off topic open thread

Earth Sex in the 21st Century: A pulp break/open thread

When you’re a swinger on OkCupid

By David Futrelle

I‘m taking a break from the usual misogynistic horror today to post some pulp novel and, er, “nonfiction” covers. The theme: The (retro) future of human earth sex!

Also, this is an open thread. No trolls!

Wait, are we required to be wearing these outfits now?
The worst thing about sex is all the math
Everyone’s always looking for an upgrade
Those spacesuits don’t seem very practical

91 replies on “Earth Sex in the 21st Century: A pulp break/open thread”

Honestly, the best part of the Gor books is that they make me feel slightly less embarrassed for my infatuation with a bad author (Piers Anthony, although in High School I started reading Pratchett, so I lucked out there)


Hugs Offered

I hope the bigot is fired in short order.

An ad I just saw on a Daily Show YT video was promoting pick-up artistry for women. Not calling it that, but it seemed like kinda scammy “relationship coaching” by some guy named Michael Fiore. Stereotypically, it was targeted for the woman who wasnts a guy to “fall in love” with her, by using some “expert kissing advice”, rather than just get laid.

Welcome back SFHC! Renting your home sucks. I’ve never had a good landlord or landlady in my life, the best of them were the ones that had clear rules and stuck to them. I’ve been turfed out of my home in the past too – they claimed they wanted to do renovations and then move in themselves, but lo and behold a month later it was back on the rental market at a $500 rental price.

– Then the bottom of the rental market fell out and it sat empty for a year. We had been good renters for like three, four years before that. Never bothered’em once, kept the place in good repair. They decided to throw that away for the chance at getting a bit more money, and it ended up biting them in the end. Kharma did its work quickly on that one.

I hope you’re well and that all of you are having a lovely day!

Just as a tangent from the Gor discussion, I will say that the one thing I love about the internet is the ability to find all sorts of self-published lemony fanfiction and original sexxxytime stories. Because frankly, wayyyy too much of the visual stuff is either cookie-cutter, off-puttingly degrading to the women involved or just men fantasizing about rape. And I’m including both illustration and video/photography in this. One of the nice things about the furry fandom is that people tend to treat their own characters with a little more reverence, so while the male gaze tends to be the one inescapable drawback, it’s far more focused on pleasure than pain.

But this is far from universal.

****CONTENT WARNING on this next part****

Case in point: erotic Italian fumetti (comics) from the 70s and 80s. Hooooly hell, it is tough to find stuff more misogynist than that. If anybody’s seen a Joe D’Amato exploitation film like Porno Holocaust or any of the old giallos to come from that era, imagine that, but without the limitations of studio/distributor censorship, budget or practical effects. The bizarre and stomach-turning fusion of sex and violence is so jarring that while you’ve been getting off to all the nudity and hardcore content, by the end of the story, the sexualized characters that you’ve just got off to are shot/stabbed/decapitated/eviscerated in a fully-detailed gory finale, usually in flagrante delicto or shortly post-coitus almost without fail. There’s something almost mocking when they pull that shit, like “Haha, all the naked people you got off to are dead! Enjoy the blood-soaked boobies, sucker!”

And that didn’t end with the 80s. Or with the Italians, nosiree. Faust: Love of the Damned at least had a tongue-in-cheek quality. And the movie is just hilarious.

I wish I didn’t like the art style so much. Manga style is so popular these days that finding an old-school Western comic style of erotica is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but post-fascist Italy had (arguably still has) some major issues with women. And interesting ideas of fashion.

(I hope this hasn’t squicked anybody out. I’d hate to ruin an open threads with morbid nonsense. O.o)

Random replies on Mexican grocers…

my town has a restaurant and grocer operated by Hispanic folks, they have Mexican Coke, bottles, pressed-on lids, cane sugar… mmmmm….

They also have a counter where you can wire money to literally every Spanish-speaking country in the western hemisphere… stick THAT in your “MAGA * “, trumplings!!!

