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NecroKnight
29-07-2011, 01:38 PM
Now this is really pathetic. They live in a country with 127 million people and they can't find themselves real girlfriends.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703632304575451414209658940.html
http://www.getitbyte.com/2010/09/back-in-october-there-was-story-run-on.html

Rii
29-07-2011, 01:41 PM
I blame capitalism.

thegooseking
29-07-2011, 01:50 PM
they can't find themselves real girlfriends

I don't think the problem is that they can't find real girlfriends; I think it's that they don't want real girlfriends. Virtual girlfriends are very idealised. Physically, that's something that's enhanced by the anime styling which is abstract enough to leave room for the imagination to fill in the best possible details, yet aesthetic enough to be attractive. But behaviourally, they're very idealised, too. It's hard for real girls to compete.

That's not to say it's not pathetic: I don't want to judge, but I reluctantly think you're right about that. The reasons may be different to what you think, though.

sinister agent
29-07-2011, 03:19 PM
Devil's advocate: What's the difference between this and getting heavily into any other character-based RPG?

Assuming these guys have the cognitive faculties to know the difference between the real and the virtual (hardly a stretch), this could easily be viewed as just another type of harmless escapist fantasy, to go alongside the other types of harmless fantasy we all play.

Vexing Vision
29-07-2011, 03:33 PM
Mhmm, why exactly is that pathetic?

I thought we as gamers understand that a connection between people and certain games (which are just virtual entertainment most of the time) is something that can go a bit further than the mainstream "norm".

Can I understand it? No, not really (though I know I fell a little bit in love with Annah from Planescape: Torment on my very first playthrough). But judge it "pathetic"? Why?

thegooseking
29-07-2011, 03:41 PM
Even when we become completely immersed in a game, we acknowledge the boundaries of the "magic circle". We acknowledge that the game is only 'real' within that circle. Refusal to acknowledge those boundaries is, if not pathetic, then at least some sort of social transgression. There are cultural factors, but I'm pretty sure that's true in Japan just as it is here.

Vexing Vision
29-07-2011, 03:43 PM
Well, I'm fairly certain people know it's not real.

I think it's on the same line as strange people garb plastic swords, don cloaks and erect some tents in a wood for a weekend of losing themselves in a fantastic alternative to reality.

*shrugs* I find it interesting, not pathetic, but maybe I'm just wired differently. :)

Xercies
29-07-2011, 04:41 PM
I don't find it pathetic but i do find it, a bit weird and a bit Maybe you should go get a real girlfriend kind of way. By the way I'm cool with cosplay and anything, that part of fantasising is cool to me, but this i can't really bring myself to not be a little judgemental on.

If you let this kind of thing continue and even tell those fantasies are Ok by doing this kind of thing, you never really have the chance to bring them out of it and say. There are girls out there better because they don't go with the idealised version of Anime girls. I'm sure you will find some of these girls at anime conventions(seriously anime conventions are full of girls!)

NecroKnight
29-07-2011, 05:19 PM
I don't think you read the entire thing.

The trips are actual, can be expensive and aim to re-create the virtual weekend outing featured in the game, a product of Konami (http://online.wsj.com/public/quotes/main.html?type=djn&symbol=KNM) Corp. played on Nintendo Co.'s DS videogame system.

Some devoted fans will go so far as to pay twice the rate—most hotels in Japan charge per guest not per room—to indulge the fantasy that they are not there alone. A night's stay, at most, can cost $500 though many rooms are cheaper.

This winter, a boy – whose character name is Sal9000 – and his virtual girlfriend, Nene (one of three virtual girlfriends you can choose in LovePlus +), had an official marriage ceremony, livecasted on a Japanese video site.

ColOfNature
29-07-2011, 05:20 PM
I agree with the "harmless escapism" assessment, it's just an extension of the same combination of fantasy, technology and social pressures that gives us MMOs and ARGs. As the tech advances to let us create virtual characters with ever more complex behaviours I imagine we'll see this kind of thing become more and more common.

Vexing Vision
29-07-2011, 05:51 PM
This winter, a boy – whose character name is Sal9000 – and his virtual girlfriend, Nene (one of three virtual girlfriends you can choose in LovePlus +), had an official marriage ceremony, livecasted on a Japanese video site.

Well, I know someone who paid a lot of bucks for a life-sized Tali statue, because she likes her butt. (I got a live sized Witch Hunter in the entrance of our house, because we're geeks.) If your personal entertainment value for these things matches your disposal income, go ahead and rent Las Vegas if that's your thing.

And I saw the marriage. I actually found it really, really cool, even though it was a fake.


Living out your fantasies is good! (And better and a lot more healthy than ACTUALLY marrying 14 year old-"looking" girls, if you know what I mean.)

cosmicolor
29-07-2011, 07:07 PM
I will admit to trying this game out of sheer morbid curiosity and it scares the shit out of me, also I have an actual girlfriend so please don't hurt me :(

From what I have played of it though, I can sort of see why the type of super-lonely Japanese guy this series attracts would be into it.

sinomatic
29-07-2011, 08:00 PM
I don't see this as being that far removed from my attempts to woo Leliana in Dragon Age....is it?

I mean yes, there will be those who go to extremes with it, or will shell out ridiculous amounts of cash in relation to it.....but that happens in any sort of game. As long as the player isn't replacing or confusing a virtual relationship for a real one then I don't see the issue.

cosmicolor
29-07-2011, 08:04 PM
It's a little different from that, in that in Dragon Age or something once you've had the sex, that's it, whereas Love Plus seems to expect the player to actually maintain the video game relationship.

