On Oct. 5, 1997 someone left me this comment on their survey:
"what is your true reasoning behind this survey (please be specific)"
So, I figured that now was as good a time as any to sit down and tell the story behind the survey. Let's just see if I can do it without boring everyone to death... :)
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
--OOPS! Wrong story!!
For as long as I can remember, I've always been interested in sex. Talking about it must be one of my favorite pastimes (I'll let you guess what my favorite is). I've always liked reading various surveys about sex, but was never completely satisfied with the questions they asked. I started thinking seriously about making my own survey when I started up my web page (I think around the end of September, 1996).
Around that time, my ex-girlfriend and I had started having some major problems (otherwise, she wouldn't be my ex-, now would she! =^) ). To make a long story short, sex (or the lack thereof) was one of our major problems. She was a virgin. Don't get me wrong, I have a ton of respect for anyone that can wait... I'm just not sure that I want to be restricted to that.
Now, this probably makes me sound like an uncaring ogre. That's the furthest thing from the truth. I was very much in love with her. We had discussed sex to no end. We even talked quite a bit about getting married after we were both finished with college. But, I had trouble getting a consistent answer from her as to why she didn't want to have sex with me. Even after she broke up with me, she still couldn't tell me why she didn't want to.
See, she even admitted herself that waiting until marriage probably wasn't the best idea. I was legitimately concerned as to whether or not I was physically compatible with her, because she never showed outwardly that I turned her on. (And, I've never really had that problem before in my life) Yeah, I know, I should have taken that as a MAJOR clue.
Anyway, I could theoretically link why she didn't want to have sex to several things... mainly I wondered if it was her religion, her parents, if something had happened earlier in her life that was still affecting her, or if it was one among several other things running through my head.
Do any of these sound familiar? They would if you took one of the first few versions of the survey. Some of the questions carry through to now even. When we finally broke up, I was devastated and sunk even more time into the survey. I wanted to understand WHY! I wanted to know who was the more screwed up out of the two of us. I thought I was fairly normal, but I was unsure of myself. That's what I used some of the original stats for. I wanted to compare myself to the rest of the world.
A funny thing happened though, people started taking the survey, even though it wasn't really anonymous at the time (Well, it sort of was, but it required sending an email to me, and I can certainly understand why someone wouldn't want to).
Then, someone asked me why I didn't ask a certain question. That got me to thinking. Maybe a lot of people wanted to compare themselves to the rest of the world, and I wasn't asking enough questions. That's when I opened it up and gave room for new questions submitted by YOU!
Over the summer break of 1997, when I lost access to the school server, I started tweaking the survey and set up a new page at geocities. Of course, since the old page was still up, I couldn't make any changes to the survey because I'd be getting results from both versions, overly complicating my life. Once school started again, I made a link to geocities from the school page and started on a new version.
With geocities came their mail form cgi-scripts (basically, they take your results and format each question on a different line and send them on to me without me getting any information about who submitted the survey). This made it possible for the survey's to be submitted anonymously! This was a minor breakthrough for the survey, because it let people who were worried about me knowing their identity take the survey without any fear.
Finally, on September 23, 1997, probably the biggest thing yet happened. I finally got around to putting the survey on Yahoo! My hits increased from about 30 hits per WEEK to around 50 hits per DAY! The survey's started pouring in, and I've barely been able to keep up. I was still doing all the input by hand into a Microsoft Access database, which was linked to an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the percents, which was in turn linked to a Word document that had all the good stuff in a report style format that I could save as HTML and upload to the web.
In September 2000 I finally got around to making the survey self sufficient in that surveys were submitted directly to a database taking out the painful step of making me type them all in myself. In the first part of 2002 I eventually managed to get the results page pulling directly from the database on it's own.
Well, that's pretty much the story of the survey, with probably too much background. What's in the future? Well, I'm working on a new version of the survey to include several more questions, and most of them will probably be yes/no or multiple choice. I'm sorry guys, but results are SO much easier to figure that way.
As far as my personal life? Well, I finally got over my ex-girlfriend after a horribly long time and all kinds of crap. I really don't have many of those doubts anymore, but I still love reading the surveys and getting them compiled together for you guys!! As far as a relationship? Who has time for a relationship! :)
So, what do you think? Does everyone still think I'm a freak? :) Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!