acrimony amongst the group. When criticized about aspects of the plan Mr. S got defensive, sometimes accusing others of being dreamcrushers. People were getting frustrated with him and leaving the group. I stopped attending the group myself.

On the other hand, the actual proposal to redevelop the land did not seem to be going anywhere. Many many ideas were being thrown around, and Mr. S was getting more and more effusive about all the innovations his project would feature, but very little was written down. I asked Mr. S for a draft of his plans in written form, but I don’t think he had one. Everything was in his head.

The lack of documentation was bizarre, because Mr. S was spending more and more of his energy on the project. When we saw each other he would talk of little else. He would be up at all hours of the night doing research and looking for grants. Sometimes he would phone people up. He became very emotional about the project, flipping from enthusiasm to anger to enthusiasm within minutes. He became more irritable at those who questioned his plans, and in doing so more and more of his allies dropped away.

It was hard to witness this. He believed so deeply in this project. I felt (and continue to feel) that his motivations arose out of compassion and a caring heart for people in poverty (which he encountered frequently, because he volunteered at the local soup kitchen). But the project was not going anywhere.

Things were not going well on the home front, either. Mr. S and Ms. R were not getting along. Ms. R was really stressed out about this housing project and how much Mr. S was obsessing over it. She was also dealing with a lot of her own issues, and the tumultuous circumstances of the housing project were making things worse. It looked as if their relationship was on the rocks.

Then, suddenly, it was over. Everything fell apart. I do not remember the exact circumstances under which the housing project ended, or whether there was a particular event that marked the end. All I remember is that it was over, and Mr. S fell into a deep, deep despondency over its collapse. Instead of being outgoing and effusive, he retreated into himself. He stayed at home all the time. He dropped his volunteering and his other community engagements. He stopped taking care of himself. He felt too embarrassed or ashamed or angry to deal with the world. I would still visit, but the days of engaged politically-slanted gabfests were over.

The collapse of the housing project had not healed Mr. S’s and Ms. R’s relationship either. They were still together, but were not getting along very well. In addition to caring for herself Ms. R was shouldering the emotional burdens of Mr. S’s dejection. As an outside observer, it felt as if their relationships was heading for the rocks, which made the next turn of events even more of a surprise.

Meeting Mr. S

Screw it. Let’s talk about Mr. S.

I first met Mr. S in the early 2000s. He had recently moved to Lurkville from New York City to live with his new girlfriend Ms. R, whom he had met via the Internet.

I first got to know Mr. S while volunteering. He was in his mid-50s, balding, overweight running to obese (but in a way that made him look more wide than fat), had chest hair like a rug, and a gorgeous New York accent that made me weak in the knees. Overall he was a solid 6/10, and I was smitten. He was also straight as an arrow.

Being attracted to completely inappropriate people is nothing new to me (one day I ought to take Jesus’s good advice and gouge out my lustful eyes) but Mr. S had additional qualities that drew me to him. Firstly, he talked with me as if I was an adult, which I was completely unused to from grownups even though I was in my twenties. We could spend hours jawing about politics or his past or social movements. Secondly, he had a huge heart. He was outgoing and made friends with so many people, which I am always a sucker for. When he felt people were down he would go out of his way to talk with them and cheer them up.

And he had a history. He had been in the National Guard in the 60s, and involved with left-wing social justice movements. He had gone to trainings in the Human Potential Movement that he claimed were life-changing, and his speech was peppered with catchphrases from those trainings. He was an interesting guy.

His heart was also on the left. He despised GW Bush and felt ashamed of his warlike policies. Even though he had served in the National Guard he opposed the Vietnam war. He found Lurkistan much less crazy, and described himself as a refugee from the USA.

I began to socialize with Mr. S outside of volunteering. I would go to his house and spend time with Mr. S, Ms. R and their three cats (one of whom, a gray longhair named L, I grew very fond of. Ms. R had one of the biggest hearts I have ever known. In some ways she was fragile — she had suffered abuse as a child and was recovering from PTSD. But she was also perceptive and wise. I thought of Mr. S and Ms. R as “hippies”, even though they insisted they were no such thing. There were some downsides to my visits, of course. Both of them were heavy smokers, and their house smelled of smoke. Also I was even more oblivious than I am today, and sometimes I would show up at their place after volunteering, without showering in between. But overall I treasured my time with them.

Then something happened. Do I even need to spell out what? I am pretty sure we can all guess.

Blog Absence

“Whatever happened to that blog of yours?”

