SL Nudist, or not – “Transgressive Nudity” / Exhibitionism, and re-partaking in ‘Adult Content’ in SL

Been a while since I blogged. A LOT of things have happened for me in both RL and SL. Generally good stuff, but I’ve been busy.

This is going to be a bit ‘all over the place’…

I read an article recently about how Halloween is the one time of the year when we can escape ‘slut shaming’ and just have fun. When you can walk down the street in a sexy nurse getup, and then go back to normal in the morning. I think SL can also do that for some of us some of the time. You can express things here and it’s a ‘different space’ with different rules. Not always; I was recently admonished by a group and kicked out of another as a result of the changes in my SL nature I’m about to explore below. But much of what we do explore in SL is in that ‘different space’.

So this is kind of musing on that and SL and my recent changes in SL. All I will say about RL is that even more dramatic changes have occurred for me there. They were crazy, but resolved very well.

I find myself at odds with all of the ‘Naturist’ / ‘Nudist’ crowd both inside and outside of Second Life.

I am ‘not’ a ‘real life’ nudist. Never been to one of their events or places and everything I’ve read about them and discussed with them tells me I would not enjoy my experience there.

But why. When the idea of ‘running around without a stitch on’ fascinates?

For me the nudity is highly sensual. I find the human body erotic. I strongly believe this puts me on the ‘right side of biology’. ‘Naturists’ spend an amazing amount of time talking about how un-sexual the sex organs are to them… which just baffles me every time they go down that route. I suspect our ancient ancestors before humanity had clothing spent a lot of their days “bouncing on the pole”, closer to Bonobos in conduct than Chimpanzees.

Yes there are plenty of nude societies around that world that do NOT spend all their time stuck in an orgy. An assortment of rituals, taboos, and gender divides end up serving the purpose that clothing serves for the ‘modern world’. I could be right or wrong about this. It’s just how I feel about it…

And that could easily say more about me than anyone or anything else.

Some of my own Amazonian ‘kin’ from lower down the mountain than my own people, live their whole lives in the nude down there by the river. And some of their societies have extreme taboos about going anywhere near a person of the opposite sex. Yes you can google, even google the exact name of my ethnic group, and find ‘online porn’ with ‘Indian Looking people’ playing or touching each other intimately. Maybe real, maybe not. I’ve certainly been trolled before by a racist posting a picture of someone who looked a lot like a cousin of mine, brutally murdered in the Amazon… As an excuse, the person stated it was an image from a movie… But the message was still there. Kind of like putting a noose on a black man’s mailbox and then saying “but it’s just a Halloween prop” – your message is still pretty starkly there. But the point is… there’s a LOT of stuff out there that is ‘fake Indian culture’ made as entertainment for whites. Hollywood had a whole genre of movies for this in the 1950s…

But I’m related to those folks in the Amazon by blood but not by culture. I’m an “Amazon Indian” born in a city of 9 million, who’s Amazon relatives live in a city that was put under Spanish rule almost a 100 years before the first ‘white man’ ever stepped foot in New England (it fascinates me how US-Americans talks about landing at Plymouth Rock into an untouched wilderness, and getting served corn – which was a trade good those ‘Injuns’ got from the Spanish that had been sitting in Mexico City for 100 years already).

But I am no less Amazonian than a Scottsman who isn’t running around in a kilt with William Wallace fighting the English with a sword and funky pipe music is no less Scottish. Well, maybe a person who is a quarter Scottish… We don’t all lose who we are the moment we stop being somebody’s stereotype.

So um… sidetrack aside (this whole article is a sidetrack of itself)… those Amazonians I do know of that live in the nude – have some major taboos. Often a village might be split into a male and female side, and you just don’t cross the line except with your own family. Clothing might very well be the first line in letting men and women socialize without resorting to an orgy.

Whether or not nudity and even social nudity is erotic in an of itself… it is for me.

I believes that puts me in the camp of not a ‘nudist’ but more like an ‘exhibitionist’. Another terms I’ve been tossing around in my head for this is ‘transgressive nudity‘. Something you will see in erotic fiction a lot: a character is nude in a setting they should not be, and this becomes the ‘focus’ of the eroticism for that work of fiction. The ‘transgression’, violating the social taboo.

Nudist say be yourself, be accepting. So I state myself, and they get mad as all heck. Because they’re whole thing is about denying the very thing I find self-evident. When I was younger this is a little like why I decided against Buddhism. I was fine with all the mindfulness and meditation, but I don’t think existence is suffering. The divine put us here to learn and enjoy and each other; to live in love.

I’m finding in SL that I like being ‘THE’ nude person in a crowd, and then imagining people are perving on my avatar. On the other hand if some bloke starts IMing me and making me aware that he actually is doing that, I get annoyed and even often block such folks… I could never do this in real life for an assortment of reasons, but in SL, it’s a bit of the ‘attraction’ for me now… to be in that situation.

You know what… just because I’m not white, just because I’m brainy, just because I’m intellectual and hyper political, just because I’m a person of faith… Just because all of that, doesn’t mean I can’t also have some weird kinks in my personality… and one of them is that I get turned on by watching my little cartoon avatar run around naked where she’s not exactly supposed to be naked, but can still manage to get away with it.

I get to be an individual too, not a label, and this is my individuality.

This is all kind of funny given how I spent just over half of my years in SL living a nearly completely ‘G rated’ existence, and seeming to be perfectly comfortable doing that. I’ve yet to figure out why this split is going on for me – how I’ve flipped sides of a coin.

But I’ve gone a step further than that of late.

 

Recently I began putting up explicit art of my avatar. And that was a very scary move, but also a very thrilling one. I sat on those works for months daring myself to post them and not doing it… telling myself to forget it and then constantly going back to ‘hovering over the submit button’. During this I even categorized all my art on flickr in my head, and started up a plan to delete ALL of the nude work. To basically tell myself: you go forward, or you go backward, but you don’t sit on this line where it’s driving you up the wall. I actually started putting this art into SL months back… if you’d been around my land you would have had a good chance of running into it. But putting onto flickr or here or somewhere felt like a ‘bigger action’.

 

Back when I first went ‘G rated’ I had a similar moment. I deleted a huge amount of ‘sensual and erotic’ outfits and furniture. Straight out tossed them into the trash. Can’t really sit on the middle of the fence…

When I went to being nude in SL, I started with just a ‘here or there’ and kept up with a lot of clothed outfits. But over time I’ve ended up getting rid of almost all of my clothed outfits (everything that was transfer went to an unused alt, the rest I just moved to an ‘OLD’ folder and deleted all the outfit configurations I had… with plans to rebox it but it’s a LOT of stuff…).

I do keep a small selection of clothed configurations: string mini-bikinis for G-rated land and then a very covered up full outfit for when I feel I need to be respectful of something that has blended in from RL (like if somebody starts talking about a RL personal tragedy, my desire to engage in my ‘sensual kink’ vanishes and I put on that outfit)… or if somebody on my block list is around and I feel ‘on the defensive’ and ‘foul of mood’ (one person on my block list has recently started going to one of my regular hangouts – otherwise most of the people on there are folks long ago banned from SL, or in circles I have moved so far apart from now I never encounter them).

So… rambling here… But other than that small selection I’m basically always nude in SL now. And I find it most exciting when I’m somewhere where the rules don’t ban it, but it is just a little to this side of ‘improper’. Or if everyone else is clothed, I’m nude – and somehow this is normal.

When I’ve gone to places like the ‘Naked’ sims… I feel kind of ‘dull’… in part I very much feel I do NOT fit in with the people I meet there (in most nudist hangouts, the people are not at all friendly – and this seems to happen to me regardless of my avatar choice. I’ve done my old ‘bring the white girl alt’ test to see if it is racism… and that avatar also gets a cold shoulder). I see them be friendly to other people, but not me. Somehow the fact that my “thing” and their “thing” are oil and water is apparent. We might both be liquid… we’re both nude. But it’s different.

I do notice how there is a sizeable segment in those places that seems to intentionally use ugly avatars… pre-mesh, hairy, out of shape, or whatever. So I kinda have to believe that for them the nudity might not be sensual. But that just makes them all the more confusing to me. I’ve even had this as a similar argument with RL nudists. Got into it some years back with one when I simply noted that the vast majority of people in RL are sexually attractive. Something I find true. That set them off like I’d come to a police squadron in a BLM t-shirt; I think I’m being completely rational and good intentioned, and the other party has a freak out on terms that baffle me.

On the other hand, oddly enough a LOT of these people on the nudist sims that tell me nudity is not about sexuality spend their time in ‘adult’ hottubs using the sex poseballs… So um… OK.
(Specific people who have ranted at me over this issue, have also sent me sex-furniture in SL…)

– And while I like the sensual and the erotic, that kind of scene also ‘rubs me wrong’. I seek the thrill of something, but the idea of making it a group communal thing just causes it to be a turnoff to me.

