It’s always a little disorienting when I remind myself that some Second Life Residents not only don’t have sex in Second Life, they don’t see why in the world others of us would. Oh, not having sex makes perfect sense to me, because in Second Life, not having sex ever is not only possible, it’s a really good idea for a lot of people…whereas in Real Life, it seems to me, it’s a little less optional.

No, the thing I always forget is that the reasons to have sex in Second Life aren’t at all evident to a lot of people-so I started writing about why some of us have sex in Second Life (in some cases, um, kind of a lot of it). But there were so many things to say about not having sex in Second Life that I felt like I ought to make an entry of those first.

I do not advocate that sex in Second Life is for everybody. You may not like virtual sex, or it may be a bad fit for your lifestyle. My sense is that Second Life sex for most people is a temporary substitute for Real Life sex or a place to indulge fantasies that don’t fit. It may not be a good idea for Second Life to become your permanent sex life, because then some of the central emotional connections in your life have to be filtered through your computer, and ultimately that’s pretty limiting.

So here are some reasons not to have sex in Second Life. If you’ve gotten through the list and still haven’t found a dealbreaker, you may want to think about getting some attractive underclothes soon. But that’s for next time, and I digress.

Before I get into any of the reasons for adult Residents, let me just put in that if you’re a minor, please, please, please don’t get into Second Life and fool around with sex. That can cause a lot of heartache and problems and who knows? Maybe litigation. Find another outlet, please! Perhaps some magazines?

But for adults, first and probably foremost, there’s the “cheating” issue. Skip this if you’re unattached. Yes, Second Life sex isn’t like Real Life sex in a lot of ways, so if you have a partner and both of you feel comfortable with Second Life being an extension of your sex life, then it isn’t cheating, because it’s something you’ve both agreed on. On the other hand, if either you feel in your heart that you’re betraying the relationship, or despite your being comfortable with it, your partner would be hurt, then call it cheating! And if you think you’re in the “not cheating” category but are hiding your Second Life sex life from your partner, you’re probably really in the “cheating” category for one reason or the other.

You also might want to stay away from Second Life sex because you think it’s icky. I can assure you that for many of us it is intimate and sensuous and exciting and satisfying, but if orgasms and keyboards just don’t go together for you, they just don’t. (Unless the advantages outweigh the icky factor, in which case you may well find yourself getting over your reservations.)

Another great reason to avoid sex in Second Life is that avatars do not necessarily reflect the people behind those avatars. This gets into one of the basic conceptual pieces of being in Second Life: do you feel like your avatar is an independent fragment of you, a different persona? Or is it a puppet for you to use in communicating the Real Life you or play-acting something else? Or is it more or less a true projection of the Real Life you?

For many people, an avatar is purposely and enjoyably not an expression of their Real Life self, so in many cases, you don’t know who the Real Life person is behind the avatar. That Real Life person may be unattractive to you for any number of reasons, so if you conceive of yourself as having sex with the Real Life person instead of your avatar having sex with their avatar (yielding Real Life pleasure for you), you may want to be very careful or to avoid Second Life sex altogether.

If you don’t like dirty talk and don’t think you could get used to it, your Second Life sex life will be a bit limited by that, and it might not be the thing for you.

If you find yourself attracted to one or another kind of kinky practice that wouldn’t go well with your Real Life, you have a choice to consider: do you pursue it, and be able to get gratification of something that would otherwise be neglected (hooray!)? Or do you avoid it because you could get so wrapped up in that kink that it would hurt your Real Life sex life (yikes!)?

Second Life usually lacks the ability to strengthen a Real Life relationship (unless it’s with Real Life lovers who find it exciting or are separated by distance), and we all need Real Life relationships. So if Second Life sex is going to take you away from Real Life relationships in an unhealthy way…well, that can’t end well.

A potentially serious problem with sex in Second Life is that it isn’t private. The only way I know of to guarantee privacy when you’re with someone is to put up security in an area, then go deep enough into that area that it’s impossible to Alt-Mouse to the place where you are from any point at the outside … and even then I think it’s possible to have spy objects relay chat in some of circumstances, although for non-Xcite chat you could go to IM.

Anyway, most of us don’t have a huge private area we can block off from the rest of the world (I know I don’t!), and even for those who do, Second Life sexual encounters are always happening on at least three computers: yours, your partner’s (or partners’), and a server at Linden Labs’. Whatever precautions you take, Second Life sex is never really, really private. So if you are at all worried about your virtual sex adventures leaking into your Real Life and providing fun and talking to points to people like your boss or your mother, you’ll have to decide how safe you think your secrets would be if you started having them.

Finally, Second Life sex may not be for you if you’re a poor typist. It sounds silly-well, it is silly-but if you can’t finish typing what you’re doing to your partner’s nipple before he, she, it, or they switch positions and go off into a completely different direction, your powers of sexual frenzy are limited. Fortunately, this one is easy to fix: get a typing tutor program and work at it for a while. (If only I’d had this motivation when *I* learned to type!) Really, it will help you in all kinds of ways. So why not?

Phew! So that’s quite a laundry list, and I haven’t even gotten to the whys yet. Let’s call that a blog entry and hold off on the why tos for a day or three. In the mean time, comments, ideas, pertinent snippets of Second Life sexual adventure tales? Tell me!

^^^\ Kate /^^^

PS – Sorry no pictures today. I couldn’t think of much in the way of pictures of people not having sex except for chastity belts, and that’s a bit too graphically adventurous for my blog. (Here you have to read to get the dirty stuff.)