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Subject: A Guide to Social Newsgroups and Mailing Lists

This article was archived around: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:00:18 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: usenet/social-newsgroups
All FAQs posted in: news.announce.newusers, news.groups
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: usenet/social-newsgroups/part1 Last-change: 20 March, 1996 by taylor@netcom.com (Dave Taylor) Changes-posted-to: news.misc,news.groups,news.answers
A Brief Guide to Social Newsgroups and Mailing Lists http://www.intuitive.com/social-faq.html INTRODUCTION The Usenet distributed conferencing system is a terrific way to meet new friends and engage in many interesting topics of conversation, but people just joining our on-line community often have a difficult time figuring out which group is which and what groups they could join to find like-minded individuals. To try to help this situation, this article is intended to be one of a group of regularly posted articles that are given to new users to aid you in deciding where you might have the best luck finding new electronic friends that share your interests both socially and sexually. Disclaimer: some of what is said on Usenet might be offensive to you as some of the groups discuss topics that are, well, a bit unusual. Fortunately it's easy to avoid this problem; don't read that group. Also please keep in mind that the more controversial the subject, the more likely the group is awash in inane, unrelated discussion, partially due to the nature of the Usenet community and partially perhaps due to how uncomfortable most people are with these subjects. To reiterate this point, please do NOT join a group to find a forum for arguing or demonstrating righteous indignation over a particular belief, behavior, or desire. Those discussions are almost always completely inappropriate and the more controversial the subject, the more likely the participants in a group are going to dislike judgemental postings. Also, there is a good chance that you have misunderstood either the offending article or the responses of other readers. In other words, you may well be alone in your indignation. Finally, as with all groups on the Usenet, once you find one that seems of interest, please try to spend a week or two just reading the group and learning how conversations proceed in that particular forum before you jump in. It'll save you, and others, a lot of grief and unpleasantness. THE GROUPS alt.personals.* This hierarchy is devoted to ads from people who seek e-mail or in-person romantic or sexual relationships. There are several subgroups and many people who post here do so using one of the anonymous posting/reply services. Try to include a descriptive subject line (including your location), and some specific information about your tastes, interests and hobbies. alt.romance One of the nicest things about any relationship, be it the beginning of a courtship or years into a more serious commitment, are the little things that you do for each other, the romance. If you're interested in chatting with people about what is considered romantic, talking about a particular romantic thing that you've done, or even just reading stories about what other folks have done to 'be romantic' or 'have a romantic liaison', then this is the group. alt.sex What's a relationship without sex? For that matter, how many of us would be around without our parents having had sex? This group is one of the most controversial on the net, not surprisingly, and while the actual number of articles that discuss sex or sexuality is distressingly low, the group is still an interesting place to find the occasional horror story of a sexual rendezvous gone bad, to read debates about what type of birth control (or condom) is best, or even to read some surprisingly revealing details about the sex lives of people on the net. alt.sex.bestiality While bestiality refers to engaging in sexual activity with an animal, the articles in this group seem to talk about everything but that. alt.sex.intergen Discussion group for intergenerational relationships, including "May/December relationships" (relationships between adults in two different parts of their lives, 20 and 45 years old for example), as well as discussion on "ephebophilia" (relationships between adults and teenagers) and "pedophilia" or "paedophilia" (relationships between teenagers or adults and pre-pubescent children). The level of mature discussion (discourse) on alt.sex.intergen tends to be rather high, and those that read and/or participate in the discussions would like to keep it that way :-) alt.sex.bondage The best spin-off discussion from alt.sex, this group has a higher level of interesting articles, which talk about bondage and related topics, ranging from the psychology of being confined by another during sexual play to the mechanics of different bondage devices. It also occasionally delves into sadism and masochism, so as with any other group, if you don't like what you're reading, be prepared to unsubscribe. rec.arts.erotica A moderated group with long, but infrequent articles, rec.arts.erotica is the main focus for erotica and pornography, depending on your standards. Most are explicit, and some demonstrate a surprising writing ability, but many also seem rather sleazy and variously demeaning. Just like reading the Letters to Penthouse, it's a mixed bag as to whether any of it will be exciting or erotic to you. soc.couples Being in a short or long term relationship offers much in the way of joy, pleasure, and emotional satisfaction, but it also offers the chance for major arguments and other problems. This group is where you can talk about a relationship you're in with others that are also in relationships of their own. soc.feminism Soc.feminism is a moderated newsgroup for the discussion of feminist issues. Both men and women are encouraged to post to it and discussion is not limited to the pro-feminist viewpoint. This group differs from soc.women in that moderation keeps out the flames and inappropriate cross-posts. In