Is SL the Most Sexual Place On Earth?

That’s a pretty outrageous question, and requires a bit of explanation, and then a whole lot of justification. I mean, we all know there’s a lot of sex that goes on in Second Life. And I’m clearly biased, given the nature of my blagazine here, and how I spend my time in SL. But let me explain:

The other day I was looking for information on some weird new SL sexual activity or fetish I’d heard about–I forget now what it was–domme-breaking? X-ray sex? Something else? Who knows?–but I was idly searching through the various SL adult Groups when it suddenly struck me how insanely broad the sexual menu is here. You can enter almost any word into Search and set it for “Adult” results only and watch what pops up.

You get hits.

In fact, I couldn’t think of any sexual act, activity; kink, fetish, paraphilia or perversion; scene, setting, situation or (seemingly) species; dream, fantasy, myth or archetype, that wasn’t represented by some little Group here in 2ndLife. And at the same time, I could easily come up with any number of weird sexual practices that occur only in Second Life, and could not exist anywhere else.

So yeah: there’s a lot of sex here.

But still: “most sexual place on Earth”? What does that even mean? Forget for the moment that whether SL is really even a “place” is quite debatable. And forget also for now that I haven’t defined “sexual”, let alone “most sexual”. Let’s just concentrate on “Earth.”

The Earth  world includes the internet itself, this roiling caldera of porn and obscenity, and such pits of concentrated libido as the adult movie industry and the Miss Teen Universe Competition. Surely there’s more sex that goes on in those places than in Second Life, right? We all know that everyone who can get away with watching porn is pretty much sucking it down from the web like a blue whale sucks down krill. It’s common knowledge that it was porn that built the web, just like it was porn that had built the DVD market and the VCR before that.

But what makes SL the most sexual place to me is not the sheer, raw tonnage of sexuality that goes on here. It’s the variation: the experimentation and exploration, the creativity, weirdness, and imagination. It’s the way that Second Life seems to sexualize everything. It’s an expanding, inflating, overflowing cornucopia of eroticism.

And the reason is simple. You mix the human obsession with sex and love—certainly the strongest urges we have after our basic survival needs are met—with our mad and fervid imaginations, then put this mix in a setting of pure imagination, where we can defy the laws of nature and man to create whatever we want, and what you get is Second Life. It’s libido + imagination: a Petri Dish of sexuality, inoculated with a culture of crazy and creative people and set aside in a warm, dark place to ferment.

Certainly there are other things going on in SL, and art and design and– to a lesser extent now–business, get all the attention. Fashion/personal appearance is still the biggest segment of the real-dollar Second Life economy, but sex & love is second. And what is fashion and personal appearance about if not making ourselves more sexy and loveable?

But so what? So what if there are people who like to have sex with aardvarks or robots, or dream of having their genitals cut off or being eaten alive by their lovers like a male praying mantis? It’s all rather disgusting and gross, with a huge squick factor. Decent people don’t do that kind of stuff. With everything else SL has to offer, why brag about sexual deviance?


Because it’s not disgusting and gross. Oh, I mean it is. (Erotic Childbirth?? Real human people who are eager to play infants in diapers?? Ewww!!)

Goddess spare me from launching into one of those nauseating “sex is beautiful” talks about the wonders of nature and the human body. There’s plenty in the pantheon of SL love and sexuality that’s squalid and gross and I’m sure I don’t have to give examples. It’s a matter of personal taste anyhow.

But what they are, are expressions of real human desires and emotions, dreams and curiosities. And as such they’re honest and informative, and therefore, enlightening. These bizarre sexual tropes and twists are the raw stuff of human emotion, unfettered and free. They’re us when no one’s looking. Except we are looking.

The reason behind HUMM blagazine and behind this article and, I suppose, behind my consuming interest in sex and love in Second Life, is not just because sex is fun (“the most fun you can have without laughing”– Woody Allen) It is, but there’s more to it than that.

It’s because sex is not just about genital friction and orgasm and a little bit of awkwardness afterwards. Sex is about much more than sex. Love and sex in all their modifications and permutations are the great drivers of the human experience. They’re our emotional core, the twin dynamos that spin away deep down inside us and power our lives, our feelings and perceptions, our ideas on meaning and beauty, and even our supposedly emotion-free sense of logic. Eroticism, which is really nothing but the direct emotional perception of things, is our spiritual life-force.

Recognize it or not, we are erotic beings, and we live in an erotic universe.

Sex is the most direct and blatant expression of that eroticism. There are many, many other expressions of it, of course, but sex is the one that makes it most obvious. Our feelings about sex, our sympathies and our antipathies, are expressions of our basic natures. Some of us are libertines, some of us are prudes. Some of us are kind, some of us are evil. But our basic dreams and fantasies and curiosities say something important about how we are.

It kind of stands to reason then, that the more expressions of human sexuality there are, the more likely we are to find ourselves represented, or find something that speaks to us. I might not get off on the idea of meeting a woman with breasts in her ass cheeks, but maybe someone else finds that kind of interesting. And maybe they can take that image or story (or whatever it would be) and squeeze some personal meaning out of it, some understanding. Even if it’s only about how fucking weird they are.

I used to be a writer (see text above) and still am, really.  And the reason I was a writer is because there aren’t any limits to your creativity other than those inherent in language itself. A large part of my interest and enthusiasm in sex and relationships in Second Life comes from the same idea: that SL is a place where there are no limits on imagination and creativity, other than the limits inherent in the technology itself.

And the big advantage SL has over writing is that the human reaction to what you do or say is usually big and immediate. Your behavior is your story, the other avi’s are your readers. The sky’s the limit and all bets are off.




About Aiden Swain

Editor/Publisher, Humm Magazine: Journal of Cybersexuality

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