Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Ides of March event: Seeking Pleasure in a Virtual World

The Ides of March event: Seeking Pleasure in a Virtual World
This is the inaugural round-table discussion for the Kama Sutra Institute. Our topic will be the pursuit of pleasure in SL--the many forms it takes, how it differs or aligns with 1st life, and to what ends it is taken.

Much of the press, both mainstream and in the blogosphere, regarding Second Life revolves around its economy (or un-economy, as some would have us believe) and pleasure-seeking (read: escorting). Fundamentalists take umbrage, those with an agenda manipulate, the Fortune 500 downplays, and...well, the fundamentalists again take umbrage. Yet every newbie signing in to Second Life for the first time will have their first sexual encounter (or at the very least be propositioned) within hours of being in-world. What happens in a virtual environment where most of the prevailing societal norms and constraints (and, indeed, those of the physical) no longer apply? While there are many outlets to seek pleasure in SL--from the very forward-thinking reality experimentation, beautifully-designed sims of fantasy and fancy, to interpretations of RL thrill-seeking (e.g., FPS games, roleplay, racecars and rollercoasters, et cetera)--the preponderance of escorting has raised many an eyebrow.

Yes, you can go newbie-fishing in the welcome areas, yes there are hundreds of sims where a roll in the hay (or sand, or clouds, or aether) will cost you nothing more than time. You can go to innumerable escort houses and nightclubs and titillate the night away (or your lunchbreak at work) for a nominal fee with any size shape or manner of public woman (or furry, or angel, or devil, or alien, or...). But there exists above the strata of the mundane a new, elite class of companion that seeks to enrich every moment spent in her company, who values an avatar that has taken care to present [it]self with distinction and knows that value for value is not lost on some, and who seeks pleasure in a manner at times innocent and pure and at times with the intoxication of a fallen saint.

How has this path been paved? And where does it lead?

That shall be ours to answer.

The round-table discussion format serves to exchange ideas among willing minds, expand the boundaries of the status quo, and in the best tradition of thinking people everywhere to elicit change in a tangible manner, one person at a time.
Several friends and SL luminaries will be invited to participate; seating for the general public is strictly limited to 15 and must be confirmed via IM to me directly; the parcel will be closed to those not on the guest list once the event starts.


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