Guido and I were in bed, eating peaches flambeé and bananas Foster. He had a strange look on his face as he lit the bananas on fire. I wondered whether the cannelloni we had eaten for dinner had been a bit much. But until my dying day I will never be able to refuse Guido’s cannelloni.

“Seriously. You used to post to that blog all the time. Loads of admirers clung to your every word. What happened?”

I spooned vanilla ice cream onto the flaming dessert. “You know how busy things have been,” I said, only a little sheepish. “If you haven’t noticed, we have two cafés to run now, and we still have not finished renovating the flat in Denmark Hill. Add to that my day job rescuing rich patrons from bad colour schemes and it is no mystery why I have been neglecting my blog. We haven’t played poker with Ted and Gary in a dog’s age, which is just as well given we have no disposable income to fork over when we lose. Why, we have been barely managing sex three times a day lately. Who has time to update a blog?”

“That’s not it,” said Guido. “You have been busy before and still updated. Something else is different.”

My heart started to pound. Was this it? Was Guido falling out of love with me? After all these years and all that mayonnaise, was our relationship ending over some stupid blog?

“I didn’t know my blog was important to you,” I said, desperately trying to suppress the quaver in my voice. “I’ll update more regularly if you would like.”

“Oh, I hated that thing. You kept leaking my recipes and our bedroom secrets to a transatlantic audience. On the other hand, you seemed to enjoy it, and as your loving husband I was willing to put up with it.”

For one I didn’t know what to say. I tried to breathe deeply as I awaited whatever was coming next, dessert long forgotten as it singed the edges of the comforter.

“Have you ever stopped to consider,” asked Guido, “that you haven’t been yourself lately?”

That sounded like a dangerous question. “Sure, we’ve been busy,” I said. “But I’m still me, and you’re still you, and we are still sharing our beautiful and frequently comedic life together.”

“I am worried about you. You have been off your meds for a while. The last time that happened you convinced yourself that you were a glamorous New Hope drag queen with two boyfriends and a stable of unruly houseboys. What’s going through your head now? Has it ever occurred to you that are not a fabulous interior decorator in London, but some underemployed schlub in the frozen wastelands of Lurkistan? That you are in no way married to a gorgeous hairy six-foot Spanish chef, but rather you are neurotic, semi-closeted and alone and will remain so for the rest of your days?”

The tears were streaming down my face, mixing into the charred bananas and melted ice cream.

“I know this is difficult to hear,” said Guido. “And believe me, it hurts me to say it. But even though your life is hardly worth living, you are better off dealing with reality than retreating into a fantasyland. Now let’s get some sleep so I can take you to the nice psychiatrist in the morning.”

“All docs is quacks,” I mumbled more to myself than anybody. But even I rocked back and forth in my Justin Bieber pajamas, I knew Guido was right, and once again was looking out for my best interests. As my sobbing subsided and I drifted off to sleep, I gave thanks to be married to the best husband in the world.


I have a choice to make. Next week is National Coming Out Day, and I have to decide whether to come out to coworkers and clients in my new (temporary, precarious) job.

I had a bad week at the job last week. People are sick and tired of me already. I have already said a bunch of things I would have been better off keeping to myself. So I think I am keeping my mouth shut and trying to repair some of the damage I have done up to this point.

I am somewhat angry at myself for making this decision, but I ought to be angrier at myself for messing up at work beforehand. I can try to pretend that everybody knows I am a queer already (as I have written before, I don’t exactly pass) but if I know one thing about straight people it is that they can be pretty oblivious to obvious things. So even though it ought to be apparent that I am a sexual deviant, I bet it isn’t. Therefore, the next time things go terribly for LGBTQ people in the world, you can blame me. It is my fault for not participating in National Coming Out Day.

I hope this ex-gay stuff starts working soon so I don’t have to deal with these kinds of quandaries anymore.


Intrepid readers may recall my misadventures on Craigslist and how as a result I ran away screaming from the idea of ever having a sex partner ever. It is pretty clear that homosexuality is not doing much for me, so I decided to become an ex-gay. So far it is working out pretty decent. I have not had sex with a man even one time since making this decision.

Admittedly, it may be premature for me to assume this label. I have not gotten around to filling out the paperwork, and I have not made it out to any meetings (which is a shame — I hear the guys there have nice personalities, and that many of them are cute). But I am hoping that once I work through the process and engage in a few sessions of therapy I will be cured.

