Before I begin this first episode of Sex & the Virtual City, I’d like readers to know that our series has nothing to do with the Sex & The City television program. Our story will be driven by adventures in a virtual world called Second Life.
Time to Say Goodbye
I’m Yordie Sands. I like to say, “I star as the heroine of a virtual fantasy life.” That comment sounds madly egotistical but here’s the thing, I believe it applies to everyone, all avatars. If you think of a virtual world as a type of television program, then by logging in you become part of it. And if you engage you play a role. In fact, you are the star of your own show, your own virtual fantasy life.
Anyway, it’ll probably come as a surprise to most of my friends, but a couple of weeks ago I was ready to say goodbye to my virtual life. I’d been having difficulty re-engaging since my human’s recent relocation, but also I was just tired of a stream of disappointments.
Leanna, “LeLe”, already knew I was drifting away. She is my BFF and closest confidante, and we share an island in Second Life New England. LeLe has always been a calming influence in my life and if it weren’t for her I’d have left Second Life several times in the past.
Anyway, we’d talked often about how difficult SL relationships can be, like some guys are in SL to cheat on their wives and all that. So, when I told her I needed a break, she understood. It wasn’t like leaving forever, but LeLe knew I needed to get away. I planned to keep paying my rent on our island, but I didn’t know when I’d be back. I wasn’t unhappy, I was vaguely discontented.
I Lost That Loving Feeling
The problem, my dilemma is that I’m no longer interested in loving anyone. It was friendships and romance that drew me into Second Life. And I’ve always felt so much more alive with a special guy to explore with and share adventures. So, my loss of interest was a big deal to me.
I still like guys. I like guys as people and friends. I like to be with guys. I like the way guys make me feel when they treat me like they care. I like all those things and yes, yes, I wrote that piece, “How to Date a Virtual Woman” about romance and dating. I believe in all that, but when I look at my own virtual romantic life I have to acknowledge it has run its course.
The way my interactions with guys have gone lately, I’ve come to feel that every guy has fuse. The fuse determines how long it will be before a guy starts grabbing your ass, figuratively speaking. The fuse ignites the moment you meet. Probably the fuse is partly me too because it’s happened so often I’m waiting for it. Maybe if the last guy I danced with hadn’t grabbed my ass in like ten minutes I wouldn’t be so fed up. I’m sorry to say I just don’t trust virtual guys anymore.
There’s more and I could try to be more introspective but simply said, I’ve lost that loving feeling.
Memoirs of a Geisha
I’ve been through periods like this before. I got swallowed by the same type of morass after I broke up with my partner in 2008. That time I was lucky. I’d always been interested in Japanese culture, but shortly after I broke up something wonderful happened. A cable channel was running the movie Memoirs of a Geisha. I hadn’t seen it in the theater, so I eagerly watched with my usual fascination with things Japanese. Then I watched it again. Before long I’d watched it six times!
Some women chafe at the notion of women in subservient roles like that of the geisha. I wasn’t ignorant of geisha, but the movie opened the doors to their world. And I didn’t see subservience, I saw a type of freedom in the way of the geisha. I saw beauty in the art and the skills they perfected. I believed there was great clarity of purpose in the willowy world of the geisha, and I wanted to be in that floating world.
When I discovered a traditional geisha house in Second Life, it didn’t take long for me to join. I found that my training as an apprentice geisha was the kind of change I needed. I believed and it turned out to be true, I could enjoy my time with men in this unique lifestyle. And I found happiness acting my role, performing my geisha skills and entertaining clients. I found freedom in not being emotionally involved.
I might have continued in my role as geisha, but there are many twists and turns in Second Life and lets just say I eventually moved on. However, I continued to perform in geisha shows for several years.
Becky and the Kama Sutra
Like a lot of bloggers, I follow a lot of other bloggers. About a year ago I discovered Canary Beck’s blog and really liked “Becky” writing. Becky writes in an intimate and honest style, and I identified with her writings.
When I discovered Becky’s blog I also discovered that she was in a transitional phase herself. She was starting a new business, an exotic dance club, called KamaSutra. It was an intriguing connection to Second Life’s sex industry, a place of mystery to me. One night I asked if I could come visit.
KamaSutra Exotic Dance Club is not what I expected. On that first visit I felt self-conscious and awkward, like I didn’t know what to wear or where to sit or what to say. But even in my nervousness I found that I liked the club. The women of the club were charming. They had lovely sexy voices and set a relaxed mood in the club. And there was this, I saw similarities in the art of the exotic dancers and the art of the geisha.
I didn’t return to the club for sometime, but found myself toying with the idea of becoming an exotic dancer. Each time I quickly backed away. I was afraid I’d sound so nervous I’d never get past my inhibitions. Still I talked with friends about an adventure into that world.
Becky and I are connected outside blogging and her club, we are also adventures. One day when we explored Calas Galadhon, we were standing around talking when Becky mentioned that one night a month the club has a “date auction”. It was just a casual comment but I’ve done date auctions before, for charitibile fundraisers, and her comment ignited my interest.
You see, I’d done well in most of the date auctions I’d participated. There are different kinds of auctions but usually you create a notecard describing yourself and the date; I was involved in non-sexual auctions, so I wroteup something adventurous and romantic. In one auction for Relay for Life, I got the highest bid of the night. On that auction, the date was an hour of formal dancing, but the guy was happy to have made the highest bid, he was proud of the way I looked and we had a lovely time together. Of course, they all aren’t like that.
All those things were going on in my head. I didn’t say anything to Becky, but I’m thinking, yeah, I can do that. I never had a bad experience with the guys I met this way. It was all unemotional and the guys were gentlemen. But I didn’t know the rules for the kinds of auctions at Becky’s club. I knew there were notecards and I suspected there would be competition for the top bidders. And as with being a dancer, I wondered if I could get past my fears. I worried that I was heading down a path I would regret.
Sex & The Virtual City Is Born
Then there was an enthusiastic chat at iRez with Vaneeesa, Becky, Berry and me. Then with even more enthusiasm we did a photoshoot with Berry, and that same day the photo launched Sex & the Virtual City. It happened so fast. They told me, “You are the central character, Becky is your teacher.”
And now here I am as usual, with no idea where I’m headed but eager to follow the path we believe is out there in the virtual future.