Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Annemarie Niekerk Memorial Service, Friday 28tyh August

The Annemarie Niekerk memorial Service will be held next friday, August 28th. It will be a party-like event celebrating Her Life and at the same time an event full off memories to be shared by all present.

Since Annemarie was dutch, but lived in New York City She had friends all over the world, throughout all timezones. It is therefore that i wanted this event to be a long one, enabling people from all timezones to be there for a while; it is not the intention to be there all the time :-).

The Memorial starts at noon and ends at 06:00 PM PST (SL time)/ 08:00PM - 02:00 AM (GMT). There will be some famous SL artists and a few DJ's performing fully free.

Guests are not supposed to tip the artists. Instead there are several "tipjars" that can be used to make a donation to the Royal Dutch Cancer Foundation (Annemarie died of cancer). This donation can be made directly to the foundation or inworld in linden.

I am aware that there will be people present, that did not know Annemarie, but come to see a certain artist. They are most welcome, but they should be aware of the nature of the event and behave accordingly; this means for instance no gestures.

Furthermore visitors are requested to leave all lag-causing attachments at home, since there might be lots of people at times and we do not want the sim to crash.

Tthe official announcement (can be rezzed or worn on te HUD) is obtainable from San Mauvaise, IM her for it. The location is:

Thanks again,

Liz Laville, widow

PS. There will be an exhibition of pictures of Annemarie upstairs at the Cellar to coincide with this event, in other words from the 28th for at least a couple of weeks. San

Friday, August 7, 2009

Articles and Tutorials about the RealRestraint (RR/RLV) system

Good information seems to be like busses, nothing for a while and then a lots all at once.

Not only do we have Eloise's insightful and clear introduction to SL BDSM/sex toys on this blog (and in the cellar library).

But we have a new series of tutorials and tips from Marine herself on her blog (http://realrestraint.blogspot.com) with the index at: Tutorials, Tips and Tricks (Introduction)
This series is to be continued to cover all aspects of the RR system.

Also Shuggi has started a series, concentrating less on the technical aspects but more on the uses and psychological aspects on her blog (http://shuggi.wordpress.com). starting with:
Shuggi, has written a number of pieces on RLV, its use and abuse in the past - all worth reading.

About a year ago I wrote a reflective piece on RLV technology called "Freedom and the Restricted Life Viewer".


Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Toys and Gadgets of BDSM and sex in Second Life - Eloise Pasteur

This isn’t going to be a list of places to shop. Rather it’s going to be a series of suggestions for the sorts of things you might find and what they can (and can’t do) and some ideas about using (or not) the various options you have.

First up, though, is the question of “Do I need this?” The answer to this is a bit more complex that it might seem.

In Real Life, particularly for D/s, the answer is a resounding no. BD and SM usually require some sort of equipment in real life but it’s often possible to use stuff you can find lying around. Don’t buy a cane specially, use the handle of a wooden spoon, don’t buy nipple clamps, uses clothespins and so on, at least at first. Once you find things you really like you can think about spending real money on custom designed items. But for pure D/s play as long as one party is dominant and the other submits it can all be done without any props at all. Often, but not always, there are props for all three parts of the BDSM family. A collar, cuffs, a maid’s uniform, a flogger, some rope and so on. However, IRL it is easy for the sub to kneel next to their domme, to avert their eyes and so on. It’s also easy for the pair to snuggle up really closely, whether in bed or with the sub clinging to the domme’s leg.

In Second Life the options to perform most of these things still exist but they’re a bit harder to do. You can’t really just make your avatar kneel but you can play an animation of kneeling and cause your avatar to kneel. A collar (which often does this) is not necessary, but it does make it easier. Pose balls in Second Life exist so that you can both play an animation and precisely position the avatar when the animation is playing. This allows you to snuggle up close. If you have an avatar kneeling thanks to a collar animation and try to approach her she will apparently run away but will insist she’s not moving. She’s telling you the truth; there is, in technical terms, a collision box around every avatar. Two avatars can have their collision boxes right next to each other, but if they interpenetrate they get moved apart. Hug animations, if you watch them carefully, have both parties appear to move forward into the hug. It is possible, using animations, to move the apparent position of the avatar within (and even outside of) their collision box (you see this with more energetic dance animations) so this repulsion effect does not apply. When an avatar is sat on a pose ball their collision box disappears - technically they become part of the furniture and their collision box matches the furniture’s collision box. So, if you have an avatar kneeling on a pose ball just randomly rezzed (still counts a furniture as far as Second Life is concerned) you can walk right up to them because their collision box is the size of the ball they’re on.

