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Ch36-REVENGE PORN -How to avoid becoming a victim

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Chapter 36
REVENGE PORN -How to avoid becoming a victim
Originally posted July 1, 2015

If you have been made the victim of "non-consensual pornography", please call the 24/7 CCRI Crisis Helpline: 844-878-2274 It is hosted by live operators, and verified as active as of July 1, 2015. Call wait times are long, so you may wish to go to their website. There is also a Victim Advocate number to call: 443-470-5516 which is answered by voice-mail.

This is the first new chapter I've added to the guide literally in years. Honestly, it has been hard enough trying to update my chapters to reflect the current face of OKCupid as quickly as they delete features, and no, I've not even kept up with that. Prior to this, I thought my Guide to dealing with Online Harassment, detailed in Chapter 9, would be sufficient. How naive it looks to me now less than a decade after composing it.

REVENGE PORN -is there a way to avoid becoming a victim?
Sadly, I would have to say no, at least not while respect for privacy remains as low as it is at the moment, but the risk of it can be reduced without taking a vow of chastity. It should probably be noted that, if we are to believe the revelations provided by Privacy Hero, Edward Snowden, not only is The NSA opening all our mail, AND looking at our porn, but they are even PASSING OUR PORN AROUND!! Don't believe me? Watch John Oliver interviewing Edward Snowden on this very issue. I have the episode cued up to the precise second of that topic. Read more...Collapse )

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28th-May-2011 03:22 am - DCMerlin's Guide to FetLife
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This entry represents the beginning of, "DCMerlin's Guide to FetLife". If I continue to use the site and discover more difficulties and workarounds, I'm likely to divide this into chapters as I did with my Guide To OKCupid

My first week on FetLife
I've made many discoveries and discovered many frustrations:
I regret to say that nearly every discovery appears tied to some sort of perceived weakness about the site. I regret this as some will feel I'm dissing the site. I feel that by pointing them out, I can help new users to adapt more rapidly to the site, and potentially help site operators to remedy some of these difficulties.

I'm starting the guide while my observations as a new user are still clear to me, as it may help other new users get started. Read more...Collapse )
28th-May-2011 02:40 am - Ch35-Linking Your Kink
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Ch35-Use Fetlife to best express your kinky interests on OKCupid

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Chapter 35
Use Fetlife to best express your kinky interests on OKCupid
Originally posted May 28, 2011

An introduction to Fetlife for OKCupid users:
I would recommend that any OKCupid users with a serious interest in Polyamory or BDSM make a FetLife account and link to it from their OKCupid profile. Only other FetLife users will be able to open that link and see your adult photo, essays, and forums posts, and it is probably better that way. Anyone sufficiently interested will create an account.

OKCupid works extremely well, but by itself it is not perfectly suited to the Poly and BDSM crowds. At the same time FetLife is in no way a substitute for OKCupid. I already like FetLife more than I ever liked Plenty Of Fish. POF would be a good place for anyone easily intimidated by nudity or BDSM. FetLife could be a valuable accessory site to anyone using OKC or POF.Read more...Collapse )

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Ch34-How to be as attractive as you can be

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Chapter 34
How to be as attractive as you can be
Originally posted April 4, 2011
Last updated September 18, 2011

In this chapter I'll tell you the most unattractive things people do that make you not want to date them. If you are the one having a hard time dating, there's a good chance you make some of the same mistakes.

Sub index:
What all attraction enhancers tend to have in common.
Own your issues, don't whine about them.
The best way to deal with issues you feel make you unattractive.
Don't pretend to be like other people.
The one issue that tends to make all people unattractive, PAIN.
One source of pain all OKCupid users have in common.
Two treatments for pain I personally subscribe to.

What all attraction enhancers tend to have in common:
Have you ever noticed that when it comes to making yourself more attractive to the opposite sex, it seems EVERYBODY has an answer and that ALL of the answers require you to SPEND MONEY?

There's a reason for that. The reason is that people who want to make money prey on *your* insecurities. Think about it. Prostitution is purported to be the worlds oldest profession, but really the world's oldest profession is preying on desire, which in that case is rather the same thing. "Krog, give me your sheep in exchange for this shiny stone and then booby-girl will boink you."

