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Why Do People Want Your SL Gender To Match Your RL?


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No matter how many people protest to the contrary, my own impression from the people I've met in SL is that the vast majority seek to connect and find common ground with people behind the avatar rathe

 


Imnotgoing Sideways wrote:

Mind over matter.  Just because the physical attributes handed to you by the random number gods mark you as one gender, it don't mean you can't be the other in heart and soul reality.  Quite frankly, more of our real selves are apparent in SL than in RL... Where we put too much emphasis on boxing ourselves in to "societal norms". (
^_^
)y 

 

This, to me at least, is one of the biggest advantages of SL. At that "other site" those people that were born into the wrong body had to adopt a decidedly extreme persona, often not at all aligned with their real desires, because they felt the pressure (expectations?) from others to act "weird". What they really wanted was just to be humans, normal everyday "nothing odd about me" people.

In SL, they can be totally normal. Since there is no direct enforced or perceived link between their RL biological parts and their visual presentation, their mind and self-perception are finally aligned with their "body". And isn't that what's really at the core of every movement? Equality? Normalcy? The right to be unremarkable, average ... one of "us"?

When any new person enters an existing group, there is a range of responses among the members of the group. Some receive the new member with open arms, welcoming them in and helping them become comfortable. At the other extreme are those that shun the new member, pushing them out and at times trying to rally the group against the new member.

Perhaps this is the dynamic we are seeing with the so-called Genderphobes (I like that term too btw). The loud proclamations of "sinner" or "sicko" or "deviant" are nothing more than the current lever used to try and pry the new member out of the group and send them away.

But is this necessarily bad? Is this type of "rejection of the new" destructive or worthy of extermination? Honestly, I think not.

We're all familiar with "Survival of the Fittest" and how what might seem on the surface to be cruel or heartless has instead been an integral factor in the constant growth and improvement in a species. Perhaps, by applying a certain amount of negative acceptance pressure, this faction of our group also serves to protect us all from the truly unworthy, the possible additions that would do more harm than good. At the very least, they make us all examine the new member closer, in a more honest light and with a mix of good and bad feelings that help us reach a more solid, more considered final opinion.

Perhaps then, the reason some folks take on the role of publicly drubbing the "different" ones among the population, is because they are fulfilling some higher, less obvious purpose of helping to keep the herd healthy, the group growing .. and all of us bonded together because of a strong, reasoned and fully vetted understanding of each of our innermost truths.

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Interestingly the one person (female & lesbian) I knew on SL who most yelled and screamed about gender and caused the most drama in the group I hung out with due to thinking every gf she got was a guy - turned out to be a rl guy 'herself'.

I guess some people want to play games where they are in the driving seat but live in terror or someone else  taking them for a ride. After a few feeble attempts at SL promiscuity (I can count the lot on one hand so it really was very feeble) I decided SL sex really wasn't for me. When I did meet someone I really liked, to be honest gender didn't come into it - we gelled so well as friends that by the time we got closer I just 'assumed' the gender was 'compatable'. I'll never know for sure and I don't especially want to either. Not because I'd feel all 'threatened' or anything, but I guess the realisation that all the stories of growing up, life, marriage etc etc etc were false would make me even more cynical than I already am.

There's nought so strange as folk - SL is no different than anywhere else - for some reason people who put it about a lot seem to want the fantasy but want to be able to pretend it's real and that they too could attract 'hotties' by the gross if they just put their mind to it.

Or something.

Actually I don't think I answered your OP - I'll have a look tomorrow and see :smileywink:

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Mags Indigo wrote:

Actually I don't think I answered your OP - I'll have a look tomorrow and see :smileywink:

 

It's one of those questions that doesn't have "one" answer .. I think. But you have presented another rational possibility. I too have encountered the "big screamer" types .. that turn out to be the exact same thing they would not stop complaining about. I guess maybe they hope that by pretending to be thoroughly disgusted by and absolutely against something, they will never come under suspicion themselves.

Ahh .. but if they only knew .. the squeaky wheel not only gets the grease, it gets the spotlight too. *wink*

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I think most of what I would have said has been eloquently said by others.

The one thing I find at times are religious fanatics. Often the kind that carry their beliefs as a shield, to hide their own rotten core.

