Truthfully, I grew up fascinated by MEN. Not just in a sexual way, but fascinated by their behavior and why they do what they do.
Part of this might stem from the fact that I went to Catholic School where I was taught that God created Adam…and Eve was created for his benefit, not the other way around.
Women were supposed to be submissive to their own husbands and men were the head of the woman.
Obviously, there was a part of me that didn’t dig that.
I grew up in post-second-wave feminism Brooklyn N.Y. where that kind of thinking seemed old fashioned. But no matter what, I did believe in and respected God. I also watched a lot of action and martial arts movies, read comic books, and played video games where men were heroically saving women, fighting the terrorist, and taking all kinds of lumps in life with a smile and a slick one-liner.
The men I saw on TV and anime in the ’80s and ’90s were admirable. There was nothing too tough that made them lose their cool. And no temptation too strong to make these guys lose their honor. So with my head filled with images of the Mario Brothers saving Princess Toadstool, and John Mcclane screaming “Yippee-Yi-Yo-Ki-YAY!” to some dude with an accent he’s about to blow up, I accepted the “men are my head” idea.
Albeit, reluctantly and with a bit of a childish pout.
This acceptance of the Biblical view of gender made me look at men with a sort of wide-eyed wonder. It also made me expect a lot out of men, which I don’t think is out of line. If a man is the “head” of a woman, then a man should be held to a higher standard then a woman. I don’t want to be lead by a weak-minded, unrighteous man. A woman can’t be submissive to someone she can’t trust.
If women have to give deference to men then those men should be honorable, selfless, and have integrity. How can your leader be more of a screw up then you are? Are these not, after all, the beings God had made in his own image?
Unfortunately, I came to a point in my young adult life where It was getting very hard to find examples of these honorable men. I was surrounded by music screaming “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks” and married presidents getting “Sloppy Toppy” from interns in the white house.
Men who I could actually trust and depend on seemed hard to find.
So, when I started Role Playing online, I just became one myself!
“Adam” wasn’t my first male character. Before him, there was a character I’ll call “Wild” because that’s mostly what everyone else called him.
As his name suggests, Wild was a party boy. He was based on an anime character that was a drunken mountain bandit, but my way of playing him turned him into, like, a warrior-werewolf-frat boy.
My gosh, he was so much fun to play!
Adam on the other hand was an original character of mine and much more subdued, but truly amazing.
He was a genius mech pilot who was also an exorcist priest. I had a real fascination with the contrast between science and religion because for some reason it seemed taboo to believe in both, as I did. So I got to toy with both ideas as Adam.
I lived as Adam online for about 3 years, he was my longest-running character. Through him I really feel like I got to live an entire other life as a male in a fantasy world online. One where I went to school, fought battles, found love, got married, and got deeply betrayed.
Adams full story is fascinating and definitely something I will be writing a lot more about.
I can’t say I “know what it’s like be a boy” since I understand role-playing online doesn’t give you the full experience, but I think I did get some delicious little insights into the male world through my characters and my secret “double life” as a male online.
Here’s a few interesting things I learned about being a boy…
What’s so awesome about being a boy? Boys get to actually live life. They can get drunk, fight, curse, sleep around, win, fail, and make mistakes. They can have fun without so many social restrictions.
That’s probably another reason why I prefer to play male characters online as opposed to female ones. Males just get to do more and be more. The female characters, try as I might to make them quirky and diverse, are always seen in sexual terms.
While there were some female characters that became “queen bees” whether or not they were single, for the most part, girl characters were judged based on who they dated.
“Men are the head of Women” had snuck into the RPG world.
Being male, no one based the crux of Wilds’ or Adams’ existence on who they were dating. My male characters were given more space to experience life outside of romantic relationships.
Although I understood the men as our head idea, the online world is supposed to be a fantasy land. Can I not get a break online?
