My Second Life Romance – Part 1

I ‘ve wanted to write about Second Life romance for a long time.

In fact, I’ve written about it in the past, even made a few observations, but I want to write something very personal. I want to talk about strong emotions. I want to talk about Love. I’m not sure I’ll talk about sex, but maybe. This will be a journey of discovery and revelation. We’ll just have to see where this leads, perhaps a happy ending, I just don’t know yet. I know this though, there will be three parts to this story:

1) He Made Me Feel Like Dancin’
2) He Filled My Life With Hope
3) Protecting Your Heart

I’ll tell you many personal things, but I won’t reveal the loves of my second life. So, to the guys from my past:  you can relax. I’ve decided to create a composite character to represent the man who represents all the wonderful things about Second Life romance. /me smiles

This was me in my Zen garden several years ago.
Often when I was there I was “in character”
as former geisha from Yoshiwara Okiya.

1) He Made Me Feel Like Dancin’
My Zen gardens were a source of joy for most of my second life. I’d spent a great deal of time in my gardens working to define my sense of beauty, and learning how to represent that beauty in a Second Life landscape. In 2008, I became an apprentice geisha at Yoshiwara Okiya but by 2009 I’d retired from that role. Still, I frequently played my role of retired geisha at my garden adjacent to the Little Yoshiwara.

I enjoyed being “in character” as I  worked in the garden, because frequently guests seem to fall from the sky every day. I created the garden for people to enjoy, and meeting new people was a great benefit. And it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn many men in my life were somehow connected to my gardens. However, I didn’t meet everyone who visited the gardens, there was one guest I might never have met without a little luck. Let’s call him Nathan.

He had come to my garden on several occasions when I wasn’t there. And I’m not sure we’d have ever met, if not for one night when he came to a blues nightclub where I was hosting (it might seem incongruous, but I also played the role of hostess). In fact, we still might not have met if I wasn’t a habitual profile surfer.

That’s me (left) and Dina Petty, co-owner of Junkyard Blues,
hosting for the 4th birthday of Junkyard Blues.
Yeah, I like showing off (it’s a defect in my character I guess).

Nathan’s profile indicated he was a member of the Little Yoshiwara group. So that was a big “Wow” and seeing as I wasn’t anybody’s baby at the time, this kinda got caught my interest. Well, yeah, he was handsome too; there was that. Anyway, as the evening moved along, I exchanged some banter and flirtations with him and that went well.

In fact, in open chat it was clear we were enjoying each other’s give and take, but when my hosting gig ended and I was ready to head home, Nathan did something extraordinary*, he actually asked me to dance.

*[Ok, asking a girl to dance may seem to be a logical thing to do, but not in SL. Maybe SL women reading this post are accustomed to being asked to dance, but I’m not. In fact, I’ve rarely been asked to dance. I’ll take up this topic in the future, but part of my problem is I don’t initiate conversations with guys I don’t know. I’ve come to recognize that most SL guys expect women to start conversations, but I just can’t. So, when Nathan asked me to dance it was a big deal to me.]

Obviously, I eagerly accepted his invitation and we danced, and continued our chat in IM. Then again he surprised me, he asked if we could voice chat. Wow again! I know a lot of peeps dislike SL voice chat but I really enjoy it, so I said yeah.

I plugged in my headset and spoke in my sexiest (more cute than sexy I guess) voice, “Testing, testing, testing…” until I heard him respond with a “Wha-chu-doin?” Nathan was funny and his voice was easy-going, friendly, and he spoke with just a touch of a Canadian accent. Eh? /me giggles. His voice was so engaging and I swear you could hear him smiling.

This was always my favorite place at my gardens,
this little cafe standing over the Meandering Pond.
I called it the Harvest Moon Cafe and over time
this is where I spent many hours with my friends.

He and I talked about everything. But after awhile he turned conversation to my Zen gardens. He really surprised me when he told me he’d been there on several occasions. You may thinking he was tracking me, but I’ve met many people this way, especially at the Junkyard. People seem to remember my name and when they come across me they let me know they’ve been to the gardens.

Anyway, after the topic came up, we decided to go visit. We strolled the garden for awhile and he even told me about changes I’d made since his last visit. And eventually we made our way to my Harvest Moon Cafe.

The Cafe was a great place for us to continue our chat. He was a guy who seemed to have an endless stream of ideas and jokes and just stuff to talk about. It wasn’t a romantic kind of chat. There wasn’t any sexaul overtone. The overtone was just enjoying one another. We played around a little, but there was no groping going on.

Out of nowhere, this was a nights I might never experience again in my entire second life.

Nathan created happiness. There was nothing deep happening. It was just two people who instinctively understood each other. And we danced, even some very romantic dances. And I was feeling very comfortable in his arms, loved it in fact. And there was not pressure to do or say anything. We danced and danced, and talked and talked. I knew this guy even though I didn’t really know him, and he knew me and we both knew this.

In fact, we were having a grand old  time time. Then almost out of nowhere, and before we realized what had happened, we were in the wee hours of morning. We were both getting hoarse and tired and silly. When we collected our wits, we realized we’d been talking for hours and hours.

That’s Nathan and me dancing and chatting.
He was the kind of guy who could say anything
and you could say anything, and it didn’t matter.
Whatever was said just seemed to work.

So, we finally acknowledged it was bedtime. But I would have stayed with him forever if he’d wanted, but fortunately he had to work in the morning.

We didn’t make a date to meet again. We almost forgot to exchange Friendship. And finally we said our goodnights.

