Some Players have had Sex with Animals

November 14, 2008

The title of this post is the final line from the hilariously awful article that Tarissa of Fallobst posted on Plurk. The article is called “How do avatars have sex?” but probably should have been titled: “OMG! Avatars have teh sex? WTF? LOL!”

“And infidelity is not the only thorny ethical issue thrown up by virtual sexual – some players have had sex with animals.”

Three thoughts entered my mind when I read this:

  1. Wait, wait wait. This is Second Life, “animals” is so not specific enough.
  2. I imagine a penguin sitting at keyboard pecking erotica as its human avatar copulates on the screen.
  3. Then I wonder if there is an avatar that hits some virtual shops as a way of relaxing after performing in a real life donkey show.

I’d like point people towards Bonnie Ruberg. Ruberg is a journalist for The Village Voice and writes a column called Click Me. She explores many aspects of cybersex with an open mind and, of course, Second Life has been featured more then once. It’s refreshing to see a journalist who actually knows what they are talking about with regards to sex and SL. In fact, you can start with her guide to getting started with sex in Second Life for non/new residents.


3 Responses to “Some Players have had Sex with Animals”

  1. Alex said

    This is all part of the problem of “ambient awareness.” The result of the perceived “thereness” of our digital projections of self means that people often have a hard time getting that a facsimile of the real thing is, in fact, not the real thing.

    I recall some public discussion with Robin Linden that took place more than a year ago–possibly about age verification–in which even she, a representative of the Lab, pleaded for a better “more perfect” Second Life that would be free of “slavery.” She had clearly lost perspective regarding the whole consenting adults nature of SL.

    Virtual representations of sexuality, even those which include oppression and violence, cannot, in my not so humble opinion, ever be dealt with socially or legally the same way in which oppression and violence must be dealt with when they are nonconsenting and involving physical bodies. (And furries are NOT animals, and they most certainly are consenting.)

    I don’t think there is really a thorny ethical issue, but there is a perceptual issue that can serious threaten individual freedom. Curtailing virtual behaviors can come dangerously close to criminalizing thought.

    I know you were treating this humorously–good job, it needs to be ridiculed–but I can’t help ranting a bit when this comes up. Time to donate to the ACLU again, I think.

    Thanks for the penguin image, it made me laugh.

  2. Roxy said

    That article on “having sex with animals” was awful. I’m not an SL-er, yet even I know enough to distinguish “furry” and “bestiality freak.” Furres want to get in touch with their animal side/wild side, while bestiality involves dominating the wild. A lot of bestiality focuses on the fact that it’s a HUMAN having sex with an animal, whereas furry-dom focuses on anthromorphic people (i.e. humans with animalistic traits, or animals with very human traits.) Furry fantasies are often tied to human anatomy with perhaps a touch of fur or tails and ears… but the sexual actions/reactions/feelings are all very human (i.e. what kind of animal talks, kisses and moans?) Bestiality tends to be exploitative of the animal. The animal is turned into a sexual object which pleasures the human. Because of this, it’s unlikely that it’s on SL— how many users are willing to roleplay as a sexual object, much less are able to convincingly roleplay as an animal (animals can’t type erotica, as you mentioned)? I suppose you could always build an animal “object” (never seen one, though), yet given the human/personal nature of cybersex it would get old, fast. That’s why bestiality is very rare in cybersex per se— since it doesn’t appeal to the kind of people having cybersex and the very appeal of cybersex is based on human-to-human interaction.

    That journalist didn’t do her homework— she makes SL sound like a perv breeding ground.

  3. anon said

    SL IS a perv breeding ground.

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