Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coming Attractions

Positively pornographic.

Not at all work safe, you have been warned. Don't touch that link! Can you resist the temptation? Pretty shiny candy-like link. Can you resist the temptation? Of course you can. And that's just your cellphone that has drifted behind your zipper.

Some thoughts on looks

Meangirls want to wench about shapes.

Some of the things in there have value, others don't. Some of my shapes (there are 23 different lillie shapes for different circumstance) have legs 100, because when you are on the pole, tall is better. Ditto being on a man's arm at a function. He wants to be tall to be noticed, and you had better match him.

"There are plenty of other body parts yet to go. Hips are a delicate subject. I was once a victim of being under the influence of the prim skirt. There is no universal size for building prim skirts and therefore so many have opted to have waif thin Kate Moss avs just so they can wear that brand new skirt put out by InsertDesigner Here. Girls its not true! I can guarantee that if some of you models were to give yourselves some curves that designers would re-think their products and product proportions. There are plus size women IRL - and also in SL."

And most of the plus size women are trying not to be. Hmmm. One of the running problems with SL is that the skirt object, and it is an avatar object they same way your body is, is well known to widden out your hips. Good shape designers will include skirt/no-skirt versions of a shape, and girls who know what they are doing will shift from skirt to no skirt when the time comes to take off the skirt. Prim skirts are largely dictated by whether or not there is a clothes skirt underneath. Prims with pants should have the no skirt shape. No skirt shapes should also pare back on the curve as well as the width. By the way boys, you should have more jut to your hips, it implies the ability to pump. Pump is good. Trust me, pump is good.

But let me answer this question:

Speaking of models ... what exactly makes someone a model in SL? I've never been one, and I can't say I even know one but I see a lot of profiles that say "model".

Yes, rl being a model is partially about physical endowment, at least for whatever body part you do, there are hands models, underwear models, body doubles and so on. However, in both sl and rl, the other part is knowing how to move, and in sl knowing how to shoot. This means having a good monitor, knowing how to use photoshop, knowing how to frame a shot. It also means in SL having a good AO, a battery of poses, knowing which ones will flatter which clothes. It means picking out good locations and color contrasts for clothes, picking out ensembles that will flatter the clients clothes and knowing how to make small but important edits for cloths/hair/jewelry to fit you.

As with being an escort, or designer, or builder, it is easy to say model. I've modelled in SL, but I know some girls who bring in respectable amounts of money as models. I respect their skills in making fashion look better, because it is a set of skills that have to be learned and acquired.

I guess I'm just against conventional beauty

I'm just against convention.

10 Academically Incorrect Truths About Allan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa

This article shows how it is an easy road to publicity and general publication by repeating and reinforcing outright lies, inaccuracies, and agenda promotion. Miller and his co-author are from the right wing, and are of course, co-dependent on that sliver of the academy the promotes an equally shrill interpretation. I won't say on the left, because they really are cut off from all effective politics what so ever. Better to say that they see the world out of the orifice that corresponds to the organ that Miller views as the most important in the world. If only they could abandon pretense and engage in the wild orgies of passion that they so clearly long for, and leave the rest of us in peace. Please, you can try it out in second life, I can supply the place and the sex beds!

"Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature" is the title by the way, so google will find it.

1. "It is difficult to ascribe the preferences and desires of women in 15th-century Italy and 21st-century Iran to socialization by media."

We know about women dying their hair blond because of... paintings, which was "the media" of that era. And "socialization by the media" is short hand for the ways which a society pushes people into believing that they must radically alter themselves. The women who were dying their hair were in the centers of commercial power, where peer pressure, social relationship, and status were important.

Iranians don't have access to Western television? The academics writing this paper have to do a bit more field work. More marks deducted for not examining the surveys in light of the difference between individuals who are at the pinnacle of power, and thus can be less concerned with correcting themselves, versus people who are trying to move up, and thus feel inferiority and a drive to mimmic the successful culture.

Studying a wide range of art in history, one doesn't find that the blond bombsehll is the perpetual standard. Women in Asia dyed their hair blacker, not lighter, for centuries. Whatever your hair color, indeed, whatever your body shape or type, somewhere, somewhen, there was a time when women wanted to look just like you.

All this being said, well "a woman is better off being attractive than smart, because men see better than they think." As long as men disproportionately control the economic future of a society, then there is going to be a disproportionate drive for women, not to look attractive, but to look like what men want women to look like.

I say this because there is another competition within and between women which is also important: status between women. Women send many signals which are not directed at men, because men don't notice them, but directed at other women which establish the hiearchy among women. This is also evolutionary in its root, though not of course in its particulars, because women command other women to do work, and that work frees up the alpha women from the drudgery of child raising, the wear and tear of house keeping, and the time sink of social group building. Of course, Alan Miller,, with his ideological axe to grind, doesn't think about how much of feminine fashion is directed at other women. Too much of his blood is out of his brain.

What they need to start with is reading Hughes and then ask a simple question about Italy in that moment, Europe in that moment, and trade in that moment. Italians, particularly those from the power center of Rome, are darker. So too are the people that made the goods that Venice traded with. They were also Islamic. But their customers, were Germanic. That is to say. Blond, in ideal if not always in fact. Being blond in 1500 was a very simple way of telling your blond Christian customers that you aren't a dark Islamic. Visual clue "I am like you."

By the way, the book they really need to cite is Blondes in Venetian Paintings, the Nine-Banded Armadillo and Other Essays in Biochemsitry where Bloch goes into how there was a flowering of Blond at that moment, and his conclusion points to status, not genetic desire for blond, as the reason.

Thus in cultures where sun bleaching would lead to lighter brown hair, such as Latin America, oh say a generation ago, being raven black haired was a sign that your locks were not baked in the sun picking coffee or tubers.

The same is true with the fair skin. If you work in the fields, teaches Gone with the Wind your hair and your face weather. Thus fairer skin, even fairer than is otherwise possible, as the pure white of Geisha and Oiren shows, is a sign of never having to set foot outside of the house. In late Qing china this was reinforced by footbinding. Proof that a woman is so cared for that she has never had to work is a big thing in history, and skin is one of the best measurements of it. The combination of blond and fair is important then, because blond with dark skin is a sign of the sun, where as blond with light skin is a sign of being favored.

Evolution wants men and women to send off signals of being fertile, healthy, successful and willing to mate. It does not dictate looking like the most recent beer commercial, even though beer has been helping people have sex for thousands of years, and may well have been one of the inducements to settled life. It is not just the opposite sex that is the target naturally. Where it is imbalanced, it says that there is a perceived imbalance in power.

2. Humans are naturally...

More than both actually. Evoltution does not care whether you are completely happy, it cares whether you are helpful in keeping a viable breeding group of your species going. In several studies on breeding habits of mamals under various conditions of adversity, it was seen that different species have different strategies for different favorbilities. One good example is mice that produce disproportionately more males when there is a surplus of food, because males are both more energy intensive, and can produce far more offspring, but more females when food is in short supply.

Monogamy is a strategy for dealing with adversity, which is a great deal of human society through most times. Monogamy offers a number of advantages for those who pair bond. So the pair bond impulse will get passed along. Having multiple partners is also a good strategy, either at the top, when there is plenty of everything, and at the bottom, where there are no stable pair bonds to be had. This means that various impulses to promiscuity will be passed along. There is also the reality that the pair bond itself is a co-evolution, the two partners don't have exactly the same interests, which means that strategies for pushing the other partner will also be passed along. That means infidelity.

So the correct answer is not even "monogamous verus polygamous" but that there are several evolutionary strategies for humans to form attachments, and that since all of them work some of the time, and the ability to shift from one to the other as times change is useful, individual people will be faced with different conflicting impulses.

How they act on these conflicting impulses is... hmmm .... another question.

3. Women benefit from ...

This is a fallacy of equivocation. Women benefit from accessing the wealthy of a single wealthy man, but they don't benefit from being his chattel, which in most times and most places is what marriage is. Instead, the typical pattern of prostitutes, courtesans and mistresses, is to provide services to wealthier men, and use this to build up enough resources so that they can select their own man, or they are selected by a man who is their "pimp" and that is their primary pair bond.

It should be noted that the dominant culture at any given time allows some degree of successful men, and specially statused women, to have many stable partners, they all also have festival or carnival times where license is permitted. And they prescribe monogamy for most of the rest of the year. The best performing societies then, are the ones that have stability generally, escape valves and rewards specifically. The most egalitarian societies are the ones that give the most rights to women, and take equality of women most seriously.

Saying that people benefit under inquality is therefore, in correct, everyone is worse off. Some individuals are able to improve their standing in the group, but only at the cost of even more misery to others.

4. "According to the Oxford University sociologist Diego Gambetta, editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions, a comprehensive history of this troubling yet topical phenomenon, while suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, when religion is involved, it is always Muslim. Why is this? Why is Islam the only religion that motivates its followers to commit suicide missions?"

I am going to laugh out loud at this one. It is a complete lie. Not just fib, outright lie.

First the study begs its own question. It does not, for example, count Kamikazee pilots, where were certainly on a suicide mission, certainly religiously motivated through emperor worship and shinto, and certainly flying bombs. Cearly the person writing the study wanted to draw the conclusion, or the Japanese example would have been looked at.

