Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thoughts on Sex in Second Life

January’s issue will focus on Sex. Sex is such a loaded topic, no matter where you come from or from what viewpoint you look at it from. Critics of Second Life have said that sex is so rampant, but isn’t it like that in real life too? Second Life just seems to show it more explicitly, because SL is mainly about images and sound. In real life, you can see and feel sex all around you…in magazines, in store catalogs, on billboards on the street or in the mall, in TV commercials, on the radio, and especially in movies. I’ve even heard that there are some people who always think about sex in their every waking moment, perhaps it’s always on their mind when they sleep as well.

The other night I was conversing with a young man about his experience on Second Life. He says that he prefers to consider it a game. When I asked him why he said that it was his way of not taking things too seriously in SL, a way to protect himself from getting hurt as he has been in real life. I’m sure he’s not the only one who calls SL a game for that reason. So now, there is this game element, which I want to examine here.

If SL is a game, why do people get hurt so easily? Why do some people avoid sex on SL, after all it’s “just pixels” and it’s “just a game”? From my experience and from what I’ve heard from people I know, people can get seriously hurt on here, even if it’s not really us on the screen. It’s like online dating except with a myriad of things to do and see. You spend time getting to know people, you start feeling close to them, and eventually without knowing it, you come to expect things from them like honesty, trust, or a relationship, just to list a few of the things anyone can expect. When they don’t deliver any of those expectations, we feel disappointed or devastated.
What does this all have to do with sex? Well just like real life, SL sex can complicate relationships and friendships. Some people think that just because they have had sex, they’re an exclusive couple. However, others do not see it like that. Others think it’s a game and they have SL sex with many people on a constant basis. It’s nothing serious, right?
So what should one do? Here’s my advice for those who want to just have fun and avoid the nasty drama:

Avoid drama llamas or drama mamas, those people create drama like rain; they can call it up at will and make it sprinkle or pour like crazy.

Don’t enter into a relationship if you feel like the other person really wants a serious, steady, exclusive relationship. Usually serious relationships don’t work in SL and there will be much pain later on. Save yourself the heartache and headaches, dare to be free and always be happy with how you are. If you feel really good as you are, stay with the status quo.

My last piece of advice is to remember why you’re here (Who’s here for the drama? Very few, I think)….have fun!

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