I discovered Second Life many years ago through an erotica stories website. The author had tried out SL and had many tips on skins, shapes, movement and naughty adventures. I figured why just read about someone else’s fantasies when I could be creating my own?
Having absolutely no gaming experience and never having right clicked in my life, my first days were a very frustrating time. Somehow I tp’ed off Orientation Island without learning one thing and began my journey into the bowels of SL debauchery. An absolute saint discovered me cluelessly wandering the grid and explained pose balls, im’s and teleporting before introducing me to Neva Naughty’s and every sex act known to man. I was shocked and fascinated. Things like this did not happen in my real life. Every night I would spend a couple of hours visiting places of ill repute and would logoff in a cluster of bushes, foolishly believing I was hiding from other avatars while I wasn’t online. I told you – I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
My first year in SL lived up to all the widely publicized, negative stereotypes: sleazy sex, shady partners and too much time spent ignoring my RL family and friends. However, I also discovered some not so expected things. For the record, I’m the most introverted of introverts and the shyest of shy people you’ll ever meet. Real life conversations were very challenging to me with all but my closest of friends. They aren’t traits I particularly liked about myself and when I started, I vowed to live my SL differently.
There’s no disputing the anonymity of being behind a computer screen tremendously boosted my self-confidence. I started taking chances – introducing myself to people, getting involved with group projects and opening myself to heartfelt and intimate conversations and relationships. I learned to love and discovered that I could be loved. I learned what it meant to be a good friend and have people that I could rely upon in difficult situations. I learned about different cultures and how to better interact with all types of people. These were all opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in my RL and I’ve blossomed through the experiences.
Compared to most of the people who have blogged, I am an extreme slacker in my SL. I do not build, design, create, Photoshop or blog. I do, however, appreciate and marvel at the masterpieces of those who do. I am a consumer and a traveler of the grid. I’m blown away by residents’ imaginations and the beauty they are able to bring to life through art, clothing, architecture, etc. Long ago I realized that my contribution to SL would have to be on a much more personal level. As a result, I try to be the best listener, supporter, helper and friend I can be. On one of my luckiest days in SL, Eliza Wierwight, the mastermind behind the PATRON brand, asked me to be the general manager and customer support rep for her business. It’s a job that I truly love – helping clients and surrounding myself with exquisite creations. In another life I also did some modeling and have been known to write an article every now and again. These opportunities are the things the media never publicizes about SL and consequently, millions of people are short changed by what our virtual world can offer.
By far, the best part of SL has been the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made. For most of my life I’ve never felt like I truly belonged anywhere. In SL I have met true gems who encourage, push and support me in anything I attempt. People like Innula Zenovka who for almost 6 years has faithfully and patiently explained all SL technical matters to me in the simplest of terms and wished me sweet dreams every.single.night; Jewell Munro who has pushed me into several harebrained and many not so harebrained business adventures, always encouraging and building my self-esteem; Stephen Venkman who has solidly supported my feeble photo editing attempts and taught my RL daughter how to fish; and the aforementioned Eliza who colors my world with her brilliance and generosity. Finally, for the last two years, I have been the most spoiled of women due to the loving care provided by my partner, Roger. I always hoped for, but never thought I would find, a fairy tale relationship. SL has provided the forum to make that dream come true. I can’t name them all but I am so rich in the friends and family I have been fortunate to meet over the years. Every one of them holds a special place in my heart and has made my lives better for knowing them!
So how has SL impacted my life? I’m much more outgoing in my RL now and willing to embark on adventures that 6 years ago I never thought possible. I have met a number of my closest SL friends and family in person and have plans to travel overseas in the future to meet more. SL is the gateway that opened the world to me and I’m very grateful for the kick start it has meant to my life.
Bio: Kamalin Bailey has resided in Second Life since March, 2007. She is an adventurer and admirer of all things virtual with an occasional penchant to share her wonder through magazine articles. A sometimes Flickrite, model and art observer, Kam is very grateful for the rainbow of colors that Second Life has introduced to her life.