25 October 2008

RL and SL: Escapism or Extension?

In some ways, Second Life is a simple form of escapism, a way to explore one's more adventurous or dark corners - at least that's the more accepted psychology behind it. I suspect at times that, instead of escapism, SL actually commands one to be oneself - only to the nth degree, as if the virtual world lends license to make oneself into a caricature of oneself. A 3-D parody, if you will.

I would be hesitant to completely dismiss the 'escapism' theory, but I would put forward that escapism blends too easily with rationalization.

I have a good mate on SL called Beth who, in real life ("RL"), is seeing a married bloke and has been seeing him for several years. The two of them share anniversaries and money, like a real couple, only without the 'real' or the 'couple' bits. In RL, her man often begs off seeing her, as he has a real family to attend to. As in any relationship borne out of deception, there are trust issues galore. Is he seeing someone else? Will he find someone new? Is he telling the truth? As a veteran of that kind of arrangement, I know you can't get past trust issues. If the foundation of a relationship is a betrayal, then one can hardly hope for anything not tainted by some sort of distortion.

Beth and her man are on SL as well. They owned a club for a while, even (his idea, her money - which seems to be a trend). I visited there once at the behest of another girl, Candy, who was a dancer there. Beth's man, who was also present, almost immediately instant-messaged me, hoping he and I could spend some, ahem, quality time together.

Months later, Beth and I had a cup of virtual coffee and she told me she was concerned about her man seeing someone else behind her back. I was sympathetic, as she was quite upset, but I really just wanted to shake her and say, 'what do you expect, really?' Beth is a sweet girl and a kind soul, but somewhere along the way, she found it acceptable to be The Other Woman. Her bid to the The Main Woman in SL doesn't seem to have been too successful. Anyway, she asked for my help, and I suggested I simply talk to her man and see if he makes a move, and then take pictures of whatever followed. She didn't go for that - she didn't want to anger him. I think, rather, she didn't want it proven that she's dating a jerk. No girl does, really, certainly if such a revelation would involve witnesses.

Beth wanted me to chat up this mysterious other woman, and I agreed. I went to her island, or sim, but never saw her apart from a guy who Beth suspected was an alternative avatar of her man. Bit complicated, eh? So I haven't talked to the woman - and am unsure if I will. The cuts in RL have bled into SL, and there's little relief I could offer.

And then I look at me. How much is my SL persona just a continuation, or cartoon, of my real self? And how do I like being my own parody?

22 October 2008

So I Had This Black Bloke Once

So I had this black bloke once. I thought it would be a bit of a giggle; something outside the box, so to speak; a new perspective; an adventure. I certainly didn't think we would wind up crooning 'Ebony and Ivory' at the Lost Gardens of Apollo, but I thought it would be an interesting experiment nonetheless.

Instead, sex with him was like being trapped in a 1970s blaxploitation film. Seriously, I have not been called a bitch, whore and slut with such frequency since high school (and then only by my fellow bitter girlfriends). I gave up the idea of rubbing one out and instead just watched in amazement as his hyperbole drove past Dirty and detoured to Vile. My favourite, or least favourite, comment was "I gonna make you preg cum bank." Hello. Well, I'll give this to my nubian prince; I've never quite heard that line before. In addition to the fairly ugly idea of being a human sperm bank, I have yet to view possible pregnancy as a turn-on.

Generally, even if I am not into a bloke, which is surprisingly often, I do encourage him to finish, as it were. However, with the inticement of becoming in the 'family way', I just could not resist the urge to coo in response, 'so you're going to pay for it?'


'the abortion'


'or would you rather just knock me up and then leave me to raise our little mulatto wonder on my own?'


Etc. Now, I'm a decent fan of SL sex, to be honest. It's rather like creating your own pornographic film, with a decent balance of objectifying and cooperation. And, like creating a pornographic film, I take care to view it as a job - meaning, I never risk emotional connection. But I've not been a fan of stereotypes. And have yet to be in a situation, SL or RL, that I will tolerate it.


21 October 2008

Wonder Bitch

Like most games with an immersion element, starting out in Second Life is like an additional childhood. As a newbie, everything is unknown. Rules, etiquette, parameters, boundaries. The possibilities are indeed infinite and I recall having a true sense of wonder in my first few days wandering about. And then one meets a few experienced people. In virtual worlds - be it World of Warcraft, Diablo, or Second Life - experience equates to some sort of ranking process. In other words, the more experience, the higher one deems oneself to be important. Those just starting out aren't viewed as even proper people yet. Hence the term 'newbie', which, despite its cute sound as it rolls off the tongue, sounds fairly insulting. Awfully close to 'kewpie doll' or even the more vulgar 'booby' - which, when compared to 'breast', sounds like a cartoon.

And, just like real life, I discovered that supressing wonder in favour of attitude was the only way to survive in Second Life. It was not my plan to be a bitch; it was just my plan to not be harrassed or insulted. Nowadays, I can hurl myself into any social situation. The upside is I just don't care what others say; the downside is, I don't often have a feeling of wonder.

As I improved my avatar - new hair, new clothes, new skin - so did attention from men (and some women) seem to spike. I discovered that male attention was directly related to my boob size: the bigger the boobs on my chest, the bigger the boobs in my Instant Messenger. I shrunk my chest down to a B-cup (though some girlfriends of mine insist, in a fairly critical tone, I have a C-cup) and found the male attention tolerable.

On that subject, men are pretty much idiots. I have heard the same questions so many times in my year and a half in Second Life that, in my profile online, I created a FAQ For Dummies designed to save time.

Q. How r u?

A. Learn to spell.

Q. How are you?

A. I'm fine.

Q. Where are you from?

A. My parents got it on, and presto.

Q. How old are you?

A. 105.

Etc. I'm not sure why men insist on asking the same six questions - but then that's not true, either. They ask the same six questions because those are the only ones they can answer themselves. And usually that's the case, where I'm asked where I'm from, I respond, and then they respond to their own question.

Tool: Where are you from?

Me: England.

Tool: I'm from Argentina.

Me: You don't say.

The men whose company I have enjoyed usually kick off with a statement or observation - and not necessarily about me ("nice boots", as a starter, is fine, as it will warrant a "thank you" and a mental note that I've been observed, but little else). The end result is, of course, that I'm a bit of a bitch. Poor blokes can't help it if they're socially retarded - and I do feel bad spurning. But I'm not a special needs tutor, either. So fuck all that.

Madelyn Writer 101

Here's things you need to know first.

I am a woman. 26 (at present). My first name is Madelyn. My last name is not Writer. My hair is boring (see picture for accurate representation). Relatively good looking. Relatively troubled. Single. I am at constant war over whether or not to get a tattoo. And I'm British.

This blog is about my adventures in the virtual world, Second Life. Second Life is a virtual world (http://www.secondlife.com/) which is as immersive as one can easily attain at this point. In this virtual world, you can go just about anywhere and do just about anything. This blog will cover the anywheres and anythings in detail.

Chances are I will - if I can figure it out - disable all comments on the blog proper. I want to be very frank and honest here, and chances are I would start to curtail such honesty if I was aware of any kind of fanbase or following or whatever. I will say you can reach me personally at madelynwriter@yahoo.com should you read along and feel you have come to know me or something.

So here goes.