A year for retooling


Hoping to make some changes around here this year! I’ve been pretty busy tweeting and posting things on Facebook so this has somewhat fallen by the wayside. Also I’m occasionally co-hosting Life on the Swingset so check those out on the media page.

But, this year my focus is going to be on figuring out a real direction that I want to go in other than casual blogger. I’m feeling a passion for making this more than a hobby and into something I can at least start making a job out of. I’m still super torn on what I actually want to do with the pile of things I know and like to share and what form that will take. But figuring that out as well as the business side of how to make that actually happen is my intention for the year.

So if anyone has recommendations for mentorship things, business development opportunities, and even useful certifications to study for, all are welcome! But I feel like I’ll hopefully see my fellow educators out there more this year and get those connections 😀

As for the educating, check out @misterpent on twitter or facebook.com/misterpent for my regular updates until I figure out where this site is going to fit into all of the next phase! Oh and subscribe to Life on the Swingset the podcast while you’re at it 😉

Signal Boost: The Best Sex-Trafficking Narrative Deconstruction


I’m absolutely floored by how detailed and methodical this piece is in taking apart the media/hollywood/law enforcement narrative around sex-trafficking and how it is intended to hurt sex workers who do it of their own choice. I could quote and talk about it but it’s rather lengthy so I rather you go read that:

The Truth About the Biggest U.S. Sex Trafficking Story of the Year

Saran Wrap Dental Dams


You know what’s great that it exists for safe mouth on genital sex? Dental dams.

You know what is terribly engineered and mostly useless for safer sex? Dental dams.

Aside from being incredibly hard to find out in the world, they’re just a massive pain in the ass to use. Made from a super thin rubber, they’re incredibly light, which becomes a problem when you want them to stay in one place. Not just on a body, but also when you want them to not stick to your face with every breath you take.


Mmm Black Cola

SO, guess what? I know of something you can get at pretty much any store, is made to stick to itself and things to wrap them nicely, and tastes/smells like nothing!

Yeah, you read the title already, it’s Saran Wrap.

But it’s not FDA approved. So what’s a sex educator to do? Well, luckily these two adorkable human beings did some pretty convincing tests as to if it’s safe for preventing STI transmission:

Good enough for me!

I’ve even used saran wrap for someone riding my face and it stayed in place and worked fantastically (protip: throw some lube on your partner’s genitals before applying the wrap). Whereas with the dam it would have been basically me breathing the dam and them trying to follow it around my face as it blew around. So pick yourself up a nice box of saran wrap, preferably with a cutter built-in for easy use!

Full Disclosure


… Not what you were expecting?

No, this is just a podcast update! I’ve been on Full Disclosure with Eric Barry a few times lately and wanted to plug that. There was my first appearance (http://www.fdpod.com/podcasts/fd-158-internet-privacy-hacking-with-mr-pent/), followed by two more so far (the latest being this week’s).

It’s been a blast recording with him and his crew. And hopefully I can bring more news of other podcast sightings as well 🙂

Finding My Footing At CatalystCon


Long, long ago in a city far, far away…

Oh yeah, so I went to CatalystCon West in September. This was my 2.5th Catalyst (only partially counting East where I was so sick I only made it to half of the talks and nothing else).

So aside from starting to get a more confident footing at this conference and not being there with the large crew I had been with in the past, I told myself that I’d get out of my comfort zone and do more with my weekend. It really worked out well I’m happy to say.
My other big goal was to survive/succeed at my first time speaking at ANY conference!

I guess I’ll run through some highlights in no particular order then:

The biggest moment obviously, was the panel I was on (you can find the audio on the GentlePerverts Social Club Episode #7)
Despite some serious anxiety running up to it and a lack of sleep, it went surprisingly well! I had only done a couple of podcasts with the lovely crew
but we gelled quite well. And I think it was not only informative but hopefully a bit fun too.
I’m happy to say we will be reprising my role on the panel at the next Catalyst Midwest!

