Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's SLove got to do with it?

Some people go to Second Life for virtual sex, or even cybersex. What is the sound of one hand fapping? :) There are tons of animations for simulated sex between avatars, or even among avatars, more positions than most people have even thought about or known about in first life.

I like virtual sex in SL. No, I love virtual sex. The suggestion of intimacy can be very stimulating and satisfying, even without touching. Sex, however, is not what really gets my attention in SL.

Love does.

Love? How can avatars love? Is it simulated love, like the simulated sex? Is it just some fantasy role play?

Not for me. I form real bonds through SL. Behind every avatar is a real person, and I bond with that real person through the medium of SL and our avatars. When I tell my sweetheart I love her, or Tatsuko, or Patrice, or Cala, or Envy, I really mean it. I'm not just tossing that word around. I truly care about those people, whether I've met them in the flesh or not.

There's something about SL that facilitates such bonding for me. I form close associations through Twitter and other social networking connections. There are people I don't see in SL whom I also care about deeply. But it's at a different level in SL. Avatars aren't just pixelated images. They have an odd kind of reality of their own.

The other night, I met my sweetheart in SL after having been IMing with her. Being with her in SL was totally different than IM. I felt much more present with her, even though we were no closer in first life than we were via IM. We can talk about touching and caressing in IM, and that works on the imagination to an extent. But maybe I'm just a visual person. The suggestion is much stronger in SL. The imagination really gets into gear.

When I am holding my sweetheart in SL or she is holding me, I feel held in first life. When I am kissing her, I feel kissed. When she hurts, I hurt with her. This is only going to get stronger as the ways that avatars can express themselves get better.

In a way, my sweetheart is her beautiful avatar, and I am mine. We give full expression to our inner selves through our avatars. That little doll is important to me. She has a kind of life of her own. That was true right from the start. Of course she doesn't have independent existence, but just like a character in a novel, she behaves in a consistent, realistic manner. She behaves in a way that fits her on-going story. I cannot, or at least would not, make her do just anything. A novelist loves her characters. I love mine, and I love many of those she interacts with, characters constantly being "written" by other "novelists."

I think this love is real.

Anyone who is not in SL, maybe even some who are, will probably think I'm crazy. Do I have an overactive imagination? Or does the imagination of others need a boost?

[Addendum: the photo is of my friends Eloria and Merik. I'm not in there. :)]

3 comments:

Anna Metaluna said...

You are not crazy, Veronique. Me too believe that deep and genuine love is possible in SL. I also agree in separating sex from love. Both can live independently. Sex without love, love without sex. On the latter many think that is impossible, uncomprehensible, grotesque. But I assure that's possible.
Cheers, Anna.

Corvan said...

Thanks for this Veronique, I'm quite new to SL, 26 days old today. I came into SL not quite knowing what to expect, expecting to have fun, indulge in some fantasies that are not currently possible in RL.

I didn't expect to really feel it. I didn't expect it to become so real. That's turned out to be both a blessing and a curse, but then again isn't life like that in general?

I have the love of my life in RL, and yet I think I may have found the love of my SecondLife. Time will tell. I keep these two personas completely separated (which touches on a whole different topic which I'll leave be for now). The me that lives is RL is absolutely not the same person as the me who inhabits SL. We share some characteristics, but we are not nearly the same person.

I'm finding this exploration to be absolutely fascinating and can't wait to see what comes next...

Kimberlynn Juliesse said...

You are far from crazy...I believe in finding true love in a virtual world. It feels real, the people behind the avis are real, as are the emotions involved. Unfortunately,the pain that ending such a relationship is also very real...in some ways it is even more painful than in RL. I'm experiencing that now. You feel as if you have no control over the situation...especially when the object of your affection lives thousands of miles away, an ocean dividing the two of you.
Anyway, I especially liked your comment about how a novelist loves her characters...I happen to be a writer, and I can tell you that I have more than once fallen in love with the hero in my stories. However, the difference between characters in a novel and the characters we meet in SL is that those characters can return that love...and take it away just as quickly...

Kimberlynn