I was having sex with a Dutch girl when my wife walked in. “I don’t like the phrase ‘virtual sex,’” Lynn says, “because it trivializes the experience. “It’s not sex but it is sex,” says Regina Lynn, author of The Sexual Revolution 2.0 and a columnist on sex and technology for I don’t know where the real user was located, but our virtual meeting space within Second Life was called “The Netherlands.” Or maybe “she” was really a he, controlling a female avatar. If it’s not clear already, “virtual sex” can be a little complicated. But there was a real person on a computer somewhere in the world making her avatar have sex with my avatar by clicking a pink ball on the ground. She was an avatar in Second Life, the online, 3D, digital world developed by San Francisco company Linden Labs.
Allowing separated couples to stay in touch, almost literally, is only one of the many positive aspects that virtual-sex advocates see in the refinement of — and increasingly widespread access to — cyber-sex technologies.
“One of the huge benefits is safety,” says Brenda Brathwaite, a veteran video game developer (whose credits include Playboy: The Mansion) and author of Sex in Video Games.