Unfortunately, becoming ex-gay will only address half the problem. The other half is lesbians. My batting average when it comes to women is not good. Probably half of the women I find attractive turn out to be lesbians, and the rest tend to have lesbionic tendencies. It isn’t that I seek out lesbians explicitly; it is just that certain types of people press my sexual buttons, and lesbians are in that set. (What a Shocking Disclosure. This would be #7, I think.)

Sometimes I worry that this is some kind of subliminated attraction to masculininity, and that I am consciously or unconsciously attracted to “mannish” ladies. This may be true, but I do not think it explains the whole story, and on a physical level I don’t find the super-butchy types do much for me.

Most of the women I find attractive tend to be strong and independent. They are the type of people who have their own interests and hobbies, and who do not depend on having a man around to complete their identities. I think these are the qualities that I find attractive in women. Sadly, there appears to be a relatively high correlation between being strong and independent and being lesbian.

This, of course, is an issue, because lesbians want nothing to do with me, and it appears that for the most part strong independent women don’t either. That reduces the dating pool significantly. Given that I am an abusive controlling monster who should never be in a relationship, I suppose that is for the best, but it still hurts. Furthermore it is gauche to make passes at people who clearly want nothing to do with you.

This does not stop me from trying, of course. As previously documented, I frequently substitute relationships with suspicious friendships and frequently these friendships are with strong, independent women who want nothing to do with me sexually.

I tend to come off as a creep around lesbians. I tend to explore ideas and debate concepts in a very male way, and almost all women (lesbian or not) have no patience for that. To the extent that I attempt to be humourous, I often get into trouble for making the wrong kinds of comments at the wrong times. These are not always chauvinistic pig comments, either. Quite frankly I am surprised that strong independent women are willing to associate with me at all.

From what I have been reading of the ex-gay literature, it seems that finding a woman and getting married seems to be part of the narrative. I hope that is not mandatory. Maybe after I am finished with the ex-gay process I can find an ex-straight group to finish the job.


I had a anger flareup this evening. It was not directly related to my sexuality so it probably does not belong on this blog, but oh well.

The short story is that I had plans and was told to abandon them out of consideration for another’s needs. That put me in a position of debt, which made me grumpy. Any relationship in the world is going to have these kinds of conflicts, but my tolerance for them is small. So it is better that I am alone.

Framing this as a control issue is not wrong, but my angry insight this evening is that this was as much about autonomy as it is about control. There are many situations where I am happy to defer to the wishes of others. But I am not willing to have my autonomy limited. I was raised in an emotionally difficult environment. I have been gaslit many times. It won’t happen again.

This makes it difficult to stay in relationship and it makes it difficult to sustain employment. I started a short-term contract recently and have been struggling with the bureaucracy and the institution. Everywhere I look there are rules, rules, rules: no peeing on the floor, no picking my nose in public, and most obnoxiously holding the company line even when I strongly disagree with that line. But thems the tradeoffs. If you don’t follow the rules you don’t get paid.

Toeing the line is difficult enough in the workplace, and I think I have decided that I won’t put up with it in my personal relationships. Thus it is highly likely that I will be alone for the rest of my life, and that’s okay.

If I had one goal in life, it was to avoid ending up like my father. (Gee. That’s original.) He was (and probably still is) an angry, depressive man who — as far as I could tell — had zero friends, and thus put all of the burdens of human relationship onto his spouse. He grew more and more paranoid and got to the point where he could not work any more, but did not believe in psychiatry.

I thought I would be different, but as I age I am becoming more and more like him. (Gee. That’s original too.) I am angry and anxious to the point where it is difficult to hold down a job, and indeed this short-term contract may well be the last employment I ever have. I have few friends and am doing my level best to alienate the ones that remain. I demand control of situations and pretend I want autonomy, then stomp off when other people defy my wishes. I’m too cheap to go into therapy and too stubborn to go on SSRIs. The parallels are striking.

But I never married, and I never had kids. I avoided that much. If nothing else, the cycle ends with me.

Defined by HIV

(Programming note/content warning: this entry is about HIV/AIDS, and some readers may find the content more offputting than usual.)

Given the perverse afflictions I have exhaustively documented on this blog, it would be easy to conclude that my sexuality is defined by same-sex attraction. I don’t think this is true. I feel my sexuality is defined by HIV, and in particular the plague years of 1981-1996.