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(Animation of me dancing)

If I wanted to engage in a whole lot of ‘free sexxors in SL’… I’d put on a slightly ugly avatar, go to a nudist sim, and rant about how sex is evil and the body is not sexual and then everyone would invite me to the orgy… Or so it seems when I go to these places… that is what they do. But the whole experience would be a turn off to me.

SL Orgies just ‘rub me the wrong way’. Can’t say why, just not my thing.

But as I noted, I’ve been putting up explicit art from SL lately. And well, to get that art, you gotta make that art, and to make that art, you gotta do things.

So I’ve been doing things. In SL. That I’d stopped doing around 2010 or 2011 somewhere (bit shaky on when that was).

I’m finding it kind of fun. It’s not the wild crazy conduct of my early SL days, but it looks a lot more wild because I know how to make it look that way now, more so than I used to. And well, these mesh avatars have a lot better details to them than the old ‘SL mesh’ does:

A rare 2009 moment. I had clothes on.

 

I’m still feeling a little selective and particular in all of this. I’ve yet to do what I used to: hit some random adult place and jump on a random poseball. Not sure if I will return to that kind of wild or not. It has a certain thrill to it, but it’s also a purely visual entertainment. The problem is most of the guys in places like that don’t have a look I find appealing. My newest explanatory ‘profile pick’:

SL Sex – let’s play if we play right together
Back into SL-Sex now, but still find it silly. Yet I am super-shy about starting things & I have my limits

I love watching SL avatars have sex, it’s a big turn on. I love public sex & crave to find an audience. I want to be watched

You’ve gotta look appealing to me. I like a pretty-boy or toned build, No super-muscle types. Gotta have good proportions. No tiny hands/arms or heads. I like Black or Asian looks or fantasy/alien tones. Your cock needs to be normal – not tiny or super sized

But this stuff is also mental, erotica & not just porn. I’m not yet ‘fluent’ in SL-roleplay, so help me out. ๐Ÿ™‚

You’re going to have to be engaging, with intelligent dialog outside of sex. You’re going to have to talk about something other than what you think of me & my avatar

I will not do anything related to D/s, Gor, BDSM, RLV, sexual violence, or disempowerment

While I prefer F/F, it always seems to have ‘hangups / strings’ in SL, so M/F but no Herm / mixed-sex AVs & no blondes

Sorry blondes, that stuff just squicks me. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s a work in progress. I tend to write it in moments of being ‘on’ and then read it in moments of being ‘off’ and think to myself… ‘what the heck are you doing writing that?’

And there some moments of pause in all of this. I’ve already had someone I had to rebuff a half dozen times last year when I was just nude but still not into a ‘scene’, approach me again. With my art ‘out there’ it’s only a matter of time till people start making new judgements about me, for good or bad.

But… I’m on my path.

I’m not really sure who or what I’m seeking in this. I suppose I will either take a bolder step into some venue soon, or back away. The art’s out there now though – so I guess I can’t back all the way away without abandoning the avatar.

And that’s a big part of why it took me so long to come back to this cycle of things, and then to ‘out myself’ about it. This isn’t really always Halloween. There is slut-shaming in SL. And I do wonder if a few people I’ve known over the years in SL are rethinking knowing me as a result of ‘recent dramatic changes’ as well as some who are now focusing on me in ways I might not exactly like.

As I noted, I am still a deeply spiritual person. Let me just share my other new ‘Profile Pick’ with you:

Politricks and Faith
Despite my nudity and graphic content, I am still a person of faith, and still a leftist.

I am generally aligned with Rasta, though I explore sensuality in ways contrary to Rasta. As a rasta, I know the purpose of a pastor or priest is to lie to people and steal their spirituality for his own ends. I know that we must each come to faith on our own, with the help of peers, but without false leadership. Religion may be the opiate of the masses, but faith sets you free.

As a leftist I know equal rights and justice must be struggled for, and achieved, by any means necessary. Downpression is wrong, and I must chant down those who try to Put I down. I know that denial of Identity-politics is just code for forcing majority-identity and excluding others. And as a leftist, I exist for the struggle. Justice before Peace.

Religious people can be judgemental. And that includes ‘devout Atheists’ – which I find to be a rather extremist religion of it’s bent, bent on acquiring converts and centered on a ‘faith’ that there is no ‘faith.

But most religions are anti-sensual, and here I am blending the two – while coming from a faith, Rasta, known for being non-sensual. I see this as right for me, but I am sure others will not.

I think it’s just my nature to be transgressive, and to fight. I land in that space no matter what I do.

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Stuff and Things – as SL gets kind of solo even as I go to more places…

27414259970_02798ba749_oSo its been a long while since I updated my blog.

The upgrade to Firestorm that brought the much needed Jellies came, and I see lots of flat out stupid people dialing up so they don’t see Jellies and can ignore this rather than trying to reduce their lag

The update to Belleza came, and it was a resounding successful improvement. But I still see merchants not including Belleza when the dev kits for Belleza are available now…

I have more or less adopted a clothes-free SL-lifestyle now. In part I just feel comfortable this way. I don’t get anyone being shy about a cartoon in a video game on their computer screen and its fun to run around like this and imagine if I could really do this. In part its a personal statement against all those people who refuse to sell me things because they’ve yet to support Belleza… ๐Ÿ™‚

And its just fun.

No I am not a nudist in real life so you can stop IMing me that question. I personally think real life nudists are willfully foolish in their insistence that nudity is not sensual. Made all the more obvious by the fact that their sims in SL are full of xxx-poses behind every corner. Even the ones like Eden (where I am not allowed because they don’t allow people that look like me) that ban that in public have it inside so many of the buildings…

Then again I get that they probably do this because of fears of real-life crackdowns if they admitted the truth about the sensuality.


I keep meaning to write three articles here…

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Standing about rather than getting things done…

One:
About how I use Firestorm now that I do use it. I’ve been opposed to TPVs for years so this is new for me but I tend to deep-dive into things I do so I’m already helping others. But there is also a lot I could still learn.

As an aside to help explain why I’m on Firestorm now:

A great quote I don’t remember the source on is ‘have loosely held deep beliefs‘. I think I heard it on the Tim Ferris podcast… This is to say that you should get to know and very strongly advocate the positions you hold – or they are not worth holding. But you should be ready to abandon them in a moment if they should prove flawed or false. Be an advocate, and activist, but have no loyalty. Loyalty is for the ignorant. Principle and ethics are what should guide.

So this article would be both about how I use Firestorm now, and why. With the note that I could drop them in a moment if the winds changed and they were no longer an ideal choice.

The biggest gain for me in Firestorm was the built in AO. Yes this very old feature that the rest of you know about. It cut about 3mbs off my script count because I figured out how to use it to be a my own ‘dance engine’ and not just AO. Hint: put all your dances into the stand category of a ‘second AO’, set that one to cycle as desired, and switch to it when you want to dance. Can’t share dances? Big deal, I can’t stand line dancing anyway. Firestorm’s other features are handy but I could survive losing them. But this one reduced my lag – so it actually helps not just me but also those around me.

Two:
I want to write about how severely Second Life is a ‘white space’ and how alienating this is to me as a person of color. SL is a very unfriendly and uncomfortable place for me a lot of the time. Everything is just too ‘white’. This is an article that would not win me many friends… Because white people are very fragile when it comes to talking about race – they generally cannot handle facing reality exposed. I lost a few friends just with each shift in tone on my avatars skin… So I’m pretty sure if I were honest with them about how racially charged SL is, I’d clean the slate of the ones I have left… Since it is so ‘white space’, so ‘ethnic’ for their ethnicity, they don’t see it – they are in their comfort zone in SL. But to such a degree that it is alienating for the rest of us. Insert token other person of color here pointing out to me how wrong I am because they’re are more white-minded than me even though less white-bodied than me – a person who does not get the difference between individual and systemic.

Actually my favorite example of this – combing both ‘white fragility’ with ‘you are not colored enough’ was a blond haired blue eyed pale as a ghost but not albino woman saying she was African American and so I, as a Mulatto mostly Asian/Indigenous mix had no place speaking from the POV of a person of color… Which she did elsewhere rather than ever approaching me…

Three:
Even this article will get me into ‘trouble’. I need to do a new updated review of Belleza. The new versions of the body are amazingly well done. Belleza is now the lowest lag mesh body option out there, it holds up the best to changes in the shape dials and avatar physics, it looks really nice, and it has a wide list of options in customizing.

