Heart of darkness

forcepark3

”I could always rape you if u like”.

How about that for an offer? Well I was, after all, visiting a sim named Force Park – a place dedicated to «rough sex roleplay». But why on earth did I do that?

It all began while I was checking out the skin described in the blog post below. Looking at the creator’s profile, I saw she was a member of the roleplay Crack Den based on urban decay. Interested in what was going on there, I ventured.

It was when I met a woman in the Downtown shopping area things began to turn nasty. She asked me if I was enjoying the place, and told me she was out shopping for furniture. I wondered if there was much violence going on there. ”This is a roleplay community. You will be safe unless you want some roughness,” she explained.

Then she added: ”There is a neighbourhood called Force. That is small, but rapes do go on there. It is a bad area, he he.” I asked if she’d been raped herself. She lowered her head and answered ”Yes. Many times here – it’s a rough area. Last night, I was grabbed while outside my apartment. I’d just left it, and he was behind the dumpster. I tried to run, but he had a taser. When I woke up I was spread out naked on a table and tied. Was awful.” I asked what a taser is, and she explained it’s a gun that make you collapse and wake up all droogy.

”If you’re looking for a rape roleplay, then Force is a great place,” she said, offering to take me there. Having arrived, I commented the place looked quite scary. ”Very. I was tied to the tree and had to watch my friend get raped,” she said, adding she had to clean up after the act had been done. ”Was so awful. Was so scared.”

A man came nearer. My guide began emoting: «cuts eyes spying a man dart into the shadows», «eyes has scared look as i loook over at my friend», «eyes darting so scared – away from my good neighborhood». Nothing happened – the man walked on.

”They will approach you,” the woman told me before she had to leave. ”You have a lot of fun now, he he. Make memories in a safe environment. This can be so much fun, you will be like me and buy a place here. A few of us moved down here because it’s so much fun. If you stay here and chat they will show you a good time hopefully.”

I was on my own in a mean looking street. And even though I wore an observer tag, it didn’t take long before a man walked over to me. ”Hi gawjus. What you up to?” Having decided to act completely neutral, I told him I was just observing and that this was my first time there. ”Ok, cool. What do you want to do here,” he asked. ”Find out what it is. What kind of people are here and what they do,” I answered. He said: ”They have sex, mostly. Forced fantasy.” I asked him if it was safe. ”Sort of. I would say only come if u want fucking. Well, u have a good look round, babe. Be safe.”

Two minutes later, he sent me a message: ”I could always rape you if u like”. I politely declined.

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I then ventured deeper into this heart of darkness. It was enough to make my stomach churn as I passed poseballs with some rather creative suggestions, saw a naked woman doll being run over by a bus while tied up, and a cardboard girl that sold a magazine named Forced where you could read «Rape fiction» and about a «10L cum slut».

Inside a warehouse I could see two men and a woman having a go at it. ”Come on, scream for us,” one of the men said to her, but she wasn’t actually one that let herself be controlled too easily. ”Come on, give more fantasies, not only d***s,” she demanded. Another woman, a bisexual domme in black leather, came over and said: ”Most men can’t type while they’re playing with their d**k. And yes, they also lack fantasy”. The first woman said: ”Come on, use me, I need it, and don’t forget we’re in a rough sex area, not in a four poster bed lol”.

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While standing outside the warehouse, I also stood close to some poseballs, and a man activated a blue one saying «Get S****d» and wanted me to use one of the pink ones saying «S**k». I got an IM: ”Come s**k me”. Once again, I declined, and decided that I’d seen enough of the place.

All the time I was there, I had an IM conversation with my friend Stacia Villota so not to feel all alone. She arranged it so we could meet at one of her favourite cafes, and sent me a teleport with the message «Coffee to soothe the soul, darling? :-)»  Yes – just what I needed. I left Force Park with a sigh of relief.

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Epilogue: What is to be made from a place like this? In my former blog post, about the «Victimized» skin, I concluded saying I wouldn’t want to boycott it as it could be used for roleplay not dealing with rape. But a sim completely dedicated to men’s abuse of women? No thanks.

But then there is also this: We know that rape is part of some women’s sexual fantasies. To fantasize about being raped can be a way to live out a sexual desire without being responsible for «acting sinful». You also have women that fantasize about raping men or other women, and men that fantasize about being raped.

