Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention: Inside the World of Wank-Craft
|Virtual dance party...with virtual butt crack|
Active users like Sigmilla customize their world, designing "Zabys" or fake living spaces that range from small apartments to country mansions, plus the clothing they wear, the items they use and even the different iterations of the digital skin they have underneath those clothes -- like different types of muscles, scales or purple fur. Sigmilla has two jobs in the Utherverse: as virtual event planner and, yes, a virtual model, something she probably wouldn't do in real life.
While Sigmilla models in exchange for Utherverse virtual cash called "Rays," others do more nefarious things for those fake dollars. SaphyreRose is an Utherverse call girl -- and she's the best there is. So good, in fact, that the AEVC honored her as this year's Best Verified Working Girl. Her in-world husband (yes, Utherverse hosts about 1,000 virtual marriages a year), Eros, shared the honor as this year's Best Working Guy. Utherverse's working guys and girls like Rose and Eros book virtual sex sessions with Ray-paying customers. The couple -- in an open, long-distance relationship with each other in real life -- revels in being virtual royalty of the oldest profession.
Rose personally walks me through the seedier side of virtual online sex. Each encounter takes place in any number of virtual bedrooms or spaces decorated according to taste. "It's very alluring, very erotic," she says. "Well, it can be with the right person and the right chemistry and the right setting. Some think it strange, but it's really just a new avenue of enjoying sexuality." During a session, communicated through text chat or voice chat, each participant controls their naked or partially clothed avatar through a variety of sex acts and positions, which all build to a (somewhat comical) animated climax.
Rose charges an hourly rate of Rays and services dozens of clients a week -- all of whom leave her charming and positive feedback on her personal page. They seem to enjoy that Rose is verified as a real person with real pictures, though she generally doesn't show her whole face in her photos, or use the site's webcam. "I'm on the PTA," she says. "We can't have that getting around the web -- it might show up on Mysluts.com or something or be seen by the school principal."
During her AEVC talk, with her warm and inviting Midwestern accent, she could be mistaken for a scrap-booking lecturer, but instead she's advising would-be virtual sex workers on the benefits of stewarding their clients. "If there is no chemistry with a client, there's nothing wrong with telling them that you two wouldn't mesh ... but you have to be gentle so you don't hurt someone's feelings," she cautions the crowd. There's definitely a positive community vibe here. Rose's lecture is one of the few AEVC sessions that are specifically geared toward the Utherverse world.
An interview with porn legend Seka
Over the remainder of three real-life days, the convention introduced sessions with real-world porn starlets like Aurora Snow and industry pioneers like Seka. Mixed in were more intense freedom of speech kinds of sessions, and a bummer of a condom-law lecture.
Starlet Sabrina Deep, best known for her marathon group-sex videos and fan inclusion, gave that bummer lecture, clarifying for fans the new California condom laws that threaten the adult industry's historic home base in Los Angeles. While her arguments questioning the safety of condoms fell flat, her impassioned portrayal of the industry's enemies rang solid. "Due to the nature of productions, the adult-entertainment industry makes for an easy target for many individuals, organizations with personal, political and religious agendas," she said.
Seka, one of the first major porn stars, answered a number of questions about the early days of porn with the class of a debutante. "In the late '70s and early '80s, I didn't even drink. ... I was so frickin' naive...," she said. She also called out current performers for their party lifestyles. "I enjoy my job. I'm not a lazy porn star! Excuse me, bitches, you put on your bra one titty at time, just like everyone else," she crowed to virtual giggles.
Kelsey Obsession on "The Art of Anal"
As charming as Seka was, the stand-out session goes to fetish model Kelsey Obsession, who taught "The Art of Anal" to a packed digital theater. Obsession, on webcam, showed the in and outs -- well, mostly the ins -- of anal sex. She demonstrated on her own body, with her own toys, how to safely and effectively ... y'know ... do that kind of thing. Her hands-on approach got high marks from every avatar we chatted with. "That's how it's done!" one attendee told us.
Even if the Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention is indeed the first of its kind and it did draw more than 10,000 unique users over the weekend, organizer Shuster really wants us to know that sex is not the Utherverse's primary concern. "There are over 80,000 user-generated worlds and a million personal worlds," he says. Most of them are not adult, supposedly; there's even a Virtual Vancouver. "There are even folks who do karaoke on there," he says. Perhaps sex is just at the forefront because it's more exciting than virtual karaoke? No one will disagree with that.