The article talks of porn stars as sexual mentors, with August Ames the first, and by no means the only. Others certainly coming, their talents enlisted to spread the gospel of a sex positive lifestyle through education and VR porn.
Sputnik News does acknowledge that Virtual Sexology, on the face of it, appears to only target men. And how could it not be perceived that way? It’s from a male POV. I wonder, in retrospect, whether we should have split the program in half. Then it would have seemed more gender neutral. Might have been a good idea. But speaking of POV, hindsight gives one 20/20 vision.
Time was a factor though, and splitting the program up into two points of view would have likely required two days of VR porn shooting, if not a good deal more pre-production work.
This isn’t to say that Sputnik was being pejorative in its observations. The article is even-handed, and via quotes from myself, indicated that it is BaDoinkVR’s goal to create more productions tailored more evenly to both sexes.
Parenthetically, props to the writer–anonymous unfortunately–for the fresh observation that the term teledildonics sounds like it was birthed in the Star Trek universe, alongside gadgets like the Food Replicators and Medicinal Hyposprays.
There are also some nice quotes in the article attributed to the Hernando Chaves, the sex therapist BaDoinkVR enlisted to write the script and oversee the virtual sexology production.
So thanks for the coverage Sputnik News! Virtual Sexology has arrived, and the first installment is only the beginning!
BaDoinkVR’s first Virtual Sexology program was created to help adults become better, more attentive lovers. However, that serves as a mere introduction to the concept, as ultimately the goal is to create additional programs, targeting specific sexual hangups. All will fall under the heading of exposure therapy.
Fear of intimacy? Immerse yourself in this program.
Premature ejaculation? Immerse yourself in this one.
Can’t reach orgasm? Try this.
Diaz references the first programs offered in Oculus Home to Gear VR users: one that helps with public speaking, another that confronts one’s fear of heights.
I’m happy to see that this is now being discussed. As I’ve mentioned previously, a startups foray into exposure therapy via VR was the inspiration for BaDoinkVR to stretch from mere VR porn to sex therapy with Virtual Sexology.
When compared with traditional forms of entertainment, how many users are currently already using VR gear to watch adult entertainment?
It’s impossible to provide accurate data. Anyone who says they have that data is being somewhat disingenuous. The market at this point is very, very small because the number of consumers in possession of a VR headset is infinitesimal, compared to smartphones, desktops and tablet computers. Broadly, it’s important to remember that, for all the fanfare, hype and truly inspiring VR programming available, VR as a tech is still incredibly embryonic. All of the excitement it garners is worthwhile and valid and appropriate, but what we’re most excited about, what’s worthy of all that excitement is the signals splintering off the tech. It’s not about what’s here now.
How will this change in the near future? When do you expect that VR will reach user numbers close to what we see today with computers, TV or smartphones?
The release of PlayStation VR is worth celebrating. Google Daydream, even more so. The levee breaks once eye-tracking comes to town. That makes foveated rendering possible. And once video resolution can be managed in a manner that does not require everything in your field of view to be displayed at max resolution, the demands on processing power will drop enormously, and many more consumers will be in the position to afford higher-end devices. When will VR gear be as commonplace as computers, TVs or smartphones? I think we’re a decades out, honestly. Consider that we all know one or two people who live without TV, live without a smartphone. They’re curiosities. They’re noteworthy. We’re still at a point where it’s noteworthy if someone owns a VR device.
Let’s talk a bit about the hardware. The most widely used way right now for VR could be solutions similar to Google Cardboard, since these are the easiest, and by far cheapest solutions. Is the quality of such devices good enough for VR porn?
At BaDoinkVR, we were the first to give away Google Cardboard with every subscription to our VR porn site, but these are, to put it colloquially, gateway drugs. They don’t deserve a place on the shelf alongside your other gadgets. They’re here to give you a taste, and encourage you to purchase something better—like Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive. That’s what makes the release of Google Daydream so exciting. Most people are not going to jump from cardboard to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. They’ll jump to a mid-range device. Up until recently, that meant Gear VR, and Gear VR, good as it is, works with only a few Samsung phones. With Google Daydream, we see many, many more manufacturers agreeing to release phones supporting the platform. That gives the entire market a nice kick.
What art the minimum requirements a VR headset and the hardware should have to create an enjoyable experience for the user?
Any smartphone released in the last two or three years, with Google Cardboard, or cardboard equivalent, is sufficient to enjoy VR porn. However, the average consumer is not going to watch VR porn in lieu of non-VR porn until, at minimum, they’ve acquired a device that is mid-range or higher.
Other solutions from Oculus, Sony or HTC are far more pricy. Does the user see the difference? And will he be willing to pay the higher price to watch adult entertainment on these devices?
The experience on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is, hands-down, superior to the experience on Cardboard, or Gear VR, or any smartphone-driven solution. As far as willingness to pay a higher price, I believe that anyone considering the purchase of one of these high-end devices, when listing the pros and cons of purchasing, he or she definitely puts ‘VR porn’ in the plus column.
