Sunday, November 13, 2022

Exclusivity by blackmail

I didn't know we were exclusive. Seriously.

When Wolfgang and I met, we had many other lovers at the same time. Eventually, those lovers slowly faded away for one reason or another. Then there were just two of us.


In almost eleven years since we met, we broke up twice for several months. He claims we had numerous micro-break-ups too. I disagreed. We had numerous disagreements, yes, but I didn't see them as break-ups.

This isn't the only thing that we disagree on, of course. I preferred to strengthen the one-on-one relationships of our pairs. He prefers to loosely mix them up, like a hippy commune.

He repeatedly said in the past that he is polyamorous. And I didn't mind, so I always assumed that he could have at least one other alt with another lover.

But he also repeatedly said that he doesn't come into SL often enough to feel the need "to hunt". With our multiple alt pairs, his need for polyamory is satisfied for now.

Me: so you're polyamorous but all your lovers are me? ;D
Him: it was a part of the deal
Me: we didn't make that deal.
Him: I think we had one
Me: Nope.
Him: that if I had a lover, I should have told you
Him: so you would take distance
Me: Telling me is not exclusivity.
Him: that is same as it is a sort of blackmail
Me: you saw that as blackmail?
Him: the intent can look different, but the result is same as a blackmail

I didn't ask that we be exclusive. All I asked was that he tell me if he takes on another lover again. But I warned him that if he did, I could choose to stay or go. He could do whatever he wanted to do, but I could also do whatever I wanted to do. Only fair, right?

But he saw that as blackmail. From his perspective, he heard, "Be exclusive to me or I'll leave." When I argued that it's not blackmail or a threat, that I just know what I need to do to protect my own emotions, he said that the result is still the same.

He agreed to tell me if he took on another lover, but he hasn't yet. So he has been exclusive to me for years. He said that it's because he's pragmatic. I didn't understand what pragmatism had to do with it. Then I realized that this polyamorous man chose to be exclusive with me to avoid losing me. That's the pragmatic part.

But blackmail requires an exchange of valuables. So that means I'm at least as valuable to him as his freedom is. That's the romantic part. :)

So I guess we are exclusive. By blackmail.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Sweet Sixteen

 It's my 16th rez day anniversary.

I'm still around, but I think I've matured a lot now. Sometimes, I wonder if I've gotten bored with everything Second Life. But when I stay away too long, I miss it.

Sometimes, I miss places that exist only in my head. SL places are somewhat more tangible than those imaginary places and I miss SL places too. I think it is one of the reasons why I enjoy having a private sim where I can have a bit more control over the spaces where I create memories.

Of course, I get bored with my builds so I pull them back into my inventory and create new spaces. I'm sure the constant change bugs Wolfgang, but he doesn't have much of a say now after I "kicked him out" as co-owner of the sim. I need my autonomy, especially when designing the sim. He likes my decorating style anyway, so he doesn't complain too much.

Our relationship is changing again. I get bored with what we do too. I don't know if we'll find the same old passion, so we'll see.

However, he doesn't understand that it's more difficult to disentangle now after 10.5 years together and with multiple pairs. Each pair is an emotional knot that binds us. Even if the sexual passion is gone, the love and friendship is still there.

We talked about what RL would be like without SL. It would definitely be boring. Wolfgang wondered if Meta would take the place of SL; I said I don't think it will. Meta's graphics are crappy and are devoid of any creativity. The people of SL, especially the creators, made it what it is. And Meta is going to have a hard time building a community like that. It's not just a social thing; it's also a creativity thing.

Maybe that might be something to look forward to. Where would Second Life be on my 32nd rez day anniversary?


Monday, March 21, 2022

When you get used to caviar

He took offense when I said that he's free to have sex with someone else, using one of his alts that he didn't commit to me. He insisted that he couldn't do that, and I couldn't understand why.

He tried to explain that it was with the last pair that he finally felt there was no need for another. He said that he doesn't see us creating any more alts for each other. With the last pair, he had given me the deepest aspect of his psyche. There was nothing else deeper than that.

In our ten years together, we met each other in the middle and then went beyond. In terms of our outlook about relationships, he became more like me, and I became more like him. Long-term real-life relationships change the people in them. I suppose long-term virtual-life relationships are the same.

