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It’s February and Valentine’s is upon us. It’s a time for love, happiness, sadness and whatever emotion you can add to the bag. This is my first Valentine’s in Second Life as a single man and it’s not as bad as it sounds. For the most of us, this is not that big of a deal, but don’t let us sell those short that have truly found happiness and everlasting love. You have found a very special thing and somewhere deep inside we are all just a bit jealous whether we admit it or not. For those who have that special one, yay for you. And those of us going solo this Valentines, remember, no relationship is better than the wrong relationship. Use this time to get to know a friend better or do something creative. I will be building. I am really excited about this issue and the new items we have for you. Our Style Section is getting a new monthly addition from RFYRE and I know you will not be disappointed. We have
also begun working on our very special Fashion Show coming up in March. With the cooperation of the designers on the ICON Lifestyle Sim, we will be presenting “one of a kind“ designs that will be auctioned off with all profits going to Autism Speaks charity. We are looking forward to that, as well as it being our 1 year anniversary, so look for that. Thank you to all that faithfully support us month after month. We promise to continue to bring you the best we can and hopefully that will be enough to touch you and motivate you to heights you have not reached yet. You are all ICON’s to us.
Wil Dreadlow Wil Dreadlow, CEO and Publisher, ICON lifestyle magazine | 26
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Editorâ€™s Note Sometimes its hard not to get jaded and disillusioned with love, especially in a virtual world where virtually anything can, and does, happen. You hear of so much heartache, deception and cheating that its hard to believe true love can be found in a place like Second Life. I bet we all have a few stories (or in my case novels) we can share. It gives me hope when I hear the success stories of people who have not only found love in SL, but love that has reached beyond the screen and is now RL love. Those are the stories worth sharing and celebrating, and Iâ€™m so pleased we can bring you some of them in this issue. Celebrate love this month - whether its romantic or platonic. Cos after all...all you need is love.
Jordan Whitt Jordan Whitt Editor in Chief ICON lifestyle magazine â€ƒ | 28
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My Big Fat Fake Wedding 33
Love in a Time of SL
A Peek Inside the World of Escorting
How Do I Love Thee
Style ICON - Flori Laval
Our Top Three Male Skins
ICON Sim Spotlight - Mashooka Designs
Day to Night
Two Looks - One Shirt
My Must Have Lingerie
Mens Fashion Week
Ivey & Rob: Sn@tchin’ Love
Love is Unexpected
Celebrating Black History Month
Take a Gamble on Love
Corsets and Cigars
Shamrod Watanabe - Soothing the Soul with Music
Hugo’s Cover Model
Fun Dates for Gays and Lesbians
Love – It’s About Style
I Wanna Dance With Somebody
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ig Fat Fake Wedding By Sienna Bellios Photos by Shannoncharlize GossipGirl Once Upon a Time…there was a little girl. Like many other little girls she dreamed of finding her prince, and of her royal wedding. Oh my! Her wedding…how grand it would be! She planned and planned and marched Barbie and Ken down the aisle repeatedly in preparation for that big moment. Until her prince came, she would live vicariously through the perfect, if not anatomically incorrect, Barbie and Ken. As time marched on, this lovely young lass put aside her dolls, but never quite gave up her dreams of the grand wedding. Of entering the massive church down a spiral staircase as the guests stood, gasping in awe at the most beautiful
bride that they had ever feasted their eyes on. Life however had other plans, though and her first wedding was small. Unfortunately, for the pseudo princess it matched the marriage in its grandeur. Dreams of the grand wedding were fading fast. Then there came Second Life. *picture clears from the soft haze of the past to a crisp clear vision of a SL loving couple, much like waiting for crowded stores to rez* The dreams of my prince were revived and one day, there he was! Oh my, he was so handsome and I was so much in love. We were barely past noob status | 34
LIFESTYLE when he asked me to marry him and I happily accepted. We began shopping for the all important wedding dress, and piddled around looking at venues. Being new, I really didn’t quite know how it worked. My groom, however, wasn’t one to waste time when he made up his mind. One day, as I walked in the door of our home, he met me there in his tux and informed me that I had 30 minutes to get ready, that we were getting married! He had secured a wedding location, hired a photographer, picked out the music…every detail had been taken care of. He even had bought me a bridal bouquet, musical no less. Now some women would have freaked at not being the one to plan the wedding down to the last detail. Truthfully, I had known him before Second Life, and what I saw was my knight in shining armor riding up on his valiant steed and carrying me away to live happily ever after. To this day, that remains one of the most romantic gestures any man has ever done for me, in RL or SL.
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Soon after the wedding, the prim baby came. You know how it goes, there’s soccer practice, mini-vans, bills to pay. We won’t even talk about keeping up with the Lindens. You know, bigger house, bigger car, more sex furniture. After a while, I noticed my knight’s shining armor was a lil’ rusty and his valiant steed was sagging a bit and was turning slightly gray around the edges. Then one day you look up, and …it’s just over. All that remains is signing the divorce papers, well okay, clicking the de-partner box. I am now the single mother of a beautiful prim baby, Isabella, and have not gone the route of a SL wedding again. Watching friends partner and unpartner and listening to rumors..”did you hear who is cheating on who” sorta puts a damper on the idea. Still though, that grand wedding lingered in my mind. The thought of the fairytale thats eluded me nagged at my soul. One thing I began to notice is how everybody declares, “oh I don’t
want a big wedding, I want just a small wedding on the beach”. It’s said in SL almost like a mantra. I have even made that declaration myself, ‘if I ever get married again….” Well, I am here to make a declaration. If I ever get married again, I want a three sim extravaganza. Hell with that small beach wedding. I want to leave people speechless. I want it known, “Sienna Bellios had the wedding of weddings in SL”. I want mine to be the one that all future SL weddings will be measured against. There will be one sim for the wedding, one sim for the reception and one for the honeymoon. Well, lets not discuss the honeymoon sim other than mentioning vines swinging through trees and ..okay.. that’s another article. My wedding…*fades into soft haze of dream status, much like waiting for crowded stores to rez* The day of my wedding, I will finally be the bride that I have always longed to | 36
LIFESTYLE be. The bride that Barbie and I spent all of those years perfecting. My wedding requires the perfect dress and I knew that when I saw it, I would know…and I did. My dress, the one that made me feel like a princess, was called Opale. I stood at ‘a la Folie’ staring in wonder. I held my breath as I tried it on. Perfection. It would have made Barbie throw a tantrum in seeing that *I* in fact, had the perfect dress, rather than her. Next, of course were the bridesmaid’s dresses. All twenty of them. What? You expect a princess to have only one? Please. After endless searching, I found exactly what I wanted at Azul. The dress, FioreSegreto in purple…purple of course chosen to signify royalty. Next, where to have such a grand wedding? I searched high and low, until finally I found the place that made me stare in awe. It is called Eostara, and has not only as shopping area, but a cathedral, an amphitheatre and a park. The park is absolutely magical, and is there 37 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
anything better fit for a Princess and her Prince Charming? There are caves, and waterfalls and mountains. It is the place of which dreams are made, and where this princessâ€™ dreams would begin to come true. As the music plays, I will make my way to my Prince, following behind my mass of bridesmaids and flower girls, and we will be wed joyfully among the release of doves and butterflies as a full orchestra plays softly. Naturally the reception will be as grandiose as the wedding. A line of horse drawn carriages will ferry guests from the wedding venue to the reception sim which will be linked via a white wooden drawbridge, naturally decorated in a wedding motif, draped in white and red roses and long flowing ribbons. Linden Labs, will of course, agree to stop all traffic in the waterways to allow for the crossing of the carriages. There will be no expense spared of â€ƒ | 38
LIFESTYLE course in the building of the reception area. Guests will enter the castle, which will be the official reception site. There a full orchestra will play for guest’s enjoyment as they dine on a sevencourse meal created by the finest chefs in SL. The wedding cake will be a ten tier masterpiece, a white chocolate replica of the castle, adorned with red roses. After my groom and I have cut the cake, along with the other traditional wedding festivities, the dancing will begin. There will be numerous areas for dancing in and outside the castle, with our chosen music being played throughout the venue. As with the wedding venue, the reception will be one of dreams and couples will dance in and among the clouds, with backgrounds of waterfalls, and babbling brooks along with intimate private areas. The reception in My Big Fat Fake Wedding would be like Camelot Gardens, and if you have never been to Camelot Gardens, then you must go. It surely was designed to make you fall in love with your dance partner.
