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I have a question that I'm spinning off from the "Faking death" thread, and starting a new one because it's going off topic for that one. But it's based on a comment made by @Katherine Heartsong on that thread.

On 4/3/2021 at 5:15 PM, Katherine Heartsong said:

 I do not get lying here, especially with your RL gender (I'm obviously way okay with a male running a female alt, as long as you are open about it) but I'm old and don't feel the need to deceive anymore.

Okay, genuine question here (for anyone, not just you).

I'm assuming that the main (only?) reason to insist on knowing another person's RL gender is because you are interested in a RL romantic/sexual relationship with that person. Or a SL-only relationship based on the other person's RL identity (which amounts to the same thing really - it's effectively a long-distance RL relationship in which SL is the main means of communication). What I totally fail to understand is, if you're NOT seeking such a relationship, why does disclosure of RL gender matter so much? What are the other legitimate reasons to need-to-know? Because I cannot think of one single reason why I would ever need to know the RL gender of a person I am never going to have a RL romantic/sexual relationship with.

I have a female alt and I've always assumed that anyone asking her about my RL gender is doing so because that's the only thing they want from her - am I making an error here or not?

 

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I've caused huge offence on here with my views on this but I haven't seen anything yet to make me change my mind. I don't think you owe anyone your RL sex/gender, any more than you owe them any other

There are a ton of reasons why you'd want to let the other person know. The foundation of a stable relationship- romantic, business, casual, friendly, doesn't matter- is honesty. If you're misrep

What I totally fail to understand is, why does it matter why disclosure of RL gender matters?    What is evident is, that it matters enough to enough people that the question keeps popping up per

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My assumption is the same as yours, if you are not looking for a romantic relationship, there is no need to care about gender. When people ask me to prove my gender, I always assume that they are hoping that things can go beyond SL, I will then remove them from my SL because I am not interested in that. I aept everyone as they appear in SL, and if thier RL gender doesnt match I actually prefer not to know. I want to interact with the person they are in SL without being influenced by the RL person behind the avatar, to me SL is more emersive and fun that way.

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Personally that is the exact reason I disclose my RL gender. I have a male main avatar and a female alt. I'm male in real life. When I meet someone on my female alt that I may be interested in getting to know on a deeper level and a possibility of real life I'll let them know my gender and give them a chance to run for the hills. However, letting people know your gender is entirely up to you but personally, I only want someone who is male in both worlds even if it's just second life.

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I don't think it's so much that they're looking for a RL relationship but more they're afraid to be sexually stimulated by someone who is of the same gender.  In my experience, it's usually men looking for a hook up.  This is just from my perspective and asking men why it matters who is behind the avatar.  I'm sure it happens to women too but it's not as big of a deal to us.  I'd guess more men ask if someone is actually a woman than women asking if someone is actually a man.

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I've caused huge offence on here with my views on this but I haven't seen anything yet to make me change my mind. I don't think you owe anyone your RL sex/gender, any more than you owe them any other RL information. Furthermore, I don’t believe you have to answer truthfully or fudge if you're asked. I've heard a lot of "of course it's fine to run an opposite gender av, but if I ask then you have to tell me the truth or say you don't want to answer." I don't agree that you can unilaterally create an obligation that way or that you lose your right to RL privacy and must give one of these answers when someone says so. I wouldn't do it myself - I've never lied about my RL gender on here. I have a male alt I used once about 13 years ago, never talked to anyone and haven't used since. But if someone tries to get your back against the wall with the question and and a "not saying" would give you away, I don't believe you're obliged to do it. As long as it's all within SL, I think you're entitled to give a false answer. They have no right to the information.

I obviously don't think it's ok to give false information if you're trying to scam money or something like that (protecting your RL helps protect you from such people, which is one reason why I think that trumps all), but this is the age old gender issue, not criminal activity. I might feel differently about it if people were worried about someone changing race or gender in order to promote sexist or racist stereotypes that could be harmful, but they never are. It's always about not wanting to think that you might be getting off with someone who is the "wrong" gender for you, and it's usually people who don't want a same sex relationship. Though not always.

I don't see SL relationships as any other long distance relationship, just played out through SL. A long distance relationship will have knowledge of real life identities, video calls and so on; it won't be all played out solely as two avatars who, by the rules of the world, can present however the flip they want and withhold whatever they want. SL is, to me, a very specific medium and people tend to use it for a reason: namely, that it's not RL and they want to withhold something too. Even if you do have your RL name and face in your profile and your av resembles you, nobody else has to do the same.

