Halycon, the pink haired affiliate manager for Flashcash, is hard to miss in a crowd. People have a tendency to judge someone with pink hair - in Hal's case that would be a mistake. His history both in and out of the online world is impressive to say the least. All it takes is 5 mins in conversation with him to know he's someone you just want to get to know better. So, lets get on with the interogation!
Pictures complements of Fubar
- check it out for a photo archive all all webmaster events!
GFY Ambush Interview thread on Halycon
How do you deal with people that think you are gay?
It doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, when I used to be out clubbing and a woman asked if I was gay, I knew that I would be hooking up later.
Besides, I’m not too hung up on labels. I never refer to myself as “straight” or “bi” or “gay.” I just consider myself “sexy to the core.” And I will sleep with whomever I am attracted to…male or female. It has almost always been women, but I reserve the right to keep my options open on principal.
Why Flashcash? What exactly do you do for them?
I was introduced to Mark and Jason Rhino (FLASHCA$H masterminds) about 3 years ago. I came from a mainstream community-building background and they tapped me to help with the growing FLASHCA$H webmaster community.
Right away I was blown away by how smart they were. I can be a cocky bastard at times, but conversations with them were humbling.
Initially I was the 24 hour Webmaster Support person. I had a Richochet wireless modem and I would answer help desk emails all day long no matter where I was. Since then I have moved more into promotions and PR work. It is awesome to work with such talented people with such open minds.
I find it takes a special type of boss to have the “patience” to deal with someone like me. But Jason always listens to my ideas and helps me steer my insanity towards workable solutions. I learn so much from him and am grateful for this experience.
Discuss 'the abs'.
LOL. Well, I’ll try to talk about my tummy without sounding like a prick.
>From 16 to 22, I was really into weight training. I would force myself to eat and lift heavy weights and try to get as big as possible. But that was also the same time I started growing my hair out. And when you have a HUGE head of 80’s metal hair, your body looks small NO MATTER WHAT.
So I came to the conclusion that big hair with abs was my best option. Luckily, I found out that my genetics and metabolism were MUCH better suited to be cut than to be big.
Since then I would say that my number one workout tip has been consistency. I’ve never gone more than a month without working out. Never. And I don’t mean like triathalete training workouts, just pushups, sit ups, pull-ups, and walking. Combine that with smart eating and this is the way my body naturally falls into balance. Honestly, genetics is the main ingredient. My 64 year old dad is still fit and has pretty good abs, himself.
What happened in the competition for adam and eve? (http://www.searchforadamandeve.com)?
Well, Tassy and I were selected as finalists and flown to Jamaica for a week to compete on the show. Unfortunately, I can’t disclose much more than that until after it airs (late may). Let me just say that it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It will undoubtedly result in severe personal humiliation and has already resulted in opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. I’ll share more when I can.
(I did put a little more about our tryout in the last FLASHCA$H newsletter: http://flashcash.citizensex.com/toolkits/126.htm)
Talk about your work with emotionally disturbed kids.
I graduated with honors in Psych (Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude) and was headed towards grad school. After college I went to work in a group home for highly disturbed children. It was a live-in facility and I was in change of a cottage of 10 boys ages 8-12. It was very draining work. My first day a child tried to kill me with a metal pole. My last day a child tried to kill me with a fork. I was spit on nearly every day in between.
Nothing tests a person’s patience like being spit in the face. It gave me lots of experience with loving unconditionally and in working to understand a person’s story before you can judge their actions.
These kids were great kids…just FUCKED UP by their parents. I considered some of these kids parents to be murderers, because they killed off these boys hope for a normal life.
After 2 years, I was depleted and had to move on. I never returned to formal Psychology. But the lessons learned there help me every day.
Discuss Sony's early online mall and your involvement.
Soon after I left counseling, I went to work for a large fulfillment company. They were quick to get online and convinced the early Sony Station to have an online mall. Since my company pegged me as a “creative type” they asked me to act as the webmaster and “fake it till you make it” in meetings and try to convince Sony that we were experts in this emerging field.
This was in 95-96 and there were no HTML classes or anything. I worked with a Perl programmer and we held the server together with Popsicle sticks and duct tape. I would manually update their product catalog using Notepad and Photoshop when changes were needed. Everything was so new, nobody really knew what we were doing. Lots of trial and error and late nights in the server room. Eventually Sony took it all in house, but it was a cool “first computer related job” as I learned about the web.
