Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Chey and Sweetie Dancing, January 2007
Written 14 March, 2007


While waiting for Sweetie to log in on Tuesday night, I took myself to a Bill and Pam Havercamp concert. They’re RL friends, and I love their music.

When I got there, I spotted one of my friends. He’s fairly new to Second Life, and starting, I think, to enjoy himself as he ventures out onto the grid.

Most concerts are laggy (because of the high numbers of avatars present), and the frame per second rate slows down to the point that it becomes nearly impossible to navigate. You bump into walls or blunder onto the stage because you don’t get feedback fast enough let you walk or fly properly.

When lag happens, the simplest thing to do is to jump onto a pose ball. It keeps your avatar busy and signifies to others that you’re enjoying yourself.

There are all sorts of pose balls in SL, of course—witness Sweetie’s collection of hugs and kisses and acts best performed unclothed—but dance balls are innocuous.

Well, I once saw Sweetie in a slow dance which caused her partner to grab her ass, so let’s just say mostly innocuous.

Dancing in Second Life is simple. You just find a dance pose ball and jump on it. Your avatar is animated, and you and whoever jumps on the blue ball will be wildly talented dancers.

It may look sexy, just as real life dancing can look sexy, but it’s hardly intimate or inappropriate.

At the concert, I asked my friend to dance. He agreed, and we hopped on the dance balls that were closest—they happened to be the salsa.

We danced for perhaps ten minutes, until Sweetie arrived and rezzed in. Then I thanked my partner and danced with my Sweetie until the concert ended.

End of story.

Or so I thought.

It turns out that hundreds of miles away from my computer, in the real world, my friend’s wife, over his shoulder, saw him dancing with me.

And she got mad.


Now, I realize the role dancing plays in courtship, but my friend and I were not working up toward any hank-panky. I have no romantic attraction to him; my heart is commanded by my Sweetie. Nor does he have any romantic attraction to me.

I like him. He’s my friend. And one reason he’s my friend is that he has never ever crossed the line with regard to his behavior. He has never been suggestive or flirtatious—and I have never been intentionally suggestive or flirtatious with him. I like him because in an environment in which most males straightaway acquire a penis and take themselves to the titty bars, he has chosen not to do so. He has been a good and true friend.

Now I fear our friendship is damaged.

Had Sweetie not told me my friend had IMed her and told her what had happened at his home, I would have never known of the consequences of my innocent request for a dance. He didn’t mention it to me. Yesterday he was online and didn’t check in.

I guess I’ll just go my own way until my friend once more feels comfortable around me.


talon sidek said...

C'mon Chey, everyone knows dancing in SL is foreplay. :) I would guess your friends wife is mad, not because he was dancing with you in SL, but because he hasn't taken her out dancing in RL for far too long.

Note to friend: Take wife out dancing, and SL dancing will open up to you like a bloomin' onion.

Cheyenne Palisades said...

Dancing is foreplay in the RW too, Talon-- highly stylized, but sexually charged. Dancing makes one acutely physically aware of one's partner-- but it doesn't mean it's going somewhere.

And yes, I think my friend should shut off his computer one night and take his wife out dancing.