A year for retooling

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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 😉

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Full Disclosure

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… 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 🙂

Slapping my own wrists – BAD BLOGGER!

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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

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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.

http://www.lifeontheswingset.com/category/podcast/gentleperverts/

New/Sideways Directions…

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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

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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!

Cross Post: My Weekend With A HIV Scare

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I wanted to get this out there, especially at the insistence of several folks I met at Catalyst Con. When I was going through this, being the web-induced hypochondriac I am, I was googling to find out about the rate of false positives in HIV tests. The easily accessible data is scarce as many sites like to try and highlight how accurate the tests are and don’t break it down to the individual types of tests and the false positives for each. While it’s great that they’re so sensitive they can pick up relatively new infections, when you make a test more sensitive, you introduce more chance for false positives caused by natural body fluctuations.

And there were a couple of anecdotes out there, but none that really related to my situation.

So if you are in a panic after what seems like an unlikely result from a first round of testing, here is my story.

And good luck to you!

Life on the Swingset: My Weekend With An HIV Scare