He tried to explain what our relationship means to him. What *I* mean to him.

Wolfgang's alt: and by the way
My alt: oui?
Wolfgang's alt:
you know what we say about caviar
My alt: How did the conversation get to caviar?!?
Wolfgang's alt: when you got used to caviar, you don't eat Lump eggs anymore ;)

So, there. I guess I'm caviar now. :)


Sunday, March 06, 2022

Love, Like the Main Entree

"Hehe, I like your words about paranoia and alt"

Those were Wolfgang's first words to me on 2012 March 6 at 14:50:11 SLT.

In the early months of 2012, I was getting ready to publish my book "Love, Like Dim Sum". Then I realized that I actually didn't have enough experience with BDSM, which was and still is widespread in SL. So I joined a capture roleplaying group. With a new alt, of course.

A few days before I met Wolfgang, I met someone else in that group who wanted to meet my main alt before he would interact with me. Right off the bat. Hell, no! So I wrote about that experience in my alt's profile. And that was what Wolfgang was commented about.

In the capture roleplay, the males were the predators who were hunting the females. (Yes, sexist, I know.) The predators used a bow-and-arrow weapons system that reduced the female's "health" whenever she was hit by an arrow. When it gets down to 0% or close to it, she is considered captured. Wolfgang claimed that he wasn't really good with the weapons system that the sim was using. But he claimed he was very good with roleplaying. Okay, I said, I could do roleplay too. I already knew that roleplayers made better lovers because of their creativity and language skills. But could this non-native speaker of English be a decent roleplayer?

Surprisingly, he is.

We had to roleplay by email because my father had a health scare and I had to drive from Seattle to San Francisco. During my drive, the world seemed very different; everything felt magical. Many times, I thought that something I passed looked like a forest in our imaginary roleplay world. My imaginary world and my real world were blending into each other like they never had before.

In the capture sim, if the prey (female) is caught, she must have sex with the predator (male) who caught her. So, after a week, I decided that it was time to let him "catch" me. The moment that he tied the leash after my capture, it felt like the most sacred part of a church wedding ceremony, ironically as profane as the roleplay was. I felt a very unusual tenderness and care from him that day and the next.

After that RP, I thought we would move on to play with others. Our chase was done after all. But he proposed that we continue meeting out-of-character.

At that time, we were both polyamorous. He had five lovers, including me; I had four lovers, including him. Slowly, through the following years, his four other lovers and my three other lovers faded away.

The past ten years were not easy, especially the early years. We argued a lot. He broke my heart many times; I broke up with him twice.

Third time's a charm, they say. But I think, by the third time, you give up all your hopes and expectations and just let the relationship be what it is. That's when you realize there are diamonds in the relationship that you never expected, because you were expecting something else.

Through private roleplays with each other, we've explored many types of pairings. I get bored easily and he enjoys the variety that we come up with. Although he initially pushes back on my ideas, he eventually agrees I was right. (My response: I'm always right! ;) ) And when he expresses a wish, it becomes my command, even if he says I don't have to do it.

Once, he promised that he would never abandon me, no matter what happens between us. And he kept his word through our break-ups.

He said he cherishes me. He never said he loved me.

I know many things about him, his family, his friends, his work, his life. I still don't know his last name. I could easily find him, but I choose to respect his wish.

Two of my past SL relationships lasted almost a year. I was amazed when my relationship with Wolfgang lasted two. Then five. Then ten. There's still no guarantee that there'll be an 11th anniversary.

Last December, in real life, I met up with some cousins, one of whom stayed with me in my hotel. In the middle of the night, she woke up to a vision. She said that she saw a man at the edge of my bed and I was caring for him, wiping and caressing his face. She remembered his face from the vision vividly. She thought that I couldn't possibly have a man in the room with us, so she went back to sleep.

The next morning, she told me about her vision.

I hardly talk about my SL relationships with my family, because the concept of SL is already foreign to them. But, after she told me about her vision, I peppered her with questions about what the man looked like. Then I showed her Wolfgang's RL pic. Her reaction was priceless. She recognized him right away as the man on my bed in her vision.

