Why Do we need a Second Life?

This is a question several of my RL friends have asked. Nearly all of them have real lives full with work, family and a few hobbies. So what makes me think I need a second (virtual) life, they ask.

I am going to try to rationalise it and in doing so I might open a few doors to others who are wondering why also.
Everyone will have their own set of reasons for starting a second life:
For some it is an escape from their daily round, a bit of fun, nothing more.
For others it is another form of game to play, be it shoot-’em-up or Roleplay, the essence here is most likely that other games are too pre-ordered for them.
Some may start it to explore the possibilities of creation and programming in a virtual environment.
For some it is a substitute for an unhappy or unsatisfactory real life and that is where I would place myself.

My real life was as full as any, slightly too busy, slightly too stressful, but otherwise very normal. Normal, that is for a given value of normal. I have detailed elsewhere on this blog that my life has had more complications than I would have liked, and I found that I was Roleplaying real life – and that was very unsatisfactory.

Then, without much real warning, the wheels fell off my wagon. Illness and acute personal dislocation followed each other very rapidly and I found the options available to me were most unpalatable.

I had dabbled in a virtual environment called Secondlife some months earlier, and had begun to see a possible way to externalise some of the pressures that I had allowed to build up in my real life.
But I soon found out that there was a lot more to this virtual life than I had thought, and as I grew more accustomed to its vaguaries and idiosyncrasies, I began to realise that this virtual environment was going to allow me to at the least explore a side of myself that I had thought inaccessible.
To that extent you could argue that I Roleplay – but I would simply say that while I undoubtedly do take on a role, I do NOT play.
So in that way I LIVE my secondlife. It is THAT important to me. My real life is continuing, though ill-health has severely curtailed my abilities, and the personal hiatus removed a great many options from the list too.

But what of the secondlife I chose for myself? It is a way of connecting with other people, many of whom also are in SL because the options open to them in Real Life are either very limited or entirely unpleasant.

I have chosen to partner myself with a person who, by their nature, is very directive – a dominant, to my sumbissive. Within that there is trust and love. Yes, LOVE. It took a while for either of us to admit it, but it has resulted in a glorious and fulfilling relationship, where to a large extent each provides for the needs of the other, in many different ways.

That I submit to the wishes of another holds no fears for me, because I know that they will, as they satisfy their needs, also satisfy mine. In future articles I will try to explain some of the roles that I have occupied at the behest of my partner in Secondlife, but realise this, if nothing else: some may undertake similar roles to me for their own satisfaction, and that is of no concern to me, provided there is no lasting harm done.
Make no bones about it – while it may be true that you can not be physically damaged directly by Secondlife, you can be psychologically scarred by your experience in the world of SL, and that may ultimately result in physical harm.

People who enter Secondlife need to be aware that it might have a far greater impact on them or those with whom they interact, than they ever imagined.

My current form is that of a latex-covered heavily restricted Doll, and this is a situation that fascinates a good many folk, in SL and in RL. It combines elements of Fetishism with bondage and other forms of restraint. It is essentially a form of sensory deprivation, which is a subject that has interested me for many years and raises an interesting apparent contradiction: why would someone enter a supposedly social world and by consent be deprived of both communication and interaction with the medium?
From my viewpoint it is the interactive nature of SL and the removal of that capability by another person that is the challenge. Some people regard such activity as purely sexual – a form of self-gratification, and certainly many may well indulge in various forms of BDSM for that reason. I do not feel that that is my prime motive, although I am willing to argue the point.
There is an art to creating a package which is exciting to the subject and gratifying to the Dominant who locks the subject into the restraints. To this end I feel that use of the specialised RLV or RLVa form of the SL viewer is essential to create the tension sought. Overcoming obstacles placed in the way of a submissive by its Dominant is the challenge that I and some other submissives seek to surmount. To actually communicate in some way with others in SL is a goal. To that end many ways of restricting movement and communication are available to the Dominant and ingenuity on their part is an essential element in this activity. It is also vital that both Dominant and submissive gain benefit from this, otherwise it rapidly becomes boring for one or the other. I can only comment on my satisfaction at enduring some hardships and achieving some minor successes as my rewards, I would be arrogant in the extreme if I was to second-guess others’ rewards.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on September 29, 2011.

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