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A lot of people are not having sex in Second Life, and have all kinds of good reasons not to, and more power to them. If you haven’t seen my last blog entry, that’s what it was about: not having sex in Second Life. This time, I’ll try to tackle a subject on which I have much more first-hand knowledge. 🙂

So, a lot of us are having sex in Second Life, and I know that leaves some people puzzled, disgusted, or both. What’s meaingful and arousing and exciting and seductive about sitting in front of a computer watching animations and typing? Well, if you don’t already know the answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place.

May I please have a bed like this in Real Life?

Before anything else, I have to say I believe sex happens in your head. In the Real World, you may be aroused or excited or enticed or brought to orgasm by sights or sounds or touch or smells or tastes or fantasies or words…but with the possible exception of whatever basic stimulation you need to take you over the edge, everything is going into your mind and producing hormones and nerve impulses that eventually (in the best case scenario) make you feel like you’re at the center of a supernova. So your partner touches you (well, hopefully does more than that!), and you get the signal in the brain that you’re being touched, and your brain says “pleasure!” Without the brain, your partner is just touching mindless flesh, which is gross, and I wish you’d tell him or her to stop.

But right, sex in the brain: admittedly, in Second Life we’re mostly limited to two senses plus fantasies and words instead of our Real World options of five senses plus fantasies and words. But in some very important ways, sex in Second Life is *the very same thing* as sex in Real Life: you have a partner or partners (not to say I’ve…well, never mind), and together you’re doing things to arouse and excite and stimulate and maybe tease and surprise and amuse and shock each other, and that all comes into your brain through the senses, and your brain tells your body it’s aroused, and with a little help from a hand or I don’t know, some kind of appliance you’ve bolted onto your desk (and no I have not, and I’m surprised you’d even think it!), your rocket ship takes flight and when you eventually come to yourself you’re in afterglow. This could take three minutes or four hours (I don’t know about the three minutes from experience, but I can assure you four hours is doable and worth the effort!), and it might result in no orgasms or a series of them, but it’s sex, just like in Real Life.

OK, not *just* like. You don’t get touch, and touch is very important in Real Life to most of us. And you probably know less about the people you’re making love with, and the pose balls might not work (although the equipment doesn’t always work in Real Life, either!), and there are any number of oddities, but my basic point here is that Second Life sex can get exciting and exhilarating and sensuous and very, very effective-if you can ignore the computer and get over any sense that computer-assisted sex is disgusting.

I mean, isn’t that just like any other kind of sex? Probably there was a time in childhood for most of us when the missionary position would have seemed unbelievably shocking, and not in a good way. And surely there are some parts of your sexual life now (or recently if you don’t have one now, which I hope you do soon unless you’re a priest or something, in which case what in the name of God are you doing reading this blog?) that you once would have considered offputting? If not, you either started out as a very open-minded person or should maybe read some good sex books to stir your imagination.

But regardless (you may be thinking), Second Life sex isn’t as good as Real Life sex! Well, in many ways not, and if I had to choose only one you can bet I wouldn’t be on the computer…but in some ways Second Life sex is better.

First of all, in Second Life it’s fairly easy to get two or more clean, attractive, healthy people together in a place where they can have sex. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t always found this easy in real life, and that’s all kind of required stuff for me.

In Second Life you can live out all kinds of fantasies that wouldn’t work out in Real Life, or that you don’t want so desperately in Real Life that you’re willing to, say, buy the equipment and the PVC clothing you’d need to fit out your own BDSM dungeon. While BDSM isn’t my particular kink, it’s clear from how widespread it is on Second Life that it does something for a lot of people, and it’s not hard to manage there. The same goes for furry sex or gender bending or all kinds of other things. Even getting dressed up! I must say that in my Real Life encounters, I’m not always willing and able to hop into silks (ha! somebody give me some Real Life silks and I’ll be happy to hop into them…not for the giver specifically, I hasten to add) or elaborate lingerie or what have you, but in Second Life it’s quick and easy. So why not, if it makes your partner happy?

Sex in Second Life is also very *safe* compared to Real Life. Not completely safe: there are two ways in which sex can be dangerous even in Second Life: privacy (which I mentioned in my last entry) and emotional harm, but both of those are bigger issues in Real Life than in Second Life, and the biggest safety issues in Real Life don’t even come up in Second Life: no unwanted pregnancies, venereal diseases, rape, physical abuse, or even finding yourself on a date with someone you have decided you don’t like when you don’t have another ride home.

And what about the emotional connection? Well, that’s key if you want incredible (or even modesty fulfilling) sex, isn’t it? OK, maybe not for everyone, but hopefully for most of us. Can you have meaningful emotional relationships in Second Life? You bet your boots (oh, boots recommendation: some very nice ones at Sylfie’s; search for her in places). Are these Second Life relationships as meaningful and central to life over the long term as Real Life relationships? Usually, probably not. Maybe in some exceptional cases. Can they be meaningful enough to make for mind-bendingly good sex? Oh yes, my dear, they certainly can. Like sex, relationships exist primarily in the minds of the people having them, and those minds are incredibly flexible.

Well, that came off like an editorial in favor of virtual sex, which wasn’t quite what it meant to do. Still, I’ll leave it as it stands, because I think it gets across what in the world some of us are doing when we sneak off to our silk-draped beds with our gorgeous lovers, opaque the windows, and beginning clicking our mice.