dimanche, janvier 14, 2007

Fluff and fetishes

"I thought I'd want to have lots of sex. Meaningless, multipartnered, degrading sex. After all, if Second Life is a virtual community in which you can look however you want, do whatever you want and use the fake name you want, then I could make all my fantasies come true. And as I quickly learned, having sex is exactly what many of the people on the site spend their time doing. Occasionally, it seemed, with characters that look like giant fluffy squirrels—which is wonderful, because there is nothing like the warm flush of superiority you feel when discovering a fetish you don't have...

I spent the next 41?2 hours with Cristal as she took me to a waterfall, a snowy Christmas scene, a shipwreck and a sex club. At some point, she offered me a free penis. Much as I didn't want to take it, it's damned hard to tell even a fake woman that you don't want the free penis she's giving you. So I thanked her. And I realized how incredibly nice she was and how—even in Second Life, where anything is possible—I wasn't really any different than I ever am." Joel Stein, Time Magazine, December 16, '06

Let's deal with the squirrel question first-when I went out this morning one ran out from under my car, and I took a careful look at it (with a family living in my garage, I get lots of chances to meditate on squirrel life and love).

I have to say that I couldn't...not even with an adorable giant furry squirrel.

As to fetishes-I often wonder what kind of a deprived life I have led not to have any. Unless, of course, you count my need to buy increasingly intense varieties of imported chocolate as a fetish.

This line of thought is a little depressing, leading me to speculate that perhaps I just don't have enough of an imagination to develop any really interesting kinks. Once again I feel like the uncool girl I was in high school, adrift in a sea of pot smoke and sex, hoping someday I could lose that nagging voice in the back of my head that told me I couldn't pull off such wild and crazy behavior. Ah, for the memory of just one night of drunken bliss.

Which bears out the point Stein is making about being the same person in an online world as one is in real life. I have read that online we feel free to be more honest about our real selves. That presumes, of course, that we know who we are to begin with.

I am bugged by the thought that, even with new access to ways to realize our fantasies, we are still caught in the web of desires as primitive as our need for sexual satisfaction. Is it not possible that our compelling longing while chasing the firefly of fantasy is for the realtime person who, in fulfilling them, will heal those old wounds of self-doubt and rejection? In the meantime, we search those Gothic Halls for the next thrill, hoping against hope that even in this virtual world we will find someone who sees through our fluffy squirrel costume-and doesn't run, but reaches out to embrace us.

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