How to Make an Aluminum Cane

Instructions by Kirr (on Fetlife) and Kristen

This is a very basic project that only requires a couple of tools. The cane pictured also happens to be the first cane I’ve ever experienced. The fact that it’s pretty lightweight meant it didn’t seem as scary to try, and it felt very interesting without being overwhelming.

Thanks to Kirr for telling me about this project!

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My “Bad First Time”: How I Learned To Love My Sexuality

Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of my own sexual experiences. If reading about my sex life might be TMI for you, then you’ll want to skip this post.

How I lost my virginity–in the heteronormative, genital intercourse sense–was more of a process than a discrete event. I want to tell this story because this experience had a major impact on the person who I grew into.

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My First Pervertables

Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of my own sexual experiences — it’s the first really personal story I’ve posted on my blog so I’m really excited to share it. However, if reading about my sex life might be TMI for you, then you’ll want to skip this post.

When you don’t have anyone you can talk to about sex, figuring out masturbation can be a little tricky.

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How I Use Technology to Communicate

bblum invited me to respond to  this post on how he uses different technologies for communicating.  I used to use all of the technologies he talks about in a way very similar to him, although I never did any blogging.  Like him, I pretty much never sent text messages, and most of my communication took place over IRC or IM. Overall, my communication patterns stayed about the same for the past two and a half years.

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How to Make a Pain Stick

Instructions by Kirr (on Fetlife) and Kristen

Pain sticks (also known as “evil sticks”) are good for creating sharp pain very quickly: hold the handle, pull back the end of the rod and let go, and it will snap against the skin. This is a great project for people who may not have a lot of maker/hacker/crafter experience (like me) — it doesn’t require many tools, and the materials are relatively inexpensive. It’s also fun to do with friends since one 48” carbon fiber rod will make about four pain sticks.

Thanks to Kirr for showing me how to make the pain stick and helping me document the process!

Update, 6/26/12: It turns out that the end of the pain stick can tend to split after repeated use. In order to prevent this, dip the end in a little two-part epoxy (look for double-barrel syringes of it in your local hardware store).

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Arse Elektronika 2011: Opening Night

I recently returned from Arse Elektronika 2011 in San Francisco, which is run by monochrom, an arts collective from Austria. The general theme of the conference is sex and technology (it’s a get-together for “brainy pervs”), but it’s pretty hard to describe. This was the first public sex related event that I’ve ever attended, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.1 For those of you who weren’t able to make it, I’ll be sharing my experiences over a couple of posts.

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  1. Especially since I guessed that there might be some overlap with the kink scene in San Francisco, and Everything I Know About “The Scene” I Learned From Maymay.

What is technological empowerment?

After kicking this idea around in my head for months, I’m finally ready to launch this site. Updates may be sporadic due to travel and health constraints, but I’ll do the best I can. I’m excited to use the Toymaker Project to explore technological empowerment, sexuality and pleasure.

What is technological empowerment, anyways? The basic idea is that someone who is technologically empowered has taken some piece of technology and modified it to meet their own needs. I’m defining technology here pretty broadly — not just computers and high-tech gadgets, but almost anything that people make. In that sense, a computer and a mixing bowl are both human technology.

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