Recently, iRez publisher Vaneeesa Blaylock tagged me with this, “Yordie Sands also dares to talk about something so many peeps are curious about, but sometimes too shy to ask or write about: Virtual Romance!” And it got me thinking.
The Romance Expert
Is that what my writings have done, painted me into a slot as a virtual romance writer? Anyway, I did some unscientific Google searches and noticed that there’s far more pointers to my Second Life romantic exploits and “romance” writings than there are to my life as an adventurer.
Ok, if I write about virtual romance so much, that makes me an expert, right? Heh!
So, I’ve decided to run with this romance thing for a while longer, even though I haven’t had a serious relationship with anyone since mid-2011. In fact, my goal is to stay aloof till at least 2013. *smiles* Ok, ok, ok, let me take my credentials as a virtual romance expert and address one of my pet peeves with virtual romance, guys don’t know how to date women.
The Gender Imbalance
Maybe many guys don’t know how to “date” women in any world, and that’s a whole subject in itself and for another day, but in a virtual world like Second Life there a gender imbalance that helps make dating obsolete. The gender gap simply means there are far more women than there are men, especially when you include men who have chosen to be virtual women. Perhaps 15-20% of men have female avatars but 3-4% of women are men.
It is a buyers market for men in Second Life. And too often, there is some desperate woman willing to hurl herself at every man she can. For many guys that might be just fine, in fact great, but not all guys are just looking for sex. And while that’s another subject we could debate, you have to recognize that virtual guys do marry virtual women in virtual worlds and this is a commitment of love. Unless a guy knows he really wants to know a particular woman, he doesn’t have to ask her out on a “date.”
Is Dating Possible?
Virtual worlds like Second Life are more like meeting places where virtual people hangout, when they have spare time. And virtual worlds like World of Warcraft are more focused on missions and improving your rankings, when you have spare time. For many virtual people, the idea of doing anything that requires planning, especially anything at a specific time, is just too demanding. And for many married virtual people who are looking to spice up their lives, often their activities must be done in secret. I don’t have anyway of knowing, but it seems the majority of virtual peeps have more than one time constraint.
So, is dating even possible? And what is a virtual date anyway? And for some it’s, what is a date?
I’m sorry to say, in virtual worlds “dating” seems rare. I say this because I’ve talked to a lot of women. Most women settle for meeting guys in nightclubs. And most of the time, a girl will have to initiate a chat with the guy, if she expects to have any luck getting to know him. Of course, if the girl dresses like she works in the sex industry she may get guys who chat her up, but I’m not sure that’s true either.
In many cases, dating isn’t dating at all, it’s hanging out hoping someone will dance, someone who won’t start grabbing your ass in the first 15 minutes.
Dating is Possible!
Dating is possible in a virtual world, but perhaps dating is more suited for a world like Second Life because of all the couples activities there. The truth might be, a virtual date should be very much like a real world date where the guy asks the woman out, picks her up and takes her out for the evening or whenever. Of course, the same thing applies to girls taking girls out or guys taking guys out.
Yes, “Dating” is possible in a virtual world like Second Life.
The thing about a date is, if you think you are interested in someone romantically, asking them out is a way of showing respect. There’s an implied romantic interest too and maybe this is the reason dating is almost extinct in virtual relationships. As long as everything is, I’ll see you when I see you then there’s not much interest being shown. I think a lot of that is because so many guys are just afraid of being rejected if they do ask a woman for a date, this is true in virtual worlds and real life.
P.S. – There’s one other thing, I don’t really think I’m a romance expert. heh!
17 thoughts on “How To Date A Virtual Woman”
Hi Yordie, 2 FYI’s on this awesome post, for you and other authors:
1. You don’t have to wait for me to put your post up on the top slider, you can add it yourself just by adding the tag “slider” to your post
(hopefully your post has a “featured image” of 940 x 400 pixels or better
2. We now have 2 cool types of “Galleries” available on these posts, the top-of-post gallery as you used here, or the full-screen-gallery as I used on the “Bio Update” a couple of days ago. For either gallery type, you can control what order the images are in! All is revealed in this flickr how-to pix:
Thanks for the FYIs, Van. I’ll bet you dutifully informed us of such things and I lost track in the confusion that swept over me since my whirlwind dash across matter, energy, space and time began.
Fantastic post Yordie — haha — it definitely feels like “Part 1” of a larger story!! 🙂
Guys don’t know how to date women (in a virtual world)
and I wondered if you had more thoughts on poor assumptions or ways of spending time, etc.
The time thing is really an interesting point. I’ve had so many peeps in virtual worlds say “… if I’m on”. Whether it’s hanging out with a friend or asking someone to be in one of our VB performances, you’re right, people do hate to make time commitments. I’ve heard “IM me if you see me online” so many times!
