Another Lost Soul on the Information Highway

  1. American Intifada
  2. InfoShok
  3. Junk Mail

my connection’s seven hours old--
on the Internet. feeling bold.
my system admin should be told
my byte quota hasn’t been controlled.
now all that i’ve come to trust
is 7 megabytes of graphic lust.
bitmap my world, keep me
safe from the trouble and pain...

Like any growing industrial city, the Internet has its share of red light districts. The Internet, like the old west, is populated mostly by men, and we are very proud of our vices. Fewer women than men ride the infobahn, but then, fewer women than men masturbate. It probably just means they don’t know about it yet.

Turn the children away from this chapter if you want, mom and dad. It doesn’t matter. Your children wrote this chapter.

Delft, a long-dead pornographic picture server in the Netherlands, used to keep a list of everyone who came to their site, and they published a list called “Top Ten Horny Dudes” once a week, listing those who used it most. They did this because they wanted to discourage people from using it too much. It was wasting their computer time.

After no more than two years of service, Delft ended their ‘horny’ infobahn site. Censorship? Concerns of morality? Of course not. The Internet is above such paltry concerns. They did it because every single horny idiot on the Internet was flocking to Delft. Look in any group of ten to twenty million people and you’re going to find a lot of horny idiots. Delft’s computers couldn’t handle the strain. First, they tried limiting the number of people who could use their service at one time. Finally, they just discontinued the service altogether. They were victims of their own success.

If they’d been able to charge for it, they would not only still be here, they’d have franchises in every state in the union.

Because there’s no money in the Net, bawdyhouses such as Delft have to be voluntary services, but this will change. Credit cards are on their way into the Electronic Frontier, and when that happens the entire world opens up.

5: telnet 7777<r>

Connected to the Love Shack. 07:35 GMT +0100

In order to offer you the best service, we need a little information.

Are you male or female?


What is your s*xual orientation?


What kind of ‘other’ do you prefer?


Sizzle! I’ll bet you’re a toaster man.

Charges: $5.00 per megabyte, and $2.00 per minute. Please enter Credit Card Number:


Digital signature verified, Mr. Jones. Welcome to the Love Shack!


I’m Candy. Ooh, let me help you take off that big, naughty belt, toaster man...

Why don’t we do it in the road will take on new meaning in the ‘information’ age. Information is what you make of it, and there are few things more illuminating than a good, down-to-earth sexual experience.

And what would the wrong side of the tracks be without men of God preaching from the corner, bible in hand? College students have a thing for wild-eyed preachers, and the Internet was born from our college communities. Brother Jed, who travels across America preaching to the harlots and fornicators in higher education, has a special newsgroup,, wherein netizens can discuss his travels. There’s alt.buddha.short.fat.guy and alt.pagan for those who like a little adventure in their religion, and an entire list of soc.religions in the ‘big seven’, from soc.religion.bahai to soc.religion.shamanism.

Some claim to be god, and trumpet it from every bush. Others wish to be God. There is an entity named (self-named?) Kibo who, it is claimed, responds to every mention of kibo on the net. I have not attempted to test this little god, nor could even the prospect of a book contract tempt me. Demons do exist, and there is no reason that one could not be called forth via the Internet. Summonings are words, after all, and words do summon.

But you didn’t read this chapter to hear about religion. All you’re interested in is sex, and the Internet has virtual sex coming out of every node. Want pictures? Try:

  • Gigabytes of copyright violations.
  • Copyright violations featuring blondes.
  • Copyright violations featuring mostly females.
  • Copyright violations featuring males.
  • Copyright violations featuring mostly males.
  • Copyright violations featuring Asians.

The Internet is an equal opportunity sexual playground. We don’t just cater to those with vision; the sightless have their binaries as well:

  • alt.binaries.sounds.erotica: Ngghhh! MMMMMMM! uuuhhhnnnnnOOOOOHHHhhhhh...

But the net, as we’ve already pounded into the ground, is not about pictures. It’s about text, and computer geeks are great at talking about sex. We’ve even got a newsgroup for talking about erotic pictures.

