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How Will Virtual Reality Change the Way We Watch Porn?

As The Dude in The Big Lebowski responded to Jackie Treehorn’s speech about technology in porn being the wave of the future: “I still jerk off manually.”

 

Silicon Valley has been buzzing about how VR is right around the corner, any second now, and it’s always going to be a big deal. The same thing goes on with 3D TV, holograms, and other flashy special effects from cyberpunk movies. As much as the techie front promises, it doesn’t have much of a track record for delivering.

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The Internet, of course, revolutionized the porn industry, but only in how we delivery media. The same pictures from Penthouse and the same movies from your favorite curtained section of the video store simply get beamed directly to your screen now, saving you the trouble of having to buy it in person. Everybody seems more comfortable this way. Outside of that, not much has changed, and it could be because we’re just fine with things the way they are now.

For instance, VR headsets are always trotted out as an innovation. The truth is, we’ve had VR headsets for three decades now and maybe it’s in higher definition now, but they still aren’t a household staple. It seems no matter how cool it may be to immerse yourself in porn, it’s not worth wrapping a screen around your head and looking like a goober. Amateur porn is just as good on a phone screen, apparently.

“Teledildonics” is where it gets more interesting. This is new cyber-tech that enhances how something feels, basically “smart dildos.” There are all kinds of remote-controlled vibrators and enhanced devices so that couples can play with each other long-distance. While there’s a niche hobby interest in that, there’s again only so far people are willing to go with it. A vibrator controlled by somebody else or a program is still a vibrator. It buzzes at different speeds.

At least once per year, every Menlo Park, California periodical feels obligated to point out how one day, you’ll combine a VR headset and a tele-dildo / automated Fleshlight / whatever and get the finest simulated screw money can buy. Further on down the line are automated sex dolls, which, like any old robot, are still far too creepy to be sexy for all but the most stalwart of sexual experimenters.

When VR porn companies try their hardest, they can create the sensation that you’re inside the movie, in an immersive environment with lots of eye contact, intimacy, and a feeling of POV involvement. That’s interesting for the novelty, but it seems there isn’t a huge market for it or we’d all be talking about it a lot more.

At the end of the day, free virtual reality porn and teledildonics seem to take a simple thing like masturbation and make it more complicated and expensive than it needs to be. If we all wanted it to be more complicated and expensive, we would just get married.