* … “many Americans gargantuan assholes”???
“make assholes gain acceptance”???

… hmmm… I gotta work on this….

Those covers are pretty terrible 😂 I can’t imagine the contents are much better.

Personal updates:

My dissertation is almost complete. My supervisor wants a longer bibliography, but other than that it’s quite good apparently. The crime novel, that was born from the dissertation, is at 23,000 words.

I went to the doctor today for my pill check up. It’s all good. My blood pressure is fine. Next week I’m going for blood tests to check various things because of the pain I get in my hands and fingers. Doc can’t decide if it’s a vitimin D deficiency or rheumatoid arthritis.

My Aspergers/ASC diagnosis was finalised in June, I have a support worker now, for 90 minutes every fortnight, and I go to the adult autism forum cafes and groups a few times a month.

The EPP patchwork quilt I’m making is getting bigger by the week, it’s now 13 x 13 1.75inch hexagons now, and I want to get it up to 35 x 35 hexagons so that it’s big enough to cover my bed, but the pain is slowing my crafting and writing down.

My sister may be moving in, she’s finally realised something I’ve been saying for years – her partner of 10 years is an emotionally abusive dick.

My books are almost all shelved, I only need one more shelving unit for all the books downstairs on my TBR pile.

So, that’s me. Hope you’re all well. Bakunin, I hope your gfs aunt gets what she deserves for her behaviour. Z&T, best of luck. Forms scare me too.

@Nanny Ogg’s Bosom:

Sounds good. Good luck!


White-wingers have become such hypersuspicious control freaks under Trump. They see someone they don’t like doing something they don’t personally approve of, and they run straight to the authorities to tattle.

Stalinism! Not really surprising though with a KGB agent’s puppet running the country.

Michael Kimmel

Off-Topic, but a month-ish ago, I finished “Angry White Men,” and I’ve read some excerpts from some of his other work. This is disconcerting, but not surprising knowing the overwhelming amount of sexual harassment by men in command positions….

Thanks for the thoughts all, my appointment went ok!
In fact I was praised for doing a good job on the paperwork.

I hope I’m not hallucinating ..

@ Buttercup Q,

Yeah, grief. Hope you’re holding up as well. Your new home sounds nice. Neighbors sound like a pain, but it sounds like a nice place anyway.

What makes people like this? You’d think people would find something better to do. Myself and my neighbor friends here are polishing off the rest of the beer.

Regarding “Gor” books – a SF bookstore in Berkeley years ago had a sign posted about why they didn’t stock them. It was a sample page from one, followed by the terse comment ‘This is why’.

I thought the Priest-Kings were an interesting look into John Norman’s psyche. They’re hyperintelligent alien bug-things that live lives dedicated to science and control of Gor. Their only weakness is the Golden Beetles, unintelligent alien bug-things that have golden hair, and produce a pheremone that causes Priest-Kings almost irresistible pleasure. While immobilized by this, the Priest-King is attacked by the Beetle and drained of its precious bodily fluids.


I’m aware this is unoriginal…but I’m guessing Starship Intercourse’s mission is to boldly come where no one has come before?

The hearing is over and… we’ll see how I did sometime hopefully soon!!! I’m just glad it’s done. Thanks for the good luck wishes, Alan!!


I’m sorry your coworker sucks… I hope she gets fired or forced to stop in some other way soon!

@z&t: glad the paperwork went ok. I was a little concerned – any lawyer who yells at their client for not filling out the paperwork in a specific way when the client is already in an emotionally compromised state seems really sketchy to me.

All: I know I keep alternating between names – one of these days I’ll be in the habit of typing ‘Yutolia the Green Hash Thing’ and hopefully I won’t seem like I’m masquerading as someone else lol.

@Z&T – Your neighbors sound lovely! So happy your appointment is over and wasn’t as stressful as you thought it would be.

@Surplus – I’ve been referring to them as the Stasi. Normally I would just ignore them, except two of them are on the board and have the power to levy fines. Association boards seem to be magnets for petty busybodies.

