Home / BDSM in Second Life  
Image of BDSM in Second Life

When I first joined Second Life (SL), I was like most noobies and started searching different places using the search tool within the browser. I stated finding things that were more than dance clubs and places to live. I found strip clubs, fantasy places, role playing, sex clubs, and even BDSM locations. Now, I wondered: how could BDSM work in SL?

BDSM... if you are ever curious, this is a safe way to start.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, BDSM is a form of consensual role play between two or more individuals who use experiences of pain and power to create sexual tension, pleasure, and release. How could avatars truly believe that they could engage in BDSM "in-world" (i.e., within SL)? Curious, I found several places in-world that offered the same BDSM situations and roles that would occur in real life (RL).

The Roles

Typically, people who are active exercising control over others are known as "tops" or Dominants. People who are recipients of the activities, which are controlled by their partners, are typically known as "bottoms" or Submissives. There is also a third option known as a "switcher." A switcher moves between top/dominant roles and bottom/submissive roles.

Once you work out who plays each role (I found I like to switch depending on my mood or the situation), you typically define a specific period of time agreed to by both parties, referred to as "play," a "scene," or a "session." Some of the practices performed, such as inflicting pain, humiliation, or being restrained would be considered unpleasant under normal circumstances but - hey - everyone has different ways of "getting off." What I found especially wild was that sexual intercourse, be it oral, anal, or vaginal, may occur within a session, but it is not essential. I was quite surprised at first. Yet, when I spoke to people with many years experience in RL, I learned that just because you didn't have an orgasm doesn't mean you didn't "get off." I found that different people needed a variety of stimuli to be aroused and that "sex" just didn't always do it for them.

SubmissiveI was also amazed that people who engaged in BDSM were not sexual weirdoes. These people are typically very intelligent and fine, upstanding citizens in both worlds (i.e., SL and RL)! Is there a link between a greater desire for sexual stimulation if you are smarter? Hmmmm... that could be a great study for someone's PhD!

The Types

I learned about the three distinct types of BDSM:

  • Bondage & Discipline (B&D)

  • Dominance & Submission (D&S)

  • Sadism & Masochism (or Sadomasochism) (S&M)

This lead me down the road to much testing and experimentation. (Hey, I'll do anything as research for a good article, and sometimes twice to make sure!)


In B&D, the term "Bondage" describes the practice of restraining for pleasure. Bondage is usually, but not always, a sexual practice. You typically tie your partner's appendages together with handcuffs or tie their arms to an object (like a bed... woo hoo). I have also seen restraints with chains to a cross or a giant "X"- shaped object. "Discipline" describes the use of rules and punishment resulting from specific behaviors. Punishment can be pain physically inflicted (like beating), humiliation, or loss of freedom (like being tied to a bed/pole, etc.).

"Dominance and Submission" is the giving and accepting of dominance of one individual over another in an erotic or lifestyle context. I found this to be the more mentally stimulating area, as you have to change your complete mindset in order for this to be pleasurable. Either you take full control or fully let go - there is no real in-between. Dominance and Submission has a large following in SL and even includes people who go out to work only to give what they earn to their master. There are head-up displays (HUD), collars, and animations galore in this area. I found this to be the most active portion in SL. According to one gentleman I spoke with, he had eleven submissive females "under him." Lucky bastard...

Candidly, I didn't handle this area too well. I found that I felt bad for making submissives do things solely for me, and sometimes even giggling because I couldn't be serious with the activity. But practitioners are serious and both parties are very much into the role play. It's not like they are suckered into it.

Humiliation"Sadomasochism" is derived from the words "sadism" and "masochism". Named after the 18th century French writer Marquis de Sade who wrote The 120 Days of Sodom among others, sadism is sexual pleasure typically resulting from infliction of pain, degradation, or humiliation on another person. The masochist enjoys being bound, spanked, or suffering within a consensual scenario. I often saw role plays in which "you have been a bad girl" and had to be punished, especially in public view more than privately. Spanking was the key attraction here and many females enjoyed that role. Although it was similar to role play, participants acted as if it really happened. I tried the "you have been a bad girl" role play but it usually ended up with a lot more than spanking...

"He likes it! Hey Mikey!"

As I explored BDSM, I found myself lured back to these places in Second Life. I found that there are many available toys, machines, beds, and objects to suit your every need/desire/fantasy. I know BDSM in SL is not the same as BDSM in RL but, if you are ever curious, this is a safe way to start. You can always teleport (TP) out or have a safe word to stop.


Now for the Happiness Consultant's Q&A...

