Thursday, May 28, 2015

Here I Am...

Blogging to myself...

Still figuring things out, but I'm getting there. A break from being so public is good.


I'd gotten used to writing to an audience. I forgot this was supposed to be all about writing for me, writing what I needed to write.

I'm having trouble. Some people don't like me.

And that's okay, right? I mean, it doesn't necessarily mean these people hate me. They just don't like me. And I don't know why that bothers me so much.
There are three people in particular that I know full well don't like me. Two in Second Life and one in the real world. The thing is, I don't like them, either.

That's kind of twisted, isn't it? That I don't like them but still think they should like me because I'm just that fucking fabulous, right? That's ridiculous. I don't like them, they don't like me, the world keeps spinning and we're all okay.

In the grand scheme of everything, having only three people that I know don't like me is pretty good, isn't it? I mean, don't get me wrong... I know there are far more than only three. Just those particular three have made certain that I know they don't like me.
One is my sister. Oh, the volumes I could fill on that subject! She sent me a message a few days ago asking for my forgiveness for treating me so horribly. I didn't answer. It wasn't that I wasn't going to answer, I just hadn't figured out what to say yet. I know it was going to be along the lines of how we just don't work and it's senseless to keep trying when we'd just end up fighting again. I was trying to think of a way to tell her that without it seeming mean and ugly.

Before I got a chance to figure out how to say what I wanted to see, she sent another message. This one retracting her apology and reiterating that I'm a terrible person. I hadn't said a word. I had told no one in my family. Nothing. Yet I still failed.

I think what's been bothering me are the reasons why they don't like me. And trying to figure out if those reasons really do make me a horrible person.

I'm an introvert. And I don't mean that in the "OMG, I'm sooooooo introverted... hahahahaha..." sort of way. I really am. Being around more than just a couple of people at a time physically exhausts me. Thinking over every word I say, how it'll be taken, what people see when they look at me... It's all too much. I can't make small talk. Or big talk. It's so hard. And it's not that I don't care about what people have to say, or what they're thinking, or what's going on in their worlds... I do. Too much. I can't handle it.

I just want to be left alone, for the most part. It's a weird conundrum of wanting people to want me around, and also wanting them to understand that I absolutely can't. Or can only do it in very short interludes because I have to go away and regroup.
I'm truly at my happiest, and my easiest, when I'm all alone. I can be myself without thought or consequence. I think it's why I like Second Life so much. I can spend time being whoever, whatever, I want... and then log off and it's done.

And when I do, I get this feeling of "shew, I did it!"

I'm awkward and weird and quiet and I think it comes across to people as being extraordinarily bitchy. And pretentious. And arrogant.

I'm quiet, but I'm opinionated as fuck. So when I do say something, I'm usually expressing something quite strongly. It's sometimes controversial. It's often very matter-of-fact and comes across in a tone of "fuck you, it's my opinion."
And, yes, since I spend a lot of time in my head, I'm pretty well convinced that my opinion is the right one. And that confidence in my own opinion is definitely arrogant. I'm not saying that I can't have my mind changed... I can. But the argument better be awfully strong for me to sway. And it's not going to be changed on something that is purely a matter of aesthetics or taste.

No one will ever convince me to like mesh heads. No one will ever convince me that mushrooms aren't gross, or that Brussels sprouts aren't the best damn vegetable in the whole damn world, followed closely by lima beans. Purple is the best color. I think republicans are assholes and organized religion, of any flavor, is a pox on the world.

Here's the difference, though. I can, and will, debate religion or politics. Those are important matters. And I'd be foolish to look at those things as if my opinion is cut and dry. There are layers and layers and thousands of years of history to learn about, and people to learn about.
Mushrooms, purple and mesh heads? They aren't important. And it's simply a matter of taste and preference. And if someone tells me my opinion is wrong? I mean, seriously wrong? Oh, fuck everything about that. I can joke... my BFF hates Brussels sprouts and loves mushrooms and we are constantly trying to trick each other into eating them and convincing the other that we're wrong. It isn't serious. It's two middle-aged fat chicks being goofy. It isn't offensive.

But if someone actually wants to argue with me about those idiotic preferences or tastes for certain foods, or items, or whatever, seriously wants to argue about it and tell me my opinion is baseless or has to have some correlation or evidence behind it... oh, go fuck yourself. If you can take something like that so damn seriously that you'll just dig your heels in with a fervent need to be right... really, just go fuck yourself.

Matters of substance? Absolutely, let's fight about it. Let's have a good old fashioned debate and talk the fuck out of it. It'll be fun. Educational, enlightening, entertaining. Maybe both of us will learn something.
Depending on my mood.

Because here comes the introvert... There's a good chance I'm going to clam up, unless it's in some situation where I really have a chance to think about my words. My walls are going to go up so damn fast... and I'm going to seem like a bitch because I either won't engage, or I'll speak off the cuff and be incredibly offensive because I'm off guard.
I know that isn't right. I know it's not "normal", whatever that is.

