Friday, June 29, 2007

A slice of reality

[0:41] Pitt Foden: anyway where do u come from?
[0:41] You: I'm from the xxx
[0:42] Pitt Foden: me 2
[0:42] Pitt Foden: which part?
[0:42] You: I'm xxxxxxxxxx
[0:42] Pitt Foden: where?
[0:42] You: Dear in my line of work it is better to be vauge about such things.
[0:43] You: vague*
[0:43] Pitt Foden: fine with me
[0:43] You: I get enough random skype calls
[0:43] Pitt Foden: will mine make a difference?
[0:43] You: What do you mean dear?
[0:43] Pitt Foden: do u have a msn then?
[0:44] You: No
[0:44] You: I have Yahoo
[0:44] You: but it usually isn't up
[0:44] You: because it keeps logging me off
[0:44] Pitt Foden: can i have it anyway?
[0:44] You: Dear I only give it out to clients
[0:45] Pitt Foden: ok...
[0:45] Pitt Foden: how old are u??
[0:45] You: I'm not here for getting an rl relationship dear
[0:45] You: I am xx irl
[0:45] Pitt Foden: relax...
[0:45] Pitt Foden: i have a gf
[0:45] Pitt Foden: juz want 2 have more online friends
[0:46] You: Well you can contact me here.
[0:46] Pitt Foden: that i can chat to
[0:46] You: Dear I have an rl
[0:46] Pitt Foden: i m not here often
[0:46] You: it would come to a screeching halt
[0:46] Pitt Foden: yahoo will me much easier
[0:46] You: if people knew what I do here.
[0:46] You: I have to be very careful what I say
[0:46] You: and to who
[0:47] Pitt Foden: k... i respect ur privacy...
[0:47] Pitt Foden: rest assured i m not a bad guy
[0:47] You: Yes, but the bad guys would say that too.
[0:48] Pitt Foden: that's on tv
[0:48] You: It is true irl too
[0:48] Pitt Foden: perhaps...
[0:48] Pitt Foden: but....
[0:48] Pitt Foden: i m the truth
[0:48] You: no perhaps about it dear
[0:49] Pitt Foden: u have a reationship in rl?
[0:49] You: That's really none of your business dear.
[0:49] Pitt Foden: juz curious..
[0:49] You: Dear,
[0:49] Pitt Foden: relax a little... will u?
[0:49] You: these are questions you ask someone who is interested in meeting rl
[0:49] You: I'm not
[0:50] You: I am about here
[0:50] You: in this floating world
[0:50] You: there isn't any place else that matters right now
[0:50] You: Here you are taller than you are irl
[0:50] You: and I am more beautiful
[0:50] You: and there are no costs for what we do.
[0:50] Pitt Foden: i m not trying to meet u in rl anyway
[0:50] You: Enjoy that
[0:51] Pitt Foden: very true...
[0:51] You: Imagine you are holding me
[0:51] You: my breasts presed against you,
[0:51] You: the smell of my hair across your face
[0:51] You: lingering where I brush against you.
[0:52] You: your hands come to rest on my hips
[0:52] You: stroking them
[0:52] Pitt Foden: ...
[0:52] Pitt Foden: and enjoying every moment
[0:52] You: Take each thing as it is offered dear.
[0:52] You: As intensely as it can be had.
[0:53] Pitt Foden: as u wish
[0:53] You: let go of your cares
[0:53] You: and look over a world
[0:54] You: where it is possible to float above the clouds
[0:54] You: and dance with a woman that you find there.
[0:54] Pitt Foden: a little dramatic.... but i like it....
[0:54] Lillie Yifu brushes her hand gently across his shoulder.
[0:55] You: All the world's a stage dear.
[0:55] You: if it weren't for comedy, romance and drama
[0:55] You: we would all have no lines to say at all
[0:55] Pitt Foden: true
[0:56] Pitt Foden: u online at this time everyday?
[0:56] You: most days
[0:56] Pitt Foden: u look really hot...
[0:56] Pitt Foden: u know...
[0:56] You: beauty is my profession
[0:57] Pitt Foden: well.... u did a good job then...
[0:57] Pitt Foden: a really god job...
[0:57] You: Why thank you dear. I am complimented
[0:58] Pitt Foden: can we do something else...
[0:58] Pitt Foden: something better...
[0:58] You: It depends on you dear
[0:58] You: What is it you want
[0:58] You: and are you willing to pay the price for it?
[0:58] Pitt Foden: u say?
[1:00] Pitt Foden: sorry.... i rather do something without any conditions involved....
[1:00] You: dear there are always conditions
[1:00] You: the question is whether you like them
[1:00] Pitt Foden: juz a dumb excuse... but its true...
[1:00] You: just as there is always a cost
[1:00] You: the question is whether you are willing to pay it.
[1:00] You: Money is often the cheapest way to get something