Another big moment was finally pinning Reid Mihalko down for a few minutes to do a quick interview on his origins for GPSC (see Episode #7 linked above)! That was really fun and he’s always an awesome person to chat with.
Speaking of Reid, the networking event that he ran easily eclipsed any that I’d been to at a professional event, ever. It was made into a sort of game but it really made me not only synthesize my self promotion down to a brief, digestable few sentences, but got me talking to a lot more people than I would have gone up to on my own.
I can’t wait to see all of these new people more…

I also met the lovely Erin Kennedy and found out all about her ventures and path that brought her to Catalyst. Definitely check out her site, sexfortherest.com!
And thanks to meeting Erin, she gave me the heads up and a group of us found ourselves at Bawdy Storytelling on Sunday night! I had heard clips from the RISK! podcast many times and really wanted to see it. I was pumped Dixie was doing one in LA after the end of the conference.

Oh and it goes without saying that a weekend full of sex educators may have included some sexy times, too…

In the end, I was very glad that I spent the extra night on Sunday to decompress with people. It’s a really emotionally and socially intense weekend and that time to be more relaxed around friends is a great way to prepare going back into the post-con world.

I’ve mentioned that my goal was to get a better vibe of the direction I wanted to go in the educator realm. I had been somewhat seriously looking at MPH and Sex Therapist programs/routes but the Sex Educator Bootcamp with Tristan Taromino really opened my mind in terms of going my own route. I’ve settled on bulking up on some small bits of education while I relaunch my site with a new direction soon. Depending on how that goes, I’ll consider a masters program further down the line…

Anyway, Catalyst Con is coming to Chicago in April! I’m trying my best to get everyone I know who is local to check it out…not just to see me but also to see all of the other awesome panels and meet some great educators.

Slapping my own wrists – BAD BLOGGER!


Oh hey, it’s me, remember me?

Fuck I’ve been slacking. I’ve been busy though. This summer featured some play parties, a trip to Catalyst Con west, speaking on a panel, several podcasts including interviewing my role model, Reid Mihalko…it’s been great! Oh except for that coming out part, that wasn’t so great.

So I’m hoping to really get this thing moving again. I got really excited after all the amazing people I met at Catalyst and had wonderful experiences and conversations leave a real imprint on me. I can’t wait to push forward with some school and developing a business plan and other exciting things.

Except, work.

I realize that I need to really keep myself moving along in my day job and coming up on my four year anniversary, it’s time to get some new education under my belt. I told myself that I’m going to take and (hopefully) pass an exam I scheduled for this Wednesday. Then I will allow myself to focus on some sex educator activities.

So I’ll hopefully be checking back in with more writing soon!

The Gentleperverts Social Club Podcast


JUST plugging it!

I was a guest in a segment on episode 1 where Dylan and I discussed his loss of his father and his coming out to his mother and episode 4 where several of us discussed the intersections of kink, poly, and swinging as well as the upcoming episode (6?) where we discuss…intent…and cats…or however the episode ends up being edited, perhaps both!

Fun stuff, great crew making appearances on it, and a wide variety of topics.

Think of Dylan Thomas as your Ira Glass of sexiness.


New/Sideways Directions…


I was about to start writing about how since my first Catalyst Con experience post, I decided to look at other directions other than Public Health.

But I didn’t write much about that even! #lazyblogger

So, to summarize, I went to Catalyst West last year and had an amazing time and met some awesome people and got some ideas cooking about how I could further become involved professionally in spreading sex positivity. One area that really stuck out, thanks to an awesome talk about public health, was, well, public health. Particularly in the policy arena. I’ve always been a bit of an activist and very political person so that could be a good channel for my energies.

So I decided to mull that over when I went to Catalyst East in March. I didn’t write about that because due to some poor airport food choices, I spent most of the conference holed up in my hotel room with food poisoning! Major bummer. But I did make it to four talks. And had the first afternoon of hanging out to chat with people before the sickness hit. I got to hear more about public health and bounce more ideas off of people. I started putting together some more solid ideas of how I would go about schooling and what routes people found most helpful.

As the spring went on, I had a couple partners mention to me that I might want to consider sex therapy as a career direction. I had to do some research because while I know several sex therapists, I didn’t know what they actually *do*. I was pretty shocked because it sounded like something that would totally be up my alley. I do a lot of talking with friends and newbies about non-monogamy and their relationships and whatnot, and it sounded like this would be a way to formalize and round out that interest as a career. So for this coming Catalyst West, I’m hoping to get a better idea of how that works and if maybe that is a better direction to go in!

