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Does RL gender matter when dating someone?


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I know theres some people playing the opposite sex in SL. But does it normally matter to most people if they are playing the same sex as they are in RL?

I mean, i could imagine dating someone of the opposite sex in SL even if they are same sex in SL... as long as they play their "Role" right.

I normally keep SL and RL seperate, so shouldn't be a problem, right?

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I've had some experience with this. My partner was a girl (RL) who played a guy in SL. It was great, we had a lot of fun. We could RP our (as in it's only SL and she and I weren't dating our avis were) relationship or we could just sit and BS being us. It was a wonderful relationship. One of the best I've had in SL. There was never the awkward thing where the guy forgets it's just SL and pushes for RL. No asking for pictures, voice, ect ect. It was all about living our SL the way we wanted, having fun with it and enjoying it for what it was. 

 

I see no issue with people playing an avi of the opposite sex. How is that any different from people playing lycans, vamps, furries, fairies, elves, ect? It's not. Of course you might catch some flack but what does it matter what anyone else thinks? SL is the perfect place to explore and live out what ever fantasy, dream or what ever it is you want. 

 

In short? No, Virginia, Santa isn't real and it also doesn't matter your partners RL/SL sex. 

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The answer is in your question. "playing" - For me, i do not play second life i do as the name says. If you are interested in be the other gender, great go for it but be careful even without asking for RL and pics and ... - what i never did - some people could become mad or hurt if they find out. If things go closer than just hang out, dance or a hug i want people tell me the truth.

What i could never understand is how people can separate RL/SL emotions but that might be my fault. Even when i play games like Guild Wars or Mafia ... i get emotionally involved when my character dies or gets hurt. Isn´t that why we love some games more than others, what software engineers try to achieve ? Taking us into another world where we only leave our bodies behind ?

After being friends for about 5 years i got told that this girl is a guy in RL. While we never had some romantic or ... relation i don´t see the reason to hide it. But if "she" told me that this is only RP or his dream allways was to test be female, great i can deal with.

The few good friends from SL i call friends in RL too. We might never meet or even see each other but friends is nothing physical.

Check the threads about players vs. realos. This discussion didn´t start with Second Life it´s as old as the first BB-chats.

Monti

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It may or may not matter to people as individuals.  However I think most people play their RL gender because it matters to them.  I'm a female in RL and have no desire to be anything else but female.  Most of the people I know play the same gender in SL as they are in RL, and it matters to them too.

In regards to dating, this is something each couple has to decide between themselves as two consenting and informed adults. It does not matter what 'most people' think.  If you play the opposite sex of what you are in RL, then you owe it to whoever you date to tell them the truth.  It may or may not make any difference to them if they just roleplay a character in SL, but it would probably make a huge difference to someone who does not.  Anything less than full disclosure is not only deceitful, but it is cruel, as many people get extremely upset about this if they find out after they go out with someone.

While I have friends that I know play the opposite gender avi from their RL gender, and have no problem with it as a friend, as a straight RL female, I have absolutely no interest in dating another woman playing a man, or a man playing a woman.  The majority of people I know would not be interested in dating someone whose gender in SL is opposite of what it is in RL.

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I'm only interested in men but if there was never going to be any face to face RL contact, (which would almost certainly be the case) it wouldn't matter that much to me except - I am pretty sure that I couldn't be a convincing female because I've never experienced being a woman. I suspect it's the same for girls who have never experienced being a man - I don't know how convincing they would be and if they didn't convince me, I would lose interest.

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I don't care what-so-ever, as long as they stick to their story.  If the truth is not as they've portrayed it and they get so wishy-washy that they feel they have to let me know the disgusting truth, it'll just spoil the illusion.  People that RP something and are, later, not up to keeping up appearances should be shot on site.

...Dres *would rather be lied to consistently*

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The only consideration I think you need to make is to be honest in all relationships...make sure that whoever you are dating knows you are "playing" SL.  Many consider SL a "real" life.  Some live in SL more than they do RL, with relationships they consider as real as first life.  Make sure that your playing does no harm or expectation setting

 

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Depends on how you approach SL, I guess.

