A case for anonymity

I had been good about keeping my anonymity intact until recently. Circumstances have forced me to reveal my identity to a few people. Two of those circumstances were issues of trust and accountability; the third was an economic decision.

Jaime asked me once why I feel the need to be anonymous. I don't do anything illegal in SL. The most compromising thing I've done is cyber sex*, but isn't sex a natural part of the human experience anyway? And didn't I want to take credit for the work I've done inside SL?

But there is one significant reason.

SL allows us to be what we cannot be in real life, to live a fantasy. For me, that fantasy is to have physical beauty. But I've later realized that having a beautiful avatar is not just for my own benefit; it is also a gift to the world. After all, aren't we just trying to create Utopia in here? So, just as an artist creates a thing of beauty as a gift to the world, this avatar is my contribution to Utopia.

But it is so easy to fall in love in SL and, eventually, someone falls in love with the fantasy I created and I fall in love right back with the fantasy they've created. I always remind my lovers that they're falling in love with a woman who does not exist. Yes, I have the same intelligence, personality, and voice in real life, but I do not have the beauty that my avatar has. They insist that it's still me. But no matter what these men say, my avatar's looks are part of what attracted them to me, part of the fantasy of having won the affections of a beautiful woman. After all, isn't it a big ego boost to have a beautiful woman on your arm?

Revealing my identity would dispel that fantasy. Wouldn't it be a big let-down if you realize that the lover, whose beauty you have been proud of, is not beautiful at all? Maybe that doubt was always in the back of your mind, but having it confirmed would be as cruel as having a gift snatched away from you.

So, besides the few exceptions, I remain anonymous, I preserve the fantasy. For my sake and for the sake of every SL lover I've had.

* In light of a recent SL blog, I guess I should emphasize that I'm talking about sex between consensual adults.