This gives you part of your first dilemma. If you use a collar you can get your sub to kneel anywhere, which is good, but you can’t walk right up to her unless she’s on a pose ball. Pose balls take prims and you probably can’t rez them just anywhere. It’s going to be a juggling act. Also, your sub can kneel without a collar - she just needs to play the animation. If she uses an AO, she could load it into the AO as a “stand” pose and kneel without a collar. Even without that, if she has the animation in inventory she could just play it from inventory to kneel for you - it’s an ugly, hard-work approach but it does work.

And as soon as you’re here, making that choice to have toys, pose balls, collars and the like you’ve got more choices to make, a fairly bewildering array of them.


Past that there are some more, rather important, choices. In no particular order these will include:
  • Chaining systems
  • Cyber v xcite! and attachment driven arousal systems
  • RLV
  • Interaction method

Lockmeister and Lockguard are complementary chaining systems. Frankly there is little to choose between them from an end user’s perspective but they are different in a number of technical ways. Most attachments the sub can wear (and sometimes that the Domme will wear) come with one or the other system. The toys, frames, horses etc. will come with one too. If they don’t match, no chains... Fortunately, there is no reason not to have both sets of scripts in collars and cuffs, and other locations. The “target” scripts (for putting in collars, cuffs etc.) are freely available. Various toys use different systems, so it is well worth considering installing both. You will, however, have to spend a little bit of time getting the scripts together and making both sets work.

Cybering versus xcite! and other similar systems. I should stay, from the start that I am not a fan of these systems. Sex, RL or SL, is about an interaction between the players. Mistress does X, I respond in way Y, so Mistress does Z. On some days Y will be the same as it was yesterday when Mistress did X, on other days it won’t, and on those days Z will probably be different too. On some days, even when X and Y are the same, Mistress has something different in mind and so Z is different to normal, different to expectation. It’s worth noting that, according to a couple of people I know who work as escorts in Second Life, they never use xcite!. Random people want that interaction with their (temporary) partner, not their scripts. xcite! and the other systems that chart your arousal and responses for you, in my opinion, remove the interaction from both parties, generate spam and reduce the quality of the relationship. They don’t respond genuinely and organically. You avatar can be suspended in seventh heaven have multiple star-burst orgasms and you’re sat at home blowing your nose and taking cough medicine. Sure the dream of the orgasms and never ill is great, but in a relationship don’t you want it to be with you, even if you are ill?

But if you want to use them, it’s your choice. Quite a range of toys and attachments have them available and if you want to use them it’s worth reading the instructions and working out how to do it properly. Most xcite! toys and some others will also post comments. For example the domme gives the command to kneel in nadu, and the collar will say something like “Eloise’s collar: Eloise gracefully kneels, spreading her legs and curving her back presenting her body to her Mistress.” (although you might have to play with the scripts to make them say her rather than his and Mistress rather than Master. It’s an option that’s there though. You can, in particular the Domme can, cause their sub to rise up and down towards orgasm by clicking and pressing buttons on various bits of the body. The control can be exquisite, and there’s pain options for the SM crowd too, or for punishments.

It is worth noting that although the various systems have a big network of attachments to work “properly” if you don’t use xcite! you can still buy the odd xcite compatible attachment and it should work as intended except the xcite! part quite happily.

