I wasn't looking for a partner, right up until the moment I found him. But our SLs are just SL, neither of us have any desire to take things beyond, and we have mutual respect for each other boundaries. I do find that now that I have a partner, I am more into exploring some of the kinks as you put it. Once when I was having SL sex with some guy he wanted me to wear a gag, I did it but it made me uncomfortable even though it was all just virtual sex, now however with my partner we have gone way beyond that and I like it. There is an immediacy about SL I think that is a part of the nature of it. We are all here through a fragile connection that can be severed at any moment. We can lose our computer, our internet, our power, and we are cut off, changes in jobs, family, living situations can disrupt RL schedules and reduce our time online or shift it to times our regular friends are not on. I think we all know this in the back of our minds and it affects the way we act here. Every day could be the last one we have like this in SL. Yes this is true in RL as well, but unless we die we are getting up in RL tomorrow, lots of things can keep us away from SL tomorrow.
SL will never have the ups and downs of RL, it should be obvious it won't have the downs, we won't starve here, being homeless does not have the same affects on us, and so on. The highs as well are not the same, the most obvious example is that sex is not the same, because it isn't the same sensual experience. But the same is true about so much more. Even the lack of danger in SL is an issue that distracts from the experience. Compare riding a roller coaster in RL, where you are safe but you feel like you are in danger, as compared to an SL roller coaster. The lack of danger makes it easy to have that quick sexual encounter, bt at the same time detracts from the thrill.
For me no sexual encounter in SL comes close to the real thing. Maybe that is why I enjoy BDSM with my partner, because it tries to put back some of the thrill. It is also why I have few qualms about selling myself on the sexual marketplace in SL. Those quick encounters are meaningless to me, but if I can find some guy willing to give me virtual money to but virtual clothing in exchange for an quick virtual encounter, then I have no issues with it. It is something I would never even dream of in RL, but here is different.