My characters in SL are just that - fictional characters. I make no pretense that they are anything else. If someone else makes it clear that their Avatar in SL is, to them, a clone of their real self and an extension of their real life, and that they are seeking a real-life romantic partner, then my fictional characters will refuse to get socially involved with them. I think that is the most important rule in having a "relationship" of any sort in a virtual world where it is possible to be either gender at will. Make sure that you and any potential "partner" are operating under the same assumptions and expectations. If you aren't, then don't "get involved". Simple as that.

If someone else has fictional characters, and they manage to do a good job in roleplay of becoming friends and eventually lovers with one or more of my characters, I couldn't care less what the real-life gender of the typist is. In fact, I explicitly do not want to know their real-life details, any more than I want a skilled Shakesperian actor on the stage to drop out of character and make a modern-era comment about cell phones and the Internet, in a Bronx accent. It destroys the believability of the character they are portraying, when they "break the fourth wall" like that. As long as they play their role believably, it's entertaining to me, and I couldn't care less what their real-life person loooks like. Because I am not having a relationship with them. It's our fictional characters interacting. All I offer to the other typist is a platonic friendship.

Any good story teller, fiction writer, play writer, or screen writer knows how to believably portray both genders. Your favorite TV drama would be pretty pathetic if all the girls in the show talked acted like guys, simply because the script was written by a guy, wouldn't it? Or if all the guys talked and acted like girls, because the script was written by a woman? Can you imagine a fiction book where all the characters of one gender acted like the wrong gender?

Writing believably as the opposite gender requires a certain amount of real life experience, and the skills of a good observer. If you've dated someone of the opposite gender extensively, or if you have been married, and have actually been aware of the activities, conversations and complaints of your opposite sex partner in those relationships, it isn't hard to portray the correct speech patterns, behaviors, and even details like what it feels like to get kicked in the crotch as a male, or to lose your virginity as a female. On the other hand, if you're a girl who has never even seen a boy naked, or vice versa, or if you're still a virgin and your character is supposedly sexually active, or you're still in high school and your character supposedly has a Masters Degree in Computer Science, it's almost impossible for you to believably portray a character that has life experineces that you haven't even heard others talk about. You don't have to cross-dress in real life to know what it is like to wear the clothes of the opposite sex, or to mimic their behaviors. But you do have to be observant, ask questions, and above all, listen carefully to those around you.

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Exavor Diesel wrote:

There's no right or wrong answer to this. It's completely down to personal preference and I think it's one of those situations where people's beliefs should be respected regardless of which way they swing.

^^ THIS ^^

The thing is when entering a relationship with someone you have to check that their view is compatible with yours. It sucks to find out it's not, when you're six months in.

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It doesn't matter as long as both parties don't mind. You certainly can't expect everyone to be okay with it though. It's not right to deceive people and convince them you are something other than what you really are. People put fake pics on their profile, lie about their age, weight, etc. When you lie about your gender it's the same thing because you're deceiving someone about who you are in RL.

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It matters to many people. To me, it would matter. I know this isn't the case for everyone, but I do not roleplay. SL is an extension of RL, just as the forums or bulletin boards were. So I think that is very improper to be dishonest about your RL gender. If a date ask about your RL gender, you should either be honest or break off the relationship.

Some years ago I was involved in an on-line forum (somewhat like this, technically) that was limited to women. We talked about women's things that women would not necessarily feel comfortable talking to men about, and men would not be able to give advise or experience. For that forum gender identity (there was also a male section and a mixed section) was enforced. I had to fax the moderator a copy of my driver's license. (there were other methods). I am sure that there may have been males who got in, just as some males have been able to dress as a female and enter women's rooms. However, for the most part we knew we were among women.

While SL is too big to enforce gender identity, people who date others or enter into conversations with others about intimate things should be honest about their gender if asked.

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Frankly it's too difficult to really verify who someone is on SL (they can send fake pics, have a friend go on microphone or webcam, or use footage of someone else... it's really not that hard with the available software that's out there). It's so darn easy to fake this kind of thing.

If someone is putting themself forward as being whatever then I would accept them as what they put themselves forward as on that avi. If their avi is male I treat them as male, if their avi is female i treat them as female...

I don't worry about what they are RL because that doesn't really matter to me. We aren't functioning within RL, we are functioning in SL so that's really what's key.

If a girl makes a male avi, then yeah I'm gonna call him a dude and refer to him with male pronouns. I don't care what or who he is RL, ultimately. Same goes for girls...

