Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Concept of Family in SecondLife

From a sociological and/or anthropological perspective a family is a group of people who are affiliated by marriage, consanguinity, affinity or co-residence. Families are formed as a source of mutual love and support within the group concerned. Sexual relations among family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.

In a virtual world we don´t need to focus on consanguineous relationships as sexual relationships cannot end with an independent issue. All relationships are created by choice through affinity and affections and are either romantic or non-romantic.
The Family Chart. Muted colors mean that the avatar is (mostly) no longer around
Yellow circles signify partnerships/marriages, red circles previous partnerships/marriages and yellow arrows mutually elected non-romatic relationships of a family kind (sister/brother or child/mother or father)
In the beginning there was Ars Northmead, a charming, friendly, clever and multitalented avatar.

Ars was - among many other things - a DJ in SecondLife and founded the Sarco Sound Group with his friend and business partner Sarco Halderman. One of the first DJ´s recruited to the group was Andrey (D R E Y) Messmer. Ars and Andrey developed a close non-romantic-friendship, with much love and trust between them.

Shortly before Ars and I met there may - or may not - have been a brief sexual relationship between Ars and Guyke Lundqvist (I am not altogether sure about this and have never really worried about it). Anyway, by the time I appeared on the scene the relationship between the two had evolved into a relationship between a father and son. When I teamed up with Ars I also became Guyke´s evil-stepfather.

Ars and I became a couple, shortly thereafter Andrey and Guyke became a couple also, this was however before we had established the family. When Andrey´s and Guyke´s relationship ended, Andrey became Ars brother. Both Andrey and Guyke went on to form new romantic relationships that were included into the family.

When Guyke became partnered with Haakon Meads, his elected mother Starry Sweetwater and her husband Sir Trifle became in-laws. Similarly I become the uncle of Skip Turbo´s adopted son Liam when Skip and Andrey were partners.

Ars also formed brotherly ties with Dej Mycron and Jeb Nicholls, while Martial Eisenhart and I and Millimina Salamander and I also elected each other as siblings, well in the last case I more or less forced it on the poor girl. Martial formed a partnership with Elorian Scarbridge for a while through which Elorian and I became brother in-laws. Dej has of course also had partners, but I did not much like the last one so I am not mentioning him (I am invoking my literary license on this).

Postscript
I am happy that I took the time to make the family chart, because looking at it clarify some things that have been a mystery to me earlier.

As I understand it, these kind of chosen family clusters are supposedly more common among the gay population in SecondLife than among the straight population. An explanation to this could of course be that many gays already have experienced the concept of "choosing your family" in their first life due to the shunning and ostracizing that still occurs in all cultures, albeit to a lesser extent nowadays that 15-20 years ago.

I have no sure information on how common it can be among lesbians, either in first life or SecondLife. As we all know lesbians seem to provoke less animosity in the straight culture, possibly because the women are better at staying "under the radar" than gay men. The fact that straight men find women "playing with each other" so fascinating at least while they wait for him - the macho male - to arrive. I am also certain that part of the explanation is due to the unequal status of women in society, "what women do does not matter".

If heterosexuals ever think about homosexuals, there seems to be a strong tendency to focus on the sexual activities rather than on the feelings and attractions. I did not choose to become gay to engage in fellatio or have anal intercourse. I am gay and therefore use the sexual activities and techniques available to me to give and receive pleasure from another man - and hell yes, I damn well love it!.

4 comments :

  1. It is actually quite cool to see a "family tree" like this :) Of course I knew most of the relationships already from talking with you.

    But I still don't understand the concept of a "family" in SL... Yes, I know I am dense. I will need to ponder about the subject a bit more I think. I might even dedicate a blog about it ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don´t flatter yourself, Butch buddy, you are nowhere near as dense as you like to pretend ;)

      Delete
  2. I don´t feel poor or forced in to something.

    /Millimina

    ReplyDelete

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