What the fuck was the deal in the early days on the net with 'ezines' and why did they die out?
Long before people had blogs or even homepages, they had physical “zines.” These were roughly produced, Xeroxed, personal magazines. There was an amazing community of underground personal publishing going on in the late 80s early 90s. My zine was called Prehensile Tales and contained mostly humor. But I used to spend $100-200 to publish each issue and I would only get it to a few hundred people. When I discovered the web, I registered prehensile.com and started publishing to 10s of thousands, world-wide, for free. I wonder if kids today will ever understand how MASSIVE a revolution that was to us. Most paper zines I read went online in the mid 90s and became the pioneers of personal publishing online.
When the web was new, we didn’t have much guidance as to how to do it. Hypertext was new. So one of the most obvious formats to copy was a magazine format. As we learned more about how hypertext and interactivity changed reading habits, the zine structure started to morph and grow until it no longer was relevant.
I understand you got sued by fruit of the loom - discuss.
This was a defining moment in my life. Here is the press release from '98:
INDEPENDENT WEBSITE WINS CENSORSHIP BATTLE WITH UNDERWEAR GIANT
San Diego, CA -- March 21, 1998 -- When Fruit of the Loom's legal department issued a cease and desist to a small independent website, it was doubtful they anticipated the ensuing backlash from the web community at large.
On March 2nd, Fruit of the Loom gave John Halcyon Styn, creator of Prehensile Tales (http://www.prehensile.com), five days to remove his parody of the garment maker entitled "Meat of The Loom". (http://www.prehensile.com/tales/meatloom/fruitlove.htm)
"You'd think a company that used grown men in fruit costumes in their TV ads would have a better sense of humor." said Styn, "They should have gone after the guy in their Marketing Department who approved those ads. He did far more to tarnish their trademark than I ever could."
Believing his article was protected as parody, Styn decided to fight the order on the battlefield he created it for: the Web. After contacting other independent web publishers, within 48 hours over 100 websites had pledged support to his cause. Banners, saying, "Freedom of Speech doesn't end at an elastic waistband - Support your right to be funny" blanketed the web. Styn contacted a lawyer and filed a "Declaratory Relief" action against Fruit of the Loom in federal court.
Sites pledging their support ranged from personal home pages to Online Magazines and prominent web development firms. Participating sites added banners and pointed their visitors to Styn's site to help spread the word about the potential censorship threat.
Jeffrey Zeldman, publisher of "Ask Dr. Web," gave a day by day commentary of the struggle on his site, "This may seem like much ado about a few silly underwear jokes, but much is at stake."
Thanks to the support of the web community, over the 2 week period following the Cease and Desist, The www.prehensile.com site received over a quarter million visitors. Prior to the legal action, less than 1500 people had read the story in the 8 months it was posted on-line.
Prompted by this increase in traffic to a site they had hoped to squelch, and bowing to the pressure of web-wide community opinion, Fruit of the Loom's legal department relented on March 17, 1998. Just 15 days after issuing the Cease and Desist, the company's P.R. department sent Styn a friendly letter, informing him that they would not be pursuing legal action against him or his site. All correspondence is published on his website at www.prehensile.com.
Styn reflected, "I think big companies adopt a 'You can't afford to fight us' attitude and try to intimidate small publishers like me. The power and community of the web has proven them wrong."
How many women have you had sex with in your life? Men? Ever had group sex - how many people were involved?
Oh, boy. I don’t have a tally, but I would say more than 50 and less than 100 women. I’ve never had “sex” with a man, but I have had a few experiences with super hot couples.
I’ve been in several open relationships and was active in the Lifestyles community for a while, so yes, I’ve had many group experiences. Most memorable was being tied up for my bday and having 5 girls have their way with me. I’m a huge fan of having sex in front of other people who are also having sex…so that we are all absorbing (and amplifying) one another’s sex energy without crossing any serious relationship boundaries.
What the fuck is 'cockybastard"?
CockyBastard.com was my personal site for years. It was a digital temple erected to myself. It was an uber blog that won lots of awards, long before “blogs” existed. Now it is more of a digital hub for my many online playgrounds. The irony is that when I first registered the domain, I was MUCH more insecure than I am now.
But the idea behind the name is this:
I believe self-love in important.
In order to fully love others you much first love yourself.
Of course, if you say you love yourself, people will call you a “cocky bastard.”
Older designs of cb.com:
Discuss webcam communities.