Actually, you know what? It is right. There isn't one fucking thing wrong with being an introvert, anymore than there is being an extrovert. It's just one defining characteristic of Me. One of millions.

It's taken me 45 years to become comfortable in my own skin. In my own brain. And I like to hold up this big shield that says "I'M OKAY WITH ME" but am I? Really? I get jealous when I see really extroverted people. It's not easy.

But then, when I'm all alone again, in my comfy jammies with my two cats and feeling the stress rolling out of my body and can breathe and be at peace with my silence... I realize that extroverts are missing out on that beautiful experience. Maybe they wish they could be alone without feeling lonely, like I can?

My brain is always engaged... even when I shut down, physically and verbally, my brain is just going a million miles a second.

I've used this blog to sort out the thoughts crashing in my brain. And I've sometimes hit the "publish" button too soon, before I have a chance to temper my words.
That's why this blog is private right now. I don't want to temper my words, I can't temper my words. I need to write down and sort through all the things that I feel make me seem like a bitch to some people and come to terms with it... accept it. Be okay with knowing that if I'm myself, some people are going to think I'm awful.

I know I'm not. One of the reasons for my walls... and keeping most people at arm's length... is that I have a big problem with empathy. I think the world doesn't have enough of it, and I have too much.

If I let myself get too close to too many people, I take on every emotion they relay to me. The happiness, the joy, the anger, the sorrow... and, god, it's overwhelming. And it led me into a lot of years of really dark depression because I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Oh, that's a pretty butterfly? But people are starving! 

And I wasn't being one of those people... I genuinely couldn't see any beauty in the world knowing that a lot of it was fucked up beyond belief and people, children, were dying. Somewhere in the world, a dog was being abused and I couldn't smile at a ladybug because of it.

Eventually I crawled into bed and refused to get out because I couldn't deal with the knowledge of all that pain. That's when I went on medication, yes. Long story, but I was forced out of that bed. Best thing that ever happened to me.

I got my happy pill and things started changing in my head. It's not that I don't know about, or see, all the pain and suffering in the world. Or that I don't care about it. It was the cobwebs slowly clearing out of my head and letting me compartmentalize. I could do what I could to help the word... but I couldn't do everything. And just because something ugly was happening somewhere didn't mean that there wasn't something beautiful happening right in front of me.

And I learned to protect myself. I do not get close to many people.

Not because I don't care... but because I have to care about myself more or I won't be of any use to anyone.

So I've made choices. This segment of the world can't get into my bubble at all, another segment can only get within this distance. There is another segment that I let get pretty close, but with an understanding that there are limits to my friendship. There is the family segment that I'm really pretty separated from- I love them, they love me, but we don't know each other.

Some of my family, and even fewer of my friends, are inside a very tiny bubble where my heart is completely open to them. It's an extremely small group and I have no wish to expand it. I can count those people on one hand. And that tiny group got even smaller with the loss of my brother who is- was- one of the members of my family who really knew me. And loved me without reservation or judgement or limit.

We weren't especially close in the way that we spent a lot of time together- we didn't. But we knew each other. The Things That Matter. And I'm sent reeling every time I realize he doesn't exist anymore.

And a loss like that makes it even more difficult for me to let anyone else inside that tiny bubble. Because there is an empty ache left in my soul that can't be filled by anyone else.

So I withdraw even more. I've been kind of rotten to the other people in my tiny bubble recently. My BFF, bless her heart, has taken some snottiness from me recently, as has Hugh, but... they're in my tiny bubble for a reason. They know I'm struggling and they understand and will let me work through this in my own way.

Once someone is in my tiny bubble, I can't push them out of it. I can push them away but that bubble is strong because I'm in their bubble, too.

I have enough people in my bubble. Hugh was a surprise. I didn't expect him to find a home with me in my tiny bubble, but he did. And it's simply joy having him there, and knowing I'm in his.
But I'm not looking to add anyone else to my tiny bubble. And I think that offends people. I know it offends my sister. I know that my friends at work think it's odd... they've finally stopped inviting me to things because they know I won't come, but they respect me and we're still close- as work friends. And I know that there are people in SL that are friends, but not tiny bubble friends and I'm sure they think I'm... awful? horrible?... because I don't spend time hanging out with them.

My time in SL is for Hugh, or photography or shopping or just... being Beth Macbain for a while. I like knowing people, and there are some people in SL that I really do like an awful lot. But I don't want to get closer to them... my tiny bubble is full.

Not because I'm a bitch, or because I don't care, but because it's all I can handle.

And I know people don't understand me. I should be okay with that. I do like me. Love me even. But it's still hard to know that there are people who look at my weirdness as A Bad Thing.