And when you get tired of all that sex, you can turn to the net for even more help:

We’ve thought of everything on the infobahn.

Most of those newsgroups are pretty barren. But people on newsgroups do like to talk; that’s why they go there. Every other person you meet is a frustrated writer. Every other person you meet is a frustrated geek. It’s not surprising that is so popular.

Subject: Turnabout is Foreplay (m/f,light bondage,switch,quicksand,oral)

<WARNING: the following story contains explicit descriptions of sexual acts between an adult man and woman; it contains scenes involving bondage, quicksand, and a lot of oral sex; in addition, it contains references to sandwiches, picnic baskets, and major home appliances. If any of these offend you, it’s probably best for your continued peace of mind and general happiness that you don’t read any further. You have been warned.>

The subject line is generally quite descriptive, allowing the browsing reader to decide quickly which offerings to read. The following subject doesn’t have the ‘topics’ in parentheses, but then the title pretty much says it all:

Subject: Lisa and Mr.Buck the horse

The following story is rather bizzare...... to avoid skip this message and hit enter key now...

“Rather bizarre”? Sex with horses is fine for Russian monarchs but it pretty much blows the ‘bizarre’ scale right through the bell.

Subject: Japanese Girl in Bondage (bd, teen)

This is 100% fiction. I would like some feedback as long as they’re not flames.

I was relieved that the author included that disclaimer; I’d considered the possibility that someone had posted the true story of how they kidnapped a Japanese girl and forced her to do all sorts of... anyway, I figured the FBI would be on this guy in a flash. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry: It’s 100% pure fiction. Whew! Let’s see what kind of feedback we can give the author.

“Good enough,” the man answered, pulling out a roll of duct tape. He peeled off a strip and fastened it across Chiharu’s mouth. He took her sandalled feet in one hand and began caressing them, running his hands up and down her foot. Chiharu whimpered and was rewarded by a harsh look. Frightened, she stopped. Her captor then moved his hands upward, stroking her lower legs, then her knees, and finally her thighs. He then took hold of the girl’s knees and pushed them apart. (?)

Excited? This is hot stuff. I’ve had to hit the bathroom twice just writing this chapter. In the interests of research I had to read hundreds of these stories (including the full story of Lisa and Buck) and if there were anything remotely female in the room, it would be in big trouble. Fortunately I’m a computer geek as well, and there are no women around.

Net folks have a large number of comic book readers as well. Rec.arts.comics.misc is one of the most widely read newsgroups. So you get stories such as The Capture of Wonder Woman (n/c, mc, b&d, rape), in which Wonder Woman is turned to the forces of darkness by a good lay; and Size is Everything (mf, comics, size), featuring the Ant-Man and the Wasp.

“I don’t want to play with the ants today,” she told him, reaching up to wrap her slender, lightly sun-tanned arms around his neck, lacing her fingers behind it. “I want to play with *you*.” (?)

The main ‘super power’ of both Ant-Man and the Wasp is the ability to change size. I’ll leave the rest of the story to your imagination. Or you can venture onto the net yourself if you happen to be a comic book fan. Tune in next week, when Janet van Dyne uses that immortal line “Is that another growth experiment in your trunks, or are you just glad to see me?”

Of course, the younger generation doesn’t read comics. They watch cartoons. So it should come as no surprise that the sex life of the Smurfs has also been investigated on the net.

It’s time to tell the truth about Smurfs. You see, Smurfs are a lot like other folks; they have dreams and ambitions, deep, thoughtful conversations with each other, and good and bad times.

“But,” people ask, “do Smurfs have... you know... sex?”

The answer is an emphatic and resounding yes! And why shouldn’t they? They’re people, too. What most people don’t know is why Smurfs are blue. Well, the reason is because Smurfs only have sex once a year. Face it: if you had sex only once a year, you’d be blue, too. Once a year, in the Smurf village, flags and banners fly happily in the breeze, proclaiming that the day of the annual Smuckfest has arrived. Birds sing and the Sun comes out to watch, despite the weather-Smurf’s direst predictions. I guess good ol’ Mr. Sun is a voyeur. In the middle of town, Papa Smurf gives a brief speech explaining the origin of the Smuckfest; how Dr. C. Everett Koop came to the village and warned all the Smurfs about AIDS. (?)