Lukasz
29-07-2011, 10:33 PM
Well, I know someone who paid a lot of bucks for a life-sized Tali statue, because she likes her butt. (I got a live sized Witch Hunter in the entrance of our house, because we're geeks.)

...

I am so jealous right now I cannot even know how to convey it via a forum post.

about the topic:

meh. Their life. If they are happy and they are not hurting anyone who am I to judge? Happiness in life is most important and if they found happiness in virtual girls than they are better off than most people on this planet.

Nalano
29-07-2011, 10:37 PM
This is high-priced call girl money. One would wonder why he doesn't just get a high-priced call girl.

Xercies
29-07-2011, 10:40 PM
Ah because thats just sex, these Virtual Girls...have some kind of conversation, or obey there every whim, or tell them there a great hunk. I have no idea I've never played the game...

R-F
30-07-2011, 10:40 AM
Are these men neutered or something? D: All the expense of dating without any release of tension? What even is this?

BillButNotBen
30-07-2011, 11:32 AM
The situation in Japan is weird. (and let me say first that there are lots of perfectly normal guys and girls in Japan - it's not everyone).

There are large numbers of hot girls who spend hours every morning making their makeup and hair perfect, wearing high heels and very tiny short skirts - generally looking pretty great.

And then there are lots of young men who aren't really interested. The "Herbivores" as they are called here.

In many ways Japan is a little like 50s UK/USA - before the equal rights movement, and where a lot of the girls dress amazingly and watch their weight because their main goal is to find a husband. The number of career women is increasing, but i'd say the main life goal is to get married, immediately quit your job and become a housewife. (there's quite a glass ceiling too).

But, partly because of pressure and expectations, and partly because they seem to find real women intimidating, a lot of young japanese men are opting out of their side of the bargain. Having real girlfriends is pretty high maintenance (even if they are doing their best to dress and act like cute little passive anime girls), and they'd much rather spend their free time and money playing video games and watching anime.

So the girls get more desperate in their hunt, and the cycle of life continues... but the girls are the carnivores in this version of 50s america.

I can see the cultural and societal reasons for the actions of both sides, but it can often seem very weird from a western point of view.

(hence their birth rate going down, their population ageing rapidly, and their need for robot people to look after all the old people - and to be girlfriends*).

*but not, of course, do anything useful like investigate nuclear power stations.

Kadayi
30-07-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't think the problem is that they can't find real girlfriends; I think it's that they don't want real girlfriends. Virtual girlfriends are very idealised. Physically, that's something that's enhanced by the anime styling which is abstract enough to leave room for the imagination to fill in the best possible details, yet aesthetic enough to be attractive. But behaviourally, they're very idealised, too. It's hard for real girls to compete.

That's not to say it's not pathetic: I don't want to judge, but I reluctantly think you're right about that. The reasons may be different to what you think, though.

Yeah. I think it's easy to condemn people on the basis that somehow their personal fascination is a resultant of desperation rather than as a result of a deliberate choice on their part. If anything I'd say the problem is very much that the fantasy of 'romance' as represented by the mainstream media is a very distinct thing from reality (something I'm sure we are all aware of) and in a country like Japan where that media representation is pretty much all encompassing it's easy to imagine that the fantasy becomes far more appealing than the reality. After all we are talking about a culture where even now their pornography is still genital free. Makes me think of this clip from family guy (SFW): -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWHJk5g9DOE

NecroKnight
30-07-2011, 11:57 AM
Wait what? So they rather play video games & watch TV then have hot girlfriends?! Maybe Japan is a part of Bizzaro World, that would explain a lot of things.

Kadayi
30-07-2011, 12:07 PM
Wait what? So they rather play video games & watch TV then have hot girlfriends?! Maybe Japan is a part of Bizzaro World, that would explain a lot of things.

If your cues for what constitutes 'romance' come less from the observation of actual real life romances around you and more from the 'fantasy' idealized romance that the media presents, then you might well find real life underwhelming because it doesn't live up to your expectations, and thus choose to eschew it.

NecroKnight
30-07-2011, 12:19 PM
This still doesn't mean that it's not normal. It's stupid to be dissapointed in real life romance because it doesn't live up to your fantasies. They got to wake up and accept reality and see that not everything will be ideal nor served on a silver plate.

Kadayi
30-07-2011, 01:01 PM
This still doesn't mean that it's not normal. It's stupid to be dissapointed in real life romance because it doesn't live up to your fantasies. They got to wake up and accept reality and see that not everything will be ideal nor served on a silver plate.

What's normal behaviour in the 20th century? I mean what does it honestly matter how strangers choose to live their lives as long as they are themselves happy and not harming anyone else in the process?

NecroKnight
30-07-2011, 01:19 PM
Are you sure they are happy? Maybe they would rather have a real girlfriend, but are too shy. So they use this game as a pathetic substitue. It doesn't really matter how these distant stranger live, but it's the fact that a human being is able of such lame & pathetic behaviour that disturbs people. I agree that normality is a relative term, especially in the 21. century, but somethings just shouldn't be considered or accepted as normal. For instance, in the ancient Roman Empire, among the nobility many things we would call abnormal & perverse were considered as socialy acceptable behaviour, like masturbating with snakes hanging on your nipples.

Kadayi
30-07-2011, 01:34 PM
Are you sure they are happy? Maybe they would rather have a real girlfriend, but are too shy. So they use this game as a pathetic substitue. It doesn't really matter how these distant stranger live, but it's the fact that a human being is able of such lame & pathetic behaviour that disturbs people. I agree that normality is a relative term, especially in the 21. century, but somethings just shouldn't be considered or accepted as normal. For instance, in the ancient Roman Empire, among the nobility many things we would call abnormal & perverse were considered as socialy acceptable behaviour, like masturbating with snakes hanging on your nipples.