As for why Islam as an ideology, that's wrong. The correct answer is "why now." I'm not an expert on explosives or other military technology, so I called up a friend who is. He was extremely dismissive. His point was that the explosives that make being a suicide bomber effective are recent, that Islamic/Jewish and Islamic/Christian conflicts are the only ones where an economically disadvantaged group very large surplus population faces the world's most advanced military hardware over a life and death land conflict, and that Islam is the religion that just happens to be the religion that is in place. He notes that there are plenty of bombers out of fundamentalist Christian sects and some out of radical environmentalism, but these all come from societies where times are good. He notes "if the study were correct, we would have to ask why suicide gunmen are all evangelical or protestant Christians, because that is the case as well. There is no such answer, it is the product of accessilbilty, demographics - and perceived enemies."

As for the merits of political suicide, I can answer this one, both Republican Rome and Revolutionary France had a cult of political suicide, as did feudal Japan. Making the statement that you would not wish to live in this culture any more and you seal your indictment of it with your death.

5. Sons and Divorce

"Since a man's mate value is largely determined by his wealth, status, and power—whereas a woman's is largely determined by her youth and physical attractiveness—the father has to make sure that his son will inherit his wealth, status, and power, regardless of how much or how little of these resources he has. In contrast, there is relatively little that a father (or mother) can do to keep a daughter youthful or make her more physically attractive."

This is an observation which lies by excluding qualifications that are usually part of the rest of the article. In dowry cultures, that is, ones where the family of the bride is supposed to offer money to marry off the daughter, the need for accumulation of wealth and status is as powerful as with males. Through much of history, it isn't that men divorced women because they wanted sons to be better off, it is that they wanted sons in the first place. While the majority of the reason for a son is the man's sperm, some part is whether the man and the woman are cross-fertile. Since a man can't do anything about his sperm, and isn't inclined to blame himself for anything, serially going through women until one produced sons is an historical game with, hmmm, a great deal of precedent.

So while the observation might be true in the present society which has both easy access to divorce and a strong correlation between where you start out and where you end up, and lack of dowry resources and destruction of women dominated social structures that women could use to increase their attractiveness by organizing other women around them, it isn't generally true, and the explanation isn't generally true either.

This is the closest they have gotten to being right about much of anything.

6."It is commonly believed that whether parents conceive a boy or a girl is up to random chance. lose, but not quite; it is largely up to chance. The normal sex ratio at birth is 105 boys for every 100 girls. "

Flunk biology and English in two sentences. Note: conceive in one sentence, and birth in the second. They know better than to assert conception, which is what they want for their ideological axe to grind agenda. There is no study that shows conception rates being the sole driver, which is what they need to prove their point. Instead they skip to birth order, which is the result of conceptions, and gestation. In order for gestation to back them up, there would have to be specific mechanisms that weed out boys earlier on. We know about these in some species, but no evidence, let me say it, less than no evidence, in humans.

Now for flunking English, they say "random chance" and then imply because the birth ratio is different, that this means it isn't "random". Let me explain what is wrong with this one from the point of view of a roulette wheel. If you bet on black on a European roulette wheel, you will lose slightly more than half the time, because of the green "0." The same is true of betting on red. This does not mean that the wheel isn't random, it means that it is not an exactly even bet. The same is true of human conception, the difference in birth ratios could still be "random chance." They talk about a celebrated hypothesis, but they assert an explanation which they don't differentiate from various others which are more likely given the data. Namely, more sons are the result of posher surroundings, not because evolution wants people on top to have more sons.

In fact the reverse is the case: the male carries on the family name customs of many poorer cultures leads to infanticide, and that isn't a trait of rich places. If there really were a "male bias" to gestation, then we would see rich countries having disproportionate rates of males at birth. We largely do not. Instead, the differences in ratio that we see almost all accumulate after birth, and are therefore not the result of the same kinds of effects we see in some species of mice, where the sex ratios are pronounced at birth. Instead industrialized nations have a declining rate of male births. That is declining. Down. Less. Fewer. Exactly the opposite of what their theory would predict. But why let facts get in the way of a good ideological lie? Next time I hear someone talk about how silly the virgin birth of Catholicism is, I will point them to this study and say "psychology wants you to swallow a lie just as large and for the same reason."

Namely they want you to believe that rich, male and fecund is the result of natural evolutionary forces, rather than the product of the better life that being rich and able to protect oneself from bad environmental factors, and they really want you to ignore the fact that if you are a male who isn't at the top of the heap, you are more, not less, in danger of losing your fertility, than the poor people someplace else.

More males are conceived than females, more male fetus' die during the course of pregancy, to get the birth ratio down to 101-107/100. Eventually this evens out By saying that "random" means "50/50," it makes me wonder how you can graduate from the London School of Economics, and not get statistics right. That is, unless you are simply lying about things, which both of these authors do repeatedly. The simplest explanation that fits the facts is that they want to write a book that every sexist male in creation will buy and spew at people around the water cooler. Good market, I service it too, so I can't complain that other people are too.

And the killer counter argument is the global sex ratio which wikipedia gives us a nice picture of here. The rich countries are no more female heavy than the poor, in fact, several developing countries such as India and China are male heavy. For young people poor means women, but not at birth.

The sex ratios at birth for Africa are comparable to Europe, but by 15 there are many more girls than boys. More boys die in infancy than girls. This indicates that it is not gestation and evolutionary biological programming, but environmental results of disease, war, economic disclocation. How do we know this, because by the time people get old, Africa, far from being female heavy, is male heavy. Why is this? Women die in childbirth in Africa at disproportionate rates. The factor that winnows the boys out young, winnows the women out between 15 and 55.

In short, disease, not the selective advantage of being incredibly rich, is a better explanation for why men or women are winnowed out of a population.

Over the course of years, more males die than females, and at a certain point, the two numbers cross. How delicate this curve is to evolution is a matter of debate, because it varies widely with society. However the general trend, that males are more death prone than females, and so humans have a slight bias in favor of producing a small surplus of males to start, and then this number is whittled down to just about even by the time pair bonding is supposed to start, is a large argument in favor of pair bonding being a primary, but not sole, way that humans are supposed to form attachments for having children. In species where one male to many females is the dominant mode, males get winnowed out much harder much earlier.

This one then is another lie, because the sentences were deliberately constructed to mislead. This one is wrong, because status isn't genetic. Instead, status produces better diet, and diet is the driver of having more males. The reason for this is immunological. In order for conception and birth to occur, a whole line of immunological tests have to be passed, by the egg, sperm, zygote, fetus. People who are in less immunologically stressed conditions, and which have better diet, mean that these tests are easier to pass, and therefore, more sons, since male fetus' are generally less hardy (stack of medical literature on this one) than female fetuses. As I noted above, this fits in with the nature of men as gambles in mammal mating games, a few successful sons leave lots of children, while women are more likely to breed, and therefore less likely to leave a line completely out of the picture.

But it isn't the, and Alan Miller and Kanazawa should know this if they do not, the correlative fitness of male genetic material and social status, because there's no good genetic correlation between aristocrats and better almost anything, that is why they are constantly raiding the chambermaid population, or up and coming merchant population, for new genetic material. It's that when life is good, you can have more, and healthier, children, and that is good for having sons, on average.

7. "Women often say no to men. Men have had to conquer foreign lands, win battles and wars, compose symphonies, author books, write sonnets, paint cathedral ceilings, make scientific discoveries, play in rock bands, and write new computer software in order to impress women so that they will agree to have sex with them. Men have built (and destroyed) civilization in order to impress women, so that they might say yes."

Philistinism! How the sweet sounds of just lying about art reach my ears. This is why we must must must must must must must teach more art in school. One of the problems here is that many of the artists in history haven't been breeders. Michelangelo was homosexual. So were a number of other famous artists, poets, actors and so on. If this were all and only about breeding, then Miller has to prove something. The missing thesis here is homophobia: "Non-heterosexuals are abnormal and deficient breeders."

This isn't easy to prove, probably because it is probably wrong. There are lots of other reasons to have young people engage in high risk activities. Chances are they are healthier than their older counterparts. They have fewer skills and less knowledge to bring to the community, so the loss of their experience is less than if say, the 50 year old matron who knows the herbs and how to deliver babies dies, or the 45 year old male who knows the animal migration routes dies. To credit "youth" as having only one activity, getting laid and having children, is an illusion that a professor who teaches young people, particularly attractive young people they want to have sex with (and I feel happy accusing Miller of this because he says that that is what being flashy in mid-life is about, so clearly he is writing this article to get laid by his own theory) would like to promote.

In otherwords, it is equally likely that the drive of young men to be brilliant is because it winnows down the gene pool favorably.

Let's take Michelangelo. Yes, while young, he is busy producing individual masterpieces, but then, when older, he is virtually put in charge of redoing the Vatican. The dome is his design, as is much of the high renaissance style. As an artist gets older, he is often made to be in charge of an empire. Artists that don't have a financial empire that brings them money for earlier works, tend not to be making art because they are busy starving to death. Many fields of art don't produce masterpieces so young. Shakespeare, who ever he or they were, didn't write best early, but later. Beethoven's piano sonatas, when all he had was his fingers, come early, but his symphonies, which are a measure of being able to gather large forces, come later. By the time Beethoven wrote his fifth symphony, Mozart and Schubert would have been dead. Mozart too, just got better with age. You can have 18 year old Mozart if you like, but give me later Mozart, who was not all that old, but was getting better with every passing stride.

The alternate explanation, one which fits the facts much better, is that young people engage in mental risk taking. Men particularly, because there is a surplus of them, evolution has adpated humans to let surplus people take risks, and then if they work out, reap the rewards, and in evolutionary terms, those rewards are reproductive.

