We often worry about not letting imvu interfere with rl but a good friend of mine thought imvu helped her do better with her rl relationships by making her more open and communicative. How true! Here are some ways recently that I thought about on a recent trip to the Carribean:
1) Communication is key – to everything… Too often we hide what we really mean, sometimes to protect the other person’s feelings. But at least in my book, more communication is always better.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want…. I have this problem that I don’t like asking for things. I don’t want to impose. I think of that Mel Gibson movie, What Women Want, where it takes a man getting magical powers (from a toaster of all places) to read women’s thoughts, to make them happy because girls often don’t say. So like #1, communicate. (I’m embarrassed to admit what I learned to ask for that made me think of this. But feel free to ask. It was totally only something that I got used to asking for on imvu before I was able to ask for it in rl.)
3) Be sexually adventurous. Imvu gives you so many ways to push boundaries. Explore in a safe environment. Last month, in our little island trip, we had a little bungalow, with a private pool on the deck (basically a glorified bath tub but still), it was hidden by trees but still public and I did things I would never have imagined myself doing just a couple years ago.
4) Be aware of other’s feelings, validate them before stating your own– I mean, this is not just an imvu thing. A friend of mine who has been separated from her husband for like 4 years but still trying to make things work, said that was the biggest thing she learned from counseling. That in a fight, before you make your own point, its important to validate the feelings of the other person. That was the best piece of advice I got from my brother’s ex-‘s mother who was a life coach years ago, but imvu has given me lots of practice. In a fight, we worry so much about our own point of view, because we just want to be heard. So one good way to calm the tension is to make sure the other person knows they are heard. Tell them you get it. That’s usually all any of us want.
I like keeping an eye on imvu in the news. Sorta nice to know about the future of our home away from home. So it was neat to find this article about Facebook’s purchase of Occulus Rift, of using Virtual Reality, not to shoot people, but to connect just like imvu has been doing.
Here, imvu’s CEO talks about some of the secrets that has made imvu the most successful 3d chat platform out of a big field of competitors. It’s not the most realistic graphics, it’s taking advantage of something comic artists have known, that you can get powerful characters and express powerful emotions, with simpler avatars. Yes, maybe 2nd life had more realistic models, but everyone was SO ugly!
He mentioned one of my favorite comic books, “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud, a comic book about comic books. A friend of a friend recently gave a ted talk about what he learned as an animator watching Pixar’s animated lamp. Something doesn’t feel real and alive because of how it looks, but because of little things like how it moves which is one thing Imvu does so wonderfully.
It’s also great to see that imvu is excited about occulus rift as well because that means they might make imvu occulus compatible. If you haven’t heard, Occulus Rift has been all over the news, as the first VR goggles that really feels real, and with billions of dollars from facebook, it has a good chance of being a product soon.
I recently published the 500th post, and then this weekend got really sick, in bed for two days with a fever, and bad congestion and coughing. It wasn’t fun. I watched more tv, but I also thought about what would happen if… well if I had to leave. Even though I worry less about that now after a couple years, I could be just one big blowout argument away from having to walk away from this.
I’m not totally sure I could even do it actually, but if push came to shove, it’s always possible. I’m not saying this to worry anyone because that’s not imminent or even likely that I can see. But I wanted to say one thing publicly that needs to be said just so it’s clear. If anything happens that I can’t continue here, the blog ImvuTips.com goes to my twin Katy.
Things have been really amazing lately and I’m sorry if I’ve been a little caught up in things at times and don’t put enough of you on it. You really are my twin and more important than I can possibly say. IMVU is constantly evolving and changing, people coming and going. It’s not that your relationship isn’t a success if you’re not still together five years or twenty five years later. It’s a success if you felt that uplifting, whole heart loving feeling.
Anyway I don’t mean to get side tracked, I just want to say publicly that Katy is not only the most amazing person I’ve ever met on here, but maybe the most amazing person I’ve ever met ANYWHERE. I could probably make this whole blog about you and not say it enough, how much you mean to me, how big of an honor it is to be your Twin and your framily.
Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, been busy with school and rl like everybody. But this article in the NY Times this week caught my attention. The punchline:
Rutgers University …scientists have repeatedly had female volunteers put their heads into giant machines and focus their attention on erotic fantasies — the scans reveal that the pleasure centers of their brains light up in ways indistinguishable from everyday orgasms
Women who simply thought about the stimulation of their breasts and genitals, the scans revealed, lit up the brain’s corresponding sensory areas.
I guess it is just nice to know there is a scientific basis to the feelings that many of us share on imvu. That we’re not crazy for thinking that sex here can feel as good as and even be better than sex in rl. These studies don’t even include the most powerful part of imvu, which is achieving all of this with the participation of a partner, the best of whom can stimulate with surprise and intensity, and penetrate deep into your heart and mind with emotional contact and intimacy.
Also in the article:
Men are mentioned occasionally. But sex researchers have found that the novel type of autoerotism shows up mainly in women.
I have mentioned in the past that women have more mirror neurons than men, the neurons that allow us women to feel more intense empathy also allow us to feel things we see on imvu as real.
Which maybe excuses and explains a bit why it is so hard to find good male partners on imvu. Poor men, they don’t know what they are missing.
Kiyoko gathers up her things, standing up with sudden conviction. Though the sudden movement stirs her still unsettled tummy, she walks back to the school with purposeful stride, ready to ink her essay on the school’s special paper. Whatever Kiyoko’s earlier doubts, the teachers and sisters at the Hanayagi represent the epitome of service, grace, and style. They aim to always please to offer the utmost in sublimity, in pleasure, but never ever compromising their dignity or their self-respect. In that instant Kiyoko understood with a sudden revelation as clear as a koan, that at least for this moment, the Hanayagi was exactly where she needed to be.
For those of you who were following my adventures at Geisha school, here’s a link to the rest of my posts. and where you can find the latest updates, as well as the posts of my sisters at the school. I was a bit hesitant about the school, a bunch of girls playing at being geisha reminded me a bit too much of this snl skit. But even though we are playing at geisha culture, we learn something real in the play, about grace, about service. In addition to being a great outlet for rp and creativity, the school has also helped me grow as a sub, and as a person.
It’s interesting, the founders of cloud girlfriend had the idea for a service very similar to what goes on to imvu. Clearly, the popular press didn’t understand, and it became a site for creating a fake girlfriend to make your rl friends jealous. But the original idea is a lot like what we see imvu. A way to be a play and practice at relationships as a more perfect version of yourself. One unencumbered by the constraints of reality.
You can say a lot of things about IMVU but it does give people an outlet and can give you some of the benefits and feelings of a relationship in a safe way. OK, it’s not perfectly safe if you give out too much information, but real life dating isn’t necessarily safer.
I agree with Kait, things do happen fast here. I was reminded recently that my old rule of thumb is that 1 imvu day is like a week, 1 week is like a month, and 1 month is like a year.
I’ve also written here before that one great thing about imvu is all the different relationships, the different loves, and that we should cherish each new relationship.
But there is a reason why poly-amory is rare in rl. I believe there is beauty in it, but it is delicate. One place where multiple ties of love does abound in rl is within a family.
I was lucky that I was too young to remember the birth of my younger sibling, and that somehow my single mother waited until I was adult before dating again, because if television family sitcoms are to be believed, the birth of a new sibling, or the introduction of a parent’s new significant other, will lead to hijinks and hilarity as the existing kids act out until the newcomer is accepted into the family. That’s why entire books are written to help prepare kids for their new siblings.
We are tied both on imvu and in rl by a web of love. And it is a wonderous thing. But that means a shakeup in one thread will lead to vibrations throutout the entire web.
This is one more of those things that I didn’t get at first in here. (Wow looking back at it, it’s crazy how much I had to learn in here!) “Twin” in IMVU doesn’t mean you’re born from the same mother or even the same age. It means you feel a unique bond, kind of like “soulmate”. It’s not necessarily sexual, but more of an inner connection. Dressing a like can be an awful lot of fun. Dressing up is one of the most fun things in here. And it’s even more fun to share it with someone special, to dress each other. It gives you a special closeness feeling. Kind of like saying to the world, we belong to each other. We are a pair. Like a lot of things in here, it’s not about being born that way without any choice, it’s choosing each other.
