Sunday, August 30, 2015

Depersonalization during anonymous sex rituals

Our kind guest blogger below touches on one of the more popular activities in the fetish community in Second Life, wherein people engage in anonymous sex during the performance of rituals. This is of some interest to me since in my mind this makes it fall under the umbrella of depersonalization. As noted in an earlier post, one of the definitions that I applied to depersonalization was that in such activities, the partner is stripped of all personhood or unique personal characteristics, such that he or she is perfectly interchangeable with another physically similar person who can fulfill the same exact role. 

I'd like to thank our anonymous guest blogger for her thoughts on the matter.

I was pointed towards the blog entry on ODD (Objectification, Dehumanisation, Depersonalisation) and was initially confused as to how it might apply to me.  My avatar is determinedly human: no tables, no horses, no mermaids even.

Thinking further though, my interests in ritual and anonymous sex is one branch of depersonalization and so I agreed to explore my thoughts further.

After some consideration I decided my depersonalization extended to remaining semi-anonymous. I'm not ashamed of my kink and friends will recognize my identity quickly but perhaps that is sufficient.

Ritual and anonymous sex is a part of my kink, which also extends to sensory deprivation and bondage, and they do all link together - at least in my mind. Talking with Sir MK there seem to be two main issues, the mechanics of such kinks in sl and the psychology behind my kink.

The psychology is I hope more interesting, if harder to explain, so I'll talk about how things do, and don't, work in SL first. Anonymity within SL can be provided via viewer settings or more enforceably via Restrained Life Viewer technology (rlv), which has the ability to hide avatar names. Rituals can be handled purely through information and explanation (some sets of sim rules could be considered as defining rituals) or through poseballs, scripts and animations. I've been asked about how one makes sure rules for rituals and individual's limits are observed. Perhaps I have been lucky or perhaps such sims attract people with respect for such things but it has never been an issue for me. If necessary I would comment politely, then comment firmly then teleport or log if the problem continued.

Examples of rituals would include the sims that follow the ritual from the Eyes Wide Shut film, which also implies anonymity, or some of the rituals employed by Story of O based sims. There are undoubtedly many others, which I hope I might become aware of in the future.

So to the heart of the matter, why do anonymity and rituals affect me so strongly and is there a link between them?

Second Life in itself provides some anonymity and a chance for people to live or explore other lifestyles: disabled people can run and fly, introverts can be loud and brash, transgender becomes easier. Why would more anonymity be wanted? Anyone spending time in Second Life forms real relationships with real people behind the avatars. This is important for me but sometimes it is nice not to have any history.

Mutual anonymity allows two people to come together with no prior experiences and no particular expectations. On the other hand if only I am unable to know who is with me it is arousing as a form of humiliation. Will they see me later and tell friends without me being aware?

All of this sounds dry to me, so how do I feel when I'm about to start a ritual such as Eyes Wide Shut? The sense of arousal is driven by the dissonance between knowing the rules of the ritual and the uncertainty of what I will personally experience and with whom by its conclusion. Despite meeting some good people, the two I really remember I never knew who the other person was.

Maybe the next time will be even better!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Alanis Angels at Alanis Gallery in Xaara

Alanis Gallery of Sensual Images in Xaara (formerly in Roissy) has always been one of my favorite places in Second Life. Not only do I enjoy the original artwork that is on display in the galleries, quite a few of which I have purchased to decorate the walls of my Art Room, but I have also been fascinated by the rather unique concept of "Living Art" that has come to symbolize the gallery for many people.

Alanis Angel near the Naiad Pool (2015)
This "Living Art" involves female or male avatars called "Alanis Angels" who pose as immobile (and sometimes mute) statues for the enjoyment of visitors to the sim, although many of the statues are free to RP with the guests. They are one of the most visible examples of organized objectification in SL, and as such are of interest to me and others who are fascinated by this area of BDSM, which is termed ODD (objectification/dehumanization/depersonalization).

Alanis Angels at the Gallery Foyer (2015)
According to Michiel Seetan, who owns the gallery with his partner Sylvia Fitzpatrick, they were approached in 2009 by someone who, along with some friends of hers, wanted to become an installation of human statues at the gallery.

