Virtual Sex: Risks, Chat Rooms, Video Games, and More

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I was having sex with a Dutch girl when my wife walked in. “What do you think about this?” I asked.

“Um,” she said. “It’s a little weird.”

The Dutch girl wasn’t real. Well, not really real? She was an avatar in Second Life, the online, 3D, digital world developed by San Francisco company Linden Labs. But there was a real person on a computer somewhere in the world making her avatar have infidelity isn’t new. It’s been on people’s minds forever in real life. In virtual life, everyone wants to push those boundaries a little bit.”

Which brings me back to my wife. I click over to virtuallyjenna.com, “the official videogame of Jenna Jameson,” where paying users can have their way with a digital embodiment of the porn star. “Would you consider this cheating if I were playing this game?” I ask, pointing to the trailer on the home page, where Jameson’s digital image appears to be competing in some kind of timed, multi-partner sex decathlon. This is a little unfair, I realize, this testing of my spouse’s reactions to my exploration of Internet sex, all in the name of journalism.

My wife looks back at digital Jenna. “Yeah. I’m not so sure,” she says. “But we can talk about it more over dinner.” And with that we’re back in the “real” world, leaving a vast population in the virtual universe to chat and caress their way into the night.