VR and Porn: The Convergence That We -Should Have- Expected

June 7, 2022
Written By:
Written By:
June 7, 2022

The age of digitalization has taken over and everyday we explore the uncharted possibilities of technology. Today, we can reap the benefits of tech-formation in our work, or as a creative expression tool. One of its most remarkable effects is the capacity technology now has when it comes to shaping our leisure time via games, digital music streams, online socializing, and so on. But how about the activities that we partake in when we’re… ahem… alone. Will technology be able to influence porn?

The simple answer would be, and is: Yes. Within the porn industry there are companies that have evolved in order to align themselves with technology, from technical details to the global network. But what we really want to know is how exactly does the true digitalization of the porn industry look like.

Since 2016, the porn industry has been in close contact with technological improvements, especially VR technology. In fact, the global virtual-reality pornography is expected to exceed more than US$ 1 Billion by 2025. Nowadays, we can see many virtual reality porn sites online, and this boom grows stronger every day.

Source: Lilum labs

The integration of VR technology to porn is a no brainer really, because virtual reality goggles could drastically enhance the pornography experience by inserting the audience’s point of view (POV) to the scene, therefore influencing the overall pleasure of consumers. This is a perk that would make any company stand out in a competitive market.

The POV feeling is undoubtedly a breakthrough if we consider the traditional consumption methods of this medium, which rely more on general preferences than individual care. With this method, we might expect to see customization of porn videos according to customers’ preferences in the future. Virtual reality experiences hold the potential to further revolutionize the porn industry by offering a non-conventional commodity, other than regular porn.

However, this does not come without its potential drawbacks. So let’s have a look at those shall we?

Male Gaze

VR porn is still a relatively new addition to an industry which has been traditionally criticized for being male-oriented. In recent years, these criticisms seem to have been heard, and industry giants realised the potential of the non-male demographic. Although adult content has been diversified since, there still is a prevalent tendency to cater to the male perspective, and not that many changes have gone beyond words.

VR porn suffers from the same problem: the male POV. According to the journalist Monica Nickelsburg who tried a demo for a VR porn company, the demo that she tried didn’t include any female point of views. This may create a problem for the VR porn business’ in the future because it excludes non-male populations from this new technological-sexual experience and perpetrates harmful stereotypes in the porn industry.

Accessibility and Equality

Initially the accessibility of porn increased due to global network technologies, with the internet acting as the main vessel. This may seem like the general trend, but the reality is not black and white.

Source: Lilum Labs

There are still some aspects of porn that remain a societal taboo that influences authorities to act on it in the name of ‘conservation of youth’, which explicitly implies the application of conservative policies on porn consumption. Censorship is one of the main practices in these circumstances, so, porn accessibility is already unequal around the world. We believe the inclusion of VR technologies would add to the widening of the inequality gap.

Moreover, virtual reality gear is still not affordable to all, and so it would be fair to assume that individuals with higher incomer will become the main consumers of the VR pornography content. According to the Maslow pyramid, virtual porn is not a basic need, so this exclusion shouldn’t be a problem -in theory-. However, the reality is way more complex than objective priorities. The inequality of access points towards a fragmented society. Even if this quasi-discrimination is non-intentional, it may create the perception of an invisible division within society between people whom the market deems as ‘deserving of having innovative porn experience’ and others.

In any case, it is inspiring to witness technology prevailing in human life and changing not only our perception, but our experience of life itself.

Although there are some concerns about the VR and porn industry duo, we believe it is essential to openly discuss the controversies to face them head on and improve this new immersive experience, thus co-creating our virtual worlds to satisfy our every desire, without it becoming a degrading or damaging feat for anybody else.

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