Think about what you really care about in a girlfriend or boyfriend. You want someone who doesn't offend you, someone who likes the same jokes, who is nice to be with, who doesn't embarrass you around friend or family, is reasonably good in bed, preferably allows you to sleep, and who within reason, smells nice. Nothing I just listed should require them to spend much money. But people do! Between clothing, hair products, expensive cologne, fancy shoes, teeth whitening products, cosmetics and Rogaine. Oh, and let's not forget the sex enhancing products! Most people spend a lot of money on stuff which in the end makes little or no difference upon your willingness to date them.

What goes for you goes for others. If you want to attract other people, don't bother with cologne or perfume. Merely bathe well and do your laundry Don't just spray yourself with Axe and your clothes with Febreze! (an unfortunate but true story!) The best way to deal with the dark circles under your eyes is to get more sleep. I'm not saying a "Five Hour Energy Shot" won't help to make you a bit more alert on your next date, but there's no substitute for sleep when it comes to being well rested, alert, calm and personable.

Own your issues. Don't whine about them!
Whiney, achey-breaky, people are not attractive and this world is full of them.

It is okay to be poor, or sick, or overburdened with children from a previous marriage. It is a turnoff to be constantly complaining about it. Yet people continue to do this and they wonder why they are alone. I am not telling anyone to suffer in silence. I am suggesting that you do what you can to better your situation and try not to wear it.

Look at me. I have at least two fairly major health issues, but outside of being realistic about my limitations, I really don't complain about it... that much. I have lots of friends, a HUGE social circle and I meet an incredible number of interesting people through OKCupid alone.

I cannot tell a person how to be more positive. I can tell you a few of the things you can do to feel more positive so that you have less reason to complain as much, and in turn not scare people away.

If you are poor, don't blow money on expensive dates while whining the whole time about how your ex is the reason your car got repossessed. You'd have scored better taking your date to Popeye's and talking about things that actually interest you.

The best way to deal with issues you feel make you unattractive:
Be honest! If you are sick, that's okay, but ideally you should mention this in your profile or at least prior to a first meeting. It is admirable to be honest about it. I'll never forget the first meeting I had with a woman who showed up on crutches and wearing a bulbous diaper under her pants. I mean sure, okay it doesn't matter, or it shouldn't, but really this should not be a first meeting "surprise" either. Making your illness your primary topic of discussion will ensure your first meeting will be your last.

If you are actually overburdened with children from a previous marriage, be realistic about this too. There are people who like idea of raising children and don't care as much about where they came from. It would be wiser to try to find the right men/women than to try to hide them from the wrong men/women. One of my many friends is a divorcee who when I met her had seven or eight children, more than half of whom had behavior disorders. She found a man who could take that in stride. It wasn't me!

Don't pretend to be like other people:
A lot of people feel inadequate in one way or another and so they compensate by claiming to be into something that in fact they are quite incompetent with.

A common example of this is cooking. Those of us who do cook, though our individual talent may vary, actually like sharing what we know with others who share this interest. By putting it in your profile that you like to cook, when in fact you are proud when you manage not to burn spaghetti, sigh, is an example of lying to appear more appealing to others.

If you can barely cook, it is better to say that though you try, you feel incompetent in the kitchen. Doing so will help to ensure you will not look like a liar later, and it may even result in your meeting someone who prefers to be the sole cook in a relationship. YES! Some people hate to share their kitchens with another person. If you are well suited to such a person, you should represent yourself properly.

The one issue that tends to make all people unattractive, PAIN:
I hate to say this because there is no way I can make it sound as though I'm not selling something, even though I'm not selling anything.

Pain is unattractive. It is the one thing people find most impossible to resist whining about. Even if we don't say anything, it shows in our eyes. Managing pain without being perpetually stoned on narcotics is not something that they teach us in school and few doctors will offer.

Pain Kills! Make no mistake, chronic pain takes lives! The means may be more or less direct, but that makes it no less true.

More directly: Whether or not you grow accustomed to your pain and tune it out, it is still interfering with your sleep and eroding your restfulness. Good sleep is necessary for your body to heal itself and for a healthy immune system.

