There was actually a time in the very beginning when I only had a Webtv to communicate with. Hehehe, I know that there is a majority of you guys who don’t even know what the hell that is, but that was a thing years ago. Simply put…some people could buy a computer hard drive, a keyboard, a mouse…or even just a really good laptop for a few hundred dollars…but I didn’t HAVE a few hundred dollars. Not to spend on a computer! LOL! That was like…rent and groceries and gas money for the whole month! So when I started out way back then, I didn’t get the chance to chat in real time with anybody. People who were around at that time will let you know how frustrating and sad that was for me at the time. I would literally get depressed over it, to be honest. Because all anybody wanted to do was chat. “Come chat with me! Come on! Let’s go! Right now!” And I’ll be honest…it kind of hurt to be deliberately left out of things. Everybody was playing a game that I couldn’t play, and I just had to accept that.
But my handy little system evolved over time, and then some Shackers were *SO* very cool in just mailing me laptops that they felt were outdated or couldn’t use anymore, and I was finally introduced to the world of talking to everybody in real time! IT WAS AWESOME!!! You have NO idea how much that excited me and made me happy, during that time! And once a few of my closest online friends found a chatroom for us to talk in, I would be on there for hours and hours, every single day of the week. (Mind you…this was back when people were really impressed and pleasantly surprised to get ONE new chapter a week from me! Hehehe! Now people treat my stories like the nightly news! “Why not every single day??? Slacker!”)
It was a dream come true, and I made some of the best friends of my life in that original chatroom. And before you knew it, the whole site began to grow. It got bigger, and bigger, and bigger…until it was really hard to keep up with what was going on at any one time. And then I learned how to use private messages, and I’d have to click away from the chat to talk to one person in private, but people were still talking to me in the public chat…so I’d have to switch back and scroll to catch up…and then I get three more private messages…then go back to public chat again…and I’d get my conversations mixed up. It was CHAOS! And sometimes, it still is! But I loved it!
It was, at one time, my favorite part of the entire website. I guess I could say that it still is…but I’m just not around as much now as I used to be. Something I look forward to changing by the time you read this.
But…all good things aren’t always meant to last. Not unless you’re willing to change and evolve with the times.
Enter Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and a ton of other social media connections…which are cool. But I just wanted to talk to my friends. I wanted my own space. People who liked my stories and who were willing to share some of their own. Artists. Creative minds. We had our own family, our own inside jokes, our own positive influences on one another. But…cramming a lot of different people with different personalities and different temperaments always seems to ruin everything. Suddenly we had conflicts and online love triangles and petty bickering…and I was like…WTF is going on? What are you doing to each other? It’s text on a screen…chill the fuck out! I mean, on a smaller scale, it happens. I get it. But suddenly you’ve got people who just can’t STAND to just leave other people the fuck alone! And I’ not talking about ‘trolls’ or ‘homophobes’ or any outsiders or anything. This was caused by bitter arguments by members of our own online family that could have been easily avoided or, at the very least, discussed in private. It got to the point where you had people who purposely came to the chatroom to tear it down. But…like…WHY? What do people get out of that? I don’t understand.
So…changes had to be made. ‘Common sense’ rules had to be put in place. OBVIOUSLY you can’t come into our chatroom as an adult and hit on our teen chatters, or ask them for nude photos! I mean…was that ever in question? What is wrong with you? You can’t post hardcore pornography, you can’t indulge in hate speech or racist rhetoric! You can’t HARASS people until they don’t feel welcome in our chatroom anymore! I mean…how fucking HARD is this??? Stop pretending that you don’t have any goddamn sense and enjoy the chatroom with everybody else. Be human for a second and THINK!
Whatever happened to the shame that came with knowing that YOU were the biggest asshole in the room? Huh?
So, after a while of that, the original chatroom had to be shut down, and a new one was opened. And for a time…it was good.