I know my view on this is controversial but I have yet to be convinced otherwise. If you want to be very sure of some RL feature, you'll need to look there. Last time I had this conversation on here (and to be fair, I should have quit it sooner), I ended up receiving an absolute barrage of abuse, several screens long, complete with name calling, swearing (asterisks to get past the filter and it was made clear that they would have said worse if they could have), speculation on how old I was when I experienced my menarche and other delightful stuff. This certainly showed me just how important RL gender is to some people (and remember, I've never lied about my RL gender and never would because it doesn't sit well with me personally), but it also just reinforced to me that you never know who you're speaking to or when they might go loco, so you do need to protect yourself. The entire point of the place is to present and create however you like. You're not entitled to this information from anyone. People can play SL how they like and you cannot assume they are on the same page as you. You checked out your rights to total transparency when you rezzed in. 

So anyway, those are my thoughts.

Edited by Amina Sopwith
Typoos.
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There are a ton of reasons why you'd want to let the other person know. The foundation of a stable relationship- romantic, business, casual, friendly, doesn't matter- is honesty.

If you're misrepresenting yourself, you're changing the dynamic of the entire thing. Despite what people tell you, men and women are different, behave different, and behavior around them is different.

Ignoring romantic relationships, I'm sure lots of people have things they'd say to close friends of one gender that they wouldn't say to another gender, for example.

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18 hours ago, Paul Hexem said:

There are a ton of reasons why you'd want to let the other person know. The foundation of a stable relationship- romantic, business, casual, friendly, doesn't matter- is honesty.

If you're misrepresenting yourself, you're changing the dynamic of the entire thing. Despite what people tell you, men and women are different, behave different, and behavior around them is different.

Ignoring romantic relationships, I'm sure lots of people have things they'd say to close friends of one gender that they wouldn't say to another gender, for example.

Although I do agree about being honest in general, if I don't ask (which I have never done in 12 years) there is no reason for anyone to lie to me.  I'll engage with you as you present yourself.  Even if I were to ask, the only way I'd ever know for certain is on camera and that is inflicting too much RL onto my SL.  Have I been with male avatars run by females?  Possibly.  Does it make me question my own sexual preferences?  No, of course not.  That is, I think, where women differ from men.

Edited by Rowan Amore
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8 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

If you're misrepresenting yourself

If a person runs around in a cat avatar is that person misrepresenting themselves because they are not really a cat? People can create what they want, it does not have to be a representation of thier true self. I suppose one could argue that if a person claims thier avatar represents themselves, it would be a misrepresentation if thier gender didn't match, but then it's a misrepresentaion if thier physical appearance is way off as well. That slim muscular young guyis misrepresenting himself id in fact he is an overweight flabby 50 year old, but it isnt an issue unless he goes around saying my avatar looks just like me. 

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1 hour ago, Lewis Luminos said:

What I totally fail to understand is, if you're NOT seeking such a relationship, why does disclosure of RL gender matter so much?

   What I totally fail to understand is, why does it matter why disclosure of RL gender matters?

   What is evident is, that it matters enough to enough people that the question keeps popping up periodically on the forums, and often enough so that people have formed very strong opinions about it and are willing to almost immediately turn to polemic argumentation to establish their opinion as the unopposable truth; but that regardless of anyone's opinion, the phenomenon persists. 

   To me it matters; I'm heterosexual, and I do not subscribe to the 'SL is SL and RL is RL' philosophy, and I actively refrain from congregating with people who claim to be - that does not mean that every SL relationship I involve myself in, let alone any sexual encounter, must somehow lead to an RL relationship.

   I have never had to actually ask anyone whether they were a woman though, but then I do tend to bother to get to know people before I commit to being intimate with them. If all I wanted were some pretty pixels to get off to, either of my alts would make more eloquent, creative, and attractive lovers than the common club-crawling cretin, craving cacographic, concupiscent commutation.

   Even if a relationship is in SL, without any pretence or ambition of being more than that, there are people to whom it remains of significant importance; a relationship isn't necessarily just about sexuality, but of having someone you can trust, confide in, and seek emotional support from. That's why, under no circumstances, do I ever think it's okay to deceive another person in order to make them want to have a relationship with you. 

   That said, if anyone at random asks your gender because they want to identify whether you're a suitable target for their unsolicited advances, you are by no means required to answer them at all. 

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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

I don't think it's so much that they're looking for a RL relationship but more they're afraid to be sexually stimulated by someone who is of the same gender.  

This is often the case, I think.  It's not necessarily that they're necessarily looking for a RL relationship, it's just that they find you attractive and they're terrified that being attracted to a female avatar with a male "driver" makes them somehow gay. People like that are the sort who need to know immediately on meeting you, almost before they even look at you, just to make sure they don't accidentally catch the gay from thinking you're hot.  Being up-front about your RL gender is a great way to filter homophobes and transphobes out of your life.

