Rated M for Mature

Rated M for Mature
Knocking Pixels: The Evolution of Cybersex

Mark Wallace | 2 May 2006 12:02
Rated M for Mature - RSS 2.0

And with the advent of player-created software add-ons for graphical MMOGs, cybersex took another quantum leap forward. What was surprising at first, though, was not how lewd the things players created were, but how tame was the fare they were willing to settle for. In The Sims Online, for instance, a piece of player-created software called the "Nude Skin Patch" simply made avatars appear naked if they were wearing certain items of clothing. (Needless to say, sales of these particular garments shot through the roof.) That, a simulated slow-dance and a few good lines of sex chat passed for the cyber equivalent of a roll in the hay - and did such a good impression of it, a number of TSO players were actually able to charge money for their services, according to reports.

As MMOGs have evolved, though, so has their player-created sexual content. Some things remain the same: World of Warcraft recently saw several enterprising players create nude skin patches after the fashion of those found in TSO, including the flagship "World of Porncraft."

But where it's actually possible for players to add their own content to the world, they have done so in spades.

Some of the most varied player-created sexual content can be found in the virtual world of Second Life. Because players are free to create their own appearance and living spaces from scratch, the world has become the perfect venue for people to play out elaborate fantasies. In Second Life, cybersex grew balls - quite literally. A range of elaborate genitals are available to apply to your avatar, and recent models such as the Xcite! line can even be "stimulated" by another player. (And once brought to "orgasm," they aren't good for much of anything for half an hour or so.)

With such high-tech sex on offer, Second Life has seen a number of dedicated sexual communities spring up, including a significant population that's into bondage and domination. The more sexually minded among the "furry" population - people who like to dress up as animals, even in real life - have found Second Life to be the perfect place to make their fantasies more real.

One of the most interesting such communities are the Goreans, who use the virtual world to live out the science fiction community described in John Norman's Gor novels, where women live as sexual slaves in a society of rigid rules and protocols. Many of those protocols have been imported to Second Life, and the Gorean community there publishes its own virtual newspaper and even holds classes on how to be a good slave or master.

Even X-rated movies are available for rental within Second Life - the same ones available at your local video rental store, mind you, not machinima pieces featuring avatars (though that's available' as well).

One of the more disturbing recent trends in Second Life cybersex has been known as "ageplay," in which one of the avatars engaged in the encounter will have been created in the image of a child, though both typists are consenting adults (Second Life admits only those 18 and older). Though the practice caused much controversy on Second Life's forums and in the blogosphere, Linden Lab, the company behind the world, has acknowledged that there's no action to be taken on its part, since the Supreme Court long ago ruled that no laws are broken where no children were actually involved in the creation of the content.

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