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7 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Straight apparently isn’t contagious... only  gay is communicable.

hmmm I never thought about sexual preference being communicable.  Clearly the gay conversion loons think you can "catch the straight" by "praying the gay away", but, they're not exactly a real reliable source.

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1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

I know millennials believe they are enlightened beyond what us stodgy old gen-x and boomers could ever imagine but I didn’t realize they’d decided to just do away with heterosexuality.

Some of us haven't.

1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

Is homosexuality fake as well? Bisexuality? It’s seems to be some sort of shameful thing to be what I was born as - a heterosexual woman.

I can somewhat understand the frustration someone might feel when every facet of their transition is accepted and made to be normal except for how others are going to react to them. I can understand wanting to break down that last barrier. It's wrong, but it's understandable.

Maybe lying about their sex or gender is just them trying to find out if perhaps you don't know what you want.

Fact is that some people react poorly to others believing they know what is best for them. They don't need someone else's ideas to realize who they are. They might already know who they are. This is often translated as being bigoted, when in fact it's just another preference.

Ironically it's because some don't know who they are that they believe everyone else doesn't know who they are. This is actually bigoted.

Edited by Evah Baxton
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13 hours ago, Innula Zenovka said:

I'm not saying you're mistaken, necessarily, but how on earth do you know that?    I wouldn't necessarily infer that the average Soviet citizen at the time was "just fine and dandy" with Stalin's rule, since it seems to me not improbable that, however the average Soviet citizen felt about particular aspects of Soviet life such as the holodomor and the Great Terror, few of them wanted to risk either deportation to a slave labour camp in the gulag, along with their immediate family, or a bullet in the back of the neck after interrogation by the NKVD, so they knew to toe the line and keep quiet.

Seems to me that similar considerations may well have applied to the average German at the time, too.

Far too much History Channel.

You do make a good point - it is hard to assess real "popularity" in a totalitarian regime (how much is real, how much propaganda, how much coercion?). 

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10 minutes ago, Evah Baxton said:

Some of us haven't.

I can somewhat understand the frustration someone might feel when every facet of their transition is accepted and made to be normal except for how others are going to react to them. I can understand wanting to break down that last barrier. It's wrong, but it's understandable.

Maybe lying about their sex or gender is just them trying to find out if perhaps you don't know what you want.

Fact is that some people react poorly to others believing they know what is best for them. They don't need someone else's ideas to realize who they are. They might already know who they are. This is often translated as being bigoted, when in fact it's just another preference.

Ironically it's because some don't know who they are that they believe everyone else doesn't know who they are. This is actually bigoted.

I have millennials in my life that I adore. The vast majority of you are fabulous. 😊

I’m 50 (something I also don’t hide) and if I haven’t figured out my sexual preferences by now, there truly would be something wrong with me.

I do despise when anyone else tries to tell me how I should think or feel or approach situations... especially when I haven’t asked for their advice. I’ve done several laps around a great many blocks and I’ve yet to be killed, maimed, or damaged beyond repair. I’ve taken great leaps of faith in the real world and in SL, and the number of those leaps that have turned out to be utterly joyous far outweighs the few leaps that landed me flat on my face.

In the grand scheme of all knowledge there is to be had, I only know a minuscule amount.

I do know myself, though. I know who and what I am and what works for me. Doesn’t mean any of it will work for anyone else, but I’ll be damned if I just stand by why someone throws absolutes at me and what I should do or expect or what I have a right to when it comes to my and my relationships... in any world.

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4 minutes ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

You do make a good point - it is hard to assess real "popularity" in a totalitarian regime (how much is real, how much propaganda, how much coercion?).

My roots are very German and several years ago my family trekked to Germany to visit our ancestral home. Our little town had been obliterated by the Nazis (and subsequently rebuilt after the war). We spent a lot of time talking to elderly distant relatives about the Nazi regime.

What they described to us was absolute terror. They lived everyday waiting for the Nazis to arrive and destroy everything- and they did. They showed us photos of relatives in Nazi uniforms that absolutely didn’t want to be in those uniforms, and in every photo there were holes where they’d punched out the swastikas in disgust and embarrassment.

