Blogger’s Dozen: My Top Twelve Most Popular Blogposts from the Past 365 Days

An egg is always an adventure; the next one may be different.

Oscar Wilde (source)
Photo by Kelly Neil on Unsplash

One of the things I love about hosting a blog on WordPress is that I can review my statistics over time, to see which posts are more popular and which ones aren’t. I have completely given up on my ability to predict which ones will fall into the first category, and which ones will fall into the second! A blogpost I dash off in a hurry without much thought can blow up on me, while a second one I slaved over and post in high expectations goes pffft! It just happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So, on a whim, and to get a better sense of what’s trending overall, I ran some stats today on my 12 most popular blogposts over the past 365 days (Feb. 16th, 2021 to Feb. 15th, 2022). I do hasten to assure you, gentle reader, that all links in this list are safe for work, so don’t be afraid to click on them 😉

  1. The Dirty Little Secret of VRChat: Hidden Adult Content – I am endlessly bemused by the fact that it is still, far and away, the most visited blogpost on my blog, with 72,351 visits over the past 365 days, which works out to almost 200 views per day, mostly because it is usually the top result when people search Google for “VRChat sex” or “VRChat adult”, or something similar…and I hate to break it to you, people, but you are not gonna find NSFW worlds in VRChat using the Google search engine!
  2. Welcome to the Metaverse: A Comprehensive List of Social VR/AR Platforms and Virtual Worlds – this popular, constantly-updated alphabetical listing has seen a surge in visits since Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021
  3. A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get Started in Decentraland (and Some Caveats for New Users)
  4. Clip and Save: Ryan’s All-In-One Guide to Freebies in Second Life – this is a constantly-updated compilation of my best tips and tricks for finding fabulous fashion freebies and bargains in Second Life
  5. Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Meshbody Offers Free Versions of Their Classic Mesh Bodies for Men and Women
  6. 3DX Chat: A Brief Introduction (and the Biggest Problem with Most Adult Virtual Worlds)
  7. Second Life: Maitreya Releases Version 5.0 of the Maitreya Lara Female Mesh Avatar Body
  8. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Female Second Life Avatars
  9. LGBTQ Spaces in Social VR and Virtual Worlds
  10. Shopping for a New Penis in Second Life: Any Recommendations? – this link is safe for work
  11. List of Non-Combat, Open-World Exploration/Puzzle/Life Simulation Games
  12. How to Change Your Avatar Name in Second Life: A Step by Step Guide

So, what trends do we see in this list?

Trend 1: Sex (As Homer Simpson would say: D’OH!)

Well, it would appear that sexual/adult content and activities are perennially popular in virtual worlds and social VR, regardless of platform (#1, #6, perhaps #9, and most certainly #10 on this list).

There almost seems to be some sort of rule that if you can get two avatars together on a platform—any platform—they are going to try and have sex. In fact, to prove my point, the BBC reported today on sex “condos” in Roblox!

Strip joints in Roblox proves my point: if you can get two avatars together on a platform—any platform—there will be sex! There appear to be no exceptions to this rule, even on platforms intended for children’s games.

So I was not terribly surprised when Meta’s Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues social VR platforms recently implemented a hard-coded, four-foot boundary between avatars, after several women reported being sexually harassed (even though the avatars literally have no lower body!).

Trend 2: Lists of Metaverse and “Metaverse-Adjacent” Platforms

Secondly, people seem to be looking for comprehensive lists of metaverse platforms (#2) and what I like to call “metaverse-adjacent” content, i.e. non-combat, open-world platforms like Fortnite Party Royale and The Sims (#11). Of course, the line between the two is becoming ever more blurred.

One of my major tasks over the next few months is to complete a thorough reorganization and recategorization of the well over 160 entries on my increasingly popular list of social VR, virtual worlds, and metaverse platforms. I also want to update my equally popular, but by now somewhat dated, spreadsheet of what I consider the “top” social VR platforms (and a shout-out to Dr. Fran Babcock for doing some updating of the latter over the past few months; it is much appreciated!).