I can think of another one that @Paul Hexem touched on - that some people would not feel comfortable saying certain things to a person who is in RL the opposite sex to the one that the avatar presents. Many women (understandably) feel uncomfortable and unsafe in the presence of men, and may be less open with men than with other women, and that's another good reason for them to want to know your RL gender. 

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It all depends on you don't needing to give anything out right away if they are only fishing for an identity card then they are fresh out of luck.

They need to get to know you first to build a connection that builds into a friendship depending if you want to go  further with them in a relationship. 

When the trust has been exchanged energy has been earned you can tell them but you should have to show everything you can discuss this in private conversation. What you want to show totally up to you. They don't need to know your real location or your real name.  If its only staying in sl think should just stay that away. Unless you are looking for real this person is to but you do in the right manner. Example: Just say I'm unisex I am this but I have two sides I play lass and Lad I need someone that understands I like to be both this just how I am you take it or leave it but this is me.   If they like you for you that is fine but if they can't then that's fine to either stay friends let them go.  I just let people be. I don't look for a relationship. I had one here before. the guy forced voice right away; it was the wrong thing he should have taken his time. He was just looking for the next best thing. I walked away from that.

Don't tell people your best, show them you're worse at first, see how they treat you.  Go by actions , how they treat you , They are good bonding with you.

Looks and the person has nothing to do with it how you treat someone. Someone has to love you from the soul. 💗

 

 

 

 

Edited by Christina Mysterious
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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I think this whole issue is discriminatory to us "brain-in-a-jar" users

Hey!

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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Even if we could absolutely conclusively prove that you're obliged to reveal your RL sex/gender at a certain point, this is still always going to happen. The fact that this debate comes up again and again just proves how well we all know the high likelihood of getting hoodwinked. 

For that reason, my advice to anyone would be that if there's any RL physical trait that is an absolute dealbreaker for you, don't proceed with an SL relationship if you can't verify it. Easier said than done, I know, but I just can't see any other way to protect yourself in a world where we all accept blindfolds as the cost of admission. 

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I can't imagine that it is totally possible to leave RL out of SL.
If you know someone inworld a bit longer than RL subjects do come up. If not, that is totally unnatural IMHO.
Behind each avatar (bots excluded of course) is a RL puppeteer, with RL feelings and thoughts that they take with them into SL. There is no switch to turn that off.
At least I don't have one.
If you can, you must be a damn good role player. (general you)

What I post here under my avatars name, are RL thoughts, ideas and feelings.
Avatars have no thoughts, ideas and emotions of their own, they come from a real life person behind a computer somewhere out there in RL.

And yes, knowing a persons general RL information  is important to me, when I know someone longer. Like the country they come from, their occupation, age indication, hobbies, family and gender can be part of that too.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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7 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

I can't imagine that it is totally possible to leave RL out of SL.

Of course not. It is possible to approach SL as an escape from RL, just like reaing a novel, or watching a movie, or taking a trip someplace can be an escape. 

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Nobody is under ANY obligation to reveal their RL gender to anyone. Personally I don't care what body parts the person on the other side of the internet has. If I am romantically interested in someone then my feelings do not depend on what body parts the person on the other side has.

Having said that, some people find it important that the avatar they talk to presents as the same gender they have in RL. Some like to know what parts the person has in RL and this can be important to a person for a variety of reasons (¹). 
Now, if you are one gender in RL and present as another in SL, I think you should at least try to get a feel for how important RL gender is to the other and if it IS important, then as a token of respect towards them reveal your RL gender. If you don't, then feelings WILL get hurt, people WILL feel cheated, and damage WILL be done and worst of all, you may lose the person you love when it all comes out.

So show the other some respect and share your RL gender with them if gender is important to them, especially if you already share so many other things about yourself. It's just the kind thing to do.
 

 

(¹) An example could be a bi person and a pan person hitting it off, to them it may not be crucial to know what the person on the other end has, but it could help when RP'ing in-world.

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3 hours ago, Talligurl said:

If a person runs around in a cat avatar is that person misrepresenting themselves because they are not really a cat? People can create what they want, it does not have to be a representation of thier true self. I suppose one could argue that if a person claims thier avatar represents themselves, it would be a misrepresentation if thier gender didn't match, but then it's a misrepresentaion if thier physical appearance is way off as well. That slim muscular young guyis misrepresenting himself id in fact he is an overweight flabby 50 year old, but it isnt an issue unless he goes around saying my avatar looks just like me. 