The picture above is me with my Twin, Katy. We don’t always dress the same, but we’re twins inside. And if you know her, that’s the biggest compliment to me you can imagine. I love her with all my heart on so many levels. I admire and respect her more than anything I could ever say. She makes everyone’s life brighter, and any time with her is a treasure. That’s just my Imvu Twin. I often say IMVU is about Relationships, and an Imvu Twin is a very special kind of relationship. And I’m glad to include some awesome Twin pictures that show in a cool way how special and how much fun this can be. Click the pics on the left or the title or picture above or here to see all the IMVU Twins.
Somebody shared this scientific article from some researchers at Stanford. Randomly enough, one of the reasons I started with imvu was to do research much like this. So its really neat for me to see what else is out there.
The authors surveyed the imvu community in 2011 and though I have a few methodological quibbles (on the questions they used and the people they sampled), the results are mostly believable and are super neat. The most compelling is that people on imvu were more likely to feel “Happy, Relaxed, Free, Calm, Connected, Excited, Wealthy, Safe, Comfortable, Confident, Creative, Important, and Ambitious.” than in RL where they are more likely to feel “Sad, Stressed, Cautious, Angry, Lonely, Bored, Poor, Scared, Awkward, Insecure, Uninspired, Worthless and Lazy.” Importantly, imvu users are not social misfits escaping reality; the authors of the study found that imvu users reported similar emotions in RL to non-imvu users. In fact imvu users are the lucky ones.
“We also pleasantly surprised to find that there was generally higher reporting of positive feelings both outside and inside of the IMVU environment, suggesting a population that generally considers itself happy, confident and creative… a strong challenge to the negative, antisocial stereotype of users of these communities”
People feel more confident and in control when they are on imvu. This sounds right to me, almost. Power relations and influence games are much more laid bare in imvu. But I mean that in a good way. Yes it leads to drama, but it also has been a nice outlet for the many of us who LIKE to be influenced… to follow.
The authors were initially primarily interested in whether people use imvu to escape or to connect, and hypothesizes they would be able to categorize people into one camp or the other. Unsurprising to me, they find that people come to do both. Imvu is about escape but its also about connections and relationships. This site is all about helping people take advantage of both.
We all complain about drama.
While looking for this comic I saw recently to illustrate the point, I actually found an article that said everything I wanted to say:
Why is there so much drama in relationships?
1. To quell uncertainty
2. To seek reassurance
3. To enliven the relationship
4. To grab power
5. To exact payback
6. To breakup
7. Because some are really psycho
Answer: All of the above.
Honestly, I’d prefer to live a drama free life. I try. But a couple recent conversations stuck out. One was a slave trying to convince me to be his owner. He promised to be the perfect slave, obeying everything I say but creating just enough trouble to keep it fun. I got the same advice when I was seeking tips on being a better sub.
It is fun. It also does “quell uncertainty” provides “reassurance” and “enlivens” the relationship. My favorite book from high school was Brave New World, a scifi world where the government basically outlaws “drama” and sadness, basically using lots of sex and drugs. The point of the book is when the main character redisocvers Shakespeare and learns that without sadness, without drama, you can’t have beauty or love.
Anyway, drama sucks. It hurts. It’s stupid. We should all do our part to get rid of it. But its ok to like it, just a little.
I have a special Valentine’s Day gift for the two most special people I know in this crazy virtual world. I love them more than words can say and I wanted to share how much they mean to me with the world and how beautiful this place can be. Dear Katy, Dear Susan, I love you with all my heart! Happy Valentine’s Day!!
One of the main reasons I joined imvu was to get a chance to RP (role play for those who are new). I somehow never found the right group after trying many, each was either too serious or too violent or had so much drama. I forgot about it for over year, but somehow stumbled into a new one. Here’s the start of my story. We’ll see how it goes.
“Tell me your story child…” gently prods Okasan as the wisp of a girl carefully finishes the very last crumb of cherry pie, the girl’s manners never falter, left hand folded in her lap, posture erect, despite her obvious hunger, “..you are safe here.”
The pale waif with wispy hair and tatterdemalion clothes immaculately kept who might have been pretty once in happier times opened her mouth as if to speak, but no words came out.