[1:00] You: though often not the best
[1:01] You: don't fool yourself dear
[1:01] You: if you have a relationship
[1:01] You: that is its own cost
[1:02] Pitt Foden: well... true love exists in this world without any types of conditions...
[1:02] Pitt Foden: u juz have to search 4 them....
[1:03] Lillie Yifu giggles
[1:03] You: dear nothing has more conditions than true love
[1:03] You: nothing
[1:03] You: you will learn that the hard way if you don't already know it
[1:03] You: That love is costly is what makes it so valuable
[1:03] Pitt Foden: don't worry..... i sincerely believe that day will never come
[1:04] Pitt Foden: valuable in terms of??
[1:04] You: People pay more ofr a chance at love than almost anything else
[1:04] You: and die for the lack of it
[1:05] You: they make art
[1:05] Pitt Foden: mayb....
[1:05] You: and build business empires
[1:05] You: and slave at dead end jobs
[1:05] You: for love
[1:05] Pitt Foden: but................
[1:05] You: Love is not some breezy "thing without restraints"
[1:05] Pitt Foden: they enjoy it.........
[1:05] You: on the contrary
[1:05] Pitt Foden: all 4 love...
[1:05] You: it's people like me who are cheap
[1:06] Pitt Foden: that's ur thinking....
[1:06] You: Because it is the truth
[1:06] You: you cannot buy love with money
[1:06] Pitt Foden: its more in the mind actually
[1:06] You: and often people spend lavishly for the chance at love
[1:06] You: and don't get it
[1:06] You: dear it is in the mind
[1:06] You: it is in the body
[1:07] You: and it is between two people
[1:07] You: and with the potential to be the beginning of a family
[1:07] Pitt Foden: they get it 4 only a few hours
[1:07] You: with even more
[1:07] Pitt Foden: that;s not true love
[1:07] You: Yes dear it is true love
[1:07] Pitt Foden: that's that harmful effects of porn
[1:07] You: and perhaps one day you will understand how powerful and precious it is
[1:08] Pitt Foden: hopefully not...
[1:08] Lillie Yifu giggles
[1:08] You: dear
[1:08] You: I am in the porn business
[1:08] Pitt Foden: let me ask u a question...
[1:08] Pitt Foden: do u feel happy doing it?
[1:08] You: certainly dear
[1:09] You: doing what? What I do for a job?
[1:09] You: Yes.
[1:09] You: Not always, but more often than many jobs.
[1:09] Pitt Foden: are u really happy?
[1:09] You: Happier than most people you will meet dear
[1:09] Pitt Foden: juz to fulfil all desires of urs?
[1:09] You: I get to be beautiful
[1:09] You: I get to bring people happiness
[1:09] You: and I am able to take the results of that
[1:09] You: and build my dreams.
[1:09] You: Most people don't get one of those out of their work.
[1:10] Pitt Foden: " nice " logic..........
[1:10] Pitt Foden: like i say...
[1:10] Pitt Foden: its all in the mind
[1:10] You: No dear
[1:10] Pitt Foden: if u think u r happy doing it
[1:10] You: it is much larger than that
[1:10] Pitt Foden: all 4 the sake of ur dreams
[1:11] Pitt Foden: no one not even god can stop u
[1:11] You: and for the sake of other people who those dreams touch
[1:11] You: I don't believe in God.
[1:11] Pitt Foden: me too.....
[1:11] Pitt Foden: i was juz using a dumb example
[1:12] Pitt Foden: mayb one day...
[1:12] Pitt Foden: u will desire settling down
[1:12] Pitt Foden: and when u reflect on ur life tens of years later........
[1:13] Pitt Foden: ask urself...
[1:13] Pitt Foden: are u TRULY happy?
[1:13] You: Happier than you know dear
[1:13] Pitt Foden: of course
[1:14] Pitt Foden: u will say that now
[1:14] Pitt Foden: let's wait till u r eighty.... k?
[1:14] You: Dear I say it because it is true
[1:14] You: everyone has a karma
[1:14] You: and they can embrace it or not
[1:14] You: this
[1:14] You: this is my karma
[1:15] Pitt Foden: do i hear an excuse?
[1:15] You: No dear
[1:15] You: why does what I do upset you so much?
[1:15] Pitt Foden: why not carry on is the porn business when u are fifty?
[1:16] Pitt Foden: u will have menopause then
[1:16] Pitt Foden: less chance of getting pregnant
[1:16] You: Dear spare me the helfire and brimstone
[1:16] Pitt Foden: and for god's sake stop ur logic
[1:17] Pitt Foden: anyway
[1:17] You: Dear you are being tiresome
[1:17] Pitt Foden: 4 a change
[1:17] Avatar ejected.