So at least my little town in Germany, the Nazis were not popular. They were feared and hated and were overjoyed when the allies arrived.

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Ok, so . . . true story.

About 11 years ago or so I was, for a period of about 6 months, engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship with a "man" in Second Life. Said relationship involved a reasonable amount of in-world sex, which was pretty much exclusively of the vanilla heteronormative variety. On occasions, these sessions of in-world sex also involved the use of voice; my lover seemed pretty unequivocally male in ever respect.

About 8 months after that relationship ended (how it ended is not relevant here), my former lover (with whom I had remained in contact; we moved in many of the same social circles) approached me and confided to me that "he" was in fact a lesbian woman in RL. Subsequently, that former lover switched over to a female avatar, and began a lesbian relationship with a mutual friend. She was occasionally on voice: she was pretty unequivocally a female.

So . . . was I involved in a heterosexual relationship for that 6 month period?

Or a lesbian one?

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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9 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

So . . . was I involved in a heterosexual relationship for that 6 month period?

Or a lesbian one?

That’s your call and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

 

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18 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

So . . . was I involved in a heterosexual relationship for that 6 month period?

Or a lesbian one?

In my opinion, lesbian with a strap on.

But that’s it only MY opinion. What matters is what you feel it was.

I’d also be curious to know what she considered it.

 

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4 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

That’s your call and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

 

Exactly.

I can think of at least three possible answers to that question (I'm sure there are more), each and all of which are in some sense "correct."

I'd let you know which one I favour, except I don't think that's ever going to happen.

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2 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

What matters is what you feel it was.

Yes. Except, I don't have a single response to it. I can't tell you which I "feel" it was.

2 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I’d also be curious to know what she considered it.

Does that matter to anyone but her?

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And yet, it's surely important that, had she never "come out" as a woman, this would have unequivocally been a heterosexual relationship from my perspective. It was not, at the time, ever anything but that. It sure didn't feel like a lesbian relationship with a strap on.

My experience of it was that it was sex with a man. How it is read after the fact doesn't change that.

And yet, of course . . .

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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I can think of at least three possible answers to that question (I'm sure there are more), each and all of which are in some sense "correct."

My answer was, of course, simpler than your question. You had no reason to believe you were canoodling with a female, so your relationship was heterosexual, period. That's not sufficient though. After the fact, it would be quite understandable to wonder about yourself. Furthermore, it would be quite understandable to think that other people, upon hearing your story, would say "lesbian".

This is why you can't say what you "feel" it was. You can't un-know the truth.

Fortunately, I have every confidence that your reasoning self understands your emotional self and helps it heal.

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

My answer was, of course, simpler than your question. You had no reason to believe you were canoodling with a female, so your relationship was heterosexual, period. That's not sufficient though. After the fact, it would be quite understandable to wonder about yourself. Furthermore, it would be quite understandable to think that other people, upon hearing your story, would say "lesbian".

This is why you can't say what you "feel" it was. You can't un-know the truth.

We can complicate it more.

I mentioned, when I first alluded to this story earlier in this thread, that I was not -- am still not -- 100% convinced that the "revelation" that he was a woman was "true." I've mentioned that there was voice, and there other reasons that make me at least a little hesitant to accept the veracity of his/her confession.

So, it's not at all a stretch to imagine that, 6 months later (or hell, 6 months from now, for that matter), "she" reveals that, yes, in fact, she actually is a "he," and was all along: he was actually only representing in SL as a woman (for whatever reason) when he "revealed" that he was a lesbian to me. (God, look at the confusion of pronouns here.)

So, does that mean that I am back to having had heterosexual sex, and nothing but heterosexual sex? Does the period when I thought that I'd been cybering with a woman suddenly "disappear," along with the complex emotional responses to that?