My way to deal with people who have problems with that - whatever gender they want me to be, I'm not it. "A/S/L/Photo?" begets "Old/No Thanks/Trailer Park/Too fugly for ya" followed by a mute. Or a variation thereof.

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I know  2 guys in SL that  use girls avis...

One lies up a storm  says  he is a girl in real and we all know he isn't cause we  know him  but he does kinda look like a girl tho  but not exactly... However he has  caused more damage  from his  lies then I can  count and he always gets busted .. Always.. sometimes it may take a couple months for a guy  to figure out he is with another  guy and then all  heck breaks loose. Yet he  comes to us in tears and all upset and etc  when it is his fault for his lies.

Now the other guy  I know he is and has been  in a relationship  with one  girl "real  girl in realbut he is honest and  we all know he is a guy in real playing a girl in SL and  in  the 5 1/2 years I have  been in SL he  has always been open and honest abt it that he is a guy ( he is always preggers.. has a  closoet full of prim  babies hahhahahaha).   However  no one  gets  upset and he is so0o0o sweet and I just adore  him but he is totally  honest.

In my time at SL I guess I have been lucky  and have always dated guys in SL that are  guys in real... some  super nice   a few super  scary and  etc etcI do  talk on the phone or whatever to any guy I am in a relationship withRhett  and I have  been together almost a year now  and he is who he says he is and what he says he isSo I guess  in SL it is all the  luck of the  draw... or what I do..I never jump into a relationship of any kind in SL and I take my time to know the person I am with. I do not believe in instant relationships here of  any kind so i  honestly have never in all my  years  had that problem nor  has it ever been an issue  to me nor is it now. :smileyvery-happy:

Do I care   what a persons sex is here in SL vs their RL ...... not really what I care abt is that that people are honest and do not hide behind their  avi to "trick or fool others" and that  each  resident make an effort to remember we are all humans  behind the  cartoons and not to intentionally  be mean or  cruel to others.  Personally i  do not get  why this is such an issue  since this is our world our imagination.  :smileywink:

PS:: If it matters I do not ask  to know a persons  real life  but I find as i  get to know someone we  just  kinda go there because we are forming what i  call a friendship in SL it always s eems to happen   I  have no problem discussing my real as i  am  proud of it however I do not  discuss my real with people i do not  consider my friend.. I have a knack  for figuring out those that are  honest decent peoples pretty quickly.  I guess that comes  from being in the  country and  not thinking i am better then others.  A great example of this is a met a person here in  the  forums that i call a friend in SL and they are  totally  great and even a nicer kinder person then i could have hoped they  would have been and i  think they are a total hero in a forum so  full of plastic people and people with  really  scarry  issues.. umm at least scarry to me  :smileywink:

Edited to add a PS

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Wow, there are some interesting topics here today. I haven't been around the forum much today and it's past my bedtime now, but at my earliest opportunity I will come back, pore through a couple of these new threads, and probably only repeat what others have already said by that time. I'm looking forward to reading what I expect is thoughtful and engaging discussion!

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With all this talk of people coming to SL and not expecting it to be fantasy, did it ever occur to anybody that some people may have come to SL thinking it was fantasy and not expecting it to ever go real?

Ya I know. Sounds like a stupid question, or at least an obvious one. But it clearly isn't either. It is not outside the realm of possibility that people can get into an SL relationship and not know or think this issue would ever come up because the relationship was supposed to have been between the avies. I don't get how people seem to think everyone knows they're deadly serious about SL relationships, and so there has to be some malevolent intent involved with someone not saying what sex they are.

If I'm dating a male avie, then I'm dating a guy. I'm never going to ask the question. And why? Because if he tells me he's really a girl, it's going to get on my nerves that I was told. I'm not interested in trying and failing to forget what I heard so I can concentrate on avie dating. If you see me in world, and you want to go out, don't tell me what sex you are, don't give me your RL picture, don't open any mic just be the sexiest and most interesting avie you can be. And let your personality do the rest.

If'n you tell me what you really are, and mess up my thing, you just might see the stars without riding in a spaceship. And I ain't talkin about Brad and Angie when I talk stars.

I'll live with the trouble that gets me.

(edited because if I get enough tries, I really can spell "the")

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

I mean, let's admit it; none of us is likely to win a beauty contest anytime soon, which means that all sexually active SL residents are here because they sure as hell wouldn't catch any desirable fish with their RL bait.

