Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

BedI found a very interesting blog today about sexuality, by the author Jena Pincott. I liked it so much I read every entry. In my reading I found a few aspects that I thought shed some light on women and sex in Second Life that I’ve decided to share. I should warn you, some of what follows may be a bit explicit for some people but I’ve avoided being too graphic where possible so you should be OK. And some of it is tongue-in-cheek… some of it isn’t :p

The first is related to a personal observation that women in Second Life tend to quickly tire of their sexual companions and are somewhat likely to cheat on them. These two things appear to happen faster and more frequently than they do for women in real life. Now it seems to me that one of (if not the main) reason for this is that it’s very hard to form a strong bond with someone you can’t touch – with someone who you can get out of your life as easy as an on / off switch. But reading this blog post gave me another unexpected perspective – it’s the semen! Or lack there of anyway. Semen arguably makes women happier and more faithful! o.O

Now the second application is the idea that masturbation for women has been linked to depression! Of course straight away we have a chicken-egg issue: Are they masturbating because they’re sad (and isn’t that an odd idea) or are they sad because they’re masturbating? Either way it doesn’t look particularly good for Second Life sexual relationships which – let’s face it – come down to some self-loving. Another slightly bent nail in the coffin for Second Life sexual relationships for women.

And finally we need to note the difference between the effects of the hormone prolactin which makes someone feel sated after an orgasm, and the hormone oxytocin which – though also released from orgasm – is associated with physical touch, kissing etc. The latter is the one that makes you feel more attached to and trusting of someone. We’ve already established above that masturbation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, add that to not being able to touch and kiss your Second Life partner and you have another piece of the puzzle for why Second Life sex just isn’t going to cut it in the attachment and faithfulness departments.

Now I know some of that is going to (excuse the phrase) “rub you the wrong way”, and feel free to say so. But do me a favour, if you take nothing else away from this post, just take the time to at least discover Jena Pincott’s writing and blog. It was fun and entertaining to read, and well written too (always a bonus). And it sure gets you thinking… and some of those thoughts are mighty odd! I doubt this will be the last post I do drawing on her work ^^

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A few days back a Second Life friend asked me a question about his real life: Should he risk turning a friendship into a love affair? It’s a question I’ve been asked by a lot of both Second Life and real life friends. The risks involved are many – maybe the person doesn’t feel the same way and you loose their friendship, maybe the love affair turns sour and you loose their friendship – but it comes down to the same thing: Is the chance of love and realised lust worth losing someone who may otherwise be a life-long friend?

Of course, some risks are worth taking, and love is always a risky and amazing thing. It takes a lot of bravery and confidence to tell someone you love them, and many people go through their lives never saying the words to the people who mean the most to them.

One of the problems with trying to advise someone on whether they should risk an incredible and potentially life-long friendship with someone, “just” to turn it into love and a romp in the sack, is that you don’t know if you will still be friends in a few months time regardless – friendships evolve and change, because people’s lives and people themselves evolve and change.

With so many unknowns the first step to take is to try to eliminate some of them. First off, trying to figure out if the feelings are reciprocated in the way the love-struck person hopes. If they are not and the love-struck friend still wants advice on whether to push the matter, then the answer becomes easy: No. Unrequited love is immensely painful, but adding to that hurt the complete loss of a friend because of the pressure and awkwardness placed upon them by trying to “make them love you”, is ill-advised. I can see a good argument for trying to get the loved-person out of their life altogether if their attraction to them is too strong and the person in love is pained by seeing their friend be with other lovers, but you are best doing this on your own terms, and not because the friend had to push you away themself.

Another unknown you can try to eliminate is whether the friend is going to be around much anyway – are they planning to leave the country forever perhaps whereby what the hell I’d put my foot in that fire and see what happens. Yes it might be hard to let them go if everything goes really well, but you would have had a damn good time in the meantime and can be all philosophical saying stuff like “guess it was never meant to be”. There’s also a stronger possibility they’ll come back for you or take you with them if there’s mutual love involved, compared to friendships which rarely survive long-distance separations as the two lives head off in different directions in more ways than one.