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After the wedding, horse drawn carriages will ferry the guests to small cottages where they will be able to spend the night, and awaken to breakfast in bed, and receive gifts of custom jewelry created as mementos of my big fat fake wedding. Now after all has been said and done, there is of course no groom, and no wedding except in my fantasy. Would I love to meet my Prince Charming and bring the fantasy to Slreality? Of course. I am a romantic and still believe in happily ever after. I still cry at romantic movies and root for the underdog. Now the question remains, what if I met my Prince Charming and he didn’t want the same kind of wedding I did. Would that mean he isn’t truly my Prince Charming. If that were to happen, I am thinking …maybe just a small wedding on the beach… The End
Slurls: a la Folie http://slurl.com/secondlife/ AlaFolie/138/145/38 Azul http://slurl.com/secondlife/ joia%20azul/118/129/25 Eostara http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Eostara/92/185/27 Camelot Gardens http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Camelot%20Garden%20 Paradise/67/193/56
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Written and photographed by Daelia Dollinger
Once upon a time, I was a girl that used Second Life for merely meeting friends. I found small romances (and even some big ones) within my little metaverse, but nothing really became a concrete facet of my life. All of the smatterings of love were just inkblots on a much bigger canvas and the biggest issue had always seemed to be the distance between each other. Sometimes, you get lucky enough to meet someone merely a state or so away, but what happens when your heart draws you into a direction that is literally continents apart? How do you know what to trust and if this person that youâ€™re electronically giving your heart to is really what you need? When you realize the answer, is it worth it? You never know who youâ€™re meeting here, which is a secondary problem. When I met my current significant other in Second Life, she was not who
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she said she was. A vast issue within our little digital world is that people come here to escape. They want to stop being the people they are in their First Life and indulge in the world they cannot access from where they currently stand. This was the case with my partner, as she was never intending to fall in love with someone here at all. Even more so, she was not intending to fall in love with me. Want to hear how matters got made worse? She lives in the Netherlands while I’m a native of the United States. Want to think about how many miles that is? Go into the thousands and keep going. We are literally a world apart. So there we stood on the precipice of something great, but we had to work out the fact that I had spent a good chunk of our relationship thinking she was… gasp – a male. Once we’d done that and bridged the gap of our adoration, we realized that gender didn’t matter. Neither one of us had ever been with a girl before romantically, but we knew that our love kind of lacked a sexuality. We just loved each other. That’s all we knew. Well, that and that she lived so far away that our likelihood of being together was terribly bleak. That is where the real crossroad sign is visible and you have to stop, view your surroundings and ask yourself | 46
LIFESTYLE if what you’re wanting and what you’ve obtained is worth the big leap from a comfortable spot behind a screen – into your very real life. When you pick apart the reason that we so easily fall for people on Second Life, it boils down to a few very realistic facts: You have only your voice, your emotions and your ability to relay your personality through an avatar. Think about it! Without your body language and your natural defenses like averting your eyes and gauging a person’s reaction to you – you can take comfort in your privacy and give out so much more information than you might usually to a stranger. Comfort can lead to some very quick friendships and even more passionate relationships on the Internet because that is always the only thing holding real life love back. In Real Life, if it gets too dark or too cold outside? Your date is over and you’re headed inside to warm up and pray quietly for some more time with your new crush. Here in Second Life? You can drink a cup of coffee and force Midday and rewind the sun’s progress so that you never 47 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
have to stop. Your limitations are your own organic bodies and in that lies the problem. People move so fast here and in that, people can lose just as quickly as they gain. The crux of the issues is that you never know if you’re moving fast enough to keep up with the blinding world of a digital universe. So, here we are again. We’ve met the person we love now and we’re realizing that we want to bridge the gap from an Internet relationship to a real relationship. Can it work? Can we actually find all we want and desire from something that was never tangible when it began? The sad fact of a lot of SL relationships is that they fizzle out before they can truly burn bright. They say that being “crazy in love” is still being “crazy” and they’re all very correct. Running fast into something makes it all that harder to stop yourself and smell the roses, so a lot of relationships see their bitter end long before the scent of the daisies. That doesn’t mean there’s not hope though, not even by a longshot.
When I reconnected with my Partner, when I finally knew the truth behind the avatar and she saw I was not going anywhere â€“ that was when we worked on the distance. We used the Internet to our advantage and picked up on Skype calls, webcam chats and sent each other presents and notes of our devotion. We tried to make the most we could with what little resources we had until we could make our physical adoration a reality. Then, it happened. My girlfriend conquered all of her own personal discomforts to fly from her country to my country. Sheâ€™d never flown before, but she flew to me. She left every single comfort zone that she knew behind a monitor and an avatar and stood before me in an crowded airport on an extremely snowy-day in December. Our love was not just a factor of our avatars set on loving poseballs, cued into lifeless gazes that we had to force on one another. No, it was much the opposite. Now, our avatars had become the make-shift dolls that would give us a sense of normalcy until we could be together again.
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LIFESTYLE Love in a time of Second Life can happen, but it is just like it is in your Real Life: it takes work. You have to hone your feelings and till the fake earth and branch out beyond your comfort zones until you are completely given to your significant other. If you can’t see yourself pressing past the Second Life client’s login screen and waking up personally to that individual every single day... ...maybe you should stick to Match.com and leave Second Life for the furries.