I feel merchants under-support it, and over supports significantly inferior bodies like Maitreya. Now remember my idea of ‘loosely help deep beliefs’. My first review of these panned Belleza as bad and at the time I was getting ready to promote Maitreya. But over time I saw Belleza fix every issue it had, put in more improvements, and all while Maitreya’s flaws were fundamental to the design and not fixable without ruing compatibility with all past clothing. Note that Belleza had the same problem (but to a lesser degree)… and this is why ‘Isis’ was put out to replace ‘Venus’…

Maitreya’s problem, in a nutshell, is all in your bosom. It deforms when you get just a little big big or small, and it has horrible avatar physics that leave it unable to look naturally weighty – but instead kind of springy with a ‘boing boing’ jerky bounce if you try to make it have a lot of motion (as it should if you are nude – if you meet me in SL you will see my bosom swaying all over the place. Now go topless and run around and notice your boobs are not going to run in the same direction as you… But on Maitreya, they will just bounce like a yo-yo on drugs). This is not to say Belleza is perfect. I still don’t have the sway of real life. But its the closest to it I’ve been able to get to so far. Only Lena Lush comes close – but that body is very high ‘Avatar Complexity Index’ and doesn’t have many alpha cuts. Mind you now that I am an SL-Nudist Lena Lush and Lena Perky are actually decent choices: They are mod and you can delete the parts that make it high ‘Avatar Complexity Index’ (the applier layers), and if you’re always nude you don’t care about alpha cuts…

So…

Maybe I will write those articles and maybe I won’t. The points they will hope to make are now ‘out there in part’. The arguments I would use to back those points… that would take more writing. Though I fully expect I will end up having to moderate some comments to this blog article in regards to my comment about SLs ethnic biases and Maitreya’s flaws.

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Hey naturists: Tell me again how nudity is not sensual or erotic?

All of that said… Since I am an SL nudist these days, I have been seeking places I could go while nude, and trying to build a ’24/7′ list of places that will let me be as I desire to be.

Right now that list is basically these venues, which includes several spots that are listed as ‘pickup joints’ but which in actual use are just hangout spots.

  • Naked – the only place I have a rental lot. 10 sailing sims. It is started to lessen in activity because it lacks good focal points. There is a popular hangout spot by the landing point but it is all chairs so the people there just sit and be boring. I feel a redesign to get them up and maybe moving or dancing, or at least to mix the seats with spots to stand or dance, would help. I also think removing ALL the furniture from there and moving the landing spot to the south of the sim just across from a clubhouse down there would greatly help the place…
  • ~ Hydra ~
    I go here when I spot enough green dots. Its a trance / euro-something dance place. The info encourages nudity but its rare to see. Though on some days for reasons I don’t know half the crowd will be nude. Curiously I did see them boot a furry out of the joint even though there is no sign anywhere that says no furries allowed… so I do have one DJ there now that I avoid.
  • [SMASH]
    Basically the same kind of music as Hydra. The place also allows nudity though I was told recently that it used to not allow such. I wondered if I was welcome, until a manager took the time to have a conversation with me and be welcoming. After all you can never trust the ‘hello [avatar name]’ that pops up when you teleport into a place… I usually don’t respond to those with any more than a ‘/me waves’ because I am not sure if they’re just scripted messages…Generally I like SMASH, but it moves the event around the sim and 2 or 3 of the spots they use are extremely laggy – as in I drop to 1 to 5fps… even with graphics turned down, and in one of them, if I end up there, I have to ‘force quit’ out of SL and relog in to another sim… But as long as they don’t cycle into those spots the place is enjoyable.
  • BLACK VOLCANO BEACH – I’ve known about this one for a while but generally avoided it because everytime I went they were playing some kind of metal… Recently started sticking it out to find that not all of the DJs are metal. As long as they aren’t playing metal I can sit here and enjoy the place.

Now I’ve just shared 4 places, 3 of which are dance clubs. This is my problem in SL these days… Dance clubs in SL are places to be alone in a crowd.

The 4th place, Naked… is serious ‘white space’. To the point that most of the people there don’t even greet or talk to me when I pop in. So I’ve been lessening how often I go. I have this impression that as the non-white avatar appears, people just shift to IMs… True or not… I don’t know. But I feel alienated there on a good two-thirds of my visits. I will need to put a white alt together again and see if there’s a difference.

  • Commune Utopia – I used to go here a lot, and still go often when I see a crowd. Its semi- welcoming. People will talk but not to the degree I’d like. The build is too dense though – giving me enough lag that to walk from one spot to another it is easier to just teleport. Even with short distances of less than a few meters. They recently moved one event to a beach spot that was on a very narrow pier – making this even worse, as I generally cannot find a spot to even stand. That said if they’re doing events on their ‘main floor’ and people are there, there’s plenty of open room there and walls that block laggy outside items from slowing up the graphics. Though of late the events there have been under-attended.
  • Old Lar’s – this is a spot I keep meaning to start going to. I’ve snuck in on alts a few times and found it OK. Just a dance club though so again it is being alone in a crowd. I have yet to make it a regular spot because it is one of those places with people dancing on bar tables and I just don’t get why a bad movie from 2000 (Coyote Ugly) has become ‘the thing to recreate’ in Second Life clubs… It’s the same reason why I don’t attend the ‘CMNF Lounge‘ – all they do is dance on the bar… Not to mention too many people on old pre-mesh avatars. :)So why mention Old Lar’s if its not even a hangout for me? It’s indicative of my search issue. All I can find for places that welcome nudity and are always busy are clubs where you sit there alone in a crowd. And something about the theme tends to jar at me. I imagine it is perfect for the regulars. This is a bit of what I mean by Second Life being so severely a ‘white space’. These places are too ‘ethnic’, as in ‘white ethnic’. So many white people will read that line as an attack… and then feel like a Soca or Hip-Hop club is too ‘ethnic’ and not see the contradiction… Its not about places being intentionally hostile – its just about the perspective the scene is made from and for. I’ll try to avoid getting too started on the ‘Reggae’ clubs in SL – they all remind me of the kind of joint you’d find inside of a tourist hotel in Jamaica rather than out in the community… Either they’re clean and hippie, or they are ‘Rentafari’ XXX joints (in fact many of the ‘hip-hop’ venues in SL seem like ‘tourist’ spots rather than for people ‘in the life’ – the avatars in them are just too ‘over the top’). Remember just because I’m an SL nudist does NOT mean I’m into the whole SL-sex scene.
  • Phil’s Cafe – this is pretty much exactly the kind of space I am looking for in Second Life. Only problem is that it is a weekly event that lasts one hour on a Thursday night… So what do I do with the rest of my week?At Phil’s, there is a weekly topic, and we talk. I can be dressed however I want and nobody cares. What matters is the topic. I do wish they’d update the furniture. I tend to just stand because the chairs all lack animations… This place is just a small box in the sky somewhere with some random diagrams on the walls and some prims you can sit on that are roughly shaped like couches – pre-sculpty furniture…But the fact that its discussion makes it appealing and I go. Granted every now and then it gets a libertarian coming in and the places goes downhill rapidly and they start spewing racist pseudo-economics or Ayn Rand pseudo-nazism. But the normal crowd is better behaved even though I’m pretty sure it has a few conservatives. There’s a few Philosophy groups in SL, but they’re either way too ‘white space’ stuck on Plato, or Libertarian. Even been to one that was a mix between Plato and Ayn Rand

If I could fill my week with places like Phil’s I would. I’ve been told I should host my own such venue. I did build one on my land, but I’ve had second thoughts about going ahead with it.

But instead I end up in a lot of places where I am alone in a crowd. Which has led to Second Life becoming a largely ‘solo-player game’ for me. I spend most of my time sitting in my skybox, sometimes elsewhere on my land, and then now and again alone in one of these crowds.

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Too much time by myself in SL.

Sure I get IMs from people looking to meet me…

But they are often in one of two forms:

  1. Hey
  2. So here are these things about you. Now talk to me.

The first one… yeah, like… um… what do I say to a one word comment out of nowhere? Sometimes they manage to add a ‘baby’ on the end of it… Other times it manages a sentence that is usually a proposition and not to discuss politics…

The second one drives me even more nuts. This is the person who sends me a very detailed message. Pages, sometimes over days… but in it they never tell me a single thing about themselves or why or how or who or what to drive me to interest.

Instead the entire thing about their impressions of me.

I start to feel like an exhibit at a zoo.

I don’t want to be told about me. I want you to tell me about you and maybe some things about you we might have in common or could get together over.

I do realize here that I am sitting here asking other people to do the work of contacting me rather than getting out myself and contacting them… that is a valid problem. If I really want to meet people in Second Life, I need to become more outgoing…

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Yeah, I need to start bugging other people instead of waiting for them to bug me.