That's a stereotype, and it's sooo not true. It's those kind of blanket statements that forcefully catagorizes anyone (like myself) who is in a stable RL relationship already and who IS sexually active in SL.. some with that very same RL partner. While I'll agree that most people in SL have an AV that's better looking (or at least more idealized) than their RL selves, some of us have RL selves that are comparably better looking than many other peoples enhanced AVs. You can't flatten the curve like that to make a sweeping generalization, because just like SL AVs, RL people also come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colors, and looks... and some of those RL people (yes, even some who use SL) definately are considered good looking.

 

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Quinn Morani wrote:

Wow, there are some interesting topics here today. I haven't been around the forum much today and it's past my bedtime now, but at my earliest opportunity I will come back, pore through a couple of these new threads, and
probably only repeat what others have already said by that time
. I'm looking forward to reading what I expect is thoughtful and engaging discussion!

A thousand million people have seen the Grand Canyon by now, but I betcha every one of them saw it differently. So, don't you DARE hold back just cuz you are worried it's been said or done before. I can promise you, it's never been said or done YOUR way ever before.

 

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Kascha Matova wrote:

(edited because if I get enough tries, I really can spell "the")

 

S'okay .. we raed tpyo jsut fnie.

 


Kascha Matova wrote:

With all this talk of people coming to SL and not expecting it to be fantasy, did it ever occur to anybody that some people may have come to SL thinking it was fantasy and not expecting it to ever go real?

Ya I know. Sounds like a stupid question, or at least an obvious one. But it clearly isn't either. It is not outside the realm of possibility that people can get into an SL relationship and not know or think this issue would ever come up because the relationship was supposed to have been between the avies. I don't get how people seem to think everyone knows they're deadly serious about SL relationships, and so there has to be some malevolent intent involved with someone not saying what sex they are.

If I'm dating a male avie, then I'm dating a guy. I'm never going to ask the question. And why? Because if he tells me he's really a girl, it's going to get on my nerves that I was told. I'm not interested in trying and failing to forget what I heard so I can concentrate on avie dating. If you see me in world, and you want to go out, don't tell me what sex you are, don't give me your RL picture, don't open any mic just be the sexiest and most interesting avie you can be. And let your personality do the rest.

If'n you tell me what you really are, and mess up my thing, you just might see the stars without riding in a spaceship. And I ain't talkin about Brad and Angie when I talk stars.

I'll live with the trouble that gets me.

 

Does that mean you limit your "dateable pool" to only those people you do not know anything about their RL already, or if it just so happens you already have that information, are they still possible candidates?

(And no, that's not a "leading question" .. it's a genuine one.)

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Dana Hickman wrote:

 

Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

I mean, let's admit it; none of us is likely to win a beauty contest anytime soon, which means that all sexually active SL residents are here because they sure as hell wouldn't catch any desirable fish with their RL bait.

That's a stereotype, and it's sooo not true. It's those kind of blanket statements that forcefully catagorizes anyone (like myself) who is in a stable RL relationship already and who IS sexually active in SL.. some with that very same RL partner. While I'll agree that most people in SL have an AV that's better looking (or at least more idealized) than their RL selves, some of us have RL selves that are comparably
better
looking than many other peoples enhanced AVs. You can't flatten the curve like that to make a sweeping generalization, because just like SL AVs, RL people also come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colors, and looks... and some of those RL people (yes, even some who use SL) definately
are
considered good looking.

 

 

The whole reason I made my Avatar look as close to my RL appearance as possible is because i'm so knock-down, drop dead handsome in RL that women swoon, stores go out of business because all the shoppers run out to greet me .. and traffic lights automatically turn green for me just because they know I'm approaching. (psst .. this is still "my world, my fantasy" time, right? *grin*)

I would argue the reasons it's a stereotype is because it has a pretty high probability of being right. Not 100% right, I won't try to argue that point. But a pretty fair number of us have something about us that is "different", out of the norm enough to keep us from being with the "in-crowd" .. and something that has kept us separated from the rest of the herd too.

Of course, the range of that "different" stuff is really wide too. It goes all the way from ... well gosh .. as far as I can imagine regarding human attributes in all particulars. I'm pretty honest with myself, and I have a pretty good grasp on what my differences are, but they're also part of the "private particulars" that I keep to myself mostly.