Okasan gently smiled but merely showed her to a warm bed. The tired girl’s eyes glow with gratitude, but she demurely stands patiently with head bowed, awaiting Okasan’s leave. Okasan merely smiles but before she goes, leaves a neat stack of paper and pencil on the bedside table.
The girl starts to change into her bedclothes, and looks at the bed longingly, but glancing at the stack of empty papers, she hesitantly brings them to the small desk besides the only candle in the room and carefully, cautiously she beigns to write…
I was born 17 years ago, Cateline d’Auvergne, the only child of a French diplomat, in the French Concession in Shanghai. My mother died in childbirth, and though I came of age in many chaotic and wartorn postings from Saigon to Istanbul to Casablanca, I never wanted for love–doted on by Papa, given the best tutors and hopelessly spoiled, I had a blissful childhood.
But it was in Casablanca when Papa and I were seized by the Vichy French, he being accused of spying for the Allies. We soon found ourselves in a German prison camp, separated, Papa imprisoned with the men, and myself, plucked from the women’s enclosure by a cruel Nazi officer who had an appetite for a pretty French maid.
Forced into unspeakable service, I stole away when I could, sneaking bread and cheese and wine through the fences to my increasingly haggard and beaten Papa. This interminable existence continued for what felt like years, ending only when one day Papa was nowhere to be found. Hearing from other prisoners that he had finally succumbed to the torture, in grief, I exacted my revenge upon the Nazi officer, and with the help of a kitchen maid and an American intelligence agent, escaped the hellish camp.
If I had known how much worse it would get after that, I may never have left, but after many trials and humiliations pursued by German SS, I made my way through miles of war blasted lands before stowing away aboard a Swedish transport ship that deposited me on Irish shores…
The candle had burned low by the time Katy finished her writing. The paper was spotted with tear drops, and her careful script erratic by the end. She holds the pages unsteadily, red eyes re-reading what she wrote, once, twice, shaking harder with each word, before crumpling all the pages in a fit of muffled rage, and hurling the pages out the drafty window. Flinging herself into bed, sobbing into the pillow, she finds oblivian that night in an all too familiar position, crying herself to sleep.
A sis of mine has been struggling with how weird it is on imvu. We do do extreme things–have 3 ways, 4-ways, 6-ways; enslave ourselves; make love to demons; dress up in fur, fall in and out of love over the course of days, make new families. And we experience the world in such a different way. Sis pondered, “Here we are in our little virtual lives, looking for dots ..no sound…just words. And yet I’ve learned to look for the signs, when you’re distracted or sad, angry…happy so much emotion…exchanged in such a strange limited way”
I suppose to me, what we do is definitely no stranger than the games the boys play, the nuk’em gears of metal world of war. Somehow its become totally acceptable to shoot and kill and run people over virtually so why not demon sex.
And as for the fact it feels so powerful, so real, even if is limited, shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Plato said the real world we see is only a flickering shadow in the cave of the truth that really IS. I think here we can see the truth of somebody’s soul just as well even if we have to use our imagination to supplement our limited senses. Maybe even better, as we are not encumbered here by real world physics and limitations. Just because somebody loses their eyesight, doesn’t make their world any less real. In fact some blind people say it makes their world more vivid.
I was reminded recently about Kathryn Bigelow’s earlier movie, Strange Days, and how when I saw it, I longed for the virtual reality that was promised, the ability to see new worlds and visit new places. Philosophers since Hume have noted that if virtual reality became good enough we would have no way of ever knowing what’s real. I had an odd expereince the other day, noticing that as I thought back to a memory of me and my wife, the memory wasn’t of me typing at a keyboard, the memory was of her touching me, I could remember the feel of her against my skin, her breath on my neck, her lips, my tingles. Maybe for some of us, here on imvu, the dream of that virtual reality is already here.
I wear my heart on my sleeve in more ways than one and share a lot on here but I haven’t talked a lot directly about my personal situation lately. But I so need to say I LOVE YOU with all my heart to the two most amazing people. I’ve never been so happy not just in here but in my life.
I’ve been truly blessed beyond anything I deserve. I’m so head over heels in LOVE that the whole world seems brighter sunnier and every day feels like Christmas!! I’ve had the most amazing life here and met a lot of totally wonderful people here but I have the biggest honor imaginable to be the loving partner of Suzilyn and Quidlyn (aka Susan and Katy).