Ah, glorious day! And if you want to know what happened on Gilligan’s Island after the series ended and before the movies, you’ll want to look for Passion Fruit, an entire, never-before-seen episode answering that oft-asked question of who gets who. Take heed, though. You’ll be surprised, not only at the choices, but at how well written the story is.

No discussion of would be complete without the infamous Baker case.

From: [k--as--d] at [] (Jake Baker)
Date: 9 Jan 1995 17:39:28 GMT

The following story contains lots of sick stuff. You have been warned. (It’s somewhat short, too).

Responses to my last posts have been good. As long as people give me feedback (positive or negative), I’ll post on a regular basis. As always, comments and criticisms welcome.

I cannot stress enough that I think if you like my stories, you should write some and post. (Heck, even if you don’t). There is a genuine dearth of stories being posted.

Jake’s mother is a creative writing teacher, so it isn’t surprising that Jake has inherited her desire to encourage creative writing. While Jake’s writing, is a bit more creative than his mother would prefer, she does understand:

While his writing is alarming and I don’t particularly like my son’s genre; then again I don’t like Stephen King or sitcoms. It was just fantasy. (?)

Then, Jerry and I tie her by her long brown hair to the ceiling fan, so that she’s dangling in mid-air. Her feet don’t touch the ground. She kicks, trying to hit me, Jerry, or the gorund. The sight of her wiggling in mid-air, hands rudely taped behind her back, turns me on. Jerry takes a big spiky hair-brush and start beating her small breasts with it, coloring them with nice red marks. She screams and struggles harder. I’ve separated her legs with a spreader-bar; now I stretch out her pussy-lips and super-glue them wide open. Then I take a heavy clamp, and tighten it over her clit. Once it’s tight enough, I let go.

I stand back, to take pictures. She’s really nice now: Dangling by her hair (I can see where it’s stretching her scalp), her breasts and belly are covered with bright red bruises. There’s a heavy clamp stretching her cunt down. And best of all yet, her face is scrunched up in an agonized grimace. Drool and loud squeaks escape through her gag. She’s so beautiful like this.

Jake’s fantasy is pretty graphic. Then again, it isn’t any more graphic than any of the other ‘rape’ stories posted to the newsgroup, nor even than similar stories written through more traditional publishing channels, such as paper or videos. The prosecutors realized this, and, on March 15 dropped the charges based on the story. (?) The American Civil Liberties Union also realized it:

“This case definitely has First Amendment ramifications,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the Michigan ACLU. “His stories may have been disgusting and vile, but I have seen nothing that would appear to be a threat to any person.

“If Mr. Baker had sent a letter to the woman he named in his story, or had he slipped something under her door or e-mailed her a threatening message, then there may have been something, but it would be a civil suit brought by the woman.

“The germane issue is: Is the FBI going to dictate what the First Amendment is going to look like in cyberspace? Will people be prosecuted for putting pornography and disgusting stories on the Internet in places set aside for such stories? It is not the FBI’s place to be writing the First Amendment over again.” (?)

In the midst of all this, the Exon amendment was introduced to another communications bill in the Senate, which included a two year prison sentence or $200,000 fine for anyone who “knowingly--

makes, creates, or solicits, and

initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent;”

over a telecommunications network. This could be a big money-maker for the feds. All they need to do is set up a web page on the net with “lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent” material and automatically deduct $200,000 from the cybercash account of anyone accessing the site. Because on the net, the person who “initiates” the transmission is the reader. Were I to put some “lewd” stories on Negative Space, I don’t “initiate” anything as far as the transmission goes. I put up a list of what’s there. The potential reader chooses from that list, and initiates a download. I could be home watching the Blues Brothers (and usually am) when the whole transaction occurs. Negative Space gets hundreds of calls a day. That’s a lot of people to arrest.

