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Well, I’ve been having some really interesting conversations with Eris Fallon and with other friends (you know who you are) about what makes sex work in Second Life–and what doesn’t.

One thing I realized only recently, which explains a lot about virtual sex to me, is that since the best physical parts of First Life sex aren’t there in Second Life, we have to push other things farther to get the same amount of pow. Sex does happen in the brain, but it’s usually things that come from outside us that get the brain worked up, although certainly we have our fantasies as well.

But since with virtual sex, the connection between the two people is less immediate and easy, and since partners don’t touch, we compensate. Partly we do that with visuals: lingerie, pose balls, and all the rest, to make things prettier and more interesting and sexier. But that only gets us so far.

The rest of it, for many people, is kink. I’d been thinking since I joined Second Life that the reason there was such a large BDSM community (although I think there’s a lot more B and D than S and M) was that people who wanted to play with that kink but weren’t easily able to in First Life were all coming to a virtual world to do it there. I still think that’s part of it, but I think another big part is that people who would usually be very aroused by regular everyday sex aren’t always getting enough arousal from the virtual version of regular, everyday sex – so they’re adding on kinks like BDSM.

And the other thing I know of besides kink that seems to pack a lot of punch, just like in First Life, is being really, truly drawn to the person you’re with. Sharing intimacy and vulnerability and pleasure with a particular other person, someone who gets your engines revving because of who they are, can be *rocket fuel*.

^^^\ Kate /^^^