Second Life Sex Clubs Hide in Plain Sight

by Alphaville Herald on 21/01/10 at 12:06 am

Linden Lab turns a blind eye toward furniture store n00b sex shops

by Senban Babii

Second Life sex club owners are now playing a meta-game using faux furniture stores to circumvent the Mature andAdult land zoning rules and run their sordid sex dens unimpeded – a situation first brought to our attention by Lillie Yifu in the 2nd Sex blog.

While investigating this issue, the Herald was contacted by a concernedcitizen, who chose to adopt the codename "Deep Lag" to preserve theiranonymity, so that they could discuss the issue openly.

Illegal Sex Club 001
new friends explore a mutual love of music – and furniture

Deep Lag first gave an introduction to the background to how these questionable sex clubs often operate; finding unlagged sims and buying smallparcels to set up in.  The clubs then get swamped with visitorslagging the sim and using the sim's resources unfairly.  No doubt someunscrupulous club owners then sell their small part of the sim to the otherresidents for an extortionate fee which will be paid simply because other residents want to be able to enjoy their land in peace and without lag.  This variation on the donut hole strategy has no doubt been successful for many of these sex club owners.

But there is more to the game than donut holes, so after a series of clandestine meetings, during which I was shown howthese clubs game the search results by describing themselves as "noFREE SEX FREE SEX FREE SEX FREE SEX", Deep Lag decided that the best way forward wasto see an example.  A landmark was surreptitiously passed to thisreporter in a plain envelope and the investigation began in earnest.
Arriving at Mony Lindnen's "Romantic Cuddle Nude Beach", one isbombarded with notices and notecards and scripted objects shoutingabout how while the club was originally a BDSM club, it now has to conform to the new rules and community standards regarding the differences between Mature and Adult land.
"TheAdult designation applies to Second LifeĀ® Regions that host conduct ordisplay content that is sexually explicit or intensely violent, ordepicts illicit drug use. Any Region must be designated Adult and thereforerequire account verification, if it advertises or publicly promotes thefollowing: Representations of intensely violent acts, whether or notphoto-realistic (for example, depicting death, torture, dismembermentor other severe bodily harm). Photo-realistic nudity; photo-realistic means that an image either is or cannot be distinguished from a photograph. Expresslysexually themed content, spaces or activities (whether or notphoto-realistic); we will broadly define what is "sexually themed" toinclude any sexually oriented activities and conduct"
It's also worth noting that the notecard one recieves on arrival says"The beach on which you are now has changed into a NO SEX NUDE BEACHfor those who don't want or can not  go through the process of adult verification."
Looking round, one sees a nice beach with some towels and sun loungers,a store and a building in the far corner which turns out to be anextension of the store.  So far, despite a few rather explicit images, I wasstarting to think that Deep Lag may have been overreacting in this caseand said so.  I was told to be patient and to hang around for a while.  What happenednext opened this reporter's eyes to a world of sex clubs hidden inplain sight!

The store, selling a variety of beds and sex toys, started to comealive as residents began to teleport in and ask around for sexualpartners.  A few were cautious and would only speak in IM to avoid breaking the club'srules but many spoke openly and plainly about what they were after. Once they found it, they would head to the fully active furniture in the storebuildings and have sex, some even going so far as to rez BDSM equipment.

Illegal Sex Club 002
you'll need a n00b partner to help you with…

Illegal Sex Club 003
…testing the furniture
Of course, this could have been a one-off event and not indicative ofthe club's usual activities.  Yet on the following evenings, the exactsame pattern of events unfolded again and again.  However, as you will nowsee for yourselves, things took a far more sinister turn.  Those of youof a gentle disposition should turn away now to avoid vomitting on yourkeyboards (the Herald reminds readers that the following wasin public chat).
NAME WITHHELD: *smiles into aunty's moistened mound and flexes hard inside mom, bumping her cervix*
NAME WITHHELD: are you ready for my load of jism mom?
NAME WITHHELD: fill me up son wirh your load

But just as Deep Lag warned, these clubs maintain plausibledeniability. 

