My girlfriend role-plays on a popular RP client. It's one of her big hobbies, but whenever I am around, she refuses to do it. I recently found out why this may be the case and need some advice dealing with it.
posted by the milky bar kid to Human Relations (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A bit of back story: Role-play has been a big part of her life for years now and it's actually how we met -- around ten years ago. Since then my interest in RP has pretty much bottomed out, but I know the terminology and the places and such.
Not long after we started dating, she began talking about how she still role-played. I was supportive as I don't think it's a dirty or bad thing to do, but mostly just stayed out of it since it doesn't really interest me and it's very much "her" thing.
I casually asked her whether there was ever any sexual element to it or whether she had cyber sex. She laughed it off and said that although plenty of people do engage in it, she didn't for whatever reason.
I moved in with her for a few months (I've had to travel for various reasons; I'll be gone again in April, but I should be back for good by May) and she told me that she's effectively put a moratorium on herself and refuses to RP. She told me that this is because she doesn't like having someone "read over her shoulder"; she also told me she wouldn't show me her character page because "[She]'d be embarrassed if [I] thought her writing was bad".
I thought this was pretty bizarre behavior considering it's an important hobby of hers, and I've been fully supportive and cool about it. I also thought it was pretty unhealthy because we're going to be living together and I don't want her to permanently give up a hobby, but I figured it wasn't a big deal and it'd work itself out eventually -- and since it was her thing, it was really none of my business.
Well, as it happens, I recently made a new acquaintance through a mutual friend of ours, both of whom RP with her. She told me that she's actually relatively frequently engaging in cybersex with people, and has been since we started dating. Not because she's putting herself out there, necessarily, but because this sort of thing just happens in the place where they RP.
I would probably never have known for sure without this person telling me, as although I have a very finely-tuned bullshit detector and can usually tell when someone's not telling me the whole truth or feeding me selective info, I have no real connection to this community besides these two people. I found her behavior suspicious, but couldn't really bring it up because she is not wholly secretive; she'll tell me about her character and about the people she talks to, and the stuff that's going on. When they have fights, or when an unusual situation occurs, she'll tell me how cool/interesting/close it was, etc., but never anything about cyber sex or relationships or whatever.
Now that I know, I don't really know what to do. There's two issues:
Firstly, and most importantly, she lied to me. When I asked her whether there was any sex involved (and note: this wasn't a pointed, accusative question, but we were talking and the RP community is sometimes a little raunchy, so it came up naturally in the course of the conversation), she said no. It's not a big lie, by any means, but it's a direct one. This isn't a huge thing in and of itself, but she has a tendency to tell white lies to couch the truth and make things (herself, I suppose?) seem better / "less bad" than they are [note: not my moral judgement, but hers, I assume], which means I tend to be left guessing some of the time, which makes me nervous (see question 2, further down).
Secondly, I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly how I feel about cyber in terms of boundaries. Having just found out, the shock is sort of filtering in, but does cyber cross the boundary from "OK" to "Unacceptable"?
In one sense, it's role-play; if you put yourself in an adult situation then these things might well happen. She isn't approaching it as "I'm gonna fuck this dude on the internet!", she's writing a storyline, and her character responds to the actions of others and for whatever reason ends up in bed with them.
...On the other hand, it's not really your character fucking another person's character, is it? It's you fucking someone else. Doesn't matter if you're writing from the perspective of an 18th century dwarf lord and they're a vampire queen, or whether you're a 9ft anthropomorphic lion and they're a fire-breathing dragon -- is there any difference between cyber and, say, phone sex, even if you are playing another character? It might not, physically, be cheating -- but how about emotionally? Hmm.
Two questions for you MeFi:
1. Is this acceptable behaviour? Is it acceptable for me to be upset about the fact that (a) she lied about it and (b) she's cybering with whoever in an RP situation? If not, how should I bring it up? Is it even a big deal?
2. She tends to, when discussing certain things, uncover the truth piece by piece over a period of time, as opposed to coming out and saying it. So she'll say something was X, then, a month later, revise it to being X, but also Y, and a month later, add that it happened with Z and A at B.
If she's willing to be secretive and vague and half-truthy about this and other things, then what other skeletons are hiding in the closet? This isn't a terribly big thing imo, but we are at a point where things are beginning to get serious, and if things are going to progress then I need to feel secure and not worry about skeletons popping out of the closet when we're living together and so on.
Just because this isn't a big skeleton doesn't mean there won't be one eventually?
Is it wise, acceptable even to say something like "look, if you've got secrets/skeletons/things you're hiding from me that I need to know, then tell me now, because if I find out after this, it's over"? Is there a better way to broach this, or should I just leave it/not bother to bring it up?
I don't think there is any malicious intent, FYI; everybody knows about me [i.e. that she has a boyfriend], but apparently cyber is just the done thing in that community or whatever. She's made it clear to me and all of her friends that she's head over heels for me and sees a future here. I love her, so help me deal.
PS. Please don't relate this back to previous questions. Thanks.