Essay: Whoring in Alphaville

by Alphaville Herald on 13/01/04 at 6:34 pm

by The

Pat Caliphia once wrote a paper called ‘Whoring in Utopia’, suggesting that a great number of virtues could be accrued for both john and prostitute if whoring were to become an acceptable practice. Caliphia reckoned that the openness in sexuality would result in net benefit; the whores would be safer and those in need of access to sex (but unable to acquire it) would have an easy solution. Alphaville is in no way a realization of Caliphia’s dream, but it does give somewhat of a testing ground to see if she is on to something.

My sim is a tuxedo clad skeleton named ‘The’. (Please don’t ask why.) Equipped with simoleans, I headed out for a bacchanal evening in Alphaville. Starting at the Church of Mephistopheles, I smoked some bubbles and drank profusely for a while with Urizenius and the local crew. As a young, virile skeleton, my bones began to get restless and I wound up at one of the fine local brothels chatting with the ladies and slipping into heart-shaped hot tubs and gladly accepting massages.

An amazing feature of whoring in alphaville is that you can see the genius of its online sex practitioners, who manage to squeeze all the erotic juice out of the relatively shallow number of options available. Pleading manages to look like a lap dance with shades of oral sex. Normal dances take on the feel of a stripper’s prance when the dancer is ensconced in a cage with lights and appropriate music. Even jocular wrestling can take on a sexual tinge for the mild fetishist. All in all, it was an impressive display of mild to strong subversion of the pg Maxis intentions.

The options, however, are fairly limited. Until maxis is strongly called upon, or devious local programmers so inclined, there is no way to effectively, say, slap a prostitute’s butt while biting another one’s nipple, all the while using your toes in a creative way on another and getting a blowjob. (not that that kind of thing interests me per se, but I’m still angry angry angry that I couldn’t do it should the inclination someday overtake me). Furthermore, the closest thing you get to any real sexual contact (heavy petting?) is some romping under covers that is 80s sitcom-esque and hard to distinguish from a bunch of monkeys jumping on the bed. It’s not the most attractive of sites and it’s very important to interpret the scene as a representation whose meaning is not fixed via isomorphism with the suggested reality.

To help with that interpretation, my prostitute was well trained in using the one activity Maxis cannot, or has not, put much of a bound on: conversation. While the romping goes on, and though it is hard to see, my prostitute assured me that she was in the process of riding me while biting my nipples. With enough imagination, and having drunk a few in real time, the visuals became much more pleasant and I was glad that my avatar was having such a good time. I wrote back, rather timidly ‘I’m grabbing your ass’ and you can see how the rest of it went. The more timid, who don’t want the rest of the house to read the sweet nothings you are whispering ear are free to use private chat. As for me, I preferred the whole house to hear my creative babbling (which, I admit, resulted in the more than occasional ‘lol’…)

Anyhow, the whole experience cost The about 4000$ (and a generous tip he prefers to leave unspecified). It wasn’t a transcendent experience but it was a rather pleasant way to spend some money and time. Keeping real environment and sim environment separate is, of course, crucial to the experience. Suzy just could have been, to my real time horror (though The assures me to the contrary, and after all, he was there) a 68 year old shaggy monster. But I prefer to let The have his good times unfettered by such concerns. And Caliphia’s point, imperfect a simulacrum of utopia as Alphaville might be, is well taken: whoring need not be a dirty shameful experience. In the right environment it can provide colour, diversity and enjoyable times to a community as a whole.

3 Responses to “Essay: Whoring in Alphaville”

  1. Lola

    Jan 13th, 2004

    I have, in previous posts about AV BDSM and Gor communities, expressed utter open-mindedness in letting people do what they want to and if you don’t like it, leaving them alone. This goes for whoring too. A lot of people enjoy it. But a problem I’ve had, and a few other people that I’ve talked to have had, is that AV for some reason, more than any other city (perhaps because it is the most crowded) is so much about sex that it is hard to meet someone and just have a nice conversation without being expected to cyber. Maybe that is a little off-topic, but it seems related so I thought I would say.

    I also had a completely on-topic conversation with an old roommate who wanted to turn the house in to a ‘place of ill repute’ as it were. I asked, why would someone pay for something they could so readily get for free in so many other places in AV? Their reponse was that ‘only the kids do it for free’. I found that kinda disturbing, I gotta say.

  2. Free Expression in a cyberspace city? 1 [Psychology of the Web]
    U of Michigan 교수 Peter Ludlow는 그가 기록하는 블로그 The Alphaville Herald에 Alphaville에서 일어나는 10대들의 매춘 행위들을 폭로했다. (대표 � 기사:Whoring in Alphaville). Ludlow교수는 이 탐사보도가 있은…

  3. Dyerbrook

    Feb 16th, 2004

    Am I the only one who has noticed that this essay has garnered *only one comment* in the entire time it has been posted on 13 January, that is, more than a month ago???? Hey, is that AMAZING, or WHAT???? I mean, here we were led to believe by Urizen and the Media that TSO was *all about* “cyber-brothels”. Well…where are they? Where are the testimonies? Where are the people coming forward to describe how they experiencd this in the game? Why is the silence thundering????

Leave a Reply