Now the Orgy is Over

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2010


Sociology and Corrections


Based on six months of ethnographic fieldwork, this study explores the intersections between embodied flesh and digital (re)presentations by examining how participants experience virtual sex on Second Life. We explore how and to what extent Second Life avatars mediate personal desires and fantasies with others who, collaboratively, construct sexual adventures in forms of playful deviance that allow for the emergence of secret sexual selves, as well as how those sexual adventures are ultimately fashioned and experienced in a “diffused life” that is neither of Second Life nor of first but a tightly bound combination of the two. Despite the enormous freedom of Second Life residents for seemingly boundless creative self-expression, we conclude that these experiences are more bound to and confined within disciplined practices than they first appear.

Publication Title

Symbolic Interaction