addition, there are several subjects appropriate for soc.women but not soc.feminism (e.g. the sporadic "where do I find comfortable shoes?" discussion that turns up in soc.women or discussions of women's health, other than policy issues related to it). soc.men This group discusses similar issues to soc.women, but from the male perspective. Topics include equal rights, child support, custody of children, relationships and so on. In addition, there are often topics which tend to be specific to men including shaving in the shower, post-workout skin care, and similar. Both men and women are active participants in this group. soc.motss While the Usenet community is pretty open minded, many of the aforementioned social groups tend to be populated primarily by the heterosexual community. Soc.motss (Members of the Same Sex) is a forum where the concerns and lifestyles of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals may be discussed, including conversation about relationships, dating, travel, and the like. Discussion of the validity or appropriateness of homosexuality is inappropriate, however, and will not be appreciated. soc.penpals Is your mailbox empty? Look here to find other people who want to exchange e-mail. There are also ads from people who want to find snail-mail penpals, too. soc.singles Of all the things that people seem to have in common, perhaps the most common thread of all is the bouts of being single, and the hunting and searching for relationships that this implies. This group is a forum for all discussions even vaguely related to either being single or the quest for a relationship. Indeed, it has been likened to an electronic cocktail party, where people have known each other (electronically, usually) for years. There are also a number of people in relationships that share their thoughts, as well as a high level of aggression between some of the contributors. Like many of the soc.* groups, soc.singles is not an appropriate place to post penpal requests or personal ads: try soc.penpals or alt.personals.* soc.women Soc.women is an unmoderated group that discusses similar issues to soc.men, but from the female perspective. Topics include equal rights, child support, custody of children, relationships and so on. In addition, there are often topics that tend to be specific to women including shaving legs, finding comfortable shoes, and so on. Both men and women are active participants in this group. OTHER PLACES TO LOOK In addition to these Usenet groups, there are many other forums on Usenet where you can make new friends and share conversations about topics of interest to yourself. Among them are the many "soc.culture" groups for specific ethnic/geographic cultures, the "soc.religion" and "talk.religion" groups for those interested in meeting friends of a specific religious background, the "rec.*" groups oriented about a specific recreational activity and many more. Also, there are a number of different private mailing lists for specific sexual and social orientations, including: bears Contact: bears-digest-approval@queernet.org (Henry Mensch) Purpose: Mail.bears is a mailing list in digest format for gay and bisexual men who are bears themselves and for those who enjoy the company of bears. The exact definition of a "bear" seems to be a personal one, but it encompasses men who are variously cuddly, furry, perhaps stocky, or bearded. Mail.bears is designed to be a forum to bring together folks with similar interests for conversation, friendship and sharing of experiences. The tone of mail.bears will be determined by its members, but people uncomfortable with discussing sexually explicit topics via electronic mail should not subscribe. cdforum Contact: cd-request@TheRev.LosAlamos.NM.US (Sharon M. Laws) Purpose: To provide support/discuss/share experiences about gender related issues; Crossdressing, Transvestism, Transsexualism, etc. This list is in Digest Format. feminists Contact: femail@hpldlh.hpl.hp.com (Patricia Collins) Purpose: The feminist mailing list is intended to provide a forum for discussion of issues of interest to women, in a friendly atmosphere. The basic tenets of feminism and the day-to-day experiences of women do not have to be explained or defended. Men and women can join, but everyone requesting to be added to the mailing list MUST provide the moderator with: 1) a full name; 2) a complete uucp path to a well-known host or a fully specified Internet address; 3) the correspondent's gender (for records and statistics only). NO exceptions. men Contact: attunix!mail-men-request mail-men-request@usl.com (Marcel Franck Simon) Purpose: This digested mailing list discusses "men's issues." Both women and men may join. Mail-men is a place where men and women can discuss men's issues in an atmosphere of openness and support. Men's issues are those problems and experiences that affect male humans. sappho Contact: sappho-request@apocalypse.org Purpose: A forum and support group for gay and bisexual women. The list is not moderated, but may become so if the volume and/or content begins to warrant it. A digest version is available; if you want it, be sure to mention it in your addition request. Men who want to "listen in," for whatever reason, are requested to use the feminist and alternates mailing lists instead; sappho membership is limited to women. spanking Contact: craftman@iglou.com Purpose: The SPANKING E-MAIL LIST is for the exchange of stories, articles, letters, rememberances and comments on and about erotic spanking. The list is mailed out once a week. In addition, there is a personals section at the end of the mailing for those who wish to post. Posting is not required, but is strongly encouraged to keep the list going. Membership list is private. SUMMARY Please use this list of Usenet groups and mailing lists as one of the many signposts to help you find the groups that you'll be interested in. One other terrific place to find more information is by asking your friends on the net what groups they read too! Changes, corrections, additions, or other requests for information related to this posting should be sent to: taylor@netcom.com