 

It’s time to try to find some new friends in Second Life

This is going to be a bit of an awkward post…
I may have to edit it a few times to get the tone right…

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Bear with me in this awkward post, and if you think we’re a match, I’m putting myself out there hoping I can dig up a new friend or two.

As time has gone by and people have left SL, I’m finding myself getting thin on SL friends. I’ve hit that point where I’m hoping there are some people out there that would enjoy my company and with whom I would enjoy being with.

Its time to try to find some new friends around here.

If you’re up for an active SL friend, toss me an IM. Don’t send me a friend invite – those are really awkward before you know someone well. I’m not a Facebooker, I need to get to know somebody and spend time with them often enough before I feel like they belong on my friend list.

I don’t know how better to do this, so I’m just going to list off some things. Things I enjoy doing in SL, types of people I’d be interested in, some things about me, and of course types of people I know I am not compatible with. And then follow it up with my usual wordy essay on things and stuff.

This is not meant to be exclusive or something. I’m just hoping it can be a way to build a connection to give an ‘opening line’ to start things up.


What I enjoy in Second Life:

  • Hanging out and chatting someplace cozy, like people’s SL homes, small hangouts, and remote explore-able spots.
  • Having guests over to my SL home or other spot of land. Visiting others on theirs.
  • Dancing my avatar to enjoyable music, watching others dance as well.
  • Virtual Sailing. I really enjoy exploring SL waterways and oceans.
  • Virtual Driving. I enjoy driving SL vehicles almost as much as sailing.
  • Fashion Shopping at places that are not busy when I go so it can be social.
  • Shopping for quirky knick-knacks to rez here and there on our SL land.
  • Talking about left-wing Progressive politics and social issues.
  • Mesh bodies and accessories for them.
  • SL Nudity. Of late I prefer to be nude in SL anywhere that will allow it.

Things I’ve wanted to try but have never gotten far with:

  • SL Roleplay. I just can’t find a theme that I can sync with unless it already has cliques that look impossible to break into. I need serious hand-holding on this one.
  • SL Philosophy venues. Where did these go? I remember them as a newbie.
  • The whole furry community. It seems interesting but I’ve never found the right ‘glue’ to make it stick.
  • SL Live Music. If I could find a ‘clique’ to go to these with, I think I’d really enjoy it.

People who have interests in one of more of these things are people I’ve found easy to be friends with in past:

  • Left-wing Progressives. People of like political mind – I can’t seem to find them here.
  • Artists. I’m an art freak. Many of us are.
  • Hippies. I’m not one, but I like them.
  • People that just like to chat a lot, about things and stuff and whatever. I can sit for hours and just chat.
  • Hispanic communities (that can speak English, as I don’t speak Spanish even though I am second generation from South America).ย  Circumstances left me cut from my roots.
  • Multi-cultural communities. In school my thing was international law and ethnic studies. I love meeting people from ‘over-there-istan’.
  • People with their own quirks, who I can manage to entertain.
  • People that want to socially explore Second Life, even the parts we’ve “already been to”.

Some key things about me:

  • I am always a Neko or a cat furry in dreads. I won’t take these off to go someplace.
  • My avatar is African, but I am mulato (Asian, South American Indian, European, and a small bit of West-African).
  • I am hyper political, left wing, progressive. All about equal right, justice, unions, environment, and similar issues.
  • I am Rasta, that is a religion – not a style of party or music.
  • I can be hyper-shy at times, but over-talkative at others.
  • My education is in the social sciences, my profession is in technology.
  • I wear the term ‘Social Justice Warrior’ with pride.
  • I keep up with the writings of some of the Black Panthers and have corresponded with them in the past, but am not a member. I was however in La Raza when I was in college, as well as in the Native American Student Union. Didn’t keep up with either after though. I did not join the Asian Student Union at my university as they, in that one school, were quietly not welcoming of mixed people.
  • I have a strong geeky side, loving science fiction and fantasy. I love Star Trek, I loved Harry Potter, I’m fond of Dr. Who, Avatar was one of my favorite movies, I find my Hulu list is mostly super-hero TV shows, but I can’t stand Game of Thrones.
  • I am feeling the Bern.

People I have found I am not good at sustaining friendships with, and things I don’t enjoy:

  • Conservatives – I can be cordial with them, but friendships never last.
  • Libertarians – Diametrically opposed world views, always ends in a fight.
  • Hetero men & gay men that act controlling. It just gets uncomfortable after a while.
  • Lesbian Women that are seeking intimate relationships.
  • Anyone that feels a need to focus on & repeatedly point out how ‘sexy’ they find my avatar.
  • Roleplay that recreates points in history where people of color or other ethnic groups were brutalized.
  • Roleplay of slavery (ie: I do not get on with the Gorean scene).
  • Any venue flying a Nazi or Dixie flag, or similar flag / symbol of hate.
  • Country music.
  • RLV, Couple dances, HUG animations, Line dance systems, and similar things where I’m part of a group sequence and no longer in control of my avatar without breaking the ‘social encounter’.
  • Being hassled about trying RL Nudism. If you start lecturing me on this I’m out.
  • SL Sex. I don’t do it, period. Tried that as a newbie and found it was not my thing.
  • People that just hang out by themselves and IM me once in a blue moon but otherwise become forgotten entries on the Friend List.

The wordy essay part:

Once again this is kind of an awkward post…

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I’ve wanted to write this blog entry for about 4 years now, and its felt super weird and awkward, and kind of embarrassing, each time. But I’ve noticed I’m not the only oldbie with this problem. It gets lonely when the people you started with have moved on.

If you read my blog you probably have some ideas about me. Probably some of them are even correct.

I originally tired Second Life in 2006 for about 2 days, but didn’t come back as a regular user until 2009. So I’ve been here 6 and just over a half years now.

I once read that most people who join Second Life only last with it about a year and a half, and that feels about right for what happened with most of the friends I met when I was new. So for most of my Second Life time my circle of friends has just been a very small few number of people, and whole lot of acquittances. I’ve reached that point in Second Life where you even nod at the people you really don’t like because you’re mutual survivors of some form of online culling…

New users have it a lot easier on this score. People expect newbies to not know anyone, to be approachable, and newbies themselves haven’t yet become ‘hung up’ on ‘what the rules are’ (or whatever…) and so don’t refrain from just landing on your head and starting a conversation like it was normal or something.

After we reach a certain point in SL, we start developing ideas about what we should be doing – even where those ideas are very different, everyone ends up with their own set of expectations. But even worse – other people stop assuming you’re looking for help… and start giving you “respectable space”…

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Spending way too much time by myself lost in my own thoughts. Share some of your thoughts with me.

So my Second Life has gotten a bit lonely of late. I’m feeling a need to make some friends again and I don’t really know where to go as an ‘oldbie’ to find them.

I really enjoy just hanging out with some people in a not too busy cozy place and chatting. I’m not very good at being superficial, so large casual social things always feel awkward to me.

I’ve been really enjoying Second Life sailing. This is something I’ve liked for a long time, and my enthusiasm for it tends to be directly tied to my ability to find places I can go naked sailing. Real Life me can’t get into open water. I’m a natural born swimmer but I get panic attacks. When I was a toddler I had a babysitter that wanted to see Jaws, and had to take care of me… so he met both needs by sneaking me into the theater… I try to get my water fix in Second Life.

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You can have a lot of fun with SL Sailing. It ranges from relaxing on a wide open sim, to a crazy game of timing sail adjustments.

I love SL dancing because I love watching the animations of a nice well designed avatar moving. I used to do a lot of dancing in clubs in my real life when I was younger. I love to see each avatar in its own unique dance. I really like to see avatars that are of quality and interesting to look at. Entertain me visually and I will entertain you visually.

But I’m a bit picky about music… so I don’t end up in SL clubs because they’re all playing the same selection of pop, rock (some of it – but I like 60s/70s rock), metal, or country. And that’s 3 things I can’t relate to. I enjoy Roots and Rasta Reggae. I enjoy Hip Hop and Rap if it has a positive mindset. Soul, Salsa, World Music, Blues – I’m good with those too. Pretty much anything except country, pop, metal, and rock. People always tell me I could go to SL dance clubs and just play my own music – but then my avatar would be ‘out of sync’ with things. Yeah I know that is silly but in my mind as I watch my avatar I sync her motions to the music… and if I actually know the music around her is not the music I am hearing, I “feel” out of sync…

SL Shopping. It has been a very long time since I’ve had SL shopping friends. Since about half a year into my being in Second Life actually. Somehow I keep making friends with the people who don’t like to buy anything. I want to have friends I can go places with, play dress up with, tell me an outfit looks good but another one sucks, suggest a different sofa, listen to me suggest a different arm chair, and so on.