RLV: restrained life viewer. This seems to polarise the BDSM community like nothing else. RLV, if active, allows the domme to do a range of things to the sub. With the full implementation they can lock items on (really lock them so detach isn’t an option in any menu), restrict chat, IM, teleport, force sitting on certain objects and the like. Some people are of the opinion that this shouldn’t be needed - if your sub doesn’t do as she’s told, then she’s not submitting. Some like it all. The subs feel more fully controlled, the dommes more fully in control. There’s no right answer here, it has to be your choice for your relationship. RLV is a hack to the standard viewer, and requires the sub to log in using an RLV enabled viewer, and with RLV turned on in the case of some viewers. Please note, therefore, that it is ultimately the sub’s choice - they can choose to log in to SL using a viewer without RLV support and all the controls won’t work. Also note that there is no need to use the whole set. Mistress and I use a subset of the RLV options. The only item I have that RLV-locks on is my chastity belt. We both like knowing that it’s as locked on as SL can make it (even though it makes changing hair styles and the like a nuisance). We use the options that RLV offers to control clothes, in particular Mistress likes tearing clothes off me, and I like her doing it. We have a “strip” command and a “remove X” command built in so she can either tear them all off, or remove them one at a time as she chooses. She can write about what’s she’s doing as my clothes are ripped or cut off and we’re both happy - it also stops me having to fumble around with pie menus or the inventory whilst she’s stripping me - it puts her in the driving seat as she should be for that sort of activity. You don’t have to use the whole set, they definitely can add something (if you like forcing girls onto your dungeon devices RLV is great there too, although we don’t use that routinely) but they are an option, not a necessity.

How do you interact? You’ve doubtless seen people frantically typing “ao on” and “ao off” That’s not a command to a toy of course, but it’s probably the best known example of the voice command. Collars often but not always use this - Mistress for example says e.strip to make all my clothes fall off. Some, but not all of these toys also have silent chat channels, so Mistress could type /1 e.strip for the same effect and I wouldn’t see the message in chat until she emoted tearing my clothes off. It’s worth noting that although silent commands have “surprise” impact they’re not always the best way to go unless you’re wanting to (hopefully play-) punish your sub for not obeying a command she couldn’t possibly hear. If you give her a pose command there’s a reasonable chance her ao will block it and she will fail to obey because she won’t know to turn her ao off.

Some items are touch-driven. This may be simple - I have a yoke that you touch to lock and touch again to unlock - or it may pop up a menu. Hopefully the menu is clear and you can find your way around it smoothly to have it do whatever you want.

Some items come with a HUD that you wear. This will give you a range of buttons that you click and away you go. This may additionally pop up a menu or it may directly do what’s needed. The downside of HUD toys is that you can quite quickly run out of HUD attachment points and screen real estate but the odd one can be really useful.

You should consider all of these things up front really. Most of us don’t, I know I didn’t, but I think about it now if I’m considering a new toy.


And with that, on to the toys. We’ll start with the most basic of them, the collar.

Of course a lot of people like collars. They’re a useful indication of status as well as a useful means of playing animations. Often both dommes and subs like the look of a collar. So what sorts of things can collars do?

You can have a totally unscripted collar that just looks good. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but there’s not much to discuss about them either. Note that if they’re modifiable you can grab scripts, animations etc. from other collars and put them into this collar if you want. There’s no guarantee that all the parts will work (particularly for setting names on collars) but the core functions should. Note also that if they’re NOT modifiable you can still adjust for height, but your sub will have to adjust her avatar to fit the collar.

Most, in fact all that I’ve seen, of the scripted collars offer an option to create one or more “owners” (Doms, Dommes, Masters, Mistresses etc.). Do you need only one or might you share your sub? Owners usually have special privileges such as locking the collar on, being notified if it’s removed or similar.

Similarly most or all collars offer the ability to play animations, usually to both the wearer and any owners. The owner’s command for an animation overrides the wearer’s of course, but if you like your girls waiting for you in a particular pose this lets them do that. The animations that come in the collar are usually of variable quality and quantity and include a lot of Gorean poses but they’re often quite popular for all subs. Note that if the collar is modifiable you or your sub can add new animations to it. However, if the animations are not at least copiable you can’t add them whilst the collar is being worn. You might want to torment your sub for not adding animations to her collar of course, but she really can’t unless you let her take it off.