For a time…
I had moderators in place to make sure that we didn’t end up going through that nightmare ever again. All I wanted was a few people who could sit in and maybe de-escalate problems and calm things down before they got out of hand. I had long conversations with those moderators, and those conversations came down to four basic words…
Because outside of the fun and giggles that we had in that chatroom…that place really meant a LOT to a lot of people! It was never about ego or control or manipulation. Literal suicides have been prevented because of that chatroom. Teenagers, finding that place for the very first time, found a place where they could finally be themselves and not feel any shame about it. Do you know how many kids came out to their friends and family because of that place? Do you how many couples found each other in that place, some of them are even MARRIED to this day because of that place! And some insecure ass wipe is going to come in and ruin it for everybody because they don’t feel like they’re not getting enough attention? Screw that. That’s not what the chatroom was about. And anybody who can’t understand how much it means to people…to other people…needs to take a closer look. Because I was there. I’ve seen beautiful things happen there. And I know the difference between the people who just come to be a part of the family, the people who barge in a remodel it to fit it into whatever narrow vision they have of what it SHOULD be, and the people who just want to take it over and make it theirs after all the work that the whole family did to build it up while they barely did anything at all to ‘add on to it’. I don’t appreciate that. And if anyone else thinks they can do it all better than I can all on their own without me doing a vast majority of the heavy lifting…go for it. And I wish you well. Build your own spot online and make it thrive. I’ll even help t promote you if you want.
But don’t expect to be us. What we’ve got there is special. It’s magic. And it means more than me or any of us. Because we built it all just by being present in the larger scheme of things. That should be all it takes.
This place has gone from the ‘Comicality Chatroom’ to ‘Chat Universe’ to the ‘Chatterbox’ and now…it’s affectionately named the ‘Hot Tub’! Hehehe! And while I couldn’t build a chatroom on my own if I tried, there are a TON of fans of the site who are always willing to step in and put one together at a moment’s notice to build another one. And another. And another, if need be. At the end of the day, I want the chatroom on the Shack to represent me and what I stand for. And I have a rather EXTENSIVE list of very simple rules listed for everybody to follow, in case there is any question whatsoever about I allow in that chatroom. Take a look at them at the top of the chatroom, just in case you were fuzzy on some of those rules and regulations that I put in place to keep it a safe and fun place to be. Don’t just ‘make shit up’ on the fly, based on what you think is appropriate. I spent a lot of time covering my bases, and if I decide to add something…then I’ll add it. My house, my rules. Don’t like it? You have a ‘Backspace’ button on your keyboard, right? Or a little ‘X’ to close the tab? Just like everybody else? Cool. That’s door. Because, again…
That being said…I want to make one thing painfully clear…
If I find out that anyone is making ‘comments’ to one of our other chatters about anything that is said in that chatroom, I don’t care how old they are, I don’t care how young they are…if I find out about it…you and I are going to have a serious conversation. The Shack Out Back has had a chatroom for over 20 years now, and the number of ‘problems’ that we’ve actually had with anything…I can count on one hand. People may come in and try to ACT like we do, but we don’t. We never have. We go there to have fun! We talk about cute boys, and love, and stories, and movies, and video games, and sex…and we bond with one another by finding this tiny oasis online where we can be ourselves and make friends and lean on one another during hard times. That’s what the chatroom is. It’s what it has ALWAYS been! And that’s what it will continue to be! So stop coming in and trying to ruin it for the rest of us. It’s not going to happen. You don’t get to just show up out of the blue one night and ‘infect’ a place that we all call home with what you want to talk about. That’s not how this works.
I swear to fucking GOD…if I hear that somebody is being threatened with being ‘banned’ for joking around about sex or something super trivial…I will see that as direct harassment, and YOU will end up being banned from my chatroom instead! Instantly! Nobody gets kicked out of my chatroom without my direct permission. Ever. Unless it’s an absolute emergency. And even then, it has to be cleared with me afterward. I appointed moderators that I, personally, believed would be understanding and look at things from the Shack’s perspective. Upholding the standards that I set for this website from day one. So, if you’re not one of those people that I trusted to look over the chatroom, then judging somebody else in any way, shape, or form, is NOT your goddamn job. We don’t need any online ‘Karens’ here. You have a problem with somebody? You can come talk to me personally at Comicality@shackoutback.net and tell me what the issue is. And I’m not talking about sending me a message through somebody else. What, am I invisible after almost 25 years online? You know where to find me. Make your complaints to me directly. I promise you that I’ll be fair. There are other Shackers who are probably reading this right now who have made mistakes, and I’ve had to make some hard decisions in the past. But…friend or foe…I always try to be fair. Just don’t lie to me. Because the teens on this site know to come to immediately with any and ALL inappropriate behavior that happens in that chatroom or anywhere else on my site. And I will have transcripts to go along with it. Don’t think I won’t go to the authorities if that’s what it takes, because I will. That’s why we don’t have any problems in that place. And if anybody barges in shouting at you that we do…they are LYING to you! Stop listening to some random idiot with a chip on his or her shoulder, trying to break us down. Do you honestly think that I could have lasted this long if there was just a bunch of illegal activity going on with my site? That’s just ridiculous.
