Lust At First Sight: How VR, AR, and MR Could Be Sex’s Next Big Thing
From mixing the real with the unreal to immersive digital worlds, erotic entertainment will never be the same
According to a recent Forbes article, when it comes to Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) technological breakthroughs, the best is yet to come—and far sooner than you might think.
Though not frequently mentioned by the media, without a doubt after they're commercially available, someone, somewhere, will use VR/AR/MR to turn people on like never before.
Should VR, AR, and MR take human sexuality to the next level, the differences between our digital and analog worlds could become practically indistinguishable from each other.
VR, AR, MR—what are they?
In case you need a refresher course and to help set the stage for what's to come, let's go over some basics.
Starting with Virtual Reality (VR), which visually replaces the actual, real world with a wholly synthetic one.
Meanwhile, Augmented Reality (AR) superimposes digital information over the wearer's vision. Imagine looking at your living room and seeing a computer construct, sexual or otherwise, for you to interact with.
MR (Mixed Reality) takes AR further by enabling your virtual playmate to interact with your immediate environment, so you'll be able to actually touch or be touched instead of only seeing and being seen by your digital companion.
AI's helping hand
At the top of Forbes list is Generative AI, referring to the use of machine learning systems to make creating fully immersive virtual worlds easier than ever before—specifically by generating immersive environments as needed, in real-time.
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Imagine asking to visit 1920s Germany, a time and place when sexual exploration, glorious decadence, and adult entertainment were at their peak.
Instead of having to program every brick, building, lamp post, and all the people, a specifically designed artificial intelligence would do it for you. As the Master Of Ceremonies (played by Joel Grey) said in Cabaret that unlike the actual Germany of that time, it would instead be a place where “In here, life is beautiful.”
Everything and a bag of chips
As I teased a few paragraphs back, another big VR, AR, and MR breakthrough is providing you with a hyper-realistic sense of touch, taste, hearing, smell, and sight.
We're already witnessing huge steps in that direction, many of which we've already covered. Though currently more clunky than not, at the speed this technology is progressing, we should soon be able to don our VR, AR, or MR headsets, slide into a haptic bodysuit or jumping ahead a few years, plug our minds in directly and either leave the world behind for a sexually fantastic new one or sexually interact with a bevy of virtual playmates.
Sex is where it's at
Surprisingly, Forbes did what very few news outlets have dared, mentioning how human sexuality, specifically our various needs and desires, will be a major driving force when it comes to VR, ART, or MR technology:
It's well documented that pornography and cybersex were among the prominent drivers of the adoption and commercialization of the internet. So, it would be naïve to think they will be less popular in a more immersive, experiential internet. After all, the immersive internet will be built on the principle of allowing more intimate interactions. VR porn has been available for years, but immersive online spaces also have the potential to enable couples who are separated by distance or people with disabilities that limit their activities in the physical world to experiment and develop sexual relationships.
A breath of fresh air, right? Particularly as the author, Bernard Marr went out of their way to mention how immersive tech might benefit differently-abled people or allow those in long-distance relationships to join in the fun.
Sexbots, now and forever
One thing Marr didn't address is what happens when one technology merges with another.
Take the rise of sexbots and artificial companions; despite their equally impressive innovations, they face an unassailable problem.
As in how, in their pursuit of increasingly realistic faces, sexdoll developers might encounter the “uncanny valley” phenomena: a more lifelike virtual face may become repulsive to customers, rather than attractive.
How to solve this? One way might be to combine AR or MR with intentionally faceless artificial companions. The reason? So, wearing your AR/MR goggles, or in the future, contact lenses, your sexbot could look as realistic as you like.
Seeing tomorrow's sexuality today
Much of how we relate to the world around us through our eyes, which is why I feel VR, AR, and MR hold the greatest promise when it comes to enhancing human sexuality.
When they arrive, and they most definitely will, these and other immersive technologies would mean everyone could be anyone they want or need to be—and, in doing so, explore our desires like in entirely novel ways, including using our new full-sensory systems to process, heal, and cope from gender or sexual trauma.
One of my favorite potentially positive aspects of immersive tech is how anyone can be someone else. Recreationally enjoyable, sure, though how about a world where you can experience life as another sex, gender, ethnicity, age, body type, as a differently abled person, or a million other possibilities with the flick of a switch?
It may take a while, but eventually, VR, AR, or MR systems might play a crucial role in reducing or perhaps even eliminating sexual ignorance, prejudice, bigotry, and hate—while showing all of us an extremely good time.
Image sources: Depositphotos