It's a constant battle. I can't tell you how often I go into Second Life and look at the events happening, and get all glammed up and end up sitting at home, in SL, all alone. Or to know my friends are out doing something fun and I just can't join them. And I know it leaves them thinking, "Gee, she's such a bitch!" I can't help it. And I've learned when I need to push myself, and when I need to accept that I'm going to miss out on something, but I'll be more comfortable anyway.


I like you, but I want you to leave me alone. How strange is that? I don't fully understand it myself, so how can I expect anyone else to?

I'm not going to change. I'm not going to stop protecting myself, and my tiny bubble. And I'm not going to stop using this great tool I have... this blog... to express myself in a way that I love.
I like when this blog is public. I don't care about numbers or stats or hits... but I do care when someone reads my words, and comments or sends me a message to tell me that my words resonated with them. Something I said struck a chord. They found my words, my situation, my thoughts, my experiences, relatable. It lets me be close to people, sometimes even anonymous people. We, and only we, share something.

We're not going to be part of each other's tiny bubbles... but maybe we're in a different bubble. One where we can nod at each other and go "Oh, she gets it." Just that small hint of understanding in a world that is so hard to understand.

So here I am.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On Hiatus

After the events of the past few days (weeks), I've decided I need to take a break from publishing this blog for a minute, as well as posting public photos on Flickr.

I'm not going to stop writing or taking photos... I'm just going to take a break from sharing them with anyone.

My best friend and I have known each other for over 25 years now. On the surface, our friendship shouldn't work. We are SO different in really basic, important ways. She's religious, I'm a big blasphemous heathen. She's a Republican by birth who hates politics and refuses to learn issues, I'm a news junkie and a liberal tree-hugger. She didn't lose her virginity until she was 25, and he's still the only man she's ever had sex with, I've whored it up pretty good. There are a million things like this. We have some pretty polar differences of opinions on a lot of very tough subjects.

We work because we respect the fact that we do have really big differences of opinion. Some subjects we've learned to avoid, some subjects we'll have it out over. We get pissed off and stomp off... and that lasts about an hour before we forget about it and move on. We never, ever tell each other our respective opinions are wrong. We don't apologize to each other for holding the opinions we do.

We accept the differences even if we don't like (sometimes hate even) or agree with them.

I've used this blog in two ways- half to show naked sexy pictures and half as a diary. And it's been cathartic and fun.

Recent events have made this not fun anymore. I don't feel comfortable being as open as I have been and I don't feel free to share my opinions anymore with anybody. I'm pissed as hell over the way some people reacted to my having a different opinion.

I've been defriended, shunned and made to feel like a pariah.

Because of mesh heads.

I've been told my opinion is wrong. And that my opinion is full of misconceptions. My words were cherry-picked and twisted and even when I offered clarification and conceded that I'd misworded some things, I got shit on.

And worst of all, I was told that I should just apologize (for what, I'm still not sure) and say I was wrong.

That one really hurt. Badly.

And I'm being temperamental and childish right now, I know.

But no one should be made to feel like a worthless piece of shit because of an opinion. About mesh heads.

And no one should be told, or expected, to say their opinion is wrong.

Maybe if my opinion was that we should all going around kicking puppies or punching children or, I don't know, perpetrating genocide against my own people, I should be made to feel like a worthless piece of shit.

But over mesh heads? And now because I don't like them I am literally worse than Hitler?

Why would I want to share anything with anyone anymore?

I'm being a whiny victim here, something I hate, but fuck. I feel... betrayed. I feel sad and embarrassed and humiliated.

Because I don't like mesh heads and won't back down from that opinion.

And I need to deal with that in my own way, in my own time. And I deal with things by writing, but I don't feel that I can do that here, publicly, with anyone, so for the time being, I'm going completely private.

It might last a day, or a month. I don't know. I'm hurt and it's not abating. I'm keeping this open for the next 24 hours so people who try to visit my blog will know what's going on when they get the "this blog is private" message.

Yes, I'm aware I'm rage-quitting. And it's immature and uncalled for, and most of all, letting the haters win. I don't care. Or, I do care, but I care more about nursing my own wounds right now.

See you all on the flip-side.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Great Mushroom Debate of 2015

Yeah, I'm making a third post about this entire mesh head debacle because HOLY FUCK PEOPLE.
Actually, this isn't so much about the mesh heads themselves... I believe they've become completely secondary to the volumes of harsh and ugly words written on both sides. It's pretty damn ridiculous that we're having these arguments over fucking mesh heads. I'm including myself in that, by the way.

It's clear that no one likes to have their opinion challenged, even those who profess to being completely open and appreciative to the discussion.

The problem I'm seeing is not that people disagree about mesh heads- it's that there are an awful lot of people who absolutely refuse to let anyone have their own opinion without pointing out in thousands of words how wrong their opinion is.

What the fuck? I mean, seriously? Does that not strike anyone else as completely bat-shit crazy?