Anyway…just want to make that clear. So ya know.
Hehehe! I’m not mad. But if you see something you don’t like in the chat, change the subject. If you get angry over something that somebody said…’tap out’, and leave it alone. And if you can’t handle not being in ‘control’ of the situation…go find a place where you can be in change. I’m not running the Disney Channel here. I write gay teen PORN! Let’s be honest here! So if gay teen talking or joking openly about sex in OUR chatroom rubs you the wrong way or somehow interferes with your comfortable sense of hypocrisy…then leave. Just go away. It’s the internet…go find a place where you feel more at home. This is ours. As a community. As a family.
Anything that I’ve said in my stories should be more than allowed in my chatroom. Period. If you have a problem…then it’s just that…YOUR problem. Keep your backhanded comments to yourself. Or leave. Either one is fine with me.
I can’t honestly remember a time when the conversation in the chatroom has gotten that far out of hand, with the exception of a few times when people actually tried to ignore it and move on to get back to having fun, and the other person couldn’t see to leave it alone. Do yourselves a favor…leave it alone. K? Because I can start another chatroom in a week…and you won’t be invited. So calm down and grow up. We don’t create ‘safe spaces’ here. And anybody who has something to say about being ‘uncomfortable’ with the content of that chatroom? Just remember that they only FOUND that chatroom because my ‘uncomfortable content’ brought them there. And, at one time, I embraced them with the same open arms and non-judgement that I want them to embrace you and every other person who takes the time to find love and companionship from the rest of us. That’s what the Shack means to me. And that’s what it stands for.
They don’t ever have to be there if they don’t want to be. Me? I actually want to be! And I like the ‘Hot Tub’ the way it is.
If you guys ever want to come by the chat, you’re more than welcome to join us for some laughs and good times! I know that everybody is soooo busy, and I get it. Hehehe! But if you get a few minutes to stop in and say hello, then awesome. I’ll be around more often than I have been in the past year or so as well. A lot of you guys, I’ve never even met before. I do often show up at night, but I do try to drop in during the middle of the day sometimes to talk to you guys overseas. But, even if I’m not there, talk to the other people that ARE there. They’re good people too. And we’re all reaching out to see if we can find someone to share with, to laugh with, to lean on. So why not? It’s not like you guys can’t talk to each other when I’m not present. The chatroom isn’t about me. It’s about each and every single one of you. Be your best self, and see what happens. You might just surprise yourself.
Everybody is welcome! Literally EVERYBODY! Gay, straight, male, female, teens, adults, senior citizens, trans…from any part of the world. There are literally people from all over the globe reading and chatting, and you might get the chance to give or gain some wisdom along the way. And possibly make some really good friends that will last you a lifetime. K?
Here are directions on how to get there, as well as a copy of the ‘Common Sense’ rules that you need to know to stay out of trouble! Hehehe, we’re not super vulgar or obscene or the ‘den of predatory vipers’ that certain hateful people would want you to believe that we are. Not even close. No one is playing favorites or trying to take over the chat. No one is going to censor you or make you feel bad for being you. The whole point of the chat was to get AWAY from that kind of nonsense. So let’s just get together and have some fun. You’ll love it! Promise! 🙂
Seezya there! ((Hugz)) Who knows who you might meet in there?
Here’s a quick and super easy tutorial on how to get in if you ever want to drop by and say hello! Join the family! It’ll be fun for all of us! The more, the merrier! 😛 (Thanks, Matt!)
For first time visitors, click the invite link: https://discord.gg/5rVAUj9
If you already have a Discord account from another server, login here; otherwise if you have never registered for Discord before, create a new account. Once you register with Discord, you will be taken to Com’s chatroom. Jump into #the-hot-tub and have a great time! 🙂
Upon further visits, once you’ve “joined” the server with the above invite link, you can simply log into your account via http://www.discord.com, or using the downloadable Discord app for windows/Mac/Android, all of which can be found at https://discord.com/download, and you will have Comicality’s chat server in your list of available servers.
Discord will prompt you to identify whether you are under 18 or over 18, and will grant you permissions specific to adults vs kids. It will also direct you to read over the chat rules, which you are expected to follow for the good of everyone at the Shack.