Hi, I'm A'Nita.

I blog about the intersection of sex, tech and design.

Experiences with Virtual Reality Porn pt 2

 I'm back today with Part 2 about VR porn and sex tech so once again, if you're under 18, come back when you're grown.

 The goal of sex tech is to be an enhancement and not to take away from our ability to connect to each other. Yet there's been a lot of talk about the potential affects VR porn will have on our ability to have intimacy and enjoy "real" sex.  Many of the concerns are about how the advancement of the software may be able to blur the lines of reality because when it comes to Virtual Reality and platforms such as Second Life possibly merging, anything goes.  I see how it has been raising questions. However, I see another red flag.

 With the way that VR and AR in porn is headed in the future, where you can possibly create your "perfect" lover (from their eye color, voice, hair color, complexion, body type etc.), who can't say no, and you're free to experience them in any way that you like; it might give us more "freedom" than society is ready for.  On the surface the concept of this sounds entertaining. Yet, we are in a society where consent is being taught to adults as if it's a new concept. So where do we draw the line in keeping users happy without allowing for their actions to be problematic or creepy? I've never been a fan of taking away users' autonomy and forcing them to interact with a product in a particular way. Yet when it comes to bringing fantasies to life just by slipping on a headset, should there be some boundaries? Should we design limits to how sexual pleasure can be achieved if it comes at the possible risk of others?

It's one thing to have virtual experiences via porn actress/actors pre-recorded and shot in POV because they're knowledgeable of the intent. It's another to have a life like "Build a Person" experience a la The Sims strictly for sex. The idea of unaware "users" concerns me. What I mean by this is, customers using a product and creating a partner that is a replica of someone unbeknownst to them. This can be a celebrity, an ex, a coworker etc who was created in a virtual or augmented environment. Some people may find it flattering while others may find it to be stalkerish or a digital form of harassment if they knew about it. 

I think the only way VR may cause boundaries being violated is through how much realism, sense stimulation and customization is allowed especially when you add in teledildonics. Perhaps when designing these experiences, there should be more focus on how to enhance their sense of touch and realistic interactions over visual details. The difficulty I see in solving this is that sexual fulfillment is just as physical and mental as it is visual. Therefore, people will always care about the intricate details of who they're engaging with even if they're made of pixels. 

All I know for certain is that it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out in the years to come. Til next time...

 

 

Are we ready for sex toys with A.I.?

Experiences with Virtual Reality Porn Pt.1