Some scientists* believe that many real life bondage models got their start as Second Life avatars. Image source: the DeviceBondage.com sim on the Kink.com grid.
An article on Alternet has some interesting food for thought. Titled What the $15 Billion Sex Toy Industry Tells Us About Sexuality Today, it proposes that the success of the sex toy industry is an indicator that America is in the midst of another sexual revolution, one that has gone unnoticed by the media and even the ever-suspicious religious right, because it's occurring in America's bedrooms, in private.
The current revolution, claims Alternet, involves the adoption of the safe/sane/consensual values for sexual conduct developed by gays and BDSMers, by the general public, with a strong helping of "what people do in private is their own damn business so long as nobody gets hurt."
It's an interesting and thought-provoking theory, and probably has a lot going for it. Sixty-five million copies of "Fifty Shades of Grey" argues fairly convincingly that there's something to it, if you are not convinced by the sex toy industry figures alone.
But what also piqued my interest was the success of a sex toy manufacturer called Crystal Delights. And the reason for that is, Crystal Delights' product line (butt plugs, presumably, glass butt plugs) started out as a Second Life virtual sex toy. Then it made the hop over to real life, because one real dollar will buy you 250 Linden dollars (I suspect.)
I wonder if other elements of Second Life are leaking into the real world?
"OMG! I've logged into the Real Life grid! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" (Interesting how similar the avatar here is to the bondage model at the top of the post ... could it be???? ... Image source: Public Disgrace and Second Life.