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2 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

To head the inevitable denial response off: You can believe a response is directed at you all you'd like. Belief and reality are two very different things.

But... why should I believe you? Or Amina with whatever it was she said above? I don’t recall whatever side you fell on when it comes to truthiness, but she chose this as her mountain to die on (at least she said it is) so I’m left, for my own... er, safety(?)... to not believe anything that comes from an avatar. Or that’s on the Internet, and this forum is certainly on the Internet. For all I know you’re both the same person, and that person is Boris Johnson using SL to explore his feminine, and his furry side.

If you choose to advocate for lying and misleading people, you can’t very well expect anyone to take you at your word on any subject.

Edited by Beth Macbain
Typo

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2 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

You've clearly taken sides...with Amina...and you are defending her... as you did not confront her when she ascribed motivation to Beth, labeling Beth's behavior via wanting RL information as "emotional blackmail".  I didn't see any evidence of Beth manipulating in this way. 
Yet you go after me for suggesting motivation, knowing I side more with Beth on these issues, in this thread.

I suggest not playing mediator/therapist here when you can't be objective.

Luna, I didn't address my comment to either Amina or Beth, nor did I mention either of them. I addressed it to you, and it was solely in response to what you said.

I am utterly uninterested in "taking sides" here -- the bickering is counterproductive and frankly boring.

Both Amina and Beth are "right," in that SL, in its function as an open platform, enables both approaches to the relationship between SL and RL And both are wrong, because neither so far has substantively addressed the real issue, which is how to reconcile in actual practice two such apparently incompatible understandings of what SL is about.

I like and respect both of them, and both have made good points here. I have some faith that they will be able to move beyond the shouting, and talk about the big picture. But setting this thread up as some sort of Battle Royale between them isn't helping anyone.

As for me, while I will make comment on such points raised by anyone here as I find suggestive or interesting, I really have neither the time nor the inclination for mud wrestling at the moment.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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On 1/15/2020 at 11:46 AM, CaraTriple said:

I see a lot of profiles with "voice verified" listed. Does Linden Labs do voice verification?

No.  But I really want to say that I think I remember 10 years ago having to provide my drivers license when I signed up? If it wasn’t here then it had of been Facebook or my space or pogo games because that’s about the extent of anything I’ve ever done on the Internet.  But even if I had had to do that in no way could it be construed as voice verification.

I pretty much laugh at all the TOS addendum’s the second life legal eagles throw on their profiles.  There’s  a term for what they think they’re doing (and I can’t remember what it’s called ) but it amounts basically to a passive contract. Thinking that they’re bypassing the terms of service they agreed to when they created their accounts & enforcing it thru passive consent.

All the “by reading this you grant me permission to copy and paste  & even if you don’t read it.”No.  Those type of things just clue me in to their propensity for drama. Why do you have to already have the mindset that you’re going to have interactions that require showing others what went on between us?

Edited by Pixie Kobichenko
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3 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

But... why should I believe you? Or Amina with whatever it was she said above? I don’t recall whatever side you fell on when it comes to truthiness, but she chose this as her mountain to die on (at least she said it is) so I’m left, for my own... er, safety(?)... to not believe anything that comes from an avatar. Or that’s on the Internet, and this forum is certainly on the Internet. For all I know you’re both the same person, and that person is Boris Johnson using SL to explore his feminine, and his furry side.

If you choose to advocate for lying and misleading people, you can’t very well expect anyone to take you at your word on any subject.

There's the rub of it, Beth. You don't know. For all you know, several of the user names that have responded to you thus far might just all be the same person.

Like any medium wherein you cannot be sitting in the same room with the person/people you are having a conversation with, you must take what is said with a grain of salt and always be prepared to have it revealed that the names you thought may have been different people were - in fact - the same person all along.

Now that's just dark, depressing, paranoid and pessimistic - isn't it? Moving on ...

I haven't fallen on any "side" with regard to "truthiness" in my responses and frankly conflating any response I have made thus far with anyone else's responses ... Well simply put don't do that.

I laid out in an earlier, somewhat long, post how I feel on the matter and I am not going to retype or recap it outside of the following: If you have no plans to take a Second Life relationship outside of Second Life and making it face to face ... there is no pressing need or reason to know too many specifics concerning those you have met here.

Is that my personal opinion? Yes. Do I treat it as indisputable? Oh yes, yes I do - following the above has saved me a great deal of trouble over the years to boot.

Go back and read a few of my responses here - you'll find that they keep what I have written above in mind.

Again, I may only be able to do this thanks to my own quirks and sexuality but then again, others seem to do just fine with a variation of it too.

Now to make it rather clear: I do not agree with or condone Amina's seemingly extreme stance, wherein it is fine to lie if asked outright.

Others seem to have been tackling that bit so there is little need for me to do so.

