online roleplaying, co-writing, and sharing the written erotica experience

by Parker Dupris

An old post of mine, recycled from another venue. I hadn’t thought about it in forever, but then the topic came up in a conversation so I thought I’d share it here.


Way back sometime around the dawn of when “normal” people found the internet, there was a great cartoon in The New Yorker. It was a commentary about the new layer of anonymity that communicating online was adding to everyday interactions. It showed one dog talking to another and saying something like “on the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”

Funny. Aside from the obvious cleverness, there was also some subtext there.

Of course we all know that everyone who does anything roleplay-ish online from cybersex to describing taking off an overcloak to founding an entire noble house that exists only as little ones and zeros must have too much free time and not enough social skill to get along in the “real world”.


Okay, maybe not.

There certainly are people doing all of that with too much free time here online, puttering about. And it’s also not too hard to find people who really don’t work or play well with others in real life taking refuge in the online world because the real one probably seems too tough to manage in. Some people even have both problems; they of them seem so normal and well adjusted at first, that when they pull back the Mission Impossible-type mask of normalcy and waggle the bug-eyes and giant-tongue of mania at you like a cartoon circus clown, it comes as quite a shock.

But there are also one or two perfectly normal people out there. Somewhere.

Where the Normal People Are

So what are some possible characteristics of these few people? Let’s run down a list of possibilities. People who are quick to judge sometimes work well with lists, so if you happen to be one of the two ( or so ) normal people out there, you can give this list to a critical friend or loved one.

  • Curious about something new- maybe you’re just naturally curious, and you’d like to give something a whirl in a safe, non-threatening environment.
  • Maybe your preferred activity online is sexual, and you have this thing about catching diseases, and having parts of your body inflame, itch or fall off. No one ever contracted an STD from bopping here online.
  • Perhaps you are going without real-life social interaction, for some reason. Maybe you’re a caregiver with very little ability to leave the home. Maybe you’re new to an area, or everyone who lives near you is an idiot.
  • Perhaps you are disabled, and can’t easily bring your power chair or screen reader down to the local watering hole to swing dance.
  • Variety is the spice of life, and maybe you ain’t got none. Your partner is oppressive, you don’t feel like going out, or you don’t wish to take Prozac to overcome your social anxiety. Your daily life is humdrum, so you’d like to see what it might be like to walk on the wild side, without risking arrest, deportation, or not being allowed in the Safeway again.
  • You’re an A-list actor or public personality, and you would love to interact with “normal” people, not paparazzi or sycophantic publicists and stalker fan club members without the benefit of a motorcade or a velvet rope.
  • You live in a small town, and getting wild and crazy means going to the local diner and ordering just dessert, or hitting the bowling alley on Wednesday instead of League Thursday, and you are thirsting for something a little more…
  • Strict religion plays a part in your life, or maybe just your household, and maybe the only way you can talk to members of the opposite sex or wear pants or do men-type stuff is online, with the infidels.
  • Perhaps you’re HIV positive and contrary to public opinion you’re still a normal human being with normal needs, and you don’t feel like infecting anyone while being frisky.
  • Maybe you’re lover is on a different coast, or your best friend is in Akron while you ( thankfully ) are not… and you’d like to interact with them anyway.
  • Maybe you’re a physical scientist doing you’re stint at Ice Station Zebra, or a member of the military off somewhere in the MMFD, or an astronaut on Freedom or anyone who is -way- isolated and would like just a bit of human interaction.
  • Maybe you’ve been traumatized by the boyfriend, the ex-wife, or the bitches you play bridge with and would like to ease back into this whole social-interaction thing, a step or two at a time.
  • It could be that you might not have won the lotto recently, but would like to found a house, live in a mansion, buy a fleet of merchant ships, and have minions do your bidding. Maybe you’re stuck at home, and would just like to open up a nice little bake shop, and most likely will never do so in real life.
  • It could be that by some strange happenstance, you don’t have Britney’s body, or Brad’s looks, or Angelina’s flat stomach and lips… and wouldn’t it be cool to see what it would like to step into some different, more socially-identifiable hotness than what you are currently sporting?



this witty cartoon originally in The New Yorker, forever ago.