February 16th, 2006

Last night I went out on a Second Life mission. I’m doing some extended dabbling in the world of virtual cross-dressing, and one of the things I’m interested in is how gender, specifically femininity, is performed in cyber space. In order to research this, I’ve decided to have sex.

More specifically, I’ve decided to engage in lesbian relations between my avatar and VR women who are RL men, and record the transcripts in order to look at different manners of speech in reference to the sexual act. Getting accurate information about who’s who is obviously difficult. Just as difficult, so it seems, as finding willing partners.

I admit, I have never been a man – not in real life, not in virtual life. And I don’t mean to make any claim that, as a woman, I’m drop-dead gorgeous in either. But I’m not used to having to solicite. Hanging out in SL for fifteen minutes or so will usually land me a handful of sexy offers; give me an hour, and you can throw in some rejected presents as well. Maybe it’s because I’m not looking for love. Maybe I seem innocent.

Last night, on the other hand, as I was roaming clubs and trying to tell women just how hot they looked in those halter tops, I realized how hard it is to be a heterosexual male on the prowl. Heck, I acquired straight-up bastard vision. First, I would see a beautiful girl. I’d make my move, and she’d reject me. Then I’d see a slutty girl, who I didn’t really like, but I thought: She’ll go. But she wouldn’t, because, it would turn out, she was an escort. Then I’d see some noob, looking kind of frumpy and lonely in the corner, and I’d turn my attention on her, because she needed to someone to, ahem, show her the ropes.

Which, by the way, is exactly what happened to me two seconds after I joined SL, and I thought it was sleazy as hell.

Problem was, the noob I was trying to put the moves on (I am such an awkward lesbian!) turned out to be a programmer and an overall cool gal. I felt like I was trying to go to bed with my sister. Jesus. At which point I signed off, decided to stop slandering my good name, and created a slut-tastic alt. Hopefully I’ll be more successful in the future.

In the meantime, men, lesbians, and anyone who’s actually had to use pick-up lines on women instead of just cracking jokes about them (Okay, my personal favorite: “That dress looks pretty becoming on you. If I were on you, I’d be coming too.”), you have my sincerest sympathy.

Tags: Blog

16 Responses to “I Pity You All”

  1. Carl Says:

    Best line ever:

    Conan O’Brian – That’s a nice dress.
    Amy Sedaris – Thanks, it looks better on the floor.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    Leave it to Amy Sedaris…

  3. Patrick Dugan Says:

    Thanks for the sympathy Bonnie. I’ll tell you, get a little bourbon in me a party with a lot of chicks and I’ll turn into a bastard. One time I was actually asked to leave because some girls complained. Maybe I’ve said too much, but you get the idea.

  4. Kelly Rued Says:

    Are you going to RP cyber just with chat or did you buy SL genitals/sex poses and stuff? I’m Lotte Twilight in there and am designing a new sex club and sexual health clinic over where our BLI virtual offices are in Bombyx. I bought the full set of Excite brand girl av parts (hair, lips, ass, clit, nipples, voice, the thingy that lets your bits talk to other player’s Excite bits…) and really have hardly used them yet (it’s really awkward to switch between text ARP and the mouse to activate your bits). I keep meaning to go clubbing and try to start some orgies or something but I haven’t had the motivation. I think part of it is that all the SL male avs are too beefy for my taste. I like guys in the Conor Oberst man-boy style… instead of focusing on guys presenting as women ask why all the guys present as ripped broad-shouldered barrel-chested men, lol. Maybe I should set up a male av account and make a hot emo boy to try gender-bending myself (I’m curious how hard it is hitting on girls now). ;p

    I also have a new panda avatar to try out in SL (with the Excite genitals that might be fun- like the Tekken panda gone wild). I’m not a furry but I do present cross-species I guess.

  5. Craig Huber Says:

    Analysis from the Clinical Geek Outsider perspective:

    The entire “pick up” routine is so inefficient to begin with, it’s shocking we as a species still find ways to reproduce now that it seems to have become the primary method of locating and identifying potential mates (still 10 steps up from arranged marriages, admittedly, but…).

    The purpose seems to be to draw the “pick-up-ee’s” attention to the “pick-up-er”, with the intent of gauging interest. This is necessarily an intrusion of the “pick-up-ees” attention and privacy, putting them in a less-than-receptive mood if the exact appropriate moment is not chosen.

    The phrase used is intended to be flattering, even ribald, yet humorous… a mental challenge even when the audience is well-known and understood: picking the correct phrase to constructively engage the interest of a complete stranger is more analogous to playing the lottery. In addition, the usual attendant state of inebriation which seems to accompany the ritual (IRL) would hardly seem to have a salutary effect on the “pick-up-er’s” judgement or creativity in this regard.

    The aforementioned inebriation does seem to aid the overall process, nonetheless. It seems to be required primarily to dull the edges of the inevitable ego-crushing lack of success the “pick-up-ers” encounter with astounding regularity. Obviously, the more fragile the ego initially, the more alcohol required to achieve the required state of “devil-may-care” immunity to disappointment. This round-about selection mechanism does seem to help “pick-up-ees” gauge potential mates nearly instantaneously on some level, so there may well be a method to the madness….