[1:17] Pitt Foden: thank u
[1:18] Pitt Foden: what are ur 'huge' dreams anyway?
[1:19] Pitt Foden: care to tell??
[1:19] Lillie Yifu: Dear I am going to tell you to go away and not bother me.
[1:19] Lillie Yifu: Or I will report you for harassment
[1:19] Lillie Yifu: Good day.
[1:20] Pitt Foden: come on.... after getting into ur skybox or watever shit.... u think i m afraid of being reported 4 harssment?? do u really believe that???
[1:21] Pitt Foden: nice day....

This is why there is endemic sexual harassment on sl. People who wonder why I am sour from time to time have to realize that this conversation is stereotypical, that it is often going on in several places at once, on IMs. I let it run on this time, so that people could see exactly how foul the social system we have built is. Pitt isn't afraid of consquences from LL, even though he has broken the rules rather clearly. So I am going to take a chance myself.

Girlfriend of the avatar of Pitt Foden, think about how he treated me like garbage trying to get sex. He's treating you like garbage too, as he goes out trying to virtually whore his way through SL. I have no way of finding you, or getting at his rl. But his rl might have a vested interest in getting at him. It is up to you. I've revealed nothing about him.

And Pitt? I would advise you make a new avatar, your name isn't going to be very good where ever there are dancers, escorts or other women of any kind who don't want to be abused. This isn't about a romantic wanting love - it is about a monster who thinks he can abuse his way, by his own admission, to no strings attached, no conditions satisfaction of his own desires. That is something unrelated to any species of love of my acquaintance. Instead it has a different name: abuse.

It is one thing to think you can seduce an escort. Escorts do leave the lifestyle for relationships, it happens. But is saying something else when an entire species of male thinks that they can abuse their way into intimacy.

I'm told by two of my economist friends that one of the important barriers to bad behavior is reputation and the cost of misbehaving. Pitt had nothing on him. He risked nothing, even if LL should ban him, because he can just create a new playdope and start again. I on the other hand, am locked into the SL system, and have tens of thousands of Linden on my person that would go poof should I be banned.

Now think on something Linden Laboratories. What kind of perverse system have you created, when the person who is doing their entirely legal work, contributing as a member of a land owning group to tier must be afraid, because the cost of trouble is high, and the griefer playdope thumbs his nose at you. Is this the message you want to send to residents?


  1. "Now think on something Linden Laboratories. What kind of perverse system have you created, when the person who is doing their entirely legal work, contributing as a member of a land owning group to tier must be afraid, because the cost of trouble is high, and the griefer playdope thumbs his nose at you. Is this the message you want to send to residents?"

