Archive for September, 2008

Important Announcements

While many people who read my blog will already know these important things, there are a few who may not.  So here you go:

From Shenlei Flasheart:   “… my company, the Fashion Research Institute, Inc., has developed the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace on Shengri La .  We will provide vendor space for 20 emerging avatar apparel designers on our Second Life Shengri La sim for six months free of charge.  The designers are encouraged to build their brands, to sell their products through both their vendor prims and through the use of our catwalk system, and to grow their business. We are pleased to announce Michele Hyacinth as Curator of the Shengri La Vintage Marketplace for emerging avatar apparel designers in Second Life. Michele is responsible for managing the design selection process and overseeing the marketplace. For more information and details about the program, please contact Michele.

And check out Chestnut’s blog for more fun happenings at ShengriLa this week:

  • Wednesday, September 17th, the butterfly hunt for butterflies containing Ode jewelry
  • Friday, September 19th, the Pirate Rave (the universe rave was a blast! don’t miss this one!)

Ignore My First Question

LOL. Okay, I understand that no one is going to post an answer to my questions about sex. I had people approach me inworld to tell me their thoughts. They weren’t actually reluctant to talk about Why Sex? They simply had too much to say!! 🙂 I especially liked one description: “writing poetry”. And I’m thinking about the answer: “an exploration of sexuality in a new form”. Think on this one also: “some of the most loving moments I have had in SL did not involve cyber”. That one takes me back to my original question of “so WHY, then?”. Another response was that in RL “there’s a natural assumption that sex is bad, or dangerous, or an extreme thing”. That was worth exploring itself in another blog, but that responder continued on to say that whereas in RL you would say Why Sex, in SL you can say Why Not? Which was one of my thoughts as well – many of the RL constraints simply don’t exist. But everyone seemed to agree that it was an intense form of connection. That there has to be some sort of emotional connection first. Obviously this is skewed by the fact that I am NOT in some of the more extreme sims. I suspect I would get very different answers. So you are all off the hook – I do not expect any responses posted about sex.

But I DO expect you to tell me about falling in love!!!! 4 to 2 – “vulnerable” as the first or 2nd word to describe falling in love.

Difficult Subjects

Seeking answers from the water

Seeking answers from the water

I want to talk about sex and love.  But I’m not really sure how to approach the topics.  I want to talk about sex in SL.  I want to talk about love in general – FL and SL.  I don’t know that the subjects actually need to be dealt with in the same blog at all.  Heaven knows there are a million blogs out there already dealing with SL relationships.  And billions dealing with relationships in general.  But I don’t care – I’m going to venture here myself.  The topics seem to have come up a lot recently.

It’s probably easier to start with sex.  Let’s put aside the people who go to SL specifically for sex – for a different way to access porn.  That seems fairly straight-forward to me.  Real flesh & blood people having sex also seems understandable to me as well. 🙂  I want to talk about why people who are in SL for reasons other than porn engage in sex.  (Obviously I am talking about the avatars here, but since there are real people behind the avatars, I’m not going to keep clarifying or differentiating.)   WHY???  What does it signify?  Is it just a form of titillation for self and partner?  And so falls more into the “SL is for porn” category?  Or are people trying to signify something different?

I met a very nice person the other night.  We were both sitting on the benches, chatting with the group.  We ended up IM’ing and chatting for quite awhile.  He was pleasant, witty, well-spoken – a nice guy.  And an attractive appearance as well.  Do NOT ask me why I even mention that – I have no idea.  Probably habit left over from RL.  Because I certainly have found that some of the people I like the most in SL do not always look exactly, ummm, how should I say it?, standard-human.  I liked him, I was having fun chatting.  And we were flirting.  He kept inviting me to join him, hinting of intimacy and such.  (Was that vague enough to keep my PG rating???)  🙂  I told him no.  I told him no, not tonight.  I told him meeting him somewhere was certainly a possibility sometime, but not tonight.  We must have had about 6 or 7 iterations of this conversation.    So besides wanting to know why people ARE having sex in SL, I am also interested in the fact that I seem to have all my RL values intact even in a world where perhaps they don’t apply or aren’t necessary.   Maybe this is another anomaly for me.  Lots of people like to have non-human avatars and that didn’t “work” for me.  Maybe everyone is out there making like bunnies, too, except me.

So putting aside “SL is for porn”, WHY??  Is sex in SL an attempt to communicate a deeper feeling for another person, and since RL methods (side glances, smiles, moving closer, body language) don’t work, people jump immediately to a behaviour that signifies that deeper emotion?   Is sex so prevalent because people CAN?  None of the RL fears exist:  no disease, no hurt, no embarrassment of exposing yourself.  Is it the lack of physical constraints that makes sex so prevalent?  Is it because it actually means nothing?  That having sex in SL is no more than shaking hands saying “Hi, How are you?” ??  What is it that people are trying to communicate when they have sex?

