Virtually Speaking

Second Life along with the First.

What Women Want

“It’s the same old line, Oh every time
Are you here alone? Can I take you home?
Now every woman sees with every “pretty please”
There’s a pair of lyin’ eyes and a set of keys”
 – Shania Twain

It all started for me on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) in the early 1990s.  I was a young, curious, mischievous grad student with a little time to kill.   That’s where I discovered the thrills and mysteries of cybersex.  It was the earliest known form of pixel-bumping in human history.

When your mode of interaction is limited to text only you’re forced to be creative.   There were no avatar animations or Xcite attachments to make the job easier.  You actually had to write.  (We didn’t have to walk five miles in the snow, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.)  Cyber or “hot chat” became an exercise in cooperative erotic fiction and sometimes the resulting chat logs could rival Lady Chatterley for turn of phrase.

Not always, of course.  One of the things about Second Life that feels so familiar to me is that some things never change.  There are still the hit-and-runs who IM you “Hey.  ur hawt wanna play?”.  There are still the Xcite-clickers, who remind me of a guy I knew in IRC who used scripts — MACROS for godsakes — to play.  That makes a girl feel real special, doesn’t it?  Either you ran out of adjectives to describe what you’re doing or you just want to get this over so you can watch Family Guy reruns.

Guys, it doesn’t have to be this way.  If you seriously want your Second Life lady to get interested in the first place and come back for more, you need to hear what I’m about to say.  Ladies, if you have found SLex to be less than exciting, it’s time to raise your standards.  It’s time to ask: “What do women want?”

Here are Cindy’s Rules for Great Cyber.  Your mileage may vary, but I’d wager not by much.   I’m not trying to convince you that every random encounter has to be a scene from the movie Titanic with undying love, but if you want pixel-bumping to be a little more meaningful and maybe even emotionally moving for you, pay heed.

Second Life isn’t all that much different than First Life when it comes to human dynamics.  If you master these principles in SL, you’ll be killer on the dating circuit:

1. Look good.  Don’t expect that wearing the default Linden skin and hair plus one of those ridiculous wooden freebie penises, you’re going to make the girls swoon.  Not gonna happen.  An avatar that shows a little care and attention to detail is going to do much better on the singles’ circuit.  Buy a good skin – they’ll run from about $1,000L up — and prim hair.  Good male clothing is a little tougher to find but it’s out there.   If you don’t care how you look, how are you going to stand out from the newbies?

2. Convince her that she matters.   Yes, I’m afraid icebreaker conversation is essential.  You can find out a lot about a woman by asking her questions.  Think of her like a puzzle that you’re solving – what does she like, what does she think?  Is she impulsive or cautious? Is she adventurous or shy?   Take an interest in her and she’ll feel it.  

Not all females in SL want to engage in cyber – I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual percentage was pretty low.   Just like in RL, you will find that the type of people you meet will depend on the location.  If you’re at a jazz recital,  you’re likely to meet jazz afficionados.  If you’re at a sex club, your odds of finding that hot casual encounter are through the roof.   Where you go should depend a lot on what you’re looking for in a partner.

3. Sincerity counts.  Be genuine.   You don’t need pickup lines.   They usually only work on the dumb and the desperate unless they’re purposely so corny and funny you make her laugh (see #4).  You’ll have much better luck just being yourself.  No pretensions, no games, just YOU wanting to get to know what makes her tick.

4. The fastest way into a girl’s bed is through her funny bone.  This is one of those rules that doesn’t always apply (some women have no sense of humor either, but why do you want to bother with them unless you have a thing for refrigerators?).   But as a general rule, being lighthearted and witty will go much farther than self-pity, maudlin sentiment or baring your fake scripted vampire fangs.   Pouty whiners make me mad.  Guys who think a big gun makes them sexy strike me as losers.  Self-effacing funnymen make me weak in the knees.

5. Don’t be a Desperate Dilbert. If you work up the courage to ask and she declines, accept rejection gracefully.  You can even joke about it.  But persisting when she’s said ‘no’ will probably only take away whatever pickup-points you have left and waste your time.

As a correlary to this if you get shut down at a club, don’t turn around and hit on the blonde next to her.  Chances are, they’re friends and your IMs are going to end up displayed in public chat, much to your embarrassment. 

6. Men should act like men.  You can determine the value of this one if you’ve done as I suggested in #1 and listened to her.  Most women (not all) like a guy with some strength of character and firm conviction — not to the point of being a pushy jerk, but just enough that we know you are self-aware, know what you like and how to achieve it.   Saying things like “I’ll do whatever you want to do”, or “I want to please you first” may sound good if you’re fishing blind but most of the time with most women they raise red flags.  Too much sensitive sweetness is going to sour the chemistry.  (Caveat: If you’re a submissive guy and this is your thing, ignore this rule.  Go for it, but be upfront so she understands where your head is.)  Some – not all – women actually like it if the guy is assertive and takes what he wants.

