Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life VII - Naked in Second Life

Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.

C. S. Lewis

          If you’re this far into my story then you’re probably looking for another one of my stories about being naked in Second Life (SL).  (I do seem to be developing something of a specialty in that regard.) 
          Well, you’re half right.  I will talk about being nude in SL but this story is also about a nudist sim inworld that oddly enough happens to be called “Naked”.  Believe it or not, until just recently no one has been using that as a sim name in SL.  A couple of enterprising folks, one of whom is an old hand at nude resorts came across this fact and appropriated the name for themselves.
          The old SL hand is The Cat.  (Formerly known as Cat Lassally.) She is the designer behind Naked which opened in January 2013.  She was also the original designer behind Bare Naked Angels (BNA), another highly regarded SL nudist resort which closed recently after new owners had taken it over from Cat (as she is known to her friends). 
          I was referred to Cat by her business partner in Naked, Devorax.  I ran into him while researching Naked for a possible story.  (Tough work but someone has to do it, these stories don’t write themselves.)  I later met Cat and we agreed to meet later for an interview.
          When the time for our interview arrives, I TP into Naked and join Cat at a bar for our session.  (Yes, we’re both naked.  Naked has a strict nudity policy.  These are the things I do for my readers who are too shy to go walkabout in their birthday suits on their own.) 
          We begin with my asking Cat why she started and then left BNA.  Her motivation was that Wild Coast, another highly popular SL nudist resort, wouldn’t let her wear shoes even if she was otherwise déshabillé.  (Rules are rules after all.)  Cat couldn’t find any decent SL feet (Cat’s actual word is that Linden feet are “ugly”.)  at that time and couldn’t see how she could let the wonderful fact that SL was the only place where stilettos wouldn’t sink in the sand go to waste.  I learn that the woman is an entrepreneurial pragmatist. 
          So, BNA was born.  By coincidence, I’d been to BNA many times (Like I said, somebody has to do it.)  hoping to do a story.  It was a beautiful, little nudist sim with a tropical island motif and very friendly people.  I made many friends there.  There was a sexual component but it wasn’t overt and threatening like some sims are unfortunately. Cat couldn’t make the tier payments (A story I hear too often these days.)  Others offered to make the payments which meant they had to take the place over and Cat had to get out of the way.  She packed up her shoes and left which was a horrible experience for her. 
           Being the stalwart person that she is, Cat soon found herself talking about her next project inworld which would become Naked with a neighbor, Devorax, in Eden who became good friends with her.  She describes him as “the generous spirit behind the whole thing.” 
          Cat describes Naked as a chance to make BNA again, or something like it, and she does adore making places like this.  She adds we all have an idea in our heads of what would be the loveliest place in SL and we look for it, and probably never find it, and she was really lucky and had a chance to make my dream sim and and here it is - two of them!
          Cat had noticed that there's a real shortage of classy nudist places in SL. She finds Kaiya's sims (Wild Coast and Turtle Coast) to be lovely, as is Lupe’s Magic Forest  and Teresa Korhonen's Naked Dreams sim.  These are all lovely, but most nude beaches are so tacky and Cat wanted BNA and Naked to be elegant and pretty.  She smiles as she tells me this.
Right from the start Cat and Devorax kept the rules very liberal and the idea was just to let people enjoy the sim.  Visitors can be ejected and banned for two reasons only (other than age-play, which would have them abuse-reported as well). These were refusal to be naked or being rude.  (Shoes, of course, are permitted along with hats, jewelry, and wings.  Bikini bottoms are also permissible if someone really wants them.) These were her guiding principles at BNA and have been continued at Naked.  If someone is rude or impolite then Cat'll ban them.  (She will, I’ve see her do it.) 
Recently, a neighboring sim was acquired and is now known as Naked West. The sim has more of a natural look about it and utilizes skyboxes more than Naked does. 
Naked and Naked West are feminine sims Cat explains to me. She feels that so many sims are designed for boys to use women as property. Cat uses the Gorean concept as an example.  (Definitely not one of her favorite lifestyles inworld.)  But Naked is really for men who like women.  That may sound obvious, but Cat believes it really isn’t.  She continues that lots of men ‘like’ women, but only as sexual objects, and Naked is really designed for the guys who like to spend time with women, who like chatting with them and know that the quickest way to their heart is to make them laugh.  Certainly a very healthy outlook!   Cat wants men who really like women. Not the men who see women as merely sexual conveniences. 
Cat also became really fascinated by the SL art-scene along the way which is so vibrant, but sort of not really well known, so with Devorax's help she put together a collection of original art-works and they're scattered all around the sim. She hopes people who come here will see them and perhaps go and buy some for themselves.  (Supporting artists and sim operators is important.  I encourage my readers when they can to either purchase from original creators or contribute to the upkeep of sims that they enjoy.  This is my public service announcement.) 
Finally, Cat adds that it is a sex-sim, of course!  Naked has “LOTS” of toys and she surmises that's why most people will come. Interestingly, she doesn't think nude sims are the sexiest in SL. When Cat wants to be “sexy-sexy” she will wear clothes. (Isn’t that the way it is in RL too?) For her, nudist sims are places to meet and there's a sort of bare honesty about it she explains. Cat loves seeing people making love all over the sim and thinks of it as a place to meet and make friends above all. She believes if  people are given a classy and elegant sim then they'll behave in a classy and elegant manner. That's her hope, anyway!
          Cat asks that visitors be kind, be respectful and be polite!  She and Devorax are trying to make Naked into an elegant, tranquil and slightly naughty resort, so they don't want it spoiled by boorish behavior. 
          Naked itself has an imposing sense of grandeur somewhat akin to the classical civilizations in the ancient Mediterranean world.  Cat uses off the shelf scripts to build her sims wishing that she could code.  Still, the effect created is very unique and does not have a déjà vu feel about it which sometimes occurs in other cookie cutter sims.  The underground caves in Naked West have to be visited.
           I’d like to thank Cat for her time and candor in answering my questions.  She has done a magnificent job in constructing and managing Naked. For anyone looking for a classy nude experience in SL, I strongly recommend Naked.  (Please don’t hold it against them because they let me in.  Freedom of the press, you know!) 
          I’ve included several photos (No, no nude people!  I’m still not that kind of blog.) of Naked from a recent visit. My puny efforts do not do Naked justice and it has to be seen for itself.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll run into me there! 
          Also, I mentioned a few other nudist resorts and I plan to visit them for more stories.  So keep an eye on the Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life series for my future visits to these nudist resorts! 
 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.