For sure this is true IRL too. Nobody wants to RSVP, they just like to show up if it fits what’s happening when the day comes. If the event happens to be your birthday, look at the receipt they threw in with that gift card, there’s a pretty good chance they bought the gift card half hour before coming to your party.
I don’t mean to be the ungrateful birthday girl, the fact that somebody bothers to come to your party and even buys you a gift card for a meal or entertainment or something, is pretty great, but it does seem that IRL has some of the “if I’m around then” quality also. Still, I do think you’re right, this seems to be even more prevalent in a virtual space like SL.
I also have good friends who will IM for hours when you’re online, yet won’t come to a place like iRez either to do a little guest post or just to drop a comment. That may not be the same issue as time, but I think the idea that the ways we communicate / interact are something we’re picky about. Some peeps just seem very focused on SL or Twitter or FB or whatever space they like to talk on and the other channels exist to a far lesser degree for them. Again, that’s different from your time issue, but it seems to be something that many of us have specific preferences on.
There’s little doubt that making a time commitment is difficult in both real life and a virtual world; afterall, we have such heavy time demands from the work-a-day world. By the time most people I know get to Second Life, they are pretty much at the end of their day and many peeps are tired. So, ok, it’s for real. Maybe I should have spent some time on this time topic but I just didn’t have time (pun intended). Or else there would have been a Part 2. heh.
I think there’s a solution to this dating “time” issue though. A guy could plan a date and say, “When I make it online, maybe as late as…” or some such thing. It’s really not the time but the fact that he planned something. I should have prolly spent more time on that also, but … yada yada. and… Heh.
I think the problem is that we’re approaching this like “fleshvatars” — the constraints on those peeps are so dramatic it’s hard to believe that they really exist. Time stretched to the limit, 1/3 of available time lost in regenerative coma state, lots more time spent on input/output of nutrients, etc.
As avatars, or if you like “Non Corporeal Intelligent Beings” — we can AND SHOULD “hire” MANY fleshvatars to work for us! If you had a “typing pool” of 5-10 typists, plus an emergency backup AI, it’d be easy to say, “Hey cutie, Thursday night at 21:00: you, me, a bottle of Cristal, two straws” and have full confidence that “you” could make that commitment!
A guy I know introduced me to a sex store in SL. I was amazed at what is available.
A guy or woman can create a avie in SL to his/her exact specifications and run it as a separate instance of their Viewer. Here’s the thing, there are female emote hud with voice (men too). So the guy could have sex with his custom avie and hear her say exactly what he wants her to say in a choice of female voices. This exists today. I can’t remember which vendor has the voice thing though.
Oh and yeah, I suppose there’s more in this whole virtual dating subject. But I’m thinking this will be something I’ll be linking back to as the topic comes up in other posts. If I could actually achieve something in Second Life, I’d like to help guys see the magic that happens when they ask a girl out on a date. Yanno. I see so many girls in clubs and other situations being almost cheated out of one of the most beautiful parts of a relationship.
GEEZ and what tha’ hey! I’m really digging a hole for myself with this virtual romance thing. 🙂 I guess you are right about me.
You know Yordie, you’re really making a simple and powerful point here:
Guy asking girl; girl asking guy; gay; straight, no matter, the anticipation of any date, especially a first one, is an amazing thing. You may be excited, nervous, or all the above, but one thing for sure, it’s a moment when you really know you’re alive.
We should feel this way more often IRL, and since the “Virtual” is “Real,” why not have the experience there too. Here’s to more lower lip biting and more goosebumps everywhere!
I think one of the reasons Second Life is a success is because of the sex. I’m not sure who said it, but the first time I heard about SL, this was discussed matter of factly.
And then there’s the old saw: “Women give sex to get love, but men give love to get sex.” And dispite the crass nature of that statement, I think there’s a lot of truth in it. Only in SL, some men don’t have to give much of anything to get sex.
I know, we live in the Friends With Benefits era and among the very cool, it’s cooler still to have sex before you begin any relationship just to see if you are sexually compatible.
I know there are people who feel they are liberated by all the new freedoms. I know there are those, especially in Second Life, who believe romance is sex or sex is romance. I know women who’ve never been on a “date” in Second Life, attractive women, even relatively mature women.
I’ve been on dates in Second Life and found that the guys aren’t just “older guys”. I’ve even gone out with on a date with a twenty-something. A couple of those guys have even been romantic connections for me. Dating may seem like a pointless formality to many, but I don’t know many women who wouldn’t get goosebums if the right guy asked her to go on a date. Jus sayin’
I checked the stats on this post. I’ll bet there is an interest here. I’m thinking of a type of follow-on, not a part 2.
I might even try to find and read “the guy’s handbook”. I want to see what guys are being taught these days. Also, maybe I can find out where the famous “I’m a commander in the navy” and the “I’m a helicopter pilot” lines come from.
