A lot has changed in the world of internet dating/chatting/flirting since I first started. And it makes me realize that in some ways, it’s still the same but in other ways….. you youngins have it easy!
A lovely chat with a very sexy woman who left me 2 VERY VERY sexy voicemails (more about that later) led to a bizarre coincidence. We both frequented the same BBS at around the same timeframe. Although this BBS was based in Iowa (ISCABBS) in its height of popularity it garnered users from all over the world. For the under-28 crowd, who probably has no idea what a BBS is and how it’s used, you really should go check it out. At the ISCA website you can now telnet to the BBS via a Java client. Go ahead. You can login as a guest and poke around briefly. It’s fairly dead now. Last night Emme and I logged on and found a whopping 19 members online. I can’t recall what it’s max capacity was but when it was at its most popular you used to have to wait in queue to get in if the max number of people were logged in. It is completely text-based.
If you wanted to get to know someone, their profile contained, at most, their name and address, a website (geocities, anyone?), 5 lines for them to fill up with whatever ASCII-art or pithy words they wanted and….that’s about it! You could message them privately and instantly if they were online or leave them a message if they were offline. There were forums to read. It was all self-contained and text-based. There was drama and in-fighting even back then.
If you wanted to chat outside of ISCA…well…..I can’t recall really having a need to take anything text-based off of ISCA. For those people at that time, if they were online they were logged in. Simple as that. I did have my first phone-sex-with-a-stranger with 2 guys from there (using my parents house phone, back when long distance wasn’t free, and somehow free small-denomination phone cards could be found by the resourceful geeks so our conversations could be had for less money or free). My first girl that I slept with I met through there. My first (and only, really) foray into being a “cam girl” was through guys I met on ISCA. In very rudimentary ways they sent me money (Paypal was around but it wasn’t the big shot it is now, there were still a few other companies vying for the Title) and I got on my shitty webcam for them. It was a lot of fun, actually. I had a couple guys who (stupidly, really) paid for numerous sessions with me on cam or even for some photos. Niteflirt exists now to make that simple.
The other method for digital flirting was the AOL chatrooms. Not much has changed I suppose for that aspect. I started my first collection of soft-porn-photos by swapping pics with people I’d meet on AOL chatrooms.
It was all so very 1995 and so….bland compared to what is available now. Now you can log into sites like OkCupid and learn a lot about someone before you even talk to them. There’s blogs, Twitter, Facebook and before that was Myspace (which seems pedestrian now compared to the more popular social networking sites). All of this makes digital long-distance “netsex”, flirting, and even dating about a thousand times easier. This is sounding like our grandparents “in MY day I had to WALK to school 3 miles away in -10 degrees in the winter and across a frozen pond!” but geesh it’s true!
Emme and I had a lot of fun chatting and reminiscing and swapping stories of the people we met from ISCA, and even comparing handles (screen names, for the kids reading this) to see if we’d known the same people. I had to laugh last night when I logged into the BBS and found a number of people who STILL use the damn thing! And I know they’d been on ISCA for a couple years at least before I’d discovered it. Kinda sad, lol.
So please, to the over-30 readers, comment away and share your memories of when you first used the internet for naughty purposes!