The Edge
Wow, has it really been over a year since I last released an issue? I'm sorry to all my readers who waited. Rest assurred, I was doing something important. Weight loss. Some of you may remember the unedited photo of me in issue 2? Well, things got worse. I had to deal. I've been sitting at a very comfortable 170lbs for six months now, up from 160 before I started putting muscle mass back on, down from the 300+ lbs I was when I realized I had to do something.


So, it turns out that Z!re, a person who I've chatted with quite a bit in the past, is somewhat of the female persuation(oh yeah, and she's taking an extended haiatus from the community or something).

I *DID* have an article about possible flamebait topics in the qbn forums lined up, but I SUPPOSE writing a few words about the complex inner conflict and the inner journey to discover difficult answers to the unavoidable questions and issues brought about by the discovery that someone I knew turned out to be something I never expected could be good too.You need to understand first, that I thought Z!re was a guy. Not just any guy, a guys guy. think about the various avatar the guy uses. The creepy smiley with the bloody tooth. The bloody arm on qbn. If I was going to think someone was a big guy who broke kneecaps based on their exposed net presence, it'd be her. It's understandable that I be confused as hell just by Z!re declaring her femalosity to the world and proving it with the photos of her hotness. This just isn't fair. A guy needs time to adjust!

Making matters worse, I have a strange duality in my attitudes towards women on-line. I want them to be equal, but I understand that they're different(and I believe that only someone without experience with women outside a TV set could believe otherwise), and that my reactions towards them are different. Like an anarchronistic knight in the space age, my natural urge is to soften myself as to not offend, to try to defend them with all my flailing, useless might; However, I'm also progressive in my belief of equality, so I try to compensate consciously and not be that way. In the end, this whole thing causes a painful cycle of trying to calibrate the two to balance themselves out. I can only imagine how it must seem. Luckily, having spoken with her for a few hours, I'm finally starting to calibrate it, and things are beginning to get less wierd in that respect. Thank god.

The next element of wierdness that I had to confront is the fact that a female Z!re isn't just a male Z!re with a vagina many thousands of kilometers away. It's my firm belief that women think differently than men, that different areas of their brain are utilized for certain tasks(this is backed up by experimental fact), that certain innuendos and elements of culture which are acceptable for men aren't as acceptable for women. For example, if I believe a person is a male and I make a crude joke about woman drivers(yeah, I know) for example, no real harm done. To make the same joke in front of a woman is as insensitive as making repeated lorena bobbit jokes in front of a guy. My first reaction to the shock was to try to ignore the situation completely. I said to Z!re, "OK, you're a guy now". No, really! Callous? Sure. That was the idea. This is a person I consider a freind, and the idea that I'd treat her differently than I'd treat him is painful.

Treating people differently when I learn more about them is someting I've always tried to deal with. It's like being stressed out before an exam -- you know you shouldn't, but a different part of your brain controls rational thought than controls such things, so you can only try to regulate your actions to some kind of normalcy, as I said before.

A dramatic shift in this thinking came as I was contemplating the nature of such differences. Sure, I could dwell on the idea that I'd end up treating a programmer I've known and respected for years differently because of a simple gender switch, and my brain is sending out conflicting signals in a vain attempt to fight that fact.

On the other hand, I've heard she has a twin sister, whom has been known in the past to be, as one eye-witness called it, a "H O T hot XXX babe".  I've ALSO heard she has breastesses, and unlike most male QB'ers who have breastesses, it's not a result of years of overconsumption of baked spam and spam byproduct, but a pre-designed feature of her body, designed to advance, not cripple, the aesthetics of her lithe, young body...

If you'll excuse me, I have to go take a cold shower.

-SJ Zero  always loves writting about "The ladies".

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