What’s with the Swiss Army RLV gear?

NOTICE: The article below deals with adult and fetish-related topics and fantasies and contains NSFW imagery. If you are offended by such topics or are not a legal adult, I suggest you leave this instant.


Way back in March, I read an interesting post by Antony Fairport, which largely echoes my views on RLV restrictions. There’s a tendency among designers of RLV gear (collars, gags, blindfolds, etc.) to include as many different restriction types in their attachments as possible; even functions that their RL equivalents could not possibly provide.

So, we see collars – especially collars produced by fashion designers who simply add OpenCollar scripts – which, besides their expected functionality, also restrict an avatar’s vision, speech, hearing, touch, teleporting abilities, and gait. Exactly the same goes for several bane / drone hoods. Ditto with the control implants that have gained a fair bit of traction among drone play communities. These attachments are veritable Swiss Army knives of RLV control, but are they plausible? Do they make sense? And, furthermore, do they enhance D/s and BDSM roleplay in Second Life, or do they make it more confusing, making the dom(me) and the sub press buttons, trying to figure which attachment applied which restriction, like the two computer wizards in the video below?

Keep it plausible

To be honest, I enjoy RLV gear that makes sense. I like a blindfold that acts like a blindfold; a gag that restricts what a gag would restrict; handcuffs that do what handcuffs would do. And so on. So, here’s what I expect from each type of RLV attachment:

  • Blindfolds:
    • Vision restriction (please, use Windlight for this purpose! HUDs are palaeolithic, and preclude any interaction with in-world objects and avatars);
    • Restriction of my ability to see hovertexts and avatar names;
    • Restriction of my ability to view the world map and the minimap.
  • Collars, corsets (neck and waist):
    • Leashing and following – including being automatically teleported to where the dom(me) who has leashed my collar has gone;
    • Animations and poses (kneeling, special walks, etc);
    • Control of my ability to accept and / or reject teleports.
  • Earmuffs:
    • Restriction of chat, IM and emote perception (garbling / truncation) and reception, including the range in which I can receive chat and emotes, if at all.
  • Gags:rlv_001-1
    • Restriction of my ability to speak in chat (garbling or complete silencing), emote, and send IMs;
    • Control of the range in which I can speak;
    • A renamer function.
  • Hand / Arm cuffs (including bondage mittens):
    • Restriction of my ability to touch in-world objects, objects on other avatars, and my HUDs;
    • Restriction of my ability to edit / rez objects and access my inventory (including specific restrictions on items like scripts, notecards and textures / snapshots);
    • Leashing and following.
  • Leg / ankle cuffs and RLV-enabled shoes:
    • Restriction of my ability to walk normally, fly, run, and teleport;
    • Leashing and following.
  • Waist belts:
    • Leashing and following;
    • Animations and poses in combination with the other limb restraints.
  • Hoods / Helmets:
    • The way I see it, they should combine the functionality provided by blindfolds, earmuffs and gags; they could also provide collar functionality, if they have a collar integrated on them.

Given what I wrote above, would (for instance) a gag that also acts as a blindfold make sense to me? No, it wouldn’t. Neither would a collar that controls every restriction type available, especially in the presence of other attachments that offer the same restriction controls.

There are, of course, other functions which could be assigned to other attachment types as well. For instance, when your avatar is blind, it makes sense that you should be unable to view textures / snapshots and read notecards and scripts. Would it make sense to block access to notecards, scripts, and textures / snapshots through gags and earmuffs? I think so. Notecards have long been used by subs to “cheat” around chat, emote and IM restrictions, so a dom(me) might want to have these options in a gag to ensure their sub won’t “cheat”.

And then, we have another type of RLV control attachment: Control implants. In general, they tend to pack as many different restriction types as possible, because they have the appearance of an appropriate interface by which an android, gynoid, bane, latex doll or drone can be controlled, and they also come with illuminated indicators which show the sub’s restriction’s status. If there was an RL equivalent for them, I guess they’d act directly on the sub’s brain.

What about duplicate restriction options?