I came into this thread to add in my thoughts where keeping Real Life information to oneself is concerned and ended up sharing far, far more than I normally do. in fact I almost broke a few of my personal rules regarding information sharing in a public forum, specifically within a public thread.

You can take me at my word or believe I am lying ... Heck, you can believe I wish to somehow manipulate you if you'd like to and that's perfectly fine.

I'm going to go back into the shadows until directly addressed - within this thread anyway - now. I am unnerved, find myself shaking a bit and honestly more than a little annoyed (primarily with myself) ... If you have questions after going back to read my responses again, ask. If they're regarding more personal information/of a more personal nature ... Send me a PM please.

Oh um, as an aside and a bit of disclosure? i have no need (or want) to use an opposing gender avatar to explore my more feminine/effeminate side - I have an effeminate male anthromorphic feline I can slip into for that.

Edited by Solar Legion
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Can I add though that I think it would be really neat if there was some sort of AI associated with SL. Such that something like Siri could read responses in conversations to you out loud? Sexy Australian man, sophisticated English lady, rough and flirty Texas man (oh yes I definitely meant Matthew McConaughey), alluring south American accent.....  Such that with that enabled the person corresponding with you have the ability to pick the voice that you heard or you can pick the voice that you heard back.   😁👌👂

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I only just realized how my added line at the end of my previous post can be parsed .... and while I will leave it up, do understand that the double entendre was wholly unintended ....

Now excuse me while i get some more coffee ... and no you may not turn me into Ketchup, despite my currently easily being able to be mistaken for a tomato ...

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Because voice verification not provided when  you sign  up sl wants to people to be protected know one should have to get out everything to the world. 

Their is really no voice verification If people want to voice that is up to them many put the voice verification its been a thing for years maybe share that with someone that likes to voice but does mean verification. Get them emotional invested first should not be forced but you can ask kindly can we talk on voice if they don't move on. Voice should be done in mannerly way getting in the mind. Some like to voice some like to you emote whatever the case you just have to find people that into things but it should be point fingers just because you do not voice.

 

I just put (Voice Selective)  end of story.  I have no problem voicing but does mean I have to voice with every tom dick and harry if the connection is great then yes voice can enter but in mannerly way. You can not force a connection ether in friendship you find the right people in the right vibration.  I been to places where voice is welcome know is allowed to judge or ask or real info just for talking and hanging out I truly don't care what people are on the other end as long you be yourself.  I feel trust comes becomes more that shared in private yes some things upfront but you do not have to do anything that going to cross the line.  I was in relationship with someone that lasted three years he did demand I voice this when I was new but know I know not to fall for it but I do remember back then when I use to be a host the required you had to voice before you could host good they do not do this any more because just typing any ways greeting people.  I don't fall for the trick you must voice or we can not talk any further people that are new or coming back have to be really careful really you should not.

 

What you share up to you but best to keep it very little so on. Its your sl your life what you want to be. I understand their fine line SL is a getaway if you build a connection

 

Advice up to you.

You do not have to voice just learn to say no

 

You do not  have to take any random friendship a friendship should be built not a instant  onehow ever you like be selective.

Someone ask they want to take picture try pose balls they will pay you just say no its  a trick. ( Thought I ad this some fool in sl does this new people I really do not like to see people getting hurt. )

You do not have to take anything from anyone you do not know.

If someone ask you to go to their home right away decline someone should meet you in a public place in sl get to know you in mannerly way should not be your home or theirs or some location you go to as when you want to breathe get air.

You do not have to take a teleport from some random person.

If person can not respect you then mute them and leave.

Just because it says flowers or candy when someone random person  sends something to you decline it.  Some people could give you a collar they could change the title to flowers or candy once you add or wear they could have control over you so please be careful do not take anything may sound good to be true but its not. 

You can be kind say thanks but no thanks send them on their way.

 

But then again people say whatever the voice thing, You not mesh does  , No drama thing is we are all people behind these avatar it what really in the personality and the this  so can interact  but you gotta get to know someone first judging does not fix anything you never know what someone going through. 

 

Does matter if you voice or have a mesh avatar if they can like you for you tell them good bye once again.  What your avatar looks like is up someone try to foirce you to change then they are not the right people if you wanna go mesh then needs to be something you want. 

When sharing some real like details keep it less to the mystery   You can put the time zone the biggest major city  none of their business until they get the gate of trust.  If you wanna share gender  or partnership just be who you are do the emoji symbols make them  learn go look up  leave to the imagination.  ♂ ♀ ⚤ ⚦   ⚧ 

 MARRIAGE SYMBOL

 DIVORCE SYMBOL

 UNMARRIED PARTNERSHIP SYMBOL

 

But you do not have to use symbols but if your tired of people asking way with out saying to much. 

 

 

 

Edited by Vanoralynna

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6 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Luna, this is a lovely sentiment and all, and I think it is genuinely meant . . .

