What has been your experience with "virtual" hobbying?
A couple days ago I was reading The Economist and came across a article about this online virtual world called Second Life. I'd never entered one of these cyber-worlds, but the article made this one seem interesting.
Basically, you sign up and get an avatar (which is a human figure that you control). This particular cyberworld is not devoted to anything. There is no aim and no competition. Inside, a virtual world has developed with a virtual economy (you can set up a business that earns in-world dollars that are convertible to US dollars). Wandering around, I attended a cafe where a live music show was going on (the musician's voice was being streamed in), a poetry reading and a Buddhist temple.
The no-rules approach of the developers of this world has also led to the development of a vibrant sex industry. I typed in "escorts" and got a long list, with prices raging from L$50 to L$1000 for an hour (that's in the in-world currency, which is about $L1000 to US$4) . There were also a couple dozen massage parlours, including one Asian massage parlour. I went to a stripclub, but there were only a couple girls dancing and no customers. Anyway, I didn't have any money for a lapdance and even if I had, it would have been a waste since I haven't yet purchased a custom-made penis. (I could get a vagina, but even in the cyber-world I tend to be very attached to the idea of having a penis.)
Apparantly, sex is performed when both avatars touch a "pose-ball" that sets them in motion in a preset position. So I guess there are doggy-style pose-balls, missionary-style pose-balls, BJ pose-balls, and so on. I can't imagine that you need to worry about condoms is the virtual world. Once the avatars are in motion, the avatar owners need only communicate in text.
It sounds kind of dry, doesn't it? But actually, there were a couple really hot avatars at this art-auction I went to that I would love to get into....that is, when I get my penis.
One thing that bothers me is this: how do I know that the cute little Asian avatar that I'm humping isn't being controlled by a 250-lb oilfield worker in Calgary, or even Kazahkstan?. Would that make me gay? I have to admit, the whole idea of having sex with a female avatar that belongs to a guy really creeps me out.
Anyway, I googled "Second Life" and "how to make a penis", figuring I could save a few bucks by doing it myself (uh, that is, making my own penis), when I stumbled across another virtual world that is devoted more specifically to sex. It's called Red Light Center. Like Second Life, you get an avatar when you go in. Avatars already have their own genitals, so you don't have to worry about penis-shopping. Inside, there are clubs, massage parlours, discos, strip-clubs, dungeons and so on. The controls for sexual interaction are much more detailed than in Second Life, so you can switch back and forth between positions, make intimate gestures and caress your partner in a seamless fashion. Apparently it takes a bit of practice to become good at it, so there are fleshbots, which are basically robots with which you have sex and practice your moves.
I liked the wide-open nature of Second Life. You can find almost any cultural, discussion or sexual activity that your would expect to find in the real world, and then some. As I said, Red Light Center is more focused on sexual activity. In Red Light Center, the avatars are much more lifelike, but they can't really be customized, unlike in Second City.
Has anybody ever entered these worlds? If so, what has been your experience? Also, do you find any value in "virtual sex"? Do you think it is good for humanity, or bad?
Last edited by Fat Happy Buddha; 10-01-2006 at 08:01 PM.
There was a soft-core porno flick called Virtual Vegas, about a hot blonde computer programmer (that's an oxymoron) who makes a sex fantasy machine.
The movie Strange Days also touched upon this.
Until someone makes the Star Trek Holodeck, I guess I'll have to stick with Internet Porn and my right hand.
Has anyone tried the sex toys like a penis pump or the Fleshlight?