Less directly: Statistics show that Married People live longer. Statistics also show is that exhausted, ill and suffering people get divorces. Ask anyone whose marriage has ever been broken up by an illness such as Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis. Pain interferes with your ability to be a happy person, to experience joy and sex, to interact favorably with others, and to just plain be appealing to the opposite sex (or sex of your preference). Pain challenges relationships and makes it that much harder to start new ones. Being unable to maintain a relationship can lead to depression, loss of sleep and restfulness, more directly leading to impaired health.

One burden all OKCupid users have in common:
The one thing all OKCupid users have in common is that we all use computers, and even though you don't hear about it, using computers as much as we tend to is really not good for us. I'm not telling you to use the computer less, or go out and spend $600 on a more comfortable chair or larger display... although those might help.

My first two years after getting my first computer my back was killing me. I'd get these pains in my back and shoulders that were sometimes so severe that the only way I could keep from screaming was to drop to the ground and lay flat on my back. It was awkward to say the least. That forced me to change how I sat at the computer. We adapt, but still we suffer.

Two treatments for pain I personally subscribe to:

Treatment one, MTPT:
Two weeks after I joined OKCupid, almost exactly five years ago, I was in a car accident that messed up my back such that I've basically been seeing chiropractors more or less continuously for the next five years. They helped alleviate the pain, but they did not cure it.

Then, completely by accident in January 2010, I discovered a treatment that has done more to wipe out the pain caused by the car accident as well as much of that which was caused by using computers as much as I do... and even some of the most annoying effects of Lyme disease.

I was introduced to MTPT by a friend. Before I tried it, I didn't check to see if my insurance would cover it. After I tried it, I no longer cared. It was quick, roughly two, two hour sessions. The out of pocket expenses were about equal to my copay on a year of less effective chiropractic treatments. I understand that this type of treatment works best when combined with chiropractic so currently I'm planning to stick with both and see if my insurance wants to cover any of this other type of treatment, I'm not optimistic but I'm curious.

In addition to relieving pretty much all of my physical pain inside of two, two hour visits, she provide me with a list of stretches which, followed each day, reset me pretty close to where I was when she was done with me. I'm really amazed. I'm not saying she's cured my Lyme Disease, but she's removed one of the most annoying symptoms, I still don't have the energy it has taken away, but at least for several months afterwards, walking was much less painful than it was. I had to edit this to reflect the past tense as when subjected to sufficient physical and emotional stress I did in fact relapse but it was great while it lasted. The next time around I'll try not to make the same mistakes.

The treatment is referred to as Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy. I don't have any idea how much individual providers of this type of service vary, but I know chiropractors vary a lot, so it stands to reason these do as well. As I know there's quite a high density of OKCupid users in my local area who I have been in contact with and so I'm going to list the one I go to in case anyone else wants to try her services.

If you can reasonably access the Washington DCMetro area, please contact The Back Pain Lady at www.PainFreeMaryland.com.

Treatment two, strategic use of anti-inflammatories:
I've had debilitating joint pain since I was about fourteen. By the time I was 18 I discovered something which radically improved my overall functionality. In the years since, I've come to realize that my simple discovery is not at all well known, even though it seems as though it should be fairly obvious.

Most people do not take any type of anti-inflammatory preventively, or if they do, they take them more or less constantly as opposed to what I describe here as "Strategically". Even people who take anti-inflammatories nearly constantly, say at 4-6 hour intervals, only start taking them after they are in pain, not before they are in pain.

My observation was that I was typically not in pain when I first got out of bed but I would be not long after. As an experiment I began taking low doses of aspirin *before* getting out of bed to see if I could prolong the period before I would be in pain. The results varied but at the very least I extended the delay before pain from mere minutes to several hours!

My discovery was that if I took as little as about 150mg aspirin (half of one standard aspirin) before getting out of bed in the morning, I would not irritate my joints as badly as if I got out of bed without doing this. I was younger and thinner then. Over the years I changed to taking chewable aspirin which are absorbed faster. These days I set my alarm for two times 10 minutes apart. With the first alarm I pop open a Redbull and take my three chewable aspirin then go back to sleep for ten minute while the aspirin an Red Bull are allowed to take effect. With the second alarm I'm *much* more ready to take on the world.

