Studies have shown, though, that in virtual environments an avatar’s appearance can actually change a person’s sense of self, and often for the good. Given attractive avatars, people tend to form more intimate relationships, have a wider circle of friends and a much more active social life – exactly as things seem to work in real life. In a virtual world, though, you can be as beautiful and as overtly sexual in your appearance as you like. Virtual living opens up profound new forms of self-expression, and the rewards are many for those brave souls who are willing to step out of their comfort zone and live out their inner fantasies.

Couch and rug by Isolahara Catteneo of mudshake.