I have been accused of hiding something because I refuse to voice, I didn't quite refuse, I just didn't think at the time it was a concession I was willing to give for no obvious gain, especially as I was being manipulated into doing it. I could have given my reasons at the time, but they would just have sounded like lame excuses, and by this point the trust had all gone from both sides anyway.
I don't know what it is I am supposed to be hiding, as I have voiced in the past to my friends, and proved numerous times with other means that I am a real woman, I can only guess they wished to gauge my sincerity. Well fuck me, we would live in a very different world if it were hard to lie over the phone! It may be possible to get a clue if somebody is lying about events through use of language and tone of voice, but when talking about emotions or intent? I seriously doubt voice is very useful.
Vinter and I have talked about writing an article about voice (and gestures) and why we hate it. I probably would have written about it already if I hadn't been expecting Vinter to beat me too it. She has been neglecting her blog so...
Frankly, I don't want to voice because I don't want to hear you.
There are a load of other reasons which I will come to, but for me thats enough.
My old psychology teacher told me that he had never met anybody quite so easy to hypnotize as me. He proved this many times. And Second Life has a hypnotic effect.
As a species we we don't make that much use of our hearing beyond communication, and we hardly use our noses at all. We certainly don't feel our way through life with our fingers... instead we give a huge bias to what we see with our eyes. It is our primary sense and perhaps because of this, a huge amount of our brains are dedicated to processing this information. So when we are sitting at our computers, with that big flat screen monitor filling our faces, our brains are working hard to make sense of what we see.
So when I'm sitting comfortably, sound turned off, with the visual images of SecondLife flowing directly into my brain, it all becomes very real. The more I deprive my brain of other sensations, the more real SL becomes.
If somebody sets off a noisy gesture, apart from making me jump out of my seat and hit the ceiling, it shatters the illusion. And if somebody is on voice... Nah! I hate it. It completely ruins it for me.
And that is when the sound quality is actually good! Never mind all the feedback, echo, lag, crackle, whistles, messing around trying to angle your speakers and set the microphone at the right angle and distance. I'm amazed anyone can deal with this, but I do have a particular problem because I have hearing difficulties. Here in the real world I can kind of fill in the blanks with educated guesses and a little lip reading, this is easier because I am used to the way people speak. But throw an accent at me and I'm lost.
Second life goes from a very calm, quiet alternative reality, to an annoying computer game which is hard work and gives me a headache.
And thats just general SL. But to voice with a sub? Do not want!
I have expressed the controversial opinion before that the Dommes/Doms are more broken than the subs, or else they would have no great desire to be in a D/s relationship. I don't exclude myself from this theory. I have owned up to the fact that I have problems with intimacy, and I can only really do it on my terms when I am in full control. Being a virtual and/or remote Domme allows me to be intimate while in control, with the extra safety net that working through SL/Email/YIM means there is a buffer. It's not quite real - most of it is still done in my head with my own imagination.
Do you ever find yourself typing in the box, then hitting the backspace button? I do all the time. I pick my words carefully, I often change my mind mid sentence, and I work at my own pace... I control the pace. Even when I get excited, frustrated, angry even, I can control the pace and make sure my words are calm and clear.
Haven't you ever looked at the time and noticed that you have been talking to somebody for hours, but then read up and found you have actually written very little between you? SL conversations are slow... very, very slow. And I like it that way.
Not so in the real world -- If I'm honest with myself, in the real world I come across as surly and sarcastic, and I am prone to being snappy and saying things I don't mean for shock and awe.
But when all is said and done, that is me. It might give a few people a surprise to hear I'm not quite as mommy-like in RL as I am in SL, but I'm not all that bothered about hiding it... which is why I'm far more prepared to let somebody hear my voice, than I am to want to hear theirs.
There are implications to all this. Such as, accents seem very stark in this isolated context, they seem exaggerated, not a problem if you are French, it is if you are American... or from Birmingham. Talking of which, some estuary has crept into my accent over the years and I'm not somebody who likes the sound of their own voice.
And unless I record the conversation and transcribe it, there is no record -- I may be giving away the tricks of the trade but I do dive in and out of my chat logs, and I make notes too. Okay, so this is mostly because I have a terrible memory and get confused about who said what and when, but I do also try and keep track of what is important.
Finally, nothing is more likely to get me in a bad mood than wearing a bloody headset! Is it just me? Maybe because I'm partially deaf anyway and acutely aware that I am not able to hear everything going on around me anyway, but when I put on a headset, I feel isolated, vulnerable, and disorientated. That and the fact that I smoke and have to keep maneuvering my cigarette around the microphone and taking care not to exhale at it.
Intimacy has been described as sharing vulnerability. Voice takes me out of my comfort zone, and is just a little too intimate for me -- too real, too direct.
So no, I don't want to do voice. Having said that, I have no shortage of photos already, and the idea of appearing on video does kind of appeal to me, so I won't rule it out, especially if it's silent.
Pictures are sexy, erotic, even artistic. Voice somehow makes it all smutty, sleazy, too real, not what I want.
Addition : I had a bit of a chat with Nuala MacMoragh, owner of Owner, Voices & Visions Luxury Escort Lounge. And she said, "I'm an aurally fixated gal. I love voice". This is hardly surprising because it's what she does in SL and RL. This is what she is used to, she has made sound her world.
The opposite is true of me, I was painting and drawing constantly since I was about four, did art at school, and my whole working life I have been locked away in a little studio creating visual work, the only sound if any, is music. I hate an audience, hate people disturbing me, I don't like visitors, I don't own a mobile phone, and I use a landline only 2-3 times a week if I can help it.