. . . but maybe in the context of this discussion, it is actually more than a bit gas-lighty?

It's almost literally as though you are responding to someone talking about the importance of maintaining their RL privacy by saying "And how long have you been desperately insecure and unable to form real connections with people?"

If I didn't have the context of Luna's previous comments, I'd have thought it read like a criticism of SL relationships. You know, the whole "oh, you lack social skills and you're too much of a loser to make real-world connections, your online relationships are a total joke" argument. I hasten to add that I'm not saying this and I know Luna isn't either. Just that that's how I think I would have read it if I had no context for it. Because maintaining RL privacy, to me, suggests that one doesn't need quite so much support or investment in the SL connections, most likely because one has enough RL ones. 
 

5 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

I went through many of the reasons a person might choose to have a SL relationship...not all by any means, but just a few that came to mind at that time. 

A couple that I can think of include trans or disabled people who might really want to leave behind any elements of their physical RL self and not have to reveal the truth with a fudged answer if they are pressed. Obviously this is just an example of how some trans or disabled people might feel.

Yes, I do understand that they may meet people who mix RL into it in a way that they don't and yes, I do think it would be more honourable for them to come clean once they know that. But as long as the relationship is in SL, I don't think they are doing anything wrong if they don't want to, and I don't think the others have a "right" to it. That's the side that I think matters most within the SL sphere: more right to lie about yourself on the internet than to access someone's data, if it's all being done online.

And yes, I get that others feel differently on this point and I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. And if anyone is offended by my offering a bit of advice to avoid hurt at this pitfall (don't invest in things you cannot verify if they matter to you)...sorry. I'm just trying to help. What else would people suggest? 

 

5 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

You've clearly taken sides...with Amina...and you are defending her... as you did not confront her when she ascribed motivation to Beth, labeling Beth's behavior via wanting RL information as "emotional blackmail".  I didn't see any evidence of Beth manipulating in this way. 
Yet you go after me for suggesting motivation, knowing I side more with Beth on these issues, in this thread.

Do you have to make this more combative than it already is? 

But if we are back to this... some people find it fine to appeal to the emotions they are feeling to request RL information, while others get unsettled by it. I'm actually a bit surprised by how many people are all right with it, but ok. That's their choice. But people take different interpretations of things, from comments to approaches in social interactions. Like I would have misread your comment above if I didn't know your fuller feelings about it.

I know, as I've said before, that Beth is trustworthy. But I can't know that about everyone else on the internet who might use a similar approach. It would spark a negative reaction in me and feel like emotional blackmail. It has done in the past. That's not a personal attack on Beth, and it's not something I'm going to apologise for. It's just the truth of how that approach affects me. 

I regret the way Beth feels about that, because despite all that's happened on this thread, I do still like her and wish her well. But this really is a hill I'm prepared to die on, and I do have reasons for that. Though it's probably not a thread I'm prepared to invest in for very much longer. 

 

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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Voice Verification is just something that some Users came up with years back and not Linden Lab..

Linden lab never had and doesn't have now,A voice verification..

Some users put,Voice verified in their profiles to try and stop other users from asking them to voice verify, when some users are still going to ask them to voice verify anyways..

Anything in the part of a profile that you can edit yourself,is put there by the user and not by Linden Lab..

We can't edit things like ,How long we,ve been here or our profile information like,payment info used or no payment info..

 

So anyone with Voice verification in their profile,they put that in their themselves and not Linden Lab..

 

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16 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

"richards"?  That's a new one for me, Tolya.

I must say, on the whole, I am enjoying this thread.  I think Scylla's ahead on points.

EDIT:  Ohhhhh...RICHARDS.  Got it.

My partner and I refer to certain people as "Richard Cranium" all the time :) Especially idiot drivers.

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8 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

I laid out in an earlier, somewhat long, post how I feel on the matter and I am not going to retype or recap it outside of the following: If you have no plans to take a Second Life relationship outside of Second Life and making it face to face ... there is no pressing need or reason to know too many specifics concerning those you have met here.

I could include many sentences from your posts here to show how much of what you've said is what I think, too, but I'll just use this perfect little summary. Thanks for sharing your POV, as it sums up my thoughts on the topic much more coherently than I could ever do. 

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9 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

If I didn't have the context of Luna's previous comments, I'd have thought it read like a criticism of SL relationships. You know, the whole "oh, you lack social skills and you're too much of a loser to make real-world connections, your online relationships are a total joke" argument. I hasten to add that I'm not saying this and I know Luna isn't either. Just that that's how I think I would have read it if I had no context for it. Because maintaining RL privacy, to me, suggests that one doesn't need quite so much support or investment in the SL connections, most likely because one has enough RL ones. 

I'm glad you pay attention to context and know that I don't condemn SL relationships, even if some could be using them to hide. In SL, as in RL, people enter relationships for all sorts of reasons - some relationships enhance their lives, some relationships take something vital from their lives, and some relationships comprise both characteristics either as an overall pattern or specific to various time periods within the connection.