Photo No. 1 Cat

Photo No. 2 Devorax

Photo No. 3 Building I

Photo No. 5 Artwork I

Photo No. 6 Artwork II

Photo No. 7 Building III

Photo No. 8 Piano Room

Photo No. 9 Beach View

Photo No. 10 Building IV

Photo No. 11 Obelisk

Photo No. 12 Coastal Ruins

Photo No. 14 Sunrise


Friday, March 29, 2013

Seven Second Life Facts about Me

The only thing I ask is, don’t judge me (or at least just do it quietly in your head)! :P

Strawberry Singh

            Recently, I came across a blog post by Strawberry Singh where she listed seven facts about herself in Second Life (SL) and challenged other SL bloggers to add links to their own seven SL facts.  So, here are mine:

            My SL Fact #1:
            My name, webspelunker, was created by me because of my love of going into the dark, unknown places off the Grid. 

            My SL Fact #2:
            I’m in the midst of a stalled personal makeover.

            My SL Fact #3:
            My favorite pastime is exploring new sims and meeting new people.

            My SL Fact #4:
            My single, biggest regret since arriving inworld is not yet learning how to script. 

            My SL Fact #5:
            I’m always testing my limits inworld and anything is fair game. 

            My SL Fact #6:
            I’m always moving about which makes long term friendships difficult.  (A polite way of saying I can be a bad friend.) 

            My SL Fact #7:
            My base of operations is in Nowaki. 

            My thanks to Strawberry for a chance to share my facts with her readers!  Please check out the rest of her blog, it’s a great source about SL. 

 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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Why Am I Still in Second Life?

Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you.

