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.
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.
I came across this post in Variety today. It’s disconcerting; I’m saddened to hear it. I met these guys–sharp, amicable fellows–more than a year ago at VRLA, and was impressed by their platform. More recently, this past August, our affiliate manager reached out to them, and we sat down and had a Skype call about the viability of promoting our VR porn site BaDoinkVR.
I explained plainly: “I understand your hesitance (and I do). However, we can come up with a solution that will not risk tarnishing your brand, and it will provide you with some much-needed cash.”
Though reticent, they expressed interest, and said they would get back in touch with us. It was a productive conversation. I was actually optimistic, but nothing came of it. And now they’re gone.
As I said, I get it, but it is vexing to know–and I acknowledge there were likely nuances I’m not privy to, and I’m also being reductive–that facing an existential crisis, companies would rather die than consider aligning themselves with a perfectly legal, above-board, well-respected company in the adult entertainment space.
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.
Typically, when I’m offered the opportunity to take part in a panel discussion, or give a speech, I’m eager to point out why porn is the torchbearer for virtual reality. These are those reasons.
1. Barrier to Entry: Barrier to to entry for adult entertainment in the VR space is comparatively low—even though the cost of producing a VR porn video is indeed double that of a non-VR porn video. Tech analysts bemoan the fact that VR companies are asking an awful lot of the consumer: pay an exorbitant amount for a nascent technology, where content for said technology is anemic, and amounts to little more than novel demos. In porn, we are not offering demos; we are offering complete scenes with a complete narrative structure—simple though it is—which includes a beginning, middle and end.
In a general sense, and speaking specifically to the US audience, where sex ed is non-existent, the realization was always there. Where it is taught in the schools, it’s not taught with much rigor. And at home, it’s one of the most uncomfortable subjects for parents to cover with their kids. Simultaneously, you realize—and there’s no shortage of punditry on the subject—that too many adults are getting their sexual ‘education’ by watching porn. That’s a problem, of course. Pornography is not educational, and pornographers are not educators. It is entertainment, and we are entertainers. That said, the idea of using VR to help adults improve their sex lives came to me well over a year ago. I was attending a VR/AR MeetUp here in Barcelona. Among the startups in attendance was a company offering an exposure therapy program for sufferers of acrophobia. You donned a pair of VR goggles and were instantly transported to a freight elevator, outside a skyscraper a mile high. The experience was convincingly real. So, that got me thinking about what we could do. There are no shortage of sexual hang-ups out there. We thought, with the right guidance—we hired a proper sex therapist to help with the script and direction—we could produce a program to help people become better, more attentive lovers.
Published in The Guardian August 1, 2016, this article penned by Olivia Solon discusses BaDoinkVR’s efforts to throw its hat in the sex therapy ring. And while it’s disappointing to see the program described as ‘for men,’ one can’t argue that point too much. It is from the male POV, and while things like Kegel exercises and breathing techniques, target both sexes, it’s hard to argue that this program is equally ‘for women.’ The subject matter is handled evenly, and it’s a good read. August Ames is quoted; Hernando Chaves as well. And there are some nice points made about why VR sex therapy is going to trump non-VR sex therapy. With VR, you can achieve exposure therapy. 2D not so much.
This panel took place July 11, 2016 at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, London. Rebecca Newman facilitated the discussion, and Stephanie and Nichi and myself discussed our backgrounds and opinions on a wide range of subjects related to sex and sexuality, even the rise of robot sex slaves.
I, of course, mainly focused on virtual reality porn, and where we are today with its evolution. As always, I stressed how nascent the tech is, in spite of how amazing the experience of VR Porn is already. I also spoke about or virtual sexology product, and hope that it would help people become better lovers.
Before we dive into an explanation of Virtual Reality Porn, let’s discuss the more general topic of Virtual Reality.
First, The Bad News: Virtual Reality is difficult to explain. It is simply hard to put into words. Think of your favorite food. For the sake of this discussion, let’s say it’s pizza. How would you describe pizza to someone who’s never had it before? Never tasted piping hot mozzarella sprawled across a layer of tangy tomato sauce baked into a bed of wood-fired dough. No matter how accurate the description, no matter how deliciously you explain it, conveying the taste of pizza, the joy of eating pizza is a challenge. To get the full effect, pizza must be experienced: it must be smelled, tasted, savored.
Published in UploadVR May 9, 2016, the focus of this article is primarily on Velvet Reality, a very impressive platform that works with Gear VR. BaDoinkVR content is inside it. Unfortunately, the challenge Velvet faces is the same as everyone’s in the VR space: Must Get Traffic. Must Get Traffic. Getting VR traffic, or VR porn traffic, it’s a bit like mining for gold. It takes sweat, perseverance, luck, and lots of pick axes.
When was the idea to make “Virtual Reality Porns” created and who created this idea?
While we have been marketing adult content online since 2002, we are first and foremost, a tech company. Always have been. Whenever new tech hardware hits the consumer market, we buy it. So we naturally ordered a pair of Google Cardboard. This was the beginning of 2015. We unwrapped the package, assembled the Cardboard, slipped the Smartphone inside, loaded up a stereoscopic 3D Virtual Reality video, and we were blown away. We immediately saw the potential. The difference between 2D and 3D VR was so profound. We knew that once the consumer experienced it, there was no going back. So we thought, let’s look into making an adult-oriented virtual reality product. It really, all started with a $10-pair of Google Cardboard.