What happens when you have a control implant (or a “Swiss Army Collar”), a gag, a blindfold, and a full set of cuffs? Keeping track of what restricted what can take some of the fun away from the session; this is a common occurrence when the same restriction was applied by different attachments worn by the sub. So, besides my preference for RLV restraints that do what their RL (real or hypothetical) equivalents would do, this is another argument for not including every possible restriction type into whatever RLV attachment one makes.

Realism in SL D/s roleplay can make things more involving

Yes, I know SL is a fantasy world. However, a modicum of realism in D/s roleplay does help enhance the atmosphere in a session, given that erotic interactions in SL are essentially exchanges of typed narrations:

“/me reaches into her purse and brings out a carefully folded, black silk scarf, on which she had sprayed a few drops of her perfume; with gentle movements, she tenderly brushes it against your cheeks and then stretches it before your eyes… ‘Are you ready to be enveloped in darkness and submit to me, my love?’ she asks, and, with covering your eyes with it, but not tying it yet, awaits your answer…”

I don’t know about you, but I think this sort of emoting is more atmospheric, erotic, and involving than a mere button press on a “Swiss Army” collar or control implant whose designers have opted to simply include all the OpenCollar scripts they could find.


See also:


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2pUmX-Ie


6 thoughts on “What’s with the Swiss Army RLV gear?

  1. I completelly agree with you! Each item must be as close to it’s RL equivalents in functionality/effects as possible!

    If mouth gag makes me “freeze” in SL, it’s weird feeling, because IRL mouth gag does not do that 🙂

  2. While I obviously agree with pretty much everything you say above I’d suggest one exception when you mention vision restriction being a HUDless thing. While that’s my preference (and everything I’ve ever made that seeks to restrict vision does so with windlight, not HUDs) there’s a class of vision restriction that really benefits from the use of a HUD: anything that wants to narrow your field of vision.

    For example, blinkers on a pony bridle. I’ve yet to see anything that comes close to the use of a HUD to narrow the field of vision on the screen. Of course, these work best /because/ there’s an area of the screen where there’s a hole in the HUD that allows for interacting with the world around you. Likewise, I’ve just spent the last 3 days locked in a isolation suit that used both a HUD and windlight to really great effect and it worked because I could “poke through” the HUD and still interact with my environment.

    I’d also say that the POD prison vision-restricting HUD (for anyone who knows it) couldn’t be done any other way and have the same effect.

    So, I’d say there always has been and still is a place for HUDs when it comes to vision restriction but, like everything else you mention here, it’s best when it’s considered and makes sense.

    PS: I’d tend to add “see location details” to the blindfold restrictions too (although I guess most would assume that’s implied by controlling mini and world maps).

    1. Narrowing the visual field without a HUD is indeed difficult, and blinkers are indeed an application for this. However, two issues remain:

      1. Interacting with in-world objects;
      2. Very large viewer windows;

      Especially regarding the latter, I’ve seen blindfold HUDs that don’t cover the entire viewer window.

      1. That’s kind of my point though, a well-considered design for a vision-restriction HUD /would/ allow interaction with in-world objects (as I mention in my first comment), but only within the narrowed field of vision. You don’t want the wearer to interact with in-world objects outside of that field, by design.

        As for the very large viewer window thing: sure, but like with anything else, that’s simply a bug or something in need of an update. I think I have one old product in my inventory that suffered that problem (having being made a rather long time ago, before very wide screens were more common) and I seem to recall that I fixed it by resizing the HUD myself. If potential pitfalls are a count against a blinding approach then even using windlight can have its downsides.

        Potential bugs and historical design hangovers aside… my main point is that I think it’s a little unfair to say “HUDs are palaeolithic, and preclude any interaction with in-world objects and avatars” because they still have an unsurpassed purpose these days /and/ precluding interaction with in-world objects doesn’t have to be the case at all. Only those designed to completely preclude interaction completely preclude interaction.

        PS: One other advantage that windlight generally has over HUD blindfolding is cheating via photography.

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