Estimates of the percentage of women in SL who are actually men in drag have ranged from as high as 50% to as low as 5%. The 50% figure is certainly too high. There’s no way that half the men I see every day are men in drag. A sociologist who resides in SL sets the figure at ~30%, but offers no support or evidence except for her ‘gut feeling’. Well I have a gut too, and my feeling is more like 5-15%’, and I offer some caveats. I’m only talking about the fenmlae avatars run by RL mine who go out and engage in social and sexual behaviors. It you want to count all the female avi’s men have made and keep at home or in their secret subterranean labs, I’d put the figure much higher. I’d say 50-60% of men have a female avatar tucked away somewhere, but of course, I have no evidence for that either, other than my gut.
The usual perception is that Second Life is rife with predatory homosexuals who dress up like hot babes so they can seduce macho men and presumably steal their manly he-man essence and turn them into doddering fruits, but this is hardly the case. No doubt there are some Malevolent Maries out there and SL has more than its share of deviants, but there’s a lot of reasons a man might make himself a female avatar that have nothing to do with duping homophobic straights.
Men are fascinated with female bodies, for example, and their clothes and their whole feminine shtick. Men are very appearance oriented, which is why they can get aroused by a rag mop with tits. The temptation to spend a few Lindens to get the makings of a female and turn her into your dream girl is pretty strong, though few of them would admit it. From there it’s a short step to making her truly gorgeous, so gorgeous you want to take her out and show her off to some other men and even women (“THIS is how it’s done, bitches!”). And then it’s often a hop and skip into seeing if you can get some guy to fuck you. Homosexuality actually has very little to do with it.
There are guys who dress like women to seduce men or to get money. It’s been suggested that two thirds of escorts are men. There are guys who dress like women to seduce lesbians too, or that;s what they say when they;re found out. Whether they could fool a woman enough to get into her jeans is an open question.
There’s some issue over what to call these kinds of people. They;re not transsexuals because transsexuals really believe they’re trapped in the bodies if the wrong sex, and these weekend warrior harbor no such beliefs. We could call them gender-switchers, which is really what they are, but that’s still an unfamiliar term and liable to misinterpretation. Then there’s transvestites, which seems to me the most appropriate. Transsexual males are men who dress in women’s clothing because it gives them a certain thrill. That thrill might be sexual, it might be sensual, or it might be entrance to the world of high fashion and style. But since shapes and skins are treated like garments in SL, a man who becomes a woman for any reason is best described as a transvestites.
The reason I don’t think there’s a high proportion of sexually active transvestites is because transvestites aren’t homosexuals and aren’t that sexually active anyhow. They’re interested in feeling like a woman and living in a woman’s world, but not especially taken with the idea of fucking men. At least not Real World Transvestites, and I doubt It’s that much different in SL. Even if all the SL transvestites were gay, that still wouldn’t be above around 10%, which is the percentage of homosexuality you find in the real world.
So Real World transvestites aren’t overwhelmingly homosexual. They do it because they like to identify with women and the female lifestyle, the cult of beauty and femininity. They do it because they’re more obsessed with women than are heterosexual men; so obsessed they have to turn themselves into the target of their obsession. It’s all very reminiscent of the way Plains Indians would turn themselves into buffalo before a big hunt, donning buffalo robes and horns and dancing till they became one with their prey. No one assumed those shamen were looking for buffalo sex with the other men of the tribe.
And Second Life is the perfect place to experiment with gender. It’s one hell of a lot easier for a man to become a woman here than it is for him to do it in RL, and a lot more temporary too.
Still, there are men in Second Life who become women in order to have sex with other men, and they’re apparently a source of never ending horror to those hets who are on the make and would rather burn their testicles off with a roadside flare than be touched by another man. I used to worry about that too. In my salad days I was terribly indiscriminate, and when I found out I might be fucking men, I was horrified. I’d thought I was pretty liberal about gays, but this was too much.
