Tonight I became a man. Not literally, but virtually. It happened because I like to help others, it's a character flaw of mine of sorts. I have a long history of volunteering, doing everything from getting hundreds of signatures on a banner to fly on a battle ship shortly after 9/11 to picking up body parts after a motor vehicle accident as an emergency medical technician with a local rescue squad to teaching a child's kindergarten to do the Mexican hat dance while their "guest for the day" and lots of other stints. But, this may have been my most bizzare altruistic act.
A friend's band is going to perform in Second Life this weekend. He said he didn't have the time to fix up his avatar so I heard myself saying, "I'll do it for you!" And, so with those words I came into SL as a semi-noob male. After a certain feeling of disorientation melted away, I actually felt something else...control. As a male zipping around SL alone I did not have the watch-around-you feeling I usually have nor the occasional uninvited IM's. No one was going to flirt with me, approach me or whatever else females have to sometimes put up with (in RL and SL). I could strut around and be the guy. It gave me a sense of power too, not sure why.
My partner Peter joined me on this shopping expedition to find new hair for the avi. It was weird on many levels. I was talking to him in voice in private IM so no one could hear us, so here I was a "guy" but it was me. And one time we noticed with a start that Peter was standing awfully close to my host body lol We had to be careful not to say endearments in chat as well. It was downright strange but...it was interesting at the same time.
One thing I noticed right off--the lack of male items to chose from. One tiny corner in a store had men's hair, only a part of a wall in another. Yet, women's choices go on and on and on. Considering that gaming is usually a male dominated arena, seems odd that SL catered right off to women. Maybe that's why so many men pretend to be women? It's fun to dress up your avi. It's like having a living Barbie!
I think I fixed up the avatar pretty good with the few lindens we spent. Nice hair, a little on the shaggy side. I gave him a stronger chin line and made him a wee bit taller and oh gave him another shirt, too. Then I had him pose for a profile picture and we were done!
All in all being a guy for 90 minutes was a pretty tame experience. It was the mental adjustment that was the most fascinating part. I might have to explore that again sometime. I've heard from many men in SL that females in SL are aggressive. No one tried anything with my male self. Hmmm was my avi not cute enough? Not cool enough? Now "I" feel rejected!
Well, I've handed over my host body back to my friend. Honestly, I totally like being able to buy pretty clothes, cool hair and cute shoes.
The bottom line? I think I'll stay a girl :) It's lot more fun!