Saturday, 18 July 2015

144: Second Life Sex On// (HBO)

The other night I was looking forward to watching a program called Sex On // (the slashes are part of the title of the programme, which makes searching for information a real sonovabitch, I'll tell you!) which, in a brief 35 minutes, promised to have a segment on sex with the Oculus Rift headset and a separate segment on sex in Second Life.
   Really, HBO Canada, I'm very disappointed with you. Both segments were almost exactly the same (as were segments on online femdom, polyamory, and female/male sex wrestling). No insight, no attempt to say anything at all about what drives these ideas and where they come from. I can tell you the content of each brief segment quite easily: "Sex exists in this context, and this is what it looks like. And here's another picture of it. And here's a BUNCH of pictures of it. Let's see how much of it we can show you without transgressing the Broadcast Standards Code, while the voice-over talks about the fact that these things happen without relating to the images."
   So the Oculus Rift segment showed semi-pornographic images of people having sex that you can see if you wear the headset, and the Second Life segment showed semi-pornographic images of people having sex that you can see if you have a Second Life account. In fact, the whole thing was pretty clearly designed to show images of sexual activity on HBO Canada. Just about the only thing you cannot show these days, apparently, is an erect human penis.
   In the segment on Oculus Rift, I learned you can show a vagina, cunnilingus, lesbianism, strap-ons, fellatio with the actual penis carefully concealed, female masturbation, and more breasts than the chicken section of the meat counter at the supermarket. And in the segment on Second Life, more of the same, except apparently you can show non-human or virtual penises, including some av standing in front of a three-metre penis sculpture worshiping it, and a purple werewolf with two penises. And you can show two male avs having sex, which perish forbid you should show in the Oculus Rift segment. Plenty of pseudo-lesbians with long fingernails, but no males.
   The SL segment was guided by an av named Alycia Blaylock, who has been in SL since 2009 and has apparently never upgraded her av since that point. In fact the whole segment looks like it was shot around 2009, judging by the ghastly sculpty hair. There was even the standard noob av in a striped shirt at a party at one point holding a video camera. Alycia is aware that there is sex in SL and says so -- she has no insight into it, merely that it happens and sometimes involves her. I realize that Alycia is not responsible for what the producers decided to do, but if I had contributed to that segment, I'd retire from SL and come back as an alt. So if you know her, ask her what she was thinking.
   One av announces that, gasp, he's chubby in RL but not in SL. Ooh, I had an insight moment there. The most interesting bit was where some large-breasted av was dancing at a party and saying, "Yeah, he's my husband in SL and my husband in RL, and we swing in both worlds, and ..." And then her RL toddler broke in on the voice channel and asked for something and she said, "Not now, honey." Yeah, not now, honey. Mommy's making a fool of herself on national television.
   Anyway. I could continue to be crabby, but the point is, SL and Oculus Rift just got assraped again by some producer who wanted to show images of sexual activity on TV without going down the FCC/wardrobe malfunction/huge fines path. Ugh. Avoid this, seriously consider giving up HBO (well, okay, no, I'm a GoT junkie) and if a producer from Matador Productions asks you to participate in a video shoot, run.

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