Over on Bluesky, I posted my October stats:

They show that I was locked 100% of October (of course) and have been locked 99.8% of 2023 to date. It’s the kind of post I often do at the end of a month.

In response, Tom asked, “Seriously, why do you even bother tracking this so closely? Or at all? I’ve really found it mentally freeing to not keep track.”

I replied, “I’ve been tracking using this app for 7+ years. It’s a habit I choose not to break. The data is something of a record of my commitment. It’s important to me.”

(Embedding Bluesky posts isn’t an option on WordPress yet.)

Which led Tom to analogizing tracking lockup time to tracking cycling miles. And that’s an apt comparison. But I’m a bit of a tracker anyway.

Like a lot of people, I track all my workouts and if something happens that messes them up it’s almost as if I didn’t do them. Which is nuts, because of course I did. I also track, using an app called Swarm, everywhere I’ve been since 2009 (which is surprisingly handy and useful). This year, I started tracking my caffeine consumption using an app called HiCoffee (ironically since I don’t drink coffee) because I thought it was messing with my ability to fall asleep. Now I know how much caffeine I can afford to have in my system at bedtime (30-40 mg) and still sleep well.

We track what’s important to us. Tracking can be motivating.

I started tracking when and in what I was locked using ATracker sevenish years ago. Like a lot of locked guys, I was really invested in knowing my longest streaks, etc., and I was device hopping all the time. And even in that first full year when I was in nine different devices and could be unlocked for 20-30% of the time, it wasn’t hard to do. Just had to remember to tap my screen a few times when going in or out.

Nowadays, of course, it’s much easier. I rarely tap out and have been in just the three devices all year. I expect next year to only be in one of the two Orions unless someone wants me to review theirs. So, to Tom’s point, why bother?

Well, as I said, it habit now. I’ve been doing it a long time so…I just keep doing it. Swarm is the same way. I’m just totally habitualized to pulling out my phone and checking in whenever I go somewhere. I think of the guys who record the weather at their house every day for decades (when, you know, there’s an entire government agency tasked with that) or birders who have their lifetime lists they keep adding to forever or people who track their running or cycling miles. It’s the same kind of thing, I guess.

But besides that, as I said to Tom, it’s the record. And when you’re into a thing that’s defined by the lack of being a certain way or not doing certain things, I’m not sure what else to record. When I was a teenager and was just starting to fuck (girls, anyway), I kept track with notches. Today, someone lives in an apartment in SoCal who wonders what all those little grooves cut into one of their bedroom closet walls mean. In that case, I was recording when the penis went into her and did a thing. Much more recently, I tracked when Belle let me come. But the contents don’t get used for anything anymore, and besides, it became harder to define what an orgasm was for me, but that’s another story.

So anyway, tracking now is about having that record of my commitment. Just like all the other kinds of tracking we tend to do. My denial defines my sexuality now and tracking how long that’s endured is, as I said to Tom, important. To me, anyway.

If I stopped tracking, nothing would change. I’d still be locked up 99.8% of the time and would still not be having orgasms and would still be getting Belle off whenever she let me. But something would be missing. So I keep doing it.

One Reply to “Tracking”

  1. I hope you realize I didn’t ask judgmentally. Back when being locked was new (to me) I was keeping track as well. Every day was a new record! Every day was exciting!

    It still is, of course. I guess that we have settled into this in a different way. When I set out for a ride and realize I didn’t start my GPS, it was aggravating then, and it’s still aggravating to me now.

    I guess I’ve also had to live with the idea that we really don’t know when “Day One” started, so we picked an arbitrary April 1st date.

    Ironically, Mrs Edge has recently become interested in seeing how long she can keep me from orgasming, so now she asks how long it’s been since my last time. I can only round it off “Oh, about four or five months ago.”

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