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3 hours ago, Lewis Luminos said:

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

I think you are mistaking someone that is not attracted to the same sex the same as being homophobic which it totally inaccurate.  

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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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1 hour ago, BastetsDaughter said:

OMG, then there is the whole group of jerks who are like "You're not really a girl!" if you wont do voice. Drives me mental. Off topic but I needed to vent.

Sad, how they are so desperate to interact with someone lacking their same bits, as if a person's bits are the be-all, end-all determination of a person's true nature. 

Edited by Love Zhaoying
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6 hours ago, Katherine Heartsong said:

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. 

If a person tells you that in SL they are always playing a character role, either via their profile or via chat/IM, etc. then you would have to assume that anything you asked of them or anything they told you may be untrue.  This is no different to actors saying things whilst in role except that you general can tell when they are in role.  If it is unclear that this is a character role for them, that can be part of the problem.

In addition, there are people who identify with a different gender, may want to explore this in SL and therefore may tell you their identified gender in SL.  I am not sure it is reasonable to expect them to declare anything else to you and they may feel they are being honest about things.

A person may not want a relationship to go to RL but want an SL relationship because they have feelings for you as you are being presented in SL persona.  Even if you feel differently, they may not ever intend to meet you in RL and therefore they may feel that their real gender doesn't matter.

Those are just three possible reasons that are pretty reasonable off the top of my head and I am sure there are more.

What you feel is a deception or lie may not be considered that way by them and except for the first example, they may be generally be honest about everything else not related to gender.  After all people cannot really keep up the pretense of being another person 100% of the time.  If a person is genuine about everything other than gender then you are most likely getting the "real them" for the most part.

A lot of it comes down to talking about expectations of you both when you realise your feelings have deepened for each other and trying to work out if it is going anywhere.

Of course, they may deliberately be lying exactly for the purposes of deceiving you, some people get their kicks this way.
This is the chance you take with romantic relationships in SL.
 

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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9 hours ago, Paul Hexem said:

 You're obviously not a cat on a computer (yet).

But it's just as obvious that everyone you see in SL could be the opposite sex/gender to their av. It's so obvious that we have endless debates about it and how to verify it.

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13 hours ago, Paul Hexem said:

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.

I don't think you can use the "men and women are different" argument on an individual level. It's too broad of a statement when we're talking about one-on-one interactions. It's not like people can detect who is a man or a woman with any kind of certainty.

Besides, what if someone wants to be treated differently than they normally would be? A woman might not want to be treated as a "woman," same for men. What about trans people? What if you look, sound, and have stereotypically male interests, but identify as a woman? Online is just about the only place where you can be who you want to be without being limited by physical perceptions. Being able to "change the dynamic of the entire thing" can be a good thing, doesn't matter if it's a hookup or a friendship.

Of course ideally you'd make friends with people who would accept you and treat you how you want to be treated, but it's not often that simple.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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6 hours ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

I think you are mistaking someone that is not attracted to the same sex the same as being homophobic which it totally inaccurate.  

Very true. I have gay cousins and a few gay colleagues whom I consider as friends, I had a transgender friend in SL, so I'm not homophobic at all, but I'm totally not sexually attracted to same gender people. Heck, I'm not even really attracted to the opposite sex. Hence a happy single.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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6 hours ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

I think you are mistaking someone that is not attracted to the same sex the same as being homophobic which it totally inaccurate.  

 

9 hours 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.

My "homophobia" comment wasn't referring to having a sexual preference. It was referring to the type of person that Rowan described, which is the sort who is literally afraid that being attracted to a female avatar with a male person behind the keyboard means that they are gay.  That's absolutely not the same thing at all.

I have no doubts that having a sexual preference is important, but does having a sexual preference for gender of the person sitting on the chair rather than the gender of avatar prove that the relationship interest is RL-only and not SL-only?  Which would make my initial assumption, about the reason for men wanting to know Indra's RL gender, correct after all.  (I was hoping it wouldn't be).

Edited by Lewis Luminos
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9 hours ago, Lewis Luminos said:

It only ever matters when the difference is gender and it only ever matters when the avatar is female

Why is that?

I'm not sure about this. It seems to me that with some people* even if you voice, the next step is they'll hit you with requests for pics or (in the old days) ask to move to Skype. Their new concern becomes verifying your age and looks, or else they get paranoid that you're really in your 70s, or overweight...one person told me she was asked to send a pic showing proof of the date, in case she was lying and using a years-old pic 9_9  (*by the way, I mean people you've recently met, not when you've been in a relationship with them for two years!)