If you’d like to initiate a download, see Turn Yourself In to Congress.

But the biggest problem with such legislation, as someone on said, is that there is life outside the United States.

From: [c--on--s] at [] (Stephan Muhs)
Subject: Re: Senate Commerce Committee approves banning smut
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 1995 23:09:39 GMT

[nhirs c h] at [] (Norman Hirsch) writes:
> This newsgroup will be gone if that goes through.

No, it will NOT be gone. Believe me, there is live outside the US... ;-) But if you people in the states want to keep*, you should start to do something about it.



If we over-regulate the information highway, we’re opening up an opportunity for another country to open their highway up--and the technological edge goes to the most open net. That’s what the net is for. The net doesn’t care about content.

First amendment or not, if you want to do more than read about sex, you can always beg for it. The Internet is full of people asking for stuff for free. Usually it’s things like the growth cycle of the spotted African rosemary bush. On, the rosemary bush doesn’t stand much of a chance.

Unless it’s into “good, clean, fun” and doesn’t mind a threesome.

From: [an 171837] at []
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 1995 15:37:20 UTC
Subject: Headgiver in WV

MWM, Bi loves to suck cock

If you’re interested in nothing but some good, clean fun, I’d love to hear from you.

I’m feeling real submissive...just ask me, I’ll do it, command me and I’ll do it even better!

Don’t just read this and wonder, email me and let me get you off

And care to guess which of our elected representatives wrote:

From: [an 61412] at []
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 1995 20:19:13 UTC
Subject: MWM seeks college-aged mistress, D.C.

I am a successful married male, in my 30’s, in serch of a some-times mistress. I would prefer to meet someone in college who might need a little extra financial help from time to time. It would be a relationship without real long-term potential, but would hopefully be mutually gratifying for a time. I am being very frank here, and I hope that isn’t offensive - I do tend to be frank and straightforward. I never take people for granted or knowingly hurt anyone if I can help it. This is one reason discretion is very important. I’m in the Washington D.C. area...

One of the more common requests is for a third to join two partners:

From: [an 134504] at []
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 1995 00:47:23 UTC
Subject: Phx Cpl Seeks Bi-F

Young (21&27), attractive couple in Phoenix, AZ seek the erotic company of an attractive Bi or Bi-Curious female.

You can see from the line that starts From: that each of these posts is from the computer This Finnish computer is one of the more commonly used anonymous remailers on the Internet.

Anonymous remailers have a number of uses; in, their purpose is to provide a ‘buffer’ between the newsgroup and the poster’s e-mail address. It goes a long way (although I dare say not far enough) towards providing the ‘discretion’ necessary for Mr. Congressman looking for a mistress. The poster who wants to make an anonymous post sends their message to, which assigns them a ‘code’ and then re-sends their message to the desired newsgroup. Anyone replying to the message replies to, which forwards the reply on to the original sender. The original sender doesn’t have to identify themself until they want to, which on means, after they’ve found the horny geek of their choice.

The ‘maintainer of the FAQ’ (!) claims that people have actually had success using But your chances are best if you’re looking for what the net has in abundance: a straight male horny geek. The FAQ contains the best advice I’ve ever seen for any Usenet newsgroup or mailing list:

If you would like to call someone an idiot, leave it to those who have been around for a long time and have gotten skilled at it.

Now, suppose you want to get laid and you’re not looking for a straight male horny geek. What are your chances? Again from the FAQ:


A: OH! You want to actually know how to get laid here? Good question. To be blunt: if you are male, and straight, looking for a physical encounter, and not looking for a 3rd party with your present SO, then you probably won’t. But there is a finite chance; it has happened.

I repeat: Yes, some people have gotten responses.

People actually do respond to some of these ads... emphasis on some. The abundance of straight male horny geeks means that those looking for a SMHG can pick and choose. A certain amount of style, class, wit, honesty, and romance demonstrated in posting (not to mention having a life™) is almost certainly helpful for this sort of thing.

