Michele and Wendell dated outside the game and apparently broke up badly. They talk about the strangeness of being together inside the game now, but they chose to play this season knowing that the other one would be there. This isn’t like an episode of “This Is Your Life” where random people from your past are sprung on unsuspecting players.
Michele and Wendell talked about whether their physical intimacy would impact how they play the game together. Would they be able to keep the game separate from their past romance? This issue comes up in regular society as well. Can romantic partners have “normal” interactions after the romance is over, as if the romance had never occurred? Some people claim this shouldn’t be difficult, and that they and others have been able to do it. I certainly can’t speak for everyone’s experiences, but although it’s ideal to remove romantic biases when a couple still needs to interact, it seems possibly delusional to think that all romantic aftereffects can be excised. The importance of sex and intimacy in animal minds seems too strong to not have some consequences.
Many of these people seem to base their claim on a belief that sex and physical intimacy are “really” just like any other activity that people can do together. That emotions of jealousy, love, or guilt don’t have to be associated with sex, and that they don’t feel those emotions about sex themselves. However, most of these people are clearly not telling the truth. To anyone who makes this claim, I simply ask: “So you don’t think sexual assault is different from other types of assault? You think rape should be prosecuted the same as beating someone up?” I suspect that almost no one would agree with that, which means that these people don’t actually think sex and physical intimacy are the same as any other activity. They’re just rationalizing their own sexual choices because they don’t like feeling negative emotions. I suppose in that respect, though, sex really is just like any other activity.