On top of the traumatic sex abuse I endured as a kid, I was black growing up in 1990’s America where “Bitches ain’t shit but ho’s and tricks”.
I was so fucking done with constantly being analyzed and degraded sexually.
The only time I ever felt any freedom from this sexual paradigm was when I played a male online. It was the first time in my life I felt loved as an individual, other than inside my own imagination.
Mind you when I use to roleplay it was the late 90's early 2000’s. Nowadays, thanks to the “Me Too” movement and cancel culture it seems like guys can’t have as much “fun” as they did 20 years ago.
But 20 years ago at least, men could get away with a lot as long as they append it’s “just a joke” to the end of it.
One of the biggest “jokes” men like to play in online RPGs is pretending to be women. Now I’m definitely not saying that there’s anything wrong with playing female characters if you’re a male, in fact, most of the males I know who game like playing female characters, at least sometimes. And I like playing male characters myself even though I’m female. I know how awesome gender-bending role-playing can be.
But I always let anyone who I interact with a lot know that I am actually a female IRL. My intention is never to “trap” anyone, even though I call myself a “reverse trap”. I call myself a reverse trap because it’s a quick and easy way to let people know that even though I appear to be male, I am actually a female. But I had no problem letting people know the truth. I didn’t want anyone falling in love with my male characters and then getting a bad surprise.
Some men think it’s hilarious to trap online. They do it either as a joke, just to mess with other straight males. Some do it to see what it’s like to be a female online, which I kind of appreciate and like hearing stories of what these guys learned about “being a girl.”
But a small yet destructive minority trap to actually TRAP. Some do it to trap straight men, some do it to trap women (either lesbian or not). I myself might have been the victim of a double reverse trap.
Yes, you read that right… a double reverse trap. It was a male pretending to be a female…pretending to be a male. I’m still not sure what the full story was but this guy might have been one of my female characters vengeful ex’s. Once again, I let everyone I play with regularly know I’m really a female playing male. So once I started roleplaying as a new male character (Adam) I suspect this ex, to try to get back in with me in my new male form, pretended to be another female playing a male character.
Yep, trap team baby! The rabbit hole online is hella deep.
If this is true he kept this charade up for 3 years.
And when everything came to a head, the reasoning I heard?
“It was just a joke”
But in IRL when a transwoman traps a heterosexual male like that, some of these men are will outright kill them.
“It’s just a joke” doesn’t work for anyone wearing a dress.
But…what’s not-so-awesome about being a boy?-
Likewise, boys are always expected to know what to do. This must be confusing especially considering, as I said, they also get encouraged to have fun and live life to the fullest, but when the chips are down they suddenly have to jump into the role of responsible protector too?
I see some of the pressure men have to face, especially the kind of honorable men I’m always looking for. Girls are allowed to be as bratty as they want to be sometimes. It’s like guys are allowed to live more but girls are allowed to be bigger snots.
I get it, in a way. Like I said, if men are supposed to be the head of women then men need to be held to a higher standard. I get that, but I think it’s important to not encourage unrighteousness in anyone, women or men.
I’ve had people, both men and women, do some really awful stuff to my characters, both Wild and Adam, and they both handled things with the kind of masculine integrity I’ve always admired. I’m proud of my boys! Because I remember with Wild, in particular, an evil chick was just driving him banana’s with her bratty attitude.
So I know it’s possible for men to maintain honor even in the face of ridiculous people who just want to give them shit for no reason.
It’s possible, but honestly, it’s not easy to keep from smacking a bitch sometimes.
I’m sure there’s a lot more but that’s just what I could think of off the top of my head. I appreciate the fact that I was able to get a glimpse of life as the other gender. It made me even more determined to find the kind of righteous heroes I always liked, but it also made me more empathetic to men when they fall short of it.
Falling short doesn’t mean giving guys a pass. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and that’s how it should be. But the more I know the better able I am to both relate to guys and to call them out on their bullshit. :) lol!
-Ready Player One!