Do you ever find that spending so much time consuming kink online, on Twitter, on FetLife and on Instagram makes it all a little less arousing?
When I was growing up, finding kinky images was not easy. I’d have to buy magazines like FHM, Loaded or Bizarre and pray there’d be a derisive article on ‘weird fetishes’ accompanied by a picture of a latex clad lady acting out the fetish.
The other option was that nascent Ceefax usurper called ‘the internet’. To log on I’d have to wait until about 1am, trail a long phone line from my computer in my room down the stairs, unplug the house phone and plug in the modem.
I’d give myself about an hour to find as many kinky jpegs as possible and save them in a folder deep within the bowels of the 4GB hard drive. (Yes, 4GB. I think about 2GB was actually usable!)
Remember, dialing up like this would’ve shown a mysterious number on the phone bill that stated the exact time of the call. An hour felt like I could pass it off as a necessary phone call I had to make. Not sure how I justified it being at 1am!
Twenty years later (twenty years! fuck me!) all I need to do is open up Instagram or Twitter and I’m bombarded with more kink than I ever could’ve downloaded on a mimsey 56k modem. I’m not complaining but there’s something about kink being so easy to access that makes it all a little less exciting and erotic as it used to be.
Now I do the Podcast, write this blog, talk about kink and sex positivity, converse with kinky people and learn from kinky and sex-positive people most of the time.
I spend a lot of time in this online world and as much as I love it, I don’t want to get bored of it all. These are some of the ways I stop digital indifference from kicking in.
Let’s start with Instagram and Twitter
A knee jerk reaction from most people seems to be ‘delete social media’. “It causes wars and spreads disinformation. Rid the world of this beast NOW!”
(I’ve put quotation marks around that sentence because I don’t want anyone to think I actually think that!)
In our ever growing bubble of alternative sexualities, Instagram and Twitter are incredible tools for interacting with like-minded people. Over the years of podcasting I’ve met so many lovely people and many interactions started with a DM or comment on Instagram.
And let’s be honest, social media is the very best place to start if you’ve got something to say but zero audience. Remember what it used to be like? You’d have to get on TV or the radio and who knew how to do that? I’d have to record the podcast on to C90 cassette tapes and post them out to you.
Do you want to go back to those days?
Back to Instagram. If I go into ‘Explore’. (I think it used to be called ‘Explore’, now it’s just a little magnifying glass symbol). I can spend ages looking at the sea of images there.
Fetish models, retro games, clips from The Simpsons, space facts and piglets being vacuum cleaned.
Am I actually taking anything positive away from all this?
Here’s the formula I follow:
Interacting and supporting fellow kinksters and sex-positive content creators = GREAT!
Endless scrolling only to find hours have gone by and you don’t remember anything you’ve seen, you’ve become numb to all the kinky images and could’ve been doing something way more important = NOT SO GOOD!
Regulating My Own Social Media Use
I’ve set up some little things to remind me not to over do it.
On the iPhone you now have a built in app called ‘Shortcuts’. Within this app you have an option called ‘Automation’. If you’ve not used this before, then I’m sure you can figure out what it does. You can create your own automated processes.
On my phone, I’ve set up a process when I open Instagram, a five minute timer automatically starts up. Once the alarm goes off I look back on the last five minutes. If I spent it viewing the stories of people I know, liking images, adding to my own story or answering DM’s about this blog then that’s a good use of my time and I’ll carry on.
If I spent the five minutes watching girls in shiny leggings doing squats thrusts then I’ll consider if it’s worth continuing or getting on with something more pressing.
Another useful feature on iOS (Sorry Androids, I swear I’m not some Apple fan boy twat!), is ‘Screen Time’. As I’m sure you know, this feature tells you exactly how much time you’ve spent on each app over the course of that day.
When this feature was released a few years back I instantly turned it off. “I’m not having Apple telling me I’m spending too much time playing Super Mario Run instead of being sensible and reading something on the Kindle app.
Earlier this year when we all started using our phones way more frequently I wanted to see how much time I was spending on certain apps. I switched it back on and set it as a Widget on the second screen.
I make sure that I keep an eye on this. Over the course of one day it’s scary just how much time can accumulate on Instagram.
Again, if I spent that time well then it’s all worth it.
But more often than not, most of the time was spent looking at shiny bums.
I realise that I’m a bit of an anachronism and interface with the internet via a laptop, whereas most people use their phone. In fact, in the last 28 days, 75.5% of users viewed this site on a mobile phone.
This is why I don’t have the Twitter app on my phone, I just log in only on my laptop. Again, limiting my use so I don’t over do it but still using the platform to learn more about kink and sex-positivity. I do the same with Reddit.
Much like Instagram I dip in, love and retweet things I like, have a little scroll but just don’t spend hours and hours there.
What about Online Distractions?
Have you heard of ‘Freedom’? Not the notion of having more than six people in your home or having a passport that once allowed you to travel freely between 27 other countries. I’m talking about the website ‘Freedom’.
