Tag Archives: Virtual Sexology

Sputnik News Explores Virtual Sexology

Once again, I’m late in acknowledging this press coverage, months late in fact.

Sputnik News posted this colorful article about virtual sexology in its Society section, positing that as virtual reality (VR) enhances audience engagement, porn is the first industry pushing the envelope.

Case in point: Virtual Sexology from BaDoinkVR, an exposure therapy solution that broadens the scope of erotic entertainment, promising to make people better, more attentive lovers.

Virtual Sexology star August Ames holding Kiiroo's Onyx approaches male performer
Virtual Sexology: Coming to a Bedroom Near You

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!

 

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!

Exposure Therapy & Gear VR

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.

August Ames wearing Gear VR
Virtual Sexology Exposure Therapy

Fear of intimacy? Immerse yourself in this program.
Premature ejaculation? Immerse yourself in this one.
Can’t reach orgasm? Try this.

Gear VR as a tool for self improvement is the subject of this article, written by Justin Diaz.

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.

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.

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.   

Geekwire Q&A About Virtual Reality Porn (unedited)

Could you briefly summarize the current state of porn in VR?

Virtual reality porn, at its best, illustrates the potential and promise of virtual reality better than any other medium. If you compare a good virtual reality porn video to any 2D porn video, the difference is so stark, so immediate, so undeniable, so visceral you can’t help but surrender to the possibility that this new tech is the next big mass communication medium. “VR is interesting, but everything seems like a demo.” One hears that sentiment a lot, and it’s not off the mark. Most VR programs hitting the market today are simply demos. With porn, that is not the case. VR porn videos are complete, entertainment products—with beginnings, middles, and ends. They don’t exist to demonstrate how interesting the tech is, they exist to entertain a mass audience through use of the tech.

Google Cardboard on Katie Morgan
Katie Morgan loves BaDoinkVR

Continue reading Geekwire Q&A About Virtual Reality Porn (unedited)

VRodo (Germany): Porn is the Killer VR App!

Alright. Well, that’s what I said anyway. This is a solid article, written byTomislav Bezmalinovic, and it is gratifying to get a headline. if only I understood German, as Google Translate certainly does it a disservice.

There is much talk in it about  innovations like Google Daydream, an anecdote from me about my first experience with Google Cardboard, how that inspired the development of BaDoinkVR. Bezmalinovic reveals a bit of the process of producing VR content, the associated challenges for producers, shooters and performers.

August Ames holding Gear VR VR headset
Perfect Pair: Virtual Sexology & VR Porn

Bezmalinovic also writes about our Virtual Sexology product, and its goal to make men and women, better, more attentive lovers.

 

New Article in Alternet-Virtual Sexology

One of the reasons I flew to New York last month was to meet up with @carrieweisman of Alternet. She visited my hotel, watched a Virtual Sexology demo and a normal scene that was shot from female POV. It was a great conversation, a provocative interview.

The result is this article.  Well written, it discusses the problem of sex education in the United States, the fact that it’s not present in our schools, and what those of us leveraging VR porn can do about it.

Porn Star August Ames on bed with Google Cardboard
August Ames poses with Google Cardboard