Saturday, January 19, 2008

Interview with the Virtual Cannibal 3/3

Part three of three: Dolcett

Gy Harrop is the avatar of a white, male, French adult whose profession is writer, translator, and artist. PGL, your friendly author, met Gy through mutual friends. Gy has participated in a gynophagia (eating woman) sex-play group that simulates sexual engagement that includes rape, other forms of violent assault, asphyxiation, and ultimately the death and consumption of the victim.

Here is part three of the Excerpts from interview. You can link to part one and two.

1. Dolcett

[6:57] Gy Harrop: so
[6:58] Gy Harrop: you go with someone in a special brothel
[6:58] Gy Harrop: and there
[6:58] Gy Harrop: there is a room called Dolcett
[6:58] Gy Harrop: for example
[6:58] Gy Harrop: and there, after the staging of a relation thru chat
[6:58] Gy Harrop: you ask your partner to be cooked
[6:58] Gy Harrop: selecting this ball or that one
[6:58] Gy Harrop: and then
[6:59] Gy Harrop: the partner can select another ball to be the meal on the table
[6:59] Gy Harrop: the "master" selecting the one where he "eat" an avatar
[6:59] Gy Harrop: lol
[6:59] Gy Harrop: far from the abstract interest of it
[7:00] Gy Harrop: I was pretty amazed when I asked the meaning of "dolcett"
[7:00] Gy Harrop: and then
[7:00] Gy Harrop: I said to myself
[7:00] Gy Harrop: of course !
[7:01] Gy Harrop: cannibalism !
[7:01] Gy Harrop: as an evidence of
[7:01] Gy Harrop is typing...
[7:01] Gy Harrop: the cruelest thing when no more experience is possible

Dolcett originally referred to the signature on a series of Internet circulated pornographic drawings that depicted submissive women being hanged, cooked, and variously penetrated as part of a sexual act. Dolcett or gynophagia roleplay now extends to not only that set of illustrations but an entire subset of BDSM activity. One can find Dolcett fan fiction on the Internet with titles such as “First Bite” and “How to Cook Women’s Breasts.” There are also chat groups, Web sites, and, with the emergence of MMO forums avatar-based animation and tableau (still shots of avatars) enacting Dolcett play. One virtual world blogger described her adventures in Dolcett play in the following manner:

"It's kinda weird. I don't like pain. Being whipped, paddled, or tortured really just turns me off. And the idea of snuff play just seems But the thought of being prepped, stuffed, basted, roasted and eaten...that appeals to me. I guess it goes back to my objectification fetish. Being turned into food is just as good as any other type of object. So, one of the many groups I joined the Dolcett Girls group."

The blogger describes the trying the spit, saying, “The machine was very interesting, giving a play by play.” This meant the roasting pit would narrate to the user the progress of her being cooked. The blogger’s comment, “The flames then started and I slowly began to rotate. At this point I really was really getting more turned on then I expected.”

The Dolcett scenario is often medieval, borrowing from the fairytale structure of a young peasant girl scooped up by the prince to become the “queen for the day.” Her rule ends in her public execution that is constructed for greatest erotic charge for the crowd. Writer A. N. Roquelaure’s (Anne Rice) popular Sleeping Beauty soft BDSM series played out for her massive audience the basic stratagems of this role play. In the case of Rice’s Beauty, it is a role reversal, where the princess is forced to submit to machinations of this sexual dominance order.

2. The most common and easiest thing to do here is sex

Gy explains that after the Dolcett play, his next interesting on the SL platform was building furniture. He felt that designing things was at the core of the experience of a VW. He explained why it was not a disconnect to go from simulating cooking someone to working with geometric primitives to construct virtual furniture.

[7:02] Gy Harrop is typing...
[7:02] Gy Harrop: again, the most interesting here
[7:03] Gy Harrop: is that it's SL which invents that
[7:03] Gy Harrop: there's no identified will behind
[7:03] Gy Harrop: it's structural
[7:03] Gy Harrop: lol
[7:03] Hapi Sleeper: what about furniture? not as interesting ;-)
[7:03] Gy Harrop: yes it is !
[7:03] Gy Harrop: it comes when you mourned sex
[7:03] Gy Harrop: lol
[7:03] Gy Harrop: then there is furniture
[7:04] Hapi Sleeper: architecture, the actual structures build. same as the language-based play
[7:04] Gy Harrop: it's just like getting involved in the technical secrets of sl
[7:04] Hapi Sleeper: yes,that's right. the technical secrets
[7:04] Gy Harrop: much more serious and interesting than sex here
[7:05] Gy Harrop: there is a hard selection on that basis
[7:05] Gy Harrop: everybody CANT script or make buildings or whatever
[7:05] Gy Harrop: I tried scripting
[7:05] Gy Harrop: it's a hell
[7:05] Hapi Sleeper: yes. that's right, but that sex chat, on whatever level, is the thing people can all participate in
[7:05] Gy Harrop: the maddest people here are the ones who works in that matter [building].
[7:06] Gy Harrop: lol
[7:06] Gy Harrop: yeah
[7:06] Gy Harrop: the most common and easiest thing to do here is sex


A short history of pornography as accelerated media vehicle

The biggest change between historical instantiations of fetish cults and variations of BDSM is that particularly on the Internet it is easily searchable. What used to be essentially secret societies, dungeons in sex clubs, and marginal activity folded into the edge zones of a city is now, like a giant Amsterdam Red Light district, findable for players and tourist alike. Because things and people and actions and places are more searchable (and with the meta-tags and RFID systems more findable) the idea of secure boundary between public versus private is pressed.

Pornography, as pornographers large or local, slick or homebrewed will tell you, helped to innovate rich media content on the Internet. In the same that that the video camera and VHS tape (home shoot & home viewing) changed the nature of the porn industry––early adoption of a new technology in the 1970s and the creation of home video markets…Porn as a genre was an Internet early adopter. Following fast upon the heels of university research papers, nudie pictures circulated across the Nets, just a trade in pornographic post cards (carte de visite) was an early popular use of photography during the Civil War.

This is neither apologia nor endorsement; the pornographic is simply part of the history and pattern of new media adoption. What is considered pornographic shifts right along side with the changing of technology. The Civil War black market pornographic post cards of yore are in general less salacious than Christina Aguilera naked and pregnant on the cover of a women’s magazine today (Marie Claire, January 2008). Nor is pornography, despite some of its more interactive features, the same thing as participating in a sex act––virtual of no.

Acts of violent submission, masochistic domination, and sexual torture are not foreign to our collective history. A cursory glance at the history of the Americas alone gives us genocide, slavery, child abuse and so on. In very recent times, we do not lack for horrible events and media effluvia that bring them to us. In the case of the Iraqi prisoners held in Abu Ghraib by American military, the images of their sexual humiliation were floated out on the Internet, ending with the court marshal of several and the fury of many internationally. One has witnessed a resurgence of systematic rape as a tool of war, domination, and terrorism in countries such as Rwanda and Kosovo. In light of the hyperviolence of the real world, the role-playing of extreme sexual violence and the representation of cannibalism may seem perverse, at the very least. Nonetheless, these acts narrated above are acts of simulation and, additionally but very importantly, are consensual.

Gy Harrop narrates VW sex play in an extreme form, cannibalism. It may be a symbolic cannibalism, but it stages something outside the boundaries of decent society. In the tradition of the Marquis de Sade, one of Western cultures most famous perverts––and a literary pervert at that––it is hard to imagine that part of the erotic attraction is not located beyond the particular sexual acts themselves and in the thrill of transgression itself.