My reason for bringing up our motivation in relationships (via listing a few off the top of my head) is that I've experienced many who are unaware of what's happening within their SL relationship -- what they want from it, what they need from it, what one's boundaries are.  If one is unaware of boundaries they tend to sort various dynamics in an unnecessarily rigid manner. And of course, in this instance I'm referring to boundaries regarding the main issue we've been discussing -- whether people play SL as 'total fantasy', 'total reality', or somewhere in between.
(and I do like, and think it's more true, to frame the debate in this way -- "total fantasy vs total reality, or somewhere in between" as opposed to painting it as a privacy issue. It's at least better than framing it as 'Amina vs Beth', although the both of you do seem to manifest both extremes very well at times...lol).

Anyway, when I perceive another as having boundaries which are too rigid I suspect they are operating from a place of hurt and so unable to see 'the other side' as clearly. Someone could, however, be operating from a more nefarious & clear position -- saying that their right to fantasy supersedes any RL pain they might cause another.
This is why we all need to become very aware of our motivations, because if we are unaware of them we are less likely to evaluate a situation clearly.
I began to think about motivation earlier, and listed a few...but we need to list more...as you did via mentioning the disabled and what they need from SL. People need to ask themselves, "why am I setting the boundaries the way I do"?  For example, a person could ask "what motivates me to disallow another in SL to have even the slightest information about my RL"? Or, "what motivates me to use SL as a kind of Match.com as opposed to simply going to Match.com for a date or possible RL connection". Or simply asking oneself "why is it okay for another to know this piece of information about my RL, but not another".

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9 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

some people find it fine to appeal to the emotions they are feeling to request RL information, while others get unsettled by it. I'm actually a bit surprised by how many people are all right with it, but ok. That's their choice. But people take different interpretations of things, from comments to approaches in social interactions. Like I would have misread your comment above if I didn't know your fuller feelings about it.

I know, as I've said before, that Beth is trustworthy. But I can't know that about everyone else on the internet who might use a similar approach. It would spark a negative reaction in me and feel like emotional blackmail. It has done in the past.

I would be upset too if someone attempted to use emotional blackmail on me, thus defined:

"Emotional blackmail and FOG are terms, popularized by psychotherapist Susan Forward, about controlling people in relationships and the theory that fear, obligation, and guilt (FOG) are the transactional dynamics at play between the controller and the person being controlled. Understanding these dynamics is useful to anyone trying to extricate from the controlling behavior of another person, and deal with their own compulsions to do things that are uncomfortable, undesirable, burdensome, or self-sacrificing for others."

I just didn't see Beth doing that in this thread. It could be I missed it. Can you copypaste the text where you think she's emotionally blackmailing people?

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11 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

And both are wrong, because neither so far has substantively addressed the real issue, which is how to reconcile in actual practice two such apparently incompatible understandings of what SL is about.

I'm hesitant to even chime on about this at this point. I feel like anything I say just reads as if I'm flying off the handle. 

Somehow I've managed to last over a decade without this really being an issue, other than the one time where I was deliberately mislead, "deliberately" being the operative word there. 

I'm also unsure why it's so controversial that I want my boyfriend/partner/husband/whatever to have a Richard. 

As to how to reconcile these "incompatible understandings" , I don't think there is any one single way. When asked direct questions, I like @Innula Zenovka's approach:

Quote

My invariable response, in both First and Second life, to "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?" is something on the lines of "No, you can ask me whatever you like  so long as you understand it's up to me whether or not I want to answer, and I hope you will not be offended if I choose not to."   And then we take it from there.

There are ways of being honest without answering the question. I have declined to give personal information countless times in SL when asked. I don't recall anyone ever being offended by that other than a few times when some random stranger demands I get on voice for him. 

When I'm getting to know someone, if there is a question in my mind about whether or not they are open to sharing any real life details, such as gender, I use other questions to get a feel for their stance. "Do you use Skype or Discord or email to talk to people outside of SL?" I believe that's a perfectly innocuous question that reveals not a single detail about any part of anything they may wish to keep private. If that answer is no, I know that they exist solely within SL, and I respect that. I may or may not back away from the relationship at that point. 

I do pay attention to profiles. I typically avoid people who have the line about keeping SL and RL separate, or anyone who has a role play character bio in their pics. I pay attention to the way they converse with me. Are they talking strictly about what they are doing in SL, or do they talk about what the weather is like where they are, or what they're making for dinner, or excuse themselves for a few minutes because their kid just came home? There are little clues that I pick up on, and I respect what they are telling me or showing me through their words and actions.

I try to be as open as I can be about how I approach SL. No one that is in any sort of relationship with me is going to be surprised at any point that my desire is to have a relationship that extends beyond the confines of SL. 

