• Arienne Evangeline

Greetings and Introductions

Last night a guy I’d never met before — since I don’t want to embarrass him I’m not going to use his SL name; let’s call him “Parker” instead — contacted me via IM. Our conversation went something like this (paraphrased so as to avoid falling afoul of Linden Labs’ TOS):

Parker: Hi.

Me: Hello!

Parker: What kinds of roles do you enjoy playing?

Me: Come again?

Parker: Name three roles you’ve played recently, that you enjoyed.

Me: Well, hmm. Lately I’ve been doing some work as an erotic dancer and escort, which kind of involves assuming a role. I’ve also indulged a friend’s “naughty schoolgirl” fantasies, which has been fun. And I sometimes enjoy playing at Mysterium’s, as a habitue of an Eyes Wide Shut-style club. Does that answer your question?

Parker: Schoolgirl. That’s hot. Want to do that?

Me: I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but have no idea who you are. Would you mind introducing yourself and telling me how you found me and what, specifically, you want?

Parker didn’t answer, which makes me think that either my question, or what he perceived to be my tone, upset or offended him. But this sort of thing happens to me constantly: someone I know vaguely or not at all IMs me out of the blue and, without stopping to introduce himself or herself, begins interrogating me about my interests and preferences.

This kind of approach is neither fun nor interesting. It’s obnoxious. It combines childish entitlement with lazy discourtesy: “This person to whom I am a stranger should be willing to drop everything and tell me whatever I want to know about them, even though I can’t be bothered to so much as introduce myself.” And it puts me in the position of having to either submit to the interrogation and potentially share things I’d prefer not to share with randos, or refuse and risk being branded a bitch.

To be sure, the questions always reveal some context, and so after a few of them I can begin to make some educated guesses (Parker almost certainly found my name in a group list — I can even guess which one — and was trying to feel me out as a prospective roleplay partner). But if you are reaching out to me, why should I have to? It takes almost no effort at all to say something like, “Hi, Arienne. I’m name. I found you via person/place/group. If you’re free, I’d like to talk to you about subject.” If you even can’t manage that much, it’s not my job to try to fill in the blanks for you.

Please stop doing this. A little basic courtesy goes a long, long way.



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