 

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1 hour ago, Rat Luv said:

one person told me she was asked to send a pic showing proof of the date

Once you start resorting to kidnapper strategies, it's time to consider that you may not be suited to relationships in this medium.

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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I always relate to others in SL as their avatar portrays them. I have no desire to know any RL details, and I prefer not to speak of RL issues. If they are a cat, I’ll talk to them as if they were a cat, and if they only emote in return I’ll delight in their immersion. If they’re a child av, I’ll talk to them as if they’re a child and will enjoy hearing of their SL lives. Therefore, if they’re male or female, I’ll accept them as such and will in no way pry as to their RL gender.

I’m here to escape, and my forms usually reflect this. One story...

I used to live in a large family community and at that time I was fully immersed in role playing a large family. I had some good family members played by others, and with the use of alts (that’s why I have them) I would also portray some of the distant family members that would drop in and visit. One (a son) ended up developing a life of his own in the town. He’d just returned from university and was looking to join the family business. He’d help his father around the town, and also came along to town events. He met a girl of around the same age, but she was still at college. They started dating. She had her own home in the north of the town, and he would drive up from our home in the south and pick her up for them to spend their time together when she wasn’t at classes, and he wasn’t working, and he would drive her home at the end of the day. He actually ended up working for the town directly (as an admin) and would often be digging out pools for people’s gardens, and if she wasn’t in class, she would sit with her books doing homework and chat occasionally while he worked. They were together most days for at least an hour, and for me, it was a magical time. They moved in together after some time and had a wonderful year. I never knew anything about the person behind the avatar. I accepted her as she was. I never knew her RL name, her gender, her age. And likewise, she never knew my details.
 

Theirs was a story that I will always treasure, and for me, it was the perfect example of living a Second Life.

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18 hours ago, Maitimo said:

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.

That could be part of it but I hardly think it's all of it.  If the person is heterosexual, they want to be with someone they can relate to on a heterosexual level.  Plus, it's usually male avatars who ask this of female avatars  I don't know that's it's just terror as to why some male avatars want to know the rl gender of the female they are interested but rather they are looking for a women because they are heterosexual and probably for two main reasons - women turn them on and they want to know their real life fantasies.  In short, there are men on here who want to know a heterosexual woman's real life fantasies and what turns them on and doesn't turn them on and so forth.  Plus, some heterosexual men want the company of a woman but I really think it's because they want to know the real life fantasies of the woman behind the female avatar if it is really a female behind the avi.  There are ways to have that relationship though and maybe they need camming or Skype for dummies or something.  But, even back in the early cyber days of early text-only chat rooms, like 20 years ago, users with a masculine handle username would jump in my IM and what they wanted was to know my real life fantasies and were assuming I was a woman as I had a female handle username.  

Edited by FairreLilette
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1 hour ago, FairreLilette said:

That could be part of it but I hardly think it's all of it.  If the person is heterosexual, they want to be with someone they can relate to on a heterosexual level...and they want to know their real life fantasies. 

This is very interesting, but I'm not sure it's the reason. The sheer depth of feeling on the matter makes me think it has to be something a bit more. Like I said, the abuse I got for maintaining my position on the issue (and it isn't even something I've ever done myself!) made it clear how very deeply personal this is to people, and the language and stance they often take on it suggests it hits a chord in them that's far beyond "I wanted them to relate like I did and know what this gender fantasises about". The latter is something with huge personal variance anyway, and besides, you could easily look up sexual or erotic content aimed at your preferred gender and orientation if you want to get an idea.

It's often framed as "well it's wrong to be dishonest" but again, nobody reacts quite this strongly to the idea that someone might be lying about being, say, a millionaire. 

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I remember when voice hit the grid back in the early days of SL, it was quite a revelation to discover several of the people I was friends with were actually men with female avatars. Fortunately for me, I was not interested in them in a romantic way so no complications there, but I did talk about "lady things" with them.  I suppose that could have felt embarrassing or  hurtful to some, but these people I knew didn't seem like total strangers to me even with this new knowledge. I would even say it helped me realize that I could have an actual close friendship with a man without it having to be complicated by "feelings". I know that is not everyone's experience.

