What we would do without the forums?
They are monumental data bases. Some of them contain about three decades of detailed information about sexual encounters, behaviors, codes, locations, and practices from many different countries. Many anthropologists would have an orgasm at the idea of accessing such rich sources.
They are powerful networking tools. Besides storing mountains of data, these communities allow us to connect and continue producing and sharing knowledge. The forums provide the framework to share information and build relationships. Our subculture feeds from a small system of websites and blogs, the forums are the core of that network.
Finally, these online communities constitute a unique support system. Anyone who has lurked around a discussion board has witnessed demands for help in different emotional degrees, as well as warm and supportive responses.
Out of the huge market of paid sex, the discussion boards are the tip of the iceberg, a significant part of the outspoken and more visible minority that build a sense of community and belonging.
The Argentine forums are not so different
This blogger participates actively in two discussion boards in the United States. My previous experience in the M4M Forums and in BoyToy was indeed helpful to start navigating their Argentine cousin. The navigation is easy and friendly.
The organization in folders and threads is of course similar. Differences start coming up with the content. The Argentine forums are about Prostitution in general, most of their bandwidth is actually taken by straight men looking for female professionals. You have to find the tab (Escorts Hombres) for gay escorts.
Inside that tab, the folder topics are significantly fewer and less diverse than in the U.S. forums. Traffic is also slower. However the environment is familiar and it is easy to learn and adapt to the few operational differences, like for instance how to post a link or an image.
There is not a “Reviews” section, clients’ reports are just embedded in the discussions. You can prefix a post as an “Experience” (XP), and the OP qualifies as a review.
If there are any sex workers participating, I did not notice. The Rules allow their participation only in the General Discussions forums, but it is unnoticeable if there is any. There is a folder named “Escorts Masculinos Gays de Todo el País Participan”, which seems to encourage professionals’ participation. However that forum is just like a classified ads list. There are a few threads of newbies asking for advice, but most of the posts after the OP are by clients.
But there are some important differences
Little tiny differences are many, and they are easy to overcome because of the many similarities. However, there are two major differences that sometimes make the experience less enjoyable for this blogger. I am intentionally framing this as my personal experience and not as a judgement, you may love what I do not.
The first major difference is the quality of the language. Unlike the ones in the U.S., the Argentine forums are much specialized. The information on professionals is indeed useful and easily available, but it is shared often in a quasi text message format, with very poor grammar and vocabulary, with almost no punctuation. There is usually an attempt to written language in the OP, but it does not last long throughout the thread.
There are a few posters who make a visible effort to express their ideas with clarity and ease for the reader. However, it is not the predominant style.
The second major difference is the moderation culture. This blogger is used to the more lenient enforcement of the rules from the American boards. In the Argentine forums arguments are not tolerated, the involved posts deleted, and the participants of the quarrel suspended.
After about 5 years of participation in the American boards, this blogger was suspended only once. In about six months of posting in the Argentine forums, he already accumulated two suspensions.
The major problem I see in this kind of heavy moderation is that the community building suffers. When there is an emotional attachment, there are passionate discussions and arguments. Not only these interactions build relationships and community, but also attract traffic.
The Argentine forums and my last trip to Argentina
This blogger is extremely grateful for the Argentine forums. It was a forum member who passed me information in local hook ups in Corrientes and Resistencia. Without his support I probably would have missed Forbidden Apple.
Then, during the last week in Buenos Aires, it was information from the forums what led me to Douglas, Carlos, and Randisan, three amazing experiences added to our Reviews page. My gratitude is immense, and my plan is to continue contributing to the Argentinean online community.
I did step out of my comfort zone and tried to organize a gathering following the model of the American forum members meetings (Palm Springs and DC). Twelve forum members expressed their interest and asked for the information to attend. Only one would show up.
The summon was in a downtown gay bar/lounge owned by two American expatriates, Flux Bar. The low attendance was disappointing, but meeting with the one friend who showed up was a pleasure. He does not know it, but he is a poet, and one who is very “porteño”.
How to use the Argentine forums
You will learn the Argentinean dialectal version of Spanish. Abundant information is available about sex in public places like public bathrooms, and some of the risks you may be taking if you go for that scene. You will find information on saunas and porn theaters, and a lot of interesting stories if you are patient. And, of course, you will vet your hires.
To do that, first do some research in Soy Tuyo or any other of the local escorts outlets, they are listed in the post about Buenos Aires. Identify a few providers you like, and keep their tabs open to copy pictures and URLs.
Then go to the Escorts forums, if your boy is from Buenos Aires, go to that specific forum. Use the “Búsqueda” box to check whether or not there are previous entries about your prospect. If you find them, you may take advantage of the info or you may ask for an update, if there are not recent experiences.
If you do not find any records, you will start a new thread. Use the prefix CS, which in the local language would be equivalent to writing 411 in an America board. Title the new thread with the name of the taxi boy (equivalent to “escort” in the local slang), and ask for experiences, posting a link to the ad or a picture in your OP. Responses can be slow, you must be patient, but they eventually arrive.
Discussion boards unite!
Participating in several online communities gives you a shocking understanding of the state of our culture. The amount of sex negativity is astonishing being communities discriminated against because of sex.
My participation in the boards has proved to be extremely beneficial for my personal growing and self knowledge. I want others to have the same privilege, better and stronger online communities is an essential part of this blog’s agenda.
Soon we will have a post about sex positivity. We must talk about sex; experimenting, celebrating, sharing, and learning about it. We must have sex.
But that is for a future post. For this one, I am glad I joined one more promising community in my mother land, where I can participate using my mother tongue.
Buenos Aires next year will be even better.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amig@s!