As with every medium since cave paintings, sex is a big part of Second Life. The virtual world is a haven where people can fulfill their sexual fantasies. But it also has a dark side.
Many of her customers are looking for emotional intimacy they don't get in real life. "I have been paid to sit by a fire and listen to a guy pour his heart out," she said.
Tiffany Widdershins: in fact, a lot of the guys here fall in love with me...
Tiffany Widdershins: I am not about to get attached to a guy who actually has cartoon sex
Tiffany Widdershins: lol
Tiffany Widdershins: at the end of the day, he could be the nicest guy on earth, but he hired me for cartoon sex
Tiffany Widdershins: and I am exploiting that
Tiffany Widdershins: not looking for love... lol
Tiffany Widdershins: so it's sad when they fall in love
Widdershins says she's transitioning her business to run as a service for escorts "because frankly I find the girls annoying."
She says she finds newcomers to the virtual world -- known in Second Life jargon as "newbs," which is a disparaging word -- to be the best escorts. She gives them packs of skins, hair, shapes and clothes to customize their avatars. "They haven't been jaded by the industry, and they will do what you tell them instead of nodding yes and doing their own thing anyway."
She gives her escorts four rules to live by:
Tiffany Widdershins: 1) Men cannot abide a damsel in distress if it is in his power to rescue her.
Tiffany Widdershins: 2) If a man is given a problem that he is able to solve, he WILL solve it
Tiffany Widdershins: 3) Despite protests to the contrary, men LOVE women who call them on their bullshit...
Tiffany Widdershins: 4) men do what they are told to do, not what they are asked to do
Tiffany Widdershins: A woman that understands those 4 things can get anything she wants from any man
I asked her how escorts could implement those rules.
Tiffany Widdershins: well for example..
Tiffany Widdershins: if you ask an average escort in sl how she's doing, she will say something like "great how are you?"
Tiffany Widdershins: if you ask a successful luvrag the same question, she will answer differently
Tiffany Widdershins: She will IMMEDIATELY become a damsel in distress
Tiffany Widdershins: "not so good actually..... how are you"
Tiffany Widdershins: that will always prompt the "aw what's wrong hunny?"
Tiffany Widdershins: That's when our new damsel in distress presents the man with a problem that can only be solved with sex for money
Tiffany Widdershins: "well none of my regulars are on, and I have tiers due... and damn it ... I am a bit horny... maybe you could help?"
"Tiers" are jargon for fees paid to Linden Lab by people who lease server space to build content in Second Life.
Escorts charge 500 to 1,500 Linden Dollars per session. That's about $2-$6. They pay Widdershins L$999 per month to wear the brand. She charges about L5,000 for her own services as a virtual escort, which she rarely does anymore.
In real life, Widdershins is semi-retired, having run a service that networks florists together. She asked that we withhold her real-life identity. She got into Second Life because she "smelled money."
"I looked to see where the best fit was for learning the economy here without any real skill sets," she said. "I am here to make a billion real life dollars, and I am just crazy enough to think it can be done."
The purpose of Second Life, she says, isn't amusement, it's commerce. "The fun is just the hook," she says.
Housewife In Real Life, Dominatrix In Second Life
For "Marilyn Murphy," the fun is the main thing. Murphy is best known in the Second Life community as publisher of Players, an in-world magazine about the Second Life sex scene. She photographs Post Six Girls a feature of the blog Second Life Herald where attractive avatars, usually female, pose nude. She also takes private photos of residents' avatars, for which she charges fees in Linden Dollars, which she uses entirely in-world.
She plays in Second Life as a "domme," or dominatrix, with three female avatars as subs, who obey her every command. I met with her on a wide patio area, with a table surrounded by cushions. Her avatar was dressed in a long, slinky gown.
Later, we were joined by one of her subs, who teleported in. Murphy commanded the female avatar to sit, and the woman kneeled next to Murphy. Murphy commanded the woman to sit on one of the cushions around the table. The woman participated in the conversation normally and cheerfully, although I noticed she addressed her comments to Murphy, and not me. Perhaps that was a d/s thing -- I don't know and can't ask, because Murphy has not responded to my instant messages seeking further information.
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