Given no ones forcing them to do what they do save themselves the question is moot. You have to allow people live the lives they choose to. Personally I'm no advocate for tattoos or body modification, but that doesn't mean I look down on people who choose to have them done. I have reasons why I wouldn't do them myself, but I don't push them. If a friend asked me whether they should get a tattoo or ear plugs I'd give them my reasons why I think they are a bad idea, however I wouldn't be disappointed if they ultimately opted to have them done.

NecroKnight
30-07-2011, 01:47 PM
It doesn't change the fact that it's totally lame. You have your views, I have my views. It is obvious that our conversation isn't going anywhere, so let's just leave it.

LeiterJakab
30-07-2011, 01:59 PM
I would find it interesting though if they had the chance to experience the alternatives or if they would stick to their lifestyle if they could (experience real relationships).

Megagun
30-07-2011, 02:49 PM
[...] the fact that it's totally lame. [...]
This is where you're wrong. You should have written opinion there.

That said, if you could create a fake reality for yourself where everything is the way you'd like it, and you're not harming anyone, wouldn't you do it?

Xercies
30-07-2011, 03:11 PM
I mean this problem is going to get compounded once robots with real personalities that you can program in and they can look and act like hot girls. I mean isn't Japan one of the countries leading the charge to get that in?

I guess there is one benefit to it, you coould pretty much sort out the whole population problem in one move ;)

Rii
30-07-2011, 03:58 PM
(hence their birth rate going down, their population ageing rapidly, and their need for robot people to look after all the old people - and to be girlfriends*).

There is nothing unusual about the Japanese case. Fertility rates are declining everywhere. TFRs are already below replacement level (~2.1) throughout most of Asia and Europe and the global population will likely peak before the turn of the century. Africa is the only real engine of human population growth left. Japan's TFR isn't even the lowest in Asia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories _by_fertility_rate), nor did the phenomenon of sub-replacement fertility even first arise there: Scandinavia was first.

NecroKnight
30-07-2011, 04:43 PM
This is where you're wrong. You should have written opinion there.

That said, if you could create a fake reality for yourself where everything is the way you'd like it, and you're not harming anyone, wouldn't you do it?

No, I wouldn't create a fake reality where everything is the way I like. The fact that it's all fake wouldn't let me fully enyoj it; just another way to escape the harsh real world. You got to accept reality, when things get though stop bi***ing and get on your feet again.

Rii
30-07-2011, 04:54 PM
I always said games were for fairies.

NecroKnight
30-07-2011, 05:49 PM
What are you then doing on a forum for PC gaming?

QuantaCat
30-07-2011, 09:23 PM
No, I wouldn't create a fake reality where everything is the way I like. The fact that it's all fake wouldn't let me fully enyoj it; just another way to escape the harsh real world. You got to accept reality, when things get though stop bi***ing and get on your feet again.

No, you gotta accept reality, and then make it into what you want it to be, without facing away from it.


What are you then doing on a forum for PC gaming?

... he's a fairy.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
31-07-2011, 05:36 PM
Physically, that's something that's enhanced by the anime styling which is abstract enough to leave room for the imagination to fill in the best possible details, yet aesthetic enough to be attractive. But behaviourally, they're very idealised, too. It's hard for real girls to compete.

I don't want to get into trouble but real girls have real vaginas. That kind of makes it a non-contest.*

*Disclaimer before I get crucified - Yes, real girls are more than vaginas. I know.

Rii
31-07-2011, 06:19 PM
What are you then doing on a forum for PC gaming?

Making posts that fly over folks' heads.

sinister agent
31-07-2011, 08:14 PM
I don't want to get into trouble but real girls have real vaginas.

That's just an urban legend.

NecroKnight
31-07-2011, 10:01 PM
Got any proof?

R-F
31-07-2011, 10:41 PM
That's just an urban legend.

You keep telling yourself that. :p

Baris
31-07-2011, 11:23 PM
Got any proof?

What does that even mean?

BobsLawnService
01-08-2011, 10:26 AM
For big money like that you can get a decent escourt and ask for the full Girlfriend treatment. She'll go out to a restaurant and film with you, listen to. You sympathetically while you bitch about your shitty job and afterwards you can go home with her and have real sex with a real live woman.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 10:50 AM
For big money like that you can get a decent escourt and ask for the full Girlfriend treatment. She'll go out to a restaurant and film with you, listen to. You sympathetically while you bitch about your shitty job and afterwards you can go home with her and have real sex with a real live woman.

Pretty presumptuous to think that since someone has a virtual girlfriend they should be willing to put money into the sex trade.

Xercies
01-08-2011, 10:50 AM
The thing is...how is that any different? Really? Sure it is a "Real" Woman but its still entering into a fantasy that you know that isn't true, its still considered sad by people, and you still don't have any real things.

NecroKnight
01-08-2011, 11:24 AM
It's actual sex and sex is healthy. It's good againts stress, stimulates cardiovascular activity and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 11:54 AM
The thing is...how is that any different? Really? Sure it is a "Real" Woman but its still entering into a fantasy that you know that isn't true, its still considered sad by people, and you still don't have any real things.

In one situation a real woman, part of the sex trade and all the negative ramifications of it are involved.

In the other there is no chance the woman is a victim, as they do not exist.

Nalano
01-08-2011, 01:46 PM
In one situation a real woman, part of the sex trade and all the negative ramifications of it are involved.

