Monday, November 12, 2012

The Mechanics of Cyber-Sex

Up until now, this has been, as my friend Glorf Bulmer likes to say, "Not That Sort of Blog".  But I've been getting a lot of questions lately about how this cyber-sex stuff works in Second Life, so I thought I would give you an overview.  No, you DON'T get racy pictures!  Sheesh.

The general idea of cyber-sex is simple.  You and a friend are connected via the Internet.  This could be in a virtual world, or in Skype, or just in a chat room.  Through the use of a combination of animations, various toys, and chat emoting (depending on what your communication method offers), you arouse each other sexually, and engage in masturbation back there behind your monitors.

In Second Life, the primary method is chat emoting in text (or you can use voice.  Personally, I've always gotten more arousal from well written text emotes than from audible moaning and grunting, but Your Mileage May Vary!)  You write emotes by prefacing your text with "/me".  (Some viewers allow you to use a colon instead, which over time saves a ton of keystrokes.)  So, if I type

/me slowly undoes the buttons of your shirt, then slides her hands over your chest

The way it appears is

Lindal Kidd slowly undoes the buttons of your shirt, then slides her hands over your chest

Now, we can combine this with a little roleplay. When I say something like that, you can right click your avatar, and select Take Off/Clothing/Shirt.

And let's not forget all those poseballs and menu-driven sex beds. Not to mention sex rugs, sex kitchen counters, sex showers, sex couches, and sex hot tubs. You name it, someone has probably made a version of it with sex poses built into it.

Either partner can click the bed and call up the menu to change the pose. However, usually one partner does most or all of the "driving". Some beds have long scripted sequences that go from petting animations, to foreplay, to oral sex, then to full coition. But if these are not to your taste or don't run at the pace you wish, you can choose the animations yourself.

Besides furniture, there are genital attachments. Since female skins have the basics painted on, attachments aren't strictly necessary for us girls...but Linden Lab forgot to give the male avatar a penis. Fortunately, this lack has been addressed by a great many entrepreneurial souls. Plus there are prim attachments for the ladies too, if you feel the painted on sort isn't realistic enough.

These genital attachments come in two basic varieties. The first is controlled only by the wearer. You wear the prim attachment on your avatar, and click an on-screen HUD to increase your visible state of arousal, and even to make yourself orgasm. An example of this type is the "Real Penis" made by Dark Delights.

The second type is more complex. It's scripted to respond to your partner's touch, although you can override it with your own HUD controls. These genitalia also talk in local chat. If your partner clicks on your scripted nipples, a menu appears on their screen, asking them what they wish to the case of nipples, choices might include pinch, touch, pull, flick, lick, and other actions. When they make a choice, the device says in chat, "Suzy Avatar licks Lindal's nipple". You can edit these responses in a notecard to customize them to your liking.

Some makers have created whole systems of interoperable parts. Perhaps the best known of these is Xcite. Their in world store is something to see...a bewildering variety of ways to add on, or customize, your intimate parts.

Not all users like this sort of system, saying it is too mechanical and too complicated. They prefer to do everything themselves, using chat emotes. That's fine! Whatever turns you and your partner on is the way you should do it, there are no hard and fast rules. I like the Xcite system mostly because its HUD offers an "arousal meter" that shows your level of arousal, and that of your partner. You can use this as one more way to communicate your feelings to your partner.

For those who want to really be out there on the edge of technology, there is "teledildonics". You can buy a vibrating egg or other device that connects to your computer with a USB cable. Then you can get software that interfaces this peripheral to, for example, an Xcite system. When your partner touches your avatar's genitals in Second Life, the egg buzzes and "touches" you in Real Life. I haven't tried this myself -- on the one hand, it sounds fascinating. On the other, I am not sure I want to hook myself up to my computer QUITE that intimately!

