Tag Archives: Sex education

Motherboard Lukewarm on Virtual Sexology

I’m very late in discussing this article, released in August 2016, but better late than never right.

Vice Motherboard has covered virtual reality porn and BaDoinkVR extensively over the past two years. They were on the set, for example, when we produced a behind-the-scenes look at a VR porn shoot in 2015.

More recently, I was interviewed by them again, this time by Lux Alptraum. The article evinces a high degree of skepticism, which is certainly fair. Alptraum takes aim at, among other things, the messaging associated with Virtual Sexology: Become a better, more attentive lover. We’re equating good-loving with having a hard penis which is, indeed, reductive. I don’t agree that that’s what we’re doing.  In fact, I’d say she’s being pretty reductive herself.

Alptraum also makes a point of noting that the program, while purporting to be for both sexes, is from the male point of view. This is undeniably true, though I did tell her our second installment in the Virtual Sexology series would be from the female point of view. The fact is that in advance of having a marketing specifically for virtual sexology, traffic to the Virtual Sexology program is overwhelmingly male, largely BaDoinkVR subscribers.

However, thanks to journalists like Lux Alptraum, the exposure grows beyond the male demographic to include adults of both sexes. So, I can only say thanks for the coverage, Alptraum. Know that this was our first attempt at stretching beyond porn into self-help, and don’t forget to have a look at the next production, coming in 2017!

Kiiroo Interviews VR Porn Exec Todd Glider

Our friends at Kiiroo were kind enough to publish this interview with Todd Glider about VR Porn on November 9th, 2016.

The unedited transcript is posted here in VRBlunt.com.  They asked about Todd Glider’s background, and career in the porn industry, as well as the history of the BaDoink brand, as well as the history of new product BaDoinkVR.

August Ames on set of Virtual Sexology production gripping Kiiroo's Onyx sex toy
On set of Virtual Sexology shoot, Ames comes to grips with Onyx device

Kiiroo’s Onyx, for those who don’t know, provides a haptic component to the VR porn experience. This is awfully important since the key to virtual reality is immersion, or presence, or telepresence, and one can’t say they’ve achieved any of these three things when only two of one’s five senses are experiencing a virtual reality.

EAN Talks VR Porn with BaDoinkVR

EAN logo

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.

On a patio, Katie Morgan studies a pair of Google Cardboard
What the devil is VR porn?

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.

 

VR Porn Transcript from Kiiroo Interview

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you got into the industry?

I hail from the United States, and got my start in this industry in 1998. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and was initially hired by one of the first adult (i.e. porn)Internet companies in the world to write erotic copy for their web properties. This was early on, so content was primarily photographic, and corresponding copy was a necessity. I eventually took the position of Creative Director, and the company itself was acquired by a publicly traded company in the US focused on TV and satellite distribution of adult content. 

Black & White photo of August Ames wearing Gear VR headset

Can you tell us something about Badoink?

BaDoink.com (we call it BaDoink VIP now) was launched more than 10 years ago as a subscription-based website. Its focus was more on the delivery of content than the production of content. The site had thousands of videos, of course, but all of our R&D was put into tech. We created the BaDoink Ultra App, a companion software for desktop that allowed subscribers to access all the content of the site via the app, avoiding the web entirely. And it had a number of features which were pretty cutting-edge at the time. For example, a DVD burner for creating compilations, a media encoder for converting files to different formats, a download manager, and even a DLNA media server, allowing one to stream any video to any network-aware device in the home. The site was successful, but its greatest success came later, when the smartphone market opened up. BaDoink was among the first sites in adult to be optimized for smartphone, and we optimized it well. The results were mammoth growth for the brand and the company.

Can you tell us something about Badoink VR?

BaDoinkVR is a subscription-based website offering exclusive virtual reality content. We produce all the content, as well as the player software needed to watch virtual reality content on smartphone or desktop. The site launched in July 2015, and has been growing quite impressively ever since. We were among the first virtual reality porn sites to go live, and the first to offer free Google Cardboard with every subscription. At minimum, we add 1 new video every week—often more. 

