oenanthe wrote:Having been an “SL faker” myself, in a relationship that ended badly for all concerned, I am still astounded how easily things can blossom into disaster. Starting SL Gor is a big lark— while your RL personal life is collapsing, you can occupy the body of a hot, young, perfect avatar, and give yourself over in RP to muscled manly men, who bend you over a table, fur you mercilessly and toss you out the longhall door. And why not create a RL “avatar” to go along with it, to spice up your ooc interactions? After all, wouldn’t it be nice to give your RP partner a sexy young nymphette to fantasize about when they’re offline?
When I was in my first few months on SL, I had no idea at all how personal and real interactions on here can get and how slowly and insidiously RP feelings can seep into RL. So when I literally woke up one morning and realized that I had real, very strong feelings for my RP partner it was a genuine shock. And then I was stuck: the object of my affection was in love with a fabrication that I created for his amusement, and I was in love with a real person. I could confess and lose that person, or I could perpetuate the lie, making it grow bigger with each passing day. It was so easy to just stay and bask in the glow of a bizarre conflation of truth and fantasy, thinking to myself, as long as the other person never found out, what was the harm? There was no possibility of any in-person interaction, so why couldn’t this continue until it reached it’s natural conclusion? Eventually, we would grow bored with each other or one of us would get pried out of Gor by RL.
Inevitably, something had to go wrong and when it did, the outfall was surprisingly devastating. I have always considered myself a kind, caring person--someone who goes out of her way not to hurt people in relationships--and to find myself the perpetrator of what was, in effect, a form of emotional abuse required a lot of soul searching and reassessment of who I was.
So I guess I agree with what seems to be the consensus here: lying on SL is still lying with all the attending consequences. It is easier in SL, so there is probably more lying, but the results are exactly the same in SL and RL. I think even at the RP level, deception on SL has the potential to be emotionally lethal and once it goes OOC someone is inevitably going to get hurt.
Welcome to Gorums and thank you for sharing what seems a very poignant experience. I am not sure that many people can say they have always been the best person they could be in SL. Anonymity can be a pretty powerful motivator for misdeeds. We learn and move on and hope to not repeat our mistakes when we realize the damage that can be done.