Yesterday I was on the Z&A work platform testing something and, in doing so, using my "stunt double". The avatar in question is a general shop test avi that, a couple of years back, I kitted out to look like me. Same shape, same hair, same skin, etc. The idea was that, if I was ever in a position where I couldn't pose for a vendor board shoot (mostly because of being locked in something) I could use the stunt double in my place.

As we both stood side-by-side I chuckled to myself how similar and yet how different we looked, and I then took a photo and sent it to Mistress and mentioned how I'd changed in the past year, especially in the past 7 or so months we've known each other well.

I really love this picture because of what it says, what it represents, what it conveys about how I've changed in the past 12 months. On the surface the two avatars appear the same; but as I look at them, as I especially look at me (I'm the one on the left in the photo, obviously), I'm reminded of the influence Mistress has had on me.

Mistress and I have spoken at some length about how people change in relation to a partner, and how that can be a good thing or a bad thing. Some people change under pressure, change to try and suit the other person's idea of who they should be, change because they're not valued; this is never a good form of change -- it's a change that is from without, forced on you, that happens because of the fear of loss or the lack of acceptance.

Antony has, and so I have, changed since I've known Mistress. But this is a good sort of change. It's change that has come from within, which has been encouraged by her, which has been a natural evolution of me because I've become part of a wonderful and deeply important partnership. I've discovered things about myself, I've found I take great delight in things and modes of dress that I'd never considered before. There's no question that they have arisen because they're Mistress' interests, but she has never forced or coerced me into them. They have happened because of the sheer joy of pleasing someone you love and who reciprocates and appreciates that.

On the right, as I look at the photo, I see a me who made do with things, who had no plans, who was simply doing what he'd always been doing and wasn't really going anywhere. On the left I see a me that I'm proud to be. At that moment I was locked in an outfit that I'd put together to please Mistress and I felt -- really felt -- that I was wearing it with pride and a deep sense of joy that it made her happy too. I would still be wearing it to please her (and so delight myself) even without the RLV fun involved.

It's easy to say "it's just pixels"; too easy, in fact. What you see above is a virtual expression of who I am now, what is important to me, how I see myself and what excites me.

It's not just the heels that make Antony a little taller...

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