What’s needed is some small, chronic issue to keep them occupied, like ants or puddles. If they’re going to make a hobby put of complaining, might as well redirect their energy away from humans.

That Square Root of Sex cover looks *really* familiar. I think my parents (probably dad) might have owned it. They used to own a bunch of racier books, as I discovered in my early teens when trying to find reading material on some of their shelves (they also had a *lot* of books, dad was a very avid reader).

I wish we could move, but it’s so expensive. And rents in our area for a similar or better place are $300-$400 a month more, minimum, than what we’re paying. Kind of hard to swing on disability. Unfortunately, since I’ve been wanting to move for at least 5 year now.

I decided several years ago to do a project of scanning all my mother’s photos and getting them on to a disk for her (& my sister). After scanning & editing several thousand, I realised I should have been doing them in much better quality. So, I had to start all over. It’s taken way longer than I ever imagined, but I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for scanning them all again – it was held up because my mother couldn’t find over a thousand of the photos, but I found them when out at her place last weekend.

Next up – editing! I have to figure out a way to speed that part up. I worked out that at the speed I was taking on far too many photos, it would take me over 5 years of 24/7 work just to edit them. I may not have that much time. Plus, I’d like to finally get this finished!

Congrats on the dissertation, Nanny Ogg! Sounds like pretty good news all around.

For my own part… I’m giving ‘no meds’ a go. I’m in such a stable situation now, with my new TENURED (yay yay yay yay) job and everything. If I’m ever gonna try going without meds, now is the time to do it.

So I’ve told you before that I have this mental illness that occasionally causes me to hear voices, see things in the corner of my eye, various illusions, thought insertion etc… Also, mostly because the academic job market sucks, I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety for years now. Or, rather, I’ve had physical symptoms that my psychiatrist said were anxiety symptoms, even though I didn’t, so to speak, experience that much anxiety in my mind. These have included stuff like nausea that at times almost completely prevented me from eating, and racing heart beat. I’ve also had terrible insomnia. So for years I’ve been on Haldol, Xanax, Propavan and Inderal. Haldol against schizo-symptoms, Propavan for sleep, Inderal against the heart thing and Xanax as a back-up when the others fail. Still having horror movie experiences despite already being on a high dose of Haldol? Pop a few Xanax and all the fear goes away! Still insomniac despite having taken two Propavans? Xanax makes you finally go asleep! Still pounding heart despite a hundred fucking milligrams of Inderal (normal dosage for anxiety is 10-20) – Xanax finally calms down the old pump!

There were two problems with this: 1. Unwanted side effects (I’ve begun developing facial tics from Haldol, for instance, and my psychiatrist wanted to prescribe a fifth med against tics but that one gave me horrible side effects…). 2. I eventually began to develop a Xanax addiction. I started taking it more and more often. For the longest time I alternated between trying to make do with only the other meds and then failing and ending up with Xanax anyway, and being in complete denial that I even had a problem with the drug. (And Xanax is such a nasty drug which can cause, among other things, early-onset Alzeimers and chronic untreatable depression.) I eventually figured out that it just doesn’t work to rely on the other drugs for normal functioning, but lacking a back-up when they fail. So I decided I’d try to go completely off my meds once my new and more stable life had started. And now I’m doing it!

So far, things seem pretty good. My schizo symptoms are pretty mild, they feel managable… In the evening (for some reason, my heart only ever acts up in the evening) I’ve had a slightly raised pulse, but then it went back to normal after a little while on its own accord (previously, my heart could literally race for hours, at the end of which I’d be super exhausted). I’ve had to lie for quite some time in bed before falling asleep, but when eventually doing so, it feels like the sleep I do get is of pretty high quality, much better than it used to be.

