THE ALT.SEX FAQ: A USER'S MANUAL

HISTORY OF THE ALT.SEX FAQ

This edition of the alt.sex FAQ was written in the early part of 1994 by the last Alt.sex FAQ Committee. It reflects the best wisdom and knowledge of all the participants on the committee at that time.

Since those days, however, alt.sex has been overrun by advertising spam of such unbelievable volume that nobody asks questions anymore. There are no "frequently asked questions" on the newsgroup and maintaining an FAQ for it, especially one of the considerable quality found here, is simply not worthwhile or even honest.

Consider this a historical document. It reflects alt.sex as it existed in its finest, most golden years. Some sections will never be out of date; it's hard to imagine good advice on oral sex or virginity or even buying a great sex toy ever going out of style. Anatomy doesn't change although our understanding of it might. Some sections, however, may become out of date; the sections on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Legal Issues, even Terms and Acronyms will in time fall far behind the times.

ALT.SEX POLICIES AND GUIDELINES

Posting ettiquete

In theory, there are no policies and guidelines for using alt.sex. It is an unmoderated alt group, and therefore nobody exerts any control at all over it. It exists at the whim of the people who post to it.

Alt.sex will only remain a reasonably "civil" place if you want it to. Sexuality is always a touchy subject, and when someone wishes to discuss their own sexuality, please do not immediately flame them if their tastes don't match yours. Do as Emily Postnews recommends: stand up, take a deep breath, and relax. If you must reply, consider using the mail first.

Posting stories

There has always been some debate as to whether or not posting stories on alt.sex is appropriate. Prior to the creation of alt.sex.stories, alt.sex was the only place find and post erotica. There are two camps of thought: one, that alt.sex.stories is a place for people who are looking only for stories, but that posting them to alt.sex is fine, and two, that alt.sex.stories is intended to remove all stories from alt.sex.

Alt.sex is a general-purpose newsgroup for sexual discussion. Posting of stories isn't disallowed, although you may encounter strong discouragment from some quarters if you do.

Posting erotic pictures

Don't. Just don't. Unlike stories, pornographic pictures are strictly forbidden from alt.sex. There are newsgroups appropriate to the posting of binaries, including the alt.pictures.binaries.erotica newsgroups. The reasons are simple: Although a picture may tell a thousand words, even using JPEG they take up a lot more disk space. So don't. If you insist on posting pictures to alt.sex, odds are the volume of complaint mail to your sysadmin will reach deafening proportions, and in the meantime you may well encourage some sysadmins to remove a newsgroup they're already uncomfortable with.

That said, there are some images permitted even here. In the era of the Information Superhighway, small images (less than 320x200 pixels, for example) of contraceptive devices and other objects will go a long way towards eradicating the well-meaning but still crude attempts of ASCII artists. Future editions of the FAQ will include small B&W GIFS of a condom, diaphragm, sponge, female condom, and related materials, barring any major objections.

Sending email to women readers of alt.sex.
"Wannafucks"

Probably the most common complaints heard on alt.sex are: From men: "There aren't enough women on here!" From women: "Every time I post, I get a ton of email from clueless net geeks looking to get laid!" We hope you see the connection. The 'Wannafuck' (as in "Your post sounded really hot. Wanna get together and fuck?") seems to be endemic to alt.sex.

Before you write any email, think about what you're going to say. Don't say something you wouldn't say in person. Just because a woman admits she likes sex doesn't mean she wants to have it with you, and you shouldn't assume otherwise. Making alt.sex a safe place for men and women should be a top priority of anyone who wants to talk about sex in an honest and open manner.

ACCESSING THE ALT.SEX FAQ

First of all, look for it in alt.sex, news.answers, alt.answers

If you can't find it there, you can find the (hopefully) latest version via ftp at:

ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/alt-sex

If you can't do or don't know about ftp: there's also a mail server on that machine. Just send an e-mail message to:

mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu
containing the word "help" in the body of the message.

The alt.sex FAQ is also available via the WWW at the following location:

  • http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/altsex/

    WHERE TO FIND ITEMS OF COMMON INTEREST

    Where to find sexually-oriented fiction on the Internet

    If you are just looking for stories in general, check the newsgroups alt.sex.stories and rec.arts.erotica FIRST. Many stories are also cross-posted to alt.sex.

    As for story archives, well, there used to be a few. Unfortunately, due to misuse by people, they are no longer around. In this section we used to mention a couple but they both shut down for the same reasons: irresponsible, immature, and greedy users over-used their services. When people misuse a service offered to them that service generally shuts down.

    Therefore, there are currently no known ftp sites for stories or rec.arts.erotica. If any site ever dares to try to set up a ftp story archive again people should definitely learn to respect the system that is offering the archive and respect the wishes of the archive's maintainers.

    There is a mail-server for alt.sex.bondage and alt.sex.stories right now, but that service won't last long if it is misused. Don't try to get the whole archive in one night! The easiest way to use the mail-server is to read the rest of this section and then send email to server@hermes.acm.rpi.edu with the word help as the first and only word in the body of the message and no subject. Scanning the subject line will be discontinued.

    The server administrator is currently over a year behind in moving stories into the server. He is (or will be) including alt.sex.bondage, alt.sex.stories, and rec.arts.erotica. He is archiving stories and articles that he believes to be of general interest.

    Anonymous ftp is not available to this machine and is NOT planned. If you have any questions or problems with the server, send email to server-admin@hermes.acm.rpi.edu. If you have trouble getting email to that address, try multics%acm.rpi.edu@rpi.edu.

    Privacy/system logs: The server logs all incoming requests and all responses. This information is retained for a few days before being deleted. I normally check the logs at least once a day to try and find any server bugs/problems as early as possible. I don't care who you are or where you are unless you are extremely greedy in accessing the server.

    Where to find sexually-oriented images on the Internet

    The newsgroups of the alt.binaries.pictures.* (like a.b.p.erotica) are your best bet for X- and R-rated GIFs and binary pictures in other formats. For pictures more along the line of swimsuit models, check out wuarchive.wustl.edu via anonymous FTP, in graphics/gif. The images are arranged alphabetically. Don't abuse the ftp service or it won't be here next month.

    Also in alt.binaries.pictures.erotica are often binary movies in various formats. Read the alt.binaries.pictures.* FAQs for more info. Due to the nature of Usenet, most pictures come in an UUENCODED format as well, and how to decode such pictures is also covered in the alt.binaries.pictures FAQ.

    There is also a list of BBS' containing adult GIF files. The list is posted to alt.bbs.lists and alt.sex periodically. There are several hundred BBS' listed.

    Where to find purity tests

    "Purity tests" are various text documents floating about the Internet intended to test how pure and innocent, or conversly, how feelthy-minded and perverse, you are. There are many versions, and this FAQ used to list all of them. However, with the growth of Internet resources it's become impossible to track them, and the FAQ can only recommend that you read a few of them and enjoy them.

    If you have access to FTP, Gopher, or the World Wide Web, the purity tests can be found at the following location:

    The editor of the FAQ personally prefers the 500 question Yale/Dartmouth Purity Test as being the most comprehensive without being too repetitive. No one purity test can cover everything or satisfy everybody.

    Signature codes

    Signature codes are those funny strings of characters frequently found in people's Usenet .sigs which look sort-of like a PGP code gone berserk. There are several "codes," the most popular of which are listed below.


    Elf Sternberg <elf@halcyon.com>

    The alt.sex FAQ is hosted by SACRED SEX

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