Instead of mesh heads, can we spent the next few days arguing about why mushrooms are, or are not, the foulest things on the planet? It would be just as pointless. And anyone trying to tell anyone else that they're wrong would just be... well, stupid, really.

I like mesh heads.

I don't like mesh heads.

I like mushrooms.

I don't like mushrooms.

Does it need to be more than that? It's just a matter of taste, isn't it? I mean, sure, we could get into all the scientific reasons things taste differently to different people but in the long run, it doesn't really matter. Some people think mushrooms are best things they've ever tasted. Some, like me, are completely repulsed by them.

So. fucking. what.

I am not going to tell you you're wrong. I'm going to differ in my opinion, as related to me and how they taste to me. I might even think you're a big damn weirdo for liking the foul little things (mushrooms) but I'm going to still love you anyway.

Because it's just not that serious.

I'm not only seeing ugly words being written, but ugly attitudes, too- on BOTH sides of the debate. Just because you don't explicitly say "I think you're a giant cunt because you think this, and let me tell you why you're a big cunt for thinking that way" doesn't mean it isn't being conveyed in your attitude which, in fact, does shine through quite clearly in word choices.

Jesus, just let people have their opinions! You don't have to like or agree with their opinion, but at least give them a modicum of respect for having one.

That's why nothing gets solved on this planet. Not only do we all think our opinion is right- we think other's opinions are just wrong and there is no fucking middle ground to be had.

Is it so hard to say "I don't agree with your opinion but I respect you anyway"?

Jesus fuck. It makes me never want to leave my house (virtual or otherwise). Have we really become this mean as a society? Why do we have to be right all the time? Or better yet, why do we always refuse to let others be wrong? I hate to go all Dr. Phil but... what's more important? Being right or being happy?

Oh, I'm guilty, too. I may not spend a lot of time reading other blogs (and I'll be spending even less time reading them now), but I'll get lost in the comments section of a news story and sit there thinking that some people are just too damn stupid to live. I've taught myself over the years to sit on my hands and NOT comment, but I'm still thinking it.

As this post proves, I'm not above some good righteous indignation.

I'm not real proud of it, though.

Live and let live. Debate is great... but not to the point where you make people feel like shit for their opinions, unless we're talking about something far more important than mushrooms or mesh heads.

I'll step out of this mess now... I think I'll just go back to posting raunchy sex pictures and keeping my opinions to myself.

Oh, who am I kidding? No, I won't. This is my blog and I'll continue posting whatever the hell I want. What I won't do, however, is go to someone else's blog and shit all over their opinions.

Mea Culpa

Okay, so I clearly shouldn't be allowed to blog after midnight.
If you read my previous post, you'll know I completely bumbled my words. If you know me, you'll know that's a pretty frequent thing.

I'm not going to go back and edit my last post and change my words, as they seem to have evoked some pretty strong emotions in some people and I don't want to alter anything that doesn't show the whole picture.

I do want to clarify some of my thoughts and words, though.

I don't like mesh heads. I think they are very generic looking.

This, in no way, shape or form, means that I don't like the people who wear mesh heads, or that I find those people to be generic.

Quite the contrary, actually.

I have a quite small circle of friends in SL, and as such, my sample size is quite small. There is nothing evidence-based or scientific about my opinion on the mesh heads. There are a lot of things in the world that I am analytical about - mesh heads is not one of those things.

I just don't like them. Big whoop. I also don't like mushrooms, bananas, the word "puce", or American football.

I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't like those things, though.

When I said things like I found mesh head wearing disingenuous or that wearing one says to me that a person is more concerned about beauty over substance, I really should have expounded more on those thoughts. I was referring to first impressions only. When I see a person without knowing another single thing about them.

And in all likelihood, my first impression would be incredibly wrong. There are some very vapid people in this world that are mainly concerned only with how they look, but those people are fortunately extremely rare and certainly not any of the people I know who wear mesh heads. Anyone who has lived on this planet for more than two minutes knows human beings are complex and that what goes into making them who they are is based in far more than simply what they look like.

I don't like mesh heads.

I guess I should have just stopped there but I didn't. C'est la vie. 

My opinion shouldn't matter one bit to anyone who loves the mesh heads, is happy wearing their mesh head or is comfortable in their mesh head.

But we all know better than that, don't we? Opinions do matter. They certainly matter to me, or I wouldn't be writing this post. I spoke off the cuff and hurt some feelings. I don't take that lightly, especially when I care about those people. I don't take any joy in causing others pain.

Not only am I sorry that I hurt anyone with my careless words, but I'm also sorry that in doing so, I possibly changed other people's opinions of me. We're fluid, and thoughts and opinions and perceptions can change in an instant, for good and for bad.

Beyond first glance, I do not think that anyone wearing a mesh head is some kind of indicator as to the person they are on the inside. It's Second Life, for Christ's sake, and we can be anything we want, look anyway we want, and change that with a click of a button. We can have three heads, eleven boobs, purple skin and nine ears if we choose to. We can have a head growing out our butt, an ear on our elbow and a nose on the back of our heads. It's goofy, fun and ridiculous.