There are also different degrees when it comes to "beyond the confines of SL". I've never been in a relationship that started in SL that has moved to meeting in RL, until the one I'm in now, and it's by absolute mutual agreement that at some point in the future we want to meet and explore the possibility of a full real world relationship. 

For those who I enter a relationship with, the information I want to know is really pretty basic - RL gender and time zone. Anything they want to share beyond that is up to them. The reason I want to know gender is two-fold. When it comes to sex in SL, if I'm doing it there, I'm also... er... taking care of things in RL as well. Otherwise I just feel like I'm writing a story and... meh. And I want my partner to be... involved... as well. Having sex with a man and having sex with a woman are two different things. What I do and say are different. There are actions and acts and descriptions. Remember, when engaging in this, I'm speaking to them not only as an avatar I'm seeing on screen, but also as a person sitting at their computer and... er... doing the things. 

Remember, please, that I'm talking of someone I am in a relationship with. If we've reached this point of intimacy, the other things have already been discussed and certain terms agreed on... by mutual agreement of both parties. 

The other reason I want to know is simply because I am a (mostly) heterosexual woman. I'd say I'm a 1 on the Kinsey scale. I have had women sexual partners but when it comes to intimate partner relationships, I have to have the Richard. Anyone I get involved with is going to know this detail about me before we get to the point where it could become an issue.

For me, the worst part of this entire debacle have been the people saying that people like me don't belong in Second Life. That would be like me making the assertion that people who won't share RL details don't belong in SL, and that would be utterly ludicrous of me to say, wouldn't it? 

There are as many reasons for someone to be in SL as there are avatars - No two people are looking at things the exact same way, and how dare anyone say that my reason isn't as good or valid or just as anyone else's reason? Talk about entitlement! Who is anyone to say that another person belongs or doesn't belong? 

And as to whether or not LL agrees with me or disagrees or what they approve of or don't approve of or what the TOS says - Patch Linden, the man who is essentially the ranking Linden employee in charge of Second Life, met his real life husband in Second Life. I highly doubt he believes that he doesn't belong in Second Life. 

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8 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I just didn't see Beth doing that in this thread. 

That's because she didn't. I wasn't accusing her of anything. I was talking about how that sort of approach would make me feel, indeed has made me feel. I am sorry if that offends Beth so much that it causes her to hate me as much as she now does, but it's just a fact. That is how that approach makes me feel. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:
26 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I just didn't see Beth doing that in this thread. 

That's because she didn't. I wasn't accusing her of anything. I was talking about how that sort of approach would make me feel, indeed has made me feel. I am sorry if that offends Beth so much that it causes her to hate me as much as she now does, but it's just a fact. That is how that approach makes me feel.

I remember you saying that Beth has done this to you before. So this is an important factor in considering why she'd be upset.

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20 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I'm also unsure why it's so controversial that I want my boyfriend/partner/husband/whatever to have a Richard.

What did someone say to give you that impression?

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2 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Somehow I've managed to last over a decade without this really being an issue, other than the one time where I was deliberately mislead, "deliberately" being the operative word there.

That suggests to me that you are going about this in a respectful and ethical way. I have absolutely no reason to think otherwise.

3 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I'm also unsure why it's so controversial that I want my boyfriend/partner/husband/whatever to have a Richard.

I don't think that's particularly controversial, at least not at its root. I've already noted that, while I was not particularly upset to discover that my ex-lover was a woman, I would likely (well, probably definitely) not have entered into a relationship with him (as he then was) had I known that he was a she. I'm going to neither defend nor apologize for that: it's (I suspect) part of how I've been conditioned. In practice, however, it didn't matter at all, when I was in the relationship, because her real life genitalia didn't figure into the process.

I should also say that both of the relationships in which I've been involved in SL have involved a fair amount of spill-over into RL, especially the first; in practice, again, my own approach to these has probably been closer to yours than to what Amina suggests.

The issue, as I see it, is not what one's preferences are, but rather how one goes about pursuing those. And, as I've said, I have no reason to believe that you, personally, are doing so in an unethical way. I'm more interested in the general issues that arise.

I will agree: Innula's approach is a good one. It's actually pretty close to the approach I suggested myself earlier in this thread.

11 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

For me, the worst part of this entire debacle have been the people saying that people like me don't belong in Second Life.

Who has actually said this in this thread? Suggesting that SL is primarily about virtual identity isn't quite the same thing, even if it seems to exclude your own preference.

I do think that there are some really fundamental differences between the approach you've taken, and what Amina is talking about. And, where two people are in a relationship, or even just a sexual encounter, and they are each approaching this from a different perspective, then there has to be a negotiation of some sort, some way of ensuring that both understandings of the correspondence between SL and RL are accounted for. And that may very well mean, probably does mean, in fact, that it's not going to work out. What is ultimately important, again, though, is that each be respectful of the other's approach, however it plays out.