There is something magical here. In more ways than one.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Fifteen

Who knew I would last in Second Life this long? When I first started in SL, I figured I'd stay a couple of hours. That's a very long couple of hours. :)

Wolfgang and I got back together earlier this year. For a few months.

But, as I said, a lot has happened in real life. And I couldn't justify losing sleep for a relationship that keeps me an arm's length away. I had to take care of me. Alone. We never stopped communicating by email, and we're starting again to see each other inworld, but rarely.

The friendship is still there. And he keeps his promise to never leave me no matter what happens between us.

I did not move to Washington State as I had planned last year. A lot has happened that caused my moved to be postponed several times. But I finally moved back to the Pacific Northwest late last month. Just across the Columbia River. That's this year's almost-August significant change in my life. :)

Life feels lighter at the moment. However, there has been a lot of uncertainty the past few years. The past year with COVID and the blatant racism in the US made me feel that uncertainty so much more. I try to quell the anxiety that's just lurking under the surface. I am well aware that life could change in an instant.

In my first couple of years in SL, I experience the pain of the world's transience. It was the nature of virtual worlds to keep changing. People and places disappeared quickly and too often. Lately, it feels like real life is imitating virtual life. 

I've never deleted any of my many alts. I've put them in hibernation, yes, but I can log them in again anytime, if I wanted to. Can't do that in real life.

But maybe I still have a few decades left. In RL and in SL.

 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fourteen +

I just realized that I forgot to write a post for my 14th rez day! It just came and went. That's why the title of this post has a "+" in it. :)

But, as usual, August brings changes to my life. This time, to my real life. In August, I got approval to work remotely permanently, so I'm moving back to Washington State. California is my family's home, but it feels like Washington State is my soul's home.

For some reason, just the planning of the move already wakes up my muse. I'm getting so many creative ideas! Not just for SL, but also for real-life projects.

In fact, I'm relearning Blender (for the umpteenth time). Hopefully, it will be productive this time.

Earlier this year, I let Wolfgang go after I realized that the relationship will never be balanced. I was surprised that it affected him much more than I expected. We remain good friends; we still share news by email, he still tries to seduce me, but we don't meet anymore. I still adore him; that won't change. But I was wasting time and effort on something that doesn't give back as much as I give. By a mile.

So, this time, I'm loving me and taking care of me. And I'm creating again.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Tears for the past

"Paradox Olbers, former ISM President, passed away on 13 November, 2019."

Kat Lemieux, founder and current president of the International Spaceflight Museum, sent me an IM today to tell me the news and to ask if I had made a Morphing Portrait for Para and if I wanted to create a memorial for him.

I saw her message as a notification from GMail as I was getting ready to leave work in the evening. I cried in the dark night as I walked to my car. And I don't know why.

I didn't have a close friendship with Para, but I worked closely with him when we were both active in the museum. It was a distant but warm professional friendship. When he took over the ISM, I was amazed at how he was able to keep it afloat financially, using his connections with donors and supporters.

But grief is a selfish emotion, and I knew that my tears were more for me than for him, although I am terribly sad that he is gone.

My last two years have been very difficult, particularly this past summer. In July, I had a cancerous tumor removed from my left kidney and that has not yet healed completely. In August, my mom passed away.

In the past few weeks, I've been missing Second Life. Not SL specifically, but the quietness and peacefulness that I have felt in the first few years of my virtual life. The wonder, the curiosity, the creativity. The innocence.

This week, I set up a trust and I'm still writing a pour-over will. In the process, I'm jotting down instructions for my successor trustee and executor. And the to-do list grows. I have a long list just to handle Opal's and Treasure's affairs. That task started my trek back into the past. And maybe that's why the tears came easily.

Paradox is one of the first few people I met in Second Life. His passing makes me feel like the past that I've been missing is slowly fading away piece by piece, because he was a part of that time in my life.

Many friends from that time have left SL too. No matter how often I log back into SL, I can't go back to that time. I can't step in the same river twice.



UPDATE 2019 Nov 30: Memorial created.

Exclusivity by blackmail

I didn't know we were exclusive. Seriously. When Wolfgang and I met, we had many other lovers at the same time. Eventually, those lo...