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A Peek Inside the World of Escorting Written and photographed by Vespa Runner Hardest hit by the adult content changes was the adult industry in SL. Without much information to go on, the core of the adult industry, escorting and exotic dancing seemed to scatter. Some clubs and popular hangout areas moved several times, which caused the demise of longstanding businesses and the careers of highly respected names and faces. Some simply cut their losses and retired. This was the case with Odessa Olifone, who ran a successful escort club and was an even more successful escort herself before she retired. I followed along with her as she revisted her old stomping grounds for the first time and listened as she spoke about what she saw. And 51 |â€ƒ ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
of course got my peek into an escort’s world as well. Odessa is well put together and very classy. She’s not dressed “slutty” as one would expect of a stereotypical escort. She has however allowed a bit of skin to show which has still left a little to the imagination. Compared to the escorts
around us, some just walking around in little more than panties and stolen hair that looks like a helmet, I can see how Odessa made it to where she did. She clearly sets a higher standard for herself. “It’s really sad to look around and see the clubs and also the places that were | 52
LIFESTYLE around here, but class and smarts aren’t adjustable in your appearance menu.”
on our ‘rounds’, that used to be so packed with people, are now just so dead. I know a lot of people don’t have respect for escorting, however you have to look at it like this. It’s an art and yes, a lot of people can just throw on a trashy outfit and make up some rates and call themselves an escort. That’s not an escort. An escort is someone who provides companionship. A man, or woman, will hire you once because your Avi is pretty or whatever. They rehire you, and can even become a regular, because you respect that they have desires that need expressing and you give them a safe outlet for that. Also you have a personality. You can buy pretty 53 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
At this point, Odessa tells me that she has an IM from a man. He’s Italian and apparently wants webcam from her, which she’s told him she doesn’t do. He becomes insistent, asking for her MSN address, which she doesn’t have. She tells me this is rather common and predicts he will continue. “I’ll just tell him what my voice rates were for an hour. That should shut him up,” she says with a cackle. She has switched to her hard nosed business side where she can run with the big boys, although I am starting to question whether they can run with her. Sure enough the man keeps at her and she IM’s him a rate that is rather large as a bluff. Its her old voice rate, but she knows well enough he won’t pay that even for webcam, which would be much more if she was a cam girl. Sure enough he caves, saying, “I don’t have those L’s.” “Too bad,” she replies as she struts off, “you just missed out on a real woman. Unlike these men in dresses standing around.” As we continued our walk through
Odessa’s old haunts, a man starts taking her picture, causing her to stop in her tracks. As she is firmly explaining to him that he is not to do that, he continues to do so and the air is rife with tension. I’m not sure I could save this man if I wanted to. He is telling her that he likes her avatar and she is pretty while she is busy telling him she is filing an abuse report. She later tells me she didn’t and she’s not even sure she could have. At the time, though it scared the hell out of the guy.
who would want relationships and they didn’t know the real me. You have to put up a guard. I let them in to a certain point, but there’s no way I could cross that line. I did once partner someone I met in my club, although he was never a customer there. He would just come in to socialize. Eventually we decided to be best friends. I’m very glad I met him. Still...it was a lonely life at the end of the day. When their time was up, it was up.”
An e s c o r t i s s o m e o ne who provides companionship. We sat down on the edge of a fountain in an empty area for a final heart to heart. “You know,” she says, “this was not the life for someone looking to fulfill their heart. I have met a lot of nice people and made some really great friends. I really loved and looked forward to seeing the girls who worked in my club and rented ads from me. However, a lot of times I had clients | 54
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How Do Thee
Written by Lacy Muircastle It is February once again and we all know what that means...romance is in the air and our hearts are all a flutter. But why? Every February candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. St. Valentine’s Day is a huge craze especially amongst the youth in various countries around the world. Those in love start planning for Valentine’s Day celebrations, while those without a lover start looking for a date so that they are able to celebrate the day in the muchromanticised manner. Hype for the festival is further built up by the media and the rigorous advertising campaign run by the cards and gifts marketers. In Second Life it is no different than out there in the real world. Euphoria for Valentine’s Day can be felt days before the actual day when
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How do I love count the ways
thee? Let me s. - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
the market places start exuding the spirit of romance. Shops selling cards, flowers and other romantic gifts can be seen decked with Valentine’s Day symbols of hearts, cards, roses and cupid. In modern times, jewellers try to lure lovers with attractive schemes and bold displays of innovative and eye-catching jewellery. Florists, who get their best business in this time of the year, lure customers with big and beautiful bouquets of exotic flowers. Big hype and euphoria for St. Valentine’s Day has made the occasion a multimillion dollar industry in the real world, and in Second Life it too has financial benefits. It has turned out to be the biggest card-selling holiday after Christmas, as people prefer to buy not just one, but several cards not just for their sweetheart but also for their parents, teachers, siblings, friends and other loved ones. Of course it’s not just restricted to cards in the present consumerist society. People also buy loads of chocolates in special romantic packaging as well as big bouquets of flowers, despite the fact that prices of | 58
LIFESTYLE flowers sky rocket on Valentine’s Day because of the huge demand. Other popular Valentine’s Day gifts include shirts, wallets and cologne for men and jewellery, jewellery boxes, stuffed toys and romantic show pieces for women. The most popular way of celebrating Valentine’s Day is to go for a romantic date with a sweetheart. In Second Life one can find many romantic venues for would be lovers to express their love. Special Valentine’s Day parties organized by clubs and the various romantic venues around the grid will give lovers an opportunity to celebrate. So who is this mysterious St. Valentine and why do we celebrate him? One legend contends that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers 59 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl, maybe his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter which he signed ‘from your Valentine,’ an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legend is murky, the stories certainly
emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial, others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ‘Christianise’ celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, the 15th, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began
to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first massproduced valentines in America. So while most people go out of their way to celebrate the day of love and romance, there are many that are very much against the festival. Some feel there is no reason to celebrate love on one particular day, as love is to be cherished on all days of the year. People are also very much against the excessive | 60
LIFESTYLE commercialization of the festival. In spite of the mounting criticism, the popularity of St. Valentine’s Day is increasing by the year as people to not wish to miss the opportunity to express and celebrate love.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
- Pablo Neruda, “Love Sonnet XVII”
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Lingerie Brie Xue Item Name: ToTIE Beige Corset and Panties Set Where its from: Lingerie 2C Why its your favourite: Textures and overall quality ... itâ€™s sensuality and femininity
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SterlingZen Harbour Item Name: Antigua Where its from: Digit Darkes Why its your favourite: I love the colors and it is billowy and flows making me feel like an angel.
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STYLE Eve Torres Item Name: Wrapped Dress in Grey Where its from: DeeTaleZ Why its your favourite: I love the many ways you can wear the garment. Its very alluring, sexy and somewhat captivating.
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Justice Topaz Item Name: Marshmallow Corset & Garters Where its from: Fishy Strawberry Why its your favourite: My idol is Coco Chanel and this lingerie evokes everything she stands for: Classy & Fabulous. The main ingredient with lingerie its that it empowers you as a woman & makes you feel beautiful & sexy. For me that means adding just a dash of badassness and Fishy Stawberry definitely nailed it with this design.
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Men’s Fashion Week Photos supplied by Siren Productions
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Siren Productions has brought a new face to SL’s Menswear. Nine days full of 25 fashion shows from SL’s top Menswear designers, shown to perfection by some of the most experienced and professional male models in the industry on elaborately themed runways built specifically with each group theme show or individual designer in mind.
Over 60 stores were located on the sim during the week, offering previews of new lines and to the ensembles modelled in the shows.
The concept of the fashion week was to bring designers and their customers together to celebrate all aspects of men’s fashion. When spread out across the grid, it can sometimes seem nearly impossible to find just the right men’s wear for just the right palate. An event like this proves that the artists are at work and they need only canvases on which to put their creations.
Thank you to all the stores and designers who celebrated their visions of menswear with us, to KMADD who sponsored the event, and to Rob1977 Moonites and Lexie Jasma for bringing them to us. | 100
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Ivey & Ro
Sn@tchin’ Lo I can’t imagine being with a different pa in work or in life.
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RADAR Written by Jordan Whitt Photos by Mrohs Baxton and supplied by Ivey Deschanel
If you ever needed proof that love can happen in Second Life, and happen quickly and last, then Ivey Deschanel of Sn@tch and Roblem Hogarth of !ReTox! are that proof.
