My gender swapping inside Second Life

Hello world. As you can tell, that’s not Cheri Horton you see in the photo, it’s yours truly. But what you may not be able to detect is the fact that I am a biological male. Sorry about the fuzzy Web cam image, but you get the idea. Or at least I hope you do. Basically, I’m an androgyne, if you wanted to slap a label on me.

Why the hell am I telling you this? Well, after about two weeks or so of serious consideration, I felt strongly that I wanted to reveal to the blogosphere the nature of my true gender identity and sexuality. I’ve reached this decision for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, I thought it might create a lot more opportunity for me to get publicly involved with the discussion of cybersex, online identity, and of course, virtual worlds like Second Life. When I say publicly involved, I mean I’d like to at least have the option of going to events or conferences, doing interviews, meeting people who have similar interests, and things of that nature, instead of feeling trapped behind a virtual world persona.

Additionally, I’ve been having the impression lately that this blog is developing too much of an air of unreality, like there’s no real human behind the content that’s being posted. That doesn’t really sit well with me, and I am guessing it kind of rubs readers the same way to at least some extent. Then again, my disclosure may wind up wreaking damage on this blog, and people might lose interest altogether.

Why now?
This whole issue came to a head last week when I was asked to do an interview with Radio Open Source dealing with my interaction in Second Life. It was for a segment due to air Tuesday, simultaneously taking place ’live’ in Second Life. I agreed to it preliminarily, and was later informed by the show’s producer that my area of interest may prove too sexual for the show’s ‘family hours’ broadcast slot. So, at this point, it looks as if the interview is a no-go, although I haven’t heard anything definitive yet. (If it does fall through, the major bummer would be that I may have lost a chance to hang with Sherry Turkle, who is scheduled as one of the show’s guests.)

At any rate, if such an opportunity ever presents itself again, I’d like to be able to participate without having to worry about who is going to be (perhaps understandably) shocked, surprised or appalled that I am really ‘male.’ This way, I am breaking the news up front.

As far as my (trans) gender and sexual orientation, I am in fact a bisexual who identifies as neither male nor female, but somewhere in between. Just think of me as a sort of gender hybrid. I feel these details also are relevant to what I am trying to accomplish with this blog, by the way.

In addition, while I have the opportunity I’d also like to apologize in advance to any Second Life residents who may be pissed off that I am not a genetic female in real life. As far as the handful of residents whom I have established relationships with in SL in one form or another, out of courtesy, I’ve already informed them about my news prior to making this post. And I very much appreciate the fact that they all handled it extremely well and maturely, and we are all remaining cyberpals in Second Life.

So, how is all this going to effect Cheri Horton? I don’t know, really. We’ll have to wait and see. I may wind up giving her a virtual penis, I may not. I may transform her into a hermaphrodite. I really like her ‘physical’ appearance, but then again, I may revamp her a bit merely for her to present a more androgynous image. I also have no idea how Cheri’s social interaction in SL will be impacted.

I do know one thing, though: my exploration and documentation of Second Life sex and relationships will continue in earnest. And I think my experiences inside that virtual world will now be a lot more relevant to who I am in real life and will be that much more engaging, not to mention more revealing in terms of self-discovery, if you’re into that type of thing.


  1. Comment by csven on March 28, 2006 10:27 am

    I’ll confess that I just now rediscovered this blog while cleaning out my overstuffed list of bookmarks. But I can’t help but stop to say that I sincerely hope you find only open-minded individuals out there who are both accepting of who you are and appreciative of your honesty.

  2. Comment by Noche on March 29, 2006 12:08 am

    Hi csven. Thanks very much for the sentiments. Actually, I’ve been generally impressed so far with most of the alter egos I have associated and interacted with inside Second Life. I do however realize that androgynes and bisexuality are not mainstream preferences, even in virtual space, although people tend to be more liberal sexually, as well as more open to new experiences in places like Second Life. Then again, acceptance is way overrated. I usually make out very well one way or another despite the circumstances. ^-^

    Oh, and I hope you kept Apogeevr bookmarked! :)

  3. Comment by csven on March 31, 2006 8:18 am


  4. Comment by Torley Linden on April 12, 2006 3:25 am

    I gotta say, my first reaction: you have a really kewl nose.

    And then, following that: eyebrows too.

    I’m certainly open to experiences in SL! Hope to see you inworld. :)

  5. Comment by Noche on April 12, 2006 11:07 pm

    Hi there Torley. Thanks for stopping by and for the nice compliments. Yep, I have a big thing for feminine-looking eyebrows. Love ‘em, in fact. I even have some eyebrow icons, including Madonna, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda. But that’s probably more than you wanted to know. :)

    I’m certainly open to experiences in SL! Hope to see you inworld.

    Cool! Same here.

  6. Comment by Biscuit Carroll on April 13, 2006 10:01 pm

    Hiya. I’ve just read all your archives (chronologically) having found you via FleshBot. I think what you’re doing is useful and interesting. I think that explorations of virtual sexuality may help undermine the stigmas that pervade RL. Perhaps that will be SL’s contribution to human kind.

    As for your “deception”, it is generous of you to have revealed it. Virtual worlds allow us to experiment and that is what you have been doing. It’s okay that you did that.

    I am a het male and will shortly enter SL. Look forward to meeting you in-world.

  7. Comment by Noche on April 17, 2006 12:09 am

    Thank you, Biscuit.

    I think that explorations of virtual sexuality may help undermine the stigmas that pervade RL.

    That’s very ambitious! Actually, I think a surprising amount of the awkwardness, inhibitions and repressed dynamics of real-life sex persists even in the parallel universe of Second Life. Still, I think you may be right to a degree. I mean, chipping away slowly but surely is certainly not a ‘bad’ thing.

  8. Comment by Biscuit Carroll on April 18, 2006 5:43 am

    Actually, there is an example of how this works in the current Metaverse Messenger (April 11, Page 5). Article is headed “Being a Bigot” and describes how the writer overcame a prejudice against dom/sub cultures.

Comments RSS

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.