The inspiration for the display was a quote from the Story of O, by Pauline Réage:

But even though they thus made use of O, and even though they used her in this way as a model, or the subject of a demonstration, not once did anyone ever speak to her directly. Was she then of stone or wax, or rather some creature from another world…

In her notice for the exhibition, Sylvia Fitzpatrick wrote that "Living Statues" is truly representative of submission, objectification, and commitment to Owner and Art.

Michiel adds that It is this statement made by the display, one which questions conventional sexual etiquette by pushing the values of D/s to their limit, that turns ‘Living Statues’ from being merely a thing of beauty into a work of Art. And it also makes it a perfect piece for Roissy because its ethic mirrors that of ‘The Story of O’.

Alanis Angel with marble skin
The exhibition was quite popular and evolved into the Alanis Angels, who became a permanent fixture in the Alanis Gallery landscape. At the beginning, they were chained to columns and wore marble skins and angel wings, but as time passed the Alanis Angels posed more and more often in their own skins, and many actively interacted with gallery guests.

Alanis Angels in central fountain with natural skins
When I asked Michiel whether there had been any public outcry to the objectificaion of people in the sim, he replied in the negative and noted that:

It's consensual and 

(a) all art involves objectification;

(b) lots of great art is about sexual objectification (for example

(c) many RL 'gallery artists' - such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Nobuyoshi Araki - have specialised in sexual objectification. " 

Michiel with Alanis Angels
He ends by saying that:

What I like most about ‘Living Statues’ is that it wakens emotions that I know will be too primitive, too disturbing for some tastes. Here we have beautiful young women, totally enslaved and forced to pose whenever they are in SL for the pleasure of others. If the dark beauty of ‘Living Statues’ is not to your taste, look away. 

I should note that my personal introduction to Alanis Gallery and the Alanis Angels was sometime in January of 2013. I remember times spent sitting in the central fountain just watching and talking to the Angels up on their pedestals, and one time they even had an event where many Angels were posed on alcoves along one of the buildings. Linda, Tinka and some friends of mine like Serena were Alanis Angels at some point in their SL lives, and Linda's art is also quite visible in the gallery grounds even to this day.

Linda's statues at Alanis Gallery (2015)
Tinka in Angel outfit (2013)
Here are some more fascinating images of the Alanis Angels at Alanis Gallery of Sensual Images:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A morning chat at Cafe LaPe'rouse @ Austin

Ecstasy baby and Master Crack
It's always nice to have a good round of chat at the Cafe in Austin. There has been a surge in new applicants lately and the new faces certainly add to the busy and friendly ambiance. Linda and Melinda Nyn sat by my feet for awhile until Marcus showed up, at which point I had my baby girl leap onto my lap for some closetime.

While Frank Lardner tried to grill one of the new applicants (Bahkana Hadazuma) over the hubbub and Meme (sozome) gave him a taste of the pleasures awaiting him at Austin, the rest of us went from topic to topic, touching on music bands, sex on the lovebug during the 1960s (ahem), Master Crack and  his Ecstasy Baby, lesbian pillow fights (double ahem!), putting my backrubs up for auction (which is funny considering the only backrubs i give involve floggers), and horror movies. I also got called a "mean old man" by Avril after I called Linda a "crackhead" *rolls eyes*

Some of the other people there were:

Avril (avril.aura)
Bahkana Hadazuma
Fia (fiammetta1981)
Frank Lardner
Jata Wrigglesworth
Jonathon Carbenell
kelly (kellymysterious)
Marcus (marcusmassaro)
Meme (sozome)
Orchid (orchid.zsun)
Tish Sorbet
Ulrika Tomsen
William (williamwhipp)

Later that day, at voice chat, I had bouts of downtime for my earbuds, and it was only through sheer luck that I managed to find out Ecstasy Baby was secretly trying to auction me off in lederhosen and wooden shoes! *smh*

All I can say's time for drastic measures!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Enchanted Forest/Melinda Birthday Dance at Cafe LaPe'rouse @ Austin

Ratzu wondering why the heck MK is doing a vogue in front of the poster
The stage was set, and boy was the stage fantastic looking. Aria Vyper had created a setting that could have been taken from some famous surrealist painting, or from a cell drawn by the very best Pixar animators.

Sage Avedon (sagewisdom) Aria, Marcus Massaro, and some other friends of Melinda had conspired to set up a surprise celebratory dance for the birthday girl. Sage hosted the event while DJ Painthorse Graysmark provided the music.