But... yeah. I hope that people who are playing these opposite gendered roles can actually pull them off. There's nothing weirder than seeing guys get girls all wrong and vice versa. You have to make an effort to have a good appearance and to act the right way if it's not natural for you.

One thing worth mentioning is SL enables a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't be able to do certain things. One example would be those with physical disabilities, who cannot normally move around freely without assistance, but in SL they can run or walk with the freedom of functioning legs.

Well, in SL people get an opportunity to explore what being another gender is like. Personally, I have no interest in it, but it may be very fulfilling for the transgendered community--for those curious as to whether they actually want to transition, and for those who would like to be the opposite gender but either cannot afford an operation, fear the social stigma, or have other commitments in life preventing them from doing so.

in RL I always treat trans people as the gender they represent themselves as or believe they really are. SL is no different, and helps to enable such people or at give them a taste of what it's like.

If you're keeping your relationship within SL then I don't think it ultimately matters what or who someone is. You shouldn't ever expect to really be able to rely on who someone puts themselves forth to be--not because we shoudn't trust anyone, but simply because it's so easy to lie and often times I think people do it more out of fear (that you would stop communicating or liking them) rather than intentional deception with malicious intent.

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What if one does not play the opposite sex but is not the same as in RL either? Take me for instance, I am male in both worlds except for this one thingy that  makes people usually say 'Hey dude!' (and no it is not a beard). Don't have it in world (just as this beard).  Suppose there is no lust involved, no need of that thingy so to say, and I'll not mention* it ever, does this make me half a liar just as it makes me half a man? 

 

*This is hypothetical since I run around with a tag most of the time telling about this thingy I don't have! :smileyvery-happy:

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Makyinzie wrote:

I see no issue with people playing an avi of the opposite sex. How is that any different from people playing lycans, vamps, furries, fairies, elves, ect? It's not.

 

Well actually it is, there is absolutely no chance of meeting someone in SL who is a RL lycan, vamp. furry, fairy or elf, since we know such things are make believe there is no deception, this is not true when someone uses an avatar of the opposite sex to their RL gender

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Kyoka,

I think that it is OK for people who like RP to be a different gender on SL. And, yes, SL is a good way for people to experience what, for some reason, the cannot experience in RL (mobility limitations, gender identity issues, etc;). Where I draw the line is people who enter an intimate relationship while deceiving the other person. It is one thing to be a different gender while engaging in activities where gender doesn't matter (most activities), but quite another to have sex while deceiving the other person about your gender. That applies to men who pretend to be female and have sex with another male (who thinks it is sex with a female) or men who have lesbian sex with a woman who thinks that she is with another woman.

I know that on SL is would be difficult to verify gender. The forum I mentioned was small, so to gain access to a female only (or male only) section each person would have to fax a driver's license or prove some other way (eg. voter registration). Still possible to fake but it takes work. 

So on SL it is more a matter of personal honesty.

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Skylar Meridoc wrote:

I know theres some people playing the opposite sex in SL. But does it normally matter to most people if they are playing the same sex as they are in RL?

I mean, i could imagine dating someone of the opposite sex in SL even if they are same sex in SL... as long as they play their "Role" right.

I normally keep SL and RL seperate, so shouldn't be a problem, right?

Hi Skylar. No, I don't think it matters one bit who or what or where someone is in RL. In fact, I don't necessarily even want to know about other peoples' RL. All that matters is what's in their heart, how they come across in SL. I'm female in RL and in SL. I can't imagine being male so I don't play at being male in SL and doubt I'd do a very good job of it. My housemate, on the other hand, is female in RL but has a male avatar. So to each his or her own.

My SL boyfriend has a female alt. Sometimes I wonder if he isn't female in RL and his male avatar is the alt. If I found out this is really the case, I wouldn't care. One of our best friends in SL is a 7 foot tall gorgeous female Neko. My boyfriend was once speculating about her RL gender & I asked him to stop it. As far as I'm concerned she really is what she portrays herself as being.

I don't care about a person's race or age or geographic location, either. This one guy I date sometimes was gone from SL for awhile & when he got back he told me that he'd been away for the birth of his grandchild. This kinda shocked me, as I'm in my 20s and assumed he was too. Learning that he's old enough to be my dad surprised me but then when I thot about it, I realized that it didn't really matter. So long as we liked one another & had fun together, what difference did it make how old he is in RL?