Related to this I hate hate hate when ever-so well-meaning people, trying to combat the stigma that surrounds psychofarmaka, make it sound as if taking psycho pills is completely unproblematic. I especially hate the comparison with diabetes and insulin. I admit that I don’t know that much about type 2 diabetes, but my brother-in-law has type 1, and he’d literally drop dead within a couple of days at the most if he didn’t take his insulin. Sure, mental illnesses can kill people through, e.g., suicide, but no one is gonna drop dead because their body ceases to function without the meds. Also, insulin is a naturally occuring hormone in the body. Although diabetes in the long run usually negatively affects the body in various ways, insulin in itself (unless you overdose it) has no negative effects on the body, because it’s supposed to be there. Haldol, on the other hand, is an alien substance you put into your brain, inside of which it hopefully does some good but usually also some bad. It’s just not comparable. Finally, if my BIL were to cease taking insulin, there could be no rational reason for him doing so, but my deciding to try to be med-free is perfectly rational.

Ok end of rant. But wish me luck with my mental health.

Xanax is horrible. So many people I have known swore by it, but even a low dose made me feel so doped up that I couldn’t function, and then when I woke up, I felt suicidal.
In fairness, I suppose, I have paradoxical reactions to most benzodiazapenes. Most of them make my heart race, elevate my blood pressure, and/or cause panic attacks. Valium is the exception. It makes me brick-thick and foggy if it does anything at all.
I found biofeedback to be much more effective than medication for controlling my panic attacks. I do take some natural stuff on occasion, but I wouldn’t take the prescription stuff again. In my case, the “cure” is worse than the problem itself.

It’s kind of hard to say which cover for those fine literary masterpieces is the most ludicrous. After careful consideration, I think the one with the spacesuit with the plastic bra gets my vote.

Yeah it’s so weird that different people have such different reactions to the same meds…


Yeah it’s so weird that different people have such different reactions to the same meds…

There was an interesting programme here a year or so ago. It was an investigation into whether it was worth using private health care as opposed to the NHS.

The upshot was that, no, generally you had equal, and for more serious stuff, better treatment using the NHS.

The one exception though was in medicine management. Doctors were fine at recommending the basic treatment; but it seemed very worthwhile consulting a specialist who would work out which particular drugs to use, what combinations, in what dosages, at what intervals etc. It took a few sessions to ‘fine tune’ the regimes. But people seemed to get a genuine benefit from it.

The sessions weren’t cheap. A full series of consultations was running into hundreds of pounds. They did however say this was the best thing you could do in terms of ‘bang for bucks’ to improve your own personal treatment regime.


You’ve got a lot of courage. All best wishes to you!

The sessions weren’t cheap. A full series of consultations was running into hundreds of pounds.

That actually sounds pretty cheap to me. Of course, I’m American, so I’ve had to pay hundreds per month to just have the ability to perhaps pay for a doctor’s visit (which you need for a referral to a specialist).

It was $250/month to get the cheapest coverage. Plus an annual deductible of $7k that on this plan you have to pay before coverage even starts to kick in means I’d have to pay $10k in a year before my insurance would cover anything.

Of course, this was because I made the decision to quit the awful, abusive job so that I could get a degree, so I no longer had emploer-sponsored health care. It’s really expensive to be poor here.

Ok this is really weird; Mammoth has completely eaten two posts for me now. Trying a third time…


The one exception though was in medicine management. Doctors were fine at recommending the basic treatment; but it seemed very worthwhile consulting a specialist who would work out which particular drugs to use, what combinations, in what dosages, at what intervals etc. It took a few sessions to ‘fine tune’ the regimes. But people seemed to get a genuine benefit from it.

Drug interactions really ought to be handled better. I had been taking a combination of meds for nearly a year before a pharmacist did a double-take at my prescription, and said “uh, you probably shouldn’t be taking more than x mg of y in combination with z. There’s a known interaction, which can cause muscle damage. You ought to talk to your doctor about that”. Gee, thanks, my doctor and other pharmacists! Shouldn’t this have been flagged by software?

Pharmacies dispensing on the NHS can offer a free “MUR”: medicines use review, where you get a consultation (in private) with a pharmacist, and can discuss your dosages, any side effects, concerns you may have etc.