It's a bird! It's a plane! No! It's an invasion of fairies and gnomes!!!!
Get Peter Jackson over here pronto!
From the air, the venue glittered like some precious emerald, and a crowd gathered quickly while Marcus kept Melinda busy. A big banner on one wall proclaimed Happy Birthday Melinda.

Sexy Avril looks on in front of the banner
Masters and Doms could come in suits or costumes, but the girls were encouraged to come as fairies, pixies, and other elemental forest folk.

MK 'The Wallflower' tries to look cool as the Fairy Folk gather and dance
When Melinda was brought in, she was almost beside herself with emotion, exclaiming:

I'm shocked...I have never had a party like this before! Beyond my wildest dreams...I never expected....I am just overcome with you all ;) I just got my supper and was telling my husband how wonderful you are and how you are better friends than most I have in rl!

Melinda surprised
And it was a great dance party, though there was lag present so I could not get video of the event. The list of people attending included many of Melinda's closest friends:

Aga Cisse
Aimee (ifyouseekaimee.swansen)
Aisha Sohl
Alek Ampan
Aria Teodosio
Avril Aura
Billy Avedon
Damion (Cyberdami)
Domi Galli
Drayton Sands
Fia (fiammetta1981)
Forest of Azure
Julie Tremont
Kelly (kellymysterious)
Kurt (kurt8)
LG (Lord Glasswing)
Lilian Howley
Liss (LissomePrey)
Marcus Massaro
Mari Carducci
Melinda Nyn
Painthorse Graymark
Sage Avedon
Sean Woodrunner
Sergej Lubitsch
William (williamwhipp)

I contented myself with taking pics and vid clips while the dance progressed, then near the end danced for awhile with Mari.

More images from the amazing event below. If I mislabeled some avatars or have not identified them, feel free to contact me to update them.

William and Kelly

Mari and Sergej look on

Fia in her elemental fire spirit costume

Sage and Billy watch it come together

Liss getting it on!

Avril and MK with Damion and Lilian

Kurt and Julie

Aga and Marcus

Billy and Sage

Mari and MK


Marcus and Melinda

Fia and Aisha in white

Aga and Alek (?)

Fia and Sean (?)

Crux Maximus!
Forest of Azure

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

O-Ring Ceremony of Dakota at Cafe LaPe'rouse @ Austin

Thank you to Melinda Nyn for the pictures and chat information.

Dakota (Dakota0therbee Resident) is an extremely smart, capable, and somewhat serious girl, though she can be fun-loving when teased out of her shell. This was immediately apparent when Linda and I were at the Austin circle one night in December 2014, when I first met her.

Linda had whipped out some funky Afros, and the two of us, plus Dakota and Reni (Serenity Streusel) did an impromptu line dance. When I went afk, there were some rumors later that the girls had started pushing around my "away" body, and when I confronted her and Reni later, Dakota grinned and said that they were < 50% innocent! With such a devious and fun-loving mind like that how can you not help but like her?

Mentors Sage and Aqua speak
Dakota's O-ring ceremony was held on June 14, 2015. During her training at Austin, her mentors were Aqua (aqua fearne) and Sage Avedon (sagewisdom). Both heaped high praise on her, with Sage telling her that today is not the end of your is the beginning of a new and exciting one you will take here in Austin. Welcome my sweet mentee, my sister and my dear fly, while Aqua noted that You faced a couple of fundamental challenges on your path and showed strength and self awareness as you worked them through... you hit some speedhumps in the road... but i was always impressed by the way that you went back and spent time reflecting... thinking about what happened and why... and used it as an opportunity to explore, read, research and learn and grow in your submissive self.

Dakota speaks
Dakota herself gave a beautiful speech about her journey at Austin, which she gave me permission to repost below.

I was told by many that this was my day and that I should take the time to celebrate for all the effort.  But I realize I won't always be able to have a captive audience to express what I'd like to.  Please get comfortable in your chairs and on your cushions and humor me for ten or more minutes while I get this out.  I hope you don't all want to put me back into silence after taking the time :)

For anyone on the line and wondering if they could do this, or _why_ they could do this, my opinion is that you do it to empower yourself.  At the end of the journey, you understand exactly what you are giving when you offer yourself in service and why.  I have polished my submissive, I have seen her fears, I have seen her strengths and accepted her weaknesses.  I understand how far she would go and know there is more to come.

