Connecting Lovers-LovePalz

LovePalz is a brand new concept of motion sensing technology that aims to create physical feelings as real as possible in virtual sex experience. It can simulate your actions and cause physical contact over internet in real time. Through our service, you and your lover each hold one device and as long as you remain connected to the internet, the device automatically senses your actions and conveys them to your partner’s toy! In short, how you use it is simultaneously reflected on your lover’s toy, physically! bringing you and your lover together even when you are miles apart.

via Connecting Lovers-LovePalz.

I’m… not sure if I want to mock this technology or purchase it.

Cast changes

Things have shaken up a bit in my love life.

L has moved away and entered a monogamous relationship, so we’re extra not seeing each other.  We still talk and I still owe her a box of her stuff, and I promise I’ll send it next week, sorry, you knew I forgetful when you left it with me.  Every time the Big!Andy plushie looks at me out of that box I feel a little guilty.

I’ve also relatively recently started seeing a couple of new folks. I’m going to have to come up with a new anonymizing scheme, though, because at this point there have been three different As mentioned here, and it’s only a matter of time before we double up on initials.  What I’ve decided to do is to use the official D&D Name Generator.

Eilella Glimmergaunt (neutral good Elven Loremaster, previously known as “E”) is a grad student at Brown to whom I owe a picnic that keeps either getting rained out or delayed because of my hectic schedule and/or terrible mood.  Eilella is lots of fun, but quite shy, which is an interesting contrast with my own boisterous nature. She is very physically affectionate, which is nice; I’m naturally very physical, but I tend to hold it back a little until I determine someone else’s comfort level.

Stoella Tumblebelly (chaotic neutral* Halfling Monk) is a comic artist, ertswhile roller girl, and kung fu nerd in the sense of knowing a lot of kung fu rather than being a huge fan of kung fu movies (the latter may also be true, we haven’t really discussed it).  Stoella got me out to my first roller derby match, which was excellent, as was the afterparty; I definitely intend to go to more of these.

I still occasionally see Aliella Serpenthelm (chaotic good human cleric of humanism), who is a good friend but is at least considering monogamy with her prime beau, so hanky panky is on hold and/or over.  We have a great time, but this doesn’t count as “seeing” as per my glossary post at this point.

And of course as always there is my soon-to-be-bride, your Other Protagonist, Carrie (Carella Chorster, neutral good human ranger with a feline animal companion, not that she needs the anonymity).  We are now two weeks out, scrambling to put the finishing touches on the wedding plan and get the guest list settled (yes, we’re still sort of working on that).  She’s also about to take a trip to Rome for the week before the wedding, which is awesome and also hilarious.

There are a few bit players out there who may drift in and out and will get character sheets as appropriate, but this is basically the people with whom I’m romanticosexally involved at the moment.  Your mileage may vary, not all ingredients listed, terms subject to change.

(Also, L will be known as Lady Lorasys Woodsoul, neutral half-elf wizard.  If you’ve been mentioned before and you want me to update you with a new character, let me know and I’ll add it.)

*Stoella has insisted that she is chaotic neutral, as opposed to the chaotic good that I originally had down.  I am not one to get on the bad side of a halfling monk, so I’ve made the requisite change.

What about STDs/STIs?

This was the question that I got asked the most when I solicited, and it comes up a lot when talking to monogamous folks. I put most of this down to internalized sex-negativity, honestly. Concurrent partners aren’t a greater risk than successive partners, and whether sex is protected or unprotected is a much greater risk factor, and all of my sex is protected.  Another important risk factor is the infection status of partners, and whether that’s known, and all of my partners get regular testing.

In fact, Carrie and I have all of two hard-and-fast rules for getting together with new people:

  • Always use a condom
  • Ask about STI health and testing

These two, very basic, rules are also in play in most of the other poly/open relationships whose rulesets I’m aware of.  Frankly, a monogamous person who doesn’t check with partners and isn’t strict about protection is at a much greater risk of infection than I am. When I was single, I was at greater risk, because I would have a similar number of partners in a year but wouldn’t check with them about their testing regimens (I still always used protection).  I would be at theoretically lower risk in a monogamous relationship only provided that it was a multi-year relationship.  I have approximately the third-lowest risk profile possible, only slightly above long term strict monogamy, which is slightly above, you know, virgin.

As I said, I think much of the hemming and hawwing about STD risk these days comes down to internalized sex negativity.  STDs come in two flavors, risk-wise (in the US, at least); there are your HPVs and Herpes simplexes, which if you’re at all sexually active you’ve almost certainly been exposed to regardless of your number of partners, and then there are STIs that show up in less than 1% of the population.  Aside from people who have unprotected sex with strangers–and if you do that, fucking quit it, because you’re raising the risk for all of us–STI risk is either essentially universal or wildly overblown.  Some studies show that the number of partners is almost irrelevant, and that rather it’s the number of unprotected sex acts that governs STI risk, although the marginal risk per partner is not well studied.

If you’re having sex, be it monogamously or not, you should be using protection and checking with your partners about their health.  Aside from abstinence or long term monogamy, those are the only ways to reduce your risk.

Maintenance

Something interesting is that the more people I’m seeing, the more I feel like I need to keep in shape, keep doing interesting things, push my career, etc.  Basically, I feel the need to maintain my attractiveness, and I feel it much more than I did in any monogamous relationship.  It’s sort of the positive flip side of the fact that the pressure to keep meeting people never goes away.

This is true even though, between the job and the wedding planning and the people I’m already seeing, I have essentially no time for anyone new who isn’t going to be a one night stand.  The potential is all it really takes to push me forward.  That, and the more people I’m seeing, the more I feel like I owe some personal maintenance to.

I realized this just now because I’m working on a Sunday, but it’s one of those times when I’m spending an hour or two watching meters fill up.  This was making me restless, and the first thing that came to mind was to do some pushups.  This is definitely a newish habit, somehow even overwhelming my current obsession with playing online Dominion.  I’m normally moderately good about keeping up my workouts, but it doesn’t usually pop into my head on its own when I could be browsing the internet for cat pictures.

And, okay, it’s probably not completely irrelevant that I spent last night partying with rollergirls.