Sex. Love. Add fantasies.
My blog on sex and love (Difficult Subjects) has generated fascinating conversations in FL and SL. People really want to talk about these topics. No one wants to go on record and post to my blog (okay – there are two brave souls out there willing to talk about sex publicly) but everyone talks to me “off the record”. 🙂 This is not actually surprising to me. Look around you. What are the number one and two topics in books, magazines, music, visual art, performing art, commercials and news? Exactly. We need air, food, water and love.
We do without air, food and water in SL. (Correction. Without drinking water. I crave water and sand and waves as much in SL as in RL). But we need love. I’m using “love” in a very broad sense here. I mean that we all need a connection. We need to be validated by an other. When people talk to me about love and sex in SL, it often leads to fantasies. SL allows us to explore our fantasies. Things that maybe we never say or do in RL. We shelter behind the pseudo-anonymity of SL (see Botgirl’s blog if you want to understand why I say “pseudo-anonymity”). And as I listen and think and read, it seems to me that there are 2 categories of fantasies.
There is the very obvious category of physical action fantasy. Doing things that you can’t do in RL, or wish you could do in RL. That ranges from sex to surfboarding to horseback riding to shopping to walking and talking. But there is another kind of fantasy – emotional. Many people are yearning for a connection that doesn’t exist for them in RL. Again, this runs the gamut. So I think I’m beginning to get a partial answer to my question “Why cyber?” (LOL please note I have ‘corrected’ my terminology.) It isn’t the cyber per se. It’s the emotional content associated with the act. I suppose one could say – Big Duh, Ahuva. *I* knew that. But obviously it wasn’t clear to me. What I started to hear as people talked to me was that the cyber allowed them to switch their internal emotional paradigm. (Again – not for everyone, and not all the time.) I’m also sure that this has been researched and reported and written up in psychological abstracts. 🙂 This is my blog, however, and I’m allowed to post my discoveries, even if I am coming extremely late to the party! 🙂
There was a newbie last night at the NCI benches (okay – there is ALWAYS a newbie at the NCI benches!! that’s why the benches exist, after all!). He started out by asking what everyone did in RL. Sigh. I listened as everyone answered and told “the truth”. So I said “This IS my RL.” Most ‘oldies’ enjoyed that response. Obnoxious, I know. But for Ahuva – SL IS RL. Then he asked our ages. Again, most people played along, even if being a bit vague. I was still feeling rude so I asked “How old do I look?” (As a good friend pointed out to me – I am only as old as my avatar!) LOL. Of course D, who is always very quick with a funny or sarcastic remark, replied “10”. Hmmm. As I type that, maybe he didn’t mean my age. LOL. I’ll have to ask him if that was a reference to the old Bo Derek movie….. Anyway. Back to my point. If I have one. He also called SL a game. I said that SL is NOT a game. He asked “It’s not?” C jumped in at this pointed and explained that SL is a virtual world, not a game. I had been despairing of this newbie but then he redeemed himself. He at least dropped the word game from that point and accepted the correction. But we shall see.
We are all in SL for reasons. Simple reasons, complicated reasons. Whatever. I am developing another theory. I think that the people who come into SL and immediately start trying to define everyone by their RL aspect are probably people who aren’t going to stay in SL very long. They aren’t going to “get it”. People who come into SL and meet people as they are, and ask about their SL aspect, are going to stay. I have no issue with people who know each other in SL having conversations about RL. That’s not what I mean. (I’m not touching the whole immersion theory stuff. Go read Botgirl and Soph yourself.) I mean that people who come inworld and try to force SL into RL terms may not be best suited for a virtual world. Whereas those people who come in and accept what they see may flourish. And those people may find that their fantasies come true.