What they want to talk around, and do over and over again, is something I see over and over again on Second Life. Virtual sex has a very, very, very, very low chance of producing children. It has a slightly better chance of forming a relationship to care for children that have already been produced. However, largely, it is because sex and social drives are powerful enough to exist for their own sake. That is, sex isn't just how we produce children, nor even how we produce children and hold on to partners, it is a way we organize our mental existence, our social existence, our creative existence. This is good for evolution, because it means that as humans we are directly or indirectly thinking about sex all the time.

But this is very different, very, very, very different, from sex being on breeding's leash all the time. That is, it is different from being able to draw, as Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa do over and over again, neat little lines from observed behavior, which is many things all stacked together, and some simple patriarchy propaganda version of evolutionary theory that they want to promote.

8. The Midlife Crisis…

Is completely without supporting data.

9. It is natural for….

Ummm can anyone point out the problem with this one. Clinton didn't have a child with Lewinsky, and in fact, engaged only in oral sex, which, I hope Miller and Kanazaw know, does not produce children. If this were all 100% Darwinian get your seed into the hole, then the urge to actually have vaginal intercourse would have been made overwhelming… it is in enough other cases.

This means that one of the points that Miller and Kanazawa simply refuse to talk about, because it over throws their obvious cock whore-ship, is that sex isn't just about direct reproduction in humans, or primates in general. Sex is also a means by which people relate to each other, establish dominance and status, organize relationships, and advertise status. This part of sexuality is as important as the the direct reproduction, and Miller and Kanazawa, if they weren't busiy being plutocratic pigs about everything, would recognize it. Human beings are group animals, the resources of groups determines how well entire groups of will be able to breed. Because of the very migratory nature of human history, and the number of times when evolution of humans hung by a thread, this means something that I think is important for people to understand.

I am not the best at this but let me try. The group needs to work out for their to be more children, but within that, different individuals are going to be competing to get the best result for themselves. Maybe that will mean everyone is better off, and maybe it wont. But sex is one means where genetic actors push to get the best outcome for themselves, without destroying the whole group.

If you think about it, many of the extreme cases that Miller and Kanazawa want to argue are evolutionary ideals, are really peacock feathers: places where ordinary pressures are temporarily removed, and allow a few factors to run riot. But that doesn't mean that those factors are the only "real" ones, and others are fake, but instead, that there are a hoste of competing factors, and in different situations different ones matter.

And I will say that Miller and Kanazawa lie about politics, or are hopelessly stupid about it, in the same way they lie, or are hopelessly ignorant, of art. Namely, what made Clinton's affair important was not that he got caught, but that he had a ruthless political opposition that was willing to go after him for it. I will also point out that Clinton left office about twice as popular as Bush is right now, with his somewhat obviously estranged wife as the leading contender for being the next President. So maybe he knew that while it might be unpleasant, it wasn't going to produce any children, and it wasn't going to put his time in office at risk, and it does not seem to have hurt Hillary to be the wronged woman. If anything, it makes her almost unassailable.

10 "Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist.

This one, really is truly ugly, only academic alpha men intent on sleeping with their undergraduates could write it. Remember, that is their thesis, everything is about men putting the cock in the hole to impregnate, so if they aren't doing it, they are evolutionarily abnormal by their own theory. Their strategy is to sell the patriarchy myth to other men who want to impose it as natural and inevitable, and use the status they gain to be attractive to women who want to be in the harem of the dominant alpha male.

Here on SL, there is little to no reproduction going on from casual sex. In fact, many of the couplings on SL are explicitly designed not to result in face to face, or flesh to flesh, meetings. Men sexually harass women because they are sexist, because they could not treat men in the same way, without getting themselves in a great deal of trouble. Miller and Kanazawa lie, again, about what they are talking about. The feminist theory of patrirarchy isn't that men don't want to abuse each other, on the contrary, layers of inequality, which Miller and Kanazawa celebrate repeatedly, are endemic to patriarchy as feminism describes it, however bad the writing is.

However, says the theory, they have both an incentive to force women to submit, and Miller and Kanazawa lie about academic feminism by implying that it doesn't understand the evolutionary drive to reproduce, and a greater ability to do so by force. In fact, power, in terms of reproductive success, is still power. It is Miller and Kanazawa, not academic feminism, that divide getting babies made, from other kinds of social status. This is really strange, after arguing it is all about fucking and getting the seed to grow, that power, status, genius, money and so on are all means to the end of fucking and getting the seed to grow, they suddenly want to abandon this paradigm in order to say that sexual harassment isn't about sexism. The way it should be looked at is the reverse: that power is a means of short circuiting the female choice involved, which Miller and Kanazawa argue else where is part of the game. From my own observation, the other side of this is that there are women who think that their advantage is that they can fulfill the desire of men to be perfect submissives better. Where academic feminism doesn't want to look to closely at evolution isn't at the behavior of men, but in the reality that there are women who want this game to go on, because they feel they can win this game better.

The "Story of O" is a good example, the woman who wrote it felt that she was not attractive or young, but wanted to hold on to her lover, so she created a book which is the fantasy matrix for millions. If have it, what ever it is, flaunt it. But then, also, try and take the advantages the others have.

The last thing I would like to note is their "more is better" theory of human children. This isn't really the case. In fact, industrialized societies, which have better survival rates, have fewer children. In biology there is a well established spectrum of "care verus number" as a strategy. The more care you give to make each individual more likely to survive, the fewer numbers. A great many points here I've been talking about how sex and status are used to get other humans in a group to give more care to high status individuals, so those individuals can do higher status activities. They may use this to make more children, but they don't necessarily have to. They might, as say Bill Clinton tried to do, spend time making the whole breeding group better off, so that their own genetic material sloshing around it has a better chance. Not just their direct descendants, but as Hamiliton showed, promoting your relatives is almost as good as having children yourself. In social insects in fact, breeders can be argued to be the way by which non-breeding workers produce offspring, rather than seeing workers as the way by which queens off load work. Honest, it is in The Selfish Gene and several other books that these two ought to have been reading, rather than looking at the most recent crop of undergraduates. Again, they accuse themselves of this, I'm just pointing out that either their are evolutionarily abnormal, or trying to screw their students but their own theory.

Monday, July 30, 2007

NY Times: Why we have sex

Short article on a very flawed study.

But going through the list and deciding what to nominate are interesting games.

Which reasons to have sex have motivated you in the last month?

Map functionality down for me

Another awful day on the grid with money being intermittently inaccessible, immense lag, and map a blank blue screen.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This is a truly horrible day on the grid

Crashing repeatedly, search often down. For me, search being down is theft: I cannot contact people who take my notecards without being able to search for them, and every day or hour it is down is money taken directly from me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chat Log of the Privacy Session

Thanks to Vint whose version was better than the one I had.