It would appear that there is lots of interest in my big-picture look at the metaverse and all the companies busy building it, so I intend to make both of these tasks a top priority, once things die down a bit at my full-time paying job as a university librarian!

As I have said before, I never expected to become a prolific Second Life blogger, but it’s clear that my coverage (with a focus on Second Life steals, deals, and freebies) continues to be popular with my readers, and among the most-viewed content on my blog. While it may seem weird to write both about 18-year-old SL and then switch to writing about much newer platforms, I see everything as part of a seamless, whole history of the metaverse.

Of particular interest, I note a lot of traffic to my posts about both free and paid-for Second Life mesh heads and bodies (#4, #5, #7, #8, and of course, #10!). Therefore, I will continue to provide that coverage, and I may restructure my now-sprawling blogposts about free and inexpensive male and female mesh heads and bodies in SL, to make them easier for people to navigate…but only after I tackle the long-delayed reorganization of my metaverse list, mentioned under the previous trend!

Finally, people seem to value good, step-by-step instructions on how to do things in SL, like rename your avatar (#12), so I will be continuing to write up more blogposts in that vein.

I notice that my step-by-step instructions for getting started in Decentraland (DCL) is an increasingly popular blogpost, even though the instructions may already be a bit dated (#4). As I have mentioned recently, DCL and all the NFT metaverses are seeing a huge surge in interest (and in financial speculation!), ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, and Mark Zuckerberg announced that they would become a metaverse company.

And, as promised, I will be writing about all these platforms in 2022:

Although I have mentioned and written about a number of virtual world/social VR platforms on this list which DO incorporate blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), please note that I have, up until now, tended to focus only on those projects which ALREADY have an actual working platform, where you can create an avatar to visit and explore NOW: NeosVR, Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space. I have not really written much about projects which have yet to launch, because frankly so many of them are vapourware!

However, given the current burst of enthusiasm for all things blockchain/crypto/NFT and metaverse (particularly after Facebook/Meta’s repivot to become a metaverse company in October 2021), I will endeavour to expand my coverage of such platforms in 2022.

And I remain highly concerned about the number of poorly-thought-out NFT metaverse projects (and frankly, just flat out scams) that seem to be proliferating by the day. I will also be writing a lot about that topic in the next 365 days, I suspect.

Trend 5: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Spaces in the Metaverse

My blogpost about LGBTQ spaces in virtual worlds and social VR (#9) is becoming more and more popular over time, an indication that queer people are actively looking for community in the metaverse. Therefore, I will write more articles about that, too!

white and multicolored love is love banner
Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Belleza Has a 50% Off Sale on the Jake, Freya, Venus and Isis Mesh Bodies!

This is not a freebie, but it is a bargain! Male and female mesh bodymaker Belleza has updated all of their bodies, and is having a 50% off sale! According to a message sent out to the Belleza store group:

The time has come….

The Belleza updates are here!

Jake, Venus, Isis and Freya are updated to Bakes on Mesh (BOM) and the Universal Neck. Check your package for a full list of updates and bug fixes.

If you would like to discuss the update – hop on the Belleza Discord.

The Universal Neck update is mainly in response to the new line of LeLutka heads, which left a noticeable neck seam when paired with some bodies.

If you already own a Belleza mesh body, you can hit the redelivery terminals in the Belleza store (they also have them at the MEN ONLY event, the #BIGGIRL event, and Addams).

The male Belleza Jake Bento mesh body is for sale for L$1,500, a significant savings compared to the price tags for Signature Gianni and Geralt (currently retailing for L$4,000 each) and the Meshbody Athletic and Legacy bodies (selling for L$5,000 each) . Belleza Jake mesh bodies have excellent fashion designer support, so you will have zero problems dressing this body!

And the female Belleza Freya, Venus, and Isis bodies are only L$1,250 each, or you can pick up the three-pack for L$2,250—three Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible mesh bodies for less than the price of one Maitreya Lara body! Please note that while the Belleza Freya mesh body still has a lot of fashion designer support, it can be harder to find clothing created to fit the much less popular Isis and Venus mesh bodies.