Their sex areas are "furniture stores".  They hand outnotecards saying that they don't allow the rules to be broken.  The have scripted objectsshouting out reminders across half the sim (which makes this reporterwonder whether they're not so much intended to remind clientele but more that they arethere to give an illusion of strict adherence to the rules?)

It was also noted that the vast majority of residents passing throughwere n00bs.  As Lillie Yifu asserted, were these clubs being used assex camping to game the traffic figures and search results and to serve as anadvertising gateway to other clubs owned by the same people?  Certainlyif one types "Free Sex" into search, this club is always in one of the top three results.
A number of nearby residents were more than happy to voice theirdistaste for the activities that go on at the club.  One noted thatshe'd sent upwards of thirty abuse reports about the activities of the club and itsclientele over a twelve month period.  Others noted that they too hadfiled endless abuse reports for club clientele straying outside of the club, barginginto private homes and demanding sex.  Things had become so unbearablethat draconian security measures had to be installed to prevent this fromhappening.  Oddly enough, no one thought to shine the bat signal ontosome low flying clouds to summon one of the grid's self-appointed superherorole-playing vigilante groups who now concentrate most of their efforts on copyright takedown notices.

Still, with all these abuse reports flying to the game gods on MountLinden, you'd think that something would have been done about thisseedy den of incest and depravity, and others like it.  Well gentle reader, you'd bewrong. 

Despite a long chain of abuse reports, pleading for divineintervention, the Lab was turning a blind eye, just as Lillie Yifu had indicated inthe blog that began this journey.  Were the Lindens allowing this to continuebecause it helped to game the traffic figures to their own ends?  Will the gamegods ever decide to start enforcing their own policies or are the policiesjust an exercise in saying all the right things?

11 Responses to “Second Life Sex Clubs Hide in Plain Sight”

  1. Silas Scarborough

    Jan 21st, 2010

    Like this situation would even arise if SL were hosted in any other country in the world. Well, apart from those with sharia law.

  2. Patasha Marikh

    Jan 21st, 2010

    Not that I doubt that there are still sechs nao clubs on mature sims, but one thing struck me odd. You say that when you first entered there was nothing going on and we told to wait then people started showing up and started boinking for your journalistic pleasure. Kind of sounds like maybe your source generated some traffic (friends, alts, whatnot) possibly for you to witness naughtiness. Just something that stood out about the piece, not that it matters.

  3. Ari Blackthorne

    Jan 21st, 2010

    Ditto what Patasha sez.

    As for “Will the game gods ever decide to start enforcing their own policies or are the policies just an exercise in saying all the right things?” – I vote the latter.

    It helps to own the entire sim as well. Muahahah

  4. Senban Babii

    Jan 21st, 2010

    @Patasha Marikh

    “You say that when you first entered there was nothing going on and we told to wait then people started showing up and started boinking for your journalistic pleasure. Kind of sounds like maybe your source generated some traffic (friends, alts, whatnot) possibly for you to witness naughtiness. Just something that stood out about the piece, not that it matters.”

    Well done Patasha, you win my extra special prize for clear thinking! Also Ari for the ditto :)

    I want to address this because it’s important. And I want to thank you both for having the intelligence to question the facts you are presented with. It’s difficult to ask for your trust that I wasn’t fooled by a set-up and it’s difficult for me to be open about what went on without unveiling “Deep Lag” and also several accomplices of mine. But if I explain a few things, hopefully I will lay some of the questions to rest?

    When Deep Lag first got in touch, the first thing I did was question every single word she said, looking for a hidden agenda. I know Deep Lag is reading this and I know there won’t be any surprise or offense caused by me explaining this because I was pretty open about it. Whenever someone comes to me with a story, the first thing I do is look for possible agendas – my middle name is “Sceptical”. Again, it’s tricky to go into too much detail regarding Deep Lag but the information provided turned out to be correct and checked out. I’d also add for completion that I didn’t even reveal Deep Lag’s identity to Pix as editrix. Rule one is that you never burn your sources and I stick by that because trust is hard to come by, yes?