    I think that paragraph bears repeating over and over again. The more we invest in the game, the more value our avs acquire in reputation and inventory, the bigger the imbalance with those who behave badly and do not care. As a social structure develops, how do we protect ourselves? How do we offset the imbalances?

  2. I can't agree with Lillie more. It's important that SL's doors remain open to all that come, but it's also important that LL gives residents an infrastructure that supports us and helps us work out problems.

    I'm wondering if something like a legal system might not work for SL. A lot of people have resisted this, but I'm not sure that, with so much at stake for so many, we can afford to put it off any longer.

    In RL we have protections against defamation and harassment... but we don't really have those in SL. What happens when someone is harassing you? What do you do? You file an abuse report and hope that something happened and then LL sends you a nice non-descript email which says that they resolved it but that they won't tell you what they did.... so you don't know.

    Personally, I prefer to build and script and hang out with my friends. I also model on occasion. I, too, have dealt with the kind of harassment that Lillie has. Some of the stories I could tell would make you cringe, so I'll spare you.

    The kind of harassment Lillie had to put up with is horrible. Every person on SL deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. We have all, collectively, created something wonderful and we owe it to ourselves to protect it.

  3. I don't think the law is the totality, or even the majority, of the fix. The av in question represents and entire type, an entire genre, of demand.

    That is, the demand for free slaves: women who give up everything they have, their lives, their emotion, their sexuality in return for a strings free, committment free presence of the man.

    Pitt was just eloquent enough to say what these men want: everything for nothing. That's not a problem limited to SL, it manifests on SL however, because many of the usual valves that slow these men down, aren't present. Sexual harassment is an endemic feature of Second Life, to a degree that I have not seen in my life in my travels. I am sure it is this bad places, just I've never been there.

    To deal with it in second life is going to take some changes, one of them is changing the balance of power in the face of the legal system of SL, yes. But another one is changing the economic balance of power. Give more people access to virtual money, so that fewer women are driven to escorting, and fewer men are in the position of having to make it on a shoe string (you did guess that Pitt was in newbie hair and skin right?)

    And finally the social system of SL itself has to step forward and begin the process of change. To no small extent we feed the "something for nothing" illusion.

    As an escort my cage of stories is larger and more packed than most, but I was talking to a business woman last night, and she gets harassing calls and pressure for sex on skype, and in SL, and in RL.

    Who ever you are, you are not alone.

    And I really feel sorry for Pitt's GF, because instead of paying attention to her, he was there with his hand on my virtual ass, telling me that I couldn't be happy without his dick in my life.

  4. I'm reading a news site, and, to take an example ripped from the headlines, the President of Israel's knesset, which is a ceremonial post, has resigned for admitting sex crimes against female employees. I don't want to give anyone the impression that this is a problem limited to SL.

    There is also this news story from CNN:

  5. Here is my proposal. If a client and consultant enter into a business transaction on sl they should both acknowledge that they have entered into a transaction - similar an Ebay auction.

    This is not a *personal* relationship, and may even have a different IM channel - a business phone, if you will.

    Personal phones are separate.

    The client and the professional can rate one another. If there are issues then ther can be arbitration.

    This would create order, accountability and jobs.

    It would also make Escorting "legal" in a sense. Escorts would have legal rights.

    A beautiful blog.

  6. Speaking of EBay, an escrow system for services, and not just for escorting, would be a god send.

  7. Yesterday, I was just walking through a mall in SL -- cords, scruffy red hair, no makeup, no balloon-boobs -- and this guy IM'd me out of nowhere demanding to know my RL location. When I refused to tell him, it informed me I was obviously an ugly guy who just wanted to be a girl.

    I could say 'yeah, stupid no0b', but I looked at its profile and it's been in SL twice as long as I have. And still thinks that's an acceptable way to behave.