That's a strawman, really. You're obviously not a cat on a computer (yet).

Even if you're a dude playin' a dude disguised as another dude, it's best to be honest about it. The people that matter will respect it, and the ones that don't, you know to cut out of your life, like someone else said.

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6 hours ago, Talligurl said:

My assumption is the same as yours, if you are not looking for a romantic relationship, there is no need to care about gender. When people ask me to prove my gender, I always assume that they are hoping that things can go beyond SL, I will then remove them from my SL because I am not interested in that. I aept everyone as they appear in SL, and if thier RL gender doesnt match I actually prefer not to know. I want to interact with the person they are in SL without being influenced by the RL person behind the avatar, to me SL is more emersive and fun that way.

This is exactly the way I feel about it too. The configuration of genitals on the other person's chair is 100% irrelevent to me. But they are very relevant to other  people and I am seeking to understand all the possible reasons why.

5 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

I don't think it's so much that they're looking for a RL relationship but more they're afraid to be sexually stimulated by someone who is of the same gender.  

This makes a lot of sense. Homophobia, check. They are not going to like me one little bit. :)

5 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I've caused huge offence on here with my views on this but I haven't seen anything yet to make me change my mind. I don't think you owe anyone your RL sex/gender, any more than you owe them any other RL information. Furthermore, I don’t believe you have to answer truthfully or fudge if you're asked. I've heard a lot of "of course it's fine to run an opposite gender av, but if I ask then you have to tell me the truth or say you don't want to answer."

I'm sorry to hear that you have caused offence but I do agree with you , at least in the sense that no-one owes me an explanation or disclosure of their gender I really don't care. But it's very obvious that many (most?) other people do, and in the absence of RL relationships, I want to understand why.

4 hours ago, Paul Hexem said:

There are a ton of reasons why you'd want to let the other person know. The foundation of a stable relationship- romantic, business, casual, friendly, doesn't matter- is honesty.

If you're misrepresenting yourself, you're changing the dynamic of the entire thing. Despite what people tell you, men and women are different, behave different, and behavior around them is different.

Ignoring romantic relationships, I'm sure lots of people have things they'd say to close friends of one gender that they wouldn't say to another gender, for example.

This would make sense, if the protest about "being honest" applied to other things besides gender. If it mattered whether I have ginger hair in RL. If it mattered whether I have a full-body tattoo in RL. If it mattered whether I am 30-something years old in RL. Or in my female avatar's case, whether it matters that I have dark skin and am of South Asian ancestry. Not one of those several things is true for me, but nobody cares about them and nobody ever asks if I am ginger in RL or tattooed in RL or Indian in RL. 

Why does the need for honesty apply to gender alone, and none of the other features of my avatars?

 

3 hours ago, Christina Mysterious said:

It all depends on you don't needing to give anything out right away if they are only fishing for an identity card then they are fresh out of luck.

They need to get to know you first to build a connection that builds into a friendship depending if you want to go  further with them in a relationship. 

When the trust has been exchanged energy has been earned you can tell them but you should have to show everything you can discuss this in private conversation. What you want to show totally up to you. They don't need to know your real location or your real name.  If its only staying in sl think should just stay that away. Unless you are looking for real this person is to but you do in the right manner. Example: Just say I'm unisex I am this but I have two sides I play lass and Lad I need someone that understands I like to be both this just how I am you take it or leave it but this is me.   If they like you for you that is fine but if they can't then that's fine to either stay friends let them go.  I just let people be. I don't look for a relationship. I had one here before. the guy forced voice right away; it was the wrong thing he should have taken his time. He was just looking for the next best thing. I walked away from that.

Don't tell people your best, show them you're worse at first, see how they treat you.  Go by actions , how they treat you , They are good bonding with you.

Looks and the person has nothing to do with it how you treat someone. Someone has to love you from the soul. 💗

Thank you, but your advice isn't really relevant in my situation. I already have a longstanding SL relationship, (she knows my RL gender) and I'm not looking for another. I am definitely not looking for relationships with any of my alts.

32 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

That's a strawman, really. You're obviously not a cat on a computer (yet).Even if you're a dude playin' a dude disguised as another dude, it's best to be honest about it. The people that matter will respect it, and the ones that don't, you know to cut out of your life, like someone else said.

Except that no-one in 12 years has ever cared that I'm a dude in both RL and (main avatar) SL whose avatar doesn't resemble my RL body in any way whatsoever. It only ever matters when the difference is gender and it only ever matters when the avatar is female

Why is that?