Or, is it perhaps the truth that all of these conditions applied, when they applied, and were truthful when they were accepted as truth? That I was, over the course of a single six month relationship, involved in a heterosexual relationship, and a lesbian one (with a strap on), and then another heterosexual one again?

I had a conversation about this episode with an old friend of mine a while back -- he was part of the same social group, and was something of a confidant for me when I was going through it. He characterized the whole thing as "weird." And, in a RL context, so it was, in spades. But it's also pure SL, isn't it?

17 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Fortunately, I have every confidence that your reasoning self understands your emotional self and helps it heal.

I haven't required much "healing," fortunately. One of the reasons may well be my understanding of how really complicated this all is.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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7 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

We can complicate it more.

Of course, but I'll stand by my assertion that, based on the evidence you had at the time, your relationship was heterosexual, period. After the fact, evidence introduced, recanted, reintroduced... doesn't change that one li'l bit. There might be people who disagree, but you'll probably find their argument unconvincing.

ETA: If you're at all like me, you not only understand how really complicated this all is, but you derive some pleasure from that.

Thinking can be fun!

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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6 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Of course, but I'll stand by my assertion that, based on the evidence you had at the time, your relationship was heterosexual, period. After the fact, evidence introduced, recanted, reintroduced... doesn't change that one li'l bit. There might be people who disagree, but you'll probably find their argument unconvincing.

Let's put it this way, I guess.

If I am asked (and on a few occasions I have been) if I've ever been in a lesbian relationship in SL, or sexually involved with a woman, my answer is always "no."

ETA: I'm hesitant to respond to your point this way though, because it is so complicated. What I suppose I am trying to do here, a bit, is to query the opinions I've seen expressed here, on all sides, that reduce the answer to a simple and unequivocal binary choice. I want to question the certainties I'm seeing expressed. I think it is healthy to be uncertain here. I think it is truthful to be uncertain about this.

It's all a really good example of the way in which virtual experience represents a real challenge to everything we've ever, as a species, thought before.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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9 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

If you're at all like me, you not only understand how really complicated this all is, but you derive some pleasure from that.

Sometimes my brain hurts.

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Just now, Madelaine McMasters said:

Take two "ditz" and call me in the morning.

It's been too long since I was ditzy.

Unfortunately, when I do ditzy, I sometimes find myself having sex with a man who turns out to be a woman, maybe.

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1 hour ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

hmmm I never thought about sexual preference being communicable.

There should be examples of it. On the spectrum from heterosexual to homosexual is ambisexual. Should the owner of such ambisexuality be highly impressionable, peer pressure (from as little as one peer) might do the trick.

2 hours ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

gay conversion loons think you can "catch the straight" by "praying the gay away"

Holy Hill Basilica in Hubertus, WI, has a display of crutches left behind by those who's infirmities were prayed away. Surely there's someone who's homosexuality vanished as miraculously?

2 hours ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

they're not exactly a real reliable source.

Dawkins argues that religion itself (and the prayer that comes with it) is communicable, like a virus. Even those who don't buy the degenerate connotation of "virus" (like me) still allow that religion is nevertheless, communicable.

We're people dammit, anything's possible.

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44 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Does that matter to anyone but her?

There were two people in that relationship, so yes, I think it wouldn’t have been at all unfair to ask her what she felt.

Of course all of this hinges, to me, on what conversations and communication happened during the course of the relationship. Had the subject ever come up between the two of you? Did she know for certain you were a heterosexual woman in RL? Were there any discussions about your lives outside of SL?

And if none of those issues are important to you, that’s great. If you didn’t care one bit about it after the fact, that’s okay, too.

But I think it would also be okay if you were upset about it. Whatever your feelings are, or were, they are yours and they are valid. I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you how you should or shouldn’t have reacted.

I made this point in the other thread, but I think it bears repeating - SL has started to bill themselves as a place where one can find RL love. They are putting themselves out there as a platform where an online relationship can become an offline one.

If you take that into consideration, it seems that SL is straddling the line themselves. Yes, they have the TOS to cover themselves in case of a lawsuit, and yes, they offer a voice morph option to “enhance your avatar” but they’re also saying, “Hey, come find the real life love of your life!”

