[Some of the terms used here which are specific to Second Life are defined in Getting A Second (Or Maybe A Third) Life.]
As I entered Second Life for the first time in earnest, I still thought of it in terms of a game. In keeping with this perception, my instinct was to explore this new world I found myself in and discover how I could best take advantage of it. Flying and walking were fairly easy, teleporting a bit more tricky…and then, there was shopping.
I’m not exactly a power shopper in RL, but in SL I found my inner fashionista. Slowly learning the best boutiques and high-fashion designer stores, I soon began amassing quite a collection. After a while, though, money became a problem and I decided that I needed to become more self-sufficient in funding my adventures. I knew there were ways to make money in-world and decided to try exploring some of these so I could continue shopping.
My first attempt at this led me to a place where visitors could use an in-world machine to connect with a website in order to fill out surveys and be rewarded for doing so in-game with Linden dollars. This, I discovered after filling out several mindnumbingly long and boring surveys, is neither lucrative nor a very good use of one’s in-world time.
One thing I had managed to acquire in my travels around SL was a pretty decent collection of freebies, including some outfits that were as attractive and just as well made as just about anything I’d seen available for purchase. Even though my avatar still had the basic appearance she had been born into the world with and there was no comparison between her pleasant but generic appearance and some of the stunning, exotic beauties I regularly encountered in my travels, finally, one night, I decided that this girl was going out clubbing to pick up chicks.
It really didn’t take very long. It was at only the second lesbian club I visited that a lovely blonde started a conversation and asked me to dance. By the end of the night, I was involved in a four-way with her and two other women. This was where I discovered that my lack of genitalia was going to be an issue.
Doing a little research, I discovered that all of these issues were addressable with effective applications of both time and money. Money, however, was already a big issue by this point. While there are plenty of nice things to had for little or no money, just as in real life the best material things in Second Life are usually not free. I knew I was going to have to find myself a job to get the really good stuff.
My first inquiries were disappointing. Those hiring generally wished to hire avatars which were fully enhanced with a well-designed custom appearance. Those with the kind of generic “newbie” look I still sported were just not in demand. In fact, most of the jobs I investigated specifically disqualified avatars with such an appearance from consideration for employment. Fortunately, this was a problem for which a solution quickly presented itself.
Two of the women I’d met and had sex with that first night out had been friends themselves before they met me, and decided to take me shopping to improve my look. With the help of my new friends, I completely redesigned my avatar’s appearance. New hair, a new skin, even a new body shape…by the time Cameron, Corina, and I were done shopping and I’d spent a few hours tweaking the details, I looked absolutely smokin’. Finally, this girl was really ready to hit the virtual nitelife and go find herself some hot and sexy lesbian lovin’.
Knowing I still lacked high-quality genitalia, I was a bit concerned about hitting the clubs, but I really wanted to see how my new look would play with other lesbians. Since coming out in RL, I’ve always hoped to be accepted and found attractive by lesbians and in lesbian spaces. The temptation was just too much to resist, so I put on the sexiest outfit I owned and went back the lesbian club where I’d first met Cameron, a place restricted to female avatars only called the Isle of Lesbos.
It was around this time that I began to discover that there are real and significant differences between being single and looking in RL and the way it’s done in SL. I found Cameron especially attractive because our conversations were so interesting and engaging, but I also understood that she was not looking to be tied down to any one woman in SL. After giving it some thought myself, I came to understand that neither was I.
Second Life, I discovered, is a place where many of the usual rules of real life human interaction simply don’t apply, or only apply when, if, and how one chooses to apply them, and that includes the rules that normally apply in dating, sex, and romance. This was conclusively proven to me about five minutes after I arrived at the Isle of Lesbos dance club area. Taking a seat at the bar, I had no less than five women ask me to dance. I accepted the invitation from the woman I found the most attractive and interesting and hit the dance floor.
I’d been concerned that my dance partner might ask me to go have sex. With only a mediocre quality vagina, it just wasn’t somewhere I really wanted to go that night. My plan was to use my new look to get myself hired somewhere, work for a while and build up some Lindens, and then go buy myself some top-quality genitalia. In the meantime, I’d decided that I’d probably not be having sex with anyone I hadn’t already until I’d gotten that issue resolved to my satisfaction.
By then, I’d learned that the most well-designed and highly desired virtual sex organs were marketed in SL under the brand of “Xcite!”. These fully scripted sex organs, when used in concert with a special control panel, would actually keep an ongoing descriptive play-by-play going as the user had sex, and would interact with the “Xcite!” genitalia worn by one’s partner in many unique and special ways which were unavailable with less expensive brands. Of course, I knew I wanted a full set of these as soon as possible, and by the time I teleported out of Lesbos that night, I knew that my next project would be to get myself a job and make it happen.
The next time I logged on, I went job hunting. Originally, since I have a retail background in RL, I sought out a job at a shop as a customer service agent, but quickly discovered that most of the time when these places said they were hiring, what they were really looking for was someone with their own SL business to resell their products on a commission basis. With the price of buying or renting land far more expensive than what I could afford, and with the time investment involved in building and running my own store far in excess of what I was prepared to devote to SL at that point, I knew this wasn’t the way I wanted to go. After doing some more searches for open jobs, I decided to try a very different route.
Second Life boasts quite a thriving sex industry, and I’d noticed there are were plenty of jobs available for dancers and escorts. Initially, I wasn’t hot on the idea of having men drool over me as I danced around a pole, and even less comfortable with the idea of having virtual sex with men for money, but after a few days of unsuccessfully seeking work in SL in other fields, I decided I could deal with it for the sake of financing my adventures.
I applied for a few of these jobs, but wasn’t really comfortable or confident agreeing to work for any of these places, until I ran across one very nicely appointed and classy strip club, which I won’t name here for the sake of both their privacy and my own. I soon discovered that the people who work in this club are more than simply co-workers, but that there’s a real feeling of family among many who work there. I decided that if I was going to do this kind of work, that this was a place where I could do so as comfortably as possible, and I took a job there as a dancer.
I did pretty well there as a dancer, bringing in my fair share of tips, and even taking in some passes for personal services. As a dancer, I was not allowed to accept a pass for sexual services without the permission of management, but I could and did accept passes for lapdances and massages. Working as a poledancer, I discovered, was as much about being a good roleplayer verbally as being physically attractive, and I became more and more proficient at this as time went on. In addition, the club welcomes both male and female customers, which made it a little easier to deal emotionally as many of my first customers were women. It wasn’t long before I was good enough that I passed a test and was promoted to the status of “Escort”, which allows me to accept passes for sexual services without management approval.
After a while, I’d built up enough Lindens to buy that prized set of genitalia, and began spending on other things. At first, it was sexy outfits for dancing at the club, hairstyles, jewelry, and later high-fashion outfits, but after a while, I decided there was more I wanted to explore in Second Life, and finally with some Lindens now in my purse I was able to start really adventuring and exploring more new frontiers in Second Life, including one in particular I’d always found especially fascinating.
(To be continued in Part 3)