People often go on and on about the dark web.
A secret place of scandal and horror.
But what is it really like?
Redditor AceofSpadesYT wanted to hear about the secrets and the salacious tales from the dark side of the internet. They asked:
"People who have accessed the dark web, what was it like?"
I've never visited the dark web, nor do I know how to find it. Thankfully. But tell me some stories.
The RegularSpongebob Squarepants Internet GIFGiphy
"Mostly just like the regular web but with illegal stuff. Drugs, weapons, passports or Kreditcard, apparent hitman service (not sure if that was real though). It is super slow though and the link collections you find for the Tor browser are mostly dead."
"Just like VPN slows down your connection a bit like 5-10% slow if it's a good VPN with it's company spending lots of money on running thousands of servers. Dark web required multiple layers of encryption and proxies just like a using 3 VPNs on top of each other so that alone makes it much slower, moreover the proxies servers are cheap low budget ones run by volunteers (and some by intelligence agencies)."
Ah... simpler times indeed
"I've seen scarier stuff in the untamed age of the internet than I did when going through it."
"We lived in simpler times back then, I loved growing up on the internet. Back when most people didn't even know what social media was, AOL chat rooms, MSN and Yahoo chat rooms."
Not a Browse
"'What it's like.' is just websites. What you find depends on what you look for. There's a bunch of piracy sites, a lot of counter-culture blogs, sites on hacking (not just blackhat stuff, but a lot of whitehat stuff too)."
"You will also find a lot of sites in other languages too, especially ones you don't normally see, as a lot of darkweb stuff is used to circumvent censorship (the most famous Darkweb network, TOR, was developed by the US Naval Research Lab), and most major news orgs will have some sort of presence there, just as a way to get tips they can't get otherwise."
"A lot of what people assume is there, isn't as common as you might think, and a lot of what is there of that, are government-run honeypots. It's not generally a 'browse' thing, you tend to go to the darkweb with a specific topic in mind, and go to that."
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"I think of the darkweb as a honeytrap. Drugs, guns, antisocial groups. There's no way a place with that potential isn't being monitored."
Sounds pretty run of the mill so far. With a few naughties here and there.
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"Turns out the accessing the deep Web doesn't do you any good if you don't have any idea where to go. Like I know of websites that are supposed to be on the dark web but I don't want to go to them. That seems like a short road to a long prison sentence."
"A lot of freaking searching for correct url’s. Idk, I was just window shopping, if you’re not there to shop, and been around for a while, it’s not that interesting."
"This is the best way to describe the deep web imo. I tried using it once out of stupid impulsive curiosity, and it was just rather boring, slow, and overall rather tedious to use. A lot of the websites are poorly designed and dated, and that's if they work at all. Not worth it if you have no business being there and don't know what you're doing."
"Oddly boring. I disconnected and covered up my webcam. Because all of those stories I heard, people accessed your webcam. The first thing I noticed was that it was as slow as hell. Can you imagine running a livestream on this thing? The next thing I found was surprisingly weird."
"It was selling fake magazine paper or fake newspaper paper to print forged coupons on. Not a single person opened a chat window saying 'I SEE YOU! You are x in y!' No red rooms, and any videos of creepy things would probably take days to load. No links to those either. I did find fake accounts to access scientific journals though."
"Awkward and slow to use. It's hard to find what you are looking for, even harder to find a reliable source. The only currencies used are crypto currencies and anonymity is taken extremely seriously. PGP encryption is widely used for direct messaging."
"You have access to a reliable site it is just the same as using a website url and clearnet only slower and the interface is much older looking. I won't get into any details on how its accessed for very obvious reasons but the process of purchasing is normally just found a listing on one of the market websites (think eBay only much shadier), make sure the seller is reliable by checking reviews etc and then place an order."
"You message them directly using PGP (encrypted messages only they can decrypt) with your address and pay them using some crypto. After a few days a package shows up with whatever you brought in it. Usually disguised as something else. For example what I bought came disguised as a sim card!! It's all quite similar to the clearnet just with more security steps added in and a bit more risk!"
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"I haven't, but a guy I watch on YouTube used to do a weekly video series where he would look at stuff on the deep/dark web."
"Obviously for video purposes he was showing stuff that was YouTube friendly, but he frequently talked about how the dark web is pretty boring, and 99% of the stuff on it would be perfectly fine on the normal web. Yes, illegal content does exist, but it's actually pretty rare in the grand scheme of things."
"Boring. There was a page with a bunch of links to illicit things that were probably just the FBI or some other glowie organization."
"I agree. The creepy illegal websites Are either honeypots or scams. Dread is a reddit for the dark web but that's it. There aren't effective search engines but you can find postings of the onion addresses of websites but half the time they don't work."
"Drugs mostly. Insanely cheap prices as well. I could get 20g of molly for like 4g's worth here. Boy that cra[pwas risky. Glad I don't do that anymore mostly."
"Where was that? All the drugs I ever saw were substantially above street prices. Like people were buying crap at normal street prices then trying to make a profit by selling on tor. At least American prices. Are you in Australia? I hear stuff is crazy expensive down there."
"Word of mouth. If you don't know people. You're just going to end up nowhere. Website urls are more like passwords... And you won't find them listed anywhere. Then there is the surface shit that's crawling with law enforcement and honey pots."
"TOR has a bunch of search engines at least. If you fool around a bit you can find sites that work. ZeroNet has a bunch of indexes, so finding sites is a lot easier. But once your curiosity is satisfied, there isn't really anything there to keep you interested."
"Ten years or so back, it was crawling with under-age porn. The Dark Wiki at that point had links to several sites. And people would post links to others in comment threads. Then Anonymous (or someone claiming to be Anonymous) took an interest and hijacked a lot of the sites and shut them down. I'm assuming that there is still a lot of that traffic but it isn't easy to find. There must be some, as I keep hearing about arrests. I haven't looked around for a year or two, so I don't know what it is like now."
"Dark markets for drugs are the equivalent of a black market eBay. The sellers have ratings and everything."
"I was always curious what was on the dark web, I've heard some stories, but when I went on I had no idea what I was looking for so I just went to my usual sites like ESPN and shit, lol."
"It's literally just unlisted websites you can't google. Conceptually it's really not that exciting. Media just likes to hype it up."
Guns. Guns. Ammo
"I didn't do it directly. My friend showed me. He used to use it to get drugs for self use or to sell to close friends. Nothing hard, but like mdma, acid, dmt, coke. Anyway, it was about 8-9 years ago and all I really remember is pages and pages of guns and drugs for sale like it was eBay or something."
"It was honestly pretty crazy just seeing lists for any drug you can think of or damn near any gun like I was scrolling through any typical online shop. He showed me other weird stuff, but nothing too insane to be remembered. I do remember seeing some hitman ads though."
"Not as terrible as games and media made me think of it. It isn't riddled by hackers and murderers. Although one time my antivirus blocked a trojan and I didn't download anything so not sure what that was about. There was a website to chat with random people on the dark web and I found someone exactly like me who was just curious about it."
Well that is underwhelming but comforting. Maybe there is more good in the world than sleaze.
The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
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"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
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Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
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"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
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Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
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"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
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"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
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"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
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"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
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"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
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"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
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"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.