Monday, November 10, 2008

Sex in Second Life ruining marriages

I love this tale of the blurring of the real and unreal

Sexual couplings in Second Life are fraying real  marriages
William Saletan gives us this example from Slate. Counselors are "seeing a growing number of marriages dissolve over virtual infidelity." One wife says her husband's avatar's marriage to another woman's avatar is cheating; he says he isn't. 

His arguments: 1) It's just a game. 2) He has never met the woman behind the other avatar and doesn't plan to meet her. 3) His participation in Second Life is no different from his real wife watching TV. 

Her arguments: 1) The virtual marriage includes a joint mortgage, dogs, and spending hours together. 2) The husband and the other woman spend real money on each other's avatars. 3) The other woman says, "There's a huge trust between us. We'll tell each other everything." 4) The husband met his real wife online in the first place. 5) His virtual avatar is all about lingerie, nude dancers, and redheads, which is fake wife is but his real wife isn't. 6) He's spending all day in Second Life and ignoring his real wife. Wife's summary: "When it's from six in the morning until two in the morning, that's not a hobby, that's your life." 

Human Nature's view: Leave him. 

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Blogger Karyn Romeis said...

I would suggest your use of the word 'real' to contrast with Second Life is inappropriate. 'Physical' and 'virtual' both constitute part of what is real. There has been significant precedent to demonstrate this.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Sure, there's a precedent - 2,500 years of philosophiocal analysis into mmetaphysics, ontology and epistemology. It's not that simple.

Meaning is use, and most people would regard Second Life as being unreal in the sense of not being physically real i.e. the objects and environment in Second Life are not real physical objects in the sense that most people regard real things as being real. It 'seems' real, but that is a subjective and mind induced illusion. There is a 'real' difference, just as there's a difference between dreams and real-life experience.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Rob Alton said...

The other woman might not be female either. I have friends who do this sort of thing and it is seriously weird (to me), particularly when they meet in RL.

12:35 PM  
Blogger secondlifeslut said...

Just 2 cents here, but in the vernacular of Second Life, people refer to their "Real Life" or "RL" when referring to the life of the typist behind the keyboard.

That being said....

This guy is a putz. To spend so muc time in SL, when he has a wife (family?)that need his attentions. I admit to spending plenty of time in SL, and I believe, my marriage is better because of it. Our intimacy has increased dramatically. We cuddle more, the time we do spend together now is much more quality time than before, where we'd just sit and watch TV or some such.

I'm a firm believe in everything in moderation. Spending all your waking hours doing one thing is bad...period.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Karyn Romeis said...

I think we're talking past each other. I posted on this a while back.
Here and here

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Rina said...

This is interesting. Why does one wander into these spaces? I do play second life but I have discovered that what one lacks in a marriage is sometimes available on the net. We lack connect, trust, understanding and the rarest of all is unconditional love. I have understood my marriage now, after I interact with some people who are going through similar problems. There is support system now and I cool down when I hear similar problems my friends are facing. Some aspects of my own personality have opened up right here on the web. I had never thought that I could be confident and worth love and care.I think this second life does similar wonders for some people who seek and find.Nice post, thanks for sharing Donald.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Donald Clark said...

Hey - a few days later and there's a Second Life divorce on the cards!

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I divorced my wife because of SL. She met a Yank on there, he was paying for her stuff on SL. Then they would webcam each other. She would spend all day up to about 9:oopm in there. She would not cook any real food for our Son, let alone anything for me. This went on for about 2 months, then one day the Yank just turned up 5 mins down the road. I'm in Australia. They were with each other everyday, the Yank had the gaul to be at my house when I was there. He stayed for 10 days, went home, then came back again in a couple of months.
10 days again, then he got a work visa and came for 3 months. My wife set up a townhouse for him down the road, all the time saying,"There is nothing going on".
I put up with this all told 8 months, then I left. He now lives with my ex-wife and my Son in my old house, which was mine. The Yank paid me out of my mortgage can you believe. Our divorce is now offical and the worst part is that I never get to see my Son. The ex has been in fantasy land for years and I was very patient with her , but seeing her all over him in front of me was way too much to put up with. My friends and family have been very supportive as after I left they said to me that she was a wack job anyway and that they respected me too much to say something when I was married to her. 2nd life is a virus and is to be avoided at at all costs. The slime that exist in there are exactly that, slime.