Miranda Tibbett: First, Lillie, I think it would be helpful to get
some sense of what the dangers are, from your perspective. Many people
simply don't know what can happen.
Emmo Etzel: The kids aren't too happy about it sometimes. Did you see
the NY Times article/blog about that?
Lillie Yifu: What I would like to start with is a story about someone I know
Lillie Yifu: she met someone
Lillie Yifu: chattered a bit about what she studied
JLP Raymaker: how do i IM someone if they aren't my friend?
Lillie Yifu: the person she was talking with warned her that he could
find her on google.
Miranda Tibbett: JLP, click on the AV, then click IM.
Lillie Yifu: We are all, out there, far more than we might think. As
soon as people talk about privacy, it usually means that they don't
have any
Lillie Yifu: and when they talk about security, it usually means they
are insecure.
Lillie Yifu: The wonderful thing about our digital world is that we
can meet people from all over the world
Lillie Yifu: and we can do things that were impossible for ordinary
people a few years ago.
Lillie Yifu: The problem is that relationships are dangerous
Lillie Yifu: pregancy is probably the most dangerous thing that human
beings are expected to do.
Aniela Roffo: we've lost complete audio from Chicago right? I'm not
fluteplayer Kidd: and there's 6 billion of them - plenty of morons to
ignore I'm sorry to say
Rosenel Falken: evidently
Miranda Tibbett: Lillie, what do you do to protect yourself?
Lillie Yifu: So when we go to relationships online, realize that we
are managing danger
Emmo Etzel: Agreed. Someone that my husband knows wrote in his profile
how Intelligent he is. DH said that he must feel insecure. I agree. I
think that the same goes for security.
Lillie Yifu: that is inherent in love, romantic attachment, and intimacy
Miranda Tibbett: And can you give us an example of "sketchy" things
that have happened to you, situations where you might have felt at risk?
Miranda Tibbett: Also, we'd like to talk a bit about how you draw the
line between feeling like you know someone and being safe in SL and
then meeting them in RL.
Lillie Yifu: It doesn't take much. I wrote a review on my blog about
the three largest escort clubs. I think I had 4 inbound links, and 25
readers a day.
Lillie Yifu: But one of the club owners took offense, he sent his
managers after me, his radio station after me, and bombarded me with
abusive IMs
Emmo Etzel: I'm more worried about usenet-type things. That's the only
place I have felt that weirdos might track me down.
Lillie Yifu: knowing that no matter how much he broke the ToS, nothing
was going to happen to him because he was important
QueenWench Tammas: wow
Lillie Yifu: So it isn't the "random wierdo" that you should be worried about
Lillie Yifu: it is your employer
Emmo Etzel: True.
Lillie Yifu: or other people who have real money at stake
Miranda Tibbett: Please keep the questions coming, folks!
Lillie Yifu: Let me put forward three rules that work for internet
relationship finding everywhere,
Rosenel Falken: So do we give up and leave? What's up?
Emmo Etzel: The one time I had problems at a sporting event, it was
road rage from a fan of the same team, nota sore loser from the
opposing team (court dte 8/10)
Lillie Yifu: first, don't be in a hurry.
Kuanyin Yiyuan: I've been asked by a blog friend to step into a battle
with another blogger, but I am hesitant to get involved because I
would be the only woman.
Lillie Yifu: second, the person you need to meet first, is yourself.
Emmo Etzel: I think that we should have our own panel. Any volunteers?
Lillie Yifu: and third, trust in the community of people.
Lillie Yifu: Almost everything bad that can happen to you on the
internet, will happen to you because you are too much in a hurry.
Aniela Roffo: and in real life yifu
Lillie Yifu: In a hurry to find a husband, a boyfriend, a quick job,
or a cheap television set.
Emmo Etzel: Internet rage? Like road rage?
Lillie Yifu: Most internet rage passes. I think it is the product of
furstrated people.
Miranda Tibbett: Interesting point.
Miranda Tibbett: But hard to apply in the "instant gratification"
setting of online sexual encounters.
Lillie Yifu: but what is more dangerous on the internet, is exposing
yourself to unneeded danger
Lillie Yifu: The itnernet is very tempting to do things fast
Lillie Yifu: that is precisely why
Lillie Yifu: you should slow down
Lillie Yifu: first find yourself, then find a community of people who
are going to be your community of choice.
Lillie Yifu: Then look for a relationship.
Miranda Tibbett: Another question.
Miranda Tibbett: The panelists in Chicago were talking largely from
the perspective of being known journalists.
Miranda Tibbett: Wait, let's back up....
Miranda Tibbett: a few questions from the audience.
Miranda Tibbett: What do you mean by "finding yourself"?
Robyn Fritch: yes
Lillie Yifu let me try shouting
Miranda Tibbett okay, we'll shout now.
Lillie Yifu many people, men and women, define themselves
byothers. Their job, their relationship, their money, their family.
Lillie Yifu But the wonderful thing about sl, is that you can
discover yourself, what you want, what you fantasize about but don't
want to do irl, and what you want to keep private.
Miranda Tibbett: Have you ever met someone from sl in rl?
Lillie Yifu: You can build an art gallery, or a club, or a store,or a
forest garden. And by finding what is within you, creatively,
eroticly, and emotionally,
Lillie Yifu you have a much better chance of meeting the
people who will fulfill you.
Lillie Yifu You can build an art gallery, or a club, or a
store,or a forest garden. And by finding what is within you,
creatively, eroticly, and emotionally,
Lillie Yifu You can't, irl, say to people "I want to be used
as a sex toy!" or "I want to own a sex slave." You can here, and
explore that part of yourself, and see how it fits into all of you.
Lillie Yifu and here is the important part, integrate it into
your rl. You can have sex in a closet, but not a life, and people live
bottled up too much. Not really knowing what they want, or just
imagine they might want.
Miranda Tibbett: About your blog. Do you heavily need to moderate the
comments, erasing the ones 'over the top'. Or absolutely no problems
with that?
QueenWench Tammas is Offline
Lillie Yifu Theonly time I had problems was when there was
money involved. Otherwise, I have the dearest community of commenters
anyone could want.
Lillie Yifu I lvoe them all.
Lillie Yifu http://sexsecond.blogspot.com is the blog by the way.
Miranda Tibbett: One thing that we all seem to want to talk about is
what it's like -- and what the risks are -- of taking sl friendships
or relationships in rl.
Queen Tureaud: and LEts open this one up to the audience
Queen Tureaud: how many have met someone from SL in RL?
Queen Tureaud: or WILL?
Miranda Tibbett: I personally had one terrific experience with it, and
one slightly uncomfortable experience.
Grace McDunnough raises her hand
Vint Falken raises her hand too
Queen Tureaud: good, bad, scary????
Lillie Yifu The risks are the same as with any relationship
where you meet someone at a distance. You know certain things about
them that no one else knows, and they you. But also you don't know
certainthings about them.
Aph Lightworker: Hi
Miranda Tibbett: Well, in one case, I met someone in rl who I was very
close to in sl.
Vint Falken: good / confusing
GoSpeed Racer: I know several within a 30 minute drive, but have yet
to meet them
Miranda Tibbett: And to meet him in rl was very affirming -- affirming
of our connection and that he is a wonderful man.
Lillie Yifu In the lifestyle community, there is a practice of
having "safe calls," people who you promise to call at cretain times
when you go to meet someone new.
Miranda Tibbett: It is not a sexual relationship, however.
Vint Falken: miranda, that does sound like a good relationship (be it sexual,
or not ;))
Lillie Yifu And when meeting someoen new, it is really a good
idea to know other people who know them online. That is why I say
trust in the community. It is easy for one person to fool one other
person, it is much harder for one person to fool a whole community of
Miranda Tibbett: And in another case, a lonely soul sort of glombed on
to me, and recently while meeting for coffee hinted that he liked me
and oh, by the way, was I into "good pain."
Lillie Yifu gggiles.
Miranda Tibbett: And for the record, no, I am not into "good pain."
Vint Falken: Miranda: you did not poor your hot coffee on his lap, did you?
Queen Tureaud: lol
Miranda Tibbett: I ignored it.
CaptainGenuine Kidd: ouch
Queen Tureaud: So are we stupid if we meet someone in RL?
Miranda Tibbett: I don't think so, no.
Queen Tureaud: putting ourselves in danger?
Miranda Tibbett: But I think, back to Lillie's point, you need to give
it time.
Queen Tureaud: trust them
Miranda Tibbett: Time will show if they're trustworthy or not.
Queen Tureaud: or being baited
Miranda Tibbett: I think you have to go with your gut. And, yes, the
community can help.
Lillie Yifu it is about managing the risks that are always
there. For any blind date, or chance meeting. It is just that on the
internet, you have different things you have exposed to the other
person, and need to be more careful about filling in the gaps.
Vint Falken: Lillie: I don't know about the community part in SL here. There
are people of which identity is unknown to all in their communities.
WE have some like that in the SL bloggers group
Miranda Tibbett: If someone gives one of your friends the eebie
jeebies, and you trust their judgment, listen to that.
Grace McDunnough is writing a new song called Pass the sugar, and I'm
into good pain ...
Vint Falken: we all have the same 'scratches' of RL information, but if that
checks out, nobody of the whole group knows
Queen Tureaud EVEryon APH has JOINED US-aka Regina Lynn from WIRED
Aph Lightworker: I think the idea of having a whole community know
where and who you are is great
Grace McDunnough: Hey Aph
Aph Lightworker: (sorry i'm late, had a schedule conflict; not
interrupting, just going up to sit in)
Miranda Tibbett: Hi, Aph, welcome.
CaptainGenuine Kidd: My wife was commenting about my Avatar last
night. "Who is that good looking young guy without love handles and
five oclock shadow?
Lillie Yifu The people who I have found most trustworthy, are
the ones who have a committment to other people in sl. RL information
is less useful, than knowin gthat the person values other people
around them in sl, and treats those other peopel with respect.
CaptainGenuine Kidd: It is easy to be someone you are not here
Grace McDunnough: it's not that easy Captain
Vint Falken: welcome. and if you're that concerned about meeting someone, just
pick a public place, and as lillii said, don't rush things?
Miranda Tibbett: Aph, we're talking about how and when to trust
someone enough to meet them in rl.
Queen Tureaud Aph since you just joined....gintro yourself real quick
Aph Lightworker: Captian ... physically, yes. but on an ongoing basis?
whoeer you are in here is part of who you are.
Grace McDunnough agrees with Aph
Lillie Yifu But Captain, we are also people we are not irl. No
one is completely themselves. We are different parts of ourselves
here, yes, but still ourselves.
Phoenixxa Homewood: LOL then there's folks like me who are shy of just
typing to someone
Vint Falken: captaingenuine, if you state that it's easy to be someone you're
not here, how old are you? (sl age)
Aph Lightworker: Quick Intro: I'm REgina Lynn, I write the Sex Drive
column at Wired.com, about sexuality & technology.
Queen Tureaud: :)
CaptainGenuine Kidd: That's probably true with me because of the self
deprecating humor but from a man's POV, it would be easier to live a lie
Aph Lightworker: Lillie -- so true. I'm not the same "face" at my "day
job" clients that I can be as a columnist
Vint Falken: Aph, sounds like an intersting combo. =d
Aph Lightworker: both are equally ture/real parts of me
Aph Lightworker: I think, talking about safety, that one has to be
sensible, online or off. and that online lovers or friends are
actually more aware of safety checks, than offline
Miranda Tibbett: Have we exhausted this topic?
Miranda Tibbett: Surely someone else has another experience to contribute?
Vint Falken: i was wondering
Aph Lightworker: Miranda ... no, the New York Times will be writing
about it in about 8 months as "news"
Aph Lightworker: /smiles
Vint Falken: Veyron wrote a great piece a while ago
Queen Tureaud: LOL
Grace McDunnough: / as in bad news
Vint Falken: about keeping two totally seperate identities
Miranda Tibbett: Any horror stories?
Vint Falken: SL and non -sl
Vint Falken: going up to seperate google accounts, etc etc using openapps. if
anybody is interested, i'll quickly look up the blogpost
Lillie Yifu: One thing I run into all the time in my owkr as an.... er
... Real time Interactive Adult Entertainment Consultant
Aph Lightworker: Good luck keeping it separate. I tried for a while to
separate my "day job" self, to protect those clients from knowing that
- gasp - iwrite about sex
Queen Tureaud: gasp!
Lillie Yifu One thing I run into all the time in my owkr as
an.... er ... Real time Interactive Adult Entertainment Consultant
Aph Lightworker: but online, it all traces back together, at some point.
Lillie Yifu is infidelity.
Miranda Tibbett: I've had that problem, too, Aph.
Miranda Tibbett: I've not gotten hired for jobs because gasp -- some
of my best clips have been about very off-beat, sexual topics.
Vint Falken: I think the difference is, in SL , pseudonyms are accepted as
real names. Even if you write for one of it biggest newspapers. ;)
Miranda Tibbett: But Lillie, let's hear from you more about this.
Aph Lightworker: Good point re: names. I think the Reuters bylines
should have full journalist names, not just First Reuters
Miranda Tibbett: I know Lillie was interested in the differences
between the experiences of the professional journalist versus the
regular person.
Aph Lightworker: if using online community for personal, relationship,
entertainment, that's one thing. but journalism - needs to beup front.
Aph Lightworker: Infidelity - I get that question a lot. "Is cybersex
or SL sex cheating"
Vint Falken: aph, and what's your idea about that?
Aph Lightworker: Vint ... people who are drawn to online sex
desperately hope it's not cheating ... people who aren't, and who
worry about their partners, desperately hope it is cheating ...
ultimately, it's something each person and each relatinship has to
Aph Lightworker: but i will say this: the door is open and isn't going
to be closed again. so i think we have to rbe open to thinking about
how we figure out relationships and fidelity and play going forward
Phoenixxa Homewood: i agree Aph - it's to do with intent and
understanding between partners & there's no one answer for everyone
Aph Lightworker: Is' relationships - doesn't fit nicely in a little box
Vint Falken: they say using soft drugs gets you closer to hard drugs. is it
the same way with cybersex/cybercheating (let's call it that way):
does 'cheating' on the internet would make the step IRL more easy?
Miranda Tibbett: Interesting question.
Aph Lightworker: Vint, i'm sure it does, because the emotional
connection gets strong, and you stay up all night, and you get tired ...
Miranda Tibbett: Is there some sort of "gateway" progression to cyber sex?
Aph Lightworker: ... and meeting in person starts to be more real,
less fantasy
Lillie Yifu: Many of us aren't paid, or aren't paid much, to be in sl.
For us, the risks of online hararssment aren't balanced by the rewards
of selling more books. Quite the reverse. When you go online here, ir
is vry wise not to reveal too much about your personal life, without
thinking about it. There is no check on the front door to sl, anyone
can enter, and anyone can be read your profile. A good rule is don't
say antying in public about yourself, that you would not want printed
on the front page of a major newspaper.
Aph Lightworker: and one has to do some hard work and step back and
ask: what am i doing. is something missing in my relationship offline
that this online person fills.
Aph Lightworker: Lillie - YES!
Aph Lightworker: so true
Miranda Tibbett: Aph, did you find you had to make a clear decision at
some point about those transparency issues?
Lillie Yifu But let me stress the other side. This is a world
rich in possibility. You don't have to go to the sl equivalent of the
bar crawl to meet people. You can make your own space. One thing that
has amazed me over and overagain, i s how many women have come to sl,
and without the anxiety of age, weight, looks or other social
pressures, they flower and do really fabulous things. This is a place
where everyone can be their fabulous slef, and meet someone who
responds to the person you have always been, but never had a chance to
Miranda Tibbett: and let's hear once more from Aph and wrap up.
Aph Lightworker: Miranda ... yes. I don't advertise the connections,
but i'm not in secret anymore. right now, i'm getting enough day job
clients that aren't wigged out by the column.
Vint Falken: As in-world. The ToS is supposed to protect us. You can't copy
past IM conversations to someone else without prior notice, Lillie may
not IM to a friend that she knows I'm Belgian or other personal
information. Yet I never seen that implement. But it's some sort of
security. That risk drops when we look at the rest of the internet.
What about posting IM convo's without consent on blogs? Or snapshots
that are supposed to be privat? (Camera hoovering inside a bedroom is
Aph Lightworker: i 'came out' as Aph, in my column, last month, after
a year of not
Aph Lightworker: and Lllie that's exactly how i see it too - always
opportunities, always risks, you have to take responsibility for
anna Begonia: ciao
Queen Tureaud: and on that note...thanks everyeone!!!
Grace McDunnough: Thanks panelists!
Phoenixxa Homewood: /c;
Vint Falken: / claps
Queen Tureaud Join us in the exhibit area for some LIVE music!!!
Vint Falken: / claps
dinee Ghia: *claps*
Aph Lightworker: thanks everyone!
Lillie Yifu Thanks queen for giving us this wonderchul chance,
and thanks to the audience for asking such great and interesting
Rosenel Falken Thanks you all