  8. I think you had him nailed from the start. He came across to me as a lonely 16-17 year old who was looking for an RL relationship or at least the illusion of one being possible. Telling you that he had an RL GF seems an obvious and desperate lie designed to put you at ease. This specifically:

    Pitt Foden: k... i respect ur privacy...
    Pitt Foden: rest assured i m not a bad guy
    You: Yes, but the bad guys would say that too.
    Pitt Foden: that's on tv
    You: It is true irl too
    Pitt Foden: perhaps...
    Pitt Foden: but....
    Pitt Foden: i m the truth

    Just screams lonely horny 17 year old. I don't know if his "deep thoughts" on love are the product of an immature mind or a pathetic attempt to prove to you he is both a romantic and a good guy. But by then it does not matter you have him heated up and he needs it now and cannot bring him self to pay the price.

    Once he realizes he cannot have what he wants, nor what he needs he gets a case of sour grapes and decides to insult you SL choices. He needs to believe that there is noting wrong with him and yet he feels bad so there must be something wrong with you.

    Please don't believe for a moment that I endorse his behavior because in the end its still wrong.

  9. I believe in love and romance, what puzzles me is why people seem to think that pressuring me for my personal information is the way to find it. Or any woman for that matter.

  10. Thanks to Hamlet Au's New World Notes, I have found this fascinating blog of yours. Thank you very much for opening my eyes to something that was nagging me at the back of my mind but that I couldn't put a word to it.

    Back in 2004/5, a "first conversation" would have been like this:

    Him: So, where do you live?
    Me: Oh, I have a plot in Uli, it's a nice place — volcano island, tropical setting.
    Him: That's nice. I have no plot yet. Can I see it?

    These days, the conversation is more like this:

    Him: Where do you live?
    Me: I rent a place in Io, a very peaceful place. There is a lovely park behind it — RiverWalk Park, which is an artist's community. I also have a tiny shop in Neufreistadt...
    Him: (after a pause) lol
    Me: What?...
    Him: No I mean, where do you live in RL, I don't care about SL. Hey, are you trying the voice-enabled First Look viewer?

    The difference, as it's clear, is the way we project ourselves and the type of expectations, etiquette, and culture we had (or have). I come from the "old school" where revealing the RL location was almost forbidden, and at the very least, a taboo. Things like "can we talk on voice chat?" would be as rude as "can you give me your phone number? I want to call you up". Today, however, everything is allowed, and I've even put some basic things on my own profile. You get shunned if you don't say at least in which part of the planet you are.

    Well, this is not something new, of course, it has been evolving slowly. I was just not used to it. It's like people looking me up on Yahoo and typing "asl" — they get immediately blocked since I'm not interested in answering any of those questions (although I've found out that telling my age, 38, is often more than enough to turn them off immediately — possibly the only benefit of getting older!). I'm used getting it on the messenger systems; I was "born" in SL under different expectations and I'm still not used to the same in SL.

    But while I'm willing to adapt to a world where these community-driven taboos are broken every day, I started to worry a bit if SL is, for some, just a dating service. The other day there was a thread on the forums appealing to Linden Lab to "ban the use of voice morphing software". That is just ridiculous. Obviously the guy had a bad "experience" (suits him right!) and now demands some sort of "protection" from Linden Lab to ensure that his dating opportunities do not get flawed.

    But there was a point missing somewhere, and it was not obvious to me before I read this post of yours. In all these cases, we're talking about guys. Or, at least, male avatars "hitting" female avatars. Although routinely I get asked by several newbies "where are you from", as I think about it better, it seems that I cannot recall a single instance of someone using a female avatar and asking me personal, real-world data.

    Now to be honest, a lot of guys (or at least male avatars) don't ask me for it, either. But all have something in common: they are veteran users, being around in SL for over a year or so. Also, almost all are really not interested in sex/dating/partnering — they have other interests foremost in their minds. But these are really a dwindling minority.

    I used to explain some of my personal reasons for not being comfortable in revealing too much personal data, but my message never got across. The notion that you're allowed to have some privacy in SL (or even in RL, for that matter!) never seems to cross their minds. I don't know what they read in the news before they log in to SL; very likely, that sex is free to get, "all chicks are beautiful" and "just want some fun" or something like that. At least, they seem to imagine that SL is like AdultFriendFinder in 3D, where everybody in here is out to get laid — males and females alike — and that all the rest of the environment is just eye candy.