But I got over it pretty fast. For one thing, it’s never been clear to me whether I’m making love to the avatar or the person behind the avatar or both. So For another, gays just don’t terrify me that much, nor does the idea of gay sex (as long as they shave.) And let’s face it, half the pretty young things I was boffing were 60 year-old grandmothers with whiskey voices and a pack-a-day habit anyhow. It finally occurred to me that gender in SL didn’t matter anymore. Behind that gorgeous little female avatar was a human being who wanted the touch and intimacy of sexual connection, and whether the real person was a man or a woman or a girl was just irrelevant.
Also, the girls I fucked who were really men were dynamite in the sack. Somehow they seemed to know just what a man wanted. In time I grew irritated with men who were so hysterically homophobic that they demanded signed affidavits of gender identity before they’d even talk to a women. This is Second Life. In 2013. Go with it.
But, since Humm is a magazine that puts its readers right up there behind money, fame, influence and praise, we’re going to serve the public interest by listing some of the best ways we’ve discovered to tell if that gorgeous woman you’re eyeing is really a dude or not. These tips are not primarily mine. In fact, I don’t think any of them are mine, judging by how routinely and utterly I’m taking in by trannies. They’re from women I’ve talked to. Because it turns out that women—often just standing around and avatar- watching at some SL meat-market—have a very finely attuned gender-dar which is quite good at spotting dudes trying to pass as women. Most of these tips come from them.
I should point out to that this issue is not confined to men passing themselves off as women. Though not as common, there are women passing themselves off as men too. There are lesbians passing themselves off as men to get to other women. There are men passing themselves off as lesbians to get to other lesbians. It gets kind of bewildering.
And also: it was pointed out to me that transvestites come in two main varieties: first you have your average hetero male who’s just fascinated with women and wants to create his dream girl and then show her off—the Indian in the buffalo robe type. Then you have your serious, sophisticated Ru-Paul types who out-woman women in fashion, demeanor, and looks. These tips don’t apply to them, but they’re probably not the ones looking for a quick screw. They’re looking to be admired.
But here are some of the best ways to tell if a woman is actually a man in drag. None of them is infallible, but they give you a place to star. And note that this list can also be used to help trannies create more realistic women, so it cuts both ways. It’s really not that much of a help at all. J
Bodies: Men tend to create their dreams girls when they make female avatars. Everyone knows men’s ideas of female perfection aren’t the same as female ideas.
- Breasts. Most women are just not that into huge hooters. They know what it’s like to carries those things around all day, and it isn’t pleasant. Straight men, when they make a female body, tend to accentuate those secondary sexual characteristics that most appeal to them. So if she’s hippy with big bazoomas, she might be a man.
This isn’t universal, and the sophisticated transvestites are more into chic than they are into voluptuousness. They’ll avoid the big melons
- Butts: If women had their way, they would probably have asses the size of two tennis balls. Women like their hips, but in proportion. Big, big hips and ass big enough to rest a beer on are not commonly on a real woman’s most-wanted list.
Also, see Skirt Ass, below
- Face: A face that’s a caricature of what men like in women is common in men’s female fantasies. Big blank eyes, huge red bj lips, parted and glistening…
- Nails: Men don’t have the patience to fuck around with sculpty nails. She’ll be wearing nail gloves or nothing.
- Hair: Men’s taste in hair is pretty conservative: long and flowing and maybe even too long, but nothing fancy. A hetero TV will be very unlikely to wear short hair or something wildly trendy or asymmetric.
Clothes: What can you say? Men have horrible fashion sense for the most part.
- General: Male tastes in women’s clothes generally range from the slutty to the totally naked. Look for lots of tight, lots of skin, lots of black and primary colors. Mesh (as in fishnet), latex, leather, satin, girly-girl stuff.