The New First Look is a Dog

Crashed four times in 15 minutes.

Woof. Dog. Dog. Woof. Dog. Dog. Woof.

Still no ability to check what you sound like in SL, so you have no way of adjusting your voice settings.

Still no way to control access to voice on your parcel beyond "on" or "off".

Dilbert and Charity Sell Interest in Phat Cats

The number one club in SL changes hands.

For those of you who don't know the history of Phat Cat's, Dilbert and Charity started it on a shoestring and a small parcel of land in Agriopis. It wasn't long before word about the most romtantic jazz club in Second Life got around and the little spot was always full. People felt the love and eventually we were able to buy our own sim. Phat Cat's was the frst dance venue in Second Life to make it onto the most popular list without camping, nudity, or sex as a draw.

Dil and Charity have been together in SL for a year now and were unable to be together in RL because of illness. Thankfully that is resolved and we are moving to be together in real life. We will be spending time together in real life rather than here in Second Life. While we will always be involved and concerned in Phat Cat's, we have sold the interest in it to Alix Abruzzo who will devote her time and efforts to it. Alix has been with us as a friend in Phat Cat's since its early days, she loves it as we do, and will put the care into it and maintain its integrity.

We want to thank all of you for your love and devotion to Phat Cat's. We are very grateful to our staff and all of our vendors for their support and their loyalty to us. Please add Dilbert and Charity to you friends lists if you wish to stay closely in touch. We are not leaving SL, but we will be taking a great deal of time away and all business regarding Phat Cat's should be directed to the new owner, Alix Abruzzo.

All our love and thanks,
Dilbert and Charity

Friday, July 27, 2007

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow:
Live Blogging Blogher.

I love conferences, they come with free food. OK virtual conferences don't come with free food, but still. It's a break from routine and a chance to meet people who you only read, or read about.

I'm here at the serviceable Hyperstring.net conference center, and Queen Tureaud, who has been everywhere doing everything rl and sl to make Blogher '07 happen, is getting things working. Uber sl blogger Vint Falken is already here. There is the normal fiddle with HUD's and audio and so on.

Queen has a crotchport problem and is joking about it. There are 800 people in Chicago right now, with only a couple of spots left. This is double the size of the first San Jose.

The first part is the usual housekeeping and so on... But the thanks to the volunteers and the attendees is well deserved, this is going very well...

Koz is going over the BlogHUD and the new feature he wants to add, but the driver is one for mobile phones with GPS. He wants to add voice to that. He notes that many people want their rl and sl being not associated with it.

The topic of noobs come in comes up.

The don't get it factor for second life comes up, and the problems of newbies comes up. The tools are brought by Koz as part of it, but the he brings up the fact it is not a game. The need for a newbie blog is brought up.

Safety Worst

Later today I am giving a presentation on safety in SL, and this morning while working on a story about Plush Zeta, that is the red light district, I got a perfect example of what safety means.

On second life, many people are here to enact their fantasies. One fantasy that many people have, men and women, is to be abused, often as a woman. Paying for sex, or being paid for it, is a kinky fatnasy...

Plush Zeta, while it says it is about "escorts" is really a place for people who have this need to act it out. I go there and if I see a friend, I know she is really in trouble, and that I need to extend a helping hand of some kind. I have never managed to pick up a client at such a place, because they offer around 300L for :30 of the most abusive and degrading sex acts in the litany of our sexual vocabulary. That is the kind of money that only girls who are back against the wall accept, or people who that is what they want. I respect desire, and I know several people who have the need to be treated that way. However for those who are dragged down to that level, and the peopl ewho are playing set the prices, because men will say "well I can just wait for free, can you wait, stuck in that newbie skin?"

This need, and the economic servitude that turns it into a money making critical mass, because let's be blunt, it is the red light district that makes that sim worth the $50,000 USD it was sold for, creates a chance for a certain kind of man to enter the picture. And on this day, at this time, I ran into Kaz Zapedzki, who is exactly this kind of abusive man. The man who throws a few linden around, and expects women to put up with abuse, because he is surrounded by people who either want to be abused, or who can't do anything about it. They know that complaints will fall on deaf ears at both the sim level and the LL level. And since that is their whole world, and the people they are dealing with have more to lose rl than they do. It is a lot worse to be an escort, or more properly, a whore, than it is to throw money at them.

These men often do not have sex, they are not interested in sl sex. They are interested in having women crawl to them, and tell them how nice they are. I ran into this at several clubs. One patron comes in, and for $20 USD worth of tips a week, has girls eating out of his hand. They aren't going to see that much money from anyone else, and he asks only that they beahve the way he wants, and metaphorically, rather than literally suck his cock. He isn't interested in sl sex, but he does want whores.