My biggest issue with the parameters used to describe the negative qualities of the sex trade - namely, that the sex worker is exploited, forced to perform acts she does not want to do for the majority of her waking life and is sorely under-compensated in the bargain - can adroitly describe all wage workers, ever.

TillEulenspiegel
01-08-2011, 04:42 PM
There's certainly a very dark side to the sex trade. There are still some reports about underage eastern European prostitutes around here.

High-class escorts are usually another category entirely, though.

BobsLawnService
01-08-2011, 04:43 PM
My biggest issue with the parameters used to describe the negative qualities of the sex trade - namely, that the sex worker is exploited, forced to perform acts she does not want to do for the majority of her waking life and is sorely under-compensated in the bargain - can adroitly describe all wage workers, ever.

It also annoys me that a lot of people think that women should have equal rights and be empowered except for the small matter of their own sexual empowerment and how they should choose to use that sexual empowerment. As soon as women choose to sell their sexuality they are considered to be dirty or victims.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 04:52 PM
It also annoys me that a lot of people think that women should have equal rights and be empowered except for the small matter of their own sexual empowerment and how they should choose to use that sexual empowerment. As soon as women choose to sell their sexuality they are considered to be dirty or victims.

I am sure you know that many women are forced into prostitution or smuggled for the sex trade. Many dont have a choice in the matter and its ignorant to suggest prostitution is the favoured career choice for the majority of prostitutes.

Nalano
01-08-2011, 04:55 PM
It also annoys me that a lot of people think that women should have equal rights and be empowered except for the small matter of their own sexual empowerment and how they should choose to use that sexual empowerment. As soon as women choose to sell their sexuality they are considered to be dirty or victims.

I still feel that the heart of the problem is still labor. If you're not being adequately compensated for your time, then it's exploitation. If your workplace is unsafe - because, for instance, it's extralegal and/or unregulated, it's exploitation. If you're under the legal age for work, it's exploitation.

I know there's a dark side to the sex trade. I know that shipping women across the world for the purpose is horrible, but I also think that shipping construction workers on indentured-servant contracts to Abu Dhabi is horrible. I think locking women in the brothels is horrible, but I think locking sweatshop workers in on-site barracks is horrible. I think that underage prostitution is horrible, but I think all child labor is horrible. I think that the threat of STIs and violent Johns is horrible, but I think all threats of workplace injury is horrible.

I think it's more the stigma of sex than the plight of exploitation that gets the attention.


its ignorant to suggest prostitution is the favoured career choice for the majority of prostitutes.

I'm sure working in a call center was the favored career choice for marketing drones. Hardly anybody does what they want to do.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 04:59 PM
I'm sure working in a call center was the favored career choice for marketing drones. Hardly anybody does what they want to do.

Selling labour is at least slightly different to selling your body.

Btw, I broadly agree with you, in that the economic system dictates peoples lives and exploitation of workers is a huge issue.

Nalano
01-08-2011, 05:00 PM
Selling labour is at least slightly different to selling your body.

Selling labor IS selling your body. It's the idea that you think sex is sacrosanct that's muddying the issue.

BobsLawnService
01-08-2011, 05:00 PM
I am sure you know that many women are forced into prostitution or smuggled for the sex trade. Many dont have a choice in the matter and its ignorant to suggest prostitution is the favoured career choice for the majority of prostitutes.

Here is where I ask you for proof to back you claim up, and then you ask me for my proof to back my claim up.

I am going to circumvent all that by going back on topic and categorically state that my opinion on the matter that any social contact with a living breathing human far suppasses any simulated contact with a fake human being.

Xercies
01-08-2011, 05:07 PM
I actually think Japan is a little weird with that, its more shameful to be around an escort then to have these virtual girl things. I don't really know but maybe that might be a big reason why they decide to do that.

Anyway once they get robots you get the sex as well, so technically there would be no difference between the two really.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 05:07 PM
Selling labor IS selling your body. It's the idea that you think sex is sacrosanct that's muddying the issue.

Not, its not. Being forced into prostitution (79% of human trafficking is for prostitution) is not the same as selling labour as even a manual worker. Its not that sex is sacred, its that prostitution, when forced by others or drugs, is not sex, but rape.

Rii
01-08-2011, 05:14 PM
The particular brand of puritanism which emerges in feminist circles on the subject of prostitution is rather disquieting and, of course, not at all beneficial to the women whose welfare they are ostensibly concerned for. It's much like the Catholic Church approach to combating AIDS.


prostitution ... is rape.

Are you sure you don't want to lean any further overboard here?

I think you'll find that prostitutes who've had the misfortune to be raped can readily distinguish between their clients and rapists.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 05:17 PM
Are you sure you don't want to lean any further overboard?

Ok, not in cases with full consent, but the majority of cases involve significant involvement of other people and coersion, be it trafficking, drugs, pimps, etc

BobsLawnService
01-08-2011, 05:18 PM
Sexual slavery is different from sex trafficking. The definition of sex trafficking is travel across international border for the purposes of the sex trade and not sexual slavery. Don't let facts get in the way of your agenda though.

Oops this post is incorrect. I got it wrong.

Nalano
01-08-2011, 05:18 PM
Not, its not.

Yes, it is. Ask the guy whose back goes out at 35 from heavy lifting if he didn't just base his career on selling his body.

