1. December 2021

Direct VR porn yourself

VRXcity promises to turn the player into performer and porn director in their own VR porn. Erotic revelation or boring sex game? “Porn movies will help VR make a big breakthrough, just like the video cassette did back then!” With this sentence, various VR enthusiasts have been conjuring up the big breakthrough for virtual reality since 2016 – after all, the production of a VR porn is much less costly compared to a VR game.

Four years later, the porn industry is rather dismissive of the new medium and VR users have also become much more skeptical. Shooting VR porn is not as easy as originally thought, and consumers are not very enthusiastic about many technically inadequate sex films in VR.

  1. Memento 3D wants to change that in some ways: As the director of its own VR porn with photorealistic 3D models of real porn stars, it aims to reach a new dimension and bring lust back under the VR goggles.
  2. The principle of vrXcity is simple: users can either participate in a virtual lovemaking session themselves or film two digitized porn stars in the act and give them rudimentary instructions in various environments, such as a luxurious living room, a yacht, or quite classically in the bedroom.

Digitized porn actress in luxurious surroundings

The virtual environments in vrXcity are particularly well done. The performers were brought into the game via photogrammetry. The representation of the premises is successful, the environments are vivid and detailed. The actors and actresses, scanned in via photogrammetry, are also well done. However, a certain stiffness in the movements cannot be denied – and not only where it matters.

The actual act is neatly implemented from a purely technical point of view. There are hardly any glitches and the virtual bodies are very detailed. However, if I look closely, I can see problems with curves in important places, which appear more angular than expected at certain angles.

The artificiality is particularly evident in the waxy faces. The movements, especially during the virtual nude, also tire quickly – and not in the good way: they are animation loops that only fuel sexual interest when you really have an urgent need for inspiration.

Stroking your back with the VR stick

First and foremost, however, the interaction is disturbing: with the controllers of the HTC Vive (officially, VrXcity is only intended for Oculus Rift and Rift S), I do have hard sticks in my hand. However, when I stroke my virtual hand over the back of my virtual partner with the grip and trigger buttons pressed, it feels wrong and not particularly tingly. It feels as if you are working on a pet with a hairbrush or cleaning windows with a squeegee. That’s not very exciting.

This is also clear to Tobias Platte, the managing director of Memento 3D, as he confirms to us in an interview. The rather suboptimal controller solutions hinder intuitive and natural interaction, with haptic feedback generally missing, of course. Hand tracking (like for the Oculus Quest) would theoretically be a solution, though the implementation is not a simple matter. But even VR controllers that better integrate the fingers and hand, such as Valve’s Index controllers, would make a significant difference. Officially, the Valve Index (review) is not supported.

VR porn director as VR game experiment

VRXcity is at this point less intended as VR porn for its own satisfaction, explains Tobias Platte. He sees it more as a computer game, just in the hardcore porn realm. This is also underlined by the desktop version of vrXcity, which lets the user play the porn director on the screen with mouse and keyboard instead of VR goggles.

This allows me to watch the 3D models of porn stars Texas Patti or Danny Mountain having sex in the missionary position and set different shooting angles for my porn film by placing cameras. Two digitized porn actors having sex in vrXCity. Even shooting a VR porn with digitized actors is an interesting experiment.

However, any eroticism quickly goes out the window when the two protagonists are in the same animation loop for minutes on end while I push virtual cameras around in the air. You may have read about how unsexy real porn shoots are? Now you can experience it directly for yourself.

What is basically not a bad idea suffers from technical limitations and a lack of naturalness, which is essential for the representation of sex. In addition, the options of the current vrXcity version are quite limited: Only four actors and little choice of positions soon lead to boredom, even for patient eroticists.

However, the game is not yet complete, the current version only the first part. The next three years of development have already been secured, as managing director Tobias Platte says. During this time, improvements are to be made to the operation, and new actors and further actions are to be added. According to the creators, user feedback is particularly important: they rely on communication with their customers and want to continuously improve vrXcity over the next months and years.

Try-out conclusion on vrXcity

VR porn – apart from the difficulty of finding porn in which performers are not simply treated as objects of lust – is definitely a new level of virtual sexuality: Technically well-made porn creates a feeling of being in the thick of it, which, although it lacks a haptic component, allows pornography to be experienced in a completely new and much closer way than before. The problem, however, is the often technically inadequate films with poor resolution, lousy camera positions and unimaginative Schema F sequences.

In this respect, the production of VR porn according to one’s own preferences is a comprehensible idea and vrXcity (official website) is definitely an interesting experience. However, the technical limitations and the less intuitive operation via VR controller hinder a fun engagement with porn filmmaking. Animation loops are not very stimulating – the currently small selection of possible actions is particularly annoying here.

Over the next few years, vrXcity could become more exciting, especially when more content options are available. Until then, however, it is still not much more than an interesting experiment.