I am not sure if you can publish this as it's very adult themed but I am hoping you can because I really need your help! I honestly believe that if I was a man, this wouldn't even be an issue but for now this is really pulling me down.
About three months before the new expansion, I came back to WoW and joined what I thought was an awesome guild. I've been through my probation and for the most part it's been great fun.
The thing with this guild though is that it's very... sexually charged. Most threads get hijacked by something sexual and they even have a NSFW section that is filled with more naked photos than all the men's magazines combined. Even new members are greeted by sexual questions in their application thread. How you response to these questions seems to almost dictates how the guild will receive you.
I thought everything was going well in the guild till I got a private message. The sender isn't an officer/leader, but is more the admin for the website guy so he doesn't even play with me (it's one of those multi-game guilds). His message was one that was attempting (badly) to be about looking out for me and was really about asking me why I would reply in these threads involving sex and was I just seeking attention and made this attempt for me to stop with a 'you haven't broken any rules yet...' type thing.
Just to put it into perspective, my engagement in this apparently popular subject is way below average for the guild (although I would say I am above average for a woman in the guild). I in no way would start any of these discussions and often I would ignore it, although when I do reply, I was never divulging personal information/opinion etc it was completely scientific.
Anyway, the moment I read this message, I sent one to the guild leader saying I didn't want to cause trouble/drama and I didn't know I did anything wrong by engaging in these light hearted off-topic discussions (which was well within the guild rules). The GL replied saying I was just fine and don't worry about it, the guy was just trolling and he's talked to him.
It was ok for a bit but now it seems to have escalated and it's not just this original guy anymore. Now another guy and a girl are all calling me attention seeking in private and public, making snide and snarky remarks and it's making me really uncomfortable. I really like the guild and get along with everyone else but these three are certainly the type I would list as 'personality clash' and I for the most part ignore/avoid them but they seem to have focused on me with a knife in hand.
Here though is the real thing behind this issue. I am asexual. I know you ladies of the world would understand what this means but for the viewers at home who don't.. I don't feel any sexual attraction. I don't have any problems with sex and will happily talk about it although such conversations are purely academic to me. It's like talking about that local sporting team or the next raid night, nothing more. Not to mention I am also repulsed at the idea of someone thinking of me in a sexual way, the idea that I am flirting and attention seeking in this manner really makes me physically sick.
I don't want to come out as asexual to these people because I feel it's none of their business and also that they won't understand. These aren't the sort that will go rushing over to AVEN and spend ten minutes actually realizing what it really means.
(Editor's Note: AVEN is the The Asexuality Visibility and Education Network. Scroll past any programming errors to get to the content.)
I know it might be easy and quick to say leave the guild, find another but I really don't mind the bedroom talk and I prefer non-family type guilds because I like to let my hair down. Plus, well, there is no guarantee that this won't happen again (it certainly isn't the first time). Just look at the people that replies to these post around this subject with how they knew a girl who did this or that with their attention seeking ways, even though it's completely unrelated to the problem at hand. Those people aren't exactly rare in the gaming/MMO world and cause way more harm than good.
How can I get my guild/gaming communities to realize they are reading way too much into my social interactions and there is no hidden meaning/agenda in what I say and do?
Drama Mama Robin: I think we can fix this with three steps:
You handled things wonderfully when the creepy guy sent you the creepy private message: you talked to your GM. You need to do that with The Drama Couple. They are making you feel uncomfortable about something that the GM has already verified is not bad behavior. It sounds like your GM is fair and active so talking about this harassment should yield good results.
If the GM does not respond favorably, then I'm sorry, but you're in the wrong guild. You need a GM who doesn't allow this kind of drama. Go forth and find yourself another guild with stronger leadership.
Unfortunately, you are correct in thinking that this wouldn't be happening if you were male. If you pay any attention to entertainment news, you find that male celebrity philanderers are still considered playboys, while females are sluts. Sigh. This double standard applies to sexual conversations. So many people still believe that men think about sex all the time and therefore are not seeking attention when they participate in openly sexual forums. But women who also participate must be trying to get noticed and hit on. I keep hoping that this attitude will go away, but it's so very stubborn.
On the other hand, I think that the assumption that responding to sexual posts means you're a sexual person is extremely natural. I don't think it would cross anyone's mind that the idea of someone finding you sexually attractive is repulsive to you -- since you actively participate in these dialogs. Even if you were to come out (which I strongly discourage), they would still have trouble understanding your point of view on this. Insisting publicly that you have no agenda will not be met with understanding by even reasonable people, but instead will be seen as you seeking attention.
Once the drama mongers are gone (or you are), just keep doing what you're doing. But remember that the people you are chatting with assume you experience sexual attraction, and that's OK. If someone hits on you or benignly assumes you want to be hit on, be tolerant of their assumptions, correct them, and continue on.
If, however, you are looking to be open about your asexuality and hang out with tolerant people who also like to talk about adult topics, you can. Try the Stonewall Family of guilds on Proudmoore, if you are in the US. As usual, our readers will inform us of tolerant, adult guilds in both the EU and the US. They are awfully helpful that way.
Tell the GM about the drama mongers. Don't try to explain your lack of agenda. And do not come out, unless you are in a known tolerant environment. Good luck and tell us how it goes!
Drama Mama Lisa: When I read a letter like yours, Need Help, I see so much wisdom about who you are and what you want from life. It's all right there on the page. Now you simply need to read that and honor it.
This guild is not the right guild for you. This is a group of young players who wield sexuality like a badge of adulthood and privilege: "We talk this way because we're an ADULT guild, OK? And WE LIKE IT!" That's great that they like it -- but you obviously don't.
There's a whole range of guilds out there between something like this, where members are completely preoccupied with their identities as independent sexual beings, and those that require you to call the big, bad boss a "poopyhead." You may insist that you want a guild where you can "let your hair down" -- but that doesn't have to mean your pubic hair. If you'll stop focusing on "must let my hair down, must let my hair down," you'll discover that most guilds full of adults aren't even thinking about their hair anymore. Innuendo and jokes arise and pass naturally, without becoming a fixation. Players who want to share naked photos go to websites devoted to that rather than grandstanding on a WoW guild forum. And let's not even get into the snarky drama over being "attention-seeking"; I think you can recognize the immaturity here.
Once you find the right guild, you'll find that your sexual identity becomes a non-issue. Your guildmates certainly won't care. They'll be focused on a much broader range of social interaction and friendship -- oh, and the game.
Still reluctant to leave this guild? It's time to ask yourself why. Why make massive massive compromises by belonging to a group that's so obviously contrary to your interests and identity? Your letter tells me you clearly recognize that your guildmates' behavior is a pattern that's not likely to stop. If you say you want something different yet continue to log in and participate, it's probably time to re-examine what you're getting out of it.
Ready for something else? Let go! You've outgrown the folks in this guild. Move on with pride and the knowledge that you're ready for wider horizons. Happy sailing!
Note: Comments will be heavily moderated. Dissenting opinions are fine, but hate will be introduced to the anti-hate hammer. Don't be that guy.
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.