Ugol's Law can be summed up quite simply:

You are not alone.

During some random web browsing, I came across the term "Ugol's Law" and it grabbed my attention. I've always found Murphy's Law, Hanlon's Razor, and other such "truths" to be quite interesting. So I typed the phrase into my favorite search engine and got numerous results. To my dismay, all the links pointed toward a terribly short and uninformative Wiki ripoff which in turn pointed to the FAQ for alt.sex.bondage for more information (to quote Seinfeld, "Not that there's anything wrong with that", but I was at work, and those aren't the types of sites I can safely view there).

Needless to say, I followed up when I got home. As stated, Ugol's law started in, and is used almost exclusively in reference to the alt.sex.bondage Usenet newsgroup. It references a Harry Ugol and a comment he made in one of his posts. The FAQ describes the law as:

"For any given kink, either nobody does it or more than one person does it", and "If you ever ask 'am I the only one who <insert kink>?' the answer is invariably 'no'." However, the best way I ever saw of putting it was written by -^-^Spectrum^-^-, who wrote it "You are not the only one."

The FAQ makes it clear that no one knows when Mr. Ugol made the post, or can even quote exactly what he said, but the meaning behind his words rang true, and people held onto it. The FAQ itself hadn't been updated for several years (the most recent copy I found was from 1996), so I used Google's Usenet archive to try to figure out some of the history.

Related concepts: YKINOK and YKINMK

What I Learned

Early references to the law describe it as, "If anyone asks 'Am I the only one who _____?', the answer is always 'NO'"

The earliest reference to "Ugol's Law" (I found that it is commonly misspelled as Ogol's, Ungol's, Uzul's, Urgul's law as well) was in September of 1993, but was already used as if it were commonplace. This can mean one of several things:

  • There are missing records in the Usenet archive
  • The phrase began in personal email correspondence (probably between members of the newsgroup)
  • The person simply made up the term and used the phrase as if it were common already

One of the most important things I learned is that Harry Ugol seems to be a very intelligent man. It is my belief that while the spin the a.s.b. FAQ takes on his words (and thereby his "law") is one way of looking at it, he was not truly referencing the so-called kinks at all. It just so happened that he was posting in a newsgroup that was set up to discuss sexual and/or kinky subjects, so people read it as such.

For example, in a post from 1992, he says:

If you haven't grown up gay, you may be surprised at how easy it is to pick out people who think like you and are turned on by the same things that turn you on, once you stop thinking you're the only one and start looking...

It seems he is really just trying to say that no matter who you are or what your beliefs, you can always find someone to relate to. You never have to deal with something by yourself if you are willing to reach out to someone. Perhaps it is me putting words into someone else's mouth, but in the dozens of posts I read by Mr. Ugol, this was the impression that I got.

Unfortunately, he seems to have gotten confused with double negatives so he actually says the opposite of what he means in this post. However, after reading numerous posts by Mr. Ugol, I truly believe this was an honest mistake in grammar.

The Post

Admittedly, this may or may not be the original post where the concept came from. In my search, I found that Harry Ugol made several comments that had a similar meaning, but this is the earliest one that states the concept explicitly. Links and emphasis are mine.

From: Harry Ugol (harryu@warpten.EBay.Sun.COM)
Subject: Re: Derogatory Terms 
Newsgroups: alt.sex.bondage
Date: 1991-09-19 02:26:19 PST 

In article  wi.141@wizvax.methuen.ma.us writes:
>It is a sad thing for the human race that pejorative names
>like "homo", "faggot" and "queer" (and comparable ethnic terms)
>exist,

Actually in this case I think the sad thing is that the attitudes
behind the terms exist; without those, the terms wouldn't.

>and I certainly wouldn't want them applied to me
>these in public or in a newsgroup.  However, being called
>such names in private by a dead butch top or an arrogant
>piece of trade (whether on my knees in or out of bondage,
>or just reading my email) is, for me, preternaturally
>arousing.  Am I the only one?

Just one brief-but-important observation from 37+ years of
increasingly perverted life (btw, STella, when *is* your birthday?
hmmmm?? :-).  In my experience the answer to the question

> Am I the only one?

has *never* been "no".

Not once.

And certainly not in this case.  Ahem... :-)

(Followups to alt.flame? :-)

Harry Ugol
harryu@warpten.EBay.sun.com
lthrwings!harryu@toad.com

"Briarpatch household rule #3:  A mindfuck is a terrible thing to
waste."

I know nothing but the basics concepts of bondage and BSDM in general. Other noders are welcome to /msg me to clarify things.

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