Moggie: Calling Gorka a LARPer is kind of an insult to people having fun with LARP.
Since this is a book tread I mentioned a SFbook I am currently reading(because it is really good.
Mur Laffertys Six Wakes needs perhaps no recomendation again (because up for the Hugo) but if you want a good SFNovel with 6 clons who awake on a ship where there former boodies have been murdered and they don’t remember anything and it gets more interesting from there, take it and enjoy it.

So, I can finally post again… Anyway I’ve tried a number of different neuroleptika and Haldol really is the best for me in terms of desired effect vs undesired side effect. It’s just that ”best” in this context doesn’t equal ”great”, or even very good. And I think that’s the case for lots of mentally ill people. There are meds that allow you to function okay and whose side effects are tolerable, but that’s as good as it gets.

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

Association boards seem to be magnets for petty busybodies.

One of the great truths I learned in University, from dealing with club and student society politics: there are people out there whose primary goal in life is to find a small enough pond that they can be a big fish in it.

My corollary to that, that such people would then defend ‘their’ pond out of all proportion to any actual threat, I would later find out was basically Sayre’s Law.


The timing sucks, there’s some real strangeness there, but the baseline allegation is credible (in particular, they’ve managed to get some off-the-record corroboration that the woman was talking about the incident in the months that followed–in the he said/she said arena, that’s a tipping factor for me).

Which is a shame, because Ellison was generally one of the ‘good ones’ on the Dems’ side. This was abetted simply by how often the racists came out of the woodwork because he was not only black, but also a practicing Muslim. Simply being that in-their-face about his existence was enough to get evidence of how badly the GOP had been co-opted by the worst humanity has to offer.

But at the end, I’ve got to stick to my principles. I can only hope one of the other four candidates in the primary is still a strong progressive.

@Jenora Feuer:

One of the great truths I learned in University, from dealing with club and student society politics: there are people out there whose primary goal in life is to find a small enough pond that they can be a big fish in it.

One can also find evidence of this just about anywhere that hosts a batch of moderated online forums — though, not here. Sample random Facebook groups or similarly, though, and it’s quickly evident.

My corollary to that, that such people would then defend ‘their’ pond out of all proportion to any actual threat, I would later find out was basically Sayre’s Law.

A related phenomenon is how the less evidence there is, the more bitter the dispute, in a lot of cases. Because if the evidence wasn’t equivocal one side would have won already. (Usually. If there’s a ton of money at stake on the factually-wrong side, then you will see billions spent on fanning the flames of controversy artificially. See also: tobacco safety; climate change; all the rhetoric spewed in an effort to sink Tesla and electric vehicles more generally…)


I’ve been put on the psych-med-go-round when the industry was having fun misdiagnosing my ASD as all kinds of unrelated things. One of the meds they put me on, when I was around 10, was Haldol. It turned me into a zombie and had one particularly awful side effect, periods of just feeling a general malaise. No specific pains, nausea, negative emotions, or anything one could even name, just a general discomfort. It was like being tortured, except for the absence of pain, if that makes any damned sense.

I’ve been living med free most of my adult life and functioning well enough that way to have an apartment without being evicted, go to the grocery store and the like to get supplies, and yes, get a CS degree which was not apparently enough to make the industry interested in hiring me. Lately I’ve been on a med, but not a psych med: Zantac, for recurring heartburn that was interfering with my sleep. Aside from that just the odd painkiller, antibiotic, or what-have-you to treat an acute condition such as an injury or infection.

I wouldn’t go on Haldol again even if offered a large sum of money to do so. Especially after hearing it can cause dementia with prolonged use. My only asset is my mind; without that I’d have nothing.

@ Dvarghundspossen,

I am in no way a medical person so take the following as just “something I heard”. “Friend of a friend” even, my friend told me a story about one of her friends who had bad insomnia.

And right up until you said “insomnia” I was thinking – that sounds like symptoms of bad insomnia. And a tale my friend told me about someone else..