Even better, these updated Belleza male and female bodies are now modifiable, which has many Second Life users excited at the new creative possibilities! For example, users can now create glowing skin for these bodies, and they would make excellent starting bases for a furry avatar.

I think this sale is a bold and savvy move by Belleza, especially at a time when avatar fashion designers were dropping support for female Belleza mesh bodies in favour of newer bodies like the INTHIUM Kupra. This move could spell a revival for the especially popular Belleza Freya body, which offers a curvier, “juicier” shape that is currently the popular style in avatars.

I don’t know how long the 50% off sale will last, so hurry down and snap them up before they’re gone!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: the Kalhene Analexa 4.1 and Erika 1.0 Female Mesh Bodies

I admit I have a soft spot for Kalhene, a Maitreya Lara-compatible mesh body at a lower price. Well, Kalhene has replaced their Anya female full-body (i.e. head and body) package and their Alexa transgender full-body package with a new, all-in-one Analexa body, version 4.1!

If you had purchased earlier versions of either the Anya or Alexa bodies, you can upgrade to Analexa 4.1 for free; just slap the Redelivery sign in the Kalhene store, located directly across from the N-Core footwear store.

For only L$2,495, you get a Bento, Bakes on Mesh body that is compatible with most apparel and footwear designed for Maitreya Lara, plus a lot of extra options which would normally cost you extra!

In addition to a transgender option (i.e. an optional penis with a HUD), the body comes with four different chest options (flat-chested, petite, normal, and large/implant breasts), a choice of two Bento heads, even hair and a nice starter wardrobe! In a previous blogpost, I did a detailed cost comparison between version 4.0 of the Anya body and a Maitreya Lara body/Catwa head combo, and now you get even more for your money with the Analexa 4.1 package.

Here’s what the head and body look like, wearing an outfit I picked up using a free QE Designs gift card at the SL18B Shop and Hop event, which ended yesterday. The Bakes on Mesh skin and eyes are included in the Analexa package.

In addition, Kalhene has released a brand new full-body package called Erika. This is a fuller-figured body that reminds me of the Belleza Freya, INTHIUM Kupra, and Katena bodies, where you can get a much curvier, juicier figure!

Here’s what Erika looks like, right out of the box, with the included skin and long hairstyle, and wearing one of the 10 included outfits (the sneakers are a freebie from VERSOV):

The Erika body comes with not one, not two, but three different Bento heads! Here’s a look at the “soft” head, with rounder features, which I quite like!

And here’s a look at the second, “hard” head, with sharper, more angular features:

There is also an Asian head with two shapes, which unfortunately I cannot show you because I was unable to find a suitable Bakes on Mesh skin for it. (By the way, skins designed for other brands of mesh heads might look a little weird on this head. Always demo before you buy!)

Once again, for L$2,495 you get a LOT for your money. The package includes many options which usually cost you extra in other bodies (e.g. pregnant belly). Let’s take a look at what comes in the Erika 1.0 package, comparing it with the INTHIUM Kupra body, the one I think it resembles the most:

Kalhene Erika 1.0INTHIUM Kupra
Base Cost of Mesh BodyL$2,495L$3,999
Included Body Shapes5: skinny, natural, curvy, chubby, and pregnant3: skinny, curvy, and “bimbo” (ugh!)
Breast Options5 shape options; optional HD nipples3 shape options; 5 types of 3D nipples
Bento Hands and Nails5 fingernail options; 16 colours nail polish5 fingernail and 4 toenail options; 32 colours nail polish
Mesh Feet3 heel heights controlled bu HUD: flat, mid, and high; the feet are Maitreya Lara compatible4 heel heights controlled by HUD: flat, mid, high, and tiptoe; the Kupra body comes with three options for feet, supporting footwear made for Kupra, Maitreya, or Slink feet
Bento Mesh Head3 heads included: soft, “hard”/more angular features, and AsianNot included (Catwa heads cost L$5,000 each)
Starter Skin and Eyes5 skin tones, 8 eye colours2 skin tones
Starter HairIncluded (works with all breast types)Not included
Starter Wardrobe10 complete outfits with footwear (see images below for examples)Sport shorts, top, bikini top, panties, and thong
Transgender Option (Penis)IncludedNot included
TOTAL COSTL$2,495 (including hair and a very generous starter wardrobe)L$8,999 for the Kupra/Catwa combo (not including the cost of hair and wardrobe)

Here’s a look at some of the ten complete outfits, with footwear, which are included in the wardrobe package (please click on each picture to see it in a larger size):

In other words, you can hit the ground running with the Kalhene Erika body at one-third the price of a Kupra/Catwa setup; all you have to do is add an animation override and you’re all set to hit the grid as a big, bold, beautiful woman!

