Yesterday, against my will (I told Mark I wanted to write about rainbows or flowers, not nasty people have pornographic encounters with online avatars) I wrote a piece called The Ethics of a Sex Life in Your Second Life.
It ended up being exciting (no pun intended) because we were all so appalled by the idea of people signing on and conducting affairs on Second Life, that I was allowed to digress slightly from our staunch “no slant” policy and construct this article to formulate a hint of an opinion.
In short, I think if you are married, and you have a family, it is not healthy to sign on to Second Life and have repeated instances of virtual sex with someone else. But actually, as you may remember if you read my Spitzer posts, as a policy, I try not to come down too hard on cheaters. What’s more interesting to me about this dilemma is people refusing to be aware of what’s going on. The people who opt to conduct Second Life affairs clearly want to escape something, whether it’s their spouses, families or the confines of their physical bodies.
Now, I think desiring escape is perfectly normal. I feel that I want to escape from reality at least once a week. (More, if NRWQ line is being particularly peevish.) But I think that being fully aware of unfortunate moments is essential for growth.
I remember for a while, my yoga teacher at Shri Yoga would say to us during long holds of particularly difficult poses, “What if this was it, and you had to stay here forever? How would you make it work for you? How would you find the joy?” While I still have yet to discover anything joyful about the searing sting of my hip flexors in frog pose, I frequently, to test myself, ask myself if I could handle unusually arduous “holds” whether figurative or literal.
Luckily, I’ve never been stuck permanently in frog pose, nor have I been in an analogously painful mental or emotional state for any indefinite period of time. But our actions, in both our real life and in our Second Life, help form the people we will be in the future. If we avoid cheap escape, we can prepare ourselves for moves and shifts of legitimate consequence. On the other hand, if we purchase the SexGen bed, we get access to 150 moves and sexual positions for our avatar.
I know. It’s a tough choice.