I doubt that those companies actively support porn on their devices, if they not even try to obstruct it all together. How easy or complicated is it to enjoy VR porn on Rift, Sony VR or the Vive?
Watching VR porn on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is as easy as watching VR porn on a smartphone, if not easier. In fact, BaDoinkVR even offers its own desktop player to subscribers. Watching VR Porn on PlayStation VR is also possible with BaDoinkVR, though, at this point, the process is a bit more convoluted.
Will the consumers readily pay for VR content?
They will and do. BaDoinkVR is already profitable, and consumers, at large, see VR content as something separate from ‘normal’ porn. At this point, scarcity certainly has a hand in that. But it’s also an acknowledgement of the quality. Video sharing sites, which are the reason that consumers haven’t expected to pay for porn for nearly a decade now, are lowest-common-denominator channels of distribution. They’re McDonalds and Taco Bell. VR porn, by comparison, is sitting down at the best steakhouse in town.
How will the market for VR porn develop within the next year?
It will continue to grow, the result of more devices hitting the marketplace, the result of more people experiencing virtual reality for the first time. Once you’ve tried it, VR porn leaves a lasting impression. The challenge for everyone in the VR space is convincing people to put those goggles on for the first time. Once he or she does, there’s no going back. They never look at porn the same way again.
More interest in the virtual sexology product. I like a lot of what Philip Perry has to say here, and it’s a good article. He posits that a generation of young men have grown up on Internet porn. I agree, but would put ‘young women’ in that group as well. Also, one point to make is that virtual sexology only launched recently, and the subscription growth referenced in the article relates to BaDoinkVR.com. Still, thanks for the in-depth article, Big Think. Expect more from us in the future.
I continue to be excited by how engaged the media is by the concept of sex therapy via virtual reality. Journalist Gillian Terzis penned this piece, and she does a great thing in that she describes herself, and in so doing, immerses the reader in the virtual sexology scene we created with sex therapist Hernando Chaves. As well, there were quotes from Ela Darling, a big name in VR porn.
Published in FutureofSex.net today. Thanks for the great coverage, FOS! Long, penetrating article discussing everything from VR porn to virtual sexology, to the future of VR in a general sense. Made great use of my answers to the questions they Emailed, which, egotistical guy that I am, can’t help loving.
1.) Please tell us a bit more about Badoink VR. Since when does the VR department exist? What were the first VR headsets you supported? What do you support now?
BaDoinkVR was launched in July 2015. We decided to throw our collective hats in the ring towards the end of 2014, when we first got our hands on Google Cardboard. Once we dropped in a smartphone, and looked through those duo-convex lenses, and saw 3D stereoscopic video for the first time, we were blown away. We thought, “This might be the next big thing.” So that was the moment. Shortly thereafter, the R&D kicked off. On the content side, we began learning how to shoot. On the development side, we began developing the VR players needed to watch virtual reality content on any device. At launch, BaDoinkVR.com, by virtue of our native mobile player and desktop player, was able to support all available devices, so that included Gear VR and all smartphone-driven headsets, Oculus Rift and, when it launched, HTC Vive. We’ll be ready to support PlayStation VR and the Google Daydream platform when the time comes as well.
Congratulations on winning the 2016 XBIZ Award for the best adult virtual reality site, especially since it’s the first time this has been a category. Why do you think your site beat out the competition?
BaDoinkVR is the brand of record, and has been for more than a year. Where the mainstream media is concerned, we do a great job representing the industry. We’ve been covered by everyone from Rolling Stone to Forbes. So that’s key. From my perspective, we shoot the most immersive VR content. There’s also the technology aspect. In addition to producing the content, we created the player software needed for viewing VR content: a native app in iTunes App Store and Google Play, a browser-based app for streaming on Android and iOS, and a desktop app compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Here it is and here’s the link to the unedited interview that the writer drew from. The Virtual Sexology story continues to generate interest. It’s a product, I reckon, of two facts.
It’s odd for a porn brand to offer a product aimed directly at helping people.
There is a dearth of video content out there developed for the purpose of improving adults’ sex lives. Books, sure. And there are likely videos out there, but they don’t have the distribution channels that we do.
The lack of sex education in our world is an elephant in the room casting a shadow on our own species. This had doubtless been posited numerous times, but one has to ask how we would explain the human sex life to an alien species.
Published today. It’s cool that this story, two months in, still has some legs. The author makes the point that virtual reality evangelists have stated that VR delivers benefits that extend beyond its quantum technological leap. Virtual Sexology, VR porn site BaDoinkVR’s sex therapy program, the article reads, is one example of a delivery on that promise.
The post contains quotes from Todd Glider, as well as Hernando Chaves, the sex therapist behind the first virtual sexology production.