After that, things get a bit more tricky. There are different choices, and you may have to hunt around to find the precise combination you want.

Many collars offer the chance to apparently engrave a texture onto the collar so you can have it say “My slut” or “Eloise” or “Lilly’s Pet” or whatever you like (there are maximum numbers of characters here).

Many also offer some sort of leashing option. This may be a leash to you only (with or without handles for the chains), or leashing to posts or others.

Some collars offer shocks, bells, spikes etc. so you can punish a sub, hear when they move, stop others grabbing their collar and so forth. These are fairly rare in terms of numbers of collars offering them, but the most widely used collars seem to offer bells.

There are collars that can report each time your sub teleports or moves sims, so if you’ve ordered her to be online and in a certain place without you, you can check that she hasn’t left the sim. (Why you would do this routinely is another matter - you’re in a relationship and your sub deserves your attention - but the option is available.)

There are doubtless many more options that you can find if you want.

Other toys.

Past collars the range of toys and how they work becomes bewildering. There are, for example, blindfolds. Some of them use HUDs to also block the avatar’s vision (at least mostly). Some are purely cosmetic. A HUD-blindfold will still allow the sub to see at least some of her other HUDs, the mini-map if she uses it and text chat. It naturally won’t interfere with voice chat.

You can find a wide variety of gags. Most will have a “chewing” animation look because there isn’t really a “keep mouth open all the time” option but they look fairly good. Many good gags will come with a silent chat channel e.g. channel 3. Your sub speaks on channel 3 (e.g. /3 thank you Mistress.) and the gag makes a muffled, gagged approximation in open chat (ffffnnnk oooouuu Mmmmsstrisssss for example). Some can be tagged for owner use only and worn all the time so you just touch her mouth and slide the gag in. The gag sits there invisible at all times, and only comes into visibility when touched. It goes again when touched and the correct menu item is picked. Others your sub will have to attach and detach from inventory for herself.

You can find cuffs in a wide variety - police cuffs; ankle and wrist “slave” cuffs; metal, leather or furry cuffs; leg irons; arm and wrist cuffs etc. Most of them play an animation that “forces” the sub into a cuffed position, and this is nearly always cuffed police style with the hands behind the back. A few offer an in-front/behind cuffing option. Some may offer chaining and ankle cuffs often offer a leg-spreader and immobilise option.

You can also find leg-spreaders (with or without an immobilise option), yokes, armbinders (in a variety of styles) and the like. Yokes and armbinders in particular might come with leashing and chain options. Leg-spreaders sometimes come with T-bars so you can fit a pole up towards your sub’s body with a vibrator or similar on top.

You can find piercings for just about any body part. Certainly facial, ear, nipple and clitoral piercings are common and quite easy to find. These, except for earrings, are rarely passive. Nipple and clit rings can be chained together, allow you to play with your sub and the like. At least one style of facial piercing can be adapted into a gag as well.

Chastity belts also exist and again in a variety of styles. Most chastity belts take a fair bit of adjusting to fit and are relatively low-tech. You wear them, and with some you can lock them on and that’s usually it. However chastity belts need to be modifiable so you can add other scripts if you wish. This can include RLV locking, chaining points and the like.

All the toys I have talked about so far are attachments. Before moving on to a discussion of other toys, you need to remember an important point about attachments. That is, you can only have one object attached at each attachment point. If you have collar, wrist cuffs, ankle cuffs, arm cuffs, clit ring, gag, blindfold and nipples attached (that’s my current load) that’s 11 of the 31 visible attachment points. Add some hair and you’re over 1/3 full. Attaching skirts becomes entertaining - many will clash with the clit ring (or sometimes the chastity belt) for their preferred attachment point. Your sub will have to become adept at editing skirts to fit from an attachment point other than their intended one. YOU should become adept at ignoring those times that your sub knocks her collar, belt etc. off by mistake. For most items there is no way to tell in advance where it will go until the item is attached and you suddenly find your collar has gone. Establish ground rules - maybe your sub can only try new things in your presence so you can see it’s an accident and that she reattaches her collar straight away (the down side? You might have to watch hours of fumbling as the item is attached elsewhere and tweaked to look right). Maybe an apology and explanation and a check as soon as possible that she’s back in her collar is OK. You get to see the clothes worn in the right way straight away and if you trust your sub (even if you’re rping forcing her, she’s still here through choice) she’ll put the collar back on unless she really means to run away.

