Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sex in Second Life

  Sex is God’s joke on human beings.

Bette Davis

          There!  I have your attention now!  OK, don’t worry this isn’t one of those phony leaders that brings you in on the pretence of sex and then switches to an infomercial about reverse mortgage financing for your home. Although, I will only skirt with the edges of being “That Sort of Blog” as Glorf Bulmer would call it. 

          But as Significant Other observed while we discussed this story, it’s funny all that’s represented by just three simple letters. “Dog” or “cat” just doesn’t seem to bring out the same reactions or emotions.  (For all those true animal lovers out there, I apologize if I have offended.) 

          So when we talk about sex in Second Life (SL) what are we really talking about? IMHO, we’re talking about cyber sex.  Which essentially is people from Real Life (RL) going onto the Web, or, in this case, SL, and having a merry old time with each other through the magic of the keyboard.  (Although, web cams and microphones combined with affordable Skype access have upset many traditionalists.)

          Cyber sex has many advantages, no commitment (rumored to be mainly a guy thing), anonymity (great for all those doing things they say they would never do in RL), no risk of pregnancy, and, finally, no chance of getting one of those difficult-to-explain-to-existing-partners STD’s (I’m not including computer viruses or phishing scams here).  Oh, and, it’s a lot less messy, at least on the cyber end. 

          Then there are the disadvantages of cyber sex.  Is that hot sexual partner really who they say they are?  Are all those unemployed nineteen year old community college drop-outs living in their parents’ basements outside of Detroit really all in World of Warcraft?  (I’ll bet that last line stops a few folks in their tracks and makes them reconsider!)  Then maybe one party may record playtime and post it to You Tube or some other social media for all eternity to see (although probably only if it’s a really outstanding performance), RL partners may take a dim view of these activities (anyone remember John Wayne Bobbitt?), and some argue that the depersonalization and narcissism involved here are unhealthy in the long run (can’t wait to see the late twenty-first century).

          Now, in case you’re wondering where I’m going with this public service announcement concerning cyber sex and sex in SL specifically, here’s my point.  I’d been going under the assumption that sex in SL was premised on its simplicity and risk free nature offset the disadvantages for the risk takers among us.  The thinking being that what happens in SL stays in SL. 

          Well, guess what?  Things aren’t that simple in SL.  (Actually, the longer I write this blog the more I realize just how complicated SL is and how it can further complicate an already complicated RL.) 

          During my wanderings in SL, I’ve found that residents go looking for complications in their SL lives.  For instance, birth control can be found inworld.  For women wishing to simulate their biologic clocks in SL, they can.  From the uncertainty of whether or not they’re pregnant to the full nine month term (with Lamaze pose balls if needed) ending in a birthing scene, it’s all there.   

          At the Mama Allpa Mainstore,  I found a cottage industry dedicated to this whole natal process including certified doctors and midwives.  Oh, and if anyone is shopping for pregnancy test kits in SL, they can be found here.

          Then in my travels, I came across condoms (tintable or flavored if so desired) and Viagra.  Who knew?    

          OK, I don’t know about you but I’m thrown by this.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not criticizing or judging anyone.  But why do residents go to all this trouble and realism?  At what point would it just be easier to stay in RL with its troubles?  I get the sex toys and genital jewelry displayed alongside the condoms.  But why bring into SL objects that are considered by many in RL to be inconveniences? 

          Anecdotally in RL, I’m told that it’s difficult enough to get guys to use condoms.  In SL, where there is no apparent need for them (and if I’m wrong here, someone please correct me) why are they offered?  How many men freely admit to using Viagra in RL except for former Senator Bob Dole?  I would have thought we’d have scripts for ED by now. 

          Maybe I’m missing something about the potential for role playing here.  Or, maybe there’re some scripters who are just challenged by the need to create whatever they can inworld.  (If they have that much time on their hands, I ask that they contact me for a list of needed SL enhancements.) 

          I haven’t had a chance yet to meet either the retailers or users of these products and services but I’ll be searching them out and come back with an update later.  I suspect I’ll have some interesting stories to relate! 

As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Glorf Bulmer said...

I can see the appeal of realism, sometimes... it's not a level of realism I'd care to go into myself, but I can understand it, I think.

After all, my avatar never gets tired, or hungry, either, right? Yet my bed has sleeping options, as well as Not That Sort Of Blog options... you can get a drink, at least, at every parcel of land I own, and the majority of them offer solid food as well... I'm even thinking of redesigning my main inworld "home" so that I can put in a full-featured bathroom. There's no need for any of it, but I like to have it, for the sake of my own sense of immersion in SL.

Then, there are different attitudes to sex... and attitudes to SL sex can be a lot different. I can see people going in for flavoured condoms and Viagra simply for the humour element. (There are people who take cybersex incredibly seriously, and others who think of it as a bit of a laugh... and, even, some people who do both. Such products could well appeal to members of that last group!)

Lindal Kidd said...

/me snickers at the wicked and possibly unintentional double entendre about dogs, cats, and the people who love them in an article about sex.

/me wonders about humanity after a Marketplace search on "condom" turns up 212 hits.

And /me agrees completely with Miss Bulmer's observations. One could say "why bother with a virtual world at all? Why have never rains. Why have's never cold." At one level or another, it's ALL simulation, all props. Different people have different opinions on the point at which the simulation of reality stops being fun and starts being merely tedious.

For example, I have a working bathroom in my SL home, and a bar, and furniture...but no kitchen.

webspelunker said...


Thank you! You are as practical as always! Yes, everyone has their own reasons for being inworld and different things that are important to them. I'm never ceased to be amazed by the variety of what these things are and how they are expressed in SL.



webspelunker said...


Thank you for commenting! The double entendre was unintentional! I also hadn't realized there were so many condoms available on the Marketplace. I'd just cherry picked a handful. And, I take your point, to each her or his own in SL!