A Guide to Social Newsgroups and Mailing Lists
© 1996-2008 Dave Taylor: public distribution encouraged.
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 can join to find like-minded
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While bestiality refers to engaging in sexual activity with
an animal, the articles in this group seem to talk about everything but
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 :-)
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.
A moderated group specializing in text erotica. No guarantees on
quality or quantity, some of it is very good and some is very poor.
There is no censoring of topics or rules for keywording, so you
risk being offended by the material. Posts tend to be long and
writing quality and style varies quite a bit.
A moderated group for the discussion of adoptee-related issues, by adoptees.
Adoptees Newsgroup is designed to be a place where adoptees can gather for
advice, support, and discussions of a miriad of adoptee-related topics and
all adoptees are encouraged to participate. Please be encouraged to freely
share your experiences and feelings as related to being an adoptee. While
other interested persons are welcome to participate, this forum is focused
on serving adoptees.
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 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).
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.
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.
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
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 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:
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
(Sharon M. Laws)
Purpose: To provide support/discuss/share experiences about
gender related issues; Crossdressing, Transvestism, Transsexualism, etc.
This list is in Digest Format.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Karolina Kalkanda)
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.
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.
Contact: SubMiss@spanking.com (with subject 'HELP')
Purpose: This list focuses on "loving domestic discipline", the
enjoyment and self-acceptance of those that practice erotic themes
of Domestic Discipline as part of their sexuality -- whether in
reality or fantasy.
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 the author from
© 1996-2008 Dave Taylor
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