There's plenty of reasons why the sex industry is fraught with peril: Potential for violence. Indentured service contracts and de facto slavery caused by lack of government oversight. The over-representation of women in such an exploitative environment (a trait, consequently, shared by the textile industry). Sex, itself, is not one of them. It's labor, and labor is the act of doing something you don't want necessarily to do for money. The fact that the act in this case is sex does not change that.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 05:21 PM
Yes, it is. Ask the guy whose back goes out at 35 from heavy lifting if he didn't just base his career on selling his body.

Not all labour is back-breaking work.



It's labor, and labor is the act of doing something you don't want necessarily to do for money. .

Labour is a productive act. How would you have a world without any labour at all? Even anarchists and socialists see labour as a positive force. I disagree with your definition of labour.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 05:24 PM
Sexual slavery is different from sex trafficking. The definition of sex trafficking is travel across international border for the purposes of the sex trade and not sexual slavery. Don't let facts get in the way of your agenda though.

Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, froced labour, or a modern-day form of slavery.

From wikipedia.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2783655.stm

United Nations official has described the trafficking of women and children across Asia as "the largest slave trade in history".

Also my "agenda"? Its called an opinion.

Also, with regards to this:
"in Asia and the Pacific alone, more than 30 million children have been traded over the last three decades." I'd suggest that dwarfs the number of high class escorts empowering themselves in the rosy world of prostitution that you seem to be painting.

BobsLawnService
01-08-2011, 05:40 PM
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, froced labour, or a modern-day form of slavery.

From wikipedia.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2783655.stm

United Nations official has described the trafficking of women and children across Asia as "the largest slave trade in history".

Also my "agenda"? Its called an opinion.

Also, with regards to this:
"in Asia and the Pacific alone, more than 30 million children have been traded over the last three decades." I'd suggest that dwarfs the number of high class escorts empowering themselves in the rosy world of prostitution that you seem to be painting.

Yeah, I edited my post a few minutes after posting it after realising I was wrong on that point. I still don't think that human trafficking is representative of the whole sex trade or even the majority and I certainly don't think the patriarchal attitude of denying women the right to sell their bodies is the way to go. I really despise the notion that women are in some way dirty for selling their bodies. I also give women much more credit for having control over their own destinies than you do by the sounds of it.

BobsLawnService
01-08-2011, 05:40 PM
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, froced labour, or a modern-day form of slavery.

From wikipedia.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/2783655.stm

United Nations official has described the trafficking of women and children across Asia as "the largest slave trade in history".

Also my "agenda"? Its called an opinion.

Also, with regards to this:
"in Asia and the Pacific alone, more than 30 million children have been traded over the last three decades." I'd suggest that dwarfs the number of high class escorts empowering themselves in the rosy world of prostitution that you seem to be painting.

Yeah, I edited my post a few minutes after posting it after realising I was wrong on that point. I still don't think that human trafficking is representative of the whole sex trade or even the majority and I certainly don't think the patriarchal attitude of denying women the right to sell their bodies is the way to go. I really despise the notion that women are in some way dirty for selling their bodies. I also give women much more credit for having control over their own destinies than you do by the sounds of it.

Rii
01-08-2011, 05:40 PM
"in Asia and the Pacific alone, more than 30 million children have been traded over the last three decades." I'd suggest that dwarfs the number of high class escorts empowering themselves in the rosy world of prostitution that you seem to be painting.

Nobody here is painting a rosy picture of prostitution. It is my understanding that Nalano is asserting - and I would agree - that prostitution is not intrinsically more problematic than any other form of labour. The reality is rather different, of course, but then the single largest reason for that is because prostitution is kept underground, free from regulatory oversight. It is the combination of puritanism and hypocrisy which has given rise to the appalling conditions faced by so many women today; society has created the victims which it professes it wishes to save.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 05:48 PM
Yeah, I edited my post a few minutes after posting it after realising I was wrong on that point. I still don't think that human trafficking is representative of the whole sex trade or even the majority and I certainly don't think the patriarchal attitude of denying women the right to sell their bodies is the way to go. I really despise the notion that women are in some way dirty for selling their bodies. I also give women much more credit for having control over their own destinies than you do by the sounds of it.

My point is that prostitution as a whole is not generally women selling their bodies, but women being sold or coerced into slavery. 30 million children in asia and pacific. Now add up the rest of the world, those dependant on drugs and victims of violence and I highly doubt that the numbers of women who are freely entering prostitution is the majority.

If it is not, then we should see that the experience of the majority of prostitutes is not their free will, so we should not by default think of prostitutes in the sense of a woman having sexual empowerment, but instead it is the contrary, since so many people are forced into sexual slavery.

Also, I disagree that I am denying women the right to sell their bodies. I am highlighting the underside of the sex trade. I dont think I have actually said that prostitution, if with full consent and in conditions that actually do empower women (since so many conditions dont) should be disallowed. To the contrary, I think that the prohibition by governments of many things actually contributes to criminal activity and problems in society, much as you see an illegal black market rise up out of prohibition of many illegal drugs.


-snip- I think as you will see in this post, I am probably closer to agreeing with you than you would imagine. The sex trade rises up out of prohibition, forcing it underground and thus makes it impossible to safeguard working conditions.

Nalano
01-08-2011, 05:56 PM
It is the combination of puritanism and hypocrisy which has given rise to the appalling conditions faced by so many women today; society has created the victims which it professes it wishes to save.

This.

Besides, labor is not defined by the creation of a product. A product may emerge as the result of labor, but labor itself is defined by renting one's person to somebody else for monetary remittance. Whether that time is spent conversing, digging and filling ditches, swapping derivatives or on one's back makes no difference: It's all labor.

Vexing Vision
01-08-2011, 06:00 PM
Can we get back to the hot virtual manga girls? Rawr.