    My second point is this. I too was suspicious about the lack of activity at the start and make that clear in the article. There were a few people around but nothing suspicious per se, other than the explicit images I mentioned. However, once things started, they started. Now, you are absolutely right to say “what if it was a set-up?” and I’ll tell you now, I asked myself the same question. Again, I always look for hidden agendas unfolding. In order to allay my suspicions, I returned at random times over the next three or four days and without telling Deep Lag what I was doing. And to be on the safe side I also had a couple of accomplices who, for fun, I’ll call the “Lone Gunmen”. They visited the clubs without me and at different times. Deep Lag wasn’t made aware that I was doing this and would have no way to know that I was double checking the story I was being presented with. I also had a further Lone Gunman doing some background research for me.

    I also feel I should point something out to help balance the story out a little. This wasn’t the only club that the “Lone Gunmen” and I poked our noses into. And we found similar patterns unfolding over multiple visits. If it had just been one instance, then I would have really suspected I was being set-up to witness and report so as to further someone’s agenda. Thankfully, I was satisfied that this wasn’t the case here.

    It’s difficult to trust that someone has done some proper research behind an article I know, especially a relatively unknown quantity in a new reporter like myself. But I do a *lot* of digging into my stories and keep going back to triple check my facts (I’m still working on the bots/camping issue from weeks ago, gradually building my story, I don’t rush things out). Anything that I can’t back up or that I am even suspicious of gets taken out. And even then, I submit drafts of the stories for editorial review so that they can be picked apart for errors. So all I can do is ask you to trust me that if I put something in writing that I’ve done everything reasonable to pull it to pieces.

  5. Patasha Marikh

    Jan 22nd, 2010

    Ah, okay, wow that’s a lot more effort than I would have done, guess that’s why you work here. Like I said, I have no doubts that there are these kinds of clubs, homes, etc… floating about many mature and pg sims. At least on the adult sims there is a nice mix of well appointed avatars mixed in with the noobs. :)

  6. Anthony Russell

    Jan 22nd, 2010

    Good article Senban! Sounds like you do your research well. I’m pretty sure that people can find their way into any sort of activity in SL that they want to find. I doubt that there is ever going to be a way to stop that from being the case due to SL being open to anyone for free and allowing creative content from users. SL right now is going through a period not unlike the 2D internet circa 1996-1999… it is trying desperately to separate the hackers, predators, unsupervised children, criminal enterprises, con artists, unprofessional content creators, griefers, and social misfits from the mainstream so that the average RL human being will be comfortable and feel safe adopting Second Life as a platform for various uses.

    I agree that SL usually just ‘says the right things’ to sound good for PR reasons in the real world, and for legal reasons. If you are in SL or any creative 3D online world… no matter your age, if you go looking to find something, chances are you’ll find it. If you are a 12 year old boy or girl (or an adult posing as one) and you are using an SL account that your parent lets you use unsupervised, you can go find places or people to interact with in a violent, sexual, or adult manner… no matter what the rating level of a land parcel or sim may be. There isn’t going to always be anyone else around to spy on the situation much less actually enforce some sort of code of conduct.

    If you have build permissions on land, including sand boxes and public places, all you would have to do is find a private spot up high on a skybox platform to ‘do your business’ or whatnot and no one would ever know. Rez a pose ball, and go for it. or rez an item that has mature textures on it like naked pics or violent pics. For that sort of thing, you dont necessarily need to setup for long in the same place, so tracking down anyone who is doing something ‘inappropriate’ for the particular sim’s ratings would be like playing virtual ‘whack-a-mole’.

    If Second Life was a static game world created by Linden Lab and provided ‘as is’ with no ability for users to create or edit objects/avatars not pre-approved and provided by the Linden Lab game creators, then the environment would be policeable. With SL being an interactive user created environment, to be caught violating the ratings system for mature/adult/violent content, you have to be very blatant and out in the open with your activity.

    I’m all for SL being user friendly to all who want to use it, no matter what they like doing in this virtual world game environment, so long as they are adults. When it comes to children or anyone who might be offended by mature/adult/violent game content, they should avoid that type of content. In the case of children, no parent should ever let their kid play on SL unsupervised… that would just be ridiculously negligent parenting. With that said, the mature/adult/PG ratings system for areas in SL is merely a guideline that people who build the sims will basically be the ones to enforce, and to enforce those rules without fail 24/7, would take using a lot of your ‘land controls’ along with real human monitoring every time you see a green dot on the map on your sim 24 hours a day.