Oh, and speaking of Catalyst West, I’ll be speaking on a panel…check it out here: http://catalystcon.com/sessions/#handshake

The Fetlife Meatlist Scandal from a Security Perspective


I’m an information security professional (penetration tester) in my day job so here’s some thoughts about what has happened so far. I’m going to update as I find out more.

The bad news:
1. 100k usernames and basic info leaked.
2. This was made in response to Fetlife not implementing their top voted suggestion (allowing demographic searches like other kink sites). So it’s an idea that’s been floating out there.
3. This is easily scriptable. Anyone with some decent web development knowledge could write a script that you point at a popular group and it will go through and scrape all the data shown and throw it into a table.
4. Guys are creeps.
5. Fetlife issued a DMCA takedown but didn’t follow up with any legal action or threats so it expired and went back up.
6. Fetlife is so poorly funded they can’t get as many quality developers as they need to keep up with security and updates.

The good news:
1. This info doesn’t have names or real contact info, just things that you could find browsing someone’s profile (but obviously doesn’t negate the creepiness of all the searching being done).
2. People are noticing and upset this time.

What can be done?
1. Privacy controls such as Facebook and Google+ implement. Unfortunately this likely requires a huge re-write of the site and will take time.

2. Paid access. Fix the funding problem and lack of development by starting to charge for features or the entire site. Sucks that a lot of people will leave because of this but it’s better than turning into another collarme or not addressing the issues.
3. More transparency in the way issues are handled. A board running things at the top and not just Baku making decisions.

4. Restrictions on some back end stuff such as database exposure and search limiting.

5. If you are on the list: delete your profile and re-create. You’ll have a new userid # so the link on the list will no longer work.

Also for the love of god people, do not use the same fetlife username as you use with other services that have your public persona.

More info from knowledgeable folks is welcomed!

Breaking Out of Sickness Paralysis


It’s been a rough month…

I had my wisdom teeth out about a month ago. All four, so I knew it was going to set me back for a couple weeks.

There were warnings that I could have a higher risk of complications due to my age, particularly nerve damage.

I didn’t get that…but I did get a hole between my mouth and sinuses that didn’t heal. And has resulted in a sinus infection that I’m still dealing with.

My ENT says that it looks like the hole has finally closed on its own just recently. But, I’ve been on antibiotics for over a month now, switched twice, and on a course of steroids. This sinus infection just isn’t going away.

It hasn’t gotten much worse since the initial round of it which left me in intense pain, weak, and feverish. Now its just some constant dull pain. And the side effects of the drugs I’m taking.

November/December is typically a tough time for me, being the darkest time of the year also with the least sunlight. My sun lamp helped a little but it’s still an anxiety inducing time, even when I am healthy. So this was a beast that has put me through some serious bouts of crippling anxiety. Worst period of all was the week of Christmas. It also coincided with my primary partner being out of town which made it even more excruciating. I was sure at times I had imminently dangerous/deadly side effects (oh yeah, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac). It was really great to be poly though and have another partner I could see a couple times during that week.

But it still was brutal. Shook my confidence in my supposedly healthy body. I developed twitches and more jaw clenching than my usual TMJ. Some of which still hasn’t completely subsided.

All the while, I’m really not feeling that terrible. But, of course, that week I went off antibiotics hoping I was better and the symptoms came back. This is all a very new experience for me…extended sickness, my first surgery, first time with anesthesia…

So I’ve got a few more weeks of this bullshit until I go back to the doctor for another scan. I can already tell that it doesn’t feel like anything has changed. Which means I may have to get sinus surgery to clean it out next month.

It’s really a challenge to get myself to go out. To say, okay, you’ve got a little pain and some of the usual side effects, but you’re okay. Nothing is going to disastrously happen, you’re not going to suddenly have a turn for the worse.

I went on a first date this week and, honestly, it went pretty poorly. Maybe there wasn’t a connection. But I also felt distracted, worrying about myself.

But try I shall to get back to normal. I’ve been absent from the kink scene, twitter, hanging with friends. And I think that may be as detrimental to my state as the sickness itself.

So, tomorrow night we’re going on a date with another couple. I still can’t drink to help relax and take my mind off my worries but maybe we’ll have a fun enough time in a laid back hang out that I’ll feel like my normal self again.

And good lord I can’t wait to have this all sorted.