The main thing to remember about all the toys and mechanisms is that they are there for YOUR enjoyment. If a particular method doesn't turn you on...don't do that! The real key to successful cyber-sex is an emotional connection with your partner. The animations and toys are just useful ways to express that connection. bit of etiquette. Don't wear your genital attachments until you're ready to use them. They all have controls that will turn them invisible, and that's fine. But people in the know can still see them by enabling transparent textures with CTRL+ALT+T. And they will assume that a guy with a scripted schlong attached is interested in only one thing. This goes for girls too. A woman who wears her Xcite bits in public, with them set to be accessed by anyone, is a slut. 
Whew!  I think I managed to get through that and it's STILL Not That Sort of Blog.  Or nearly.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fun at the Infohub

In the immortal words of Obi Wan Kenobi and Brenda Connolly, Infohubs are "wretched hives of scum and villainy."   I seldom go there.

But there is one Infohub in the Blake Sea, not too far from my home, that I visit occasionally, in the Barbarossa region.  Yesterday I went there, and I discovered that it has a small rezzing area at the dock, for seaplanes.

For a wonder, there was no one abusing the rez privileges to create griefing litter.  Not that this NEVER happens, but at the time, everyone was Playing Nice.  I rezzed my little float-equipped ultralight plane, and had fun flying around the island at low altitude, and practicing touch and go water landings, and flying in formation with other planes, and pacing boats.
Ultralight from Cloud Dancer Aviation

While I was doing this, someone else rezzed a gigantic aircraft carrier, so I then practiced carrier landings!

This is the way play should be in Second Life.  Playing WITH other residents for mutual enjoyment, not griefing them and playing tricks on them.  There was another recent similar event at Caledon Oxbridge University, where Professor Damian Delacroix showed up as a monstrous King Kong avatar.  My fellow professor, Wendyslippers Charisma, has blogged about this, complete with pictures.   Giant avatars are not welcomed at Oxbridge in the normal course of things, but this was Halloween and the Deans allowed it.  We had a grand time!

Contrast this with the griefing I encountered at the Brazilian help area, Ajuda SL Brasil.  There, a throwaway avatar (she had about fifty related alts, when I looked her up to file the Abuse Report) rezzed something that filled the local chat with page after page of text, "y0u n00b!"  This made local chat completely unusable until the volunteers could locate and remove the object and the griefer.

This gets you banned and abuse reported.  Some fun, huh?

(So of course, when I go there the next day, someone has covered the entire place with noob dolls and devices that crash your viewer.  Sigh.)

A Wonderful Halloween, and an ALERT

I had a great SL Halloween!  My partner Cindi and I went to a Haunted Mansion.  They had dancing skeletons, a skeleton rock band (The Rolling Bones), seances, ghosts, and lots more.  There were bar stools that floated into the air when you sat on them, and one chair I sat in removed my head and floated it about five feet above my neck.

But best of all, my costume won me a prize!  Tradewinds Yacht Club had a photo contest, and my pictures of a ghost girl haunting a ghostly shipwreck won me "Best Composition".  Whee!
Regular readers will recall my mention of a griefing object called ExDepart.  That item has run its course and I haven't seen or heard of any new infestations recently.  But there is a new griefing object that is something of a copycat of ExDepart.  This new one offers you "free gestures and walkers".  If you get an offer from this object, even if you know the owner, don't accept the offer.  If you do accept it, delete it from your inventory.

If you rez the free gift, it creates another copy of the griefing object, which moves itself up to a high altitude and begins making offers of its "free gift" to everyone in the region.  You must then find it and delete it.

It is very small, and transparent.  Fortunately, your local chat log will note its coordinates when it makes its offer.  Go to those coordinates.  Make transparent objects visible with CTRL+ALT+T.  Also, go to the World menu and select Show More/Beacons.  Turn on beacons for scripted objects in the Beacons window.

Now look for a tiny red cube with a set of crosshairs through it and a bounding box around it.  That's the nasty little culprit.

If it makes another offer, it will also change its altitude.  Go to the new coordinates and chase it down.  Right click it and Delete it.

Don't bother Abuse Reporting the object owner if you run across one of these.  They are probably an innocent victim just like you.  But, like ExDepart, it may be worthwhile to Abuse Report the object's creator.  (Sorry, I can't tell you who it is.  I deleted the one copy I encountered before noting the creator's name.)