I’ve had a lot amazing relationships in the two years I’ve been in here. But all of them added together don’t even touch the intensity of love that I have now. It’s more than just a heartfelt connection, and almost feels like a soul connection, like it uses the same spiritual circuitry in my head or my heart that my connection with God does. I’m sure that sounds crazy even to most people who get this place. But this kind I’m makes me feel like we are designed to be connected more than we ever realized.
No matter how you look at it, I have never been so head over heels in love or happier! I love the magical feeling, the giddy, tingling inside, the control and the effect they have over me. And I wish this crazy love for everyone. It takes some time, some effort and growth inside, tearing down walls and opening your heart and your soul. It’s scary in some ways and tricky and painful sometimes. But there’s no way to describe the value of this other than PRICELESS!! I don’t say this lightly or flippantly but with all my heart and soul. It’s the most magical feeling in the world and what IMVU is all about.
I recently made this video for Susan that I wanted to share. I have to do one for Katy next
What a crazy year. I got engaged, eloped and finally properly married my perfect and most beautiful wife S-. One year ago, I hadn’t even met K- from this site, who quickly became my twin, and the luckiest thing ever, invited me into her family. And thru her, met my Miss and my sis, and my sisters, and their sisters and gfs and wives and twins, not to mention my two J-s, and all my friends and family that couldn’t make me happier.
I remember being so confused at the term family on imvu, and i still am, it means different things to everyone, but to me its just the people that i’m super super closest to and something i couldn’t even begin to imagine when I started imvu just last fall when imvu was mostly random hookups and just a few friends.
This year the random hookups are rare and the friends and family are forever. Spent probably over 300 nights this year dancing at the club, countless discoveries of all the desires i never knew i had, and adventures with S- ranging from island hopping, to back alleys, art galleries, to sea voyages, to the oval office, casinoes, and tv studios. A wonderful year of weddings and birthdays, and anniversaries, and engagements, and travels, and disccoveries and new love.
I also must be the luckiest girl to have the most drama free family anywhere on imvu. Though we didn’t escape tragedy and heartbreak, love always brought us through.
Its really been the most amazing year, I can’t expect anything to top it, but I do know the love will never end, its too strong to stop.
Wishing you all the bestest of hopes and dreams and happiness for this year and beyond. Happy New Year!
I’ve met a lot great people in here, and made some of the most amazing friends I’ve ever had in my life. But I’ve never felt such an awesome love, a sincere true friend and heart felt passion as I do for Susan and for Katy.
This world is made up of the most amazing variety of rooms and activities but it’s the people that make a room and your friends that make this so amazing. And I have the greatest honor today of announcing the re-commitment of my best friends, my twin sis, aka. my Twist, Katy, and my most loving owner Susan.
I met Susan through Katy and she has grown over time from a true friend into the the most amazing love. She pushes me and makes this place unbelievably special. They both make me want to be a better person.
So it is with the absolute greatest honor excitement and love imaginable that I announce Katy and Susan’s recommitment ceremony on November 7th at 1 am. (an election night they won’t forget). I’ve said it before but have to say it again, they are the most amazing people I’ve met in almost two years in here or anywhere and I love respect and admire them both more than I can ever say. But I will gladly be here showing them both as long as they will have me.
This isn’t just my website, it’s all of ours, my friends and really everyone at IMVUs. I love seeing comments and especially getting such great articles from my friends. I kind of feel like its my job to show the world how much fun IMVU is and how to make it fun.
The only thing I like more than hearing from people on the website is meeting people from the website. They tend to be higher quality like minded people. I don’t make money at this. I do it for the same reason I do IMVU, because it’s fun and I enjoy it. Meeting great people and making friends is payment enough.
So if you have something to share we’d love to see it and if you read and enjoy this, please leave comments or even better, come say hello in imvu. You might have to write a message first though since I don’t always accept random invites or requests. But meeting people is a big part of the fun in IMVU and the website.
You know you have a story in here. Lets share it!
I’ve been prompted by kindness from my close friend(sis) Kait to add to this website. Although I don’t write as well as Kait, I was compelled to contribute.