In this case, I choose to take three of these 81mg chewable aspirin just because it seems to work and that's not really a high dose at all at a total of 243mg. I suspect that taking even less would be better than none, but this dose is unlikely to get me into any sort of trouble and to date it has never ever upset my stomach.

It was only as a result of getting Lyme Disease that I moved away from Aspirin for nearly a year taking other pain relievers including Aleve. Long term it seemed as though I was getting worse. When I returned to Aspirin I appeared to improve. I realize it is too subjective to prove a correlation, but personally I tend to feel that Aspiring has therapeutic value beyond simply reducing inflammation and relieving pain.

In this world where frivolous lawsuits have people all but suing the city for providing sidewalks which might inspire someone to exercise to excess, sigh, I'm obviously not going to suggest anyone drink Red Bull or take aspirin. What I will say is that if you already take anti-inflammatories, you might want to try placing them at your bedside with a beverage before sleep and taking them when you wake up. I don't think anyone can sue me for that.

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Originally posted in my OKC journal Mar 25, 2011
Reposted here as reference material to be linked as reference material.

I wasn't planning to explain why exactly the IM in my last journal post was abusive.  Today a user posted a comment in response to my post in which, among other things, he defended this user's right to ask such personal questions in this manner.

When I posted of the user's behavior, I did so knowing that this is the sort of behavior that many young women have come to accept such as "normal male behavior".  I'm here to say it is not "normal" adult male behavior.  It is also not considered acceptable use of OKCupid.

I realize that there are many men, and even a few women who don't get it, so I will post few examples, and later I may even repost these as reference guidelines for my guide chapter regarding being a responsible report moderator.

I was reading your profile and I'd be very interested to hear your views regarding the legalization of prostitution?

not okay:
Would take $50 to give me a blow-job?

okay:  (albeit not very okay)
I'm secretly gay and think you are hot.  I was wondering if you'd come out of the closet for me and have a frank discussion about gay sex?

not okay:  (not at all okay)
Do you enjoy violent anal sex?

I'm positive that even with these clear examples, there will be users on this site who do not recognize the difference.  I just happen to be of the opinion that such users are detrimental to the system and need to be removed.  

For those of you not familiar with Report Moderation, also known as "Flagmod", flagged messages result in profile deletion when the messages meet certain criteria. 

Here is the list copied directly from the OKCupid Report Moderation page:
    * • Threats or harassment
    * • Hate speech
    * • Crude, overt sexual remarks
    * • Commercial solicitations

Like it or not, the phrase, "Do you enjoy violent anal sex" meets the criteria of "Crude, overt sexual remarks".  In another context, such as quoting lines from favored movies, it might not have, even discussing this post it not a remark, but a reference or quotation.  However, in *this* context, an initial "greeting" between users who have never before spoken, it is assaultive, rude, and it violates the rules.  

The journal comment, which I chose not to authorize, was itself rather out of line and I could easily see myself making a case for the deletion of that user as well under the title of harassment, and I certainly would if it continued.  For now I've chosen only to block him.  One could say that unlike the IM person he was "invited" to comment.  I disagree with him describing me as "Oversensitive", "a dweeb" and "the hypocrite you decry in your post" for moderating comments in my own journal.  I get it, he's a free speech nut and probably Hell to live with.  I suppose I should pity him, because no self-respecting woman is likely to stay with a man like that for very long.

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(Reference material for Chapter 9: Harassment, and Chapter 28: User Psychology)

To return to Chapter 9, "Harassment", Click Here (or hit your browser's back button)

To return to Chapter 28, "User Psychology", Click Here (or hit your browser's back button)

Reference: Top Ten Inexcusable Behaviors
Originally written on OKC Feb. 1, 2009 (click to see original)
reposted and relinked Mar. 20, 2011

Many users of this site, mostly but not entirely men, have been ruining the experience of this site for other users and in doing so they are driving away some of the nicest people. In the defense of these abusive users, I would remind everyone that they know not what they do, and sometimes need to be told.