It’s fair to say that the plague years did not affect me directly. Had I been ten years older I might have been in the midst of it, but my adolescence touched on the tail end; I was not anything close to sexually active then. But the newspapers (remember newspapers?) ran lots of stories/fearmongering about the plague, and our sex ed classes implicitly or explicitly drove home the message that if we ever had sex with anybody ever we would get pregnant or get a disease. I remember one Health Studies class where our teacher told us that condoms did not do much good because they covered only penises, and in order to be safe we would need full-body coverage. (Little did I know that latex fetishes were a thing. I would be surprised if that teacher had one, though.) School sex-ed was not exactly abstinence only, and as far as I remember homosexuality was not explicitly condemned (because its existence was not even acknowledged), but the messages were harsh enough to scare me away from sex for years, and maybe for life. Although I was guilty of occasional fantasy at the time (and in later years more than occasional masturbation) I had no realistic intentions of actually sleeping with anybody. And why would I? Did I want to contract HIV?

Whether these hypothetical sex partners were male or female did not matter. Even lesbians were told to use dental dams religiously. I am fairly confident that by that time we knew that HIV was not transmitted via touch, but there continued to be fear (and newspaper stories) around dental work and kissing.

I think most people got out from beneath that shadow, which is why they are leading fabulous lives. I never have.

As I started reading more about homosexuality and gay culture, the shadow of HIV grew darker and darker. I am fascinated by the period between Stonewall and the plague years. They seem like a golden age to me, and not just because I am into 70s disco. For years I vacillated between envy for the sexual experimentation of the time and bitter judgement. Didn’t that generation know what all of these concurrent sex partners would lead to? Didn’t they see the plague coming? The answer, of course, is “no”. I dislike when people conflate the abundant casual sex of the era with “love”, and I think that abundant casual sex has its drawbacks (emotional callousness, anyone?) but I no longer think the casual sex was malevolent. I am not immune to the spirit of my times either. If I had been born 10 or 20 years earlier, I would very likely be dead of AIDS now.

Because I have not been personally touched, I have no right in allowing the plague years to define me, but they do. Mostly I feel a combination of horror and sadness and bitterness. I feel horror and sadness when I think of what people of the time had to live through, of watching their friends and loved ones sicken and die, or worrying who was next, of being terrified of this virus and its presumed death sentence. As it stands I am paralyzed by anxiety; I do not know how I would have gotten through. Maybe I would have done what some other survivors did: drop all associations with the LBGTQ community and resign myself to singleness and celibacy and loneliness. Some people leapt into the fray via activismn and hospice care. I would not have been one of them. I have never shown such bravery, and I doubt I would have been any braver in those circumstances.

My feelings of bitterness are even more self-centred. HIV/AIDS robbed me of a generation (maybe two generations) of elders. Putting aside my attractions to older men, I feel that I have been robbed of the wisdom and support members of those generations could have offered.

As years have gone by the conversation around HIV has shifted, and I have been left behind. First we talked about serosorting, and then there was a backlash against serosorting. I remember when people started actively advocating for barebacking, which horrified me. Now the anti-stigmatization pendulum is in full swing, and people who are reluctant to sleep with HIV+ people are seen as ignorant at best and bigoted at worst. We are endlessly lectured that sleeping with HIV+ people who are on meds and have undetectable viral loads is safer than sleeping with people who claim to be negative but may just be unaware of their status. I am the target for this social shaming campaign. And on some level I get it. The stigma is real, and it’s awful to read accounts from HIV+ bloggers who get rejected for disclosing their status. But the argument that I am a bigot just makes me dig in my heels, and the assertions that people who say they are negative are riskier than poz people makes me want to refrain from sex altogether. Being unloveable (and unfuckable) I have not had to face the decision of whether to have sex with an HIV+ partner, and as selfish as it is, I feel fortunate never having been put in that situation.

We used to talk about limiting concurrent partners, about limiting riskier sex behaviours, on insisting on condoms and safer sex practices. Now we talk about HIV being a chronic disease and not a death sentence, about Truvada (which is super-expensive, if you haven’t noticed), and how being uncomfortable with sleeping with HIV+ men is completely unreasonable. And I’m not on board. I have been left behind.

I don’t want to contract HIV. Chronic condition or not, being HIV+ seems like an enormous hassle. It seems as if managing the condition requires discipline, responsibility and finances I don’t have. Fortunately, I do not think that there are many people out there who want to see me infected.

And as our efforts transition from paranoia to anti-stigmatization, the elephant remains in the room. As HIV has become more managable, our sexual mores and habits are reverting to those golden days of the 1970s. Casual sex is acceptable again. Having multiple concurrent partners is seen as progressive, as polyamory slowly gains social acceptance. None of us wants to say it out loud, but I think many of us (especially those of us who were shaped by the plague years) worry that there might be another plague sooner or later, and that it will spread just as quickly as HIV did. Nobody wants this to happen, but the fear that it might gnaws deep within me.