The main issue I'd have with these is not the money spent for a romantic cyber-weekend with an AI, but the tamagotchi-like qualities that would enforce certain behaviour. If a co-worker would go home early because his virtual girlfriend complains that he is working too long, I would find that much, much more bothering than if he enjoys himself on a fancy weekend escapade of whatever his fetish is.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 06:01 PM
This.

Besides, labor is not defined by the creation of a product. A product may emerge as the result of labor, but labor itself is defined by renting one's person to somebody else for monetary remittance. Whether that time is spent conversing, digging and filling ditches, swapping derivatives or on one's back makes no difference: It's all labor.

I think you are still going to have to define labour differently. I agree that it may not produce something but it does not have to be linked to the idea of money. You do labour for your own benefit, people work for free, voluntary work. These are all some forms of labour.

Nalano
01-08-2011, 06:13 PM
Can we get back to the hot virtual manga girls? Rawr.

The main issue I'd have with these is not the money spent for a romantic cyber-weekend with an AI, but the tamagotchi-like qualities that would enforce certain behaviour. If a co-worker would go home early because his virtual girlfriend complains that he is working too long, I would find that much, much more bothering than if he enjoys himself on a fancy weekend escapade of whatever his fetish is.

I think it's just a subtrope of the antisocial nature of social networking. The internet is atomizing society (http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-have-a-thousand-friends-and-still-be-alone-2011-5) - and of course in Japan we have some real social recluses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori) - and as such the OP is just relating one egregious example of completely withdrawing from an actual social life.


I think you are still going to have to define labour differently. I agree that it may not produce something but it does not have to be linked to the idea of money. You do labour for your own benefit, people work for free, voluntary work. These are all some forms of labour.

"I voluntarily choose not to starve:" That's not free.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 06:23 PM
"I voluntarily choose not to starve:" That's not free.

That doesn't answer my point. I am not talking about whether the choice to work is really a choice and whether we have autonomy over the labour we do ( I beleive that we do not have agency over a choice to work, as the choice of to work or to starve is no real choice, therefore we do not actually have real agency over this decision), I am saying that your definition of labour as linked to money is wrong.

Voluntary work is labour. You dont get paid. Therefore labour is not "renting one's person to somebody else for monetary remittance". When I work at home, or for pleasure it is labour. I get reward, but it is not money.

archonsod
01-08-2011, 06:41 PM
Ok, not in cases with full consent, but the majority of cases involve significant involvement of other people and coersion, be it trafficking, drugs, pimps, etc

Meanwhile millions of people drag themselves to dead-end cubicle jobs purely because they feel like it, and not because of things like rent, taxes and bills need paying. People can live without drugs, can't say the same about food.

GraveyardJimmy
01-08-2011, 06:50 PM
Meanwhile millions of people drag themselves to dead-end cubicle jobs purely because they feel like it, and not because of things like rent, taxes and bills need paying. People can live without drugs, can't say the same about food.

Drugs are physically addictive, there is a physical dependency there (often without rehab, people cant just "live without drugs", theres a reason 90% of people in jail are addicted to drugs/addicted to alcohol/have at least 2 mental problems- source Flat Earth News, Nick Davies). However, as I already said, "the choice of to work or to starve is no real choice, therefore we do not actually have real agency over this decision".

Nalano
01-08-2011, 07:07 PM
When I work at home, or for pleasure it is labour. I get reward, but it is not money.

You're mincing the point and being needlessly and pointlessly obtuse, especially since you've clearly ascertained the point: Work is what I do to get paid. I don't want to do it. I want to get paid. I have to get paid to live, because I like living indoors, so therefore some portion of my waking life will be spent at work. What I do at work is besides the point, except for the fact that I've set aside a portion of my life doing it.

Can we get back to wacky otaku and their e-girlfriends?

Donjo
01-08-2011, 08:33 PM
The particular brand of puritanism which emerges in feminist circles on the subject of prostitution is rather disquieting and, of course, not at all beneficial to the women whose welfare they are ostensibly concerned for. It's much like the Catholic Church approach to combating AIDS.


I know some feminists who engage with sex workers, not to tell
them that they're wrong but to try to help, mostly by providing
information on stuff like clinics, free condoms, the sex workers alliance and the law.
Just saying, not all feminists are puritans...

Well this has gone fairly off topic... still though, I'd be hard pressed to find another computer game blog
with this level of discussion in the forums... I'd agree with the sex as labour interpretation that Nalano
is presenting, it's possible to regulate it so that people aren't exploited so much. The first question and
answer on the Irish Sex Workers Alliance website is
Q. Why do you use the term sex worker rather than prostitute?
A. The term sex worker is used because when sex workers are asked
about their activity they describe what they do as ‘work’ or ‘working’.
http://www.sexworkersallianceireland.org/faq

Donjo
01-08-2011, 08:38 PM
My point is that prostitution as a whole is not generally women selling their bodies, but women being sold or coerced into slavery. 30 million children in asia and pacific. Now add up the rest of the world, those dependant on drugs and victims of violence and I highly doubt that the numbers of women who are freely entering prostitution is the majority.

If it is not, then we should see that the experience of the majority of prostitutes is not their free will, so we should not by default think of prostitutes in the sense of a woman having sexual empowerment, but instead it is the contrary, since so many people are forced into sexual slavery.

Also, I disagree that I am denying women the right to sell their bodies. I am highlighting the underside of the sex trade. I dont think I have actually said that prostitution, if with full consent and in conditions that actually do empower women (since so many conditions dont) should be disallowed. To the contrary, I think that the prohibition by governments of many things actually contributes to criminal activity and problems in society, much as you see an illegal black market rise up out of prohibition of many illegal drugs.