Of course, a key consideration is the person themself. If the love-object is a good hearted kind soul who wouldn’t push someone away out of the awkwardness of declared love, the sort of person who understands that a very large number of close friendships do actually have a sort of attraction at their basis and beginning, then there can be the constant fun flirting underneath it all which can give you a sort of mix of both worlds. Definitely not the “best” of both worlds, but a close second-best. These sorts of people are perfect for trying the love thing out in substance too, because chances are you’ll retain a friendship with them after the love affair ends as well. Unfortunately these sorts of people are all too rare and I wouldn’t count on the person being one of them.

I think within that last paragraph is the key to the matter – remembering that very often friendships do have that underlying attraction at first (and perhaps through-out as well), and to realise that every time you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s a great lover you’ve found, but rather just a sign that it’s someone much like yourself that you want to be around, and just enjoy that for what it is.

Just to confuse matters further, my last major point is that some of my best relationships, no, all of my best relationships, were with people who started off as friends. For all the great loves of my life I had to wrestle with this question: What do I do, risk the friendship for the love affair..? I’d love to end it there and say that every time I tried to turn a friendship into love that it worked out right, but I had to learn the harsh lessons along the way that these situations can also lead to great hurt and damage to a friendship, even killing it. One of the reasons for this all-too-frequent outcome is that men have trouble saying no when sex is involved. Not all men, true, but a rather significant majority seem to suffer from the temporary insanity of giving in when offered sex, even by a friend. And as awesome as sex is, it also typically complicates things as hormones kick ideas like jealousy, uncertainty, self-doubt, wilful blindness, into overdrive, and if you’re not both really into the potential love-gig, someone’s very likely to get rather badly hurt pretty quickly.

So where does that leave the friends who ask my advice? Probably as confused as they started out (aren’t I helpful). At the end of the day it comes down to two key considerations: The actual natures of the people involved, and the understanding that love always involves risk of some sort. Sometimes, you just gotta jump into the abyss. And to my friends who have asked me this question and are now reading this, please know as well that I am one friend who will be there for you to hug you and be all philosophical with you if it doesn’t quite turn out the way you’d hoped ❤

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There is no shortage of people in SL who either practice polygamy, or claim to believe in it as normal and do-able. My initial reaction to this is that as adults we can freely agree to enter whatever relationships we like with each other – if you meet someone else who thinks it’s great and knowingly enters the relationship with you on those grounds, then hey-ho happy days.

But in my year plus in SL I keep encountering the same exact situation, like a cruel re-run: People who claim they can handle polygamy ending up distraught, insecure, jealous and full of a mixture of self-doubt and self-loathing when they find out for sure that the other person has more than one bed-buddy. Sure these emotions en-company a fair few monogamous relationships too, but they seem to hit faster and stronger when people give polygamy a go.

This confuses me on one level because human beings don’t appear to be naturally monogamous – our hormones send us in all sorts of unintended directions in even the healthiest relationships. And yet the intensity of love and lust is such that it seems to require one focused target else lead to utter despair or rage.

It seems to me that a lot of the support you come across for polygamy in SL is people who have RL relationships desperately trying to justify also having SL relationships, or people who don’t have the guts to say goodbye to and hurt their current partner who have fallen for someone else.

Having given it a lot of thought I’ve reached this conclusion (at this point, I have a lot of thinking yet to go): Polygamy seems to very rarely work and yet it’s attraction reveals what I think is more true of human relationships: Humans appear to be best suited to multiple monogomous relationships – one after another, with breaks in between to catch your breath, learn your lessons and free your heart for the next one. The skill is trying to end the relationship amicably and learning how to live among exes.

All this is not to say having one very long-term relationship is a silly idea – especially once you have kids it makes a lot more sense to stick at the one you have, fight for it, and both try to learn and grow together as a couple. But I fully understand when and why that can’t be done for so many people. What I’m weary of is when people tout polygamy as the great answer to their woes, when all it seems to do is raise more problems than it solves.

I’m still trying to get my head around all this stuff, I was just prompted to write on it today because of what some friends have recently been through. Seeing their pain and trying to understand it.

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