Clothes Off! - Gym Class Heroes (mp3)
explanation to the uninitiated" post, I read it and decided to link it for our parents... on the off chance they look at our page and read those links.
ChatRoulette allows people to connect, randomly and anonymously, to other people via webcam. Ms. Yardi describes the site very well, and she also lays out the pitfalls and concerns of the way the system works. Yet, very much like my experiences with Internet-broadcast terrorist beheadings and "the video that shall not be named," something about the ease with which one's curiosity can be ferreted and soothed drew me to pay the site a visit last Thursday evening.
Clad in my blue jeans and T-shirt, I hopped on. Two of the first five cams I encountered were singularly focused on exposed manhoods being fondled in an onanistic manner.
At that point, I hopped off and contemplated my own ground rules:
- Upon exposure to genitalia of either gender, I would immediately click "New Game." (Yes, the mere phrase "new game" as a way to switch "partners" is a little discomforting.
- I would attempt to type to anyone, male or female, not exposing themselves and not clearly prepared to do so. Any communication leaning in that direction would be cut off.
- I would chat with no one longer than 5 minutes.
Until then, Penthouse was a sexualized fiction. Instead of orcs and hobbits, there were breasts and penises, engaged in epic battles and exposed in ways that just didn't really happen. The letters section of that magazine were, to our minds, clearly made up. Stories of fast food workers having sex in the drive-thru window or at wild parties. That stuff was no more believable to me than tales of dragon-slaying or the Balrog.
Bourbon Street wasn't merely sexualized. It was an exposure to several new dimensions. The street performer as pseudo-art, high-end panhandling. The restaurant as cathedral. The gutter as acceptable receptacle for vomit. All of this was powerful and revelatory to me.
ChatRoulette is Bourbon Street on techno-steroids. The kind of Bourbon Street that might interest Congressman Massa more than, say, the average guy.
Over the course of about an hour, I encountered at least 200 web cams.
Only twice did another male even say "hi" to me. And both times the chats lasted only long enough for me to say no, I'm not interested in jerking off with you, but thanks for the invitation.
Only eight times did I encounter a cam with females. Four times, they instantly clicked "New Game" and ejected me. Twice I had 5-minute chats. One was a 25-year-old Brazilian woman who shared with me some of her favorite Brazilian musicians. We also talked about the World Cup. I asked her for the names of their best players.
The other longer conversation I had was with a pair of young college, or possibly high school, girls. The conversation was amusing and lasted about three minutes before it seemed to cross the line and inched into the inappropriate. (It's tough to know where that line is when their first words to me was, "OMG, it's a fully-clothed man!")
The other two times, the chats lasted maybe a minute. Long enough for them to be certain I wasn't whatever they were interested in seeing or talking to, I guess.
No fewer than 40 times did I encounter a penis.
Another 20-25 times, the cam was focused in such a way that masturbation was clearly the end goal. Cam trained on bulging underwear, or in downward-facing angle where crotch could be seen in a moment's notice.
Another 10 or so times, I encountered drawings of penises, as if that kid from Superbad had taken over a percentage of the ChatRoulette computers. (One funny one had, written beside the penis: "This is a drawing of a tree! I swear!")
Nothing about me should suggest I'm a prude. Even the best parts of our great civilization requires cesspools and garbage dumps. All part of the Yin/Yang thing. So I get it. ChatRoulette is 95% Yang. (ha.)
Thanks, but I'd just as soon go find my Yang somewhere else.
Oh yeah, and three times I encountered a group of kids. Like, middle school age. Two groups of three, and one single boy. And that's where the whole Yin/Yang, ChatRoulette, let's-make-fun-of-the-penises thing gets a little bit weightier than I can handle.
It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?