I will just relay what this friend told me, and to make sure I remember correctly, I phoned her up and asked to come over (she lives right down the street and is glad to help me finish the rest of the beer.)

OK. What this person told her, about bad insomnia (which they wound up hospitalized for.)

They’d stay up for days, could not sleep, began to “hallucinate”. Person in question has ingested a lot of drugs too, including acid (LSD), so they know their hallucinations.

Visual and auditory and “seeing things out of the corner of the eye”.

Person in question went on common (prescription in the US) sleep meds such as Ambien or Lunesta (friend does not remember exactly). Which did not work, and, or, made things worse.

This individual said they were like “asleep and awake at the same time”. And like there was a dream going on “in the peripheral vision”.
Awake and dreaming, at the same time.

And this person related these tales to their other hallucinogen enthusiast friends and they were all hot to try it! Yelled at them O HELL NO! You do NOT want THIS!

Not a “fun trip” at all.

Anyway, Dvarg, the way you describe your experiences sounds so similar to what happened to a friend of ours. I called T over to read it too and she said it sounds almost exactly the same as what this person told her.

And again, just a “for what it’s worth” on our part here, we are not med people in any way. I was just thinking, maybe the ‘sleep angle’ is something to look more into?

Best wishes from all of us here 🙂

Thanks Z and T! I actually have some of these symptoms even if I do sleep properly. BUT insomnia makes it way worse. And unfortunately this can create a kind of vicious cycle, where I worry about losing sleep since sleep loss makes everything worse, and because I WORRY it’s harder to sleep!

@Surplus: ugh, I’m glad you were eventually properly diagnosed!


I might have actually seen some of those comics,
I like the manga style alright myself and I’ve been able to find a fair amount of happy consensual hentai with my kinks but pretty much anything with elves is going to be rape for some FSM damned reason among lots of other misogynistic excrement to dig through first (also why does every translator translate otokonoko as trap? Its not accurate its just a trasphobic internet meme.).

On the up side there actually is consensual tentacle stuff its really rare but it exists, I even decided to commission a submissive anthro-tentacle-monster from an artist on FA.

In completely unrelated news I survived another kidney stone so that was “fun”, but my mother and sister took/went with me to the ER and were really good about using my pronouns so that was nice.

So today I learned from a very informed source that UK based TERFs are often openly antisemitic online.

This… Really does not surprise me at all any more. Discourse by TERFs against trans people has already struck me as spookily similar to Nazi discourse about Jews – the conspiracy stuff, the accusations of secret institutional power and ritual child abuse. It feels the same, and hits an almost identical set of trauma triggers…

I’m hella scared, TBH. Wish I were in a more functional state right now.

@ Dvarghundspossen,

I worry a lot too. I overanalyze things as well. Decided to spend $1 on a scratch off lottery ticket, the way this one worked is “match three like amounts and win.” Or, match two like amounts + a ‘ double symbol’ and win double that amount.

I had two $5 and two $100. I knew then I would not get the double symbol because it wouldn’t work. Unless you could win double two prizes, but I doubt it.

Yeah, analyze everything and take the fun out of it! I can’t help it.

I did win $5 YAY! 🙂
This is big time excitement to me.

FWIW about “eaten posts” here, what I have noticed is, if I post something and it doesn’t show, OK then if you got to ‘home’, then the topic again, then I do see the post.

Old macbook here. Might work for others too. Might mean something about the disappearing comments too? Something between the ‘page breaks’ or ..

I don’t know. But I will attempt to analyze things I know nothing about, also 🙂

ETA this time this posted right away. Sometimes that happens also. ?

The amount of food shaming in France is *really* grating on my nerves today. Could people stop caring about what any other people eat as long as they aren’t like their husband/wives or their caretakers ?

Note that it’s against litteraly anyone : not just me, who is smack in the middle of standard weight range, but also against a sportif dudebro who is thin like a twig, another colleague who is a retired boxer, a gal who is actually trying to gain weight to support a pregnancy. At that point, I wonder if they truly have no awareness of the problem.

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