Some of you who have gotten to know me well know that I come from a loving SL family, two are in the audience today.  After watching me suffer a few occasions and after hearing me say very dramatically over and over that I was THE worst sub in Second Life, the suggestion came out that perhaps I could explore a training program.  I have to admit I balked at the idea.  I had visions of girls being abused, debased and punished without cause.  I thought the end goal of a program would be a timid little mouse with no thoughts of her own.  But another disappointment brought the idea back in my mind and one day I went wandering and found Austin.

Not only did this journey help me to heal from that suffering, it helped me to know and accept myself just as I am.  Austin does not produce cookie cutter submissives and Masters.  It does not produce meek girls who would allow themselves to be abused.  It educates based on reading, independent reflection, mentoring, access to expertise and experience.  Even more importantly, it gives you a home filled with family and friendship with people who share a love and understanding of this lifestyle.  Who express that in their own ways.  It is as it is advertised to be, a sim of "Educated Girls and Masters with class".

I had many breakthroughs at Austin, some so powerful I shattered into tears.  Times where I had a shift in my thinking and was able to break through a barrier.  Times where I really grew up in my submission.  All Masters helped me to grow.  There were some that put in session after session, listening and guiding.  There were others that gave me a nugget of truth during the interview that I carried the whole way through and reflected back on when I needed to sort things out.  And there were some who made me respond in ways that I had to step back and examine, and in that examination, I found beliefs inside to either be nurtured or challenged.

I learned to relax and let the Master's drive.  That being able to do this is the power and joy of submission.  It is it's own form of self discipline: you have to trust, you have to be patient and yet you have to be aware.  Each opportunity you have to practice that, to be challenged with that, it makes you stronger.  Your meddle is tested and you pull through, not by suppressing yourself but by conquering yourself.  And all the while you know that you will never be pushed beyond what you can manage and if you fall apart in the process, someone is there to pull you back together.  How AMAZING is that?

I learned not to fear my emotions. I know that girls have worked through many fears in Austin.  I couldn't really put it into words early on, but my biggest fear was me.  I'd try to stuff my emotions, my discomfort.  Deep down I thought if I didn't they would overwhelm me.  And it didn't matter if it was anxiety, desire, longing, shame, disappointment, rejection - I'd try to push it down.  I'm not saying I'm perfect at this, but I'm ok letting myself feel these things.  Austin taught me that I won't always get what I want, when I want it.  And that is ok.  Sometimes what you want isn't really what you need.  And sometimes what you get is so much better than you could have dreamed for yourself.  You must delay that urge to gratify in order to unlock this.  And just because you feel something, doesn't make it true.  Time is your best friend to uncover truth.

I learned that I can be my own unique submissive, like nobody else.  To quote an article my mentor gave me: "A submissive discovers, or more properly, realizes and acknowledges that she functions AT HER BEST in relation to another. And the more intimate, holding, containing that relationship, the better she feels and the better she performs".  I can be my self: my driven, perfectionist, outspoken, *coughs* stubborn, adventuring, nerdy and silly self...and still be submissive.  I am downright joyful when someone allows me to be useful in a way that is important for them.  It is allowing me to love.

The newest O-girl then thanked the long list of Masters and submissives who had helped her in her journey, and one by one the guests contributed their appreciation of this new O-girl.

The long list of well-wishers included:

Deuce Samas
Aria-Dancer Michele
Dante Parabola
Aletha Roams
Duke Dragmar
Meme (Sozome)
Misty Aniwahya
Wicked Storm
Melinda Nyn

I wish Dakota well on her new journey as an O-girl. I have had the pleasure of attending one of the discussions she hosted, and I have to say that Austin is so much the better for having her.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

My Ukulele Girl

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Happy 7th Rezday!

To the mayor of the rundown trailer park with the big blue hair and feather boa...

To the sister with the flower in her hair at Roissy...

To the builder of boots and sculptures and a home near the Alanis lighthouse....

To the girl in the bright orange sundress at The Chamber...


ps. and please please please stop scaring our guests by leaving your dentures where everyone can see them!

Dancing with Marie at Alanis in March 2013
with Linda's sculptures in background!
Same resized sculptures still at Alanis on August 4, 2015