Is virtual sex grounds for dumping?

I’m not quite sure where I stand on the whole hullabaloo over the woman divorcing her husband in real life, after she caught him having sex with a prostitute in Second Life.

To start with, I don’t understand the craze and addiction to Second Life. Is your real life so unwanted and boring that you have to create a parallel virtual life to get your thrills and kicks? To do all the things you can’t do, for some reason, in your real life? Or does it have to do with the pleasure of freedom it gives you to role play anyone you want to be, without facing societal repercussions or consequences?

When Second Life first hit the market, I downloaded the free version out of curiosity. I made myself an avatar and called her Veronica; I don’t remember why I chose that name. I thought it was fun, but I didn’t have the patience to explore all the functions and key combinations you need to have handy to make your avatars function, so I left it half way. I remember being surprised at how good the graphics were, but that’s about it. I never felt the urge to go back and explore.

What I did find a little out of hand was the whole Market Place concept — where you can do real business and transactions (but with Linden Dollars, which by the way, you can later exchange for real dollars!); and the land buying deal — why would you want to own virtual land?

I suppose it’s the thrill of creating and inventing things that you can’t / don’t know how to / don’t want to in the real world, and therefore fulfilling those desires in a parallel life, which is safe because it is virtual. Anyway, I digress.

Getting to the point: Why would you pay to have virtual sex? For the same reasons you pay to watch pornography? I see nothing wrong with pornography, but do I want my boyfriend to be having virtual sex with a prostitute? “But she’s not real!” you say, but her mind, as well as your boyfriend’s mind, is. So if that’s a fantasy he wants to fulfill virtually (because it’s not an option in real life if he wants to keep the relationship), is that OK? Why? Because it’s not his real body, so not his real self? Because it’s virtual and it’s only sex?

I suppose such a scenario is relative, depending on the kind of relationship you have with your partner. If you are living something like this, perhaps it’s a cue to evaluate what is missing in your “real” relationship, or atleast understand reasons for such indulgences. Because really, how different can your avatar be from you?

And, as we all know, if you don’t get want you want from the relationship you have, you look outside. So whether it’s a “real” outside, or a “virtual” outside, does it matter?

I’m torn on my stand. If I were faced with such a situation, I suppose I would evaluate its importance based on the quality of my “real” relationship. More important to me would be the question: Why do you have to resort to a virtual reality to live the life you really want to?

Everyone has desires, adventures, and fetishes. Some are fulfilled (however, often with consequences), for the others there’s Second Life. (!?)


  1. I think you have to look at it on a case-by-case basis. I think the real question about whether or not something is grounds for breaking up is: was the act something that willingly and knowingly decieved your partner, or violated a trust that was in place? Now, in the case of the infamous couple all over the news, the answer is yes. He lied to her; he kept it hidden from her. He did something she expressly said she didn’t want him to do.

    Now in the case of–oh just for example’s sake–my own marriage, if my husband saw me having pixellated virtual sex with somone on the screen, he may pause and say “do I know this one?” or “I suppose sometime you’ll be wanting some real sex too, right?” (with a grin, of course). In our case the answer is no, because I don’t practice deceit, I do honor the rules and trusts we have in place.

    And, as 99ppp mentioned above, not all marriage are strictly monogamous. So really you can’t make a sweeping “right” or “wrong” judgment across the board on this one. It may not make sense to everyone; some people don’t get why anyone would want to look at porn when they have someone there at home. But there it is, anyway, my 2 lindens’ worth.

  2. Until it’s possible to get a blow job via the net with actual sensation, I don’t believe online infidelity counts.

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