The ASLM FAQ v1.1.3

1)   What’s a shoe lesbian?

The strict definition is: A female shoe whose affectional preferences are for other female shoes. Barring that, a shoe lesbian is anyone who hangs out in alt.shoe.lesbians.moderated

2)   You know, this newsgroup reminds me a lot of alt.shoe.lesbians.

We'll tell you a secret: It is the same newsgroup, really. We just got tired of all the sex spam in alt.shoe.lesbians. So we got ourselves a chief techno-babe and a group of beautiful and witty (and talented) moderators, and we moved over here to ASLM. The new place is pretty nice, we think...

3)   Makes sense. So what’s this new newsgroup like?

Pretty much like the old newsgroup: A bit like the local coffeehouse. Hang out. Listen in. Contribute a thought or two. And don't forget to mention your shoes.

4)   I still don’t get it.

(begin stirring background music)

Throughout history, there has been one constant among peoples of different nationality, race, creed, color, and sex. That constant, dear reader, is footwear (or the lack thereof). No matter what our differences, we can still compare, admire, and discuss footwear (or the lack thereof). We see footwear (or the lack thereof) as a uniting symbol among us all. As lesbians, well... we... um... well... hmmm.

(bring stirring music to a screeching halt)

Ahem. OK, We'll confess. There's really nothing to "get". We're just lesbians. We wear shoes - or not. We hang out. We talk. We laugh. We cry. We make crawfish etouffee. And, when we're done doing that, we tell everyone how our feet are attired. See? It's all perfectly normal.

5)   Oh. OK. So it’s not about shoes at all?


6)   Ah-HA! So it *is* about shoes!

Um... no.

7)   Hey, is this some sort of a zen thing?

ASLM is many things. It is not, however, the sound of one hand clapping.

8)   Do you all have shoe fetishes or what? If so, I have a friend who...

What our subscribers do with and to their shoes in the privacy of their own homes is their own business. Gentle Reader, Miss Manners frowns upon the revealing of such details in an open forum.

9)   OK, so you're a bunch of lesbians talking about stuff, that may or may not include footwear.

That's pretty much it. Except that we are bisexual women too. "Bisexual" isn't in our name because of the unusual way the original newsgroup started (see #17). But ASLM wouldn't be the same without all the bi women who are here.

10)   Sounds like fun, but I'm not a lesbian or a bi woman. Can I join in anyway?

Of course you can. Every woman is welcome in our newsgroup as long as they stick to our ground rules: Listen. Talk. Think. Try to be nice. Just don't forget to mention your shoes!

11)   That's all?

Well, we don't like it very much if you try to tell us that there's something wrong with being lesbian or bisexual. or with being a woman. In fact, our beautiful and witty (and talented) mods will show you the door if you insist on saying this sort of thing. But you're not like that anyway, are you?

12)   You're sure that's all? What if I'm a man?

We won't turn you away. But we would ask why, given that there are 20,000 other newsgroups on usenet, you decided that you need to be in ASLM - one of less than a dozen newsgroups for women. And we really are not interested in your musings on male sexuality, or whether you are a lesbian in a man's body.

And we would strongly suggest that if you do want to stick around, that you talk with us, not at us. Or we might ask you to leave.

13)   So can I assume that all you lesbians and bi women want to read all about my ALL NUDE GIRLS! ALL THE TIME! website?

How can I put this? Um... No, nein, nyet. Read our lips: "Uh-uh". There is a time and a place for everything. While some suburban types might like table dances, they don't generally go over well at suburban Tupperware parties. By the same token, within the cyber walls of ASLM, we'd rather not read about a variety of things including, but not limited to: MAKE MONEY FAST!, The Nasty Ladies Diaries, Please Send Me Nasty E-mail. The Most Naked Girls on the Web site, etc.

And, in fact, our beautiful and witty (and talented) moderators keep all of that stuff out. Unless they think a message is funny. Then they drop the message into the newsgroup so that shoes can give it . . . umm . . . proper attention.

Reactions to such things include, but are not limited to: public humiliation by sarcasm, polite email messages to you; polite email messages to your postmaster; nasty email messages to you; nasty email messages to your postmaster; and invitations to contort your body in fantastic, imaginative ways so that sex partners will no longer be necessary for you.

14)   But surely everyone will want to read my amusing and informative 56-line sig?

Umm... no. Most people outside North America have to pay for each minute of internet connection time, not to mention the charges for local phone service. While we don't doubt how truly wonderful your sig is, we don't think that anyone wants to pay to read it over and over again. Besides, a long sig is just plain rude.

15)   If it's not a sex group, why do you need the word lesbian in the name?

We need to say lesbian because we want lesbians to read it. And we figure that if lesbians want to read it, bisexual women will want to read it, too. But you must understand that lesbians and bi women have more than just sex to talk about with each other. Our newsgroup is a place where lesbians and bi women can talk about just stuff (see #9).

16)   Do lesbians and bi women wear different shoes than straight women?

Maybe. Maybe not.

17)   Didn’t you stop to think who you would attract to your newsgroup?

If we'd created the original ASL newsgroup, we might have stopped to think about it. But we didn't create it, so we didn't have much to think about. Alt.shoe.lesbians was actually started by a couple of college guys who wanted to see who their title would attract. It mostly attracted lesbians who found the idea of mentioning our footwear in our sigs rather funny. When the sex spam forced us to move to a moderated group, we (of course) kept the name - we just added "moderated" onto the end.

Now the newsgroup is like "Cheers":   Pull up a chair, mention your shoes and join the conversation.

18)   Wouldn't have worked just as well?

Maybe, but you're assuming that straight women are terribly interested in our opinions about lesbian performers, whether we'll ever be allowed to marry one another, how to cohabitate with a spouse who keeps borrowing your lipstick, and what tools are on sale at Home Depot this week. Those brave straight women who wish to peruse those threads, can also enjoy the other threads about car repair, cat care tips, chocolate, and dealing with a generally sexist world.

19)  Can I assume anything here?

No. As a matter of fact, it's best to have no assumptions whatsoever. Just think of ASLM as an oasis of fun, sarcasm, wit, friendship, whimsy, thoughtful conversation, and a whole slew of other friendly adjectives. Or, if you prefer, like a good foot-massage for the spirit...

Oh yeah. Don't forget to tell us about your shoes!

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