Love.  Maybe this should be a different blog.  But after a conversation with a friend, I started really thinking about what it means to “fall in love”.  Obviously people are falling in love left and right, in SL and RL.  What struck me, however, was the difference in terminology that appeared when people talked about “falling in love”.  Here is my totally unscientific poll:  2 males said “falling in love is exhiliarating”.  2 females said “falling in love is scary and makes you vulnerable”.   I probably need a larger sample group.  🙂   I’m sure that 4 people is not statistically significant.  Somehow I just don’t see myself walking about asking all my friends, neighbors and co-workers to tell me what “falling in love” means to them.   And obviously more than one word applies.  But the women said vulnerable FIRST and the men said exciting FIRST.   Actually – neither male ever said vulnerable.  So – I have no idea if anyone is reading this or not, or if you’re reading but don’t want to answer, but that’s my question to YOU:  What does falling in love mean to you?  Pick a word or supply your own words:  exhiliarating, scary, vulnerable, hot, caring.   Use several words.  But WHICH word do you put FIRST?

Which World?

Why I want to be Ahuva in SL:

  • Ahuva never wakes up with a zit on her face.
  • Ahuva can dance for hours in high heels without getting tired, sweaty or being crippled the next day.
  • Ahuva never has to worry about fitting her keys, comb, cell phone, camera, drivers license and money into a little dress bag.
  • Ahuva can live a very happy fulfilling life without a home or income.
  • Ahuva never needs to sleep.
  • Ahuva doesn’t have allergies.
  • Ahuva’s clothes always fit, never get stained and never rip.

Why I’m glad I’m in RL:

  • Ahuva will never experience having a wonderful son like mine.
  • Ahuva can’t feel the warm sun on her bare skin.
  • Ahuva can’t smell the salt breeze, the fresh-cut grass, the cool fall air.
  • Ahuva can’t savor chocolate. (YES! endorphins!!!)
  • Ahuva has to juggle 7 chats simultaneously. That’s a lot of chats!
  • Ahuva can’t get her hands dirty planting flowers, working the soil.

Why I’m glad I have both RL and SL:

  • Wonderful friends in both worlds.
  • Ability to be creative in both worlds.
  • Experiencing new things – mentally, phsyically, emotionally,

You and I both know that these lists are incomplete.  But this is what happens when you wake up and look in the mirror and think “oh RATS!!!!”.  🙂

The Silver Lining

I was looking forward to hearing Grace McDunnough last night. I had an appointment earlier in the evening but I would be home in time to log on. Well, as the old saying goes “Man plans, God laughs”. If we substitute “Ahuva” for “man” and “Linden Labs” for “God” (oooo – that seems INCREDIBLY blasphemous, doesn’t it???? /me looks up nervously for lightening), that would describe last night. 🙂 Tried to login, and failed. 2nd try – same result. 3rd time – same result. Finally it occurred to me to check the grid status. Oh what a surprise – not. SL was offline for maintenance. I tried for 20 minutes before deciding that maybe I wasn’t going to do what I planned. For some reason, this all made me think of my grandmother, who always had an aphorism handy. The one I remember most I can’t find anywhere, despite Google: God sends the remedy before He sends the plague. I’m probably remembering it wrong, but I smile when I think of her saying it. She also taught me “It’s an ill wind that blows no good” and “Every cloud has a silver lining”. So here’s the silver lining: I desperately needed sleep. I have been burning the candle at both ends, staying inworld way past when I should be asleep and waking up before dawn for RL. So I missed you all. There were many people I wanted to talk to last night. But oh, wow, do I feel soooooo much better this morning. Sleep, blessed sleep. 🙂 Thanks to those who raised me to value the liberal arts, so that I can offer this as well: “Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care” (yes Mom, that would be you! 🙂 )

Why I NEED Land

So yesterday at lunch I was hanging out in my favorite beach chair, having a long, serious, emotional conversation with a friend. Now “my” beach chair is out there in public, which usually presents no problems. But yesterday while I am chatting with my friend, C comes by, also on lunch break. Normally I enjoy chatting with C, finding out what’s happening. But the conversation was deep and heavy, distractions not really welcome. C is skateboarding all around me, doing tricks. (Well done, C!!). So it was somewhat like having a pesky kid brother hanging about while I’m trying to talk on the telephone. /me whines “Mo-om!!! Make C leave me a-loooohhnnnnn!!!” See? I need a room of my own, NO kid brothers!!!! Okay – send me those listings: beach property, small, with sand, water view!!

For a Friend

Hurting. Drained. Bereft.
Nothing tangible to strike.
Simply hurts to breathe.

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