My year of virtual sex

Source: Ladoga

You’d think a perfectly attractive woman would have no reason to try virtual sex. You’re wrong. I’m not talking about Skype-fucks or sexting. I’m talking about the world of Second Life, a digital world where you can be anyone or anything you want.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Not many people remember Second Life. It’s still here. The avatars have gotten way better. Sure, your base avi still looks like something from the late 90s. But if you buy the right shape and hair, you can look pretty hot. Some vendors even sell photo-realistic skins.

By the end of my 20s, I was burned out on relationships. I’d gone on hundreds of dates, endured countless breakups, and had my fill of one-night stands. But the body still desires. The body never stops wanting.

Second Life gave me a way of going on extra-low investment “dates.” Bars, night clubs, dance parties, raves. You could do all of that in a virtual safe space. Cheap, anonymous, reliable as your wifi connection.

For a broke PhD student, a virtual escape meant everything to me. I’d practically maxed out my credit card on scholarly books, journal subscriptions, academic conferences, dinners, dates, parties, and nights out. My bank account couldn’t take any more.

Neither could my soul. Before turning virtual, I’d broken up with someone after a disastrous one-year engagement. Excuse? He was seriously hot. Kissing him was a lot of fun. At first, it seemed fine that he lived with his parents and only worked part-time. But 11 months later, nothing had changed except the excuses.

I’m hard-pressed to pinpoint a catalyst for the breakup. For starters, he flirted with other girls to make me jealous. He made fun of my writing. He bragged about his intellectual superiority. He constantly compared me to his mom. In short, so many reasons.

It just goes to show how much you can get away with if you have a six pack. Thank god I found some dignity lying around somewhere.

Okay, let’s be honest. I met someone else, who also had a six-pack and was way nicer and more successful. But that’s when it hit me.

Some people with flat tummies are just immature assholes.

A flat tummy doesn’t mean you’re an acceptable life partner. Even if someone looks fantastic in jeans, they might be bad for you.

Such a revelation.

Besides, dating him was expensive. We did long distance for a while. So I would drive down (gas money) and then have to pay for a hotel (ugh). Because making out at his parents’ house was just weird. His dad was unemployed, so he was always there. And he would always try to tell us stories about his sexual conquests from the days of yore.

Compared to that, Second Life all but sparkled. There, you can pretend to live the life you always wanted. You can buy a stunning cocktail dress and a mansion and a stable full of unicorns for a fraction of a fraction of the real world cost. You can hook up with an Elvin prince who owns a condo and a dozen time-traveling sports cars, a hot tub time machine, a fairy dust sauna, a home theater, and a bed the size of a pool.

The best part? If a guy starts to irritate you on Second Life, you can just teleport to a different night club with a click of your mouse. You’ll never have to see him again. No more awkward rides home in his car. No more excuses for why he can’t come inside. No fear of sexual assault.

So Second Life offered the perfect solution to a burned out pseudo-millennial with severe, douche-induced commitment issues.

Let’s imagine I meet a guy who’s great at conversation and an excellent dancer. But after 20 minutes, he starts talking too much about his ex-girlfriend. In the real-world, my night is just fucking ruined. But in Second Life, I can just type “Bye!” and then poooof.

The night is young! Who’s next?

It’s like Tinder, if you never have to leave your house.

Of course, one night a bunch of us did get attacked by a swarm of flying penises. To be honest, that was kind of exciting. It felt like a cross between a porno and a Hitchcock horror flick.

Hitchcock cock. Get it?

Anyway, virtual sex worlds also helped me explore latent dimensions of my sexuality. Second Life still enjoys a hopping adult world, full of magical sex realms. Everything from secluded fantasy islands to filthy sex dungeons. Wanna get fucked by a gargoyle with a whip?

Live your dreams, girl.

Every few nights, I’d try something new. Choking, spanking, fairy tales, flogging, subordination, dominatrix.

One guy convinced me to help him explore his urination fetish. We went to a party held in a mansion that was half art museum, half bathroom. Porcelain commodes everywhere, in different styles. Many resembled sculptures.

As guests, we could pee practically anywhere. Many of the rooms offered special sex animations. People watched me and my partner pee on each other between brief interludes of love-making.

You can also role-play. Vampires, werewolves, wizards. Whatever your fancy. Entire worlds exist that cater to your every desire. Many of the communities in these places take role-play very seriously. I was actually kicked out of one for cracking a joke.

Courtship still happens on Second Life. Sorry, pervs. But real girls don’t just show up and fuck you. There still needs to be some form of connection. A little wooing. Just like in real life, guys with attractive and well-dressed avatars got the most girls.

Sounds silly, right? But think about it. Here I am, investing some real time and effort into developing an avatar that resembles the real me. That shit doesn’t come easy. It required some research and a whole lotta shopping. My clothes came in actual bags that I had to unpack. Second Life shops even provide us with dressing rooms to try on clothes.

Hey, I even had a girl squad on Second Life. We’d trade stories and jokes about people we met online. At dance clubs, we had a whole private back channel to gossip about what was going on.

Every night, a handful of weirdos would show up with a newbie avatar, mottled skin, sometimes naked. They would come up to me and say shit like, “You want to sex with me?”

That kind of behavior gets you arrested in the real world. In Second Life, it gets you ignored or mocked. Some realm hosts will kick guys who show up naked. Others don’t. So sometimes you’ll see a thriving dance scene with one or two sad, naked avatars wandering between groups trying to solicit. Once, someone offered me $500 to Skype with him.

That’s right, real world money for video sex.

I said no. But it could’ve happened. I’m not even sure if I would’ve been breaking a law. He offered to pay me in Linden Dollars, which I could convert into cash.

Don’t judge me, but I did engage in digital prostitution. Second Life frequently looks the other way. You can find all kinds of dark corners here. For me, it was way less about the money. All about the thrill. I was binge watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl and desperately wanted to pretend to be an escort. In real life, that introduces all kinds of anxieties and risks. Professionals learn how to navigate all that. But I just wanted a taste.

So I spent some time in virtual red light districts.

Role-playing as a prostitute gave me almost endless joy. If you know me at all, you know I do nothing half-assed. My role-play had high expectations. I acquired a separate wardrobe with lingerie and sex toys. I built a flat of my own with an animated sex bed and boudoir. I even vetted my jons. If someone didn't’ behave, I gave them the boot. Anyone who just wanted a 10-minute masturbation session left disappointed.

Great role-play partners weren’t always easy to come by. A handful of partners had the literacy skills to keep up with me. Those were keepers. We kept each other on contact lists.

What’s the moral lesson here, if any? A certain stigma surrounds people who spend a significant part of their lives in virtual worlds. We need to stop judging. Sure, I’ve found my real life relationships ultimately more fulfilling. Even the bad ones. Once, I tended to judge people for spending too much time online, before Second Life. Now I understand.

My plunge into virtual reality lasted about a year. For six months, I was hardcore into it. My time in that world lasted about 2–3 hours on weekdays, maybe 5–6 on weekends.

Why did I quit? The whole time, I kept one leg in the real-world. My job never suffered. I still socialized on occasion. Eventually, I emerged from my virtual cocoon ready to engage with people again. That’s exactly what I think virtual spaces offer to people. A cocoon. You’re still social, maybe indirectly. Whether it’s Second Life or World of Warcraft, that beats the hell out of locking yourself in your room and avoiding human contact altogether. The real world can be a cruel place. Never feel ashamed for taking a step back.