don't talk about sex

There is a weird disconnect going on. I love weird disconnects because they are saying something. I don’t know what this one is saying.

We all like sex. Our culture is permeated with sex. And yet we never talk about sex in a real way. We joke about it and we might share a few details with our best friend. But we never really talk about it. It’s off the table. I wonder why that is. How often do you and your partner have sex? What’s your approach to masturbation? Do you like oral sex? Do you swallow? Anal? Do you like to dress up? Or role play? Do you trim or shave your privates? What’s your favorite position(s)? How about a play-by-play of the last really great sex you’ve had?

All of these topics are off limits. We can all answer those questions. There are interesting thoughts that are associated with those sorts of topics. We could learn from each other, learn about each other and understand better this very weird overlay of sexuality that is a major part of the human story.

Some of you maybe think I’m some sort of a perv already because I broach these topics. Even though most of us are sexually active people, admitting that you take an interest in sex can be perceived negatively. In the wrong context, talking about even the most normal sexual acts can get you fired or sued.

Why is this?

I think there are interesting sexual topics that are under-discussed because of this weird disconnect. I’m not just talking about the sorts of preferential questions I mentioned above. Sex is deeply hardwired into our conscious and unconscious behavior and it is fascinating. But please don’t talk about it.

don't talk about sex

sparkfail had a sale. Everything was free, you only paid shipping on the first $100k they sold. They have a blog post congratulating themselves about it.

This is a hilarious act of denial. Their site was virtually unavailable during the sale. I was not able to accomplish a single thing at any point over the course of 90 minutes. Further, they encouraged people to put things in their shopping basket the night before but then they cleared all of those shopping baskets right before the sale. If you look at the twittersphere, for every happy person there is probably 10-50 unhappy people. sparkfun’s technical inability to keep up with interest turned what could have been a great promotion into a PR disaster.

And they congratulated themselves for it. They congratulated their IT department for it. Their system didn’t work for 99% of visitors and they are happy with that.

It’s fucking bizarre.

Let me add — I know how hard it is to scale for massive concurrency on a site. Sometimes surprises happen or weaknesses are revealed in big web operations. I’m forgiving of that. I’m not forgiving of bad planning or shoddy execution.

The bottom line: sparkfun achieved their goals. Customers did not. That is backwards.