Inthis particular case, I asked him by IM what he wanted. Now if he had been the honest sort of person, he could have said "not looking," or some varient there on. Simple enough. Instead he said he was looking for "a milkshake", maybe "strwberry."

That's what he is talking about. He then said he wasn't interested in me. I said "as you wish." Now here is the key moment, he then said "I would give you 5L." He then threw 6L at me. Now any reasonable person would interpret this as what it was, an insult.

I told him that was very stupid. He began what I call "the crazy bitch" rant. The crazy bitch rant is when a man behaves in an insulting and abusive way ot a woman, and he then tries to glower her itno beliving that she is a crazy bitch for being insulted. The words "delusional" and so on, Jesse Murdoch (Yes, that Jesse Murdoch) style, who is the most important person to give the the crazy bitch rant, figure prominently in this rant.

The reality is that they get away with tis, because people are working here for pennies. If the IRS ever came down and looked at arrangements here, they would find very quickly that many people have what would be legally defined as "jobs" and are being paid a fraction of the prevailing minimum wage. Gambling was just banned, but the real scandal of SL is wage slave services and flagrant violations of employment law.

Anway Kaz threw 500L at me, and then demanded it back. This is a textbook trick of the abusive male, for less than 2 USD, he gets himself out of trouble. Tossa Allen, an avatar who inhabited one of the first clubs I worked at liekd to do this, commit some violation of basic decency, and then throw 500L at the girl and say "we even now?" SL's slave labor wage rates make being such a person a fantasy within the reach of even people who flip burgers.

I gave him the money back after checking the transaction log, it is after all, simple enough to pop a dialog on someone's screen that looks as if they just gave you money.

Kaz then began the "it is only a game" gambit. This too is a tired try. The "it is only a game" blames the person who has been attacked and insulted for being insulteed. they have something wrong with them, "it is only a game". This isn't what it means. If you asked "what are you looking for?" rl and someoen said he wanted to cum in your nose and punch you in the face and he would pay two cents for this, you could have him arrested for assault.

In otherwords "it is only a game" really means "you can't do anything about it."

There are people who will blame this or that entity for this. It is true that social and economic arrangements make it possible for men like Kaz Zapedzki to act as they do, it is also our own inner demons, and the way we force people into the closet, and the hands off nature of LL about this kind of behavior. After all, they profit heavily from it. Let me repeat that Kaz Kapedzki is a good LL citizen, he spends money he and pumps the economy by abusing people and throwing around a few Linden to cover it over.

But the lesson for people coming into SL, other than, don't go to the Red Light District unless you are a man who likes to insult and abuse women, and there is almost always one there, smirking about how he doesn't need to pay for SL sex, and sneering at the women who are there, is simpler and larger.

That lesson is this, SL exposes more of you to the light than you would like to think. Many people simply wander round SL chattering away in their regular voice. Did you know there is software, I have seen it working in th ehands of a music producer friend, that makes it possible to mimic your voice with a large enough sample? It isn't that good yet, but it is good enough if run through some noise makers that it could pass as you on a bad cellphone connection.You heard me: voice identity theft is now in the reach of people who want to do it. And here SL is promoting voice technology, and does not have a built in voice masker. I am not talking about "voice morphing" which is radical shifts in pitch and other features of speech, but simply the same kind of voice masking that someone bloign the whistle on 60 minutes would use.

And remember, there is a Kaz out there someplace, who will tell you that you can find out his rl, and even invites you to try, secure that he can do much more to you than you can to him.

Because he is right.

Anyone using their unprocessed voice on sl is handing out information they really don't want people to have. I know people who leave an open mike in their computer room. You can hear their children going in and out of the room. With a bug still in place that lets people hear a voice chat stream even after leaving, and with the normalcy of people being on the voice client but saying nothing, this is like placing a bug in your own home, and letting anyone who wants listen in.

Of course handing out that information is something that some peole want to do, as a way of saying "look I am real! and I want an rl connection!" They may have good reasons for this, they may have manipulative reasons for doing this, but like the whore slut fantasy, it creates a situation where others can take advantage of it. I fully repsect people's needs, and if someoen needs a voice to voice rl connection, then that is what they should have a clear road to have. But at the same time, they should not be offered what looks like "a game" that is "safe" when, in fact, they are exposing themselves to danger.

This is part of "being digital," really. The idea that anything we say in digital public is now permanently recordable, and manipulable. It took a while for people to understand that with Photoshop, just because a picture looks very real, does not mean it is. The same is becoming true with voice, it is just data, and data can be manipulated by mathematics, as precisely as you can skew the perspective of a row of columns.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

At Blogher in SL tomorrow

Privacy matters. I am definitely the junior member of the second life group, so I am very grateful for the chance.

I suppose i can boil my presentation down to three points:

Don't be in a hurry.
Know what you want.
Trust the community.

Impeachment Ball

As part of YKSL as part of YKSL I will be the hostess for a formal Impeachment Ball, August 3rd, 1800 to 2100 at the Basilica.

This year on the dance floor, next year on the floor of Congress.

My Romance with Ravanne

I have decided not to renew an ad at a freelance club I work at, it means that I am about to go into pole deprivation. Lovers come and go, clients pay, cum, and go. Ads expire, parcels move. Friends get the rl fever and fade. But every working girl in SL, has a romance with Ravanne. Ravanne is the maker of the the dance poles we all work. Hours and hours of staring out at ourselves as avatars, hours and hours of bouncing and sliding. Hundreds and thousands of emotes to beckon to new men coming in, to ones who seem lost. It is true that the short pole pays better than the long pole, many poles don't pay anything at all, and insult to injury, we get to look out at campers doing nothing but lagging up the sim for us, who are at least getting 12L/hr for being AFK (Away from Keyboard).

But it is still the same, we want it so badly, that feeling of rising and falling, of riding and dipping, of dancing and beckoning, that though we may swear off of it, we may say we will never touch the pole again, Ravanne calls to us in our dreams, our rl dreams, where we see the undulating motion of face turned three quarter's view, and staring out endlessly at chairs, empty or full.

I can remember the first time I touched a pole, saw the circle menu pop up, and selected, "Sit," in order to dance. I can remember how I saw the bumping motion, which, to my unAO'd self, was the smoothest I had ever watched my joints go back and forth. The owner of the club said it was simple, and yet many girls couldn't get it, emote a bit, flirt, make them feel good, and if you got to escort, just type whatever it took, even if it was "really weird shit."

I didn't know what to expect. For the first hour, no one came, but when someone did, I just said hello, asked him how they were, told him to relax and let me take care of them. I asked about where he came from, listened to his stories, complimented him on various things.

He left 100L in the dish, 80L popped into my balance. I took off my shirt and bra, he appreciated my breasts and told me how he wanted to caress them. The number popped into my linden balance with a kaching. I had my first whoregasm.

I was addicted, and still am. "Are you getting into this?" They ask that. Oh how little they know, how the muscles between my thighs contract, there is a pulsing wave that rolls up my body each time that happens, the large unexpected tip. Oh yes dear, I am very, very, very into this. It says something you can't know, that as much as I like the world, the world likes me back. Me. Lillie.

And still for all of this, I hug the pole, even as man after man implies he'd love to make me his sl, or even rl, girlfriend, take me away from all of this, take me to the woods, or the city, or Paris, or his house in sl, or his home in rl. Or a motel because he can't have sex with his wife. Or back to his wife so that the three of us can have sex.

And still I hug the pole, waiting for the next man to come in, feeling in my physical imagination, the smooth steel surface of the pole pressing my public hair into my flesh. Feeling the slick surface of my keyboard respond to flying fingers. Reaching for the next emote, asking the next question. Knowing that as I emote my hips to sway, my chest to ache, my thighs to go taut with exertion, that I am offering a fast ride on an hot machine.

The pole. You fondle it, massage it, slide your hands on it. Show every man there what you would do to his pole, if only you had it under your hands, in your mouth, your lips rolling over its rills and hills.

I came of age on that pole. As I negotiate prices, and acts, as I learned what men want, what I had to do. I remember the first time a man tipped me far too much. I did not know then that he thought that enough for me to just jump into bed with him. Later I secretly vowed that if I ever met him again, I'd give him what he had paid for, but I didn't know to give. I remember the first time I came off the pole, headed for the sex box, knee's shaking in rl, blood pumping, a crest of fear that was an arousal in itself, a burning on my cheek: I was blushing.

I came to skill on that pole, as I wove men through my hurdles, weeded out the ones who wanted too much for too little. Enticed them with offers of darkest fantasy made reality, with moments of pleasure from shock of imagination. But still, I hugged the pole, and hugged the pole, and hugged the pole.

Because in the end Ravanne, and only Ravanne, in this tormented world we call our own, but which owns us like an addiction, will hold you safe and fast. The steel hard surface that I so often write about, the innumerable clubs, orgy rooms and dance floors where I have pressed the cleft of my hips to it, and let it slide between them, rubbed my cleave over them. All the times I have arched back and told the onlookers by emote how my nipples were straining at the fabric, or how tight my thong had become, "leaving only color to the imagination."

Yes. Yes. Yes. How I hate all the hours you've stolen from me Ravanne.

Yes. Yes. Yes. How often I come back to you, aching for that rolling flush of goosebumps and ripple that shivers up my insides and tickles on my cheek for the next tip, the next smile, the next chance to ensconce with someone else in a private world, and paint with pixels a scene that they had known only in dark recesses of shameful night, or behind a closed door, in a room away from all the others, pictures of airbrushed models scattered round, fearful of any discovery.