I think as you will see in this post, I am probably closer to agreeing with you than you would imagine. The sex trade rises up out of prohibition, forcing it underground and thus makes it impossible to safeguard working conditions.

I was going to say earlier but you've made the point here- if sex workers
were taxed and regulated if would be far more difficult for the black market to exist.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
01-08-2011, 08:45 PM
I know some feminists who engage with sex workers, not to tell
them that their wrong but to try to help them, mostly by providing
information on stuff like clinics, free condoms, the sex workers alliance and the law.
Just saying, not all feminists are puritans...

Well this has gone fairly off topic... still though, I'd be hard pressed to find another computer game blog
with this level of discussion in the forums... I'd agree with the sex as labour interpretation that Nalano
is presenting, it's possible to regulate it so that people aren't exploited so much. The first question and
answer on the Irish Sex Workers Alliance website is
Q. Why do you use the term sex worker rather than prostitute?
A. The term sex worker is used because when sex workers are asked
about their activity they describe what they do as ‘work’ or ‘working’.
http://www.sexworkersallianceireland.org/faq

From the FAQ. I'd consider that site to be something of an authority on the subject so it is nice to read a balanced view on the topic by the people involved in the industry :

Q. Do sex workers choose their line of work?
Not all sex workers are the same; some enjoy this line of work while others would prefer to do something else, although may have limited options when it comes to earning an income. Many sex workers work part time, attracted by the flexible working hours and the autonomy and freedom it offers them. Others report that they like being their own boss.

Q. Are all foreign sex workers in Ireland trafficked into the sex industry?
Human trafficking is the practice of deceiving, coercing or otherwise removing people from their home or their countries and forcing them to work for little or no compensation in situations of exploitation. Trafficking is not synonymous with sex work and victims of human trafficking may be forced to work in industries such as agriculture, domestic service as well as the sex industry. It is critical to distinguish human trafficking, which is a violation of human rights, from voluntary migration.
A distinction also needs to be made between migrant workers who voluntarily sell sex and those who are victims of international trafficking criminal gangs who force people to work as sex workers. It has also been reported that migrant sex workers may pay an agency to bring them into another country or they may have networks of friends and family who facilitate their move from one country to another.
SWAI does not support human trafficking in any form. We suggest that more effort and resources be deployed to pursue these international criminal gangs, rather than wasting valuable and finite resources by targeting consenting adults who voluntarily engage in commercial sexual activity.

TillEulenspiegel
01-08-2011, 09:57 PM
I was going to say earlier but you've made the point here- if sex workers
were taxed and regulated if would be far more difficult for the black market to exist.
Prostitution is quite legal in Germany, but as I mentioned, it certainly hasn't eliminated the human trafficking element. I've no doubt general conditions are better than in countries where it's illegal, though.

Donjo
01-08-2011, 10:06 PM
From the FAQ. I'd consider that site to be something of an authority on the subject so it is nice to read a balanced view on the topic by the people involved in the industry :
]

Yeah, here's another bit-
Q. Are sex workers victims of violence?
Sadly in some instances they are victims of violence, those who work on the street are most vulnerable and this is true for both female and male sex workers. Studies show that there is less likelihood of violence from regular customers. Due to stigma and fear of prosecution, sex workers are often reluctant to report incidences of violence to the Gardai.

It is also worth remembering that people who are violent towards sex workers are not always clients but are criminals engaging in violent assaults specifically targeting sex workers. In Liverpool crimes against sex workers are defined as hate crimes.

R-F
02-08-2011, 01:09 AM
Prostitution is quite legal in Germany, but as I mentioned, it certainly hasn't eliminated the human trafficking element. I've no doubt general conditions are better than in countries where it's illegal, though.

You have to remember that legalising prostitution in licensed brothels makes purchasing sex a convenient thing instead of doing the back alley stuff. It benefits the people buying sex (licensed prostitutes requiring regular STD check ups etc), the prostitutes themselves (less chance of a violent or aggressive man due to them having, y'know, actual rights as workers) AND the government (hi taxation, hi not having to spend as much money, hi everything else).

It also means people will not purchase sex on the street as much (therefore LOWERING the rate of human trafficking as not as much profit can be made) because they can just go to a brothel instead.

NecroKnight
02-08-2011, 09:55 AM
I actually think Japan is a little weird with that, its more shameful to be around an escort then to have these virtual girl things. I don't really know but maybe that might be a big reason why they decide to do that.

Anyway once they get robots you get the sex as well, so technically there would be no difference between the two really.
It's only sex if you do it with a living being. If you do it with a robot then it's just an advanced form of masturbation.

Xercies
02-08-2011, 11:22 AM
Yes but you still get the pleasure fro mit, and if thats what they care about then they can just have it. As I said, I feel there is no difference between having a prostitute/escort and having these virtual girls. Except with the former you get pleasure from a real body part.

Nalano
02-08-2011, 12:57 PM
It's only sex if you do it with a living being. If you do it with a robot then it's just an advanced form of masturbation.

I'm sure there are a few (http://www.hulu.com/watch/4510/futurama-anti-robot-propaganda) drawbacks...

Skalpadda
02-08-2011, 02:05 PM
It's only sex if you do it with a living being. If you do it with a robot then it's just an advanced form of masturbation.

Mastrobotion?

Nalano
02-08-2011, 02:07 PM
Auto-erotic Electrocution.

sinister agent
03-08-2011, 02:11 AM
"Cross-interface networking".

tomeoftom
03-08-2011, 05:57 AM
Jacking <i>in</i>?.