I enjoy shopping in the quirky low traffic spots that have unusual items in them.

I also enjoy shopping for fitmesh clothing. Go on the off-days of events when the crowds are not there and you can actually have some fun. Perhaps my biggest frustration over the years in SL was that none of my friends partook in SL fashion, except for when I was a newbie and had friends who would do MM boards but never buy. I really like to play around with outfits, and often when with friends I’ll keep changing and talking about the choices. I’d really like to meet some people who enjoy doing the same thing.

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This is my normal outfit these days. Its not an invitation to something, its just how I feel.

Second Life nudity / nudism. I really love to run around on a naked avatar. Neko or Cat Furry. It feels more natural to me. Unlike the ‘naturist’ types I also like to make my avatar very sensual in her dress, and I find this to also be perfectly natural. This can really confuse some people who are looking for ‘sexy time’ in Second Life… because that is the last thing I am seeking. I just love to be naked in Second Life. The circumstances of my Real Life make this a non-option, though it has always fascinated me. Ever since I first came to Second Life I have dabbled in it on and off again. And this being Second Life I don’t feel a need to follow the ‘constraints’ that real life nudists adhere to where they shame people who feel sensual or erotic about nudity. But I also don’t feel the need to see nudity as an invitation to something.

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I like to spice up my nude look sometimes. Its fun, sensual, and feels good to do.

I would love to have some friends that equally enjoyed that, and that sought to spice up their avatars for a sensually nude experience (ie: get a mesh body, a good skin, a good AO, and match your parts to your body, and add accessories to enhance).


So I’m putting myself out there. Hoping to breath some life back into Second Life for myself and whoever I hang out with.

I’m looking forย  just a few quirky people, who might enjoy a good portion of the same things as me, who didn’t freak out at the nude pictures above, and whether old or new or in between with Second Life – want to enjoy it with others.

If you’ve wondered about getting to know me, send me a message in Second Life.

 

Changes over the years… Journeying through myself.

How has your look changed over the years? What does this mean for you, and what has driven the choices you’ve made in expressing yourself in Second Life?

For me this has all been about a journey through sensuality, spirituality, and self-identity.

I went looking, and found some of the first images I took of my avatar in Second Life. I’ve put one here next to an image I took over the weekend of my avatar on a new spot of land I’ve got:
2009to2016
I am actually still wearing one item in common in both of these… fangs. I’m probably the only neko that wears fangs, and one of the few that uses whiskers. And as far as I know… it is still the same pair of them after all these years. Just about everything else has changed though.

Originally I wanted dark skin for my avatar, like I now have. But in 2009 the shade you see on the left was the darkest tone I could find, as a newbie.

Self identity changes over time, and I find it very interesting to look back at the journey of self exploration.

I’m a very introspective person – I self analyze a lot. For me that is a big part of being alive. But its also something I’ve been tossed into by the nature of my existence as a multi-racial person born before that was common or acceptable in the USA. My parents where married the same year as the Loving v. Virginia case and my eldest sibling was born right after the decision in that case came down. There actually was a judicial action to prevent my parents from being together on the grounds of miscegenation (race mixing), and I very much owe my existence to the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr‘s civil right’s movement – which had changed the minds of the right people, including those who helped my parents overcome the challenge that was actually brought by my grandparents…

So thinking on who and what I am has been critical to my sense of self from the beginning.

As is known, I am not ‘African American’, yet my avatar is African. But there is a funny footnote to this because I recently found through DNA that I am in fact part African. Yet I grew up under the perception that I was an Asian / Amazon Indian / Caucasian / Cherokee mix. In place of Cherokee, I instead have a number of things from West and North Africa, and the Caucasian turned out to be different parts of Europe than family history had said. So one side of my family has a complete falsehood for every aspect of its ancestry.

Genealogical exploration is a pretty common thing for Americans to get into. We often find surprises. So that’s not the real trigger for me in being introspective. Rather being what Americans consider mixed-race has been the trigger.

I belong to no ethnic group.

When you don’t belong to any of them, all of their various members are very keen to point this out to you on many occasions in your life. It one thing to be the ‘other’ from that other tribe… but when you are the racial equivalent of a ‘stateless‘ person – you have no place to ‘escape back to’. There is no tribe standing around waiting to help me form an identity… I had to carve it out myself through some very rough experiences – some as recent as experiences I have had in some Second Life forum communities. No matter what I state as my ethnicity, I can be called out as a Rachel Dolezal – and I’ve been getting that accusation since I was 5 years old and my mother was trying to put me in Kindergarten… Every action, every thought, every preference gets judged by hostile mono-ethnic people seeking to hold on to their territory.

I am an eternal fake, and because of this I have to get very real.

Most people take for granted the vast bulk of their identity, cultural, belief system, even appearance. I have no such luxury. A person gets very introspective very fast in this situation.

So Second Life has been a blessing for me as a place where I can literally put on a skin, and explore an identity. Through that I learn so much about myself. I find where I stand on issues, how I can shape my sense of sense, and I can stake out an identity that people cannot take away from me and tell me I don’t have a right to because I’m not enough of their kind or another kind of blood for their liking.

And it has been a long and well worthwhile ride.

I didn’t come to Second Life to explore myself. I actually came here to get some goodies for the Poser 7 Launch event, and found out to my disappointment that the goodies were just goodies for a Second Life avatar. That is why my first attempt at Second Life only lasted 2 days in 2006.

One day in 2009 I was bored, and I was browsing or reading something that mentioned Second Life. So I wondered if it would load on my then computer. I looked through my files and found my old avatar’s name, guessed the password (or the forget password stuff, I don’t remember) and logged in. I spent a few days wandering around.

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Close to day 3 of my return to SL. I got by, barely. I think its funny that I had a newbie prop on down below… Even back then I was keenly aware of how lacking the SL Avatar is.

The 2009 image above is actually my 2006 avatar and not Pussycat. Pussycat was born about 10 days later, because I very strongly didn’t like the avatar name I had.

On coming back in, I had randomly clicked something and found myself wearing a Neko avatar. It was a very crude free one – but it clicked right away.

I had found myself. Now I needed to name myself. I tried a dozen variations on neko, cat, pussy (erm…), kitty, catnip, calico, even koyangi (Korean for cat) and gato (yeah, gato made it into my mind but not as far as they keyboard because that is just way too manly), kittylicious (yeah… /fail) and yes, pussycat.

Somehow even though Pussycat was taken with a few other last names, it was not taken yet with ‘Catnap’… So off I went. I’m glad I ended up with this name… its very fitting for how my personality in SL wavers in different directions. Saying just parts of my name, or where you put the emphasis, can lead to very different meanings. Some people like to just call me ‘PC’ or ‘Cat’ because typing it all out makes them a little nervous I guess. Actually its a handy name for seeing how someone else is seeing you…

So I began in 2009 in SL looking for the sensual side of things. The image I used to start this blog was not the first one I took, the first one was a bit more… intense and unclothed. The 2016 image I used is unclothed, but is a normal pose.

Dancing_SexyNudeBeach

You can see the beginnings of some of my current style. There are my teeth, my eye color, and a lighter shade of red hair. And the face is actually not far off from the dials I use now. I used to love that little video game remote, and kept it on every outfit for a good year.

I spent a few months exploring that scene. I think a lot of people who come to SL have to go through that and they either stay with it or move on. I more or less moved on. But in the journey I also realized that I really like the idea of being clothes free, minus the weird politics of naturists.

I even tried exploring the adult erotic side of Second Life. But I quickly learned this was not me. In part due to encounters with S/m people. It took me some time to be able to relate to people from the S/m community because I am very militant about Equal Rights and even a roleplayed expression of submission or dominance bothers me. That has not changed, and will not change. What changed for me over time was learning that these people truly feel their relations are equal, so I accept them for themselves while recognizing that I am on a very different path.

However a major break for me on the erotic side of Second Life was just realizing I found these little cartoons engaged in ‘the act’ to be comedy, while others were trying to truly express themselves or have an experience in those moments. I felt it would be rude of me to be laughing while the others were feeling something more.

After a time I started to try and expand my perspective. I think finding the shop Bare Rose was key here – it was and is a Cosplay place, so there were all kinds of outfits in radically different styles, and they were cheap. At the time usually 150-250L for a full outfit. So each time I bought one, I could put it on, run around, and see if it felt like I’d found a new me. After I went premium most of my weekly money went to this shop throughout much of 2009.

Proportionstesting

Here you can see that even by July 15, 2009 I was already obsessed with fixing the bad proportions of the SL avatar.

