Thursday, June 9, 2011

GoodBye to Facebook

Either I’m not explaining myself well enough, or I’m being paranoid. Probably a little of both.

Facebook has come out with this new feature called “facial recognition”. You can read about it here: Privacy Battle

Why does this concern me you say? Well here’s the thing. I have two facebook accounts (yeah, I know it’s technically not allowed). One for my kinky self and one for my vanilla self. I started the kinky one because I don’t want to enter contests, comment on walls or get invited to events that my mother (or any of my other relatives) would need to “sit me down and have a talk about” on my vanilla Facebook. I don’t want my aunt to know what kind of lube I use, or that I’ve entered contests to win a vibrator. I don’t need my sisters or my children knowing that nearly all of my “friends” are involved in the sex industry in some way. I don’t discuss my sexuality with my family. Period.

I had kinky pix on my kinky FB. I also have vanilla pix on my vanilla FB. Never the twain shall meet, ya know? My ‘nilla ones are of family get togethers, trips, parties and adorable pix of me and my granddaughter. My kinky one has pix of me in rope, with my crossdressing friends, and various other non-sexual pix. Nothing awful or that I’m ashamed about, but nothing that I want my mother to see either.

Facebook’s new facestalking software has some issues that make me nervous. For one thing, this specifically:

“On Tuesday, Facebook said in a blog post that it has been working to make it easier for users to tag photos of their friends and family members. To do this, it has been quietly rolling out facial recognition technology to a test group across the world's biggest social network since late last year. That means Facebook's system will be able to recognize the faces of its 500 million to 600 million users worldwide.

Facebook noted that in just a few weeks, its system will scan all photos posted to Facebook and will offer the names of the people who appear in the frame. All of Facebook's users are automatically added to the database. The facial recognition feature is automatically turned on. Users who don't want the service must manually opt out of it.”

The three statements taken together that convinced me it was time to leave are:

1. FB will be able to recognize the faces of it’s...users worldwide.
2. FB will scan all photos posted and offer the names of the people who appear in the frame.
3. All of Facebook’s users are automatically added to the database.

Number 2 is particularly troubling.

If, as FB says it plans to do, they scan ALL photos posted and offers the names of the people who appear in the frame, that’s reason enough for me to bolt. It means that regardless of whether or not the person on whose profile the picture appears is a friend or not, if it’s on FB, it’s open season for notifying people that I appear in a picture on someone’s profile. So, when this kicked in, the danger would be for the pictures of me appearing on my kinky FB profile, to be recognized and those pictures promulgated to those on my vanilla profile (and vice versa).

So that’s why I removed my profile. That’s why I’ll be judicious about reading and tearing apart Facebook’s motives in the future, and that’s why I’ll never allow my picture to be taken in a kinky setting ever again. I can’t trust that Facebook won’t cross-contaminate my life, despite my best efforts to keep them separately contained.

Your mileage may vary and your comfort level may be different. But I'm outta there.

6/10/11 Updated: Many people have been tweeting and emailing me about how to turn off this feature. Thanks for the assistance. Being owned by a geek daddy, he's usually got me covered with all this technology stuff. I did turn it off on my remaining profile. But when it came to my kink one, I had to weigh the consequences of trusting Facebook to keep my privacy intact against the damage it might do if they fucked it up. Since Facebook has proven in the past to not hold privacy concerns of their users in high regard, I made the only choice I could given my personal circumstances.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cycling Through Kink

Kink is one of those things that runs in cycles.

S&M was a huge (in fact it was darned near the only) thing when I was younger. Situational bottoming for sensation sluts. Spanking did not lead to fucking and getting your ass caned on a Saturday night didn’t mean that you even wanted to look at the person who did it on Sunday morning.

Then came people who wanted more. More relationship than just showing up at a party, finding a willing person and getting your ass caned. Tops wanted more than just to find a nice ass to beat and call it a night. S&M was nice...but people wanted a relationship. People realized that as nice as S&M play was, at the end of the night, we wanted to laugh with someone the next morning.

