Hello there, Fediverse!
I'm Phorm. I'm a vixen, and a chemist, and most importantly: I'm a genie. I spend a little too much time puttering about the internet, and a non-zero amount of time being shamelessly horny on main (Though admittedly a lot of it can be crypto-horny).
As I sometimes discuss sensitive topics, I'm a bit wary about followers. If you'd like to follow me, please note:
1.) Please be over 18 (I lean NSFW)
2.) Please send me a DM first, particularly if we have a previous connection
3.) Please note that I am BEYOND genie obsessed and if you follow me you will be getting a face full of GENIE.
Hello Mastodon. Hello Dragon.Style.
Some of you here know me, but most likely do not. I'm Phorm. I'm a rather mundane thing, work in chemistry, and spend too much time puttering about the internet. I'm not a dragon, but I think dragons are keen.
I fancy myself a genie. I am obsessed with genies. Like VERY obsessed with genies. I spend way too much time talking about genies. In fact, I'll likely be rambling about genie research in this space often.
Got That Jet Set Spirit
"Wiggles your fingers and jam the keys!"
Me: I have done all my chores, and I can just relax at home today! I will put on a skirt and a blouse and be comfortable in fun bright pink clothing, secreted away from the world!
Intercom, immediately after I get dressed as such: HEY THERE'S A PACKAGE HERE FOR YOU. PLEASE COME DOWN TO THE LOBBY RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.
Me: God DAMN IT.
Virtual Insanity (LONG, Stupid, Virtual Bodies, Virtual Spaces, Virtual Presentation, Dysphoria, Gender)
Virtual presence has changed.
Perhaps evolved. And I'm not sure how to feel about it.
I spent the better part of a decade running about the MU* spaces as a fox girl and/or genie and/or vixen genie. Honestly, I loved those days, and I wish I still had the time, energy, and social connections to do that. But these days, while those options ARE still open, there are so many other ways to self-manifest that have gone beyond what was previously available.
The most obvious example would be the emergence of the so called VTubers. Virtual streamers - Or more accurately, streamers who present themselves through the filter of a virtual avatar. With simple rigging technology and a webcam, it's possible for anyone to assume a second skin.
VTubers are wildly popular - I mean, /wildly/ popular. Beyond anyone's expectations. I won't muse as to why here, but I will admit that the appeal is there. When I look at VTubers, I see people living their fiction as reality. I see identity crafted from the ground up. I see people blurring the lines between desired fantasy and reality, and I see them doing it in ways that I find comforting.
There's a level of Kayfabe to what they do that I really appreciate. There's a human being behind that rig, of course, but they present as if they were their desired identity. They're a Grim Reaper. They're a Lion. They're a mad scientist made of goop. And everyone in the audience buys into it and runs with it.
The more I've watched from afar, the more I began to feel... I don't know what? Some mixture of desire, envy, and dysphoria? My brain immediately saw this tech and thought: Holy shit. I could be a genie. I could be a girl. I could be a GIRL GENIE! Immediately the idea of the rigging technology became appealing. What if, instead of the disgusting male husk that I see in my video feed whenever I'm on a work Zoom Call was instead a cute genie girl who was happy and bubbly and /people liked her/?
Gosh, that'd be nice.
Taking this all in through the lens of streaming is a bit awkward, though. As much as I envy the tech, I don't envy the job. VTubers seem to be having fun on the surface, but you don't have to dig very far down to discover the truth of the matter - First, it's /fucking hard work/. Almost all the notable VTubers are actually highly creative and performative talents that have honed and refined their skills. They're curated and hunted professionals, to some extent. I don't have that, so it's foolish to want to participate in this arena. Second, being a streamer means wading through a toxic soup of stream-watchers. Ones that can get /nasty/ over trivialities. Enough said there. Lastly, VTubers absolutely lean into the power of parasocial relationships in a way that feels, to be blunt, /turbo fucked/. Streaming environments already trend toward toxicity to begin with, but how would you feel if your livelihood literally depended on making complete strangers on the internet feel like you were their actual, legitimate friend - so that you could coerce them to pay you money?