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They were members of the same Vampire Family, so had seen each other around Second Life, but it wasn’t until he stalked her during a riotvending for boots at Seven Deadly Prims that Ivey and Roblem had their first IM. That was January 2007, but it wasn’t until April of that year that they became close, partnering soon after that. By the end of August, both knew that what they had was something real and right, so in a huge step, Ivey moved to Boston to be with Roblem, and they have never looked back.
Now they sit side by side at their desk, monitors lined up as they work on their various projects in Second Life. Both not only have their own successful businesses, but they never shy away from a challenge or event. Ivey is the powerhouse behind the alternative/ goth/vampire clothing store, Sn@tch, which includes the labels The Hunger, Off The Rack and [Method] Furniture. “I was a child of the 80’s so the punk/ goth club look is what I wore then
and to an extent now in real life. I just couldnt find much of it in SL, my designing came as a frustration at not being able to find what I wanted to wear initially,” she says. Roblem also has his own store which sells an eclectic mix of punk and steampunk accessories called !ReTox! which also have a bit of his twisted personality thrown in. “Being as Second Life is our real life occupation its very much a part of every day life. Our families know what we do and it’s normal for us,” says Ivey. “It’s just like having any home business, you work longer hours, late nights and have to manage yourself rather than having a boss do it.”
Work is something that both seem almost addicted to. As well as owning and maintaining two successful sims of their own, Pulse and Sn@tch City, their friends Munchflower Zaius and Madagascar Few have just moved their sim, Nomine, next door and work is underway on a Sn@tch City/Pulse/ Nomine sim complex. “Its so worth it | 106
RADAR to have our friends and their amazing stores so close,” says Ivey. Sn@tch has an amazing contribution at the Rezzable Event currently going on now, and its very much a must see for those who like being a bit more out there and creative with their avatars. Not content to stop there, both are hard at work on an Alternative Clothing Fair which will showcase the range of punk/ grunge/goth and cyberwear available in Second Life and a fashion show full of creations by them and their friends for Spring, which isn’t all that far away! “I’m doing my best not to over commit myself to other events, but it’s so hard. I want to do everything!” chuckles Ivey.
They are also big supporters of the Step Up campaign, which is a group dedicated to educating business owners and everyone about content coping inworld and theft around Second Life, which has become a big thing in recent months. Its ironic that Ivey and Rob have recently come under fire from another group dedicated to stomping out content theft due to their stance 107 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
that its up to the individual to protect their copyright, not a group of people who are running around laying down their law on who is an original content creator and who is not. Ivey isn’t afraid to stand up and speak out if she sees something out of line, and its the message she sends her group frequently. Something more should stand up and do, instead of going along with the crowd. Just cos a voice is the loudest, that doesn’t make it right.
Rob also has a new business he is working on. SculptWerks will be opening soon and offering low prim furniture and building supplies, as well as full perm sculpt packs for designers. How they find the time is beyond me.
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RADAR our chocolate lab Sophie,” says Ivey. “Occasionally in SL we do the club thing together and hit a few friend’s parties. We work together building and planning events, and whenever one of us finds something cool, we automatically TP the other to check it out. We both enjoy so much the variety and creativity in this amazing world.”
You would think living together and working together would be too much, right?
“I can’t imagine being with a different partner in work or in life. Partnership to both of us is a serious commitment, not something you would hop in and out of especially when business is involved too,” Ivey says. “Luckily we’re both very grounded and have ultimate trust in each other and really enjoy being around each other. I think it takes a special kind of partnership to be able to do that. We are both older too so we’ve 109 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
already been through so much and we appreciate each other and never take the other for granted.”
Whatever they are doing, its working for them. They have gone from strength to strength not only in their relationship, but also in business.
“I knew if I was gonna really go for it in here I had to go full on from the start. Sn@tch has always been all attitude, honest in it’s approach and serious business,” says Ivey. “People bawk at my way of marketing but it works for me and the people that come back again and again...well they get it. You have to have a sense of humour, you have to be open minded or you might take my promoting style as offensive. From the start I’ve been...if you don’t like it get the hell out and go to Armidi, it’s real clean quiet there. Luckily the ones that feel that way for the most part wouldn’t like my style anyway.”
With an inworld group of almost 1,400, as well as a subscribo with several thousand more, its not hard to see that there are those who do like Ivey’s approach. As an unashamed Sn@tch fangirl myself, I’m one of the first to admit it is her ability to remain true to herself and to speak her mind that has me hanging out for Wednesday and Friday’s group notices to see what pearls of wisdom she has for us this week...as well as the new releases that have my inventory groaning. Not to mention the amazingly generous group gifts, fishing outfits and lucky chairs Ivey spoils us all with.
Here’s to Ivey and Roblem. Who knew a store stalking three years ago could bring so much happiness, love and success. I’ll have to go riotvending more often...cos you never know what you will find.
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Designers United 3: A Vaudeville Theme with a Homemade Scheme. Written and photographed by Daelia Dollinger Around the beginning of November, Nil Giha invited me to participate in Designers United, a third go-around of a themed event that brought friends and designers together with one common goal: To Create. It was interesting how it came about. Everyone voted for a theme, which were then pooled within the groups of invited designers. Vaudeville was where the theme wheel landed. Perfect. I was already awash with ideas and pictures in my head, wondering what all the designers would come up with out of such a richly colored kaleidoscope of colors, feathers and festivity. The event opened up on December 28th â€ƒ | 112
RADAR and the sim was swarmed within hours of the exhibit opening. Designers like Lu Waffle and Nil Giha had set it up as a way to bring more people into the fold and to share the current trends and beauty of hand-drawn and homegrown designers. Participants in Designers United did it for the love of the game and that was why we all came together, as a collective of individuals who wanted to showcase their palettes and digital talents in a format that everyone could enjoy. Some made shoes, some made clothing and others made props, like myself, but we all reveled in the enjoyment we took out of it. Annex released shoes with adorable socks that came up to your ankles, while Equus had beautifully hand-drawn clothing that looked like it was etched from a children’s fantasy from the stage, the tent and the love of theater. Scribble, Tres Blah and Tyranny reminded us of the beautiful women of the fair velveteen curtain, while Magic Nook and Duboo brought some much needed ambiance to the scene. Some of us didn’t know just where to begin whereas others seemed to always know 113 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
where to put paint to canvas. But when it all came together, it was like nothing we’d ever seen since we started here. Designers United IV is already in the works and the themes are being nominated. We’re all waiting on the edge of our seats to see who is invited and just what kind of images our minds will come up with and put out into the metaverse. For now, I’m still shuffling through the folders of absolute artistry that my new friends and fellow designers have created. I urge you all to give a glance through Lu Waffle’s Flickr page to see just what you missed this time and what you should come see in the future. http://www.flickr.com/photos/luwaffle/
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Love is Unexpected Written and photographed by Brie Pinazzo
I came to Second Life™ in February 2008. My marriage in the real world failed and frankly, men and love were two things I was not thinking of. I had actually vowed to a friend that I would never date again, that I was through with men in general. My friend reminded me that love happens when you least expect it, and that trying to hold it off is like trying to stop the sun from rising. It just happens, you cannot control it. I was exploring and found myself, in of all places, Hard Alley’s School for Delinquent Girls (which is a sexuallyoriented sim) just wandering around and learning about things like emoting, role playing and how those darned pose balls worked. I came across a gentleman and a lady who were kind enough to fill me in a bit how things worked in SL. Who would have guessed that kind gent was the love of my life disguised in the form
of a handsome suit-clad “teacher”. Walter helped me learn how to emote so I could work as a dancer and make some Lindens; he mentored me and was a phenomenal friend. When I got my first job dancing, I went hunting for him. I did not understand why, just knew he was someone I had to share my happiness with. It took me a while to realize that I was falling in love with him. It just kind of crept up on me and tackled me when I was not looking. From what Walter has told me since, it kind of happened the same way for him. We dated online and talked on the phone for the next few months. He asked me to marry him in SL, and we both decided to meet in real life and see if this was real or just the illusion that a lot of people find in internet-based | 116
RADAR Love happens when you least expect it, and that trying to hold it off is like trying to stop the sun from rising relationships. We met in Las Vegas, Memorial Weekend 2008. He brought his best friend and I brought mine. We had the greatest 4 days of our life and it was very painful to leave. It felt as though I had lost half of myself when we had to drive away. Over the next few months, Walter flew up to San Francisco from Phoenix for weekend visits. He got to know my friends, and most importantly my daughter. Our visits were always wonderful, but by the second day we would realize our time was soon ending and would spend the next day crying. Just Walter getting on the plane physically hurt both of us. It would take weeks for us not to cry with the sound of one another’s voice and by the time we would adjust to the “apart” part of our relationship, he was visiting again. Parting became so increasingly hard that in August of 2008, I packed my daughter and my life and moved us to 117 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
Arizona to be with him permanently. It is a decision that at first brought much skepticism, but I have not for one day regretted doing. In Walter I have found more than a lover. I have found my equal and best friend. My daughter has found a wonderful father, something she has never had in her 7 years on this planet. Who knew logging on to SL and rummaging in an adult sim would bring me so much? In March we will celebrate 2 years of our relationship and it is something I look forward to. We are planning on marrying in real life and with him adopting my daughter, we will be a genuine family. And for someone who 2 years ago swore she would never love again, I am glad that fate had other plans for me. I found happiness on the internet, and like my friend keeps telling me, love is unexpected but when it finds you, hold on with both hands and enjoy the ride.