Great post Yordie, and yes, “dating” in virtual worlds seldom is discussed and in my experience, practiced considerably less than in the physical world. Nevertheless, I suspect women enjoy going on dates in virtual worlds for similar reasons they enjoy going on dates in the physical world.
Someone who takes the time to plan something, commits to a time and place, carve out a slice of their schedule to spend the time to get to know you… well, that’s a good inidication of someone you might want to get involved with.
What surprises me, is why more men don’t do it! It’s ridiculously easier to date in virtual worlds like SL than it is in RL, getting ready is a relative cinch, getting there requires the effort of a click, it’s a fraction of the cost, and finishing things up early is as convenient as a “oops, sorry, I crashed”. Despite its relative ease, I’ve been ‘asked out’ in RL way more than I have ever been asked out in SL.
I’ve never done “Speed Dating” IRL, DYK how it’s done? And should we have a version in SL? Just riffing on your thoughts that more virtual dating could be nice. I know that speed dating starts with so many minutes with each person, but doe it end in a “real date” that night or another night?
Who wants to say, “The Dating Club for Avatars: I’m not just the president, I’m also a member!”
I have, and that’s not a bad idea at all. Basically you go into a room with bunch of other guys and girls. You sit across from them for a few minutes and chat and then move on to the next once the timer goes, if you like them, you ask for their number from the organiser at the end, and the game is afoot. I think that in SL you’d need maybe 10 minutes at least, or do it in voice, for it to work as well. I wonder how many guys would show up? I have a feeling it’d be popular amongst women though – not a bad idea at all.
Virtual Speed-Dating – LIKE! 🙂
Perhaps YOU have a place we might use? Or plenty of other choices out on the grid if that’s not convenient.
The IRL ones are less than 10 mins? It seems that way in the TV snippets or parodies of them that I’ve seen. 10 is probably nice to actually know someone, of course it’s long if you don’t warm up to them… plus in an hour you could only talk to 6 peeps and by then you might be getting a little tired / fatigued. Your idea is 10 mins for text, or less for voice?
In the IRL ones do you “meet” every single person there? Or a subset? IDK how many guys we’d get, but it’d be fun to find out. We could have straight, gay & bi options… or maybe that’s too complicated.
So in IRL speed dating anybody can get anybody’s number? And if you weren’t that interested then you just have to turn them down like any other dating scenario? I guess in SL you wouldn’t have to ask the organizer since you’d know their screen name and could IM them.
But in the spirit of this post about making time for a real date, we might encourage a more formal “real date” result if you’re interested in someone. Maybe the equivalent of getting a phone number from the host would be getting the person you like’s email from the host.
And when should we do this? A Saturday? Mid-day-USA-time? Or?…
I do have a place we can use, definitely! In RL, it can be as low as 4 minutes – which is good, because longer than that might become awfully tiresome if you’re stuck across a mute (and don’t know sign language 😉 Voice cuts any text convo into about 1/3, so you could do 4 for voice, and 10 for text.
You can meet every member of the opposite sex there, as long as the event is well organised. The girls typically stay seated, and the guys move around the table. And of course, you could have those options as you say, but I think you’d want to test it out with a reasonable large group of people first – so that you get the kinks out.
The only way to get each other’s contact details is if there is a match (e.g. if you like the guy, and the guy likes you – then details can be exchanged). That way, both parties consent to contact. And yes, you don’t really need to count on an organiser, but in a way, it keeps things less pressured if you do it that way.
If you wanted to do this, I’d be keen on doing it either a Saturday or an evening (I’m on GMT) 🙂 Saturday would probably work best.
Why don’t we do it Saturday 27 Oct then. Something like 10am SLT / 17:00 GMT? I can shout about it in the SL Art groups (haha, it IS “performance art” after all) and you can shout about it in whatever groups you have access to. And if we put Yordie in a t-shirt for it, that should attract a few peeps. We can see how it goes and if it’s fun and / or we learn stuff we can always do it again.
Is the gender balance IRL near 50/50? And will ours be lopsided? IDK how much LGBTQIA we have in SL, but there do seem to be a number of lesbian dance clubs. IDK if tinys date, but furys definitely do. I don’t mean to open a huge box of orientation options, but it seems that in a world that celebrates so much diversity, having “straight only” dating would be sort of weird.
What’s nice about your rotating circle is that it keeps the already contrived event from being overly “meat marketish.” Still, given all that diversity, if I happen to be lesbian, fury or anything else, chatting with 8 white dudes, 1 cute girl and 1 cute fury – maybe that’s not a great nite.
I imagine RL speed dating is all heterosexual? Or if there is an LBGTQIA version, then there’s probably not many straight there. haha, sorry to make it complicated, but I think it has to be as inclusive as it can be and that does seem to make it more elaborate. Help?