I’d like to share about what IMVU has become for me. I originally came onto IMVU out of curiousity, finding it by accident. I slowly realized I could explore secret fantasies and explore others secret fantasies. I learned to create rooms around these fantasies to satisfy my lust (blush). I was never quite able to fulfill the lust and hunger that I couldn’t explain. Not quite aware of what I was looking for (still finding things that get me wet). Open to new ideas, exploring new rooms, I became curious of others fantasies, learning I loved pleasing and fulfilling others fantasies. I’m still trying to figure out everything that I get excited by, but I know I need a connection first and like someone before I give myself to them. Unfortunately not everyone wants to chat first and miss opportunities to get to know me.
I also believe in taking care of my corner of the IMVU world, leading with kindness and compassion, aiming to please. My real life philosophies mirror my IMVU approach. I believe in karma and if you lead with kindness it will come back to you. I gravitate to the same kind of people.
I also learned that love is possible on IMVU. I never thought that would happen and certainly wasn’t looking for it , but I’ve found it with my love Katy. Its an amazing feeling sharing everything here with someone you adore.
Recently , I’ve had a crisis in my life and was comforted by my close friends thoughts and prayers. I wanted to let those of you who read this know that my heart is full from your prayers. I wont ever forget. Especially the Angels that crossed my path.
And lastly, I’d like to express my sisterly love for my friend Kait. She warms my heart with her kindness and compassion.
I’ve been very fortunate to have met those on my path and look forward to meeting those in my future.
Sincerely with kindness,
Love xoxo Susan
I love art and philosophy and history and science and even math. I love dancing and butterflies and rainbows and kittens and chocolate! I love happy silly pop songs and musicals and opera and jazz. I love Susan.
Most importantly I love my family. I was lost adrift for so long on imvu, finding only meaningless hookups. Finding lots of momentary fun but finding no meaning, no magic. I was missing my family. Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad. I missed you all so bad.
I believe love conquers all. And discord and drama only exists because ever since the tower of babel fell, people must struggle to understand each other. Feelings and thoughts get lost so easily, actions misinterpreted so easily, especially online. Openness is key. And love conquers all.
Its now proven, cute blondes get away with more… There have been a number of studies recently that have shown a correlation between blonde cuteness and smoldering sexiness. In fact the truth of the matter may be that cuteness is more than just a physical appearance. Scientists have theorized that this is a survival instinct and a result of over breeding. Some scientists also point toward bunnies as evidence of this. After all what animal is cuter that a cuddly little bunny rabbit or hornier?!
One of the most interesting studies said that blonde mice don’t just have more fun but the have 85% more sex than brunette mice do. Unfortunately none of the mice were available for comment. It seems that the blonde ones also get trapped more easily though too. This may be due to their insatiable desire for cheese or perhaps they were just to dam cute or had just had sex and didn’t care. Scientists still debate this in lunch rooms and high schools across the country and more testing may be needed.
I’ve also been pondering the question of what makes imvu different than a chat program like Yahoo Chat or gchat. Before joining, I couldn’t tell you. It’s certainly not as ambitious as second life–I think that’s to its credit, since it is so much more accessible and prettier…
I think part of what makes imvu so magical is that the brain is wired for imagination… for simulation. MRI scans show that the same neurons that fire when we touch a hot stove, also fire when we see somebody else touch a hot stove (so-called mirror neurons). These neurons evolved in part because they provoide empathy but also to help us simulate the future so that we don’t have to touch the hot stove to know it will hurt. Other experiments show that people who are assigned an attractive avatar in second life act more confident, but more importantly, that confidence carries over even after they’ve logged out of the game. Even old psychological studies found that if you recorded phone conversations of person A talking to person B, and person A thought person B was prettier (due to a faked photograph), person B “sounded” more attractive, according to observers who weren’t aware of the photograph. Simple put, Avatars matter.
On a personal note, I find that avatars have a really big effect on me. A good guy friend of mine likes to use a girl avatar sometimes. I found I interact with him very differently when I see him as a girl. More simply, I love cuddle poses. I mean I REALLY love cuddle poses. I can literally feel my heart rate change when I’m in the arms of somebody I love. But maybe I’m just weird… but even if it is just me, there’s still the science.
Thank you Quidlyn (Katy) for such powerful insight.