Black History Month By Daija Arida
Celebrating Black History Month has always been a special part of my life. Being a woman of color, it’s my absolute pleasure to enlighten people that aren’t sure what it’s all about, especially people from different countries who don’t know that we celebrate it. I want everyone to understand the suffering and the struggles of so many. Black History Month is a national annual observance for remembrance of important people and events in the
history of the African heritage. It is celebrated yearly in the United States and Canada during the month February and the United Kingdom in October. It was originally called Negro History & Literature Week when it was created by Carter Woodson in 1920. A few years later, Woodson change the name to Negro History Week. He chose a week in February for the celebration to honor the births of two men that had changed the future for Black Americans. Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. President who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, was born on February 12th and Frederick Douglass, one of the nation’s leading abolitionists, was born on February 14th. In the 1940s, efforts began slowly within the black community to expand the study of black history in the schools and black history celebrations in public. In the South, black teachers often taught
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Negro History as a supplement to United States history. One early beneficiary of the movement reported that his teacher would hide Woodson’s textbook beneath his desk to avoid drawing the wrath of the principal. During the Civil Rights Movement in the South, the Freedom Schools incorporated black history into the curriculum to advance social change. The Negro History movement was an intellectual insurgency that was part of every larger effort to transform race relations. The 1960s had a dramatic effect on the study and celebration of black history. Before the decade was over, Negro History Week would be well on its way to becoming Black History Month. The shift to a month-long celebration began even before Dr. Woodson’s death. As early as the 1940s, blacks in West Virginia, a state where Woodson often spoke, began to celebrate February as Negro History Month. In Chicago, a now forgotten cultural activist, Fredrick H. Hammaurabi, started celebrating Negro History Month in the mid-1960s. Having taken an African name in the 1930s, Hammaurabi used his cultural center,
the House of Knowledge, to fuse African consciousness with the study of the black past. By the late 1960s, as young blacks on college campuses became increasingly conscious of links with Africa, Black History Month replaced Negro History Week at a quickening pace. Within the Association, younger intellectuals, part of the awakening, prodded Woodson’s organization to change with the times. They succeeded. In 1976, fifty years after the first celebration, the Association used its influence to institutionalize the shifts from a week to a month and from Negro history to black history. Since the mid-1970s, every American president, Democrat and Republican, has issued proclamations endorsing the Association’s annual theme. There are a lot of African Americans that would like Black History to be a 365 day learning experience. Some want to teach others the pride we as Black Americans have all the time, not just for one month a year. But I’m grateful that we have this month to celebrate our history. If you are interested in learning more, check out http://www. history.com/content/blackhistory. | 120
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Ta k e a Gamble on Love Story and photos by Lucy Eberhart
It is the month of love. For those of you among us that are single despite being a great catch, there is hope for you yet in the love department. The Dating Casino is a virtual reality game show created by Pooky Amsterdam and produced by Pooky Media Enterprises. This show features the most unique concept that I have encountered in Second Life. They boast the tagline, “Let the hearts fall where they may. Love is a gamble. It’s time to play The Dating Casino! Your odds for romance just improved.” 123 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
What is The Dating Casino? Well they take three very handsome, very intriguing gentlemen and three lovely, beguiling ladies and ask them a series of intimate questions to see which pair has the greatest love score. By questions, I don’t mean, “What is your favorite genre of music?” I mean “Which of these foods would you want your lover to lick from your body: Pudding, Jell-O, whipped cream, or ice cream?” Or my personal favorite, “What do you do to take your lady to
Everything I learned about love, I learned on Dating Casino the big O, do you: switch rhythms, stop and start, use two hands or talk dirty?” You have to watch the past shows to find the answers to those and many other poignant moments. You can do that at thedatingcasino.com and viewing the archives. The scores are tallied in real time on the love board, where you can see how each gentleman rates with each of the women’s answers. In the end a winner is declared based on the overall compatibility of the answers and they are off to a lovely, romantic vacation for two where they can get to know each other a bit better and see where things lead.
since October of 2008. You can even see me on the January 31st episode being brutally honest vying for a date. The producing company, Pooky Media, is also responsible for the hit game show, The 1st Question which airs on Treet TV. If you are interested in attending a live performance of The Dating Casino, it is taped live on Sundays at 3:30PM in the Love Dome. If you are interested in grabbing your fifteen minutes of virtual fame you can send a note card to Pooky Amsterdam and you just may be the next contestant on The Dating Casino!
