RLV or not RLV? That is the question.

So the conversation suddenly turned into the merits of RLV for use in SL so I decided to do a piece on RLV.

What is RLV? It is short for “Restrained Love Viewer.” Talk about a loaded set of words. We are going to restrain your love inside your viewer. In reality is a way for one avatar to control another avatar in many ways.

One of the main tenants of the BDSM lifestyle is that it should be consensual and that one person is allow to exert control over another in mental and physical settings. RLV allows the duplication of the physical control in SL. The system is based on one avatar giving permission to another (consent) to control their SL experience in the viewer. To make it clear, RLV is not one script that allows control, it is a module (within the viewer) that takes functions that are built into the viewer and allows one avatar to control them for another.

Let me give you an example. As you know there is a function inside the viewer that allows you to teleport your friends to your location. This is built into the viewer and as you know makes your experience much better (pushy DJs trying to get you to their event notwithstanding). Using RLV you could force your friend to teleport (existing function) to you without their permission or without them having to push any buttons. As you can see this is control, and that is part of a D/s relationship.

So take any function in the viewer and image that another person can run it for you. Put clothes on and off, stop you from IMs. stop you from teleporting, restricting your camera view, etc…..

This control is part of the appeal of D/s and BDSM and  RLV is built into collars, equipment, clothes, and many other items to create this physical control.

Should you use it? I say yes but not as a replacement for your words but as an enhancement of your visual experience. Once a sub sees themselves on their knees and not voluntarily, or you removed their clothes without notice (and many other RLV functions), the emotions and feelings of the moment are enhanced as you talk through it (recall my Words post).

So use RLV as an enhancement and not a replacement of the experience. How and when to use it is a matter for another day and it is truly the part of discovering the many fetishes that you may be interested in.

Below is my attempt at a semi-technical discussion of what RLV is and how to get it working.

The official Linden Lab Second Life Viewer doesn’t support RLV at all. Linden Labs has made a strategic decision not to support it since it is mainly an adult type of tool and in my opinion, if they ever want to sell Linden Labs to a big corporation (Microsoft almost bought them a while back), they can claim that BDSM behavior is not a part of their viewer design. If you want to use RLV you must use a different viewer.

In order for anyone to use the full power of RLV you must be using a third party viewer that enables RLV and Phoenix/Firestorm is the most popular. You must enable it on the viewer before it works.

Now, the most common tool to perform these RLV functions is the now ubiquitous collar and it uses the Open Collar standard which is very much available in SL for free in many places. Temple of the Collar is the most popular place to get it.

There are many other tools available besides the open collar (Mars Ring, iControl, etc…) but they are all limited by what the viewer can do and a basic open collar can do most of the functions that other products (that cost more money) can do.

Part of the RLV design is also a set of safe words to allow you to get out of the control situation pretty much at any time (but sometimes you can’t, the controller of the RLV object would have to be present).

Very basic discussion but it should help you get going if needed. Visit the Open Collar site if you want to learn the functions of a RLV collar.

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