Monday, May 21, 2012

tied bows in her hair, dressed as she thought you'd like

This may be the weirdest Watchmen tie-in I've ever discovered. Somewhere right now, Alan Moore is screaming.

[23:24] Nxxxx Rxxx: Okay. The wretched kraken vanished on me when I tried to get it back across the sim line. It could be anywhere now. So if anyone sees a lost purple air kraken, please feel free to send it home. Or let me know so I can come catch it.

Will do.

Two days later:

[16:14] Jxxxx Jxxxxx: Someone tell Nxxxx Rxxx her giant purple Kraken is flying around on the loose again

Apparently it wanders.

[16:34] Pxxxxxxxxx Exxxxxx: FYI - Do Not click any URLs in groups that take you to to outside websites unless you are absolutely sure of them. The latest trick like this that can steal your lindens claims to be for a new SL viewer. It is not legitimate & will probably try to steal your account. Only download stuff from official, safe websites.
[16:34] Emilly Orr rolls her eyes
[16:35] Axxxxxx Kxxxxx: Just had this come through in several of my groups, if you see this, don't click it, it's not safe.
[16:35] Mxxxx Fxxxxxxxxxx: copy past outside URLs to your browser
[16:35] Axxxxxx Kxxxxx: [16:28:40] Bxxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: New Viewer for Second Life by Linden Lab ufficial certificate, the best ever published. [URL redacted, but they managed to spell both "Second Life" and "download" wrong]
[16:35] Mxxxx Fxxxxxxxxxx: dang
[16:35] Mxxxx Fxxxxxxxxxx: don't Click that anyone!!!!!!
[16:35] Emilly Orr gives up and lets hysteria take over.

Here's my thing. While I have--and do--post warnings on the blog, this one's old. Like, two months old. And it was an old trick then. Now? One group freaks out, by the end of the day "everyone" is talking about this, so group after group after group fall prey. The "virus", in this case, is the "OMG this is terrible it happened to a friend" notifications in every damn group you have.

Generally, when anything hits this point, I usually mention it, but at this point, it's just freaking out over nothing. Yes, some folks who didn't think things through had bad things happen to them. This is sad to hear. But not everyone's going to fall victim to this, and with just a little common sense--like, f'rinstance, not downloading Second Life official browsers anywhere BUT the Second Life official site--a great many of these little dodges can be handily avoided. At this point, everything's already happened, and the bulk of the hysteria is just that--because it happened once, thinking that it's going to continue to happen, and is, in fact, an ongoing problem of insane dramatic proportions.

All the screaming in the world won't change that.

There's a fashion blogger who's come up with a very innovative take on the Avengers. Here's her versions of Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Thor, the Hulk, Nick Fury, and Loki. What, no Agent Coulson?

And back into the dollplay last time.

(from the dolly album; model Penelope Tree, 1967.)

Today: Dolls and ageplay.

Now, trust me, what I mean is not what the Lindens mean when they freak out and start banning any mention of ageplay, anywhere. No one is advocating sex with toddlers. It's like detractors of same-sex marriage screaming that if that's legalized, next folks will want to marry goats and turtles, and frankly, that's never going to happen either.

But it also must be stated that there's a large component of doll culture centered on the Cult of Youth, so we need a definition of terms.

Ageplay as I'm using it here--as I've always used it on this blog--is really just another form of roleplay. Any time a husband dresses in his high school football uniform for his wife; his wife dresses up as a cheerleader for him: that's ageplay. If you're pretending to be an eighteen-year-old high school senior? That's ageplay. If you're pretending to be a young collegiate something, and you're long out of college? That's ageplay, too.

In the BDSM community, approaching this from another angle, there's a style of dominance and submission called D/lg, or Daddy/little girl. Having been on Tumblr as long as I have, there's a very vocal contingent of "littles" there--and occasionally, vocal "Daddy" doms--that continually gets hit with what many of us consider to be 'standard' questions. Asked of anyone else, these questions would be horribly offensive, and yet, people reading along on D/lg sites seem to always go to these places when they're curious.

So, just as a brief overview:
Q. Is he really her dad?
A. Never. This is a style of age-based roleplay. There are no actual familial relationships in this dynamic. She may be portraying a precocious teenager, but in real life, she's actually in her twenties, her thirties, or older. (In one case on Tumblr, both the "little girl" and her dominant are eighteen in real life, and attending their last year of high school together.)
Q. Isn't this incest?
A. No. How can it be if the participants are not related?
Q. Doesn't this lead to worse things, like pedophilia and murder?
A. This is the one that really makes my brain fall out. There is no sexual practice, barring actual pedophilia, that will lead to pedophilia if both partners are adults. This is a style of play.
Perceive it thusly: most people in the D/lg community are either women who are choosing, openly, to give up certain of their responsibilities in order to embrace feeling this young again. And--as with most BDSM, dominance/submission choices, this isn't about sex as much as it's about behavior. Maybe growing up she didn't have a strong father figure in her life, or bad things happened with the father who was in her life. Maybe nothing at all happened, and she simply likes flouncing around in babydoll dresses and pigtails. She's not recasting her father as her sexual partner; she's playing a game of control with her sexual partner, that happens to use these terms.