And doesn't say a lot about who a person really is.

Because again, we have the ability to change whatever form we take with a click of a button and it is superficial.

What someone looks like simply doesn't matter, in RL or in SL. Perhaps if we looked at the reasons why a person looks like they do and the choices they make (be it plastic surgery, piercings, makeup, etc.) that would tell us more about who a person is on the inside because we'd be delving into their psyche.

I don't think we have the insight by simply looking at an avatar to make those opinions, though, because it is so easy to change and we do experiment so much. First impressions aside, of course, because as humans we can't help but make first impressions when we see others. It's just human nature.

I would hope, though, that we don't stubbornly cling to those first impressions because they can so very frequently be completely wrong.

So maybe my dislike of mesh heads comes from a very human flaw of my own. Maybe my brain is confounded because it can't form a first impression based on a facial expression, since there is none and that leaves me with a negative feeling because I am introverted and rarely (never) approach people and learn more about them unless they approach me first.

Thus I'm left with a mystery.

And it's entirely my own fault. It's my brain that is unable to process.

I'm drawn to pleasant looking people. And I mean that to say I'm drawn to people who have a pleasant expression on their face. I don't find the expression on the mesh heads pleasant. And I mean that to say that the expression on the mesh heads doesn't make people look like they're very happy.

And that is purely aesthetic... it doesn't say a word as to what the person wearing the head is truly feeling because the face doesn't change... can't change. With my default head, I can at least turn the corners of my lips up a little bit to reflect that SL Beth and RL Beth are pretty much pleased with life.

Therefore, yes, I am somewhat put off by people who look like they're a bit annoyed about something all the time. Or are just blankly expressionless. It feels cold and discomfitting... to me.

I can't stress enough that I'm only speaking for me. I might be the only person in the world that feels this way. I'm not going to say my feelings are right or wrong... they just are.

In the real world, if I were in a room with twenty people with the exact same face, the exact same expression, I'd be weirded the fuck out. I guess I am in SL, too. Maybe that makes me a freak who takes Second Life way too seriously and everyone reading this is pointing and thinking "My god, what is wrong with her?!"

We have so many opportunities to make our avatar a reflection of who we are. I steadfastly cling to being a human. Second Life is something different for each of us... and none of us has any business trying to define what that should be for anyone else. I don't want to be a vampire, or an elf, or a wolf. That's just me, though, and I understand that others use SL very differently than I do. That's part of the awesomeness of Second Life. It isn't any one thing... it's a billion different things, just like the real world. Or even more so than the real world because we aren't confined by reality.

It'll never be a place where everyone looks just alike or behaves the same way or does the same things. It's indefinable.

I'm going off in a million different directions here... sorry.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the poor word choices I made last night. Things flowing through my head to my fingers and the words I was typing definitely did NOT come out the way I wanted them to.

I'll let this be a lesson to myself to always sleep on anything I write after midnight before posting it.

Mea culpa.

Talking Heads

Edit: I borked this post last night... so here's a follow-up.

In the last couple of weeks, there has been a flurry of blog posts regarding mesh heads, in particular the Lelutka mesh heads.

There's been lots of talk about how you really can make them unique by playing with your head shape (the only thing you can really change) and different skins, makeups, etc. It's also lead to some very interesting talk about how important (or not important) it is to look unique in SL.

This is a divisive issue, y'all!

On one side you have the mesh head advocates. Their arguments are that it looks better in photography, it's customizable enough to be able to make it your own, there are tons of appliers, etc., etc.

On the other side are the mesh head naysayers. Their argument is that it makes everyone look the same, in spite of the options, and we all have to be special snowflakes and create our own individual look.

Mostly I'm of the opinion that, hey, if you love it and it makes you happy, go for it.

And as far as me personally... no.

It's a super-cool idea, right? I mean, we have mesh everything else so why not heads, too? And there is no disputing the fact that it photographs quite well.

I ran out and picked up a few demos a couple of days ago to make sure that my opinion on them was accurate (for me).

Here's my normal face:
It's far from perfect. It's got some weird sharp angles and stuff... but I also think it has some personality. My freckles, my eye wrinkles, my little smile. My awkward gap on my neck (c'mon, Belliza... get your shit together). Imperfect and all me.

And here's me in one of the demos:
How vacant I look!

There isn't one iota of emotion there. How very blah it is. It's pretty, yes... in the way a statue is pretty. But I wouldn't think the brain behind that face had anything inside it, other than sadness. Doesn't she look unhappy?

It might be okay for (some) photos but I can't fathom why anyone would want to look so... lifeless. 

Again, it isn't for me to understand. If it makes you happy, good on ya. I mostly respect your choice. Mostly. 