 

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17 minutes ago, Laurel Aurelia said:

I remember when voice hit the grid back in the early days of SL, it was quite a revelation to discover several of the people I was friends with were actually men with female avatars.

That reminds me a little of something which happened to me a few years back. I had a group of friends consisting of females and futas and it was a wonderful group that somehow struck just the right balance (for me) of naughtiness and genuine care.  I was already aware of the RL gender of some of those friends.
Then one day I got invited to their Discord server and arrived as they were showing each other pics of what they looked like in RL. Now, knowing the RL gender and actually having seen a pic of their RL selves are two different things to me, I discovered this that day. From that moment on I found it hard to feel as free to make naughty remarks around them, and even my feelings of closeness to them got affected negatively.
This is why I have decided that even if I know a user's RL gender, regardless of which gender that is, I don't want to know what they look like in RL. I prefer to keep the illusion alive and even if know that avatar X has gender B, I like to form my own mental image of what the person looks like because somehow that allows me to maintain the relationship the way it is and has been.

Now, don't ask me WHY seeing a RL pic of someone changes things so much for me, all I know is that it does and that I am now avoiding it.

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17 hours ago, Lewis Luminos said:

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 your gender matter more than your hair? Because of things like this-

21 hours ago, Maitimo said:

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. 

 

8 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

I don't think you can use the "men and women are different" argument on an individual level. It's too broad of a statement when we're talking about one-on-one interactions. It's not like people can detect who is a man or a woman with any kind of certainty.

Besides, what if someone wants to be treated differently than they normally would be? A woman might not want to be treated as a "woman," same for men. What about trans people? What if you look, sound, and have stereotypically male interests, but identify as a woman? Online is just about the only place where you can be who you want to be without being limited by physical perceptions. Being able to "change the dynamic of the entire thing" can be a good thing, doesn't matter if it's a hookup or a friendship.

Of course ideally you'd make friends with people who would accept you and treat you how you want to be treated, but it's not often that simple.

Naturally all rules have their exceptions, but generally speaking, whether we like it or not, there are differences between people due to their gender.

Your argument further breaks down when you say "I want to be perceived differently" and in doing so, you deceive someone else that may have very valid reasons for their preferences. That makes you the villain, not the victim just trying to escape physical perceptions. Which is why honesty matters, so that everyone can get what they want, safely and without harming others.

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1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

This is very interesting, but I'm not sure it's the reason. The sheer depth of feeling on the matter makes me think it has to be something a bit more. Like I said, the abuse I got for maintaining my position on the issue (and it isn't even something I've ever done myself!) made it clear how very deeply personal this is to people, and the language and stance they often take on it suggests it hits a chord in them that's far beyond "I wanted them to relate like I did and know what this gender fantasises about". The latter is something with huge personal variance anyway, and besides, you could easily look up sexual or erotic content aimed at your preferred gender and orientation if you want to get an idea.

It's often framed as "well it's wrong to be dishonest" but again, nobody reacts quite this strongly to the idea that someone might be lying about being, say, a millionaire. 

In my experience, which isn't all that much, but it does have a definite pattern starting even back in the days of text-only cyber chat rooms, guys jumping in my IM way back then and wanting to know my sexual fantasies and my likes and dislikes, and even about my sexual relationship with my current in real life outside the text-only cyber chat room.  So, it could be what is known as "sex talk" that I found many men were interested in discussing.   I'm not sure this is the only pattern that could exist though and I would think my experiences are too limited to formulate the only way of heterosexual men.  However, I do know, even in real life from guys that I've dated, that they like to ask me these same questions, once they get to know me a bit, of course.  

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If someone is that concerned about revealing things to others who may not be the same sex as their avatar, perhaps SL isn't the best place for them to be revealing anything.  In fact, the internet is probably not the best place either.  As I said, unless you're on camera with someone, you will never really know with whom you are speaking.  I don't lie about my RL gender.  I have no reason for that.  I'm a female in RL and SL.  Do I care if anyone believes me?  Nope.  Do I believe anything anyone tells me at face value?  oh hell no.  

 

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It's a problem. One side calls it "gender fraud", the other side calls it "misgendering".

Second Life avatar gender is, to the system, a floating point number between 0.0 and 1.0. Someone, long ago, was thinking ahead.

1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

It's often framed as "well it's wrong to be dishonest" but again, nobody reacts quite this strongly to the idea that someone might be lying about being, say, a millionaire. 