It's the same thing with the dominants involved. They get to "parent"--in a relational sense--their sexual partner. They get to be a powerful figure in their submissive's life, something that goes beyond basic terms into the core of sexual and developmental identity. As with any BDSM play, this can get very extreme, but for the most part, the main form of play is not exotic pain toys and obedience, it's celebrating with their little--cuddling with her on his lap, for instance, or helping her with 'bathtime', or even going shopping and finding her a special cuddle toy or outfit for her. By accepting this form of roleplay, the dominant steps out of the stern authoritarian role to embrace a somewhat softer version, which works out for them both.

Plus, there's the amusement of conversations that end with "Because Daddy said so", and dealing with the inevitable cute pout.

So why am I bringing this up at all? We're not talking about BDSM specifically, right? We're talking about dolls. Well, because while that's true, that this entire series has been focused on dolls and dollplay, a large part of dollplay in general tends towards ageplay. And again, not in the "OMG they want sex with seven-year-olds" sense.

Of all the forms of dolls on the grid--and there's a lot of different types--more than three-quarters of them, when making choices of attire, think ruffles, lace, Mary Jane shoes; think hair that's up in pigtails or ponytails or braids--and the players making those choices inside the doll skin are doing so because, in this sense, it's just another form of ageplay.

(from the dolly album; dress designed by Kelly Love.)

From Gothic Lolita romper sets to flavored lip gloss, dolly eyes to leg warmers and dolly shoes, it's all about looking younger than we may be. Or at least presenting a younger image; things like the Candy Doll leave no doubt they're designed for a very adult audience, but even there, there's that tilt-shift towards ruffles and bows.

On the Marketplace, there are suggestive pacifiers and flirty neko dolls; there are tables specifically designed for inanimate partners and hypnosis systems designed for dolls. There are flirty little summer dresses for fashion dolls, school uniforms and gym shorts and sneakers for playing's much like Lolita stylings in Japan--if you can see a little girl in the outfit? Chances are you can wear it as a doll.

What you do with it from there is up to you.

(from the dolly album; originally from

So. Fast forward a couple years (because seriously, that's when I started this series, originally--the first entry, even, clocked in in 2009, I believe, before I re-saved an edited version in 2010). Had I actually written this--before the breakup, before the doll went into storage, before therapy, before I realized I'm still deeply uncomfortable in the doll's skin--this likely would have been a much fluffier series. And I'm not, so much, trying to drag anyone (kicking, screaming or otherwise) into celebrating bondage, or roleplay, or even ageplay in any meaningful way. (I do admit to trying to paint "ageplay" in a more favorable light, because it's pretty much globally pervasive; it's not automatically abusive, evil or disturbing if we understand how the term is used...mainly because so much of our interaction, be it from advertising, magazines, photo shoots, virtual worlds, games, movies, music, or art, with virtually any media drags in ageplay of some kind, eventually.)

At this point, what started as a series of explanations about various facets of the doll community evolved on me, into a series of essays on what attracts us to the doll. Because I won't lie--if I find cute doll skins in world, I generally still buy them. I packed away everything doll-related I owned in 2010, and then unpacked everything again in 2011. On rare occasion, I will put on a doll skin, or something I consider mainly a doll outfit--and generally speaking, I end up not leaving the house, simply because I am in the doll's skin.

To say I'm conflicted is to vastly mistake the scope of what's been going on.

But--and this is from as objective a position as I can maintain, currently--I still think there's a lot of misunderstandings about dolls, especially on SL. There are purely PG child dolls, and there are rubber dolls; there are fetish dolls who are "doll" only in that they're called by that name. There are dolls that have been "transformed" in one of several different ways--dolls that are forced into immobility, into removal of sight or hearing, into an object, into a thing--and dolls that are treasured keepsakes, with frills and lace and cute little pink shoes. The possibilities are pretty much endless, and endlessly changing.

What I think anyone still reading along should take from this? Mainly, that because the connection to youth is there, it's not at all uncommon for dolls to be five feet or under. I realize in these highly charged times, in some sims that's an automatic bouncing, and just speaking for myself (and my occasionally far shorter fae form, let alone the current crop of Petites), I still resent that. But I also understand it. To some estate owners, that automatic short-avatars-not-allowed stance, they think protects them.

It doesn't. But no one ever said self-delusion wasn't possible. Or popular.

And I think, long out of being a doll more or less full-time, I can also say that dolls on SL--and really, dolls anywhere--are far more diverse than people comprehend. And that that isn't a bad thing.

But I really think this is my last word on the topic, unless something major explodes. I'm no longer a doll, most of the time; I don't tend to hang out with other dolls, these days; and...yeah, as I said, I've got issues where dolls are concerned. I'm working through them as fast as I can. Recovery always takes a truly annoying amount of time.

But if I've given anyone food for thought; if I've generated any even intellectual interest in dolls and doll roleplay (adult or not)...well, then it was worth coming back to ground I lost long ago. And at the very least, that ties up my saved drafts, so that works too.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you did this. The whole range of things involved in 'dolls' is quite interesting to me. And I've certainly not read anything as complete as what you've done here before.


Emilly Orr said...

Thanks. I will say doll acceptance has lost a bit of ground on Second Life--not personally, but...well, the doll communities are INCREDIBLY diverse, with vastly different practices, group to group. Still, there used to be doll events--started by Doll Box, and then taken over for a while by Fauve Aeon--where all dolls were invited, welcome, and understood.

It's still the only place on the grid I've seen gynoids, china dolls, bratty girl subs in doll collars, wholly encased rubbergirls, rag dolls and broken poppets all sharing the same space, talking with each other.

We found out we had more issues in common than we had differences, though we understood those differences were pretty different, doll to doll.