The important thing to me is to acknowledgment and respect your thoughts and feelings towards SL relationships and what boundaries you have even if they stand in stark contrast to mine.

Because mine are equally valid and I would hope people respect them.

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30 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

There were two people in that relationship, so yes, I think it wouldn’t have been at all unfair to ask her what she felt.

Agreed, it would have been fair for me to ask. It didn't seem important to me, though, so I didn't. Honestly, it still doesn't seem important to me, in the sense that knowing wouldn't actually change a thing. But I of course recognize that others might feel differently.

30 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Of course all of this hinges, to me, on what conversations and communication happened during the course of the relationship. Had the subject ever come up between the two of you? Did she know for certain you were a heterosexual woman in RL? Were there any discussions about your lives outside of SL?

Oh, there were a great many conversations, and a lot of exchange of RL information. I was "friends" with his RL Facebook account. He knew where I lived, what I was doing, and a great deal beside. When my furnace broke down (I was a student at the time), he offered to send me money to fix it.

Did we discuss the possibility that one or the other of us might not be representing as our RL gender? No, I don't think so; it seemed unnecessary. He certainly knew I was straight.

30 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

But I think it would also be okay if you were upset about it. Whatever your feelings are, or were, they are yours and they are valid. I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you how you should or shouldn’t have reacted.

I agree with all of this 100%.

He too was operating under certain assumptions about the platform. His understanding was one that remains pretty common: that SL is a place where one can experiment with representation and identity, and that keeping at least parts of one's RL private and separate is part of that (and is protected by the CS and TOS). That too is a valid way to think about, and function within, SL -- experimenting with identity really only works if it is not generally known that one is doing so. To be known to be a woman representing as a man entails, in effect, being treated by others as a woman representing as a man, a woman wearing a "costume."

We need, I think, to recognize that there is a kind of irreconcilable clash of cultures here. To be "honest" about one's RL identity represents, in practice, the privileging of one approach at the expense of the other. Yet, both are valid.

I don't have an answer to this, other than to suggest (as you've also suggested above) the necessity of communication about one's expectations, and being generous, understanding, and most of all, kind, in our dealings with others. In other words, this:

30 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

The important thing to me is to acknowledgment and respect your thoughts and feelings towards SL relationships and what boundaries you have even if they stand in stark contrast to mine.

Because mine are equally valid and I would hope people respect them.

But I think I'd argue that someone who is in practice "unkind" is indeed evidently an unkind person -- but not necessarily "wrong." Because, again, both approaches are valid, even if the exercise of them can sometimes lead to an ungenerous or unkind behaviour.

30 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I made this point in the other thread, but I think it bears repeating - SL has started to bill themselves as a place where one can find RL love. They are putting themselves out there as a platform where an online relationship can become an offline one.

If you take that into consideration, it seems that SL is straddling the line themselves. Yes, they have the TOS to cover themselves in case of a lawsuit, and yes, they offer a voice morph option to “enhance your avatar” but they’re also saying, “Hey, come find the real life love of your life!”

This is interesting. I am reminded that Draxtor recently did a video series on SL couples who transitioned into RL relationships, so you may have a point. If so, then LL is undercutting a culture that it has itself nurtured and even encouraged. But that, of course, is on them -- unless they plan to change the TOS and turning SL into a VW version of Facebook.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to introduce this song, the theme and lyrics of which are very relevant:

 

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On the Real Life dating aspect of it: That's called "marketing" and shows Linden Lab is quite aware of that particular use of their platform. That is the beginning and end of that line of reasoning/thought.

If you wish to use Second Life in that regard, you'd best be very prepared for a great many disappointments.

As to @Scylla Rhiadra's question concerning her relationship? Instead of asking if your relationship was heterosexual or lesbian - or the veracity of that person's later claims concerning their real life identity - perhaps you ought to view it a bit more simply: You had a relationship with another person.