They’re also pretty cheap. They don’t see why they should spend L$600 on an outfit when they can get something similar for L$40 or from a freebie bin. Any avatar who’s been here more than a month and is still hobbling around in freebies or Linden hand-outs is almost certainly a man, or a woman with such low self-esteem that she might as well be one. Bad news for you guys who frequent Bukkake Bliss and The House of Fuckettes.
- Shoes: Shoes were mentioned more as a gender tip-off than anything else. If men had terrible taste in fashion, they have absolutely execrable taste in shoes. And since good women’s shoes are expensive and a bother to fit and wear, their footwear will be cheap. Cheap and just wroing was the way one woman described it, with feet showing or multiple shoes not uncommon. In RL men give little thought to their shoes, while in both RL and SL, shoes are something of a universal female obsession. Men don’t check their shoes when they leave the house. This is what they get.
- Jewelry: Cheap, small, and inappropriate. Or expensive, huge, and inappropriate. If you look at a woman and there’s something just a little bit off about her, check out her jewelry.
- Skirt Ass: This was something I didn’t know, but when a woman avatar puts on a skirt, the size of her butt expants by like 30%. It has something to do with the way clothes work, and there aren’t many women who’ve been in SL for any length of time who don’t know about this Skirt Ass Effect. I understand that some female shapes come with a special Skirt Ass version with smaller hips to avoid this problem. If she looks good from the front but has a double-wide behind, be suspicious.
In fact, you’ll be doing her a favor if you tell her her ass looks big. Women always appreciate that kind of honesty.
- Demeanor: This is one thing everyone has to decide for themselves. Men are notoriously more aggressive than women and more focused on the bedroom. As a rule, women speak differently, and about different things. But if I have to explain to you the difference, you really shouldn’t be trying to hook up with a woman in the first place.
I think it’s sad though, that the homophobes who are so terrified of ending up with a man are so ignorant of women and how the act and talk that they can be taken in by a pair of boobs and some long hair and totally lose sight of the rest of the person. They deserve what they get.
- SL: I’ve heard stories from men about their dates automatically climbing on the blue ball when they were out dancing. I assume some of them are true. One time might be a mistake, but 2, 3 times? Once when they were getting into bed? Something’s rotten in the Kingdom of Love.
- Verified Female: One woman told me the easiest way to know if the woman you’re with is a man is if they have a “Verified Female” or such in their profile. She believes that all Verified Females are men (a) because a real woman doesn’t need to be verified. She can just say a few words or send a pic. And (b) the services themselves are bogus for the most part. They do nothing but collect a fee and give you their worthless stamp of approval. There are no Verified Female police who go around checking licenses. Anyone can write that they’re “verified” in their profile and no one’s going to stop them.
Also, if you do a Group search on “Verified Women” or such, you’ll find lots of groups but very few members. You’d think listing its verified members would be essential to the verification process but apparently not. Of the six verification service I looked at, only one listed members, and they had about 20. So of all the women in Second Life, only about 20 have been verified.
- No Voice, No Cam, No Pictures: It must come as a shock to the many men who demand concrete verification, but a lot of women just aren’t comfortable with sending a picture of their naked genitals to a stranger they kjust met 20 minutes before, and many more have no desire to hear you panting and grunting as you masturbate. They’re just not that into that. So the No voice… provision is not proof she’s a man by any means. It just proves she has some sense and dignity.
- The real Test: The easiest way to tell if the girl you’re with is a man is to ask them some questions only a woman would know. Unfortunately, this is also the most awkward, because what you want to know are things like: how many days before and after her period is she fertile? What brand of birth control does she use? Is a size 8 dress big or small? What is blusher, or French nails, or a fly-away? What brand lipstick does she use, and what’s her favorite perfume and what does it smell like?
Men don’t know the answers to these questions normally. And normally, women do. Whether she’ll deign to answer is another matter.
And there’s always the chance that she’ll be so insulted that she’ll stand up and leave. In which case, she was probably a woman.