I don't see anything in what you've said above to suggest to me that you haven't been.

On the other hand, I can personally attest, as I'm sure can many others here, to instances in which there has been untoward and unfair pressure placed upon one of the partners by the other to disclose RL details. But that's not an issue with you, personally: it's a problem with a broader inability to understand that there can be other legitimate ways to approach relationships.

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47 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I would be upset too if someone attempted to use emotional blackmail on me

I think we can contextualize emotional blackmail better by placing it within the larger category of coercion. In that broader category are all sorts of mechanisms, ranging from peer pressure and passive aggressive behaviours, to things that are very like threats.

We tend, generally, to work under the assumption that free choice is always in operation in Second Life; the absence of physical threat is part of that notion, most obviously. But physical compulsion and threat are not the only ways to illegitimately compel someone to do something. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a variety of forms of coercion are in operation in some relationships in SL.

One of the things that makes coercion, through emotional blackmail or whatever, so insidious is that it operates most effectively on the vulnerable. Those with low self-esteem, or who are particularly lonely, or have been conditioned through abuse to depend too much on the emotional support of others, are the ones upon whom this is most likely to work. That said, we are all to some degree vulnerable to coercion. If one is in a social group where voice is a really common mode of communication, one is more likely to feel excluded by not using it: such social exclusion is really a form of coercion and peer pressure, even where it is not deliberate. A partner saying something like "It would mean so much to me if I could hear your voice say you love me" may be intending nothing more than to articulate a real need -- but it too is a form of emotional blackmail, deliberate or not.

I think -- and Amina can correct me if I'm wrong -- that this is what she's getting at. And it's a real problem, and why a discussion about gender verification, or even just the use of voice without the implication that verification is the goal of that, needs to be handled so carefully.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

I remember you saying that Beth has done this to you before. So this is an important factor in considering why she'd be upset.

I'm sorry, I really don't know what you're referring to. Beth has never asked me for any of my RL information. 

Do you (GENERIC YOU) know something. I'm going to try one last time to lay out my thoughts on this and then I really do think I'm going to peace out of this thread. Not in a flouncey way, though you can bet I would do a fabulous hair toss if I were, but because, as my husband used to say, "My God, it's full of s***." I really cannot think of a single benefit left to gain, and I actually don't like internet flame wars very much. They don't make me happy. (Unless it's Goreans having a barney in local, and then I'm down for the night.) So I'll try one last time to explain, and if anyone doesn't like it, you can, well, not like it.

Ok. So I am the judge in the Court of Second Life Relationship Rights. Chris is suing Sam, because Sam misrepresented their gender to Chris, not even lying by omission, but actually explicitly lying. Chris, very understandably, is extremely distressed by this. Chris lays out all the arguments in this thread (which I will admit now I have not read in full, but I really do think I get the gist) on their side, while Sam lays out all the others. I really feel for Chris, Chris seems absolutely lovely and is clearly genuinely hurt by this, but when we've argued the point down and down to the philosophical absolute and I have to bang my gavel on one side, I decide to rule in favour of Sam. Chris, again, is understandably upset, and decides to question me afterwards.

CHRIS: You're not the ultimate authority on how people should approach their Second Lives.

AMINA: I know. This is a thought experiment. Just go with it.

CHRIS: I really cared about Sam. Don't you think it's horrible that they misled me?

AMINA: Yes. But I also think that as long as your relationship was confined to Second Life, Sam didn't owe you any RL information, even if you pressed them in a such a way that a fudge would give the answer. Sam doesn't have the right to privacy only until you ask difficult questions about it.

CHRIS: Would you have lied to me?

AMINA: No. 

CHRIS: Why do you think it's OK that Sam lied?

AMINA: I don't think it's OK that Sam lied, as much as I think it's not OK for anyone to feel that they have to reveal any RL information. As just one example off the top of my head, there could be trans people who won't be transitioning for some reason and who really need an outlet where they can be accepted entirely as who they present in SL. Or maybe someone's hiding from an abusive ex partner or in the witness protection programme. 

CHRIS: Well, they shouldn't have relationships in SL with people who don't feel the same way.

AMINA: Probably not, but as long as it's in SL, they've got the right to present as they like and withhold what they like. The idea of feeling obliged to give up RL information is more worrying to me than the idea of being in an online relationship with someone who isn't who they say they are. When you're in SL, you're in a place where you signed up to rules, none of which state that anyone owes you any information, and in fact it's when you start compromising people's privacy that you start getting sanctioned. They even offer voice morphers; they may not be explicitly trying to encourage you to pass as the opposite gender, but they clearly don't mind if you do. We're not obliged to sign up to these rules, it's entirely voluntary. Someone said something here about pumping lead into your flatscreen. I dunno. Point is, this is SL and we know what it's like.

