OK, now: in the past weeks, other Second Life bloggers here on LiveJournal, friends in-world, and that whimsical domme we call experience have answered some of the questions I’ve raised in previous blog entries. Here are some of the facts, experiences, insights, speculations, and wild guesses that have come to light.

Men

My question was basically this: why does it seem to be so much easier to meet interesting women then interesting men in Second Life? Several people posted comments to the original post that helped make sense of this issue, but the prize for most insight goes to Grizzy Griswold, who “came out” as being a Real Life (straight) man with a Second Life (celibate) woman as an avatar yesterday. Not only was Grizzy’s post interesting in itself, it also brought out a flood of interesting responses, including several other people who were in Second Life as the opposite gender. It also sparked a conversation with another Second Life friend whose Real Life counterpart, she revealed to me, is male. I’m one of those who subscribes to the idea that avatars aren’t supposed to mimic real life, so this was no great shock to me, although it’s fun seeing how it colors my attitudes around her.

Following up on that topic, I searched through the Second Life forums and found a survey on Real Life gender and Second Life gender. Of the people who took the survey, about 1/4 of all female avatars belonged to Real Life males! That’s probably not the real figure across Second Life, because it only polled people who went to that discussion-in other words, more avid Residents who were specifically interested in avatar gender. What’s the real figure? No idea! But it’s significant enough that clearly, one of the answers to my question about where the interesting men are is this: they’re right under my nose, and they’re women.

Skin

(Ignore this entry if you’re not a Resident; it’s just about finding skin, which doesn’t make any sense in the Real World that I know of!)

I’d been having trouble helping my girlfriend Eris find a skin for her faerie avatar some weeks back, and a while after that, I began to think that the skin I most liked using might really be improved on. That sent me on a quest for an affordable skin that to my surprised, answered both questions, and a few I hadn’t thought to ask. Cryogen Labs sells a tintable, modular skin (for women only. Sorry, boys!) You choose a face, a torso, and a lower body by mixing and matching those they have available, so you get unusually good selection of things like eyebrow shape, abdominal definition, and the naughty bits (a British term for which there is no good American translation I know). Then you can go crazy with your sliders and tint the thing! Instead of buying one darker skin (I usually wear either very pale skins or skins that are roughly Hispanic in darkness), I bought a skin that will yield me as light or dark a shade as I like, along with quite a few colors. And it’s copiable!

So one of the first things I did was copy it and start building one of my Halloween costumes, a faerie avatar with a warm, green skin tone. She’s not quite finished, but since it’s timely to mention her, here I am as Faerie Kate.

The Bondage Glitch

Not a glitch at all, it seems. While browsing some Second Life gadgets, I began to find many that were clearly made primarily for griefers. One of them advertised being able to force an avatar to wear a folder, something that, if you were flying high, would cause you to lose your flying device and hair and change all of your clothing instantaneously. It could even, and this is just a random example, shove a ball gag in your mouth.

Is there nothing in the Terms of Service that bans selling devices designed to freak other people out? I mean, in the long run I probably got more entertainment than trauma out of the incident, but then I’m a voracious consumer of wild experiences, and even I was weirded out for a while.

I’m not going to name the item or the place where I saw it, though, because I don’t want to advertise the thing. Anyone making any progress on anti-griefer measures out there?

Of course, if it happens again, at least I’ll have an opportunity to keep the shoes this time.

You always remember your first time

Following up on my crush post about our new land, we’ve purchased a beautiful Polynesian-themed house (until we get around to building something for ourselves) from the highly-recommended AE Industries Prefab Alley.

So I made my first piece of furniture from scratch as we began to furnish the place. Here it is, the 9-person faerie themed couch (you can’t see it well in a picture like this, but there’s an embedded glass carving of a faerie in a waterfall at each end) with a matching smoked glass coffee table. We’re having a post-Halloween party soon (everyone, keep your costumes!) and will want places for people to sit. Still to come: pose balls (the innocent kind) (mostly!).

^^^\ Kate /^^^

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