I don’t write a lot of personal posts, as this is more a business blog than anything else. However, every once in a while I do a post either voicing an opinion, sharing ideas, etc. This post is going to be the most personal I’ve gotten on here, so please bear with me. Also, the points and views expressed in this post do not necessarily coincide with opinions and beliefs held by my sponsors.
I want to start off by saying thank you for taking the time to read this post. It’s deeply personal and I felt it needed to be shared as I know I’m not alone in how I feel here.
Firstly, I am an active RolePlayer in SecondLife.
I’m mostly an ambivert, though I lean heavily towards the introvert side of the spectrum. This is not a choice for me. I have PTSD and am a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person, and yes that is an actual thing). I roleplay because I enjoy it, but all too often I’m slammed by people who take issue with me picking a spot or two and staying put.
“Why don’t you go rp?”
“RP isn’t going to come to you!”
“RP is RP, get out there and make it happen!”
“You’re so fucking lazy. Get the fuck out of my sim!”
People call it “bullying” nowadays but when I was kid I was “abused”. Bullying is not a strong enough word to describe what I went through. It didn’t matter where I was (home, school, after-school activities) it happened everywhere. The effects of that abuse carried over even into SL, to the point where I find it impossible to randomly walk up to people and start RPing with them (unless I know the people, then I’m fine with it). So when I hear people say things like what I mentioned above (which are actual quotes from people) it makes me draw back even more.
“You need to just get over it!”
“WTF it’s SL. No one can hurt you here.”
^ All things I’ve been told, and all equally ignorant. Would you tell a rape victim to “get over it”? I don’t think so. Would you tell a victim of domestic violence that “no one can hurt you here” when you yourself don’t know EVERYONE in the area? No.
So yes, I do pick out spots in RP sims and park myself. Do I expect to get RP? No. The only expectation I walk into any sim with is that I’ll be left alone. Period. Why? Because that’s what usually happens. Even in a sim where I reach out via faction chat to try to bring people in for RP, if I’m ignored, I give up after a time because its a huge downer. Why stick your neck out when people don’t want anything to do with RPing with you?
The fear and anxiety I deal with in RP sims is mine alone and I deal with it how I see fit and how I feel comfortable. I recently started RPing in a new sim and I’ve had nothing but positive interactions, and all I’ve done is park myself in open spots. Feast or famine, it’s all fine by me. But I always expect famine. That’s why I make generic-ish characters. I love good storyline RP, but there are a lot of RPers that just want quick RP and won’t bother to help others with their stories. In the 20+ years I’ve been RPing, I’ve had two characters that ever had their personal stories advanced. That’s pretty damn sad. So I feel my approach of keeping it “whatever” is safest for me. If I stumble upon folks who want to have storyline rp with me, then fantastic! But I do not expect it.
All of this also ties in to depression and anxiety. Many people in the world suffer from that (and other forms of anxiety), so combine all that with PTSD and HSP and what I’ve said above and I hope you have a better understanding of at least my situation. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own story to tell about why they do things the way they do. I hope none of you jump to conclusions and use blanket judgments. When it comes to mental and emotional health, such things can be lethal.
Another thing I want to discuss is sexuality in RP. First of all, to each their own. As long as one isn’t a pedo and isn’t stalking or otherwise harming people, its all good.
I identify as straight Grey-Asexual (or Grey-A for short) and also as Demisexual. What that means: I have a naturally low sex drive, and I can only hope to feel sexual attraction to someone I have an emotional connection with. Sometimes its simply easier to say I’m Demisexual, as that does explain it better, however just because I form an emotional connection with someone it doesn’t guarantee I’ll feel sexual attraction to them. I’ve kept the Grey-A in there because I honestly didn’t even know what Demisexual was until about seven years ago. And it still fits me to a point anyway.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been trying very hard to stop being Grey-A. Why? Because its pretty much impossible (or so I’ve found) to date if you don’t have a sex drive. “Oh, you identify as Asexual? Bye!” Yes, I’m aware that trying to stop being Asexual is akin to a person who is gay wanting to stop being gay. In the case of low or no sex drive, there are medicines and homeopathic remedies that folks can take, so that can help in some cases.
What does that have to do with RP? A lot, really. One line of RP I have is working in a brothel. Its not a RP job I ever would have taken in the past. However, I’m trying very hard to become more sexual and be more open. Here, “open” does not mean “whorish” or “slutty” so please do not misunderstand. I’m simply looking for ways to help me progress towards my goal.
“But you just said you also identify as Demisexual. How can you do ERP then?”
Easy: I’m not emotionally involved. Its me sitting at a computer typing out words. I have zero emotional investment in the character of the other person. Therefore, its a non-issue. That being said, I also (TMI warning) don’t get off on ERP. I feel absolutely nothing. ERP scenes are just like any other scene to me.
I think I’ve covered a lot here today. Hopefully its been insightful and enlightening (not just towards me, but towards your own understanding of these topics presented). Feel free to contact me in SL if you would like to discuss this further.
Want to learn more about the mental, emotional, and sexual topics I’ve discussed here? Please visit the following websites for more information. Thank you for your time.
(Photos taken at Forgotten Kingdom of Hallowgate)