In this journal entry I will keep a list, organized from most to least common offenses. Feel free to refer such obnoxious people to this list the next time you suffer one of them. We can hope that they learn an stop prior to experiencing a well deserved profile deletion.
  1. Those who feel justified in insulting those who plainly say in email or IM that they are not interested.
  2. Those who assault others with initial greetings such as, "Wanna see my cock" or "I like to look at your pics and play with myself".
  3. Those who abuse the IM feature such that users turn off IM and are unable to receive friendly IMs.
  4. Those who abuse the journal system by repeatedly posting derogatory comments in the profiles of others.
  5. Those who abuse the forum system by rapid-fire nonsense comments to disrupt the forum.
  6. Those who assume that because it is called IM, that the recipient must respond instantly and insult those who don't respond fast enough.
  7. Those who assume that the recipient is required to respond to every correspondence and insult those who don't reply to their emails.
  8. Those who falsely claim that OKCupid is a Pick-Up site and attempt to embarrass users into using it that way too, often causing these legit users to log in less often or even close their accounts.
  9. Those who reply to a sincere and friendly first email by berating those who took the time to compose such an email, only because the recipient is not interested. <---(I've actually been a victim of this one a few times, often from women who feel that I'm supposed to know I'm either too young or too old for them. If they feel that way, they should state an age range visibly in their own profile.)
  10. ---This next item does not actually deserve deletion---
    Lastly, people who WOULD NOT DO ANY OF THESE THINGS, but instead use shyness as an excuse not to say hello which could make OKCupid seem like a friendlier place! :-)

With the exception of the last item, I believe all users who get flagged for any of these abusive behaviors deserve to lose their accounts here. The abusive behavior I have listed, behavior that makes life unpleasant for legitimate users has an overall negative effect on this site.

I also feel that OKCupid flagmods need to understand that ending this sort of abuse is far more important than whether someone's face is showing or even whether a user openly reveals bigotry in their profile. I don't know about you, but I would much rather know if someone is a bigot, so listing it in your profile if you are one is a GOOD thing.

I am leaving commenting on. If you feel you have been a victim of a type of offense not listed here, please feel free to add a comment and if I feel it belongs I will add it.
26th-Feb-2011 04:58 am - Ch31-Who needs A-List Membership?
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Ch31-Who needs A-List Membership?

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Chapter 31:
Who needs A-List Membership?
Posted on LJ Feb. 26, 2011
Last updated ---

First off, I'd like to assure everyone reading this that OKCupid is completely functional without A-List! Don't make me repeat that! Read more...Collapse )
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Chapter 0.2-1, The purchase of OKCupid by "IAC Match.com"
You can return to this chapter using "tinyurl.com/okmatch"

My email inboxes and visitors list have collectively seen an absurd spike since the news broke. It is actually very flattering to be considered such an authority on OKCupid, although I realize that in the hysteria, I'm not the only person receiving such email.

Though I don't have quite *all* the answers, there is one thing I am certain about. That contrary to rumor, the Dating Site "Match.com" has not in fact purchased OKCupid.com.

Yes! That's right. The actual rumor which you heard, or read, and likely even Googled yet further about, has been essentially misreported. I will explain what I know to date. In certain, as yet unexplained areas, I do speculate, but I make it entirely clear what I am speculating about. Read more...Collapse )
18th-Jan-2011 12:03 am - Infrastructure, Link to guide
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(to be linked to chapter 1 especially as that seems to be the chapter people seem to find most valuable and important to share.)

OKCupid has internal social circles of serious users who have discovered that the OKCupid match system is in fact remarkably effective, within those circles there is an ever increasing number of users who have become serious users as a direct result of my guide, and they wish to share my guide with more user to bring them on board as serious users.

There are several easy ways to link others to my guide: Read more...Collapse )
14th-Jan-2011 09:56 am - Testimonial: To Chapter 1
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(Testimonial entry for Chapter 1: Guide to Match Score Accuracy)

To return to Chapter 1, Click Here (or hit your browser's back button)

Please read this recent testimonial by a user who I persuaded to carefully read and advise the tips of chapter 1 of my guide to OKCupid:

For those of you afraid of strange links, this is the content of that link above:

Behind the cut is the a copy of the actual text of that entry, just in case the user decides to delete her profile causing her journal entry to disappear. Read more...Collapse )
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