    -=-

    Heh, I can’t keep it up. Outside looking in, the entire process can make for some serious humor… from whence comes the romantic comedy, I guess.

  6. Bonnie Says:

    No worries, Patrick, we’re all bastards when drunk. It’s just that when girls are that kind of bastards, people call it being sexy :-).

    Kelly, I totally agree with you about the beefy guys in SL (and about the uselessness of excite parts; my alt’s self-proclaimed sugar daddy bought me a set today, and it makes me giggle every time I try to use them). Where are the thin, effeminate, eye-liner guys? Of course, research is research, but that’s who I’d go for (Pst, Scott, you’re hot.). Oh, and let me know how the panda goes!

    Craig, it is funny. Funny, funny, funny. So are a lot of things we do though. And still we try :-).

  7. Happy Says:

    Ta for the sympathy and pity, Bonster. But, of course, there is no need. We get all the best jobs already, with no foreseeable likelihood of major change in that department. Unless that department is HR, of course. Bless…

    As for you finding it difficult to win over the fairer sex? Lack of practise, I assume: it’s ridiculously easy once you get the hang of it. Especially these days: I valourise the media, music and fashion industries for engendering today’s cult of female sexuality and alcohol abuse. Quasimodo could get laid if he had a nice car and was wearing a few labels.

    And as a fallback, since we’re so much better paid due to not having to pop off and raise kids for a decade, we can always purchase sex for a ridiculously low price.

  8. Brummbar Says:

    Quasimodo could get laid if he had a nice car and was wearing a few labels.

    Or was in a rock band – perhaps “Hunchback” with umlaut over the “u” and “a.”

  9. Happy Says:

    HünchbäcK – love it. I just had to type it out to see how it looked, and frankly I think it’s cracking.

  10. Brummbar Says:

    I can’t wait for their goth-metal cover of Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell.”

  11. Bonnie Says:

    “Ta for the sympathy and pity, Bonster”
    Creepy, that’s what my family calls me. Nothing to add; just creepy…

    “As for you finding it difficult to win over the fairer sex? Lack of practise, I assume: it's ridiculously easy once you get the hang of it.”
    Fine, call us easy, just pass on your mad knowledge while you do it. Give me a line that says, “I’m a fun, 20-something female looking for a good time” instead of “I’m probably just an incredibly awkward teenage male pretending to be a girl to get some ass.” Because, honestly, even I wouldn’t believe me.

  12. Happy Says:

    Give me a line that says, "I'm a fun, 20-something female looking for a good time"

    I have no idea. I don’t even use “lines” in real life. I suspect that I’m not attractive enough. Any mad knowledge – and I think anyone can do it – is limited to “stand around with friends looking popular, dress well, display old-fashioned manners, be sober enough to be witty and smart, never appear overly keen but always phone the next day if you say you will.” None of which is directly applicable to your quandary.

    And you pretty much mention, yourself, how to get interest in virtual worlds: wander about being witty, funny and intriguingly aloof. Am occasional. well-judged touch of innuendo, but nothing too blatant, frquent or overly direct.

    Have you though of an otherwise non-threatening alt recommending the toon you wish to experiment with as particularly decadent and inventive? I’ve found that friends of RL girlfriends – no matter how close they claim to be – get quite shockingly interested after good reviews as a talented, jaded libertine.

  13. Happy Says:

    I should also apologise: my original, blatantly trollish comment was entirely ungracious, and your polite response has left me suitably abashed.

  14. Bonnie Says:

    Happy, no worries about potential trollish-ness. Nothing that goes on around here is so serious that it can’t be taken, or meant, in good humor. Plus, you won me over by typing out Hunchback, umlauts and all :-).

    Also, thanks for the alt recommendation suggestion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help tease out who’s who (male or female behind the computer screen), which is where I’m having my biggest trouble these days. Alas, the sex life of a toon is never easy…

  15. Happy Says:

    Ah, I had misunderstood. I didn’t realise the task was to find out if the other party was the gender they suggested.

    It’s years, to be honest, since I indulged in the sort of online discussion where the gender of the other person mattered, but I always found that gradually dropping a series of clothes-related questions into the conversation did the trick. Men seem to be *obsessed* with vital statistics, and intense study of the sort of magazine that displays them prominently alongside unadorned examples of the form give us a pretty good handle on the relevant datum-points. But they are only occasionally able to realistically link those to a dress size; at least the plurality don’t know about the two components of bra size and get it hilariously wrong; virtually none have any conception of shoe sizing. Etc…

    I wonder if the acquisition of such knowledge requires sufficient interaction with the opposite sex that it excludes the average-horny-teenager demographic: you have to be pretty confident before you get shoes made for your girlfriend, for instance. Doesn’t help with the well-informed transvestite, the well-practised and -informed role-player or the like, of course, but I very much doubt if anything short of a telephone interview will help there…

  16. Bonnie Says:

    Happy, that’s brilliant. I mean, I’m not sure how I’ll work it into casual conversation (“Hey, btw, what’s u’r shoe size?”), but you’re totally right. Even my fiance, who, after almost six years, should know at least my bra size, has no clue. Absolutely brilliant.

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