There used to be a group of real former Navy SEALs on line who were working on outing fake former Navy SEALs. They gave up after discovering that there seem to be more than 10 fakes per real one.

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15 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

Naturally all rules have their exceptions, but generally speaking, whether we like it or not, there are differences between people due to their gender.

If that's really so much the case across the board, it should be pretty easy to clock someone after a period of time if they're deceiving you, so people shouldn't be too worried about it...

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

If that's really so much the case across the board, it should be pretty easy to clock someone after a period of time if they're deceiving you, so people shouldn't be too worried about it...

That's actually another good reason to be honest in the beginning. There's a fair chance you'll be caught and called out for it, leading to a confrontation. Even if you do have valid reasons for it, good luck getting the other person to listen to you at that point.

Edited by Paul Hexem
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Just now, Paul Hexem said:

That's actually another good reason to be honest in the beginning. There's a fair chance you'll be caught and called out for it, leading to a confrontation Even if you do have valid reasons for it, good luck getting the other person to listen to you at that point.

Well, I partly agree. I don't condone lying about yourself. I just think that, within the SL context, it is something you have the right to do and something we all accept as a strong possibility by being here. Blindfolds are the price of admission and we've got our own reasons for wanting them too.

However, someone who gets nasty and confrontational about it is, to me, likely to be more of a problem than someone who exercises what I see as their right to protect their privacy. So if your partner started getting vicious about it, I'd certainly suggest walking away. But before that, I'd suggest that anyone who really does have absolute deal breakers on RL traits shouldn't be looking in SL for them.

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31 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

Your argument further breaks down when you say "I want to be perceived differently" and in doing so, you deceive someone else that may have very valid reasons for their preferences. That makes you the villain, not the victim just trying to escape physical perceptions. Which is why honesty matters, so that everyone can get what they want, safely and without harming others.

We will agree to disagree.

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14 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

That's actually another good reason to be honest in the beginning. There's a fair chance you'll be caught and called out for it, leading to a confrontation. Even if you do have valid reasons for it, good luck getting the other person to listen to you at that point.

By your same thinking though, if I used a white skin and pretended to be white in RL, is that somehow deceiving to all the racist people?  I mean it's only fair they know my actual skin color so they can hate me.  Right?

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52 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Well, I partly agree. I don't condone lying about yourself. I just think that, within the SL context, it is something you have the right to do and something we all accept as a strong possibility by being here. Blindfolds are the price of admission and we've got our own reasons for wanting them too.

However, someone who gets nasty and confrontational about it is, to me, likely to be more of a problem than someone who exercises what I see as their right to protect their privacy. So if your partner started getting vicious about it, I'd certainly suggest walking away. But before that, I'd suggest that anyone who really does have absolute deal breakers on RL traits shouldn't be looking in SL for them.

As far as the "ethics" of it all, I pretty much agree with this post.

Upon signing in here, people are free to be whatever they want and that should be pretty much understood upon signing on to SL.

If one puts they need honesty about a person's gender in their profile one can only hope someone might be honest but there is no guarantee here.  One might find it, or they might not.  This is with texting only I'm speaking of course.  

But, I wouldn't say someone wants to know the gender so they can meet the person in RL but that they want to know about their RL is the most likely reason.

Edited by FairreLilette
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On 4/4/2021 at 10:01 AM, Lewis Luminos said:

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.

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?

 

Okay, Lewis, I'm reading this again and want to answer your question from my perspective of it and I'm not sure I wrote it out clearly in my last post.

I don't believe it's because they want a real life romance with the avatar (although that could be part of it - the possibility it could go real life) but rather that the person wants to know a bit about the person's real life as a woman.  In other words, being able to relate as man to woman on an honest level because let's say MAN avatar asks questions of your alt a WOMAN avatar ABOUT female related stuff, would you be able to answer those questions honestly and relate honest answers back as a woman while being a man?  Or would you be guessing what a woman would say?  Perhaps some people would like to have a real honest man-to-woman discussion.  Do you see what I'm saying?  However, with SL the way it is, that is kind of a lot to ask for.  One could put in their profile they are a rl male seeking an intimate relationship with a rl female and see how it goes.  But really, it's really anything goes as this is SL.  There is no having it your way when it's text only (speaking of people who think they can control others IN SL, not your Lewis).     

Edited by FairreLilette
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