Three years ago, when I learned that Second Life® had segregated the X-rated activities to a separate designation, I registered. Sadly, the computer I had at the time was not powerful enough to run the program—my newbie avatar dropped down in a public place and could not move. So poor Eleanor Medier was forgotten for nine months until I got my next computer. My first four months was spent growing up in the role play sim of Chicago Roaring 20’s where I became a reporter and got to write satirical stories for The Chicagoan. I avoided adult themes and public places, though the culture does tend to be quite an eye-opening education. My purpose to be in SL is creative, not fantasy.
Not being able to ignore the fact that the most profitable businesses are those who sell sex animations, furniture, and places to indulge, SL really is a social/sexual DisneyLand. It is phenomenal how much creativity, business savvy, and innovation goes into this sector. So, in writing for a business magazine, Bowler Business Review, it became inevitable to cover this subject. Hopefully I accomplished this with the three interviews and simple, understated design this month.
What I have learned the most is tolerance for others’ choices. It seems these role play activities are very satisfying for those who are frustrated in real life, have little opportunities, or need a further outlet for fantasy. Of all those I have interviewed in eleven issues, very few are without a partner or adult entertainment interests. SL is a couples culture, catering to linking up with others who are like-minded. To have a companion in the virtual world is similar to the real one: there is domestic assistance, someone to share experiences, a caring that does go beyond the keyboard. Respecting that the virtual world is as emotional as the real, human nature blossoms even more with the free environment. For those who wish to engage in fantasies of any kind, there is no limitation. What is lacking in real life can be found in the second one. For example, I am a gallery owner in SL. That is something I can only dream of doing in real life; I lack the resources or experience.
Given that SL can be the road not traveled, in an environment of no risk, it does amaze me how big the adult entertainment sector is compared to the cultural, the educational, and the business. So learning from the three interviewees left me dazzled by their intelligence, generosity, and insights into business practices. I am able to leave my hesitation for the subject matter aside, and do a good (hopefully) job as a journalist.—always inspired, Liane