British researchers have explored fantasies about VR pornography as a task of shaping human-computer interaction and potential moral conflicts.
Virtual reality sex , that is, virtual but clean sex via telepresence and teletactile interfaces, has been prophesied as a technological promise since the advent of VR in the late 1980s and celebrated by some. But now, only VR goggles and corresponding data transmission over the Internet are becoming commonplace for producing pornographic films in which the sex-driven viewer no longer participates in a scene in front of a screen as a distant observer, but is given the impression that he or she is there.
The porn industry sees VR goggles as a profitable way to offer perfect pornography that is realistic enough to provide even more arousal through proximity and virtual participation to the former viewer, who is on the outside looking in on an event that always plays out the same way.
British scientists from Newcastle University have now first investigated what people expect or hope for from VR pornography. They already assume that pornography is an “essential part of everyday interaction with computers,” but they have not yet sufficiently researched the human-computer interface.
They want to offer first approaches to this, especially since pornography is a motor of technical and media development or it quickly picks up new techniques. Since the development of VR pornography is only at its beginning, they wanted to explore what it could be first.
To that end, they had 45 male and female subjects with limited VR experience imagine and write down what a male performer named Jack would experience during his first VR porn experience. Nothing else was predetermined. Even the small number of subjects does not promise much generality, especially since the stories they wrote in 10 minutes ranged from 3 to more than 1000 words.
- They divided the descriptions of the fantasized VR porn experiences possible in the future into two sections.
- Imaginings of a perfect experience in terms of reality and immersion, but which, in addition to euphoria, also give rise to fears or dangers because VR goes too far and crosses the boundary between the real and the virtual.
Some have revealed ethical problems, according to scientists
These are not only about the degree of reality between reality, non-reality, and “too-close-to-reality,” but also about virtual abuse by merging fantasy and reality through technology. For example, one subject imagined the possibility of Jack uploading a 3D model of his girlfriend to possibly do to her what she would never consent to. Another variation would be Revenge Porn using realistic 3D models. According to the scientists, it is necessary to take sexual exploitation via digital technology seriously and to develop precautionary measures. It’s not just about cheating on partners, sexual exploitation of women could intensify over traditional pornography in the VR world “where there are no rules and boundaries.” In addition, individuals are pushing the envelope with 3D techniques and DIY porn.
“Choose partner model.” (…) He spends a long time having difficulty choosing. Finally he narrows it down to three (…) and sees two of the models’ boxes light up blue. He thinks to himself, “Oh. It’s like picking multiple files!” He clicks on the three models he wants and confirms his selection.
The perfect sex
For most subjects, VR pornography opens up a perfect sexual experience that would be unimaginable in reality. For others, boundaries are pushed with explicit and violent imagery, which could not only be addictive, but could awaken the desire for ever more extreme experiences.
Of course, they could have come up with this themselves, after all, they only had the test subjects imagine possible VR porn scenarios. Still, the researchers believe their method is interesting for exploring more general ideas about how far people would go with a technology in an anticipatory way: “We say such a speculative study is valuable and important for asking questions about sociocultural and moral implications of a technology. We think this should be done in the case of technosexuality as well.”
Doing this early enough could ensure that technology would be used more morally, meaning that the worst could be avoided. Matthew Wood, one of the authors, says in the sense that “the future of VR pornography can be more positive if it is designed in certain ways.” But the approach is probably a bit naive and would have to amount to studies like this leading to bans around the world that are enforced. But the scientists may just want to pretend they are experts in the design of technology like VR pornography after all. After all, they did bring out that people wanted more “embodied sensual experiences,” “more emphasis on details and the relational aspects of sexual experiences.”
The Future Of Adult Entertainment
The Venus erotic trade fair, where trends and innovations from the erotic sector are presented every year, begins again in Berlin on Thursday (October 11). Digitalization is playing an increasingly important role in this area, as digital innovations also dominate the porn industry.
- Digitalization makes its way into the porn industry
- This is how trends like VR porn or robo sex are emerging
- In addition, social movements are reflected in pornography
But it’s not just technological innovations like VR glasses that are finding their way into pornography; social changes brought about by the women’s movement are also being reflected. These are five trends in pornography:
VR porn/porn gaming
The entry of virtual reality into everyday life has long since begun and apparently does not stop at the bedroom. More than 76 million VR goggles are expected to be sold by 2020, according to a report in “Süddeutsche Zeitung.” One of the biggest drivers in this area, along with the gaming industry, is pornography.
With VR glasses and porn gaming, respectively, users are supposed to have an experience that can hardly be described. “It’s mind-blowing what the customer can experience with these technical possibilities. You have to experience it,” said Todd Glider, producer of VR films at the company BadoinkVR, on the sidelines of a technology trade show in Las Vegas.
As in many other areas, users of pornography are becoming less interested in off-the-shelf products and more interested in a personalized experience. The porn industry is responding to this with so-called interactive porn.
As in director Quinn Roberts’ 2007 film “InTERActive,” this gives viewers the opportunity to have a say not only in the sexual action, but also in the plot of the film.
Social changes are also reflected in the porn industry. What used to be a male-dominated industry is now becoming more and more female-dominated as well, as Jacky St. James, winner of the industry’s best director award, explains. She says the market is opening up to female entrepreneurs who are making a name for themselves through creativity.
She told Men’s Health magazine, “Women are increasingly behind the camera, too.” Erika Lust is also part of this movement. The Swedish director and film producer has been mixing up the scene for years with feminist porn.
For years now, one of the defining trends in the porn industry has been amateur porn. “These days, erotic fans want the housewife from their neighborhood,” Maximilian Peldszus told “stern” back in 2016 on the occasion of Venus in Berlin. The 28-year-old from Hamburg is the operational director of an erotic community that also offers amateur videos. This is about the experience of true-to-life eroticism, he says.
One of the most famous German amateur stars in Germany is called Schnuggie91. She, along with Micaela Schäfer and others, will represent this year’s Venus trade show from October 11 to 14.
The trend of so-called robot sex goes hand in hand with a further development of sex dolls. These have long since ceased to be cold and rigid; they can speak and feel warm to the touch. In addition, various companies are in the process of developing dolls that can respond specifically to their owner’s wishes.