CHRIS: Well, what if it moves to RL?

AMINA: Then it's an RL relationship, and the rules are different. Yes, I know not everyone agrees with that, but you're asking how I feel about it.

CHRIS: Well what about people who give up their spouse and house to meet their SL lover and then realise the lover lied?

AMINA: If you give up your entire RL to run into the arms of someone you've never met, possibly never even seen or heard, you really have to take a bit of personal responsibility. At least have an RL affair for a while like a sensible person. (Aside to audience: YES THIS IS A JOKE WITH A SEMI-SERIOUS POINT.)

CHRIS: Well, when I go to my next SL relationship, can I tell them how badly this one affected me to try to demonstrate why honesty about RL sex is so important to me?

AMINA: Sure. Just be warned that not everyone takes it well. I've had that approach and it felt like emotional blackmail to me personally. I didn't like it.

CHRIS: I wouldn't intend it that way.

AMINA: I believe you. Just saying how it can come across. Maybe you just need to be better at it than the guy I knew was. Bear in mind that if you're talking to a sociopath or a garden variety flat-out arsehole who just wants to mess with you, the emotive approach probably wouldn't work anyway. It might even encourage them.

CHRIS: I think you're cruel and heartless.

AMINA: So does my RL ex-fiance, and to be fair, I can see why he thinks so too. That's why I let him have the Bob Dylan poster.

CHRIS: No, seriously, some people really, really, really hate you now.

AMINA: I know. It's not the outcome I would have liked, but it doesn't change my mind on the subject. I don't have another Bob Dylan poster to offer. That was my only one.

CHRIS: Is this conversation directed at anyone in particular?

AMINA: It's inspired by things people have said, and there might even be a couple of direct references (for example, when Tolya claims that nobody said X and I quote someone who did indeed say X) but it's not directed at any individual. I'm talking in abstracts.

CHRIS: You should be clearer about that.

AMINA: Possibly. I'm sorry if I wasn't.

CHRIS: So what do I do now?

AMINA: I suggest you create boundaries to protect yourself and if there's something that's a deal breaker for you and you can't verify it (and in SL, you almost certainly can't), don't invest more than you can afford to lose. In the words of Lord Byron: deny nothing, but doubt everything.

CHRIS: Is it wrong of me to want someone to verify their sex for me?

AMINA: Of course not. If someone won't do it and you want them to, by all means walk away. But you have to remember where you are, what you're owed, and the fact that people have been fooled by morphers and even pre-recorded video footage. It's SL. You just don't know, and you signed up not to know. Caveat emptor. Maybe SL relationships aren't for you.

CHRIS: You know, this is a frigging steep hill we're on.

AMINA. Yeah, you're right, it is. Uh oh. Kiss me, Hardy.

                                                                                                                         <klunk>

 

The rest is silence...



 

 

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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20 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I wasn't accusing her of anything.

Honest to god, Amina... it's right here on page 2:

Quote

Some people might even find the approach you're taking here to be emotional blackmail and wish to shut off information for that reason.

No, you didn't explicitly say "ZOMGWTFBBQ YOU ARE EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAILING PEOPLE" but c'mon... You didn't say, "Some people might consider the approach some take to be emotional blackmail."

Do you truly not understand why I might feel that you were saying my approach (which wasn't actually my approach at all) is emotional blackmail? Do you really not understand why I became defensive?

FFS. 

@Scylla Rhiadra :

Quote

If you don't like things not appearing as they bluntly really are, may I suggest that this might not be the place for you?

Quote

And if it really is that important to a person, then I don't think SL is the appropriate medium for them.

Quote

 If anyone feels that strongly that it's so awful that someone might lie to them about their RL gender, I would suggest they take it out of SL, where that kind of thing is allowed and even enabled and arguably encouraged, and perhaps go online dating instead. 

Look at it like this: Someone posts here that they are, in real life, a trout.

I then make a series of posts stating all the reasons that I think fish are wrong and should be in the ocean instead of Second Life because fish feel they're entitled to making everyone provide proof they're also a fish before they talk to them. I mean, I was talking about fish in general, not that particular fish who said she was a trout, right? There's absolutely no reason for her to take my statements personally and I'm utterly baffled as to why the trout would feel that she had been attacked for being a fish. 

I think most would understand why the trout would feel she had been attacked. I could say a thousand times that I didn't mean it personally, but no one would believe that I didn't include that particular trout in my reasons for why I think fish are wrong and should be in the ocean. 

 

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22 hours ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

considering what happened to sales and stock price when they started getting political on guns

Okay, let's consider that!!!

Ed Stack announced cessation of assault style weapons sales in Feb of 2018. In April 2019, he announced that all gun sales would end at 125 stores and all assault style weapons in inventory would be destroyed rather than returned for credit. Here's the stock chart since Feb 2018, comparing Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) to the S&P 500(^GSPC), Sturm-Ruger(RGR, gun mfgr), and Smith&Wesson(AOBC, gun mfgr)...

