"We just called it Bianca's Smut Shack because we thought it was kinda cute," said Dave Thau, 34, who started the site with friends who lived in or visited an apartment on Chicago's North Side.
"People would sit around our apartment and, you know, we'd just talk about whatever we wanted to.
"We kind of lost that battle," said Miller ruefully.
Mosaic became Netscape, and the users of Bianca's Smut Shack quickly realized they could use the technology to post messages that amounted to an online conversation."In the early days," Miller said, "Dave and I would have every single post in the site e-mailed to us."We wanted to bring a lightness, an openness to smut -- we wanted to give the word a more light-hearted connotation." They also intended to have a variety of topics open for discussion, not just sex."The Closet," where gay men now meet each other, used to be the "Gardening Room." But every time the developers put Web forums in a different room, hoping some other topic would emerge, sex chatters overflowed into them.Take Bianca's "Altar Room." Tonight it's full of users with female handles.
Darlene, Trish40 and Anna Maria are there, as well as more androgynous names such as Sage and Cloudless.
The founders wrote the software from scratch seven years ago and, without meaning to, not only invented Web chat but established a community that has turned into the world's biggest sex party.
While it takes a little patience to sort through posts by the clueless and the obnoxious, the sheer number of users means it's possible for most people to find someone who shares their predilections.
Maybe -- or it could be that "Joe" is the handle of a woman who wants to try a male identity on for size.
In any case, I can't think of a duller pickup line than "horny husband in hotel," but to my surprise, Anna Marie asks him where he's from and what he's doing in the hotel.
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