Near my inworld parcel there’s one of those rather peculiar – to my mind anyway – SL businesses: A virtual dating agency. It’s a very successful business, that I’m sure is raking in the profits for its proprietor, whose technical ability and business acumen are admirable. Certainly, it’s a rare thing not to see at least a couple of avatars on the premises. However it’s one of those elements of SL that I’ve never really understood.
Do virtual people seeking romance really need an intermediary to introduce them to other virtual people seeking romance? Is the SL dating scene such that those who are seeking a soul mate are struggling to find anyone compatible anywhere in the bars, clubs and social gatherings that abound within the virtual world? And if it’s not romantic liaisons you’re looking for but a spot of gratuitous, no strings attached rumpy pumpy, I’m reliably informed that you’re unlikely to struggle to find what you’re after inworld.
If it’s true that we really do need assistance to find that virtual significant other, I’m surprised, but then again, it may not be the romantic scene that’s necessarily at fault.
I’m a people watcher: In both the real and virtual worlds I’m a terrible social voyeur – spying on the lives of those around me and weaving stories in my mind about the unknown details of the lives of the people who cross my path, even for the most fleeting of encounters. Consequently, I do spend a fair amount of time checking out the hopefuls who loiter around my local virtual love emporium and, I’m sorry to say, that my observations have led me to the conclusion that a great many of these poor, lovelorn avatars are single for a very good reason… They’re uglier than the back end of a bus!
Those of you having a more charitable nature may wish to stop reading now, since I’ll freely admit that most of the rest of this post will consist of sweeping generalisations, thinly disguised opinion and perhaps just a little touch of snobbery!
In RL, most of us seeking a date will go to the trouble of sprucing ourselves up, making a bit more of an effort over our appearance than usual, and generally attempting to look as alluring and irresistible as possible, and – on your average date with someone who has that potential to be ‘The One’ or, for that matter, just a fun night out – most of us would would aim for a look that’s more sophisticated and sensual than trashy and tasteless. Considering the time, effort and hard work that the majority of us would put into looking good for a potential partner in RL where – let’s face it – we might be up against the odds, (there’s only so much that make-up and Spanx can achieve!), you’d imagine that in a world where we have almost infinite ways to customise and perfect our look, and a wealth of wonderful outfits to dress ourselves up in, our avatars would epitomise the very definition of gorgeousness, particularly when we’re on the pull?
That – from my observations – is certainly not the case.
Yes, I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if the beholder happens to share my tastes – and I’m pretty certain I’m not in the minority in this case – the parade of oddly-shaped, barely-dressed and badly-accessorised pixels that I regularly see strutting their stuff at the dating agency is certainly not easy on the eye and is more likely to inspire puking than poetic ecstasy! So, for those of you who were under the illusion that stylish chic, adorning a well-groomed and tastefully decorated body are a sure-fire way of attracting suitors; think again, because that is plainly not what starstruck lovers look for in a partner in SL.
Based on scientific observation and careful analysis of the facts, this is your definitive guide to oozing desirability from every virtual orifice…
BIG is definitely better: Boobs, butts, hips and lips – the more outrageous and out of proportion, the more appealing you’ll be. Ideally, you’ll want your protuberances to look as if they’ve been glued in place by an inexpert model-maker – lips should be upside-down in a sort of reverse pout, nostrils should flare like a hippie’s jeans, boobs and butts should be subtly different in shade to the rest of your (orange-tanned) skin, and should show visible lines and/or gaps where they join – presumably to give the illusion of plastic surgery, (not entirely necessary, since they’ll appear to be made of plastic anyway).
Jewellery: Bling is in! If it doesn’t flash, sparkle, radiate lazer beams or contain gems that would give the Kohinoor an inferiority complex, they’re not worth wearing. In fact, everything should several sizes too big – hula hoops for bracelets are fine. Don’t forget the body art and adornments… you will sport an enormous belly-button piercing that looks as if an alien is bursting from your stomach; and tattoos are de-rigeur – ideally, garishly colourful motifs of playing cards, skulls and a stylish rendering of the word ‘Whore’ in Blackletter script to fill that gap between your lady bits and where the tops of your trousers should ideally be.
What’s right for jewellery and body parts is the complete opposite when it comes to clothing. Here the look we’re trying to achieve is minimalist – if it covers flesh, you’re doing it wrong. Hot babes in SL always wear bikinis and heels that transform their feet into a rather oddly shaped – but undoubtedly attractive – version of a pig’s trotter.
As with the girl, your watchwords are ‘Big’ and ‘Disproportionate’ – however you do need to work to get the correct killer look. Arms and thighs should put tree trunks to shame – aim for the sort of musculature that would burst your own blood vessels if you flexed; torsos, without exception, must be an inverted triangle – and we’re talking isosceles here, none of your equilateral nonsense! Ideally, your shoulders should be several metres wider than your feet and should be of sufficient mass to cause all your vertebrae to fuse together from the downward force. Perched upon them, like a peanut atop an escarpment, should be a teeny weeny lego man head – crew cut or pony tail essential, together with nose and ear piercing and ‘artistic’ Maori style cheek tattoo.
All desirable men in SL go topless – there are no shirts to fit them, anyway. This also allows them to display their impressive array of tattoos – these are acquired by the simple expedient of visiting tattoo parlour, pointing to the catalogue and saying “I’ll have all of those!”
Hot men either wear shorts, cutoff jeans or baggy pants that could easily double-up as a tent for a small group of friends at a rock festival. Men must wear shoes, through which their feet poke at random angles – this is because real men have no need for alphas.
So that’s my indispensable guide to getting the girl/guy of your dreams in SL – it might even work in the real world, so feel free to give it a go, and please do tell me if you succeed!
You said my clothes were sexy
You tore away my shirt
You rubbed an ice-cube on my chest
Snapped me ’til it hurt
Baby Bird – You’re Gorgeous