I went premium about a month and a half back into SL. That really changes things. Premium is a commitment. Its not just renting a spot somewhere, once you’re premium you can see the bank statement, you’ve “subscribed” to this “free to play MMO” and there’s some land out there somewhere that you now have the privilege to buy, and once you… you’ve got to make sure you got your money’s worth out of it. So once you have your own land you end up spending a lot of time on it, and that time is often alone.

FirstSLHome_July21

I didn’t know at the time that it was my own trees there that caused this home to be super laggy at ground level. This was taken on July 21, 2009. Probably a few days into owning the place. I remember being so proud of my build, and that I had managed to find a rare roadside spot. Back then not much land was abandoned… The unpaved road is actually the bottom right corner of the top image – diagonally butting up against where I put plants.

Wandering through various Second Life clubs led me down the path of a spiritual awakening. Reading a random notecard left outside a Reggae Club got me curious. It was a card about Rastafarians, but it wasn’t very thorough. When you’re introspective the simple answers never work for you – so I went off to read more, and came back realizing I was always Rasta. Now Rasta is very much a leftist movement, not a liberal one. There is a marked difference that many people don’t understand. But it is also militantly non-violent, unlike your usual leftist movement – and that can lead many to mistake it for a liberal movement.

But I’m not exactly on the same page as the Rastafari in every aspect. I’m more fond of the sensual, and I take the Equal Rights and Justice angle to mean such for everyone. So as Apple Gabriel says, Give them Love.

Rasta is not a unified doctrine, unlike many organized religions. Each of us finds our path within that core concept of Equal Rights and Justice and the recognition of Yeshua Christ, Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie), and the holy land of Ethiopia – home of the oldest branch of Christianity, that predates the Catholics.

ExploringFurry

I didn’t start with cats for Furry. No, I made an alt just to get a furry look, and started with this.

After a journey through ‘am a furry’, I moved away from nudity. This was some time after finding Rasta, but before I was openly talking Rasta everywhere I went in Second Life.

Furry is interesting to me, in that I see the spiritual nature of an anthropomorphic self. A sort of ‘totem animal spirit’ if you will. In that regard I enjoy furry avatars a lot. But I’m not a part of furry culture at all. It baffles me, and I humor it. No opinions either negative or positive though.

Furries are very often gender ambiguous though (hermaphrodite avatars), and that is something I don’t relate well to at all. It is a common theme in Second Life, and I am accustomed to accepting it, but I don’t relate to it. I’m a leftist, but I’m not exactly a liberal.

PussycatCatnap_Egyptian

Now there’s a riot of themes.

I tried using Second Life to explore Rasta. I made a club, I wandered through events and other clubs, I made groups, and so on. Nothing really ever clicked here. There are a lot of people wandering around in SL with Rasta themes lightly in their look or venue – but they’re closer to what Rasta calls a Rentafari. A Rentafari is a male prostitute with dreadlocks who services white tourist women…

So yeah, that is an insult. What I found in SL was a bunch of people who equated Rasta with a black version of Cheech and Chong, for white people. Go to Reggae clubs, and they are usually run by white women, or Rentafari men.
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So I kinda pulled back a bit from Second Life as my journey through Rasta kicked off.

Some might see me as appropriating by having a black avatar, or even in that my religion is Rastafari. But you should look to a person’s intentions, words, and deeds before going down that path. Snoop Lion is a black man who has been rightfully called out as appropriating Black Culture, while Jah Sun is a white man who is very real in where he stands.

When I go down a path, I go deep. As an introspective person I can’t just grab the surface of something. The Rentafari experience will not do for me because I see it as fake and that spoils it. I may love running around as a naked avatar, but I also have a very deep sense of the spiritual – and using religion to sell sex rubs me wrong. Even if I at the same time embrace the sensual in the spiritual.

Its a bit like the difference between Leftist and Liberal (think Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King Jr). You might not see it, but its there, and pretty concrete. The sensual and spiritual go together naturally, but to use one to sell the other is a perversion of both.

So when I came back around to being active with Second Life, I started toning myself down a bit. That’s more or less where my break with nudity first occurred. In part also driven by the virulent racism I encountered on the SLU forums. I decided to stop engaging in some circles, and to alter my image a bit.

MeditationBuild

That’s about when I started calling my supposed shop in SL ‘Zion Kitty’, as a way to announce that I was looking at things spiritually now.

Rastafari Building in SeconfLife
Not too long after I even put up a Rasta ‘Church’ build based on a temple in Ethiopia. Churches as a building / location is not a Rasta thing, and that is why I eventually took that place down. People should gather anywhere to be spiritual, and without leaders. Pastors, Rabbis, Imams, and Priests are all mankind’s method of stealing spirituality from one in order to give political power to another.
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That is something I’ve always known, and had to remind myself of.

Second Life has been a very useful tool for me in exploring identities, and in finding my spiritual self. It has also re-affirmed for me the notion that the spiritual is not in conflict with the sensual unless one is used to sell the other.
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And that is a bit of why I have returned to being openly nude in Second Life. I see nothing wrong with this and my spiritual side. And whereas I have a lifetime of people challenging me for my mere existence in my real life, in my SL I can stand up and say that and hold to it. It is me, it is how I genuinely intuit my reality.

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As I recently noted in my post about Nudity in Second Life:

For me, nudity, even public nudity, is a spiritual thing. I suspect that confuses a lot of people. We are born nude, we are created nude, we return to a natural state when this life ends.
. . .
For me, the nude form is a spiritual form. Yes it is also a sensual, in fact erotic form. And these are all by intent, by design. By Jah will. We are made to love each other, to strive for community, caring, and an appreciation of the beauty of life and the beauty within each other and ourselves.

And while that is not necessarily something I learned in Second Life, it is something I hold firm to. And it is something that Second Life is perfectly suited for letting me express.

Fake non-person with no ‘branded identity’ who belongs to none of your ethnicities that I am, I come here to get real.

This is a part of my journey.


So where are you headed?

 

 

 

Second Life’s “Sexy Time” advertising – thinking twice about the opposition to it

This is cobbled together from some posts I’ve been leaving on Hamlet Au’s blog.

You might think that as a spiritual person, active about my faith in SL, who often comments about ‘that stuff’… that I’d be on the bandwagon against the new ads.

Especially as those ads are basically “the sexy white people” routine again…

But I’m not so willing to fight this one.

Let me use a bit of over the top silly exaggeration to make a point.

Imagine its 2009 and you’re a corporate user looking to use Second Life for business meetings, showcasing your real life business achievements, selling product, branding, etc…

Problem is… the place is full of so-called furries and XXXers and RPers and educationals and “commie-liberal-hippie-artist-scum”. All those people you don’t want in your store scaring your customers. The weirdos you picked on in 6th grade.

So you call up your mate from school, M. Linden, and ask him to take an accounting of things and correct all this. You’ve got money to dump, and he just needs to clean up the place. Get rid of the geeks and losers.

So he tries.

And we all know the result. SL goes into a tailspin, policies get odd, prices go up, venues close, and then business realizes it doesn’t even want the product anyway. In fact; the whole call M. Linden got seems to have been dreamed up in his head: business was never really on board anyway. They were the customer Linden Lab wanted, the freaks were the customers Linden Lab got.

Even SL’s founder is on record calling his users ‘disabled freaks’. He used more polite language, but basically back then he called us all ‘the crazy cat lady down the block and the old guy telling you to get off of his lawn.’

Now its 2014 and Linden Labs is looking at marketing again so they look at what people ACTUALLY USE SL FOR…

Hamlet Au posts this almost every month.

Top sims?

XXX-this and XXX-that, with a bit of Borat sexy time thrown in for good measure and a few furries and goreans. PLus some dating and dancing places for those ‘so-called online dating freaks’.

The rest of us? We’re a bit like those 2009 business users (OK, I’m a furry half of the time… this is just a silly parable after all).

Now everyone’s all up and trying to call E. Linden and ask him what for… Asking him to clean up the place so your respectable art and live music and charity work doesn’t have to sit next to the gorean-furry-luvulongtime-escort-interracial-child-xxx operation…

But… well…

At the same time we’ve been demanding for years that they recognize who’s using SL, and market to them.

Now they are.

And we don’t like it.

Pick your poison folks.

Because its right there in Hamlet Au’s blog… look at who the top sims are (note how similar this 2011 link is to the 2014 one – this stuff is pretty static in theme).

If anything, LLs needs to get MORE explicit in these ads. It might chase us “regular respectable folks” away… but at least then they’d be appealing to their actual users for a change:
Those ‘noobs’ on the xxx sims…

Now, I don’t mean to imply that the XXX and ‘fantasy self’ crowd drove away the business crowds.