    That is a lot of work! Rotten people who want to interfere with your SL experience can almost always find a way to do so, unless you own a private area and dont allow others to teleport in there without permission. Even then, once they are let in the door, who knows who they really are and if they will always ‘behave’ on your sim when you are not around to police their activity.

    SL is just too wide open for anyone to think that a ratings system is going to be strictly enforceable in all places at all times.

    Btw, I look forward to seeing your article about Ballocki and our Ballocki Champions League in SL. I am an adult, and I have absolutely no problem with other adults (or me) viewing adult content if it entertains or suits our needs in some way, so long as that type of content is only available to adults. (not sure why a real life adult would be too excited by avatar sex or cyber sex, cartoon sex, or the like, but anyway if you like that or want to see photorealistic naked avatars, then I’m cool with it)

    Nevertheless, as Senban already knows from visiting our ballocki game stadium recently to write an article, the Ballocki game is purely PG rated content while at the same time it is a really engaging and competitive casual gaming experience that adults of all ages from all around the real world enjoy. It is a robust social experience too because the players who play it usually get to know each other and build friendships with the other players and their teammates. The ‘ballocki gaming experience’ is not unlike the social networking and casual gaming experience that is a mainstream phenomenon on platforms such as facebook, etc. It’s fun, it’s casual, it’s not offensive content, and it’s social.

    Linden Lab is striving hard to make SL friendly to that massive potential market in 2010 and beyond. Linden Lab wants and NEEDS mainstream adoption of SL as a casual social gaming platform to succeed, and as SL content creators, we NEED that too for this platform and our businesses to be a success. (for that matter, even if your SL business offers violent, mature or strictly adult content, you also will benefit from more mainstream adoption of SL, so cleaning up SL’s image to give it real world mainstream appeal is in your interest too!!!) If anyone reading this article wants to find a fun for all ages gaming experience in SL, come and check out Ballocki Stadium or one of the golf, hockey, soccer, sailing, or other sports sims. You’ll see that SL is not all about social misfits, griefers, and virtual cartoon sex.

    There are lots of fun casual type games that can be played in SL if that is what you are interested in doing for a bit of 3D virtual world fun and entertainment. If you’re looking for adult content, you can find that in SL too. No different than the 2D internet or real life. SL is a creative platform, and there is no way to expect that the Lindens can or even should try to police the whole thing, with the exception of really egregious violations that are done on a massive scale. The ratings system seems a bit confusing though, and Senban is right that it seems very easy for people to violate the ratings system now, at least in small doses, by ‘violating’ each others avatars just about any place they would like to do so, at least until someone in a virtual superman outfit can show up on the scene to report the violation to Linden Lab and/or a sim owner.

    Dude Gilruth

  7. We need those JLU heroes to attend to this, now! This smut must be rubbed out (Oh my, the word “rub” has certain salacious connotations I should avoid).

  8. Jumpman Lane

    Jan 22nd, 2010

    ingenious! u know it took about a month in sl to realize a sex bed store WASNT a sex spot lmao

  9. Good heavens. Mr. Lane has moved up one rung on the evolutionary ladder (to at least tadpole) by learning to punctuate his ejaculations.

    Next (be still, frail and pure heart of mine) he may learn to capitalize his sentences and avoid barbarisms such as “u” and “lmao.” We pure-living avatars will ban such atrocities once the proud and upright JLU uses its Linden-granted superpowers to destroy the verminous votaries of voluptuous villainy.

  10. P Charisma

    Jan 23rd, 2010

    I find it interesting the Mony Lindman was the target of this crusade.

    Mony’s been a member of the Zindra Alliance since way back. One that’s objected to the way they were doing things, but you can see in the top link there that she’s also calling out others for doing exactly what this article claims she is now up to.

  11. MrSmith

    Oct 4th, 2010

    Miss Petunia

    Try to type that 3 times fast girl I dare ya. :) I take this whole sex in SL ( which I just discovered there was such a weird virtual place as SL. ) as good freakin gawd, people will never reach rock bottom of pointless and stupid. Though who am I to rain on their virtual sex parade I guess … sighs .. WTF … 4 real ?!?!?

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