Wally “Famous” Amos

          After almost two years in Second Life (SL) I’ve been thinking about why I’m still here lately.  Actually, a few people inworld have been asking me why. Not to mention Significant Other, who has been very supportive of my efforts but asks why and where do I go from here.  (Be warned, I talk a lot about myself in this story.) 
          My original reasons for traveling and blogging about SL were because I wanted to share with a larger audience my wanderings about the grid.  Why was I even on the grid in the first place?  Well, traveling about in Real Life (RL) is not an option for me as it once was.  (Significant Other expects me home on a regular basis and quite rightly insists on a forwarding address those few times that I do get about these days.)  Also, I’d read the blog of Bunky Snowbear who had tried to walk across the SL grid before giving up.  I thought to myself, “Why not?”
          That was then and this is now which causes me to rethink why I’m here.  (Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those hand wringing spiels where I announce I’m leaving SL.   I’m here to stay.  I’m only revisiting my reasons.) 
          As I’ve blogged before, I’ve learned a lot since coming inworld and a lot’s been happening.  Like making friends, folks like Perryn Peterson, Spec Belfire, and kimba are just four of many whom I’ve made. I can’t forget Janey Bracken and Hibiscus Hastings from my CNN iReports days.  (Several remain nameless to protect their privacy.  I seem to have gained a certain notoriety.  But, they still like to hang out with me!)  These are people whom I look for when I’m inworld and participate in events as part of communities.  Or, just chat and check in our respective SL’s.
          Communities are another reason that brings me back inworld. These are the groups of individuals who have come together inworld to socialize, create, and have a good time overall.  These communities come and go.  Sometimes, individuals just stop coming inworld and they’re missed.  There is that human urge to know what happened and why.  We can’t leave the story unfinished.  Sometimes, SL friends have RL issues and we talk. We want to reach out and help as best we can.  The barrier between SL and RL begins to blur.
          Then there’s what’s at the end of the road.  But, there never is a final destination in SL.  Curiosity is one of the impulses bringing me back.  (Significant Other likes to remind me that curiosity kills the cat.)  SL is not complete and never will be.  The only thing that SL can do is end and that unfortunately depends on the corporate whims of Linden Lab. 
          Finally, what happens next in SL keeps bringing me back inworld.  Who will be the new people I will meet?  Some who may not even be in SL yet.  What new places will I discover?  Again, maybe they haven’t even been built yet.  What new experiences could I have?  And trust me, I haven’t even scratched the surface here yet. 
          Like I wrote earlier, I’m staying inworld.  How long do I stay I don’t know.  But, in my RL, I tend to go the distance on projects that I start.  I plan to do the same here.  The unanswered question is when do I go into the Greater Metaverse and see what’s going on out there which was my original goal. 
            So, why am I still in SL?  Let’s just say I’m enjoying myself with my friends and looking forward to new friends, new journeys, and new experiences.  I love the uncertainty of not knowing what’s around the turn in the road. 
 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.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Identity in Second Life

Be true to yourself.


          Recently, I read Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?  (What?  Don’t you think I get serious sometimes?  Read the book, if you’re at all curious about how we may have gotten here.)  At about the same time, I read a post on CrankyBuddhist by kimba, a Second Life (SL) friend of mine, about being an avatar in SL. 
          All this got me thinking, which is about the time Significant Other leaves the room, about identity in SL and what it really means.  Throw in the excellent movie series, The Matrix and maybe you see where I’m going. 
          I’ve blogged before about what SL is, friendship, social life, sex, and a variety of other topics about the inworld community and what it means for individuals.  Today, I want to talk about identity in SL with this post. 
          Who are we in SL? Are we even anything in SL?  (There will be many unanswered questions in this story.)  Is this even a question worth considering? 
          Does our SL self exist apart from us?  Does she die as kimba asks in her post if we stop paying our Linden Lab fees?  Our Real Life (RL) selves come out of nothing and go off into nothing (I recognize there are a variety of opinions on the possibility of an afterlife, I’m avoiding that discussion for now.)  Is our avatar merely an extension of RL selves?  This gets heavy pretty quickly doesn’t it? 
          Let’s go the other way for a moment.  Does our SL self affect our RL selves?  Do we experiment with behaviors inworld before coming out and trying them in RL? 
          I’m going to push a little further here.  Is SL another, admittedly crude, extension of reality a la Matrix?  (I warned you.)  Or, is the Metaverse  itself that extension?  See where I’m going?  (Don’t worry if you don’t, Significant Other and many of my RL friends, there are some they just don’t like being publically outed as such, feel that I overthink these topics.)  Could our virtual selves be as real or another variation of our RL selves? 
          Another thought, how permeable is the barrier between SL and RL?  Yes, we can be in both at the same moment but can the barrier be brought down?  Could something like Google Glass someday merge the two where we could coexist in both worlds?  Could being in SL be no different than communicating with someone in another RL city via phone or texting?  (I know, you’re saying you’re overwhelmed as it is without your furry and vampire friends dropping into your reality from the Grid.) 
          I’ll leave it there for the moment.  I don’t have the answers.  After reading Jim Holt’s book, I’m not sure anyone does or ever will.  Maybe having the answers would remove all the fun of our existence whether virtual or real. 
          Please check out kimba’s CrankyBuddhist blog as well as artist-at-large her artistic website.  Both are well worth visiting. 
 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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saint Patrick’s Day in Second Life!

