Akaesha ‘s Aurora IDX 6.0 Bed — 1250 positions, L$5199
Akaesha is a retail empire, producing some of the best products available in Second Life. Known for their quality and innovation and the unparalleled service she provides, she makes everything from houses to shoes, avatars to furniture. Akaesha is consistently on the cutting edge of SL’s interactive technology, coming up with new concepts and applications that put her in the top tier of SL manufacturers. Her beds are a bit pricey, but you’re getting a lot of reliability and innovation for your money. The only question is, are her beds right for you?
Akaesha’s beds use her proprietary IDX engine, which they claim is one of the fastest-loading and stable engines around, although in comparison with other engines, we didn’t notice any particular differences. The IDX engine was the first (as far as we know) to provide the option of playing long, sustained sex scenes called, “Moments,” composed of individual animations strung together to present a complete love-making vignette that lasts several minutes, and that feature’s contained in this bed. It’s a nice feature for when your hands might be too occupied to handle the mouse, or when you just feel like watching.
The IDX engine also has Akaesha’ proprietary “Multi-Swap” capability, which makes changing positions during group sex easier and less confusing, they say. A nice feature, we’re sure, but we don’t do a lot of groups so we didn’t try it out. It probably wouldn’t be one of the top ten things we look for in a bed anyhow.
Updates don’t come free with the IDX engine, either. You have to pay :$1799 to buy a lifetime update subscription, which isn’t cheap.
Akaesha’s Main Menu is kind of built in reverse , with the utility buttons Reset and Help appearing in the top row of the main menu. Below these are more utilities: Accessories, Multi-Swap, and Options, and then in the third row you get to Moments (which leads to a submenu containing the extended-length animations mentioned above), Cozy (leading to the Cuddle submenu), and a Massage menu. The last row comprises Relax, Foreplay, and Intimate.
The Accessories button leads to a submenu where you can choose from ten environmental effects , from purple steam to glowing balls or showers of hearts. This submenu also lets you receive built-in toys: two sets of cuffs (metal or silk), a male penis (wearable by either sex), a double dildo, a strap-on, a whip, and a ball gag.
The Accessories Menu also has bound and unbound buttons that, when used with the supplied cuffs, will chain an avatar to the bed and keep him/her bound through all the subsequent animations, something we haven’t seen on any other bed.
To our way of counting, though, neither environmental effects nor chains count as real animations, so we don’t count these in our tally.
There are 12 long-duration animations in the Moments submenu, which we’ll discuss in the Animation Quality section. Cozy, which in Akaesha’s Cuddles menu, leads to 10 snuggle animations, plus a unique Rez Blanket command that produces a blanket over the bed, beneath which the lovers can cuddle, sleep, or make love using any of the bed’s other animations. The blanket’s a bit crude and tent-like, but it’s really a rather nice touch that does a lot to enhance feelings of closeness and coziness Akaesha seems to like so much.
The blanket also lets Akaesha double her animation count, since one position can be counted as two: with blanket or without. We don’t count that way, though.
The Massage button leads to a submenu with 10 nice swappable massage animations. Calculating up the total for the Accessories, Moments, Cozy, and Massage submenus, we get 32 animations.
Relax menus usually contain non-erotic animations that show the couple reading, or snacking, or watching television, and always seemed like filler to us. Akaesha offers 11 animations in the Relax menu, and they could all easily qualify as cuddles. They’re close, warm, and intimate, and 9 of the 11 involve full-body contact. No one’s watching TV or eating here. These people are lovers all the way.
Foreplay has 11 very nice foreplay animations, again, most involving a lot of body contact, and then you have the bulk of the sexual animations listed under Intimate.
Pressing the Intimate button takes you to a submenu containing 11 categories: (A) 3-some (11 animations), (B) 4-some (11 animations), (C) girl-girl (11 anims), (D) Bondage (11 anims), (E) Fetish (4 animations), (F) BDSM (9 animations), (G) Oral (11), (H) Kinky (11) , (I) Hardcore (11), (J) Ride (11), and (K) Anal (8). That’s 119 animations.
The way we count it, that’s 173 different animations. (Again, we stress that we don’t count Effects, or the extended length of the 12 Moments anmations.) For a L$5199 bed, that comes out to L$30.05 per animation.
Animation Variety: Akaesha’s IDX 6.0 bed provides about as complete a sexual experience as you could ask for. The cuddles in the Cozy menu take you nicely from first kiss through the hungry desperation of full-body frottage, from where you can swing seamlessly to the Foreplay Menu for some more intimate action, and then on to the cornucopia of possibilities under the intimate heading. The positions and acts are original and erotic, and the bed includes almost anything you could ask for. One of the best balanced beds we’ve yet encountered in SL.
Animation Quality: We have to put a disclaimer here, because we’ve owned and used (and thoroughly enjoyed) more than a few Akaesha products over the past several years, so some of the animations might have lost some of their freshness and novelty. On the other hand, our long familiarity with them gives us a certain insight into things that might not be apparent at first to the new buyer.
As in most beds, the animations seem to be a mixture of new and old, and while the newer ones are quite erotic and nuanced, some of the older ones seem make their origins as crude back-and-forth loops a little too obvious. Overall, the animations are quite arousing and erotic enough to provide a very satisfying sexual experience, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say that there’s something just a bit disappointing about them too. Too often they have a touch of a mechanical, clock-work feel to them, a monotony of rhythm that kind of dampens the excitement. Facial expressions seem limited to two, a neutral look and a mouth-open look of excitement, and they alternate with metronomic regularity.
The result of all this is that the emotional range of the bed is limited. Tenderness and loving affection seem to be the themes, and you won’t find any way to express wild abandon, or the violent excitement that precedes orgasm. If your partner cries, “Harder! Faster! Deeper” during sex on this bed, you’re going to have a hard time finding an animation that satisfies her.
On the other hand, when it comes to cuddling and closeness and the expressing of affection through sex, this is one of the best beds we’ve tried.
Our dissatisfactions were maybe best exemplified by the animations included in the Moments menu. Extended-play animations are a great idea, but these almost seem to achieve duration by a kind of Einsteinian slowing of time. Caresses and gestures occur at a snail’s pace, and we soon lost patience with animations we tried.
Overall Impressions: All in all, this is an excellent bed, but maybe not the most exciting one. For general all-around sexual purposes, reliability and variety, it’s one of the best. It’s pricey, though, and the technology is a bit dated.