Yes, as we talk there, I conjure up on their minds the feeling of taking me in which ever place they dream of, or chaining them to my bed and unleashing a flood of desire on them. Or making them ache to hear the coo of my voice telling them "Please darling, don't deny me that."

Still I hug the pole, because that is what the payment is for, to peel me from it, to take me away from the only constant lover I have ever known, or perhaps ever will know, in all of SL.

LL Says it will shutdown gambling

As of yesterday the top site on SL's popular places was a gambling palace. Today's announcement by LL on wagering effectively bans all casino games that pay in any kind of money, though it would allow wagering on games of skill such as pool in sl. It bans common objects such as sploders if interpretted strictly.

Having worked for a casino at one time, and having a personal affection for casino and gambling culture, (where would the underworld be without gambling? It is romantic and exciting) this news causes not only a twang of regret, but the prediction that there is now an open market for an SL competitor, namely one that complies with online gaming restrictions and offers virtual reality gambling. Many people are out hundreds and thousands of dollars for VGA poker tables, which are now effectively illegal on SL.

On the other hand, I have seen a great deal of crooked gambling on SL. This is the problem we face here over and over again: there is nothing that can be done honestly, that can't be done more profitably as well as a scam. Sell something? Camping farms sell shoddy goods at the same price. I've seen freebie skins sold for prices that would make Lost and Amby blush. Honset gaming at honest rates of return is profitable enough.

I want there to be gambling and wagering in a virtual life, very much because some of the most profitable times of my sl career were working high rollers. These are men who appreciate fine pleasures and are willing to pay for them. However, it must be honest gambling. Roulette tables that never pay off, games that pay out only 30% of the money taken in, camping farms that pay shills to win while genuine wagers are raked into the abyss, are bad for SL, and bad for virtual life in general.

While this draconian policy fills me with regret, it is also, sadly where we are right now.

But within such a problem comes an opportunity: comply with rl laws on gaming, have a gaming board for sl that tracks compliance, and set legal payout limits. The reason this is necessary is that the person running a table has all the information, the player cannot inspect the script to see if it is clean, or whether it chooses numbers which, while they will be random over time, or seem to be, are actually calculated to return the most possible money. It is easy enough to do: milk people when there are bets on the table, and then balance out those numbers when it doesn't matter. I went to one gaming palace and put 1L on red 10 straight times. The number came up black 10 straight times. That reeks of crooked. There were games whose announced odds were rapacious.

But unless we are willing to have the responsibility of assuring people of a fair product, the bad wheels will drive out the good. As, sadly, they have. Camping and gambling were swamping the top 20, and this also allows us to go back to having content of some real kind be provided by sl.

I went to the Belgium 1&2 locations, and to Reef Islands. Belgium was a confused welter of people looking for gaming tables, asking questions as to what happened.

miniads Caos two huge gaming locations, Reef Islands and Saffron, are both still up and taking bets.

#1 Charm's fun center is down.

#2 D&A skin center's casino is down is down.

#3 IceDragon's tables were still in place in the high roller room, and taking money.

#4 Most of the tables in Golden Rose were gone, but there were som "Devil May Care" machines in place.

#5 Ocean Casino is closed, the owners have announced that they are going from half to a quarter sim.

#6 Italian gaming was the site of a small "keep SL gaming legal demonstration." They accused SL hysterically of becoming socialist and a police state. Dears, socialism on SL is called camping, and it is run, badly, by private entities.

#7 Had parcels of campers, but no gaming.

#8 Bellagio VIP had blackjack tables open and taking money.

#9 Was an empty lot.

#10 Liberta had camping and raffle machines working.

#11 have their machines inside a protected parcel, no one was there. The machines are working and taking money.

12 Monkeys, which while not in the top ten in any one parcel, has an total between all that would make it a top 20 destination had escort ads, but its gaming tables were all removed.

So the final score is that of the 15 locations I visted, covering both the top 20 sites and the top 15 hits for gaming, 7 were still running at this hour.

I felt like I was in a scene out of some disaster moving, I kept running into the same faces searching for gaming. I found people who asked me what there was to do. One was an rl artist, I said I would help her get started selling art in sl.

Another bit of old sl is dying, but it is a collision. Content providers can't have complete obscurity of product, with customers have assurance they are getting what they are buying, and having a completely hands off government. Since LL is not going to sudden become a good government, now or ever, and complete obscurity is built into the property system, that means that the customer will have to go rl for any enforcement of rights for how they spend their money.

And that, in this case, means the end of gaming on sl as we have known it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Social Networks can spread your hips

Obesity loves company.

07 in 10

This is me. Lillie. I will be part of a panel on saftey and risk in relationships on line for Blogher. But the advise I have will apply to men as much as women.

Mochamomma wanted us to give 10 second introductions, I don't think I can fit in 10 second media girl's exciting life story. But then, my rl isn't exciting.

On second life, I run a ballroom and art complex 22nd Century Yedo.

I blog here.

I escort.

Now to go beyond 10 seconds...

My thing is being visual, and SL is not just visual, but polydimensional thinking, understanding that time, space, people, movement, ideas, energy all fit together in ways very different form what we have understood up until this point. The other thing about me is transhumanity. Not in the "we will re-engineer ourselves," sort of way, though of course we will, but in the sense that the boundary between our physical identity and our spiritual identity is, and always has been, more fluid than materialism would lead us to believe. We have always wanted to merge with the universe, with whatever tools we had to hand. SL is just the next cave wall to paint on. But paint on it we must, and can.

In SL I advocate the idea that avatars are, or should be, persons, in the same way that corporations are persons: beings with a legal life of their own, and with an identity that is not tied to a single physical person. If I sell Lillie Yifu, she is still Lillie Yifu, even if she is going to be run by a different person. If a different physical player else logs into Lillie, and spends money, then that money is just as spent.

Between these to rather abstract ideas, I say that beauty is my profession. There is a new kind of beauty here, because there is a new kind of world to go with it. We need to learn this new beauty. Interactive art, is art, just as media art, is art, and the arts that came because of previous waves of technology were art. Remember there was a time when painting was not considered "art" in the west.

People ask me why I escort. First, because it is the entry level profession for women in sl. Second, because it is the view into the heart of humanity that shows more about what we are and are thinking than any other occupation on sl. And third, because I respect need and desire, and fulfilling those needs and desires is my own desire. For people to do what they must do, they must have someone to do it with: sl is a game of people, not a game of things. It is a game, in the same way that language is a game, or Wall Street is.

Finally it is the world's oldest profession, and intimately linked with the visual arts. An art museum is a large building filled with pictures of naked women, many of them prostitutes, and with decorative ideas, many of them funded by women of pleasure who wanted to surround themselves with beauty. Without prostitues, there is no visual arts as we know them. Subjects, patrons, salon taste makers.

So that's what there is, a strange girl trying to make her way in a strange world.

This is me. Lillie.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who Fucked Roger Rabbit?

I learned a new word, it isn't a nice word. That word is "furfag." There are so many things wrong with this word that it really is hard to know where to start. The academic in me races ahead first, with a five thousand word paper suggesting itself even before the rest of me has had a chance to catch up. However the very shape of the word is enough to register a few obvious objections.

To give the academic her moment: start with the figure of the shaman, of human, animal masks and rituals. Point out the undercurrent of animalization of human sexuality in the present, we even call it animal magnetism. Show that mainstream publications like Playboy participate in selling the "furry fantasy." Show how the ostracizing of Furries follows the familiar pattern of taking something which is prevalent in mainstream society but taboo and barely repressed, linking it to clearly transgressive behavior, and then finding a target which evokes some level of obvious visual difference so obvious that even someone whose idea of foreplay is "hope on the pose ball sis," can recognize it.

Close by talking about how the furry community, because it is shrinking, because it is not empowered in sl, because it can be accused of bestiality which is not in fact the furry community as its home base makes a perfect target. Close by an examination of the actual members of the furry and tiny community, and state that it is clear that bigotry and racism, in the absence of established targets, will create new ones.

Draw appropriate references to racial minorities and legally sanctioned harassment, demonstrate hypocrisy by showing similar or higher levels of transgressive behavior in accepted communities, make the appropriate genuflections in the direction of the correct authors and of course.

Footnote. Footnote. Footnote.

There, an afternoon wasted writing a brilliant (see also: obscure, hard to read) gem of analysis (see also: how to make even orgasm sound dull) that no one will read, because anyone who would can tell just by reading this. Alright the shaman section tracing animal headed costumes and deities would at least have illustrations and would get people's attention.

Maybe I will write the shaman part, it is at least interesting in concept.

But the key engine of the problem is the conflation of an rl bigotry, that is the absurd hatred of rl homosexuality, with an science fiction fan sub-sub-culture, furry, with the extreme transgressive act, bestiality. These are three different pieces, they do not have real points of contact in practice, but instead are designed to make people have the gag reflex repeatedly, until, so overwhelmed by the last revolting image, they are willing to do anything to their rights and civilization just to prevent anyone from ever engaging in anything remotely resembling it. Having been given a target, they start learning that age old chant "Burn witch, burn!" Or learning to tie knots, or whatever their society's proclivities are for socially sanctioned massacre and abuse.

But let me talk about my own experiences with the three pieces, and why I see them as completely disconnected, and the social construction of "furry as gay bestiality" is such complete nonsense.