Power exchange relationships became the vogue. People wanted a master. Or they wanted to be a slave. Mind games, stretching yourself in service, submission of will all became the basis for most of the relationships that I saw. There were more than a few masters who couldn’t master themselves, nevermind anyone else. And those sorts of masters found slaves who knew little about consensual slavery, and thought it was a path to just get dirty nasty things done to them. Few knew what they were getting into, and many found that the power exchanges didn’t necessarily mean blow jobs on demand or bodice ripping romance novels lived in real time.

Rope was the next “big thing” to hit. Everyone did rope. Everyone had a method of tying, a preferred rope, a “twue way” of shibari. Rope became the play rather than a means to an end. This then became the rush to out suspension the suspensions. That's ok. Different ropes.

I think that kinksters have a gene that just causes us to seek out an ever changing path to something new. We never seem to be happy with having a few skills, working on those things that work for us, and letting the rest come into our own devious minds naturally. We’re constantly learning new things, even if some of those things don’t really appeal to us. We’re looking at those checklists as “to do” lists, rapidly pushing through each new activity for the rush that we get from conquering the “next thing”. Without really getting very good at any of them much of the time. Many kinksters are shying away from the D/s part of BDSM in favor of the rush of endorphins from the activities involved in BDSM. And that’s ok. Different strokes.

But I see the longing in their eyes. I read what they write on Fetlife. I listen when they talk. And I know that they’re not very much different from me when I was their age. And they’re not very much different from me as I am now. We all want our lives to be recognized by someone else. We all want to belong. And we all want to love and be loved.

I think that there is a trend that when you reach a certain point, you look back at what you’ve done and try to find something to go forward to. As much as some of my younger friends might not want to think about it, in 15 or 20 years, they’ll likely no longer look or feel the same way as they do now, and speaking from experience, they’ll likely no longer be able to DO the same things that they do now. As the check boxes are filled in one by one, there will come a time when the boxes are all full and they’ll feel like there’s nothing that they “haven’t done”. Trust me on this one. It creates a jaded outlook of kink, something I’m quite guilty of from time to time.

Believe me. I never in a million years, ever thought I’d look at kinky anything and say “ho hum”. But that’s what frequently happens.

But kink is cyclical. What’s new and trendy today, will no doubt turn to something new again. I said to Septimus not too long ago that I felt that many of our friends, who appeared to me to still be searching for “something” might end up finding what they’re looking for in the D/s part. Something that is playfully acted at by many, without understanding the freedom that comes in D/s relationship- or the responsibility that comes with them. Perhaps they’re not ready to “settle down” and explore the other two letters. Perhaps they just don’t see all that many D/s relationships in real life that are appealing to them. I do know that I find it very difficult personally to hear of a 20 year old master of anything. Or for that matter, a 20 year old slave. I have to wonder if they KNOW.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. I mean, personally- when I was 20, I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted from life. Who I wanted to be, what I wanted my relationships to look like. All I thought about was getting all those dirty things done to me to get me off. But perhaps those 20 year olds are different now and do know exactly what they’re getting into. But when they're lacking experience in even plain old ordinary vanilla relationships, I always wonder if they do.

So when I read this quote this morning, I smiled. This was by a 38 year old woman who seems to me has reached the point where she’s interested in those other two letters.

"The longer I explore, the more I realize that what I seek is a Power Exchange Relationship.
This is a hard thing to say in a community where there seem to be more kinksters and weekend party-goers (not that there's anything wrong with either) than people with D/s labels. I feel different. I feel exposed when I say what I want.”

I wonder if what I told Septimus about my personal feelings regarding D/s will play out and we’ll start to see more people wondering just what’s up with all that folderol with the D/s part of BDSM. I’m starting to see the swing. I wonder if anyone else does?