Also, I love how so many people here have felt the need to sneak in "before you start, I do have a girlfriend!". Ah, the internet is so inherently embarrassing. I do have a girlfriend! She is so beautiful.

Skalpadda
03-08-2011, 08:33 AM
I'm single and I'd happily have sex with a hot robot lady.

NecroKnight
03-08-2011, 01:07 PM
Please tell me you are joking.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
03-08-2011, 01:14 PM
I have a wife and I'd take sex with *anything* right now. Bada bish!

Nalano
03-08-2011, 02:06 PM
I do have a girlfriend! She is so beautiful.

Is her name Rosie?

tomeoftom
03-08-2011, 03:17 PM
Is her name Rosie?

I must admit I don't get the reference.

Skalpadda
03-08-2011, 04:00 PM
Please tell me you are joking.

Well yes, but thinking about it, if I met a hot robot lady whom I actually found attractive, then why not? I've never found a non-human lady of any kind sexually attractive, but if we're talking Rachel from Bladerunner, then.. yes?

Nalano
03-08-2011, 04:05 PM
I must admit I don't get the reference.

Ms. Palms.

tomeoftom
03-08-2011, 04:20 PM
Ms. Palms.

Ah. No, that's quite gross.

Donjo
03-08-2011, 05:17 PM
This is what it all boils down to, at the end of the day-
http://lucresialinton.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/cars.jpg

Nalano
04-08-2011, 12:02 AM
Cannot be unseen.

lhzr
04-08-2011, 12:14 PM
here's a bit more to read/watch, kinda on the subject (but not quite)

http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/292/my-car-is-my-lover.jsp
http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/sunday-review/living/i-married-the-eiffel-tower-832519.html

pm me for links to both docus, if you're interested. the eiffel tower one is sad, funny and disturbing, haven't seen the other one yet.

http://i293.photobucket.com/albums/mm80/bifflowman/vlcsnap-5824939.png

NecroKnight
04-08-2011, 01:30 PM
These people need psychological help, seriously.

Nalano
04-08-2011, 02:22 PM
That pic just screams "I'd rather love this inanimate object than those creepy Japanese otaku."

Wooly Wugga Wugga
04-08-2011, 07:35 PM
She shares sexual love with the Eiffel Tower? That's got to require a lot of KY.

Nalano
04-08-2011, 08:12 PM
Another image that cannot be unseen.

Vexing Vision
05-08-2011, 02:07 PM
Interesting studies and reports! Also good to know that there's still fetishes/drives out there which I didn't know about. 20 years on the nets haven't corrupted me enough. Thanks RPS community.


Controverse thought: These girls (and boys) probably really believe that they have a special relation with the objects. Belief is the key word - there are reports of monks and nuns equally having this bright, extatic revelation when discovering their love to God. Is (true) belief in religion being driven by that same tick that makes some people go off and marry the Berlin Wall?

lhzr
05-08-2011, 03:03 PM
These girls (and boys) probably really believe that they have a special relation with the objects.

well, one of the women interviewed in the eiffel tower doc says he talks to her objectfriends(?) and they talk back. the one in the picture also had a relationship with her bow (besides the berlin wall and the eiffel tower). she was competing in tournaments together with her bow-friend, until the relationship got cold and they broke up, after which she couldn't shoot that good anymore, since she lost that special something they had between them.

so yes, the believe they have special relationships with certain objects, not sure how much of that is shared with believers. i seem to remember reading that some of the famous people that had religious visions were undiagnosed epileptics, so there's that..
the ones with object fetishes, at least those shown in the eiffel movie where rather on the autistic side (one of them actually was, the rest just seemed a bit that way).

sinister agent
05-08-2011, 04:11 PM
These people need psychological help, seriously.

There's a great bit in Mil Millington's second book (A Certain Chemistry) where God talks about an experiment by some people who tried to "grow a fetish in a lab", and were succesful. The subjects were basically conditioned to find boots incredibly arousing, and they did. When the experiment was over, the researchers offered to undo it, and the subjects refused. Why? Because they'd discovered a new way to get off. Why would they want to lose that? It gave them a thrill - no different to most people's attraction to breasts or hips or pecs.

It might well be weird (and I'm certainly not saying it wouldn't make me uncomfortable and perhaps a bit nervous in person), but if they're enjoying it and it doesn't harm anyone, well, what's the problem? You'll find out that everyone's crazy if you talk to them for long enough.

CuriousOrange
05-08-2011, 06:53 PM
Um, bit late but. Men dressing up and playing with toy swords IS pathetic, I can't think of any other geeky activity more pathetic than that.

Nalano
05-08-2011, 11:37 PM
Um, bit late but. Men dressing up and playing with toy swords IS pathetic, I can't think of any other geeky activity more pathetic than that.

I can think of something more pathetic than fighting with foam weapons.

Fighting with real weapons.

Donjo
06-08-2011, 04:07 PM
Um, bit late but. Men dressing up and playing with toy swords IS pathetic, I can't think of any other geeky activity more pathetic than that.

But virtual toy swords are not?


I can think of something more pathetic than fighting with foam weapons.

Fighting with real weapons.

Hmm.. fighting maybe, but shooting guns is awesome.

Vexing Vision
06-08-2011, 05:35 PM
Um, bit late but. Men dressing up and playing with toy swords IS pathetic, I can't think of any other geeky activity more pathetic than that.

Obviously, you haven't seen the way the girls are dressed up for events like this. Nothing more pathetic than men ignoring groups pouncing each other with toy swords!

:D