Once I had a lesbian come on to me in SL. I'm straight but maybe bi- curious so I went along with it, but I was nervous & uncomfortable about the whole thing & probably didn't do a very good job with the sexual RP. She never contacted me again, anyway. Would I have been more comfortable if she had been a guy in RL? I don't know but maybe so, which is an interesting thing to think about. Why would it have made any difference? Why might I have been more comfortable playing lesbian sex if I knew the girl was really a guy in RL? The miracle of SL is that it allows such questions to be explored. Things come up in SL that never could in RL and this gives us opportunities to explore aspects of personality & relationship that never would have occurred to us otherwise.

Jeanne

 

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It is obvious that to some RL gender doesn't matter. To others, it matters much. There are two conclusions I would make:

1) If you are entering a relationship or just a single intimate act and the other party wants to know your RL gender, you should be honest. If, for some reason you can't or don't want to state your RL gender, say so or break off the relationship.

2) Keep in mind that some people won't be honest. So if RL gender really matters to you, understand that some people are dishonest and SL has no way of verifying gender. So, if it matters, don't have SL sex.

The same applies elsewhere. In the pre-internet days (not that long ago) people were on such bulletin boards as Compuserve and others. "Cyber-sex" was common. It was also common for people to pretend to be the opposite gender. Some men got their jollies by pretending to be women and having "Cyber-sex" with other, unsuspecting men. Others liked to pretend they were women and discuss "female matters" with women.

Yes, some small forums (pre-internet and internet based) can verify, with some but not absolute confidence, your gender or other things. For example, for many years I was active on a forum about the law in a certain state. I am an attorney. Anyone could participate, it was anonymous, but only attorneys who had given the forum administrator their bar number would be identified as attorneys and could have access to certain areas.

But SL and most other things on the internet are too big to verify member attributes. So be careful.

 

 

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Kyoka, you bring up a really good point about transgender people. I can imagine it may be difficult for them to disclose their biological especially because they view themselves as the opposite.  There is a difference between those who want to be an avatar of the opposite sex for genuine reasons than someone who wants to purposefully and even maliciously deceive people. I think most transgenders and those who are simply an honestly curious about navigating through the world as the opposite sex don't really mean any harm. I DO believe they should be honest .

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If people are going to have random pixel sex, then yes there's always the chance people are going to lie about gender.

Some people do voice. Yes, it's true they can have a friend get on mic or cam, but in most scenarios if they're lying about their gender they'll simply flat out refuse to get on mic or cam. When people are voice verified, it does lesson the odds some (although it doesn't necessarily eliminate deception). If you plan on carrying on with a prolonged conversation over voice/cam, then it's going to be difficult for them to have a friend as a stand in for the duration (unless they're Cyrano De Bergerac lol).

Most people who treat SL as 'SL only' and go around having random encounters with strangers should reconcile that some of the avatars they meet will be the same sex.

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Susan Kenin wrote:

Kyoka,

I think that it is OK for people who like RP to be a different gender on SL. And, yes, SL is a good way for people to experience what, for some reason, the cannot experience in RL (mobility limitations, gender identity issues, etc;). Where I draw the line is people who enter an intimate relationship while deceiving the other person. It is one thing to be a different gender while engaging in activities where gender doesn't matter (most activities), but quite another to have sex while deceiving the other person about your gender. That applies to men who pretend to be female and have sex with another male (who thinks it is sex with a female) or men who have lesbian sex with a woman who thinks that she is with another woman.

I know that on SL is would be difficult to verify gender
. The forum I mentioned was small, so to gain access to a female only (or male only) section each person would have to fax a driver's license or prove some other way (eg. voter registration). Still possible to fake but it takes work. 

So on SL it is more a matter of personal honesty.

It's not difficult. It's impossible without the person being verified volunteering "proof" - which can, as others have pointed out, be manufactured.

This is supposed to be a fantasy platform. "Your world, your imagination", etc. Those are the makers' words.

My suggestion is, if things such as gender, age, degree of attractiveness, state of health, etc. are important enough for you to feel there ought to be a means to verify relative claims, sign out of SL and sign up with a dating agency, because making personal honesty fit into a picture which is so heavily biased towards fantasy and imagination, seems to me to be a lost cause right from the start.

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