The hostess for the show is Lovey Foxtrot. She describes the show as the future of entertainment. You can interact with the contestants in the audience and have an evening of fun without leaving the comfort of your home. No need to go to Universal Studios or Studio City in California to have this type of experience. The show has just taped its 34th episode and has been on | 124
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Corsets and Cigars:
Like a Burlesque Club… Between Friends. Written and photographed by Daelia Dollinger
They live their Second Life how everyone should: Without concerns. A friend had told me about this classy “music” joint where girls dressed in burlesque and vaudevillian lingerie swung around poles. I admit it sounded interesting because you very rarely hear “classy” and “club” in the same sentence in Second Life. Usually it’s glittery and filled with Xploder balls that scream at you every ten minutes to “fill them”. If they’re not yelling, usually the strippers are, and I could be wrong, but I’m just not sure that sounds classy to me. So there I was – walking into what was quite obviously a beautiful mansionesque building with dynamic lighting and matching furniture. It was
quiet, not a lot of people around, but I heard the familiar Jersey accent of someone whom I’d come to think of as one of my dearest friends in Second Life: Hollyn Winnfield. When she realized there was someone with her and Duran Dancer, the coowner of Corsets and Cigars, they both turned around. I gave my praise on how beautiful their club was and just how much potential I saw in a place that they had put so much care into. They introduced me to their friends and supporters of the club, which was quite honestly, a place for them and their | 126
friends to hang out, dance, have a laugh and wear sexy clothes. I don’t believe, and probably never will, that the idea behind C&C was to make money. They took the concept of a club in Second Life and decided to do what it was meant for: Have Fun. By the time I left, they had snatched me up to DJ for them and I was on my way to having a blast with their themed events and all the talented people that they surrounded themselves with. You’ll never meet more pleasant people than Hollyn and Duran. Their 127 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
friends swear by them and cling to their sides in order to make the best of the club. Sure it’s changed locations a few times and has expanded every single time it’s moved – but if any club in Second Life should take their show on the road and expand their patrons, it’s them. They play music when they want to, they have events when they feel like it and they live their Second Life how everyone should: Without concerns. And let me tell you… They’re terribly infectious.
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Girls Aloud! All outfits from Nymphetamine.
Model: Shannoncharlize GossipGirl
Pose by NLimbo Poses slurl http://slurl.
Outfit: Flirty Foxy Fanny Set
Shoes: Stiletto Moody Leopard Shine Hair: Truth Grace in Light Blonde
Photographed by Shannoncharlize GossipGirl
Tattoo: Custom iNKZ - Flower Neck Tattoo Accessories: Addixion Lip Ring
From left to right
Skin: League, Medium – Misty Smoky
Model: Lovena Allen
Model: Laya Felisimo
Outfit: Flirty Fannie PeekAboo Bordello set-red
Shoes: Mary Jane Shoes- IM-adorable-red
Shoes: [ATOMIC] Footwear - Amour Heels Black
Hair: MADesigns-Anessa-NB I
Hair: Truth Elle in Espresso
Accessories: LouLou&Co Enigma bracelets, Amaranthus
Necklace: (Caroline’s) Broken Long Strand Black Pearls
Knot Cross-Zirconium/blood earrings & necklace, Paeoti-
Bracelet: Gems & Kisses - Sexy in Black
High Society FLEX Maribou Boa-black
Skin: -Belleza- Jesse Deep tan 10 (cleavage)
Skin: Sawode-Diva Suntan Model: Jordan Whitt Model: Bird Solo
Outfit: Creole Lady
Outfit: Jazz Priss Set Red
Shoes: Resurrection Victorian Ankle Boots
Shoes: Coquette Noit Josephine Noir
Hair: Laqroki Kira 2
Hair: Lamb Witch
Accessories: Sn@tch Deschanel Earrings, G Fields Metal
Earrings: Mandala Lotus Earings Black
Rose Choker in Red
Stockings Sheer 23 lace top black
Skin: Laqroki Tasha 2 Makeup 5 with hairbase
Shamrod Watanabe: Soothing the Soul with Sound Written by Lucy Eberhart Photos by Lucy Eberhart and Marcy Thorne
“Singing is my release.” February is a month when we think of romance. Valentine’s Day brings with it feelings of love. It can be hope for a new love, renewal of an old love, strengthening a current love or the courage to seek love again. Music has power. Power to inspire love, and power to soothe the broken hearted. The perfect song can become “our” song. It can bring back memories of lost love.
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When I think of romantic songs that put me in the mood for love I think of the soulful baritones of Barry White. It doesn’t matter how big the argument is, just put Barry on the stereo and let the make up begin. Barry is sensual and smooth; his vocal styling has left many women in the mood and many men grateful for his albums. So when I went in search of a performer for the month of love, I went looking with Barry in mind. And I found him. Okay, so it’s not Barry himself, but it’s a close second.
His name is Shamrod Watanabe. He has been singing in Second Life for two years, although he’s been burning up karaoke websites such as paltalk. com and singsnap.com for four years. He started singing to relieve his own heartache, to release those feelings he had pent up inside. The lyrics spoke to him. They had meaning and offered | 132
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comfort. He doesn’t sing his own songs but rather opts to cover songs previously recorded by his favorite artists. He does all the great vocalists; Tom Jones, Luther Vandross, Simply Red, Will Downing and of course Barry White, to name a few. You can check out his page at myspace.com/shamrodwatanabe to hear a sampling of what he has to offer.
He fell in love with performing here in Second Life; it became his refuge, his outlet, and his main source of satisfaction. To be able to rise up from extreme heartache and loss and to turn that into something beautiful and inspiring to others gives this Veteran a sense of pride and accomplishment. I went to not one but several of his performances over the last month, and was blown away. He has such range and can sing songs from multiple eras and genres, even the occasional duet with his dearest friend and largest supporter, ChelseaMarie Noel. You can often find them at her venue, Potpourri, where
many singers can come in and take the stage when they aren’t performing elsewhere. When Shamrod, or Sham as he is affectionately known, isn’t performing he is cheering on other performers or feeding his addiction to Tiny Empires.
He is single, but don’t even try to lure him in. He isn’t looking! He has found love in the lyrics of the songs he sings, the songs that have touched his heart. Shamrod is a truly rare find in SL, not just as a performer, but also as a friend. And talk about small worlds. With residents from all over the world, I find one from my own back yard. As fate would have it, Shamrod lives within five miles of me. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to see him sing in person. I’m glad I met him, and I’m sure you will be as well.
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Hugo’s Cover Model Contest Hugo’s Designs, one of the leading women’s latex designers, is searching for it’s first ever cover model. This lucky lady will be featured in print work, vendor photos, and on the runway in a Hugo’s fashion show. For the months of October, November, and December three new semi-finalists are chosen. All nine semi-finalists will compete in a fashion show in January where the winner will be crowned. Prizes include a six page photospread and article in ICON magazine, unique, custom couture from Hugo’s, and cash prizes. December’s theme was “Alien Invasion” featuring the model’s unique take on pushing Hugo’s Latex into outer space. The Winners were Tonya Coppola, Antanasia Vlodovic, and Justme Unsworth. Antanasia Vlodovic is Wearing Ava 2.0 Black Justme Unsworth is Wearing Pink Spacecat & Daxx Tonya Coppola is Wearing Lucid 2
F u n D a t e s for Gays and Lesbians Story and photos by Lucy Eberhart During my time and travels in Second Life, I have met a large number of homosexual and bisexual avatars. Most of them love living in this virtual world because it allows them the freedom to be themselves without persecution from their first lives. Many have told me that they are openly gay here, but not in real life. There is a stigma, a fear, of ‘coming out of the closet’. So many are afraid of the reactions of their friends, family and coworkers. There’s no question that gays and lesbians are welcomed here more openly and enthusiastically than most of the rest of the outside world. There are many communities within SL that cater to gays and lesbians. They can have fun, meet friends and just be true to who they are. 139 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
Hopefully open will reduce in carry ove
n minded clubs ntolerance and er to RL.
