I’m pretty sure that by now, you are certain that I’m male, that I have a penis, and I most likely have hair covering the vast majority of my body. If you’re still uncertain, I definitely need to work on my roleplaying skills.

This is where I play with your conceptions and throw a curve ball, by telling you that I’ve portrayed myself, at other times and in other places, to be female. Successfully enough to have men fall for me, to receive gifts, to be brought into another girl’s circle of confidence.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve never done this in real life. Being 6’5″ (196cm) with a goatee and vast amounts of body hair normally prevent all but lobotomised people from believing I’m a girl. I’m talking online — a few MUDs, and a couple of MMOs.  In the MUDs I played overtly female characters (it’s very easy, when you only have descriptive text to define who and what you are). I’ve always been gifted with words, so weaving them together to form a believable female persona wasn’t really a challenge. Normally the characters would start of androgynous and slowly develop a sexuality as I got a feel for how other girls (well, they might’ve been girls…) handled themselves.

This whole boys-playing-girls thing (which is/was very common with MUDs) can lead into some interesting and not-so-ideal situations. Take, for example, sexual interactions. I know on at least one occasion, I was seduced by another guy playing a female character. I don’t know to this day if he seduced me because he thought I was a hot girl, or because he had worked out I was a guy. The fact that he was playing a gay character probably suggests he knew I was a guy — but who knows. The other problem is when you finally have to ‘come out’, which is what happened with my WoW experiment:

I created my first WoW character back in 2005. At the time I’d just finished my degree, and a few weeks away from graduating. I’d successfully not started an MMO during my time at university (I’ll tell you some other stories about my gamer geek friends another day, and how they failed their degree…), but considering my degree title was ‘Computer Games’, I figured I should probably do some… research into the field of MMOs. Yes, I started WoW as a study to find out what made World of Warcraft dominate the market (and really, at 11.5 million subscribers, it’s MASSIVE).

With a new game, and a new level of understanding for how online communities work, I decided to up the challenge and roleplay a girl, playing a boy. It was a whole lot more delicate (and more fun), because I could outwardly be masculine, but have some deep-seated female traits that would only come out in quiet, private chats with other players. After 2 or 3 months, I had about 50% of my friends certain I was a girl, and the rest totally unsure about my gender.

The experiment came to an abrupt ending when I finally had to use my microphone (damn raiding!) and my squeeky falsetto voice wasn’t quite believable enough… I gave it my best shot though, but alas, the persona I’d worked so hard to develop came crumbling down around me.

So I’m a boy… at the moment.

Anyway! We’re off to London soon, to see a play. I’ll leave you with another nice photo that I took yesterday (and promptly submitted to National Geographic… well a man can dream, right?) It’s entitled ‘Sucks to be a Duck’…

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Rainy, rainy England.


I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.