Now, having said that, it occurs to me that while this thread is pretty specific to gender expectations, it really could be just as applicable to any other trait one might wish to consider. A good many of those things are so inconsequential to most folks that they just never seem to matter, but for others they can be out and out deal breakers. (I once worked with a guy that broke up with his GF because of her taste in jewelry .. seriously!)

So even if it's not physical "beauty" (which everyone knows is pretty darn subjective anyway) or gender (which is pretty much out of anyone's real control absent difficult measures) then there's a giant pool of other things that might or might not get us eliminated from "the race".

But in this world where you can change almost anything about yourself in an instant .. to suit your own mood or that of someone else .. do any of those things really matter? Doesn't it all just further prove the point that it's none of the exterior traits that bond us one to another .. but the interior, the spiritual, the untouchable things that really matter the most?

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Venus Petrov wrote:

 

Carole Franizzi wrote:

 

Venus Petrov wrote:

 

Darrius Gothly wrote:

And that brings me to the question I ask in the title. Why do people want your RL gender to match your SL gender? My own answer is .. they want to control those things most everyone else knows is outside the allowed limits. But are there other reasons? In your estimation or opinion, are there other factors which contribute to someone insisting you are a liar or bent on hurtful deceit if you don't make an Avatar that matches with your RL body?

I cannot answer for 'people', I can answer only for myself.  My avie matches my RL gender because I relate to 'human female' over any other choice.  I do not give a hoot what gender anyone else chooses in SL and, if they wish to be my friend they need only share my values.  When gender *is* important to me is if I enter an intimate relationship with someone.  Then, I choose to be with a SL/RL man.  Laugh at me if you like, I do not care.  It is my preference. 

 

Not laughing at you at all, only a little confused as to how you impose your choice on the other people involved. I mean, do you do voice or cam before becoming involved with somebody to make sure they're what they say? Because that's the only way - voice-morphing permitting - to be sure-ish that your partner is indeed a man.

 

Yes, I voice. 

ETA:  Also, I do not see it as 'imposing my choice' on someone.  Many in SL do not wish to voice for whatever reasons and that is fine with me.  Our choices are not in synch, that is all.

 

 

I owe you an apology - I expressed myself very badly. What I meant to say was, although it's easy to talk about choice and the right to do things one's own way, in this particular context, it's easier said than done, as the exercise of our choice depends wholly on the collaboration of others. I mean - I'm only attracted to men in RL - but my own eyes are usually the only tool I need to identify true maleness. In here, you require that the other person to submit to some sort of test - voice, for example. They have to be willing to do it and they have to be honest (i.e. no voice morphing or getting a pal to stand in for them).

I have to be honest, Venus. If some guy asks to voice with me to check if I'm really a woman...well...frankly, I don't do it. I chat in voice to a few old, close pals but, by that point, I think we're both beyond that "not sure I believe you are what you claim to be" stage. My position is this - if we've declared we're being "real" and you do genuinely like me, you'll believe me when I tell you certain facts about me are truthful and not RPed. If you think I'm a liar, then I can't see how you can truly feel we're friends, or even something more than just friends. Alternatively, if we're both embracing the "be what you want to be" philosophy, then it can't really matter what gender we both are. If we get on, have great conversations and we both feel the other is a decent person, I'm not sure RL gender is at all important.

My dilemma would be at what stage to do the checking. By that I mean - do we wait till we feel we're getting closer? Well, if by that stage, he turns out to be a she, then nothing alters the fact that I was attracted to a woman, albeit unconsciously. Do I do it before I get close to the other? Wouldn't that mean voice-checking every single new person you meet? Some days I talk to 15 - 20 new people, depending on where I'm wandering. Not sure I'd fancy that.

I've met lots of men who expect to be able to check you out by using voice, but I think you might just be the first woman I've met so far who does the same.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

 

Carole Franizzi wrote:

Not laughing at you at all, only a little confused as to how you impose your choice on the other people involved. I mean, do you do voice or cam before becoming involved with somebody to make sure they're what they say? Because that's the only way - voice-morphing permitting - to be sure-ish that your partner is indeed a man. 