    Saying "no, thanks" in real life works far better. You're right — in SL, people don't risk anything. They can hit someone, demand whatever they like, see if they get it, and move on. If they get AR'ed for harassment, they just grab a new avatar. They'll remain "newbies" forever — there is no interest in anything else beyond "interactive pornography" (which is what 3D cybersex looks like) — and this can be taken with any avatar — and hopefully getting something more in return (in RL). The importance of getting this precious gift — a glimpse of your RL data — is only valued as it allows to settle on a partner that might be roughly your age and roughly in your neighbourhood, so that you can do a follow-up in RL — eventually.

    Well, my apologies if I'm offending any guys who will say "That's all BS; I'm not like that, and I never was". IM me — I'd be delighted to know you then :) And yes, I have quite a large number of male friends (or, again, friends with male avatars — I hardly know who's behind them) who are like that.

    I don't know if there is any way of reverting this process. "Monkey copies monkey", we use to say in my country; and although the rules of etiquette in the olden days of SL included the respect for privacy, they do not apply these days any more — and since you'll copy the behaviour of others you see around, that's what you'll do, too. This is a positive feedback cycle: it grows and grows, exponentially, as SL grows, and encompasses a larger number of users every day.

    Voice is making things even harder. Right now, the voice client is optional, and the excuse that "it's too unstable to run on my computer, sorry" still holds, but it won't be long until you get it in the regular SL client. The beauty of it is that I won't be able to hear what they're telling me, or any insults for not replying — they'll be standing still, looking away from me, and yelling in their microphones "ASL! ASL! ARE YOU DEAF?? ASL!" while I obviously ignore what's going on and will naively think they're just away or busy scripting something, which is the expected behaviour from someone who is "standing still" :) So I'll be labelled as rude for not replying to voice comms, and perhaps this will make them give up :)

    Lillie, you're so right. People do not care about reputation any more. Creating new alts is so easy (even if now you're limited to a handful). Also, for someone who is planning to spend "a few days" in SL, it's way hard to understand that others are here for years, and do worry about their projected image in this virtual world. I have no solution to offer to this dilemma, specially because Linden Lab is removing themselves from 'ruling' this place more and more, and leaving us to self-organise. In my mind, all you can expect to do is to educate the masses. There is no "protection". But education takes ages... and is not totally efficient (or we wouldn't have crime iRL, for instance!).

    Measuring reputation is also hard, and even harder to devise a technical system that cannot be gamed (that's why LL abandoned ratings). To natsumi, I would suggest to google for the Metaverse Republic/The Justice List, which are trying to set up something like you're describing. But I really think that the answer is seclusion — falling back to a sim, a community, a place where you enforce the rules, not Linden Lab.

  11. I think your missing that alot of guys RL these days act like every woman should want to be their willing slut and take whatever abuses they come up with oh so willingly...

    SL reflects a shift in global culture where men don't need standards of behavior to hold themselves up to (no 'gentlemen'). It's a very sad thing to see... It also effects countries that were traditionally very good with manners like Japan...

    To many 'playas', not enough real men... It's probably part of what contributes to my lack of interest in men when I think about it...

  12. Gwyneth Llewelyn,

    I cannot take offense at your words because Lillie has told me too many tales for me not to hang my head in shame at the behavior of some males. Yet I am both new and not one of the males that would hit on you. I am on the other hand in RL, over 40, married, and I don't desire the complications that an SL relationship might bring. As Lilie is fond of telling me the sex is fake but the emotions are real.

    I do think age is a big differentiator in behavior in SL, even more than in RL. Most of the younger crowd seem to regard SL as chat with pictures, if thats all it is why take it seriously and why worry about consequence. I know the goons over at something awful regard SL as a place for freaks that connect safely express them selves in RL to "come out" in SL. At least some of their greifing is amusing.

    I have a few other thought on this but I need to run.