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.

Adrienne Cook

In my last blog post, I hinted about Perryn Peterson’s latest endeavor, a Saint Patrick’s Day Festival. Yes, Perryn has done it once again, created an environment in Second Life (SL) of another time and place from Real Life (RL). 
 After receiving an invitation from Perryn, I TP to his Saint Patrick’s Day Festival. He greets me with the old Irish greeting “Ceád Mile Fáilte!” or “A hundred thousand welcomes!” 
The terrain that greets me is outstanding.  As I turn around and look a the countryside, I feel I’m back in the Old Country.  (No, I’m not Irish but I’ve visited in RL and I can speak from experience.)  Perryn’s SL partner, Mike Olbracht, has outdone himself with the landscaping on this sim.  RL photos of Ireland have been artfully incorporated into the scenery.  This alone makes a trip here worthwhile. 
           A little artistic license has been taken because Roman ruins have been included in the background.  Perryn’s reasoning is that while the Romans never conquered Ireland (unlike several larger countries) they probably had a few trading posts.  (Whom am I to argue?) 
          We walk around the grounds.  Perryn cautions me to watch out for the leprechauns.  (Remember, if you catch one, he’ll give you his pot o’gold to get away.) 
          Merchants will occupy the large and small stalls offering their wares.  There will be the traditional mini-hunt with Lucky Shamrocks this time each worth $2L. 
          On the Village Green on pose balls where visitors, such as myself, can dance traditional Irish dances.  The Mieville’s weekly theme dance will be held here as well.  The pub, called The Green Man, is located here and one can imbibe Guiness and whiskey here.  (Try it, you’ll like it.) 
          The Saint Patrick’s Day Festival will be held from March 16th to 17th .
          I encourage everyone, especially the Irish, to drop by and hoist a few while enjoying the companionship.   Who knows?  You might find me dancing an Irish jig! 
          One final note, Perryn tells me that events like this won’t be repeated every year.  So, if you think you catch this one next year if you miss it now, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.  Hurry and check it out! 
Below are a few pictures of some the Saint Patrick’s Day Festival.  I hope you drop by and see more for yourself! 
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.

Photo No. 2 Perryn Peterson

Photo No. 3 The Rainbow!

Photo No. 5 Leprechaun

Photo No. 6 Another Rainbow

Photo No. 7 Roman Ruins

Photo No. 8 Irish Cottages

Photo No. 9 Merchants’ Lane

Photo No. 10 More Irish Countryside

Photo No. 11 The Green Man Pub

Photo No. 13 The Village Green


Saturday, March 9, 2013

STEAM 8 in Second Life!

With the catching ends the pleasure of the chase.