Remember, you can mix and match, and use the Erika head and body separately with other heads and bodies you might already own (the body comes with Catwa and LeLutka options on the HUD to avoid neck seam issues for those heads). The body responds well to the head and body sliders, so you should be able to adjust the shape to suit your preferences.

In fact, the only drawback that I can find with the Kalhene Erika body is that (unlike the Analexa 4.1 body), it is not compatible with apparel designed for other mesh bodies (which is probably why the designer included a generous starter wardrobe with ten different outfits). Given that most avatar clothing designers are loath to rig for yet another body (most already do 6 or 7), it will be an uphill battle to coax creators to make clothing for this body! However, the feet on the Erika body are Maitreya Lara-compatible (although you will have problems with things like straps high on the ankle or calf).

Given the creator’s track record, you can expect frequent updates to both the Analexa 4.1 and Erika 1.0 bodies. Join the Kalhene store group for only L$25 and pick up some free group gifts, such as outfits and shapes, at the store (here’s the SLURL).

Happy bargain shopping!


UPDATE July 8th, 2021: I forgot to mention that a couple of well-known SL vloggers, Isabelle Cheren and Naria Panthar, have already put the new Kalhene Erika body through its paces. Watch one or both videos to get a better feel for the body, before you buy:

Isabelle Cheren’s review of the Erika body
Naria Panthar’s review of the Erika body

UPDATE July 10th, 2021: A commenter gave me more information about the Kupra bodies: three options for feet (Kupra, Maitreya, and Slink), plus details on the clothing that comes with the Kupra body, so I have updated my comparison chart accordingly. Thank you, Olé Olé!

UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: BROX Is a New Bento, Bakes on Mesh Male Body for Only L$1!

There’s a new bargain out there for you men! It’s a very handsome, Bento, Bakes on Mesh-compatible male mesh avatar called BROX, which is available for only one Linden dollar at this location. Next to it is a free group gift for L’Homme Magazine group members, a set of 8 Bakes on Mesh skins, which you can use on this or any other BoM body (the L’Homme Magazine group is free to join; just pay the vendor L$1 and your Linden dollar will automatically be refunded).

Here is the BROX body, straight out of the box, using the included eyebrow and body shapes with zero adjustments to the head and body sliders, and using skin #6 from the L’Homme Readers Gift box of eight BROX skins. Looking good!

Instead of an alpha HUD, the BROX body comes with a unpackable box of alpha sections, which you can assemble to hide any part of the body under clothing:

So men, you really have no excuse when it comes to upgrading that old system body! Everything you might need is yours for a grand total of L$1! Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATE May 9th, 2021: Well, I have been playing around with the BROX body today, and while the folder of alpha sections is useful (in fact, you might want to pick up the BROX dollarbie body just for those, even if you have a female avatar), they aren’t as convenient as a HUD with alpha sections, in my opinion. Also, I wish that there were finer subsections on the alphas, because they don’t work with many mesh items of clothing.

In the picture below, I combined mesh pants and shoes with an older, system-layer plaid shirt with a separate prim collar and cuffs:

Not bad, but I had to resort to a system-layer shirt instead of a mesh one because the alpha sections for the upper arms were too broad to allow me to wear most mesh T-shirts I tried on this body (either the arms poked through the shirt sleeves, or the alpha section extended below the shirt cuffs). So you might want to keep this mind as a possible drawback to the BROX body.

Still, this is a handsome Bento, Bakes on Mesh body, one that you can simply wear and go! You could also add a head alpha and wear any head with it (although I did not test it out myself).