We can be whatever we wish to be in Second Life, far more so than most places elsewhere on the Internet. There is a reason I often liken it to the chat rooms of old - you have no way of truly knowing who is on the other side of the screen. Oh sure, you could make this same argument about actual games and even message boards nut at the end of the day there is simply something about services like those old chat rooms and Second Life that set themselves apart.

For the games, one could say that it boils down to their actual purpose being firmly rooted in a specific form of entertainment. For message boards, one could say it is the lack of real time communication.

Yes yes, perhaps I am missing a few things or perhaps I am overly simplifying here ... But consider this: On this very forum (and on the other two Second Life related/adjacent fora as well) there was a time where quite a few users thought I was a woman. Now why would one think this - is it the way I type? My word choices perhaps? Some other thing I have not considered?

Considering that such still happens on occasion, despite the ability to go through my post history or even to look up my profile and the information I choose to share, it really must be some odd combination of things I am missing.

There are likely still a few who will read this and go "Wait, Solar's a guy offline?" - and should any actually 'voice' this, I'll get a chuckle out of it - simply because I do not mention my real life unless it is somehow relevant or I believe it will allow a reader to understand my post/what I am trying to get across a bit better.

Like now actually.

Who we are behind the keyboard and screen only truly matters when we wish to do more than idly chatter with each other. More even than carrying on a potential friendship. It has been my experience that our gender has very little to do with the lengths we feel comfortable going to, to help those we know through these services.

The only time it should ever be important is if either party decides they wish to try and take a relationship here - one already clearly beyond being simple friends - outside of Second Life and in person.

Why that particular stipulation? More personal sharing and my own view: I've Role Played with a great many people over my time on the Internet and over that time have forged more than a few friendships. A few of those even became a bit more than a simple friendship and evolved into a bit of "play" through different messenger applications. Not once did I ever think to ask their gender. Not once did I truly care either - there were never any plans to physically meet up.

Now it could be argued that such a mindset is easier for someone who is BI or Pan(don't ask me which ... I've never been able to truly answer that even to myself) as such a person would be fine either way ... But consider this: In each of these scenarios, we could only trust that the other person was being truthful in how they described themself, when they gave more than the most basic descriptions.

"But what about their voice?" - What about it? I've met men that sounded like women and vice versa. It's about as much of an indicator as my typing is.

Gah, this is getting long and I have the feeling I am starting to ramble ... Suffice to say that deciding to meet in person would indicate a desire to take a relationship to a level in which knowing the actual gender of a person you've met online actually does become important.

Any online relationship.

Before that particular threshold, it is simply information that is not (or at least should not be) important.

ETA: Much of this also plays into why I tend to be very particular where my Role Play - and "normal play" - is concerned. More and more often, I see those who blur the lines or who believe that their Second Life (and simple online presence) is/must be such an extension of their offline life/self that the very idea of someone like me is utterly alien to them.

Such has caused me enough problems in the past to make me rather wary at best and quite sick of such a mindset on my worst days.

Edited by Solar Legion
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4 hours ago, Tolya Ugajin said:

So, when the local electronic store gives away a free shotgun with the purchase of a living room set, it tells you that their view is you should shoot your TV?

I think it would be wiser to believe that it means nothing about their views on the matter, and it's just another toy to play with, like the ability to fly, or add a talking vajajay (although admittedly LL doesn't provide those), to accentuate your experience and keep you as a long term customer.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

* that America's views and laws on gun ownership are completely underpants on head insane and comparing them to LL voice morphers is a ridiculous false equivalence, not least because morphers work with SL in a way that guns don't really work with furniture;

* that I already made the point, twice, that it doesn't matter why LL provides morphers, it still proves that they really don't mind if you use them and have created a world where anyone can have one;

* that this is the level of debate I've come to expect from you and I find it neither edifying nor entertaining. So while I don't mute people, I'm probably going to read selectively until it's wabbit, I mean duck, season. If you wouldn't mind helping me out by not quoting or tagging me in the meantime, I would appreciate it.

 

Edited by Amina Sopwith

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