Imagine if next to every GFY post, there was a live thumbnail of the person who just made that post. CitizenX.com, I site are created and ran for a few years, was like that. (except chat instead of boards.) It was bleeding edge and required a bit of patience to get up and running. While there are tons of webcam sites now, there is still none that have the many-to-many broadcast ability and love vibe that CitizenX had.
Its hard to explain, but it became a very important place to a lot of people. It was also innovative design -wise and functionally and was mentioned in a number of “community Building” books. I even spoke at several web conferences about it.
There is something magic about telling a joke in chat or via streaming audio and seeing people laugh who are physically in Hong Kong or Denmark. I learned that it doesn’t matter where you feet are at…it matters where your head is at.
Where won't you get naked? Where will you get naked? Is public sex ever involved? Ever stared in a porno?
I generally don’t like to “inflict” nudity on anyone. So I’m not gonna get naked anyplace where someone might be offended. Like the DMV or a family gathering.
But I’ll strip down anywhere that it’s cool. I love going to the local nude beach, for example. But I’m not a fan of public sex if anyone who isn’t into it might see. I love sharing sex energy with people who are into it…but the “might get caught” aspect never appealed to me.
Starred in a porno? Well, I’ve filmed myself with partners many times. And my sex life was broadcast live for 2 years when I lived on webcam. But only in the last few months have I considered more public on-camera sex. In addition to the Adam and Eve show (which included sex “challenges”) Tassy and I are actually exploring a love-infused porn/art project that we both star in. It’s not public yet, but we shall see.
Drugs and alcohol. Discuss.
Tough question for me to answer in public.
Let me just say that I waited until college to try pot or any drugs and I am grateful that I did so. Once I began my experimental phase…(or should I say “decade”) I had many wonderful experiences and learned much about myself. For years I read people like Terrence McKenna and used drug exploration as a form of personal exploration. But those lessons became less and less with time. As with all things, I believe in balance.
What was it like living in a webcam house?
It was like intense psychotherapy. Very quickly I had to get to a mind state where I was at peace with who I was.
At first I tried to “act cool.” I would be aware of my posture and what I said. But that was EXHAUSTING. Finally I had to come to a place where I said, “I believe I am a good person and lead a life of love.” If you glance at the cams for a second, you may catch me picking my nose or saying something stupid, but if you observe my life as a whole, I believe you will see I am being true to myself and my ideals.
What was crazy was that the audio was far more intrusive than the cameras. I had to train myself not to say phone numbers outloud for example. But it also taught me to not gossip or speak ill of others. It is a good lesson to never speak out loud what you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. And when you live in a cam house, you never know who is listening.
MTV - discuss your history there.
While living in the webcam house, we started hosting an event called “Globalgasm.” The idea was to heal the planet with worldwide digital orgies. MTV caught wind and decided to do a documentary of us (“Sex2K: Naked on the Net”). So they followed us around with a camera crew for a week and filmed a Globalgasm.
It was a bizarre experience to say the least. But I learned A LOT about how reality TV works and the power of an editor.
Here’s a quote of me from the show:
Why have you never left San Diego?
I was born in San Diego and have lived here my whole life. The more I travel, the more I love it here. It has amazing weather, a relaxing vibe, and enough culture to keep me busy. Sometimes I wish I was in a more bustling area like New York City or LA, but the peace of living by the ocean in San Diego is hard to beat.
Where I live now with Tassy is in a place called Solana Beach in “North County, San Diego.” Gorgeous coast and very quiet. It’s funny how important being close to the ocean is for me. Even when I can’t see it, I can feel it. And I feel the absence whenever I travel inland.
Tassy made this video from footage shot on our balcony of the ocean, dolphins, and sky:
Studs TV show, what happened?
Oh, shit. Another defining moment in my life.
In a nutshell, I went on a dating gameshow and was rejected on National Television by 3 women. Several things happened:
1) Despite being painfully insecure at the time, I was quite witty on the show. It was the first time I was on camera and it boosted my confidence significantly.
2) Pre STUDS, I had never really asked a girl out on a date. Sure, I hooked up occasionally at parties, but I had never really asked someone out. After that experience, all other rejection seemed easy to deal with.
I wrote up the whole experience here:
Talk about the pink haired girl, Tassy.
I actually “met” Tassy online many months ago as she was an online friend of an online friend.
Her screen name was “Pink Piggies.”