1. I have been with my partner now for a few months and we hardly ever have sex. I love to have sex. What the heck?

First, instant message (IM) me and I will be happy to assist you in your sexual addiction... I see this often. When asked, the individual typically states that it's not that important (which is normal when in SL). Many don't find "pixel pounding" appealing or it "doesn't do it" for them. I can relate, as I have to have a real feeling or emotion for an individual before engaging in SL sex/love-making. I'd suggest speaking with them about your feelings and expressing your belief that sex brings you both closer. If you need sex in your relationship and he/she doesn't, then it is only going to escalate issues in the future. You will have to decide if he/she is worth bypassing that part of your intimacy.

2. I really like this guy and we talk every day, but I don't know if he likes me that way. What do I do?

Look, I already told you I'm a huge tease and, just because I don't want to piss you off, I listen to your chatter every day... Ohhhh, and yes - I do like you! I know you're thinking to yourself: "Am I going to look like a fool if I say something," or will he laugh, run away, quit SL, etc.? But the cold, hard truth is, if you don't ask him, you will never know the answer. I have had a few amazing ladies in SL ask me this question and I always knew it was difficult to ask. So men, be very nice, be gentle, and tell them the truth... don't dance around the answer. If you are interested in more than one woman, well, good luck with that answer... but remember: it took a huge step on their part to ask!

3. My girlfriend is a dancer, but she claims not to be an escort. I already have issues with her dancing but I also have seen her back in the VIP areas. Should I confront her when she is back there?

No! You will ruin my time with her and waste my hard-earned dollars. Additionally, she will be pissed and probably never forgive you. A relationship is built on trust and, if you don't have any, you won't have a successful relationship. Additionally, you will ruin my chance of being with her...

4. I am in business with my old boyfriend and he still wants to be mine. I'm afraid if I tell him "no," he might ruin our business. Should I create an ALT? I really need to have some fun and meet new people. HELP!

WOW.... ummmmm... I am typically against having an ALT, but this might be a way for you to have some fun and meet new people. However, it won't remove your problems. Businesses are hard enough in SL, let alone being in one with your ex-boyfriend. Have you thought about starting your own business and eventually telling him that its over on all accounts? If you are equal creators in items (e.g., you make the furniture and he makes the scripts and animations), it will be hard to start over unless you find someone you aren't going to "be" with as your new "business only" partner. Look me up in your new Avie... We will party 'til you drop!

Please remember that I just offer advice; you have to make the final decision on what to do. If you find yourself with very real issues, please contact a professional who gets paid to do this... I'm just here to make you happy or bring a smile to your face!

Please send me your questions and I will do my best to answer them for you. And remember - NO! You can't afford me!

A version of this article originally appeared in Second Life's Opulent Magazine (March/April, 2010).

ted Floresby is a "Happiness Consultant" in Second Life. What's a happiness consultant? Well, if he can make you happy or laugh, that's half the battle. He has dedicated his Second Life existence to making those lives around him more enriched with humor, sarcasm, wisdom, and great advice. When not out stirring it up in SL, he is creating, building, or helping others at any possible opportunity. It is his absolute pleasure to pass on knowledge and skills to friends. In his articles, he discusses dating, love, sex, and many other aspects of Second Life. Think of him as the Dr. Ruth of SL and feel free to ask him anything you want.


Original posting by Ted_Floresby on Apr 2, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=30

You need to be logged in to comment.
search only within braincrave

About braincrave


We all admire beauty, but the mind ultimately must be stimulated for maximum arousal. Longevity in relationships cannot occur without a meeting of the minds. And that is what Braincrave is: a dating venue where minds meet. Learn about the thoughts of your potential match on deeper topics... topics that spawn your own insights around what you think, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

We are a community of men and women who seek beauty and stimulation through our minds. We find ideas, education, and self-improvement sexy. We think intelligence is hot. But Braincrave is more than brains and I.Q. alone. We are curious. We have common sense. We value and offer wisdom. We experiment. We have great imaginations. We devour literacy. We are intellectually honest. We support and encourage each other to be better.

You might be lonely but you aren't alone.

Sep, 2017 update: Although Braincrave resulted in two confirmed marriages, the venture didn't meet financial targets. Rather than updating our outdated code base, we've removed all previous dating profiles and retained the articles that continue to generate interest. Moving to valME.io's platform supports dating profiles (which you are welcome to post) but won't allow typical date-matching functionality (e.g., location proximity, attribute similarity).

The Braincrave.com discussion group on Second Life was a twice-daily intellectual group discussions typically held at 12:00 PM SLT (PST) and 7:00 PM SLT. The discussions took place in Second Life group chat but are no longer formally scheduled or managed. The daily articles were used to encourage the discussions.

Latest Activity