The dark side of Second Life is something I’ve not spoken about before, but it is there, hiding away in quiet corners, skulking around dark alleys and sometimes standing right there in plain sight too! What is this dark side? It’s the world of sex, fetishes, escorts, strippers and a wide assortment of sex toys and paraphenalia.
To be honest, I’m not surprised by the sheer amount of x-rated content in Second Life. Second Life is no different from real life and it’s a good deal harder to hide away from the public gaze in Second Life. And this is where the tale of a recent journey begins.
But what kind of content is there? Well, a particular catalyst for the X-rated side of Second Life seems to be the custom player-created animations feature (try not to think about it!). This has resulted in clubs which now have patrons who can dance, gyrate, do strip routines and frote. The next step was obvious.
Sex machines. Well, strictly speaking beds which can be ‘used’ in various ways to put the player’s character into various poses with an animation running. Several players make good money selling beds and other kinds of equipment (even ‘erotic’ locker rooms!) that players can use to engage in suggestive animations with each other. Worryingly, some of these units have configurations for multiple users!
But all of these animations then begged an obvious question. If we’re going to be getting naked, shouldn’t we look good? So, another industry has spawned, full skin texture redesigns. There are some close to photorealistic skins out there for players now and, yes, it’s true, they look a lot better nude than the original skins. This still leaves players interested in, er, animation, with a problem. What to do about their lack of anatomical correctness? Well, everything in Second Life can be made by players, so someone started making items to fill this gap in the market, so to speak.
All of this is background to my rather curious trip in search of something interesting to report on the other night. I had wandered into a mature-zoned area and while walking past shops of lingerie I came to a large ‘sex furniture’ shop. Yes, furniture made entirely for the purpose of getting jiggy on. Beds, rugs and chairs abound along with an adjacent shop full of animated sex toys. There were even frames and hobby-horses for the more kinky player. I only know this because I made the mistake of trying to use one of these odd items in an atempt to work out what it was. I hope to god I never have to see my guy humping air ever again.
Fleeing the scene I teleported off to a remote private island. It was open to the public and these places can often be good to visit for the wide variety of great content to be found on them. However, as I pop out at the telehub I see in front of me two people, a kneeling woman in underwear and a leather-loving bloke standing in front of her. My dodgy-meter starting buzzing and sure enough they were talking fetish. I moved on.
The next private island had a few huge mansions on it. Interesting. There were some people in one corner so I flew over. Being quite lagged I used the ‘builder cam’ to zip to where my co-visitors were. What I discovered was two people going at it on the bed and another asleep in the hot-tub. Oddly, they didn’t seem to be talking, just quietly bouncing away.
Checking the profile of the girl I saw she was an escort from one of the adult clubs in Second Life. Curious, it seems two guys hired a virtual escort, took her back to their virtual pad and then virtually had sex with her. Not wanting to disturb the happy threesome I moved off.
The next island I visited looked great! A pirate-themed location I hoped to see sword fights, sea shanties, quaffing of grog and assorted cheers of “Yaaar!” and “Ahoy there!”. Instead I was in the worlds largest pirate-themed shopping mall. Again, seeing some people in a building I zipped the camera in (rather than negotiate narrow streets in my bad lag) and discovered a shop devoted to things of a sexual nature. All kinds of animations were for sale, along with toys and clothes. Pride of place in the middle of the room were large changing room booths where two people were happily animating away. I guess some people find changing rooms sexy. And then some of them come to Second Life and spend hours coding up ways to get it on in a virtual one.
Deciding enough was enough I turned tail and fled back to Navora and our project, safe in the knowledge I would be protected from obscene lockers, shared escorts and unusual, worrying attachments.