Shuless – Episode One

by Alphaville Herald on 11/05/08 at 7:21 pm

How It Began

by Iona Nikolaidis

Hello, dear reader. My name is Iona Nikolaidis. I am an avatar in Second Life, and this is the story of how I came to meet a fellow avatar named Alexandra Shu. This blog is an effort to get her out of my head. This is not my choice, but if I don’t take some action I feel like I will drown. Because although Iona is not real, the person behind the curtain is, and that person is suffering.

How’s that for foreshadowing?

The idea for this blog was forged over drinks at the Yellow Dog Tavern in Baltimore, Maryland, where I (the operator of Iona) live with my partner and our children. I am a lesbian. That’s enough background, for now.

And so begins the story of how I came to meet Alexandra Shu. But first, a statement about what this blog is not. This blog is not intended to “out” anyone’s real life identities, including mine. I will never, ever do that. Despite everything that has transpired, I don’t hate Alex. Not in the least. I want nothing more than for her to be happy. Well, maybe I want her to talk to me more….but I don’t think that will happen. So because I wasn’t done talking, I will blog.

Now, Caveat Bloggor…. certain names and “facts” will be changed to protect the guilty (that’s me).


Like many lesbians of my generation, my partner, who I will call French Fry, and I wanted to have a “family,” meaning the two kids and dog that everyone else has. After I successfully became pregnant with and gave birth to our son, who I will call Owen, French Fry tried to become pregnant. This, alas, did not happen. As is the advantage lesbian couples have (some might say the only advantage, but not me), I was able to attempt once again to bring home the baby bacon. And so it began. I had a miscarriage in April 2005, followed by another, more significant miscarriage in December 2006. You know the kind, where you go in for what you think will be a happy sonogram confirming the life growing within you, but turns out to be the worst news you could have gotten…..followed by the worst procedure you could have done to you (that would be the D & C). Talk about a pain in the ass. I don’t know if you, dear reader, have gone through fertility issues, but I can assure you, they do indeed wreak havoc on the best of relationships, let alone those that require work.

And so I stood, seemingly alone, in the months following my miscarriage, which occured a few days before Christmas in 2006. Merry Christmas! I know you wanted a new iPod, but why don’t you take this horribly painful experience instead?!

I wanted to die. I wanted to die even more when my doctor thoughtfully told me that my dead baby was male. All I could picture was my son, Owen, dead. I know what my son looks like. I hated, hated, hated everyone.

I slept-walked through life for a few months, seemingly oblivious to New Years, Groundhog Day (well, I probably would have missed that anyway), Valentine’s Day. French Fry, who is a teacher in a public school, comes into regular contact with the youth of today (unlike me, a lawyer, who rarely runs into anyone younger than 40). It was she who told me about this brave new world, Second Life, where you could go and create your own person, your own reality. Because I was desperately out of touch with my reality (or, perhaps more correctly, because my reality had been reduced to the loss of this pregnancy), it sounded like a good deal. Yes, therapy would have been a better option, in retrospect. But I was bitter! Anywhere I could go to get away from the pain I felt would work for me. And, I had played The Sims. I managed to set my dude on fire in The Sims, but still….

So, I signed up. And Iona Nikolaidis was born on St. Patrick’s Day, 2007. I remember the day distinctly. My partner’s parents, who, like most in-laws (regardless of the sexual orientation of the partners), get on my nerves, were in town. Snow was on the ground here in Baltimore. Playing on the computer sounded like a good idea. And what was the harm? I grew up playing Atari, Nintendo, Playstation – hell, I even had an Magnavox Odyssey. I am not afraid to try new things.

Second Life was fun. I dressed Iona Nikolaidis, named in part for a Greek friend from Chicago, way more girly than I ever dress in real life (which, as you will learn, is shortened to IRL). I was going to play Iona as a straight chick. You know….because it is SECOND LIFE. Not my REAL LIFE. MY REAL LIFE SUCKED.

So Iona messed around for a few weeks, looking like a tranny prostitute, complete with bad makeup. She had her random encounters with strange avatars….it was all rather unfulfilling. But, because RL meant dealing with the pain of a miscarriage, and the loss of another son, Second Life looked a helluva lot more attractive than real life, and I persisted.

And then I found the Witches’ Brew….but that is a story for another day.

[Shuless appears courtesy of and is reprinted here by permission of Iona Nikolaidis]

11 Responses to “Shuless – Episode One”

  1. anon

    May 12th, 2008

    why does anyone care

  2. Rawst Berry

    May 12th, 2008



    May 12th, 2008


  4. Aya Pelous

    May 12th, 2008

    so what is the point of this story?

  5. ya right

    May 12th, 2008

    Aya, is being a snotty self-aggrandizing twat a requirement for being a “True Artist” or just a Second Life Mentor?

  6. ya right

    May 12th, 2008

    Aya, is being a snotty self-aggrandizing twat a requirement for being a “True Artist” or just a Second Life Mentor?

  7. Kara Harkins

    May 12th, 2008

    So what is the point of using a degogatory word for trans-people?

  8. Aya Pelous

    May 12th, 2008

    The Derogatory names start flowing after I Critique someone else’s failure with Adobe Photoshop. Honestly, if you have the courage to talk to me in-world rather than LOOKING at my profile and being a anonymous poster. Excuse me… Poser. Giggle.

  9. Nidol Slazar

    May 12th, 2008

    Talking in-world doesn’t require the same amount of courage as talking one on one irl. I’d have no problem going to your e-face and telling you to shut your whore mouth, but I’m not exactly involved in this so I don’t really care. lawl

  10. a close friend

    May 13th, 2008

    Aww, honey, I didn’t just LOOK at your profile; I actually READ it. I especially enjoyed its “fuck the TOS” opening line; although, you put it more concisely with “Fuck I’m drunk” And poor Linden Lab wonders why they catch shit over their mentor program. There is a difference between having the courage to use your own name and just being a shameless me me me cunt.



  11. Rip

    May 13th, 2008

    Why are you boring us with this relationship story? Is this story a SL fantasy or some RL twisted lifestyle? Gezzz you need a real life bad…..! Stop whinning to us and live in rl not sl!

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