2100573522_DicksSportingGoods.thumb.jpg.6288c7167a7df4ccda9b6062bf608616.jpgEarly this year,

Stack has blamed overall sluggish performance on backlash over the company's stance on guns, yet same store sales in those stores where guns were discontinued were improved year over year. I imagine the story is more complicated and I don't know most of it. I certainly won't draw causation from that chart.

I'm not using my example to counter your contention that LL is not supporting gender deception. I agree there, I don't think they are supporting any sort of deception, but rather allowing maximum space for imaginative play. I do counter your contention that companies don't advance ideological or political positions in support of their business goals, or even out of some higher sense of purpose. They do, often successfully. Perceived (they may not be what they seem) fails make the news, successes please the investors.

It would be interesting to see how the LL TOS has changed over time. Has it changed much from the very beginning, when Rosedale and the gang didn't know where SL would ultimately go? Anonymity is at the root of this topic, and has been the doubled-edged-sword of online interactions since the dawn of... online interactions. A TOS that prohibits the bad behavior afforded by anonymity while protecting that very same anonymity is not unique to this place.

In my Colder's/Fleet Farm example, the offer of guns with furniture is far more consistent with Fleet Farm's market than Colder's. A free gun offer would stand out if it didn't match the customer demographic, and even more if it happened right after another mass shooting. If it stands out, you question it. SL's offer of voice morphing does not stand out to me. It's analogous to visual morphing (avatars).

Finally, the visual presentation of an avatar has never been (or needed to be) proof to me of the gender of the operator. I recently discovered that someone on my friends list, who I'd thought was male, was actually female. Looking back through her feed history, I see that she has always presented as a female and has a female name (Sage). Somehow, that escaped me. I sometimes amaze myself by how thick I can be. Still, I wonder if voice morphing is good enough to fool me for long unless the speaker is adept at mimicking other aspects of speech that telegraph gender.

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43 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Look at it like this: Someone posts here that they are, in real life, a trout.

I then make a series of posts stating all the reasons that I think fish are wrong and should be in the ocean instead of Second Life because fish feel they're entitled to making everyone provide proof they're also a fish before they talk to them. I mean, I was talking about fish in general, not that particular fish who said she was a trout, right? There's absolutely no reason for her to take my statements personally and I'm utterly baffled as to why the trout would feel that she had been attacked for being a fish. 

I think most would understand why the trout would feel she had been attacked. I could say a thousand times that I didn't mean it personally, but no one would believe that I didn't include that particular trout in my reasons for why I think fish are wrong and should be in the ocean.

Well you know last night I sensed something screwy going on, and is why I joined a gaslighting photo after yours....it did feel like gaslighting.

I more think it's something like the following though, and I'm not sure it's even a deliberate manipulation:

 

pedantic.jpg

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2 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

entertaining story laying out the 'final solution' for all of SL to abide by...

Amina, as written your story appears to make sense...and I would agree with much of it except for a part you left out....the MOST important part.
And that is, feelings about a SL relationship can change over time from a more roleplaying, fantasy type into something more real and and so your desire for "all fantasy' as the default for all people can never be realized.  I think most can sense when this happens, when it becomes more real.  For some lucky ones these feelings are mutual.  It is at this point, or along the way when one senses it happening (moving to what feels like a more real relationship), that one really should reveal pertinent RL information as best they can so as to minimize hurt.

Instead, what occurs too often is that the one who wants the relationship to be 'total fantasy' kind of PLAYS the other one...feeding on them like  an emotional vampire just so they can continue to enhance their fantasies, with no regard for the feelings of their partner. Some even pursue this as a goal from the get go -- to fool another -- and feel like they've made a great catch when the other has been 'reeled in'.

So again, you simply can't have the absolute, default reality here that you want and insist that others must abide by it as 'the final solution' -- "total fantasy" .  Instead, these are fluid dynamics that individual couples most be free to sort out for themselves.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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23 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Well you know last night I sensed something screwy going on, and is why I joined a gaslighting photo after yours....it did feel like gaslighting.

I'm honestly starting to question my sanity. I'm not just saying that in a flippant way - and it isn't entirely (or even mostly) related to this strange thread. It's been an incredibly stressful week in the real world due to some issues family members are having and worrying about them, as well as a great deal of stress surrounding my RL job. It's been rough enough that I've made appointments with a psychiatrist and therapist just for self-care purposes. Dealing with those things, and being aware that I'm on edge, anxiety-wise, has me questioning whether or not the gaslighting is real, or if I've truly gone stark-raving mad and just haven't realized it yet. 

I don't think I have, but then crazy people never think they're crazy. 

a5c36c9fd92958dae3153322536e67cc.jpg.402396d8727fb9173de68e5b82354149.jpg

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