Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Gender Blogs: VIII. Your Cheating Heart

Written 22 August, 2008

The Gender Blogs

VIII: Your Cheating Heart

A great many people treat Second Life as if it were Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In other words, they believe or at least act as if what happens in SL has nothing to do with the real world.

I suspect these are the same people who have hot sex after hours at work on the Xerox machine, telling themselves it has nothing to do with their marriage.

Cartoonish avatars writhing around on a LCD screen doesn’t necessarily constitute infidelity, but when those avatars have a relationship, when there is emotional involvement, and especially when one or both of them falls in love, it becomes something else entirely. Suddenly there is a RELATIONSHIP. And if one or both of the people in that relationship are married, they are emotionally cheating on their spouses.

Consider: just as in a real life relationship, the spouse is being deprived of companionship, of intimacy, and of sex. There’s no exchange of bodily fluids, but the emotional impact is the same for both parties. How can that not be cheating?

I’m not arguing the ethics of cheating here. People needs to search their own hearts. I’m just saying it’s irresponsible and immature to pretend what happens here isn’t real and can’t affect our real lives. So if you’re cheating on your real life partner, stop pretending you’re not. Because you are. And you need to admit it to yourself.


Anonymous said...

yeah, but what happens when a male latches onto someone who's male playing a female? When that person doesnt encourage an attachment but they are the subject of a crush and despite repeated hints, is still the object of desire. How do you let them down? is it always going to hurt the person with the crush? Should you ever tell them? or do you perpetuate the illusion hoping they wont ever find out?

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Good point. I have been working on a post about disclosure. I don't think you owe them anything. It's really THEIR issue!

Anonymous said...

I don't know. If you are an actor/actress and you get into character for your role, are you cheating? If you are an author and you go out into the world and pretend to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever for research for your book/script/whatever, are you cheating?

For some of us second life is a way of exploring someone we might have been, or could be or wish we were. For some it is a chance to see how the other sex lives, thinks and behaves. Maybe it is a fancy romance novel, where we cowrite it.

One thing I definitely think is true is that as in rl there is no one rule that applies for everyone. I think some people *are* probably cheating, where others may not be.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

When you're an actor on a stage, everyone knows it. While SL is an excellent platform for social identity experimentation and people should take advantage of it, they should also make sure they do not mislead or exploit others. When there's a need to know, there's a need to know.