Rather I am trying to show that we’ve already seen what happens when Linden Lab tries to market not to the customers it has, but the ones it wishes it had.

Now… they are marketing to the actual people that show up at the door… and folks don’t like it, because most of the Second Life users are NOT from the same crowd that composes the Second Life commentators.

Commentators, critics, and bloggers want them to market to people who are here for “something greater”… But the very data we love to talk about and promote shows that we are not the viable audience for Second Life…

And that like it or not… maybe they actually are marketing to the right crowd now… at least from a ‘capitalist bottom line’ POV…

I hope my opinion here is not seen as mocking the ‘freaky’ people that end up in Second Life – as that is not my intent. I’m stating it like that above to be over the top, and to hopefully show a little of ‘this is how what gets said gets read’.

Plenty of people seek acceptance online from a world that rejects them offline. I know for a fact this is why many minorities ‘hide as white’ in platforms like Second Life. I’ve always been a fighter so that notion never appealed to me.

I actually am mostly fit and healthy for my age, and still seem to have my looks – despite the scraps I’ve been through.

So given a choice between a kick in the face for speaking up, or having a group hug by playing nice… I’ve always chosen the kick… I’ve got a dentist appointment soon because that is NOT an analogy for me…

I try to remember that about others too. That everyone needs a place to feel accepted and to explore – though I do fail at it sometimes because I tend to fight back and can end up misdirected.

Too often people are scorned merely for what they are, rather than who/how they are – I say that all the time about race, but it also very much applies to gender, physical ability, fitness, attractiveness, social class, and other ways people are unjustly biased against.

Second Life is a fantasy world that lets people find their own ways of skipping past that bias. Its also just a place to have some fun in – and each side of the fence here needs to get over its bias of the other because to the world outside of SL, we’re all 10x freakier than any of us might actually be.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when the fantasy the majority here seek is not the one oneself is seeking – but better to recognize that it is still doing good for people in letting them find their fantasy.

People who do not like that Linden Lab is now advertising to its actual users can consider the alternative… going the way of Blue Mars or Cloud Party – vanishing.

When you hit rock bottom – every direction looks like up, but not all are.


Another relative passed away recently.

I’ve mentioned some violent deaths among my kin and friends of kin before. But this one is significant. Perhaps the most important. Yet I feel very little over it.

My maternal Grandfather. He passed away peacefully, at a ripe old age, in his own home, on his own terms.

He is also the sole reason that my mother was the only person in her entire family who was not a junkie. Or perhaps I should flip that to give you a better idea of things: He is the sole reason everyone in my mother’s family -IS- a junkie. My mother’s escape was quite literal: she ran away and grew up in jail after every attempt to place her somewhere resulted in yet another flight.

And I thank Jah very often that my mother grew up in jail.

This all began, as a number of my blogs do, as a comment in somebody else’s blog. But I’m holding that comment back because it really took their article in the wrong direction.

Lets just say than when you hit rock bottom – any direction appears to be up.

The topic of the day on the blog in question was about ‘negging’ as a come-on strategy. The sort who walk up to you and just demand the action, with little else to say – and often with some derogation against you included in the demand.

It reminded of a roommate from the 90s, and I had made this comment:

“Or is this the phenomenon known as “negging”, where members of what’s called the “pick-up artist community” disparage women until their self-esteem is eroded until they will sleep with, well, pick-up artists?”

Had a male roommate in the early 90s whose RL pickup lines were like that. Sort of a ‘b—-! come s— my c—‘…
(a line I saw him use and succeed with on a complete stranger outside the ‘stop and rob’ near the apartment one afternoon).

Shockingly… he was amazingly successful, and there was a different woman on his arm almost daily. Tried to chat with one waiting in our living room one night, as he was still busy with the one in line before her… and it was like speaking to a Martian… She was also one of the few I saw who I could not see signs of being ‘strung out’ on, thus my attempt at conversation…

(I did talk her into walking out the door rather than waiting, via a polite ‘WTF are doing here?’)

Was only a roommate for about 2 months though… was not a scene I wanted to be around, and he was severely unstable… It was one of those sudden “Crap, I need to make rent, anybody got somebody willing to take a room?” situations.

That made me want to reflect more deeply, and expound on what sort of world this reality exists in. How I come to have been in such a place, and what sort of people are in that place… ties directly to that relative’s path through my family.

But first to the “negging” scene. The thing with the “strung out” crowd is that many ‘mind enhancing substances’ drive up the libido to the point of self-injury. And not talking just emotional self injury or risky conduct; but people who will ‘screw’ till they bleed…
– Plenty of easy action to be had outside a crack den…

I’ve been to the bottom, I was born there, and raised one precarious step above it (as I said above, momma was the -only- person in her family -not- a junkie solely because she grew up in a jail cell as a runaway).

But I kept the “substances” away, which let me figure out which of those directions actually was up. However I’ve met the “type” as a result. People who think ‘negging’ works – often skip over the details of the scene in which it works (do you REALLY want to get your action at a crack den? Think about it). Try that “negging” out of that scene and you’re not a welcome presence.

(Try it in that scene and you are aiming straight for the direction labeled “down”. And we all know how gravity works: very easy to go down, once you start falling.)

I’m pretty sensitive to these types in Second Life as well (oh yes, this is a Second Life blog article after all, not just a bio one).
– but not because I find them rude and annoying.
– because they remind of a certain world I’ve been to – and when I meet them they feel like the sorts of people who try to ‘drag you back’ when you become visibly one of the ones able to escape.

Babylon doesn’t like people finding the keys to the gate.

Seeing the scene play out, even in Second Life; one just wants to yell back:
“Buddy… you have no idea what kind of scene you’re playing with there… I’d get over that kind of thinking fast, because if you carry it into your real life, you’re headed for a world of hurt.”

Roleplay has its place, and its too far excesses. But we’re not even talking about the roleplayers here.

We’re talking about the sorts mentioned in this blog, and this one (the second blog is the example used in the first blog to explain one among many motivations for a curious -other- scene that blogger commented on – namely why so many straight folks end up in a woman only Second Life scene).

This is a sort of people who come in to Second Life with a very negative set of behavioral patterns. This is not just the narcissistic ‘me first’ ‘liberty over equal rights’ crowd… this is the sort who seek harmful conduct. They seek others to use and abuse.

There are always folks at the bottom who feel the way to stay off the floor is to feed off of those already there. But if you conduct yourself like a scumbag, you’re going to fill up with scum…

There are even more of these folks at the top of the heap on a material scale, about be-it often below the bottom in other ways.

But enough about the predators.

What about those people my once roommate was able to catch with such amazing lines as he had… “Negging” works, but on whom and why – and what’s that got to do with Second Life?

We always hear the saying that, when you’re at the top, there’s nowhere left to go but down, and conversely; when you hit rock bottom, you can only go up.

But if you’ve ever been to the bottom… and kept your wits while there…

Not every direction is up.

Its a great analogy that you can only go North from the South Pole, but the truth is, its even easier to go “Souther”. When any direction looks like up, because it just seems to be that bad – desperation can lead to very bad choices. Self esteem can come crashing down. And what might have sounded insane before, can sound almost kind and helpful in a world full of hurt.

Been there, seen the scene. Nibbled a little on the poisoned offers – everyone has their dark moments in desperation. But I’m here now because I didn’t take the full bite.

I suppose its a little like this for the abusers as well. When you hit that bottom, your sense of things gets altered. Your notions of what is right get off. You might lose the sensitivity that makes you realize the harm of your conduct. You might lose the ability to take happiness in creating happiness among those around you. That’s the point of utter desperation.

As long as you are still a victim – as long as you can still feel – you are still alive, and you can find the direction in the mess which is up. The real bottom, the real south from which there is no other path – that’s not where the victim lies. Its where those who have lost empathy stand.

In addiction therapy, those programs with all their steps, it often begins with the whole ‘higher power’ lesson. There are many ways to look at that – and in truth as a person from a background rooted among ‘subjugated people’ that lesson has always felt like ‘make yourself a slave to become redeemed.’

And here’s an Second Life connection for you. So many in Second Life seek relationships about power – submitting oneself to another as a form of shelter, protection, so-called love.

And now I’m going to get a little preachy on folks.

There is no love between a master and a slave. Only power.

That way is a path of abuse. Love is not about control. Love has no ranks. Love is about freedom, equality, empowerment.

The master and submissive dynamic fulfills a sense of stability, give each party the sensation of having one who cares for them. Either you have a submissive devoted to meeting all of your needs, or you have a master giving you a strong guiding hand. But each is a constrained soul using a distraction to feed a need. Like a drug that hits your pleasure center – you seem to be happy, but lack fulfillment and lack any of the gains that would naturally trigger that pleasure.