When I started this blog earlier this year, I knew I had to just sit down, set it all up on WordPress and write out the first post (which you can find here if you’d like to read it).
There were times when I found myself drifting over to the front page of YouTube to watch Alan Partridge lap dancing for the thousandth time or some nerd completing Super Mario 64 in under six minutes.
(Sorry, you’re not a nerd, you’re an inspiration to us all.)
Getting this blog launched was way more important to me. So I started using Freedom.
I paid just £13.34 for a year subscription. The service gives you the option to block any website, programme or app on either your phone or computer.
When I say block, I mean it blocks it. You set the time for how long you want it to run for (the maximum being 24 hours) and there is no way to turn it off. You can’t go into the settings and delete the app either. You have to wait until the time runs out.
I tried a free website blocker extension for Firefox and you were able to turn it off in the settings whilst it was running! Completely missing the point of actually blocking specific sites.
I made all sorts of custom block lists depending on what I was working on. One thing I did was create ‘The Naughty List’. I’m sure you can imagine the types of sites I added to this list.
This proved a great way to stop looking at kinky fun online purely for the sake of it. It enabled me to get on with something more important. When the block ended I was able to enjoy it more and stop indifference creeping in.
How I stay involved in online kink and not get bored of it
Personally, I’m usually on FetLife or Twitter for the community connection rather than using it as pornography.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with it if you are. Everyone has different reasons to be involved in kink. For some it’s purely sexual, others like myself it’s the community.)
Anyway, when I want to read what the kinky community is up to but again, I don’t want to get sick of all the kinky images and keep it exciting. I used an extension for Firefox simply called ‘block-images’.
This gives you the option to turn off the images on a website but still see all the text. This helps me to read about kink matters and sex-positive philosophies but doesn’t numb me to kinky images.
Get the idea? It’s all about not over indulging to the point that kink becomes meaningless.
How I turn online wandering into something productive
So we all look at pointless bollocks online. I’ve tried to turn that round and take something from it.
If I’m on Wikipedia or Quora and I read something interesting, I hit the Windows Key and ‘prt sc’ (You see! I’m not an Apple fan boy twat) and save a screenshot in a folder called ‘Photo Notes’.
Every few days, I’ll spend a few minutes scrolling through the images in this folder and remind myself of what I’ve learnt. Otherwise, you’ll never take anything from it if you just view it once.
Just so you know, I do take everything I read on Quora with a pinch of salt, I’ve always been suspicious of specialist information that’s easy to come by. I try and learn interesting facts from Wikipedia and Quora but not use them to form opinions of the world.
How I write a blog, record a podcast and support the world of sex-positive content creators and NOT get a headache from staring at a screen all day.
Before I joined the kink scene I wanted to be a filmmaker. I used to write scripts with the intention of filming the scenes I’d written. This meant that I’d be at work all day, staring at a screen.
I’d get home and get on my laptop and spend all my free time also staring at a screen.
I remember one Saturday morning getting a big burst of inspiration to write. I got out my laptop and as I started writing it felt like my eyes had been removed, used as squash balls and then put back in again without me knowing.
When I looked away from the screen this horrible ‘eye-ache’ disappeared immediately. Then I looked back at the screen and the pain came back as quick as it came and just as intense.
I wanted to work on the script and yet I couldn’t look at the screen for any longer than ten or twenty seconds.
What was going on here?
If I’d spent all my working hours looking at a screen and most of my free time then by the weekend I’d accumulated 60-70 hours already that week. That’s almost every waking moment looking at a light. Imagine if you spent that time just staring at a lamp or straight at the sun. Of course your eyes would start to hurt.
We all remember from school how your pupils get larger to take in more light and smaller to take in less light. I theorised that my pupils were constantly working to let in less light and like any other muscle in the body it will start to ache if it gets overused.
All I needed to do was reduce the brightness of the screen. Great. I turned the brightness down as low as it would go and you know what happened? Nothing. It made no difference at all, staring at the screen still hurt like fuck.
I went on eBay to see if I could buy some cheap sunglasses. I found a pair for £2. Then I thought how having to wear sunglasses over my actual glasses everytime I wanted to write would suck all enjoyment out of writing.
That’s when I discovered PangoBright, it’s a free programme you can install on your computer where you can dramatically reduce the brightness way beyond the default settings.
I tried it out, put the brightness level down as far as it would go and I’ve never had a headache or eye-ache from staring at a screen ever again. It worked perfectly
Is this the least erotic post about kink ever written?
Reading this back to myself I’ve just realised that this is supposed to be about kink! Not eyestrain, productivity apps and uninformed views on Quora.
The next post will be boner inducing or vulva moistening.
Let’s not forget, less time online equals more time out there in the real world having proper kinky fun!
And as always if you’d like to say hello then you can on Instagram or Twitter, or send me an email ‘hello’ at the name of this site (again, anti spam bot measure there). Or you could leave a comment below.