Ask Ann SLanders
Ask Ann debuts—advice on the edge of culture
Ann SLanders is a lady giving advice in a very permissive culture. Those outside Second Life hear that it is a sexual Disneyland. Few are willing to take on this controversial, but magnetic topic. Ann faces this reputation and advises on the most sensitive issues head-on. She evolved out of a humorous banter I’ve enjoyed with one of my oldest SL friends, who is quite proper and influential.
She believes that people should treat each other with respect and proper etiquette. Having experience since the very early days of SL, Ann understands how this international platform has decorum, rules, and even codes of behavior. Within this framework, she gives wise, solid, often sarcastic, and always humorous, advice to issues that do cause real anguish.
I believe every avatar does have to confront sexual choices when adapting to the virtual culture. My educated guess is that the cyber economy is basically 30% property, 30% fashion, 30% adult entertainment, and 10% everything else. Argue that if you like. So this means that 30% of the lindens flowing are doing so through the sport and/or the romance of sex. Relationships in SL can be turbulent as time moves four-times as fast. Each avatar does define a position. For many, SL is a place to experiment with fantasies that could not happen in real life, taking them further than a mental journey. Many broken hearts line the streets of SL because expectations and motivations vary so widely.
The questions are posted here online, but the answers are in-world where they can be applied. Many of these questions, however, do echo real life challenges. I wish to leave that up to you to discover, though I often interject [editorial comments] because I have trouble keeping my opinions to myself.
The real person behind Ann needs to remain anonymous for this to work the best. All real identities in this column will be protected. The real Ann is not American and is widely traveled, which is great because her point-of-view is truly international. Her behavior in SL and RL is stellar, as she owns a successful virtual shop, enjoys long-term SL and RL relationships, has a wide range of friends, and experience as an “old-timer”. She has, we hope, a healthy balance between the worlds and gives advice to promote a drama-free environment. —Eleanor Medier
Please keep in mind how these challenges mirror, but are significantly different from, first life.
Too many coincidences have convinced me that my boyfriend is reading my IMs [plus may be reading e-mails, listening in on phone calls—maybe even bugging mobile devises!] He has slipped too many times things he can’t know otherwise. What to do? Should I try to catch him? Or should I ignore it?? Or should I plant misinformation??? Sincerely, Overheard and Worried
(Please see page 75 in Sim Street Journal Issue #3 from Marketplace or in-world.)
I have a personal worry that I can’t seem to forget. Last week, I logged in at a different time, and found my neighbor in my house, having sex in my bed. I can’t bring myself to use it anymore, because all I can picture is her and the ugly noobie man she was with and it’s totally ruined the mood. How do I clear the image from my brain? And how can I face my neighbor again?
(Please see page 74 in Sim Street Journal Issue #3 from Marketplace or in-world.)
If you have questions for Ann Slanders, please drop a notecard at the publishing office or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published monthly in complimentary versions: in-world and online.
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© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.