“I could kind of understand it if he was having sex with a woman—at least then I could ask him what it was that I wasn’t giving him and maybe try to work it out.”

Submitted without comment:

Lisa Best woke up one night to catch John, 34, with his online trousers round his ankles—having gay dungeon romps in the web world Second Life.

The van driver was sitting up beside her at 4am tapping away frenetically—living out his fantasy through his avatar, or online character, called Troy Hammerthall when Lisa opened an eye and caught sight of the screen.

“I saw John’s little person having it off with another man in a dungeon on the screen,” said horrified Lisa, 28.

“I just froze with my head on the pillow, silently watching what he was doing. I felt sick to my stomach.

“After a few minutes, I could bear it no longer and sat up in bed demanding to know what the hell he was doing. He quickly folded the damn machine shut.

“I went off the dial but John just brushed it away. He said it wasn’t real life so what was I doing my nut about?

“I couldn’t sleep a wink the rest of the night wondering whether this meant he was betraying me or not—that he’d rather have gay sex on Second Life than have sex with me.”

The next day distraught laundry worker Lisa logged on to John’s laptop after he’d gone to work. “To be honest, I wished I hadn’t,” she grimaced. He’d been taking picture postcards on Second Life of his avatar and sending them to his email address.

“There were shots of his character having gay sex and wandering round a nudist beach with a whip in his hand blindfolded.

“There was another of him on a sun lounger with a woman and a man.

“It was sick. He called himself Troy Hammerthall and hung around at a place called the Bondage Ranch.

“I can’t believe it. He’s not Troy Hammerthall—he’s John Best, from Derby.”

When John came home from work, shattered Lisa told him to pack his bags and leave. He moved in with a friend.

“What he was doing was perverted and total kick in the teeth for me,“ she said.

“As far as I am concerned, having virtual sex with a man is the same as having sex with him in real life.

“It may have just been online but I don’t know that for sure. If John has it in him to be gay on his computer, then how do I know what he does when he’s away working? I could kind of understand it if he was having sex with a woman—at least then I could ask him what it was that I wasn’t giving him and maybe try to work it out.

“But if it’s men he fancies, then our marriage is a complete sham and there is nothing I can do.”

Last night John denied being gay and said he was fighting to save his marriage.

“I was just messing about on there. I’m the world’s least gay man. There’s not a gay bone in my body,” he told us.

“I just found it funny. I only went on for a laugh. I can’t believe it’s ended up destroying my marriage.

“I’m in touch with Lisa and am desperate to be with her again. I’d never cheat on her in real life—with anyone.

“Second Life is just an escape and my avatar was just exploring things that I’d never sample—or want to sample—in real life.”

After four years of marriage she is divorcing him despite his pleadings that he was only “messing about”. “There were three in our marriage—myself, John and his laptop. He had it with him everywhere, even in bed,” said Lisa.

“And over the last few months he’d become really hooked on Second Life.”



12 Comments on ““I could kind of understand it if he was having sex with a woman—at least then I could ask him what it was that I wasn’t giving him and maybe try to work it out.””

  1. psycholarry says:

    “As far as I am concerned, having virtual sex with a man is the same as having sex with him in real life.”

    This is the best thing.

  2. doctorbrown says:

    What is the worst thing is that a story about two people having marital/sexual/online loser problems is “News of the World.” Journalism continues to descend into the gravity well where all is one in Darkseid.

  3. Actually, I’m pretty sure the rampant homophobia of everyone involved in this story is the worst part.

  4. Tito says:

    I don’t know. I can’t blame a woman for worrying if her husband is homosexual… I mean, fair or unfair, that’s kind of an important part of marriage. The man’s homophobia, on the other hand, is pretty awful.

  5. The Kaiser says:

    Look…I don’t know what planet you guys are from, but having sex with a man is not gay.


    Though I agree with Tito, I don’t blame the woman either for worrying for her marriage. I don’t think that is homophobic.


    What I’m more amazed about is the rise of this culture in Second Life. People getting married before getting married through this site. I’d be curious to see specific social trends or studies that see different types of patterns.

    I found some demographic splits:

    The average age of users is 32, and the median age of users is 36.
    43% of users are female, 50% are female “by use.”
    Second Life is growing at a rate of 15% per month.
    17 different universities are teaching in Second Life.

    Obviously the need to be connected and feel a virtual void is only going to continue, however, I’m amazed how much people spend time living their lives in the world. It’s not even as though they are direct avatars of themselves but an ideal version. What does that say about us?

    Roger Ebert, in his review of Fanboys, has an interesting analysis that I feel applies to many of the types that subscribe to this –

    “Extreme fandom may serve as a security blanket for the socially inept, who use its extreme structure as a substitute for social skills. If you are Luke Skywalker and she is Princess Leia, you already know what to say to each other, which is so much safer than having to ad-lib it. Your fannish obsession is your beard. If you know absolutely all the trivia about your cubbyhole of pop culture, it saves you from having to know anything about anything else. That’s why it’s excruciatingly boring to talk to such people: They’re always asking you questions they know the answer to.”

  6. doctorbrown says:

    I guess it’s not a surprise to me that a van driver and laundry lady would be rampant homophobes. I mean, man bites dog is not headline news, and neither is drop-out Derby rednecks hating gays. That’s j-school 101.
    But then, I am a member of the liberal media elite, hence what I picked up on as most offensive was the degradation of my profession, not repressed homosexuality/homophobia.

  7. In response to Ebert’s overblown Fanboy review: I think Robert should probably turn that harsh light in upon himself.

  8. psycholarry says:

    “How dare he have a negative opinion about my nerdy obsession!”

  9. my point was less as PL puts it and more about how a film critic – who as a profession, imho, are “always asking you questions they know the answer to” – really has minimal ground to be calling fanboys losers.

    dismissing the various fandoms is easy (and often times fun) but ultimately calling them losers (with a capital L) is unproductive. fandom(s) deserve a lot criticism and often deserve people’s negative opinion towards them. but ebert’s remarkably shrill (!) review is mostly pointless. it is the pot calling the kettle black and says little about fandom itself.

  10. doctorbrown says:


    I love this movie, and totally disagree with Ebert’s review, and yet he consistently appeals to a fictional “we”, as if all moviegoers share his dour, snobby appraisal of cinema. It’s bloody elitism, it is. Also, wasn’t this thread about how homophobia/tabloids/the internets were garbage?

  11. doctorbrown says:

    By the by, you realize that News of the World is a tabloid, and that this is not so much a real issue as just a story concocted to sell newspapers to the British equivalent of overweight, undereducated housewives, right?
    Why are we talking about this, and how did Smith Michaels come upon it?

  12. psycholarry says:

    He’s a fat, undereducated British housewife.

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