Crudeness and a four-letter-word vocabulary is not certainly helpful.

In addition, you may or may not be better off trying the bar scene, a 900 number, or other method, but that’s a matter of personal taste, personal style, dubious opinion, and whether or not you’re located in, say, Alaska.

This, by the way, doesn’t mean that if you are female, gay, are looking for something other than a physical encounter, and/or are looking for a third, you will find what you are looking for. Life doesn’t come with assurances.

There is clearly a market here. How that market gets filled is left to your children to decide. It is only natural that the forces which created ‘900’ numbers and dating services will create similar services on the net. And they’ll be just as secure as the telephone-oriented 900 services, which is to say, not at all. Neither telephones nor computers currently check drivers’ licenses for age, sex, or sexual persuasion.

In other words, you don’t really know who’s on the other end of that e-mail message until you answer the knock on the door. If you’re interested in “good, clean fun,” well, the Internet makes a great condom, but only if you’re willing to keep it on the Internet. The Internet has, after all, been known to transmit viruses in the past.

One of the mainstays of modern laws against pornography is that writing about just about anything is protected from government interference. Whereas pictures can be judged by standards of common decency, writing is something that people can take or leave. At the moment, and no doubt for well into the future, the Internet is just text.

Sure, there are newsgroups specifically for transmitting pictures, but they aren’t propagated that well. They take up too much hard disk space, thus costing more money than many Internet providers are willing to spend--not because they’re pornographic, but simply because pictures of any kind are huge space wasters on computers. There’s no need to censor pictures on the net because they censor themselves. Any parents who give their kid an unsupervised direct net connection and a 1 gigabyte hard drive have more problems than pornography; they’ve got a spoiled brat.

There’s an underlying fear running throughout the ‘stories’ newsgroups that there is a crackdown ‘right around the corner’. And maybe there is: the government is going to want to regain control of the net somehow, and making laws about what people can and cannot write is one way to do this. If so, is certainly the best place to start. There’s nothing particularly gratifying about any of these stories. And there’s likewise no question that some people are going to be extremely offended by some of this stuff. Remember this, though: Here in America, we have something called “the first amendment”.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is no point to safeguarding the “freedom of the press”, if this is merely the freedom to do what doesn’t bother anybody. This amendment wasn’t put there to protect speech that the majority agrees with. It was put there to protect speech that the majority would rather see disappear, from anti-governmental protests to the “novel” that Thomas Jefferson considered “a poison that infects the mind”. (?)

The more the majority cries out against anything from which any individual can turn their head, the more necessary it is that speech of any kind be protected. “The First Amendment is often inconvenient,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, “But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.”

Change the channel. With a thousand newsgroups to choose from, why waste your time with something you don’t want to read anyway? The rest of us would like to read in peace.

  1. Tomahawk, posting to, January 6, 1995. ‘Tomahawk’ is an anonymous net name. I assume.
  2. Garrett Faulkner, as anonymously posted to, January 17, 1995.
  3. Originally posted in April 6, 1995.
  4. Come on, do you think I would alter the subject line? This is from the web site that Peter J. Swanson set up to store information about the case. It was altered there. I have no idea what the subject was, so don’t ask.
  5. Quoted by Josh White in the Michigan Daily, as summarized in a post by Peter Swanson in alt.society.civil-liberties, February 16, 1995.
  6. At the time of this writing, there are still charges based on some electronic mail he’d sent, which had been found as a result of the investigation of the story.
  7. Josh White, Michigan Daily, as quoted in Peter Swanson’s posting.
  8. Of course has a FAQ, and it is too hilarious to include here. Arthur Bernard Byrne’s writing is hilarious. If you want to see it, go read the damn newsgroup yourself. If anyone decides to make a collection of “The Best of the Usenet FAQs”, my vote goes to including this one. Right next to “Breastfeeding Past the First Year”. Yumm!
  9. Quoted in Voices of the American Past, Morton Borden, p. 119.
  1. American Intifada
  2. InfoShok
  3. Junk Mail