February is here and love is in the air, so I went in search of places that Gay residents can go to hang out with their current love or perhaps find a new love. I found roughly a handful of the bars that pull in sizable crowds and are good fun for socializing and dancing. But let’s take a look at the cream of the crop. No serious fan of clubbing should miss making a stop at Zeus Gayclub, a Mecca for gay nightlife in SL. Zeus is an alwayscrowded club with a large dance floor, bar, and several areas to just hang out and mingle. Zeus is owned by Franco Box and ArtemisSalonica Aeon and has been open for nearly three years. In a world where clubs pop up daily and fade nearly as fast, longevity is a rarity. They are extremely proud of their success and contribute it to their club philosophy. They don’t treat it as a business, they truly love what they do and the program they provide to residents. They accept everyone for who and what they are; to them the patrons are family. There’s something markedly more cheerful, less | 140
attitude-y, and more fun about Zeus than other places I’ve encountered. Maybe it’s the neon lighting, or the fact that the crowd seems more eclectic and international, with a mix of gay men of all ages and styles. They boast live DJ’s daily and monthly concerts as well. They stay busy around the clock and have partnered with www. gay-d-o.com to fill the gaps between the live entertainments. They are 141 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
very warm and welcoming, and want everyone to know they are welcome here, whether you are male or female, or gay, bi or straight. While you are visiting, check out the mall and the tranquil beach area. If you’re new to the SL gay scene and looking to make new friends or perhaps find love, you can’t go wrong here. The second place I happened upon was for the ladies. Whether straight,
lesbian, bisexual or just curious, you can have a great time free of men at Lesbian Paradise. They have dedicated security to keep the gentlemen out. This woman - oriented club has a friendly staff and runs no less than 57 events weekly. Yes, I said 57! They are a 24-hour establishment boasting the highest traffic of any lesbian club and sixth highest trafficked sim in all of Second Life. They have been listed in Linden Lab’s Hot Spot feature on search as well. The club has been open about 15 months and is owned by vavavoom Denimore. As a lesbian herself, she has been involved in women’s causes her entire real life, and found that transition to Second Life. She wanted to create a safe, fun, and fantasy environment for women to dream and live out their fantasies and just escape real life and feel free. It draws a more eclectic crowd and plays popular dance music. If you’re not too big on tunes, just drop in and hang out. They feature contests, a nightclub style area, a ballroom area, a fun beach and so much more. Ladies don’t pass up this one. The proof is in the pudding, visit for yourself and see
why they are number one. Second Life is a fabulous place where we can all find our niche. There is far more acceptance here than in real life and we never have to be alone in our endeavors. There is always a group that fits who we are as individuals. Have fun and enjoy your virtual life. If you have any suggestions for entertainment or a venue you wish to have spotlighted, drop Lucy Eberhart a note in world.
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The Box. Wr i t t e n a n d photographed by Shannoncharlize GossipGirl
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Yeah....that box. You know, the one on your profile. If you’re lucky, there’s a name in it. Of course there could be a name in there and you don’t feel anything but unlucky. I know some that partner their friends just for the hell of it. I’ve done as a gag. And then there are those profiles that seem like they have a new name in it every time you pull them up. That “Box” means something to everyone. Whether it’s a fun box or something they take very serious. My box had a name in it for about 18 months. One name. I found that one and blew it. I ran. I would pull up my profile and see that empty space. I would stare at that empty box like it’s something fragile. I’d tip toe around it, afraid to sneeze or it will blow away. I hated that box. I really did. It just reminded me daily that it was empty. That person was no longer that part of my life. The “Box” life.
wanted to throw a name in there to get it over with. I’d battle that stupid box. I really needed to get over myself. Not sure why it was so important to me. I wanted to make it lighter. Less scary. Maybe it’s cos the last time it hurt so badly to take that name out? I didn’t want to hurt. I wanted to have fun. Maybe I should change my outlook on SL? Have some fun and let loose? I was single and I ran amok. It was like I was lost and searching for who knows what. I wanted to fill a void. I had fun and let loose. It was a wild ride but not a very fulfilling one. I made some
But for some reason that space scared me. That empty space. I know, I kept saying it as if the more I said it, the possibility of it going away will work. Then there were the days that I just | 146
VIEWPOINT awesome friends though and I wouldn’t trade that for anything! I’ve also learned a lot about myself. One of these things is that I’m not good alone. I don’t do single. Everyone kept telling me that I could never be with just one man. Hmm....I wonder if they were telling me in their own sweet way that I was a ho? I think most of everyone in SL is anyways. If they aren’t...they want to be. After all, we all wander around in SL searching for someone to enjoy and share the SL experience with. To be honest, I wasn’t in SL for that. It was the last thing I expected to do. But I made one of the best friends and I dont regret anything except hurting that person. I guess what I’m trying to say is this. How do you put a new name in that box when you feel so guilty about it? How do you make that step? Am I taking my box too seriously? Was I waiting around hoping that that someone will want back in it? Was I hoping that things would be differently? Would they be? Would we just hurt each other again? I don’t want to lose a friend over a damn box. Now I sound like I’m just rambling. It’s just a box right? SL is just for fun right? 147 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
So I started sorta seeing someone. You know the drill. Feel them out, see if you can live with them or want to shut the door and lock it. We had an encounter awhile back and to be honest never thought anything would come of it. Boy was I wrong. We chatted from time to time and things changed. I asked him when our official date was gonna be and I was hook, line, sinker after that. He was so sweet and kind in that sexy way most girls dream about. I think I was a puddle after that. But with my past history I was uncertain. I’d had a very long relationship with a wonderful man and fucked it up. On the 20th of Dec, he asked me to partner him. I was shocked and not shocked if that makes sense. I was excited and said yes. It all happened so fast! It was easy too. I’ve been so afraid of partnering and had put a label on that damn box. I’m so afraid of being hurt or hurting someone. I think this partnership is so good for me. He is a gem! He doesn’t make me feel pressured, only that I’m cared about and missed.
I can sit here and just smile. There is no worry involved, just fun. We understand each other and keep learning more every day. I finally feel settled for the first time in 5 months! I don’t feel the urge to run around like a crazy woman on Black Friday running over old ladies to save 5 bucks on the latest toy. Trust me, it was wearing me down. I was
getting tired and needed someone to pin me down. He got my attention and kept it. Coming from me, that’s hard to do. He makes me very happy and at ease with things. I see a fun New Year ahead of us. And the box no longer scares me.
Love - Its About Style By Pet Karu
Photos by Shannoncharlize GossipGirl
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Everyone knows it! Everyone feels it! Everyone wants it! Everyone needs it! But what is “it”? Love! From the smallest to the greatest among us. Love! The natural emotional response of pure bliss, unspeakable joy, peace that surpasses understanding. Love, loving and being loved surpasses knowledge. There are as many varieties of love and loving as there are avatars in Second Life. There is the “wine me, dine me” brand of love for one example. It is the all too familiar variety where its roots are nurtured by romantic interludes and clandestine meetings. It’s the love where we build so many memories and it is also the kind of love that is based on performance. This love implies that when you stop performing, I will stop loving you. These couples have reduced love to a bargaining commodity. I will love you as long as you continue to supply the bases
of my need for love and for loving me the way I need you to love me. If you do this or that, if you change, my degree of loving you will also change. Believe it or not, this is a mutually agreed and highly negotiated affair. The object of affection uses such dainties as tears and false accusations to keep the other off balance and thus performing. Sadly, it is unfortunate that most of us have been involved in this type of loving at one time or another. But, let’s explore another variety of love. Unlike the “wine me, dine me” mutually agreed and negotiated variety, there is the “its all about me” love. Unlike love that is based on performance style, there is an element of control where the object of affection determines how much, in what manner and with what limits you will be allowed to express the love you have for them. Personally, I liken this to a silent movies where “love” is expressed and evaluated frame by frame, and tested for authenticity. The “all its about me” person can only be loved on their terms, while keeping | 150
VIEWPOINT the passive “its all about you lover” at arms length and rarely sharing the depth of feelings and living where it becomes personal.
where we hold the other accountable for making us happy.