Compare that drug to exercise – athletes get that same rush to the pleasure center from working their bodies into a peak of fitness. They get it naturally – its a “reward” for doing those things that will help them to live a longer, more fit and enabling life. Any one of them could skip all that hard work and hit the crack house for the same thrill of pleasure… (and some who fall do) but without any of the gains of good health.

The master and submissive are getting their ‘relationship endorphin’ – without the gains of a true loving bond. No empowerment, no partnership to push a pair twice as far as an individual, no real trust.

Trust is the most common thing they will claim to have – but they have the trust that limits set up will not be crossed. I’ve known this trust before. Its like the trust in a gang; these people won’t knife you, and will knife anyone who does. That’s a false trust. It isn’t really looking out for everyone’s best interests. You’re trusting that person to not take you further down; hurt me to a limit, but no more – a false trust. Not trusting in the whole to move up.

I think this happens so much in Second Life because it often is a lonely hearts club around here. So many of Second Life’s users are people seeking companionship. And like the crack house – a relationship built on power dynamics is very easy to define and ‘sign on to’. Roles are clear, terms are clear, parties can enter into it on a very “deep” level before even knowing each other – and the rush is so easy to obtain that it can seem meaningful in an instant.


What I learned to see when I was at the bottom, was that that higher power was not about submitting myself to a master, but about learning to find the strength within that Jah puts in all of us. You find that strength – you learn to see the beauty of creation while under the foot of Babylon, and you can lift your head up high, stand up, become empowered in spirit and walk with the most high. At that point, you will begin to find the way up.

Told you I’d get a little preachy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good, caring, loving paths in life are always about empowerment. Empower yourself, empower others – rise up all of Jah Jah’s children.

Jah “leads” by showing us how to walk the path and enrich each other. That leadership is about loving your brethren and bringing peace to all you can.

The amazing thing about empowering someone, is how much it empowers oneself – and that ‘rush of pleasure’ one can get from seeing a smile on another, or seeing another achieve what they had only dreamed of.

That’s the higher power you seek out when at the bottom. The higher power of Jah’s love within – to become Stronger in soul, so you can find a path to walk.

The direction that really is up, you find the guidance within for that from a ‘higher power’; Jah if you will – by finding your centered strength of self. Putting yourself in a position of dependency, or dominance, victim, or abuser – these are not paths ‘up’. They are not way to enlightenment. They are roads into darkness.

The ‘Negging’ culture works, because in that darkness, many will seek any shadowy corner for shelter, lost and confused in self doubt about where and how to proceed, they’ll let a cold skeletal hand take them on a journey sooner than standing up and shining a light from within. That light from within is a hard path to trod.

In the famous Christian poem where a man asks why, in the darkess of times, he only saw one pair of feet in the sand – that is Jah coming within the person to help him find his way in the darkness. Helping him trod that path with determination, on the road up out of darkness.

I feel I’ve been moving through several different points here. What drives a certain few scenes – how when someone would feel ok using such abusive conduct, another might accept it. But more importantly – how there are paths out, but one has to look within to one’s connection to a higher power to find them.

Now I’m reminded of another Christian parable, the sone “Shine your light on me” – that’s close. We all have that light within us. Jah puts that strength there. You can feel it in moments of insight and joy. It can guide you in moments of darkness.

My path out, from a very wretched state in my youth – was a long and soulful journey to discover this in a desperation to not fall into the path of my kin.

Your birth cert name is more fake than your pseudonym.

Super rare of me to make two blog posts in a single day (not sure if I ever have) but here I go.

Going to comment on all this crazy anti-pseudonym stuff with Facespam and Google-.

There’s this notion that you need to be tied to the birth certificate name to be held accountable. An example I read today over on the comments at New World Notes pointed out two local newspapers. One with hostile anonymous instant handle based names, the other with civil Facespam tied names. I have no idea what newspapers those were so no ability to verify the comment. I’m just writing in the general sense of the ‘perception’ related to that comment.

Yes anonymous commenting can lead some people to become cyber-bullies. Some people just are bullies.

The official SL forums have gone through a spate of perma-bans in recent months clearing out such people. There used to be a long list of people there who would start ‘leading threads’ to trigger a dispute, rudely correct spellings grammar via personal attacks carefully phrased to appear to be taking a high road, demean new posters, and so on. Almost all of them are now banned. Somehow the moderators there avoided banning folks who got rude but only in response.

I’m reminded of that because it contradicts what I was originall going to write, and the notion suddenly popped into my head.

I wanted to say that, even ‘anonymous avatars’ learn to watch how they behave over time as the avatar consolidates into an identity…

This is the difference between your local paper that lets any old username, and the Facespam/Google- one. The Facespam one is not more civil because it ties to birth certificates (thus why Facespam banned Salman Rushdie until he took them to task for it), but because that forum requires a consolidated identity.

Once people form an identity around a username, it becomes as much a predictor of character as tying them to the birth cert. Actually, it becomes a -MORE- reliable predictor…

A consolidated anonymous identity reveals your true nature. A birth cert identity reveals your censored public face identity.

This is why some people have such intense attachment to their Second Life avatar. When in Second Life, they can express themselves how they truly would like to be, if free of some of he contraints of modern life or limits of their physical presence.

Second Life is that hippie ‘free to be you and me’ utopia/dystopia (because the hippies were wrong and we don’t all actually have ‘flower child’ inside of us at the core – personally I’m allergic to anything floral, real or analogous like a group hug).

A pure anonymous unconsolidated handle just reveals your stream of consciousness at that moment. Its that random ‘couch surfing yelling at the TV’ voice. Anyone who’s lived with a Jock-wannabe knows this voice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My problem with this stance jumps back to what I said about the forums. Some people over time come out with a consolidated bullying nature. They reveal just how ugly they are on the inside by being hurtful over and over again towards others.

They might likely still do this if tied to a birth-cert name, or they might not.

But I would wager that there is vastly greater value in letting people consolidate their true inner selves into an identity that can consistently express that inner nature than there is in just having them show their accepted public face. The ‘public face’ identity is of very little value for actual discourse. Its even of spurious value for ‘marketing’ – it doesn’t really tell you what they person wants to buy / have sold to them. Its just a front.

There is the small cost of “unmasking” people who are just not nice, weighed against the great gain of true insight into what people desire, think, and feel. It is actually rather short-sighted of these ‘data mining’ companies like Facespam and Google- to want the ‘public mask’ instead of the true heart of their customers.

Just because you can’t tie the identity to a ‘meat body’ somewhere, does not mean you can’t sell to it. In fact you can probably better sell to it when it feels a sense of safety over what it buys.

And as for friends, do you want to have friends that pretend to identify with you, or ones that really grasp what you feel? We can get the ones who pretend to identify with us in physical life all we want by going to the local chat-up spot and getting hit on or hitting on others. Only online through deeply consolidated identities can we get those who really grasp what’s in our hearts.

Your birth cert name is more fake than your pseudonym.

PART 2:
In re to Hamlet’s article on Reddit.

I wrote just last week on my own blog about how I think pseudonyms are more ‘real’ for us than birth certificate names.

With your ‘birther name’ – the one on your ID, you’re constrained to the limits of your physical reality. Class, gender, age, geography, politics, family, peer, and work social pressures, oppressive government pressures (lets face it, the Arab spring would have gotten 3 feet out the door and hit a bullet if not for anonymity), and so on.

Pseudonyms let us express ourselves how we truly feel on the inside; it allows us to be ‘free of the shackles that bind us into conformity with the dictates of Babylon.’ ๐Ÿ˜€

Pseudonyms today in 2012 freak out the powers that be as much as ‘freedom of the press’ did the powers that be in the 1700s. They will kill en mass to stop this, if they can get away with it.

They’ve learned in much of the world to live with a free press – because they learned the tool of propaganda. A free press today is the tool of repression. Its Ann Marie’s cake, its the card up a magician’s sleeve. It just dupes us into thinking our ideas and actions are ours while we play along with the dictates of our oppressors.

But pseudonyms are the free press of the modern age. They allow us to escape Babylon. Under a pseudonym you can work to form a solidified identity, one that in time becomes a compilation of your true inner nature.

This is why we become so attached to them. If pseudonyms really were just throw away handles use to harass and speak with impunity – they wouldn’t matter. We could get them and toss them at leisure.

But as people form a sense of self around them, they find, even if without awareness of it, that this new identity is more them than the identity they are forced into when ‘logged off’.

– This is why things like Reddit are the real future. They unshackle the human mass-consciousness, whereas something like Facebook shackles it back down.

Reddit is doomed if the powers-that-be get their hands on controlling it, but Facebook is doomed if they don’t.

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