[...] FFXI has a race that is primarily eye-candy; the Mithra cat-girls (only females are playable), who also have the unfortunate inability to wear pants except for in a few job choices. The first character I played was of that race, and people tended to assume I was male—and still do, even though I’m now playing a Hume female (whom I recently realized, to my dismay, isn’t wearing pants at the moment, either—her boots were tall enough that I couldn’t see the skin between them and her tunic).
I also play a mithra in Final Fantasy XI. I picked the race over two years ago, when US retail was released, for the statistics. I wanted to be a thief, and mithras have the highest agility and dexterity in the game. Plus, I thought they were cute.
I used to play with a male partner who also played a female character, the asexual tarutaru. He usually found players for us to group with and set up missions, but in actual battle I was the one taking charge, barking out orders, and scolding people for being wankers. His character was a white mage, and especially when I started tanking people always assumed I was the “man in the relationship.” I was perceived as an anomaly, playing the protective, sexy meat-shield while he was the nurturing healer.
I only play occasionally now, and with no offline friends, and encounter (or just am more attentive) to flirty behavior. “Hey, that’s cool a girl plays this game,” or the more noxious, “Be a good kitty and I’ll give you some cat-nip.” I guess I’m not entirely free of internalized feelings of being nice and agreeable, so I don’t always feel like being “bitchy” and reminding these guys I am not playing FFXI to meet someone to date (although I probably should). Instead, I draw an arrow < — towards my name and write “manthra”, which is slang for a man playing a mithra. I’m usually left alone, after a response like, “Aww, it figures.”