 

Carole, I think that since it's a personal preference, it should also be a personal responsibility to be up front and clear about it. Asking to cam or voice verify the other person does imply that you want to be selective, but it's much more direct IMO to just say point-blank "When I want to be intimate, I want to be intimate with someone that is ..."

It's your choice whom you choose and why, therefore I think it should be your duty to make that clear. Keep the power to make your own choice for yourself .. don't give it away to someone else .. unless you want to be hurt or somehow escape the guilt of getting it wrong by saying "they duped me."

 

Well, I can only speak for myself. If you and I had bumped into one another in-world and I was on one of my RPing benders, chances are that on meeting me you'd have heard one of my many imaginative versions of who/what I am. If we kept in touch and become friendly, I'd have dropped all the RP and would have set you straight on who the real me is. In that I'm actually very honest and straight.forward and am unusually forthcoming with RL stuff.

That wouldn't oblige you in any way to be similiarly honest. If you decide to stick to your RP version, there's not a great deal I can do about it and although gender is relatively easy to verify, anything else you tell me about your RL I'll have to take your word on. I mean - here we're focusing on gender, but isn't it just as bad if I tell lies about what sort of job I have? Say I tell you I'm a nuclear physicist but I'm actually a cleaning lady? Nothing wrong with that profession, but it would alter dramatically your perception of who I am as a person, as well as being a whopping big fib.

My feeling is that since, gender aside, it's pretty much impossible to have proof of about 99% of what a person's real-life situation really is, you really don't have much choice but to either believe them or simply not to care.

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No matter how many people protest to the contrary, my own impression from the people I've met in SL is that the vast majority seek to connect and find common ground with people behind the avatar rather than the avatar itself. For this reason RL gender is important to them because it's an integral part of the personaility of the person behind the avatar. 

I do not probe for RL information but people often volunteer to me a great amount of RL personal information about themselves. I assume it is provided as a means of providing a connection or establishing common ground.

My own experience is that those who attempt to RP gender wise, or try and invent some make-belief life for themselves, rarely fool anybody but themselves.

I would also take issue with those who assume that people who enter SL are seeking to escape in some way from RL. This is not always the case. Sure, I've met many RL losers in SL. Truth be known, they'll probably prove to be losers in SL too, because the social skills needed in both worlds are similar. However, it's ridiculous to suggest that everyone in SL is a loser in RL in terms of achievement, personality, social skills, looks or otherwise.

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Ian Undercroft wrote:

No matter how many people protest to the contrary, my own impression from the people I've met in SL is that the vast majority seek to connect and find common ground with people behind the avatar rather than the avatar itself. For this reason RL gender is important to them because it's an integral part of the personaility of the person behind the avatar. 

I do not probe for RL information but people often volunteer to me a great amount of RL personal information about themselves. I assume it is provided as a means of providing a connection or establishing common ground.

My own experience is that those who attempt to RP gender wise, or try and invent some make-belief life for themselves, rarely fool anybody but themselves.

I would also take issue with those who assume that people who enter SL are seeking to escape in some way from RL. This is not always the case. Sure, I've met many RL losers in SL. Truth be known, they'll probably prove to be losers in SL too, because the social skills needed in both worlds are similar. However, it's ridiculous to suggest that everyone in SL is a loser in RL in terms of achievement, personality, social skills, looks or otherwise.

 

Couldn't agree more Ian. I know everyone experience SL in their own way but generally I have found the liars, cheats and drama queens out themselves pretty easily - sure they take in people for a while but they constantly have to move on to new places and new people - or indeed new identities (hence the 'caution' a great deal of people have about alts) in order to keep their charade going, or figure it out and stop being jerks.

Most people I have met on SL have been rather ordinary, normal people - not to say they were/are all the same - it's just one does see that it is actually people behind that avi. If they tell me things about themselves that's great - if not I respect that too. Most people do share quite private information over a period of time I find, of course they could be making it up, but I also find people who make up stuff tend to keep adding to it - another sign to watch out for if one wants a peaceful SL.

I have met people in SL who are truly attractive and quite successful in RL. SL is for them another way of meeting people and passing the time when they might otherwise be watching TV or be on Facebook - or whatever way 'normal' (non SL) people pass their time. Many of them also like RP and expressing or exploring parts of themselves they can't in RL.