It wasn’t until months later that I realized the “pink” referred to her pigtails. She had pink hair.
A super sexy, hyper-sexed, exhibitionist internet geek with pink hair.
My friend referred to her as the female version of me.
I assumed he meant looks-wise, but my interest was piqued (how’s that for narcissistic!?) and we started to correspond.
Our chatting increased leading up to our meeting. We got to know each other a little more. Flirted and shared kinks. “I would love to film us having sex.” “Me, too.”
So I met her at the airport with my camcorder and filmed our entire first night together.
I waited at the gate with a pink sign. It didn’t say anything, it was just a pink piece of paper with no writing. But my cleverness was soon forgotten when we saw each other.
Instant attraction. Instant connection.
We were both nervous…but it felt good.
I put a collar on her as we waited in baggage claim.
What happened next was much more than I was expecting.
I can tell the exact point when I knew I was in over my head. It was midnight. We had just had AMAZING sex and shared a leftover pancake in bed. I went in the other room and grabbed a movie to watch as we took a sex break.
When I returned, she said, “Can we watch some of The Big Lebowski?”
Of course, I was already holding The Big Lebowsky in my hand.
After our crazy sex weekend, she went back to Oakland. We both ached so she returned 2 weeks later for another weekend that turned into 10 days.
The attraction was too strong to deal with on a long distance basis…so I asked her to move in with me. She moved in on December 26th 2004.
For Xmas I gave her a romantic porno DVD I made out of the footage from our first weekend together. She loved it. I was in love.
Did you climax the first time you had sex? Do you climax with Tassy?
Nosireeebob. I used to be so afraid of cumming too quick that I couldn’t climax at all.
I lost my virginity on prom night, but neither of us climaxed. Even now, it isn’t easy for me. But when I *do* climax, it is extremely intense.
Tassy not only makes me cum HARD, but her orgasms are intense and transcendent, too.
She is a sexual partner as well a spiritual one.
Are you sensitive about your flappy ears and pencil neck?
Lol. I used to be. In fact, in Jr. High/High school, I would wear a turtle neck every day to make my neck look thicker and ears less pronounced. But not anymore.
Do real men wear makeup?
Real men follow their own rules.
What are webby awards?
There were supposed to be the Internet version of the Oscars. I suppose they are still trying to be. http://www.webbyawards.com/ The first few years were major events with TV coverage and everything (There was a lot more sponsor money before the bubble burst). Sam Donaldson covered the event and even said about me, “Get a load of that guy..he loves himself….what an ego!”)
In 2000 they added a “Best Personal Site” award. I won it and the People’s Choice award.
What the fuck is 'digital intimacy?
When I ran the webcam community and lived in a webcam house, I used to do all sorts of experiments to push the connecting abilities of the web.
In my mind, all people are connected. We are one. So the web is this amazing tool to help us visualize and feel that connection. My dream for the web was (as still is) that it would help people to re-learn the connection with mankind that many “primitive” cultures already know.
One example of digital intimacy (www.digitalintimacy.com) that I still do:
Every Tuesday at 1pm I host Hug Nation (www.hugnation.com) with my 92 year old grandpa (www.grandpacaleb.com). People gather around webcams world-wide and hug themselves as they visualize people around the world that they send love to and receive love from. Grandpa and I say a few words to anchor the moment.
If you want to listen to an archive (or have lots of ammunition to make fun of me) you can listen to an MP3 here: www.hugnation.com/audio
Sometimes you can connect with someone through your computer that touches your heart in the most profound of ways. If you have had the experience, you know what I mean.
What is 'the feeling'?
Heh. It’s kinda hard to explain. Ever since I was a kid, I have experienced this “feeling” a few times a year. It makes my body all tingly. It usually is prompted by somebody teaching me something, or telling a story. Certain accents sometimes do it, I think. And when it happens, I am in bliss. I try not to move or do anything to stop the tingling. I may speak enough to keep that voice from speaking.
I wrote this on my website long ago, and every so often someone will email me and say, “I GET THAT FEELING!”
My underarm hair is different colors, too. One blonde and one brown…as long as I’m divulging weird unexplainable personal traits.
Talk about the "Burning Man".
Burning Man is an event for radical self expression. 30,000 artists go to the Nevada desert and share their gifts. Dance, paint, music, hugs, cooking, performance, massage…whatever. The point is that there are no spectators at this event. Everyone is expected to participate and make the event better for everyone else.