I'm exaggerating for effect, of course. But I've seen more than one instance of "How can you say you don't have any friends, I'm your friend! Everyone here is your friend!" on such a stream. Which is, you know, well-meaning bullshit. Like, even the very few streams that I frequent on a regular basis - the ones where people might actually know my name - I'm not anyone's friend there, and no one is mine. Anyhow, I digress.
The point I'm trying to make is that I found myself envying and desiring the circumstance without actually wanting to be in the circumstances, if that makes sense? Eventually I realized: Oh! I want to BE a genie. I want to BE a genie girl, and moreover I want other people SEE me as a genie girl. And while I don't want to stream to an audience, because I know that's a miserable and toxic endeavor, I desperately wish to be RECOGNIZED as a genie girl. I wish to perform my identity, and have it understood and accepted externally.
I would find that validating.
Understanding that was a good step, but then simultaneously it came with the realization of - Oh, yeah. That shit ain't never going to happen. Getting the tech is hard enough, but getting others to care, or buy into the Kayfabe? Forget it.
And that's how VTubers gave me a strange sense of dysphoria.
Because here it is - Here's the tech. Here's how I can be a girl and a genie and be happy and NOT be that meatsack! Here's the way to bridge that gap more than I ever have. And it's inaccessible. And ill-advised even if it were accessible.
So, then I dipped my toe in virtual reality.
I've been diving into the tech of VR for a while now, but it's always been a solitary endeavor. The tech is phenomenal, and the buzzword "Presence" is quite a real and potent thing. VR does allow one to inhabit a body not their own, and it allows people to find worlds beyond what could otherwise be experienced.
There are limits, of course. It's wonky and clunky, it doesn't fully work at times. But when it does, it can be amazing.
Recently, a friend pulled me into my first social/multiplayer VR experience. Begrudgingly, I might add. I find it difficult to describe exactly - Chaos in certain areas, of course. Massive chaos. There are Chuds there - people purposefully trying to ruin other's experiences. They do exist, and they're as bad as you'd expect.
But in private, there are pockets of comfort. There are people who are... Well, being themselves. Being who they want to be. It's easy to try on new skin, and it's easy to interpret that skin as another layer of abstraction from your meat body, while still allowing full access to yourself and your mind.
There are still barriers. Large ones. Just as I felt when I first started inhabiting the text-based worlds of MU*s back in the day, the world feels like it is MADE for artists. Visual artists, musical artists, computer modeling artists. Of which I am none of. Getting your own skin in virtual reality involves extensive modeling work and/or commissioning that's... Well, it's a challenge! Whereas in an MU*, I could simply craft words to describe the overbearing teflon mink with a glint in her eye, in VR I need to rely on what others have made publicly available. And beyond that, the old problems still exist in VR - Which is to say, my own social and mental issues don't magically vanish.
When I'm in VR, I'm occupying a much nicer body than I have in meatspace. However, I still have the same hang-ups over other people's expectations. Do they know? Do they think I'm faking it? My voice is awful and dysphoric to me. Clearly when anyone might hear it, they'll assume I'm a dumpy male trying to be something I'm not.
And how does one even make FRIENDS in such a chaotic space? It feels established, insular. I feel like an interloper. There's more frustration and dysphoria - Here I am in a body that FEELS RIGHT, and in a world where ANYTHING is possible. A world where people might even respect and acknowledge the identity I want! But my brain just keeps going over all the ways I'm going to fuck it up, and how I'm basically never going to have access to what I want even though it is /right there/.
And that's how VR gave me a strange sense of dysphoria.
I'm going to keep trying, though. VR does give me the gender euphoria, too.
If nothing else, these thoughts and endeavors have made me think... Hey, maybe it's time for hormones and voice training.
Anyhow, sorry for the ramble. But thanks for listening <3
Confused and Lost, but I keep it bottled up
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