 

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21 minutes ago, Lewis Luminos said:
6 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

I don't think it's so much that they're looking for a RL relationship but more they're afraid to be sexually stimulated by someone who is of the same gender.  

This makes a lot of sense. Homophobia, check. They are not going to like me one little bit. :)

   I don't think that's an appropriate situation to use the word fear or phobia, nor do I believe that it's prudent to assume that not wanting to be intimate with someone of the same gender is in any way the same thing as being opposed to others doing so. Just because someone does not share your perspective or opinion on whether the RL gender of someone they are intimate with matters, it does not make them some conservative 'enemies of sexual liberty'; I fully support the idea that people of any sexual orientation should have equal rights before the law and that they should be protected of any social stigmas - but that includes people who are heterosexual and their right to be heterosexual without snide comments about how they're homophobic because they don't want to be intimate with people of their same gender. That it doesn't matter to you does not mean that you have the right to belittle their preferences of partners.

   Yes, there are people, both men and women, who are afraid, who are genuine homophobes, who believe that marriage should be reserved for man and woman, or worse, who believe that it's a mental illness - or who are so insecure about their own sexuality that they fear that they will 'turn gay' if exposed to homoeroticism. But that's not necessarily the reason for people in SL wanting to verify the people they are intimate with. It certainly isn't in my case, and if your reasoning for posing the question is to find out 'why' it is, it doesn't seem particularly productive to presume a position of prejudice.

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36 minutes ago, Orwar said:

   I don't think that's an appropriate situation to use the word fear or phobia, nor do I believe that it's prudent to assume that not wanting to be intimate with someone of the same gender is in any way the same thing as being opposed to others doing so. Just because someone does not share your perspective or opinion on whether the RL gender of someone they are intimate with matters, it does not make them some conservative 'enemies of sexual liberty'; I fully support the idea that people of any sexual orientation should have equal rights before the law and that they should be protected of any social stigmas - but that includes people who are heterosexual and their right to be heterosexual without snide comments about how they're homophobic because they don't want to be intimate with people of their same gender. That it doesn't matter to you does not mean that you have the right to belittle their preferences of partners.

   Yes, there are people, both men and women, who are afraid, who are genuine homophobes, who believe that marriage should be reserved for man and woman, or worse, who believe that it's a mental illness - or who are so insecure about their own sexuality that they fear that they will 'turn gay' if exposed to homoeroticism. But that's not necessarily the reason for people in SL wanting to verify the people they are intimate with. It certainly isn't in my case, and if your reasoning for posing the question is to find out 'why' it is, it doesn't seem particularly productive to presume a position of prejudice.

It wasn't my intention to include everyone in my statement but it is a fact that is what some people fear.  Others, don't care either way.  I also can't read their minds so I  can't say what their reasons are behind that fear.  Homophobia would certainly be one reason.  

Edited by Rowan Amore
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Late back to the discussion.

I don't think I ever implied that I insist on knowing anyone's RL gender, sex, or even orientation. If anyone has that impression, I apologize. My point was whatever you need to be in SL is great. Whatever you are exploring or learning or needing, especially with your sexuality (and that is a definite part of why some men run female avatars; it certainly is for me to a degree), is great. And I'm especially fine with anyone saying that's none of anyone's business in their profile (as I have done in the recent past).

I'm just confused (maybe an age thing?) as to why anyone would deliberately lie about it and try to deceive another human being into thinking one thing while the truth is another. Lies simply spiral out of control and we're all emotional beings behind the avatar, and can cause hurt and emotional suffering when the truth is discovered. 

My own truth is that I have done that very thing in a distant past (in another platform) because I wanted to be what I was exploring with my character for various personal reasons. Bragging here, but I am actually am that good at being/portraying female, for both good and bad. 

I realized that was wrong when I finally had enough of my lying and opened up to one GG (genuine girl) who had a connection with "me". I can still remember her text screaming at me "THERE IS NO F*^&ING WAY YOU ARE A GUY!!!!!!" before storming off the platform forever in tears. I shattered a number of female friends worlds, with my admission.

But there's no reason to lie if asked, if you choose to say. Don't tell me you're female if I ask, and you're really male, and you choose to answer. That's deceit and I can't tolerate it, knowing the pain it causes when the truth comes to light ... and it usually does. I'd prefer you to say if we have connection that is at the point of being open, if you answer at all, "Known of your business, sweetheart." Then we're good.

I just don't understand the deliberate lying, is all. But this is a weird microcosm of RL, so lying I guess is par for the course.

P.S. Get a tux or suit or dress on and come dance with me at Foxxies if y'all wanna talk. I don't bite.

 

Edited by Katherine Heartsong
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