7. Know her buttons.  What are “buttons”?  I’m talking about her hot buttons, of course.  Her erogenous zones.  Those secret, sweet spots that make her tingle and quicken her breathing.   You might have to explore a little to find them if she’s not forthcoming, but this is the fun part.  Emoting that you “blow gently along the hollow of her neck” should tell you right away if it sets off any explosions for her.  Ears, neck, stomach, the inside of her arms or the backs of her legs are all great places to find buttons like this.  You don’t have to dive straight for the prize – it will be easier to find if you first work at gently prying open the shell.

“Oh, baby, when you talk like that,
You make a woman go mad.”

– Shakira, “Hips Don’t Lie” 

8. Vocabulary.  Let me repeat that: vocabulary.  Vocabulary.  I’m not talking about twenty-dollar synonyms for ‘vagina’.  I’m talking about knowing enough adjectives and adverbs that you’re not repeating yourself every five seconds.  I’m talking about being able to say something more than “pounding n2 u” over and over and over.  Words are your fingers and tongue.  Create images with them.  Conjure up the smells and tastes of passion.   Remember your own previous RL sexual encounters and draw from the best of those.   From your keyboard to her brain.  And for godsakes, learn to type.  It’s “you”, not “u”.  It’s “into”, not “n2”.   Basic English is not that hard.

This doesn’t have to be a dull learning experience.  Pick up some classic erotic fiction like Lady Chatterley’s Lover or the Beauty trilogy by Anne Rice (in fact, most of Rice’s work is laced with subtle sensuality such as that found in Interview With a Vampire, even though it may be grim and fatalistic).   Reader submissions to Penthouse Forum or Hustler are usually mediocre examples.  You want something that challenges your command of erotic language and expands your horizon.  Don’t settle for porn.

9. Have a plan.  Nothing’s worse than to verbally seduce that gorgeous avatar and then when it’s time to be alone stumbling for ideas.  Your own skybox is the best option and should be your first priority.  But if you don’t own or rent land, don’t despair.  Do some exploring and find some of the little-used, out-of-the-way play areas that dot Second Life.  Find backups.   Avoid private skyboxes since you’re technically trespassing, and have the landmarks to likely spots in their own folder for fast teleports.  Only as a last resort should you ask to use her place.  If she offers, fine, but remember Rule #6 – you are the Man here, and as outdated as chivalry may seem, you’re much more in command if you know just where to take her to be alone.

10. The L Word.  If you’ve done your homework before you got to this point, nothing else should be a surprise.  Very often in virtual worlds people will project their feelings onto someone else.  And, let’s face it, all too often those feelings are needy.  If you are genuinely attracted to her and earnestly want to know her better then this may not be a major problem.  If, however, you’re out for a quick dalliance with no intentions of getting serious you should have appraised this situation much earlier than during afterglow.  

At some point in your first or second or fifth encounter, she may tell you she loves you.  Maybe she does, but maybe it’s the endorphins talking.  Maybe it’s the illusion of potent sensuality you’ve woven by following Cindy’s Rules for Great Cyber.  Prepare yourself, either by being upfront with her early or by gently telling her how you feel when the subject comes up. 

Remember: men are visual creatures  of action.  Women are emotional creatures.  If you seduce us and convince us that you care, it’s not a big leap for some of us to start falling for you. 

Most of the things I’ve listed here are based on generalizations, and I recognize that.  Nothing I’ve listed is going to be 100% true all the time.  Human beings are too unique and complex for that to happen.   What I hope is that something I’ve said here will evoke some thought and help you to think about expanding your cyber horizons so that we can clean up this nasty pixel litter caused by drive-by pickup lines.

Note:  Next week I’m planning to begin a series of discussion groups at the Archan sim on the topic of Cybersex.  “What Women Want” will be the first in the series, followed by topics on what men like, how to write a sensual encounter, and tips on using animations.  Stay tuned!



April 12, 2007 - Posted by | Second Life


  1. You should hand this out with the how to make an avatar and how to make money in SL notecards lol :D

    Comment by Estella Jimenez | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. LOL Estella :) Maybe I will — or hand it out at my class next week :) Stamp out bad cyber!

    Comment by Cindy Claveau | April 13, 2007 | Reply

  3. I would like to point out that there’s a downside to these rules: If you follow them, or in any case, not act & look like an ass, you may find yourself getting *too much* attention from the ladies.

    Seriously – since I have a good-looking and well put-together av, and don’t randomly cyber women upon meeting them, I find myself bombarded with flirty IMs from girls way more often that I think I actually deserve, and certainly more than I can manage effectively. :)

    Comment by scrim Pinion | April 19, 2007 | Reply

  4. I dunno…. Couldn’t we just talk, instead? I could read you exotic verses from some ancient Persian tome, and you could tell me whatever you like, and I could really listen – I mean, give you my undivided attention for like 30 or 40 minutes or more, focus on nothing else, absolutely nothing else except what you’re saying. And what you want. And what I could give you. Afterward we could be silly and try to make each other laugh. Or at least smile.

    Better than watching the pixels undulate, I think. And trying to compress sweat, heat, and slickness into spontaneous sentences.


    Comment by Seth Kanahoe | April 27, 2007 | Reply

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