I have come a long way from the arachnophobe I was as a teen. A harmless little spider would send me leaping to the counter screaming for my dad to "COME KILL IT, NOW!!!!".
The black widow I kept as a pet was a form of self therapy to help overcome that irrational fear. Yes, I have been bitten by one so I know exactly what they can do. I also remember my mother panicking when she found me trying to play with some when I was about three years old. (Probably the origin of the irrational fear.) I was eight before I poked my first rattlesnake with a stick. >.< Haven't been bitten by one of those, but I did soon learn to avoid any snake with a triangular shaped head. They are the poisonous ones. It is good to know how to recognize your enemy.
The spiders I 'do' allow to remain in my home are actually far more venomous than black widows, but their stingers aren't tough enough to break human skin. They remain in the corners as my alarm system since they will not co inhabit with a black widow. Their webs sound and feel different to the touch. A black widow web literally crackles when the strands are broken. The other -more deadly spiders? are your ordinary daddy long legs. Not too creepy while they destroy flies and ward off the black death biters.
On to tarantulas. I still can't bring myself to hold one, but my brother was fascinated by them. He used to go out and hunt for them come mating season when they would be out in droves. Only the females are dangerously poisonous, however you almost never see those because they stay in their underground nest waiting for the visiting males to bring on the party. The females are red, compared to the brown males (at least the California version are.) As for the male bite/sting, according to my brother it is much along the lines of a bee sting as far as pain goes.
Creepy crawly lesson over for today.
All that said, I still shriek if a spider runs across my chest and dives under my laptop.