Yes there are also over weight people, old people (I'm middle aged), broke (me too), unemployed, ill, disabled, single parent, and possibly ugly (but who will define ugly) people in SL - but it's still the personality behind the pixels that count for most people. Being non-attractive and poor seems to attract scorn from some on these forums, I'm hoping they are less judgmental in RL because otherwise they must truly be annoying people to be about in RL.

 

In the end IMO it's all about integrity and how one chooses to behave in their relationships with other people on SL can say a lot about what they might be like in RL. One doesn't have to lie or cheat in order to live/use SL to it's fullest - all it needs is a polite  'I don't wish to discuss RL - I'm here for the escape/fantasy'. Amazing how simple that is really.
*Shuts up at last

 

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Wildcat Furse wrote:

I just discovered that my 14yr old daughter is playing 'BLACK OPS', she plays a male six pack soldier .... should I sent her to a therapist :smileysad:? *meows*

 

/me chuckles

You know your daughter best, Wildcat.  It sounds like a game to me, like WoW, where you can pick the gender of your toon, participate in dungeons and raids on voice with other toons, and no one gives a s**t what is your RL gender.

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@Carole, no apology necessary!  As far as when do I  ask to voice with someone, I have no set 'rule'.  It might be on first meeting.  It might be a bit later.  It is natural after several conversations when I have a 'sense' of the person (and, hopefully, they with me) and a comfort level with them.  Please do not ask me to define what I mean by this..it is an internal thing unique to me as it would be unique for anyone else.

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Venus Petrov wrote:

@Carole, no apology necessary!  As far as when do I  ask to voice with someone, I have no set 'rule'.  It might be on first meeting.  It might be a bit later.  It is natural after several conversations when I have a 'sense' of the person (and, hopefully, they with me) and a comfort level with them.  Please do not ask me to define what I mean by this..it is an internal thing unique to me as it would be unique for anyone else.

Funnily enough, unless my memory is playing tricks with me, Pep - who's just shown up again - is the only person actually present in the forum nowadays with whom I've had a voice chat. I know he'll jump in and correct me if I'm talking nonsense but I'm sure we did have a natter at some point. It wasn't to check he was a guy though. I was utterly convinced of that without having to talk to him. You'd have to ask him if he was at all surprised to find out that I am really a dame.

 

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Ian Undercroft wrote:

No matter how many people protest to the contrary, my own impression from the people I've met in SL is that the vast majority seek to connect and find common ground with people behind the avatar rather than the avatar itself. For this reason RL gender is important to them because it's an integral part of the personaility of the person behind the avatar. 

I do not probe for RL information but people often volunteer to me a great amount of RL personal information about themselves. I assume it is provided as a means of providing a connection or establishing common ground.

 

I refer to it as the difference between pushing and pulling (although perhaps "pushing and letting it come natural" might be more correct). There are many in SL that "practice" (meaning attempt to pull off an impression of mastery of) a relationship style that depends heavily on mutual trust and respect. What they wind up doing is just pushing people around, having completely lost the entire "respect" angle

What you describe above sounds to me like you've got a firm grip on respect, and thus don't attempt to force anything to happen .. you simply let it happen as it happens and enjoy all the scenery along the way. *smile*

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Wildcat Furse wrote:

I just discovered that my 14yr old daughter is playing 'BLACK OPS', she plays a male six pack soldier .... should I sent her to a therapist :smileysad:? *meows*

LOL My daughter not only is one of the best FPS Snipers ever, but she's also the only one of our three "genetic experiments" that has the Military mindset in RL. (Total opposite of my wife and me, but very much in line with many of our other blood relatives.) What infuriates her is how many "guys" praise her up one side and down the other .. until they find out she's really a "girl" .. then accuse her of lying about her gender because of how good she is.

 

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Pep wrote:

@Carole: It was obvious you were using a voice changer.


Pep (Why else would you have had that ridiculous Arnie Schwarzenegger accent?)

 

Dammit! I thought you'd fallen for it!!!

Wait! When you started coming on to me that means that.....uhm....oh, never mind...

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haha Darrius, my daugher doesn't have the military mindset, but she loves first person shooters and is crazy about wargames in general (in which the game characters are mainly male ones), who am I to forbid her playing those games .....same like why do people in here want others to match their SL gender to their RL gender .....*meows*

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