Gay men on SL, unlike lesbianism, real, fantasy or simply from lack of supply, is not very visible. While there are prominent sl'ers who are homosexual, and many heterosexual men come to sl to work through bisexual or homosexual fantasies, over all, gay clubs, gay culture and gay sensibility have been lacking in sl. I think this has an effect on male fashions, because rl, it is gay men who are a large part of fashion design, taste making, and style breaking. I had never met a gay man who uses furry as his secondary avatar. I went here to find if there were any, and found a mall with a camping pod. A far cry from Transsexual haven or Bondage Sex Dungeon, which have people doing what they do at every hour of the day or night.

I did find an issue of "anthrogasm magazine" which was a gay issue. It had a profile and an extended stories, starting with a gay horse porn story with copious pictures. The only ads, noteably, were heterosexually targeted. And while the fur flies, it is all anthropomorphic fur, eve if the phalluses were sometimes animal in shape. And the heterosexual male community on SL has no right to complain about cocks not exactly being to realistic shape, color and proportion.

Furry can be divided into to areas, tiny and furry. It is not that people wearing furry or tiny are non-sexual. In fact, many of them are more stable in their relationships than are human shaped avatars, and more cautious in who they expend their affection on. I've never met a member of either community that has made actual bestiality the focus of their sexuality. Instead, what is sexual about furry, as opposed to tiny, is the shamanistic reality of wanting to take on the characteristics of an admired animal: in the case of Playboy Bunnies, the sexual characteristics of rabbits. The line between "neko" and "furry" is the replacement of the face.

Both are relatively heterosexualized groups. People do furry because they want either to desexualize their presentation, the teddy bear effect, or because they want the tactile sense of fur or feathers, or the spiritual traits of animals. Or often all three.

Facial replacement is the hallmark of the shamanistic: the combining of sexual responsiveness with an animal goes back to the lost mists of astrological creation. The myth of Taurus has been overlaid with Zeus taking Europa, the goddess for which the continent of Europe is named. If you want to know how embedded the mixing of sex and animality is, look at the sky, or a map. We have a continent named after the results of bestiality.

But such replacement, as with the Egyptian gods who were animal headed, represents, not the desire to couple with an animal, but the desire to be at one with spirits, and the spirit world. Even of those are tartaric spirits.

So let us talk about the third leg of the triad: bestiality. Clinically, bestiality in the sense of penetration with an animal penis, or penetrating an animal vagina, is not a cosmopolitan practice, but a rural one. It is generally illegal directly or indirectly, but clinicians are advised against being heavily judgmental, simply because it is often the results of extreme isolation from farming, the military or other similar situations.

In second life. Frankly, the people taking sensational pictures haven't had to deal with bestiality on a professional level, and have no idea who requests it. While there is overlap with what can be called the "fantasy," as in the literary genre, the requests I have had for bestial activities have come from human, straight men. Let me repeat that: human straight men are the ones who want to see women get it on with dogs and horses.

The reason for this is really simple. In SL bestiality is the next level of transgression, and many, many, many straight men want to see women who want to be penetrated so much that they will be penetrated by anything. Bestiality trumps just about anything for transgressive need to be penetrated. This is in our culture. Think about what being "boned" means. Humans don't have a baculum or baubellum usually. Nor do horses for that matter, but many of our close relatives do. If someone is getting boned, it probably isn't by a person.

So this is the reality of it, the bigot impulse is targeting a small, relatively politically weak group, and furries are that, by conjoining them with two traits they do not have: male homosexuality and bestiality. All three of the traits are present in human culture, society and myth for thousands of years, as Greek, Egyptian, Sumerian and Hindu mythology all attest to. I am thinking of the entrance way to a major American Art Museum that has an statue of Ganesh, complete with penis, being straddled by one of his consorts. If Furry is "broadly offensive," then we need to shut down just about every collection of antiquities in every major art museum in the world.

So there you have it, the attempt to demonize a weak subgroup, one which can be slurred with activities that don't fit the sub-culture, but which are very present taboos in the main culture, is being wrought again. I know from my own professional experience who the bestiality seekers are. As a professional, I supply whatever legal and not bannable desires my clients have, regardless of whether they are my needs, because that is what I am here for.

However, it is quite another thing to have people attacked and abused because they make the taboo desires present in our culture too visible for the comfort of some who, in all likelihood, are more than touched by them. So when people start griefing the Playboy club, and there is a move by LL to shut down the world's largest purveyor of furry fantasy, I will believe there is some principle at work. Since I don't believe that is ever going to happen, or should it even be considered, it is time to be realistic, and realize that this is a case of the people who crash social communities, whether sl or wikipedia, by using an endless hoard of throw away accounts to grief targets that they can rationalize in public as being transgressive, and therefore acceptable, even meritorious, targets.

We are here to work out our fantasies, and if people need these, then that is what they need. And if there is some hypocritical attempt to pseudo-Disnify SL, I have a pretty cageful of examples as to how that just is not so. Let us be honest, more disruption and problems, probably even rl acts of violence, will be caused by infidelity, which is sl's national pastime, than by all of the extreme acts on sl. It's true rl, that ordinary relationships cause far more of the damage, than all of the fetishes combined.

If you want to make rl safe, then end infidelity. I wish anyone who tries this project more than luck, since it will take more than luck to do it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Passing in the night

Among women on the internet, the big "M" word is "Married." On SL, among men, it is "man." Men passing as women that is. Well this is Lillie going where angels fear to tread, over the weekend I talked to two MtF (Male to Female) transexuals about passing. Both took time to talk about their personal journeys and why they did as they did and how it felt. Both underlined that "passing," that is being taken as ones new, as opposed to birth, gender, was an important part of the process, as important to many transexuals as anything else. Acceptance in the social context, and that is public, means as much as looking down and seeing the right geography.

"The journey is passing," said one "because you are passing from your old self to a new one. What kinds of passing are important to you, have a lot to do with how you came to be there. Acceptance by friends, getting them to shop and talk with you as your new self, is more important that just being able to use the right restroom for many people."

One had a particularly helpful analogy: adulthood. We all, as teenagers, are trying to pass as adults. We all get, in the parlance of transexuals, "read" as being not adults from time to time. Being an adult physically isn't enough, it is being accepted as an adult that is just as important to us. There are various levels of being taken for an adult. One is going places and not being seen as a teenager. There is also the "toddler test:" which is to say, when toddlers take you for being what you want to be, then you have reached a degree of passing.

There is also passing in different ways. One is simply not drawing stares, the other is being able to interact with people and not have them "out" you. Both brought up the point that just because you aren't outed, does not mean you weren't "read."

I turned the topic towards voice, since voice is the place where people who want to "read" avatars have flocked, and have openly declared their hatred, disgust and antipathy towards people who are gender different.

Before talking about the mechanics, I was treated to a more in depth explanation of passing, from the inside. The first thing about passing is self-consciousness, the awareness of the person of not being what other people want them to be. Self-consciousness was described as the killer of all attempts to pass. Freezing up makes a person revert to old habits and familiar patterns. It is also the emotional killer of passing. Panic is an emotion that you know you feel, know you felt, and it brings shame forward. And that shame infects everything, including the old shame of being transexual in the first place.

Voice, both agreed, was the area of passing which was the most important to changing how they felt about themselves, hearing a feminine voice that was "me," and thinking in that voice. Surgery, I was told, can give you many things, but not a feminine voice to go with a feminized body.

"It takes years to get a feminine voice that passes in all situations, because it isn't just voice, it is mannerisms and word choice. You have to think differently, and change your habits. You have to change what you want, as a person, not just the pitch of your voice."

I asked for more detail on this particular point, because there seem to be people who seem "masculine," even in text, let alone in voice.

The summary was this. Men speak in highlights, the "punch" their words to give emphasis using volume. The slur little words together, drop more vowels and consonants, to get to the next highlighted word or thought. Men play sports, even in words: it isn't a sentence until they have hit all the bases.

This was the big point of agreement.

The actual mechanics there was some disagreement: one said that pitch was not so important, instead, it was getting rid of the man's chest voice, while the other talked about finding the lowest falsetto that worked, and gradually learning to control the voice there. Neither knew anything about pitch shifting software, no use for it in the real world, but did point out that many Transexuals used computers to read their voice patterns and improve the shape of their sound.

In reference to SL, while both were aware, one very aware, of computer worlds, both said that sl was only of limited use in learning to pass, because so much of passing was about walking, moving and gesturing. Taking up space the right way was something both mentioned.

When we talked about voice being a way of reading men playing women. Both said that it would be, until men playing women got smart and took some lessons and worked through "finding" the feminine voice. "I pass in what you call real life every day, even though I am still read often enough. A voice can be trained, especially after the mind has been trained. If someone thinks and moves like a woman, then the will get that feminine voice soon enough. It's just a matter of practice, and then practice, and listening and then practicing again." And noted that recording was like a mirror for the voice.

They both said that the internet resources were pretty bad, and that anyone who wanted to do voice training, would have to go to specialists and have lessons. They giggled about people who were sure they could read people. "Lots of false positives that will get, there are women at the office who took lessons to be more masculine and effective at work."

And the "sing song" marker, that so many place faith in? "Not the best, as soon as you learn to keep your dynamics even, your pitch will start to move up and down to emphasize words, and you just imitate women you hear to get the right musicality. Ennunciation is a better give away, so is word choice.

Another remark that was accompanied by a giggle was "people are fooled in the flesh, and they want to be sure over the internet? I know a man and a transwoman who met at church..."