Second Life: Too Little Sex?

263 - Happy Independence Day

263 – Happy Independence Day by Sannita Cortes, on Flickr

On their landing page 3DSex is one of the areas you can download and play in. That link jumps to a rather explicit page. Sex makes up about a quarter of what is promoted about their world on the initial landing page.

The Second Life result sends you to this landing page. You have to use a browser that you HAVE NOT used to log into the SL web pages or clear your cookies to see the ‘landing’ page. As members of SL the web site sets cookies and recognizes us. So, we land on different pages than non-residents.

I only took time to find a couple of landing pages that non-SL-residents would find. No mention of sex on them.

If you look at the Wikipedia page for virtual world, you do NOT find the word sex.

If you explore the additional result, web site, the only mention of sex there is where they are trying to prevent it from happening in-world. I had to look pretty hard to find that.

In the paid links section IMVU shows up first. Neither the landing page nor secondary pages mention sex. Discussing sex in the IMVU forum is apparently banned. Some one new to virtual worlds is not likely to find much about sex and IMVU. If they search YouTube, they can pretty easily find sex by accident. But, they are pretty far down the research path before they likely find it.

Second Life appears second in paid advertising and that takes one to the usual SL landing pages. No Sex.

I think it is pretty clear that unless one is explicitly looking for sex in V-W/R they aren’t going to be exposed to it any more than if they were planning a RL vacation to New York or Las Vegas and probably less.

The articles that upset some people and make the news in SL just aren’t something those new to SL are going to find. Since SL is free to enter, I suspect few will look up a review. Reviews are more important if you are going to spend money. Otherwise, try it and have a firsthand experience. But, if they do go for the review they find very little that talks about sex. Virtual World Review, reviews just about every virtual world out there. Second Life is included. Reviews are by people and range from bad to great. No review since 2010 even mentions sex. With reviews extending back to 2006 the words sex and cybersex are only used 15 times in 7 reviews out of 58 reviews (12%). Not a lot of sex.

From my perspective this information is revealing the same type of information that Canary found. It supports her hypothesis there is no reason for concern. Not only do the machines see sex as a minor part of the information relating to Second Life, the information those blissfully ignorant of virtual sex and Second Life are likely to come across is mostly devoid of references to sex.

Does this mean the sexual revolution is over for SL? Or are the majority of SL residents a bit more mature about sex than we thought and able to keep it in perspective? I say no to the first and undecided on the second.

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