Straight Guys

When I enlisted as a homosexual, I thought I would have license to be attracted to men. I should have read the fine print; straight guys are off-limits. Keeping within the letter of the law is difficult, however. Straight guys are irresistable. They have so much to offer: Their indifference towards musical theatre and skin care products! Their gruff voices! Their enthusiasm for grilling animal flesh on a BBQ, and their disdain for all other kitchen tasks! Their fascination with sportsball and mechanical things! Their beliefs that they are totally capable of athletic prowess regardless of age and pot bellies! Also they sleep with women, which is pretty hot. I wish this did not have to be Shocking Disclosure of Sexual Perversion #6, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

You might accuse me of romanticizing straight guys, or even exoticizing them. That’s fair, I guess (although to be fair: straight guys are in fact exotic). But despite my taboo fantasies, even I understand that straight guys are a lot of work. You have to cook for them and clean up after them. You have to remind them to get to the doctor when they are unwell. You have to attend to their emotional needs despite their inability to articulate those emotions. They tend to spend their disposable income (and sometimes non-disposable income!) on toys. Having a straight guy reminds me of owning a pet reptile: they may be pretty to look at, but they are utterly dependent on you and show you little affection in return.

Most of all, straight guys want nothing to do with me. They are interested in women, not me. That’s part of the reason they are off-limits, I guess. The other part, of course, is internalized homophobia. I plead guilty to all charges. When I think of the archetype of “man” in my head, what comes to mind is a butch straight guy. I think I am not alone in this. There is a reason that many of us look for “straight-acting” fellows in our dating profiles.

In response, many of us employ strategies to butch up. We grow facial hair and go to the gym. We deepen our voices and curtail our mannerisms. We dress in baseball caps and attempt to develop an interest in sportsball. For all our efforts, there is something to be said for how effortlessly straight guys act butch without even trying.

Homosexuals have their charms, but it feels unfair that the kinds of people I am attracted to the most (straight guys, lesbians, happily married couples) are exactly those who are off-limits. As I have expressed many times before in this blog, that makes life awkward, especially given that I do not want to creep people out.

Mama always said to stay away from the straight guys. She was right. As I learned the hard way, they will break your heart every time.

Tumblr’s Golden Age is Over

Every popular website has its golden age. The golden age of Tumblr has ended. I saw today that pornographic Tumblrs now require an account to access. Anonymous perverts like me are now locked out. (Yes. I could sign up for an account. I won’t.)

Frankly I am surprised it took so long. I was shocked that porn Tumblrs were permitted to display their wares without click-throughs or age verification. Forget Playgirls and video stores; Tumblr unleashed a mountain of porn that was scarcely accessible even a few years earlier. I was not able to decide whether this was the new normal or a temporary deluge before Tumblr opted to monetize its network effects. I guess we know the answer now.

It’s fine. Most porn is boring, and because I am a paranoid I archived a bunch of less-boring stuff on my computer. (Don’t you judge me. Are your hard drives pristine?) If there is one thing I have learned about the Internet it is that everything you like is ephemeral, and your chances of (a) refinding obscure content or (b) being able to access it if you have URLs bookmarked are much slimmer than you might expect.

I am sure that some other shiny social network will come along and offer even greater access to immodestly dressed people for a while. I think it is unlikely I will learn about it because I am a dinosaur. I only learned about Tumblr because a WordPress blogger once linked to the hot-men-50 Tumblr (bless you, Buddy Bear). As I age and further resist technology, I think my chances of discovering the latest treasure troves diminish further and further.

As far as I know, there are still other sites where one might find videos of immodestly-dressed people without logins (Xhamster and XTube both come to mind). These sites offer lots of exposed skin, but finding the skin I like is a different matter. Tumblr was bad for a lot of things, but one thing it did well was aggregating and concentrating porn that catered to particular perversions. I could start at a blog that did not match my tastes particularly closely, but on those occasions when I was really drawn to a picture or video, I could follow “reblogged from” links upstream to discover much richer sources. There was inevitably still a lot of boring nonsense to sort through (which is when the /archive url came in handy) but I am aware of no other site which made tracking down my perversions easier. After locating a handful of prolific posters whose sexual tastes were close to my own, I was set.

The fact that several of these prolific posters enjoyed large followings was a surprising bonus. I am a freak, but worldwide it seems that hundreds (or thousands?) of people are similarly freakish. In some weird way that made me feel less alone.