The people who go are the most vibrant and full of life that I have ever met. The art people create is mindblowing. There is no commerce or commercial brands allowed at the event. The degree of freedom one experiences there is hard to explain. This year will be my 8th year making the pilgrimage.
Burning Man changed my life.
you can see/read my stories about Burning Man:
Are you a swinger?
I’ve never considered myself a swinger. But I have been a part of the “The Lifestyle.”
The distinction, to me, is that “the lifestyle” has no set meaning besides being “outside the traditional relationship rules.” It doesn’t mean that you fuck anything and pass your wife around (but it could.)
Being outside the traditional rules means that within a relationship, there has to be tons of communication to figure out what the boundaries are. Do I need permission? Do we swap with other couples? DO we have group experiences with other couples? Do we invite other women into the fray? Does the woman play with other women? Does oral sex need to be discussed first?
My relationships have always been open on a case by case basis. And the dialogue figuring out OUR boundaries is always enriching
OK, I know you're waiting for this one. - the pink hair.
My Pink Manifesto:
For me, pink started as a sort of “anti-Macho" thing. By embracing pink it was a way to sort of flaunt the traditional (and irrational) gender and sexual orientation rules.
For years I had long hair and was always fascinated when children would assume I was a girl. Long hair + earrings = girl. That type of reasoning helps a person make sense of the world. But those types of assumptions are also the beginning of the “narrowing" of life that occurs through socialization. Society teaches us the “acceptable" paths and options. By the time we are grown up, it is almost impossible to even comprehend non-traditional options. Of course you go to college after High School. Of course you get married. Of course you work towards a stable job and an accumulation of wealth.
Now, I am not saying that anything is wrong with those choices. In fact, they make tons of sense and will help a person avoid lots of unnecessary frustrations. The problem comes when people stop being able to see that they even *have* other options.
When I was in college, I gave up on my dreams of being an artist or writer because they were irrational paths. It took be 10 years (and a few trips to Burning Man) to re-open my eyes to possibility. (Of course it took me another 5 years to understand the importance of commerce and money, but that is a different rant altogether.)
So, to get back to the point…
Pink represents a disregard for the established rules.
If the pink haired guy wearing eyeliner isn’t gay…then it forces a person to consciously evaluate. The normal assumptions are no help.
Of course, disregarding the rules often meets resistance. I can’t tell you how many times someone has yelled “FAG!" at me from a moving vehicle. Why do people react so strongly? Because anyone who exists outside the “rules" is distressing. If a person doesn’t follow the traditional path, they I am forced to make 1 of 2 choices: I can either re-evaluate my world view to accommodate this exception. Or 2) I can attack and reject that person. It is FAR easier to yell “FAG!" than it is to do some introspection and shift one’s world view.
Of course, all of this “road less traveled" stuff is not pink-specific. But it is the basis for the flamboyant appearance that I have embraced for the last decade. Pink, as a color and a concept, embodies all of the above, but at the same time highlights the sexual aspect.
To us, Pink is the place where feminine and masculine, Gay and straight, overlap. It is the color of passion and kisses. It is the color of cockheads and vulvas. It is the color that we ALL share on the inside. It represents the most innocent and nastiest of our impulses. And by embracing the pink, we are saying that we embrace ALL elements of our physical selves and our sexual beings.
Vanilla sex is beautiful. So is violent BDSM. So is foot worship, bisexual strap-on play, Gay knoodling, or Vibrator-fueled masturbation.
Anything that stems from honesty is beautiful…and PINK.
PINK is about loving more and fearing less.
PINK is about rejecting shame.
PINK is about embracing our sexuality as a source of power and spiritual connection.
Thank you so much Sleazy for the Ambush. It was loads of fun. And thank you for all the nice comments along the way!!!
Now, if you have a sec, sign up for FLASHCA$H so that you'll get my weekly newsletter. I promise it is funny. (Plus if you sign up it will make me look good.) ;)
PINK is about saying, “I reject the judgments of my socialization. I am not a slut or pervert as you have defined those words. I am a pure and perfect human being. My sexuality is a gift, not a curse. And I refuse to clean it up, tone it down, or be quiet about it because it makes anyone else feel uncomfortable."
So there. Now, PINK"Spread the Pink!!!”
**For most people this “declaration" is to themselves and their partner (and not a public stance.) Pink hair is over-the-top symbolic, and obviously not intended for everyone.
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