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One issue with a virtual reality such as this, is that pretty much anything goes, and there are some very dodgy things going down. People are free to indulge in acts that would be inappropriate and completely illegal in the real world. There are sub-communities that believe in female slavery and virtual sex with animals to name a few.
In shops like the one above, you can purchase anything you can imagine. And if you have an imagination anything like some of these guys, get scared.
Virtual sex is rife in Second Life, as are relationships. One woman I was talking to is engaged in Second Life, and is pregnant. To simulate the pregnancy, she is increasing the size of her belly every day for nine days. Then at the end, she will adopt a resident being played by a child, to be her child.
However, not all sex is traditional. Prostitution is high on the list of jobs, and there are many areas dedicated to it. However, unless you go out of your way to wander in to these areas of town, you can stay fairly separate from it.
If you are under 18, there is an entirely separate grid, to stop teenagers from being exposed to such material. There are also rules to stop adults from being in the teenager world too – also for their protection. However, there is no full proof system against either rules being broken and I'm certain that it happens.
As a journalist, I felt I wouldn't be doing Second Life justice unless I found myself a “lady of the night” to see what all the fuss was about. At this point, I'd run out of money, but I had already put my Credit Card details on file. So I bought L$1000 ($4 if I recall), which is about £2 with today's exchange rates.
However, as you can see from the picture above, when it come to the crunch I discovered, that, like Action Man, by default, male characters don't have anything to get in the way when riding our bikes. If you want a male appendage, you've got to buy one! However, aesthetic reasons aside, they have no function other than causing a bit of a giggle in the office (if you saw what I was given, you'd understand why..).
The image above, is of some kissing, which I think is probably suitable for a TrustedReviews audience. The rest of my screen shots don't leave much to the imagination!
Virtual sex is just a sequence of animations and scripts. Quite frankly, if anyone actually gets turned on by it, they either have exceptionally good imaginations, or are very easily pleased.