Because wearing one of these 24/7 in SL tells me you're more concerned about (perceived) beauty than substance. I say "perceived" because... well, I don't think this head contains any true beauty. Beauty comes from within. It's a twinkle, or a glow, or... hell, just some emotion of some sort. 

I'm sure I'm ruffling some feathers here by insinuating that mesh head wearers aren't beautiful. The thing is, I know quite a few of these women and they ARE beautiful. Beautiful and unique and it shines through (on appearance alone) the choices they've made when customizing their SL faces. 

Wearing this mask over that just seems... disingenuine. It's a way of hiding who you are (visually speaking only, of course). 

I would love to see the mesh head creators like Lelutka do custom orders. I would probably pay through the teeth in order to have a mesh head created just for me that looks like me. I know there is at least one creator doing just that... the problem is that there are no (or few) appliers for it. I don't think. I really haven't done enough research on that to know for sure, but when you're getting bombarded with ads for appliers for Lelutka and nothing else one assumes that the appliers are there for the other heads. Maybe TMP but fuck that whole ridiculous mess of a shopping experience.

Or if mesh heads were rigged with all the slider options available when editing your shape. This might be impossible... I don't know. I have no idea what goes into the creation of these items. I'm just a consumer. 

Until something like that hits the market, I won't be wearing a mesh head. I am a special snowflake, damn it, and I'm proud of it. No, I'm not going to run around screaming about how unique and random I am. But I like being me, and looking like me. Some people have similar shapes and facial features... but I've yet to see anyone who looks just like me. 

I guess it really all just boils down to preference and what you feel comfortable wearing. 

I'm about to impulse-buy some mesh ears, though. Mandala, why u no have demo?!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Worship Services

Let's get back to basics, shall we?

Hugh and I usually go dancing, then back to one of our homes for some sex. 

Tonight we decided to dance at Teqi's.
Neither of us had really been here for a while. I popped in over the weekend just to see if anything had changed. I was alone and didn't stay long... I think it was around 3am and way past the time good little girls go to bed.

Tonight, I was in the mood for just a down and dirty public fuck. Luckily, so was he. I do like being watched. And I love letting the world see how much I crave this man, and his cock.
I'm honestly unsure of who enjoys my blowjobs more- him, or me? Because when I'm on my knees in front of him, and his cock is thick and throbbing and he's feeding me and filling my throat... all it takes is giving my clit the slightest little pinch to make me orgasm.
And he loves to pull me right down on his cock when I'm still cumming... stretching me, inch by inch, while my pussy is still quivering. It always sends me over the edge again. Sometimes he pulls me down on his cock hard and fast... sometimes he guides my hips down slowly, letting me feel every thick pulsing vein. He loves the way my pussy grips him when I cum, loves feeling me shatter around him.
Sometimes when we fuck, my orgasms just blur together... one after another, never fully stopping. My brain shuts down and everything becomes base, primal and raw. Fucking him truly is a biological imperative. I have to fuck this man. My man.
Men look goofy wandering around Teqi's naked. I guess men look goofy wandering around naked anywhere, other than a nudist place where everyone is naked. I loved fucking him tonight while he was still fully dressed... just pulling his cock out for my pleasure. His jeans rubbing my thighs, his shirt and jacket rubbing my bare nipples.

It is so... erotic. Stripping myself bare and him sitting there fully clothed, a club full of people surrounding us, but oblivious to anything other than each other, fucking. Just fucking. Climbing on him, sinking down on his cock, riding him, bouncing and gasping and squeezing his cock when it's buried so deep inside me.
And I cum, and cum and cum again. Over and over, waves swelling and crashing and rolling.

I can feel when he's about to fill me. I feel the tightness in his balls... the way his cock throbs inside me and I know I'm about to feel the jerking spurts as he cums with me. When we both stop, for that briefest second before he empties himself inside me. I can feel his orgasm so deep inside me... in my womb, my belly. We crash together, bodies and souls combined into one frenetic live wire, arcing and sparking and catching fire.

And then comes the nonsensical pillow talk We both blabber and laugh as we clutch each other, gasping and finding purchase, rubbing noses, kissing and mumbling and trying desperately to catch our breaths.
And quite often... hell, the man makes me cum again. He'll cup my pussy, still quivering and quaking, and whisper naughty little things in my ear, and sending me crashing all over again. And sometimes again after that.

This world we've built together... it's certainly not all sex. Some of our best moments are spent just talking. Sharing secrets and philosophizing and being goofy, or serious, and all points in between.
But, my god... the sex. Blessed, dirty, sweet, raunchy, sensuous, earth-shattering sex. 

Mine. He's mine. Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine.

And I am his. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Buyer Beware

So I bought this last night.

Because it clearly has the Belleza logo on it. Lately there have been some designers releasing some really great nipple piercings for the Venus and I hoped this would be the same... but for my hoo-ha. 
Yeah, no.