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second Life is ruining my relationship. I have been in the relationship with the same guy for almost six years. We are a gay couple. he found second life and is now a sex slave in order to get the nice virtual clothing. It is like an egyptian harem of sorts but even worse. He talks sexual he has even told his “masters” he loves them. he tells me to not worry he can determine the difference between sl and rl. he normally ignores me anyways for the most part but now he is ignoring me even more and it hurts. I dont want to leave him as I know I have been with him so long I cant take care of myself on my own. I do love him and I just want him back. Originally he had a porno addiction that stopped for a few months then he went back to porno now I have to contend with porno and second life for his attention. He says he pays attention to me while playing but really just saying two or three words when I ask a question isnt really paying attention is it? If i were a stronger person i would wait until he goes to work and just pack my bags and leave no matter how much I love him just to see if he would come for me. Thing is i have no where to go no friends no relatives that care enough for me because of who i am. I am scared.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Second Life or SL is a virus it has caused my wike to try and deceive my, lie to me, and hide things from me. I admit I tried this stupid game for 12 days and ended up quiting cause it was dumb. She spends all day and night on this "game" sometimes until 3 am and then gets up at 5 am for work. Oh and by the way I get up at the same time but don't leave for work until 8 cause I see the kids off to school, meaning I don't get homr from work until 6-6:30, and guess who is playing the "game" while the one who just got home from work cooks dinner, gets the kids ready for bed and then cleans up. I am currently in conseling for this, and she says she is going to go as well but hasn't called yet. Maybe she needs permission from her SL "real" "friends". Second Life should be banned!!!!!

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found out that my husband was on second life for several months. He met a girl on there and they have been not only playing the game all hour of the night but have been texting and calling each other. It may have been a game when it started, but became real to me when they began communicating outside of the game. We have kids and a real life. He has been lying to me, deceiving me, etc. I am so hurt and I feel cheated on. I ended up txting her from his phone and told her to stop contacting him. She apologized and said she didn't know he was married in "RL". This is ridiculous. They were sending pictures to each other and spending time together like they were a couple. Secondlife is ruining marriages and real life relationships.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. My marriage is only about 7 months old and I am feeling very neglected. My new husband has been spending all waking hours on this thing. I go to work at 12:30pm and come home at 4:30pm. Everytime I come home he is on there and doesn't come to bed until 5am! Now theres this new SL woman thats been hanging around him (Stalking hom forr that matter) and she doesnt seem to care that he's married in real life. And god forbid that I ask him to get off this thing and do something with me in real life! It's just not worth the fights about it anymore. I am feeling so neglected when I should still feel like we are on our honeymoon as our marriage is still new.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fiance had been playing this game for a while before we moved in together and got married. I didnt know how much time he had put into this. The very same day we got married, he got back to the hose and was on SL and skyping with his new friend ( a woman 14 years older than him) talking about how to make her new character so they can role play together... it almost turned out to be the worst day of my life. I really dont know what to do. Doing all this research is getting me all panicked.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second life ruined my relationship with my boyfriend. we broke up on our 2 year anniversary when i discovered texts he was sending to girls he met from the game. He was very secretive and never allowed me to see what he was doing on the game. Our relationships had our ups and downs but nothing that i ever thought would break us up. He started secondlife about 2 months ago and our relationship instantly turned sour and i just became a nuisance to him i couldnt even sit by him without him telling me that i was smothering him and that he needed space. He became very lazy and didnt leave the house for days on end and sometimes wouldnt even stop playing to shower. He has an extremely addictive personality and he has been depressed and i think this was an escape from the reality he has been living. I love him a lot and i would be willing to work it out, but if he continues to play the game it will never work out. which makes me really sad especially because he used to be such an amazing person. He needs to delete that ridiculous game and go to therapy and start living in the real world again.

9:48 PM  

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