These are just two of the upper levels of loving dysfunction and the list of abnormal combinations are endless as fractured, unhealthy people yet again find the love of their life. Allow me to tell you a truth, in my short stance as a counselor in SL, the number of avatars come to me are affected with some degree of unsuccessful love affair. Each one is sincere in their emotions they express. Some never having a clue that “this game involved real people” until their own feelings were involved. Each heartache is genuine and affects both the virtual and real worlds.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? To know yourself, accept yourself and then love yourself is the only way you can ever really love another. Far too often we have no idea of our likes and dislikes, the demarcation of our boundaries, or how we best express love. Gary Chapman wrote the book, “The Five Languages” whereby he determines how we express love best. If you take the time, read it and discover you!
I will caution you as I caution my clients, first know yourself. We approach love with lofty notions learned from movies and romance novels. However, love is a selfless act that is and always will be expressed either through its higher expressions which bring healing, peace, joy and adventure or in its lower forms 151 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
I would now encourage you to discover you before you uncover another. In so doing, you will have more to offer your potential partner. Become acquainted with you! Explore alone. Determine your likes by actually experiencing them alone. Yes, alone! Trust me on this. You will be far more interesting and bring more to the relationship than your own needs. Co-dependency looks horrible on everyone! The best book I’ve ever read was written by Jan Silvious and was
To know yourself, accept yourself and then love yourself is the only way you can ever really love another.
called “Please don’t say you need me ~ Biblical answers to co-dependency.” After reading this book, I was able to take an assessment of my love life to determine if I was a successful lover. Sadly, I found out I was not. I pray you do not make the same mistakes. So whether you have a partner or not for this St. Valentine’s Day, buy your own roses, chocolates, and dinner, even if
you have a date. Learn to spoil yourself, so you won’t be so surprised when someone else tries or fails to. Become your best lover and your partners will thank you for relieving the pressure from them and freeing them from the obligation of making you happy. In the meantime, visit Brock Palmer’s “SL Relationships and Beyond Seminars”. His sessions are packed out! He offers question and answer dialogue after his lecture of “loving”. | 152
I Wanna Dance With Somebody Written by Vespa Runner Photos by Marcy Thorne
Getting someone to dance with you in SL is not for the faint of heart. If you’re single and simply want a turn around the dance floor with some decent conversation thrown in, without some douche bag descending upon you and inviting you back to their little prefab, oh so fab, furnished skybox where even the floor is Xcite compatible, you’ve get to push up your prim sleeves and stand out a little bit. And get out your swatting stick. I decided to do a sociological experiment and dragged my good friend Datura, one of the finest gentlemen I know in SL, along for the ride and to get the male perspective. I divvied up my experiment into three parts. 1) Quirky Female 2) Average Elegant 4000 prim Dress Female 3) Guy You Might Dance With 153 | ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
1. Quirky Female: For this look I sported a lovely suit with a bird on the front, a bluebird on my shoulder and smallish fawn antlers on my head. I went with the natural or “primal” look, if you will. I was amazed by the amount of people who spoke to me. Even when I wasn’t on an undercover outing at a formal jazz club, I’ve never had so many men IM or speak to me. I must have been emitting pheromones or something from my nature themed get-up. There are three people most worthy of mention. The first being Mr. Fetish. Mr. Fetish turned out to be interested in my ability to RP being his wife who cheated on him and kept it no secret. He kept IM’ing me as he sat looking very nonchalant, giving me details about our supposed marriage and the photos
I left for him to find. It turned out I was quite the role model for our teenage daughter, Jenny, and my cheating was mainly with one of his very good friends. The next person to IM me was a young college girl. It was a short IM as she logged off or crashed and didn’t return to my knowledge. However, she sent me a random IM, emoting that she was glancing at the most gorgeous woman in the room. Well. I patted my antlers and smiled back at her, even though I couldn’t see her in the throngs of people. It was a lovely compliment. The third person actually danced with me, but I think he was more interested in my business contacts on SL than in anything else as he was starting up an adult-themed magazine and wondered if I had any advice for him. After something akin to the Spanish Inquisition, he found out I was a writer. I wasn’t a publisher and I wasn’t about to waste any of my employers’ time by sending him to them so they could just say, “Well. First you get a printing press...” I just told him to go hob nob at fashion shows and network. At least
he didn’t invite me back to his skybox. Quirky Female a. horns send subliminal message b. blue bird sends signal: light on her toes c suit: means business but isn’t uptight d. brains are hot!
VIEWPOINT 2. Average Elegant 4000 prim Dress Female:
Being this woman is like going to a Jazz club as a character from the Great Gatsby. You get to stand around and listen to people having what they think are severely clever conversations while being bored stiff. The temptation to incite mayhem is strong with this one, however I kept it under wraps. After two hours of no action, no IM’s, not even a dance, I gave up and took off for the night, taking all 4000 prims of dress with me.
Average Elegant 4000 prim Dress Female a uptight hairdo is pretty much like all other uptight hairdos b well. at least the dress is less poofy and it doesn’t take up a sim c ummmm. how many prims is that necklace? d I hope you wore comfortable shoes for standing around
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3. Guy You Might Dance With: Datura has an interesting point of view of dancing in SL, at least the kind where you are the one asking someone to dance. “I noticed there were a lot of people standing around like wallflowers and yet having conversations. Very few of them were dancing.” I agreed and asked him why he thought this was. “Well, I think the big thing is that a lot of these guys might be snobs or pretentious. However, the other thing is that when you ask someone to dance in SL, it’s kind of a commitment. You best hope you get along with them because otherwise you’ll find yourself digging for ways to get out of it and then you have to leave. It just makes for bad news.”
You’ll still see me out on the dance floor, although I think style number 1 is the most like me.
Always leave them laughing or thinking. Or wishing they had asked you to dance.
Guy You Might Dance With a glasses=brains=hot nerdy conversation b interesting shirt means he’s thoughtful! c casual nerdy shoes? my oh my... d brown pants? no tux? mind blown.
ICON Magazine CEO and Publisher - Wil Dreadlow Editor in Chief - Jordan Whitt Creative Director - Rhiann Ahn Style Editor - Daija Arida Entertainment Editor - Lucy Eberhart Lead Photographer - ShannonCharlize GossipGirl Production Assistant - Sienna Bellios
Cover Photo of Ivey Deschanel & Roblem Hogarth by Mrohs Baxton
Brie Pinazzo Marcy Thorne Moose Moomintoog Mrohs Baxton Tippy Fizz
STAFF WRITERS Amelia Harsley pet Karu Romie Serrao Twisted Barrowstone Vespa Runner
CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE Lacy Muircastle SC Tracy
WRITERS & BLOGGERS EmeraldEyes Honi Tact Arida
Wil & Jordanâ€™s Photos by Natasja Schumann
ICON lifestyle magazine | February 2010
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