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When I joined Second Life, I was curious about the sex thing. I knew people were having virtual sex all over SL, but I didn’t know how that worked or what it involved. It took some research for me to find out; what I really wanted was a breakdown of how everything was done. I couldn’t find it, so like everyone else, I pieced everything together as I went. In case you wanted to know, though, here’s all of that laid out for you.

First of all, here are two things you should probably know about sex in Second Life:

– A lot of it seems to have to do with yearnings and desires people have that aren’t fulfilled in Real Life, so the kinkiness rating is way up there for a lot of folks. Not all avatars are human, and it’s easier to scare up partners in some ways than in real life, so multiplesomes are not rare. Plenty of gay and lesbian sex, BDSM, furry sex, and other flavors are out there.

– The actual pleasure in virtual sex comes (sorry, no pun intended) in the form of chat and the scene in front of you. The scene usually involves an animation or three (more on that in a moment). Some people are all watching and clicking and no chat, while others may not care much about animations and are mostly fired up by the chat. Usually it’s some of each.

Second, some stern reminders:

– This entry is not about how to have sex with me. Please don’t read it and then go proposition me … although OK, you are cute!

– I’m not telling you that you should have sex in SL, just letting you know how itโ€™s done. You might want to think twice about doing anything with it if, for instance, you have a RL partner who would be hurt to know about it. I’m just saying.

Still here? Then let’s cover the basics:

To have sex in Second Life, you usually need at least one partner, one or more animations, a place to go, and sometimes some virtual equipment.

The partners are your responsibility. I recommend finding them by going somewhere where people like to hook up and then being charming and terribly attractive, but there are always other options.

The animations are usually the tricky part. Here are your options:

Built-in animations: You buy these, then run them when you need them. If they’re two-or-more-person animations, the animation asks your pretty friend or friends if they want to let the animation take over, and if so, you’re in business.

Furniture: Convenient and flexible. You can get couches, beds, rugs, and other kinds of furniture with animations built in. For piece with a menu, you “touch” the piece of furniture (right click, then select touch) and a list of options pops up on your screen in blue. Clicking on an option usually gives you some pose balls, which you’ll hear about in just a sec. But you should know that you can generally touch the furniture again to change the animation (say, from kissing to heavy petting), swap places, and sometimes to do other things.

Not all furniture uses a menu. Some pieces just have pose balls.

Pose balls: These can be on furniture or just lying around above the ground or in a pool or … well, anywhere, really. It’s too bad there aren’t more pose balls floating around in mid air for flying enthusiasts (to you pose ball designers and buyers: hint, hint).

To use a pose ball, you right click on it, then select the “Sit here” box, which is sometimes updated to say things like “Love” or “Force her” or “Pump!” Not very poetic, but at least it makes it obvious what you need to click on.

Pose balls can be blue (for boys) or pink (for girls), but they can also be any other color. If they’re not blue or pink, usually it means they’re not gender-specific, but even the gender-specific ones are just suggesting who goes where. Especially with the kissing. Well, try it: you’ll see what I mean.

One problem with pose balls is that sometimes you’ll “sit” on one, and it will just make you sit there, doing nothing interesting at all. Sometimes that means that you have another animation running. For instance, like me, you might have a fancy walk that you insist on keeping up wherever you go. Try turning your animations off and see how it goes. You can also try standing up and sitting again, switching positions, logging out and then in again, or going to another location.

Sometimes the pose balls just won’t work, in which case you need to keep your sense of humor and (if applicable) your erection and decide what to do next. Few things are less sexy than someone getting angry at pose balls!

Some clever person will have thought of other ways to animate avatars than the ones I just mentioned, but that should do for starters.

OK, now, the place is important. Home is usually best, since you can get some privacy and have your furniture or pose balls laid out the way you like them. However, maybe you don’t have a home, or you just can’t afford the money involved in buying a big old love-bed. If not, you might go to a public place that offers pose balls or even furniture. I won’t try to suggest any of those, but if anyone has recommendations, please e-mail me and I’ll try to keep track for a future entry. Just keep in mind that in public places, you might be playing to an audience.

Then again, you might be playing to an audience anyway. After all, you’re showing up on at least two computer screens: yours and your partner’s. There’s no way of knowing whether your partner might not be playing from a crowded dorm room, for instance, so make sure you’ve thought that through before jumping on the pose ball.

And whether it’s a dorm room or an SL public sex playground, maybe you like playing to an audience! It’s certainly a lot more appropriate in SL than it is in real life, anyway.

Equipment, now: this was the most confusing thing to me. Girls don’t need to buy any, although I do suggest buying an anatomically complete skin that displays the right parts in the right places. The way SL is programmed, there’s sort of an assumption that things can go right into you wherever they may want to, so you don’t have to buy anything to make that happen.

For boys, it’s another matter. You may already have looked into your trousers and noticed the disturbing fact that what you have is more of a little pedestal than a statue to put on it. What you need to do is to buy a penis.

Yes, hon. We all need to buy skin and hair if we want to look nice, and if you want to get busy with the ladies (or the boys, or the skunktaurs … your choice, hon), you’ll need to have something to use for the occasion.

There are many types of penises out there for sale. Sometimes they’re hard to match to your skin color, and some are better than others. A hint, though: a penis the size of a baseball bat is not universally sexy, but a penis that matches your skin color is usually appreciated. Regardless, buy one you like!

Once you’ve purchased your penis, you’ll have to be prepared to put it on in the midst of your intimate encounter. Most of the ones I’ve seen don’t understand that pants are supposed to obscure them from view, so you can’t go around wearing your equipment all the time. Maybe the better penises do lurk unseen; I’m certainly not the one to ask, as I leave the shopping for them to others.

One other piece of the puzzle is Xcite. Xcite is a technology that whispers things while the loving is going on. For instance, you may (like me) have a couple of Xcite-enabled wings that do things when people click on them, or when you click on them. For those who are less wing-obsessed, penises are probably more commonly associated with Xcite, but you can get Xcite sex toys, Xcite lips … and probably a lot else that I haven’t run into yet.

Xcite basically does some of the dirty talk, and sometimes a bit of animation, for you.

Now, if you have everything in order and are ready to have sex, the rest is animations, dirty talk, or both. I leave you to it.