In spite of having the Belleza logo right there on the photo, the item does not, in fact, include a version for the Venus.
These are supposed to be needles, and a cage on both lips.
The seller did not mention Belleza, or Slink or Maitreya, in the detail of the listing. I took a chance and ended up with... these.

So I left a review. And I said I thought it was very shady that she (the creator) put the logos on the photo when they were not specifically fitted for those mesh bodies. (And that the textures are pretty awful, too. These are supposed to be gold... but they look beige and gray instead).

I knew I was leaving myself open to attack when I posted the review. Looking at previous reviews on her items, I saw that every time someone posted a negative review, she took the ugly route and went on the offensive, insulting the buyers.
And even more troubling, every time there was a negative review, shortly after there would be a five star review, often made with the same syntax and grammatical errors as the seller.

As suspected, the seller did attack me and the five star review also accused me of having a personal agenda and stalking the seller.
I'm not one to lie down and take a beating when trouble comes knocking so I responded, pointing out the similarities between the seller's grammar and the five-star reviewer and standing by my review.

(As it turns out, the reviewer just happens to be the seller's Second Life slave. Real or alt? I don't know.)
Guess what the seller did next?

She deleted the item from the MP and re-listed it, thus removing my review. And added this line: *Non Rigged mesh (Gold) personal adjustments(fine tuning) required. The first photo above is the new listing, but she still has the Belleza... and Slink and Maitreya... logos on the photo.

I'm not sure what the mesh body creator's policy is on this. I've sent a notecard to the Belleza folk and we'll see what Tricky and Felicity have to say. Is this a listing violation? In my mind, it falls under "Item not as advertised".

Regardless, I think it's shady as fuck. Using the logos on the photo and re-listing to remove a negative review reeks of dishonesty.

And, yes... after what happened to me last week, I was hesitant to write this. But going along with my theme of looking out for each other, I wanted to make others aware so they don't make the same mistake I did purchasing from this seller.

Maybe in my next post I'll wax poetic about how much I love Blueberry and all the wonderful items she makes to fit the Venus to even things out. :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

No Witty Title

First off, these photos are by request. Sorry it took so long, Robin! :-)

This is going to be a difficult post for me to write, and will most certainly be one of those that is just all over the place because I have about a million thoughts to get out of my head!
I hesitated writing this post, due to what I'm going to have to reveal to get my thoughts out there. There was an incident that happened to me this week... one that made me take this blog offline for a few hours, and threw me completely off balance.

My first instinct, once I stopped panicking, was to write a post about it, because that's what I do. My second instinct was to not write about it at all, and that's nearly the instinct that won out.

But you know what? If I'd kept quiet, I wouldn't be being true to myself.
And above all else, I try very hard to be true to who I am. This blog would be meaningless if I censored myself. I won't have that. I won't have fear forcing me to be less than who I am.
I'm sure you're wondering by now what happened to make me freak out.

Someone took information they'd gathered about me and found out my real identity.
As I'm writing this, I'm still unsure just how deeply I want to go into how this has affected me. I really want to get into a larger discussion that looks into what I think of as a responsibility we have to each other as we navigate our second lives, but I'm not sure how to do that without opening myself up even more because this is a topic that now, for me, hits so damn close to home.
We are all in Second Life for our own reasons. Each reason as unique as the person behind the avatar. And that's the first, and most important lesson- we are all people behind these avatars. There is a real, living, breathing human being behind a keyboard for every (non-bot) avatar we encounter.

And we're living in dangerous times. The internet is still, in the grand scheme of things, still in its infancy. And those of us who spend a great deal of time online are navigating unknown waters. While most of us are genuinely decent people, there are those who are not.

Let me say that the person who tracked me down is a decent person, I think. I don't believe she had nefarious intentions. I do think she has some boundary-related issues and didn't fully take into account the depth of... wrongness... in what she did.
I'm going to take a lot of the blame squarely on my own shoulders. It's solely up to me to control how much, or how little, personal information I share with anyone in Second Life.

Just like anyone who takes a nude photo and posts it anywhere online, or emails it to a lover, or stores it in the cloud. The initial action that leads to violation is taken by ourselves. A girl gets drunk and gets raped at a party. A man leaves his iPhone on the corner of a table in a restaurant while he turns to look out the window.

Every crime could feasibly be prevented by people being more diligent with their behaviors, actions, dress, whatever... Hell, in order to be completely safe, we should never leave our houses. No, that's not true. Shit could still happen.
And therein lies the crux of the issue. Don't fucking blame the victim because someone else chooses to exploit a weakness or vulnerability. 

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. For fuck's sake, we're talking about basic human decency here. It absolutely doesn't fucking matter what a person does, how open they leave themselves... if you take advantage of that, YOU are the piece of shit. The victim is just that- the victim. 
And that brings me back around to how this relates to Second Life. As we're interacting, and sharing, and living together in this virtual world, we let things slip. We reveal parts of ourselves. Sometimes it's on purpose and sometimes it's a slip of the tongue. It happens.