So am I one to say that people should not be allowed to live out their sexual fantasies in SL? Should I tell them this is bad? After all, there is a big difference between rape in First Life and Second Life. Rape in FL is always involuntary. In SL, you have to be in on it. And the two women I met was, as you could read, not passive victims, but quite outspoken in their demands.

What I don’t like about Force Park is this: Having a sim dedicated to use women in a violently sexual way reinforces the myth that women carries a secret wish to be raped. What I saw was an environment built to let men be the predators and women the victims. I’m not saying the male users of this place are so stupid that they leave their computer to go out and rape a woman afterwards, thinking it’s okay, but it’s another small stick on an already heavy load. The sim is part of a larger and even more cruel picture of a world that is still unfair and uneven to women. And while I can tolerate and even appreciate other parts of this picture, like for example bikini women in lads’ magazines, I think a place that so blatantly exposes the unevenness in the relationship between the sexes at its worst should not be a part of Second Life.

If you want to express your concerns about this place and others like it, you can do like me and be part of the Second Life Left Unity Feminist group. We have weekly meetings where we discuss all sorts of topics related to women and SL.

I hope no journalist colleagues of mine use this information to badmouth or judge Second Life in a sensationalist way. SL is all in all a wonderful place, I love it here, but as it reflects all parts of First Life, I was not surprised to discover this place.

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~ by theresecarfagno on April 20, 2009.

5 Responses to “Heart of darkness”

  1. That is some disgusting content. the last time i read the TOS that type of material is not allowed to be in SL. So it is not about someone living a fantisy.. it is about people breaking the rules in a very disgusting way.

  2. I love the Crack Den cause it’s one of those sims that are simply well-done from the builder’s and photographer’s perspective. Some of my best pics were made there and guess what? In those pics the guys get beaten and abused by women. As you mentioned ‘Force’ is only a small part of Crack Den and people only go there if they want to RP forced sex, both men AND women as well as men playing women (and we all know there’s a bunch of them in SL).

    Is it disgusting? Maybe to some people. Does it downgrade women to being a pure object of male desire and fantasies? Maybe. But the decisive point is: as a woman you go there voluntarily, you ALLOW them to make you a pure object of their desire and fantasies. And allowing it means it is NOT rape. It is role play. Some RP is good, some bad but your opinion about it is always a personal thing. Don’t like it? Don’t go there.

    I don’t like the Goreans but instead of bragging about how nasty Gorean RP is, I stay away from their sims and stores. I am not a great fan of rape RP so I don’t visit the ‘Force’ district of Crack Den. If I don’t like the sound of blades being crossed, I don’t visit Samurai Island. I have the choice.

    That’s the main difference about ‘rape’ in RL and SL: I have the choice. And yes, I am a feminist too but that doesn’t mean I am throwing my tolerance over board when it comes to subjects that make me feel uncomfortable. This is SL, it is safe, it is fun. Your world – your imagination.

  3. As someone above me said it’s all about choice. You cannot be ‘taken advantage’ of in second life unless you allow it (or are wearing the restrained life viewer with an open collar, but such a person would be unlikely to complain). It’s not particularly hard to click no on the blue pop up, teleport away or even log off SL completely. It’s also not hard to avoid these places in the first place. But I’m pretty sure everyone realises this.

    As for whether or not it’s setting up women as vulnerable and ‘victims’. Well, no, it’s not. To be honest if female avatars weren’t going there I’m pretty sure the men folk would pack up their freenis’ and hot foot it somewhere else. Also there is the anonymity of SL to consider, particularly those who play an opposite gender to their RL selves. Some of the most submissive females I know, ones who often trawl these forced sex fantasy sims are in fact male in RL.

    In my opinion you’d do better investigating Bloodlines, where people disguise a ‘vampire bite’ as something as innocuous as a hug, which then puts your avatar details (name and UUID) on a website. That to me is a proper virtual rape (of sorts)

    Just my two cents.

  4. Great series of articles, carfagno! You do well to present a very balanced view on a seemingly unbalanced subject. And all the comments are well worked out as well! With the issues of Adult Content being debated and worked through by LLs, this was a timely look at one of the darker sides of SL. I do find the desire to roleplay violence against women disturbing but I will not force my choices on anyone since that is no different than rape, is it? Kitty’s comment is quite disturbing indeed and I would be curious to read your investigation! If you want someone to come with, I’d go with you. Kitty, there’s a url where the avatar details are posted?

  5. “Force” is not a Crack Den sim and isn’t associated to it.

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