VR porn: WTF is it and what does it mean for our sex lives?

Porn, in virtual reality. Yes, that means 360 degree viewing

First off, here’s a little 101 on virtual reality. VR experiences are either filmed or computer generated to give you a 360-degree experience that allows you, with the help of a headset like Google Cardboard, to fully immerse yourself into a scene.

Don’t let the technicalities put you off though, as it’s not just for gamers or tech enthusiasts. Doctors are using it to teach and practice surgeries, tourist boards are feeding people’s wanderlust with lush visuals of their countries and the music industry is filming in 360 to showcase concerts that you might not be able to physically attend.

Virtual reality is also going to be used as a therapy tool to help people regain motor and cognitive function or to get through post traumatic stress. Its even being developed as an educational tool by schools, museums and charities to create virtual spaces of specific scenes or to encourage empathy in understanding issues like mental illness or poverty.

In short, VR is promising to change the way we consume content and is opening our eyes to a behind-the-scenes access that we’ve simply not had before. In VR, we’re all VIP.

But surely, the biggest cash cow of virtual reality has to be the porn industry. Think about it. The purpose of porn is to put the blinders up away from your daily stresses to help you focus at the task at hand (pun might have been intended.) And, what better way to encourage that renowned shy feel-good hormone of oxytocin to come out than to fully immerse yourself into a scene, miles away from your real life?

It’s being helmed as the best way to satisfy consumers’ sexual needs and fantasies in a safe environment. Its even been suggested to boost monogamy, as it allows people in committed relationships to have brand new experience outside and separate from their partner, without physically cheating on them (although whether or not virtual infidelity counts as cheating is a cause of contention). VR porn would allow you to see what having sex as a man is visually like or what the actual logistics of a threesome would be.

10 of the most popular VR pornography sites have grown by over 200% this year and it’s thought by 2025, VR porn will be an industry worth £1 billion as the 3rd biggest virtual reality sector behind movies and games.

Corey Price, VP of Pornhub talked to us to explain just how big the industry is going to be, and why…

How different is VR porn to normal porn?

It’s all about the immersion, it’s a total gamechanger. With ‘normal porn’ people sit behind a screen and watch whatever is in front of them. Does it do the job? Sure. But now, with VR, people are whisked away into the scene and feel as though they are an actual protagonist themselves. Currently our VR videos get over 10,000,000 views a month and its a quickly growing category.

How will VR change our lives?

That is yet to be seen. Initially, VR cut its teeth in the adult entertainment industry, as the industry is often an early adopter of cutting edge technologies. As for whether VR will be used for education I can absolutely envision it. I think VR has the ability to alter everyday life as we know it and benefit a myriad of industries.

How will VR porn change the way we experience sex?

VR offers users the ability to experience sex from both the male and female perspectives, in an array of different situations which regular porn does to some extent. The experience via VR, however, is far more immersive and mesmeric. So I guess the real question is whether each individual user will choose to experience porn as the opposite sex with VR.

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