Are you satisfied with the state of the Sex-Tech industry as of 2016?

Well, to me, Sex-Tech IS the industry. Sex-Tech, it’s a more modern, more accurate name for the “Porn Industry.” If your trade is adult entertainment, technology is a huge part of your business (by that I mean software and web development, traffic optimization, design and UX). Any successful company, any new company making a go of it must see tech as key to their survival and longevity. Gone are the days when studios could just be studios—produce great content and tacitly rely upon third parties for distribution. And I would argue that, in the case of all successful companies in the space, the ‘tech’ comes before the ‘sex’ by a great margin. That was an awfully long preface to addressing your question. I am satisfied with the state of the industry. There are a number of reasons to be upbeat. The tech itself, be it virtual reality or teledildonics, is exciting. I can’t speak with much authority on the latter, but where virtual reality is concerned, Sex-Tech is leading much of the innovation. Sex-Tech is the only industry with a VR business model. Another reason to be optimistic: the media has really embraced Sex-Tech in a way that it never has in the past. It’s covered by mainstream presses in an unprecedented manner. This subject, previously taboo, is now part of the pop-cultural conversation. In addition, there’s the changes we’re seeing on the popular free porn sites. Those sites that forced the industry to rapidly grow up, or, taking a more pejorative tack, brought the industry to its knees, are doing a better job of working with studios than ever before. So, again, plenty of reason, to be optimistic.   

In your opinion, what kind of challenges does Sex-Tech face, inside and outside the industry?

The industry itself is made up of literally thousands of small companies around the world. Add to that the fact that so many of these companies are scratching and clawing to grow, to survive, it makes it difficult to build consensus, to bring everyone under one umbrella—for example, for the purpose of lobbying, and affecting legislative change. As well, as refreshing as it is that the mainstream media is fascinated by us, and talking about us, VCs and Silicon Valley tech companies continue being very hands off, pretending we don’t exist.   

Porn Film Festival in Berlin (with VR Porn panel and demos)

Had a memorable time in Berlin, serving on a panel titled: The Next Big Hype: Can Virtual Reality Save the Porn Industry?

The answer to the question was, of course, “No. Not now, but the porn industry is not dying.”

Virtual Reality Gear VR goggles gracing the head of Miriam Prado
Will VR Porn save the Porn Industry?

Michelle Flynn from LightSouthern.com,  Nina from Ersties.com and I were moderated by Torsten, the organizer of the festival. The conversation was lively and interesting. I was particularly impressed by the types of questions asked by the audience.

I actually got some fist pumps (from women) when the conversation diverged into a discussion related to Virtual Sexology, and the idea that a generation of adults now looks to porn for their sex education.

The fist pumps appeared when I stated the obvious: we are entertainers, not educators. We do not have accreditation from degree-bearing institutions.

New Article in Big Think (Virtual Sexology)

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.

Back from VR Porn Press Tour in New York City

I just returned from a business trip to midtown, where I was interviewed by a pair of journalists in my suite at Dreams Midtown. Place was a bit of a nightmare–at one point I got out of bed, put on a bathrobe, walked across the hall, and asked some loud neighbors to keep it down–but the interviews went great. The topic was VR, specifically Virtual Sexology, and both journalists seemed quite engaged by the content. I must say it was humorous and surreal. Not every day that journalists come up to your room to watch VR porn, and then discuss what they watched.

Zoe Doll with google cardboard loves virtual sexology
Virtual Sexology: Sex Therapy for the 21st Century

Award-winning VR Porn CEO on the Future of the Industry

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.

 

Daydream District Q&A about BaDoinkVR and VR Porn

Thanks for the great coverage, guys

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.

Continue reading Daydream District Q&A about BaDoinkVR and VR Porn

Future of VR Porn QA with an affiliate webmaster

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.

Continue reading Future of VR Porn QA with an affiliate webmaster