Each of us has a choice to make when that happens. To take advantage, or not.
What would Second Life be if we didn't protect each other? If we didn't respect that anonymity we all need in order to make this virtual world be what we're each seeking?

Would you still be here if you lived in fear every moment of someone exploiting you, exposing you?
In order to make this work, this place work, we each have a responsibility to respect each other. To not take advantage of the weaknesses we potentially reveal every time we open our mouths. We owe that to each other- again, it's basic human decency.

Respect each other. As we each expect, and wish, for others to respect us.

Just because you spot an opening... a weakness, a piece of information that probably shouldn't have been shared, but was, doesn't make it right for you to take that and violate that person.
And I do feel violated. I'm horrified by what happened to me.

Did I leave myself open to it? Yes, I did. But was I asking for it? No. No, I clearly was not. And there is no possible way you can twist that to make it my fault that someone else took my slip, in a moment of grief for my brother, and used it to find my real life information.
Again, I honestly don't believe this person had ill intent. Of course, it's pretty well known that I'm a bit of a Pollyanna and I could be wrong about that. And THAT is what terrifies me. What she did was couched in... I don't know. Teaching me a lesson? Giving me a warning? It was sort of presented to me in a "hey, I found you and if I did, others could, too" excuse. She claimed to have done it out of "respect" for me and proceeded to point out every step along the way where I'd tripped up and revealed too much. 
And honestly, her intent matters not one whit to me. I don't care why she did it, only that she did. It was wrong to do, and it crossed so many lines... so many lines.
This person feels that I have a tendency to trash people on this blog, and as such, I certainly must have a myriad number of enemies that would love nothing more than to destroy me.

I simply don't believe that's true. First off, I don't feel that I trash people. I talk about situations that happen in my life, both virtual and real. I rarely mention names. I'm not mentioning her name, nor am I casting aspersions on her character. I won't tell you if I even know her, where I know her from, or what I personally think of her. I'm talking about what happened to me and how it has affected me.
I have before named businesses, and their owners (Hi Tricky!). As a consumer, I believe I have a right to discuss products and customer service issues, good or bad, that I've had. I don't see myself as any sort of critic- I'm simply a person who spends lindens on a lot of stuff. Lindens cost real world money. I won't apologize or back down for talking about things I like or don't like when it comes to things I purchase.
As for people... holy shit, have you guys ever taken a look at SLSecrets? In particular, the comments? My meanderings regarding situations I encounter are nothing.

Or are they? See, this whole thing has me questioning myself and what I do.
I truly don't feel like I'm especially mean here on my blog. Oh, I've gone ballistic once or twice and lost my shit. I'm not immune to losing my temper. I've posted some truly ugly things a couple of times... and I've deleted a few posts, too, once I take a breath and get myself back under control.
I spoke to Hugh about this. I trust him implicitly and one of the many million reasons that I love him so is because he doesn't compromise or pull any punches when it comes to me. If I ask his opinion, he gives it. And, yeah, there are times when I don't like his opinion, but I respect that he's being truthful to me.

So I asked him if I had a tendency to get ugly on this blog and he assured me that in his opinion, I don't. And let me know in no uncertain terms that if I did, he would be the first one to tell me I'd gone too far.
Anyway, I'm losing my point here. I said this was going to be all over the place, didn't I?

What I'm trying to say is that we owe each other something here. We have a choice whether or not to take advantage of people. And no matter what the situation, the right thing to do, always, is to NOT do that. Not take advantage.

Doing the right thing is easy. Respecting each other is easy.
We owe it to each other, people. Please.

I'm still stinging pretty hard over what happened to me. I'm terrified. I have family. I have a job. I have responsibilities. I have a full, complete life outside of Second Life and these two worlds simply cannot intersect. For a million reasons... but the only one that should matter is that it's because I don't want them to.

And that should be respected. I won't do it to you. Please don't do it to me.
The abject fear that struck me when I found out what had happened- god, I don't wish that sort of fear on anyone. It made me physically ill. It almost destroyed my Second Life, this blog. My instinct was to delete Beth Macbain and hide away. It was absolutely terrifying. I can't stress that enough. It was a gut-wrenching fear that I've only experienced a few other times in my life.

It wasn't a small thing. This was a very, very big deal to me. I freaked the fuck out, am still freaking out a bit. The intentions don't matter... what matters is that it was done. Simply that someone exploited my weakness and vulnerability during my grief over losing my brother. It was devastation piled on top of the devastation I was already feeling.

The choice was stolen from me. I had no say in how much someone knew about me, nor what they would do- could still do- with that information. I can't take it back, she can't take it back. That will never change now. Someone has my information, someone I didn't choose to give it to. And I have zero control over what they do with it.

That is terrifying. Please don't do that to anyone. Just don't.

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