Thursday, April 30, 2009

Online Play

Today I bumped into an article , written by Penny Seauterau : "the Healing Potentials of Cybersex", published in the Second Life News Paper. There is no direct link to the article , but you'll find it in the Red Light section of the SLNP website ; the date is April 28, 2009.
Overall an interesting read, especially as I agree with Miss Seauterau that it is a worthwhile quest to wonder about the why of online philandering. The Pearl being what it is, I think no-one will be surprised to see me promote an article that tries to break a lance for the core activities of the Great House, but I have some critical remarks nonetheless, which I will discuss later .
Let's first throw some light on the things I agree with . Miss Seauterau comes at times very close to the reasons why I personally have been engaged in erotic roleplay for almost two years. Most people experiment at some time in their online lives, but two years is generally considered a long time. Avatars have no expressions, but if they did, I'd probably see incredulous stares, mixed with condescending amusement. The words "pervert" and "nympho" pop up, blinking with angry neon red letters. "How on earth," I'd see them thinking, "can someone keep interested? Surely every possible way to describe the process will have been exhausted after a few months ?"
Which brings us to the core of online sexuality : descriptions, words. Even SL with its convincing avatars and photorealistic skins has only added spice. And indeed, we see that silent poseball hoppers -they use both hands, Miss Seauterau- engage in what I would call animated porn. Nothing wrong with that, no animals are harmed in any way, but it is not cybersex. Not in my book. My book is full of words. And it is interactive. You do not know in advance what your partner in crime will say or do. An interesting partner does the unexpected and finds new ways and phrases to make it all worth while. So, returning to the statement that at long last, all descriptions turn stale and predictable, I am reminded of some of my collegues, who use scripted objects -I call them quoting machines- to recite pre-written paragraphs. How appealing.... not.
If that is all the effort they put into the engagement, I can truly sympathise with the feelings of ennui and disappointment of their customers.
To paraphrase Miss Seauterau, writing arousing words has existed for a very long time. I just have to remind the reader of Ovid (yes, I promise to publish more) . I can imagine not everyone feels the same excitement as do, when reading acomplished phrases, and I am the last person to claim that you have to. On the other hand, there is no need to call me an over-excited freak either. The brain is Man's crucial sex organ. It is, has always been and will forever stay so. can I help it that I use my brain more than other people ?
All by all, Miss Seauterau's article is a very useful reminder what it is all about.
Some criticism is at its place , however : as the central theme revolves around her debilitating ailments, she unintentionally raises the impression that cybersex is only an accepted and viable alternative if "the real thing" is impractical. In other words, unless you are bedridden or hideously deformed, there should be "no need" for the virtual playgrounds.
I remember hearing similar arguments against masturbation. I still encounter people that at best ridicule masturbation as equivalent to the toupet, or else claim that it is harmful. It isn't. It is a private thing I loathe to discuss, but so are all things I do in the toilet and bathroom. Or bed. Or bus. Or ...
Toupets aren't ridiculous either, by the way.


Alweezin Paine said...

Toupets ARE ridiculous. That's exactly where the metaphor breaks :P

The Lady Penance said...

Well, to be fair dear, the article IS about the potentials of cybersex to heal those who need it. I didn't ever intend it to suggest only sick people need it or should enjoy it, and I apologise if it did. I only meant to focus on the benefits it holds for the lesser among us dear.

Lady Hagar said...

No nead to apologize, Miss. After all, I DID say the effect was unintentional. Perhaps the word "criticism" was not at its place here