There are doubtless other attachments for other kinks - I know there are attachments for forced urination for example - but I’m afraid that’s outside my experience. However the general principles from above will still apply and it’s well worth shopping around. Pony play, which I’ve sat on the edge of, for example, has a wide range of choices available - it’s really up to you to choose what you want from them and to examine all the options before you put your lindens on the table.

Remember too that not all the attaching toys are for the sub. Floggers, whips and the like are available for the discerning domme.

On to the other toys. Here we’re thinking everything from sex beds to hitching posts, St. Andrew’s Crosses to candles.

Second Life supports just about every kink you can imagine. You can find all manner of bondage equipment, fornophilia toys, drowning toys, even barbeque spits if that’s your thing. Here a number of the questions that were relevant above remain relevant. Is the device xcite! compatible if you use xcite!? Does it support RLV if you use RLV. Are the chains LG, LM or some other system? (There are a small number of custom systems still, most use either LG or LM or both.) How do you interact with it?

However, there are more choices here again. Does that toy come with one pose or hundreds? We have a mixture of these but the multi-pose toys are generally more often used because as the scene develops we can change between the poses without changing location. However, there are certainly some single pose toys that absolutely do the necessary job - we have a free St. Andrew’s Cross laid horizontally on the floor next to a candelabra for example. For those times Mistress wants to drop hot wax on any part of the front of my body it’s ideal and the price was right too!

If you have a multi-pose object how well does it work and how easy is it to change? Your sub may be taller or shorter than average, or you may be, and that pose that says “fuck her with a strap-on” looks a little ridiculous to both of you when you’re thrusting between her knees or over her back because the heights aren’t right! There isn’t really a “right” answer here, but there are a multitude of options for setting the positions and keeping them for future use. Some are simple, some are complex, some just plain don’t work. If it’s important to you, then check that out too. Talk to people that have them about how easy it is to set up - the developer always finds it easy, because they wrote the code for it and it reflects how they think. I was recently shopping with a friend and there was a toy that looked just right for her. Sadly the demonstration model just didn’t work. It may have been a wonderful toy but it was no sale - if the owner can’t keep the demo running will you be able to keep your own running?

The ease of editing existing poses probably tells you something about the ease of adding new ones, but make sure it’s a modifiable object (even if the box says no modify, that might reflect the scripts only remember) so you can add new ones if you want.

Also with that multi-pose object how easy is it to find the pose you want? Can you modify the menu system? Is the menu system clear to you? It isn’t always (and for many people not much ruins a scene in which your partner writes about flipping you over and licking your pussy until you scream for mercy as quickly as the pose balls vanishing, leaving you standing next to each other looking confused).

Then you have fun issues like decor. Many dungeon toys come in a variety of looks, or with systems that let you change their colour and upholstery to suit your play area. That’s all well and good. Remember, however, that if the object is modifiable and you are good with textures you might be able to retexture the object to suit you. Remember if you do this the creator is under no obligation to provide you with the original textures and may well refuse to do so.

A final note. I don’t really make BDSM toys. Although if you have something you want that isn’t available I might make it for you, drop me a line! However, I do make a range of other scripted items in Second Life. I also take the time and effort to write help cards and instructions. If this wasn’t for a blog for a Ff club I wouldn’t bother to write this: men will always be crap at reading instructions; but please try to read the instructions and work it out first! I don’t mind people asking for help who haven’t understood the instructions, or have done something I wasn’t expecting and that isn’t covered by the instructions and code. People who ask for help when it’s clearly in the instructions, and clearly in the instructions they haven’t bothered to read - well let’s just say every sub’s patience has its limits and that is a sure-fire way to get across