Abraham Lincoln

STEAM 8 is upon us! 
 Hard to believe that six months have passed since STEAM 7 , but it’s true, a new hunting season is upon us. 
          Just a quick recap, STEAM 8, a steampunk themed Second Life (SL) hunt runs from March 1st to 31st inworld.  As usual the Hunt has a subtheme to the main steampunk one.  This time it’s “The Lost World” honoring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  (He did write stories without Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.  Read it, it’s a great story.)  Participating merchants are incorporating this concept into their gifts to the hunters.   
          My good friend, Perryn Peterson, freed himself from his busy schedule to give me an update on STEAM 8 and another new project of his.  (More on this later.)  Perryn can’t believe that he’s up to the eighth STEAM event.  (Time does fly even inworld.) 
           Perryn happily announces that favorite, old merchants along with excellent, new ones will have their wares on display.  The old favorites include Gunther Berthold of Steampunk Works who has an incredible mini-hunt when hunters reach the final stage.  Oriolus Oliva of The Golden Oriole has his usual mystery waiting to be solved with hints and such like.  Noddington Schmooz’s trippy shop is back as well.  But these are just a few of the many others reprising their role as merchants. 
          New merchants joining the Hunt include Crosswired Deanimator of High Mobius Creations, Oma Infinity who has recently opened her shop, Art by Oma, in Mieville Poe has some interesting art work, and Miss Briony Juran owner of the Cog & Grog shop who shows off the work Arcadia Asylum.  Plus many more! 
Now for Perryn’s latest, new project which I can now announce.  Perryn will be celebrating St.  Patrick’s Day shortly.  Stay tuned for another story in my blog about this new festival! 
I want to thank Perryn for his time and assistance. I look forward to visiting with the hunters and merchants during the remainder of the Hunt.  So, remember!  STEAM 8 is already underway.  Please go and see the beautiful work prepared for it by the creators, meet the merchants and other hunters, and see all the work and effort that Perryn and his team have put into this spectacular and one of a kind event!
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.
Below are a few pictures of some of STEAM 8 and the Steampunk Museum.  I hope you drop by and see for yourself! 
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.

Photo No. 2 Perryn Peterson


Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Dirty, Little Secret of Second Life

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. 

Alfred Hitchcock

          OK, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably curious about what I’m referring to.  You may also be aware that I’ve written about sex, BDSM, nudity, trust, friendship, and loss in Second Life (SL).  So, you may be wondering what salacious material I’m about to spill. 
          Well, here it is.  You decide if it’s salacious enough.  Here goes. 
          The dirty, little secret of SL is drama.  Yes, drama. 
          Now, everyone may be wondering how I came to this conclusion.  It’s simple.  As I’ve been wondering across the Grid for almost two years now, I’ve been meeting many residents and visiting locations.  Many residents in their profiles indicate “No drama” as a consideration for getting together.  I’ve also seen sims and groups stating that drama is not permitted.
          So, what is drama inworld?  I have to admit I haven’t seen much myself but then I’ve  never met Abraham Lincoln  either but I’ve read more than a few books about him and I kinda sure he existed. 
          From what I’ve seen drama is about people acting out and torturing one another.  Sounds a lot like Real Life (RL) doesn’t it?  Something tells me this isn’t unique to SL. 
          Who’s involved?  From my unscientific survey it appears that almost anyone can be involved.  (I hope you didn’t think I was going to single out one particular group now, did you?  How dumb do I look?  Wait, don’t answer that!) 
          I have found accusations of drama in the fashion world, role playing, and vampire families to name but a few.  Some might argue that griefing  might be a form of drama.  So let’s say that pretty much anyone inworld can be a candidate for drama.  (Look the entire US Federal government might be accused of too much drama these days.) 
          Now let’s talk about this for a bit. 
          Is drama good or bad for SL?
          An argument could be made that drama inworld is healthy and normal.  Suspense is built around our activities and makes us want to come back to see what happens next.  Is this any different than an interactive form of RL reality TV? 
          Contrary arguments could be made that drama in SL is not healthy and we already have too much in RL.  The arguments could continue that the behaviors are meaningless and add no value to the SL experience.  Could these behaviors even drive people away and potentially hurt them. 
          Finally, does this even matter?  After all, it’s only a game some may argue.  There is also an argument that there are real people with real feelings behind all those avatars. Maybe it’s for the residents to decide.  After all, SL is a community. People vote with their feet.  If they don’t like a sim or a group of people, they’ll go elsewhere.  (Unless they’re masochists but that’s another story.) 
          For me, I always support healthy interaction among residents.  There are real people behind our avatars and we have to remember.  Maybe in role play where there are rules and expectations, drama can be expected.  Otherwise, in RL, I personally avoid poor behavior.  I would do the same in SL if I encountered it. 
          What do you think?  Please send your comments.  I’d love to hear them. 
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.