There’s isn’t really much more I can say about that night. When I awoke the next morning, the first thing I remembered was that I couldn’t remember much about we chatted about, I just knew I enjoyed it. How could that even happen? But what I truly remember is, he made me feel like dancin’.

Coming soon – part 2

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Yordie Sands is an avatar in Second Life, where she stars as the heroine of a virtual fantasy life.
  • Ironyca

    Aw, so sweet. I’ll be looking forward to your second (and third) part.

    • Yordie Sands

      I hope I’ll know how the third part is going to go by the end of the second part. hehe. So many things can evolve in this SLove affairs, especially when you have had a cast of characters like I’ve had in my life. 😉

  • Vaneeesa Blaylock

    Wonderful Yordie! Interesting that you’ve wanted to write about VR romance for a while, and I’m glad you finally did.

    While it’s not something everyone does, we do know that some peeps do find romance, love, “pixel sex,” and RL dating in virtual worlds. I think we don’t talk so much about these things because it’s some of the content that non VR peeps sometimes use to claim that VR Worlds are stupid and their inhabitants delusional.

    When I was an undergrad at HKAPA I read a book called “Humankind,” I wish I still had it.

    One of the pictures in it was of a prison block, you saw the vertical iron bars of a cell stretching to the ground, then a concrete wall, then the vertical iron bars of the next cell over – where the two different cells met at the concrete wall, down at the ground, four hands, two from each cell, stuck out, in the hands and on the ground between the cells was a deck of cards.

    These two inmates, deprived of almost all human freedom and liberty, deprived of normal human contact, and unable even to see each other, still had the powerful human urge to connect to another human being, and so the “blind” game of cards between the two cells.

    Is VR romance creepy to some peeps who don’t use Virtual Worlds? Yes, it is.
    Is VR romance creepy to some peeps who do use Virtual Worlds? Yes, it is.
    Is connecting to another human being at school or at work, on vacation or on a battlefield, at a dance club, real or virtual, a natural, normal human thing to do? Yes, it is.

    Does that mean that everyone should have this experience? No, it doesn’t. But just as iRez fights against the chauvinism of misogyny, racism, homophobia, ableism, ageism, weight shaming, and many other forms of oppression, we reject the idea that a virtual romance is somehow pathetic or other than “normal” or in some way meaningless or less than real.

    Thanks so much for sharing your candid, honest adventure with us. I think you’ve done a nice job of balancing the details that draw us in, and the desire to not out any specific individuals in the telling.

  • Yordie Sands

    I should probably have begun my piece with an explanation about my own feelings about Second Life romance (or virtual romance for that matter) before I became involved. I thought it was pointless and impractical, especially seeing as you can’t be in each other’s arms and such.

    Then something happened. As you know I live alone in a remote town in northern Idaho, and there’s a lot of reasons I’m here, but one of them isn’t the nightlife or the man I love. So, I suppose i was particularly vulnerable and probably a perfect example of what Philip Linden calls “… people who live in remote places.” hehe.

    You remarks have actually helped clarify the picture I want to paint for readers. All of these things will be true about me and my feelings, but the events and people are twisted into fiction. I don’t know if my experience will enlighten or become a laughing stock, but it will be true to itself. So we shall see. /me smiles a cute virtual smile.

    • Vaneeesa Blaylock

      There’s no chance your experiences will be a laughing stock.

      We watched that old Helen Hunt / Jack Nicholson film As Good As It Gets the other day.

      You know, two of the most “dramatic” artists I’ve introduced to my students are Stelarc and Gracie Kendal. We’ll talk about Stelarc another time, of Gracie, the students can have a polarizing discussion.

      Sometimes the students who are thin and beautiful and perhaps live not perfect yet relatively privileged lives can say harsh things like “why doesn’t she get up off her ass and get a life”

      Other of the students, whose lives perhaps have been less easy, will riposte with equal passion, “we understand where she’s coming from”

      As the title of the film suggests, we’re sold a vision by media, by television, by generations of dreams, by every Disney film ever made, by Barbie & Ken, by well meaning friends and relatives.

      We should strive not to be lazy. We should work for what we really want in life. But to critique someone else’s reality is pointless and cruel.

      • Yordie Sands

        I love that movie, Vanessa. It touched me deeply.

    • Ravanel Griffon

      This is a beautiful story, Yordie, and so well-written! It reminds me of my own lotro romance in so many ways. I notice a taboo on meeting people online in RL, so to say, but luckily also more and more positive reactions. I think it’s time for things to change.

      • Vaneeesa Blaylock

        Totally agree! I hope we get to present more beautiful, inspiring stories, ahem, uh, BEFORE 2012 IS OVER!! 😛

        • Lisa Lorraine Bowen

          More please!!!

          • Vaneeesa Blaylock

            Hey Goddess of Tech – thanks for stopping by! Yes, Yordie’s really got us waiting for juicy details now! 😀

            • Lisa Lorraine Bowen

              Hey Vaneeesa hope your weekend is super great!!!

          • Yordie Sands

            Hi Lisa… darn, I thought i gave you a shoutout already. Part 2 was published today. Its great to see you here. Hugs… Yordie

            • Lisa Lorraine Bowen

              Running in to check it out!

      • Yordie Sands

        I have no idea how i missed giving you a shoutout, Ravanel. Thank you for the kind words. I published part 2 today, the plot thickens. /me smiles

  • Leanna Chaffe

    grins….takes off his hat to reveal himself to me… Yeah, thought so.. Smiles.

    Nice Post Yordie:)

    • Yordie Sands

      Shhhhhh LeLe, you are prolly the only one who knows.

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