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Opinion

Virtual Reality sex tools are elevating how we wank off

By Camay Abraham

Nov 7, 2018

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Visual Cultures

Nov 7, 2018

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Should we be concerned human relationships may become obsolete? Will we end up having to charge our girlfriend or boyfriend in the future? Maybe. With sex-tech jargon such as teledildonics and sex hardware floating online, the industry of erotic virtual reality is a new frontier. VR assisted wanking may not be the cause of the end of the world as we know it, but it has garnered concern about the death of human intimacy. In spite of this ‘impending doom’, there are benefits to optimising our self-pleasure.

What’s fascinating is not really the products themselves, but the possibilities these products and technology can bring to our diddling time. As there is stigma bringing technology into the bedroom, this is an apt reminder that our perceptions of what’s taboo will eventually shift. Oral sex, homosexuality, and masturbation itself were all seen as depraved acts at one point in time. Eventually, the stigma of tech-assisted sex will fade too and become another avenue of sexploration. Erotic virtual reality can allow us to experience fetishes we’ve always wanted, explore fantasies beyond regular porn and discover what really makes us tick down there. With virtual reality penetrating how we get off, left to our own devices (pun intended), we can further curate our sexual inclinations.

VR wanking differs from AI assisted sex, which refers to sex chatbots or lifesize sex dolls with an artificially intelligent brain. Erotic virtual reality is a visual platform that can immerse you into different environments and situations without leaving your couch. Combining virtual reality with artificial intelligence (big data learning, facial, or voice recognition) can improve auto-stimulation by helping us pinpoint what’s going to make our eyes roll to the back of our heads. For some people, hitting the right buttons to climax may be more like playing a game of battleship than a precise science. Getting to know your erogenous zones with the aid of technical assistance could lead you to hit all the right buttons. Plus who wouldn’t want the cheat codes to guaranteed orgasms?

You can explore your kinks or indulge in repressed sexual inclinations privately. For instance, if you’re in the closet and aren’t ready to swipe on Grindr, you can try it out in the VR realm. Or if you have a private kink you’re not ready to tell your partner yet? Pop on an Oculus and buffer away. Pornhub has been one of the leaders in sex-tech innovations. Partnered up with Fleshlight, it released free interactive videos that sync up with any VR and wireless sex toys. This can either be seen as a foray into a new sexual platform or encouraging problematic sexual behaviour such as erasing empathy only learned through human relationships. As studies show masturbation already decreases depression and improves self-esteem, VR assisted wanking could further elevate your mental health. A wanking 2.0 with an emphasis on the “O”.

Beyond wanking off to your favourite porn stars, your fiddling sessions could be transported to fantastical erotic scenarios never dreamt possible. Want to be a massive griffin air-fucking a princess? Now you can. Want to fuck aquatic aliens in a 5th dimension galaxy? Done. FYI, I’m totally thinking the Mul people from Valerian and the City of a thousand planets movie. So hot. The artistic possibilities that can be integrated with virtual reality can heighten the immersive experience and unite art and sex in a way that’s never been executed before.

For instance, the Museum of Sex in New York City has created Celestial Bodies, an immersive VR experience where you can not only visualise sexual fantasies—you can feel them. Users are allowed to walk freely within the augmented space outfitted with a VR headset and Optitrak motion sensors. What makes this so titillating is it allows you to go beyond point-of-view porn and enter an imaginative sexual fantasy that activates all the senses.

According to Dr. Ian Kerner, a PhD sexologist and sex author, tech assisted wank sessions could have a negative impact on your real life relationships and your imagination. Without using your imagination to retrieve erotic images, it could cause serious damage to how you navigate human intimacy. Kerner argues that when that sexual connection is severed, the lack of imagination or in some cases over-imagination can alter what turns you on. Further disconnecting you from partnered sex.

I’d disagree with Kerner here. It’s all about your perspective. Although those are possible scenarios, the positives of tech-assisted wanking are also valid. You can experience an array of unique sexual scenarios and explore your fetishes and kinks without having to engage with someone else. Like a kinky beta testing. As for the severed human connection, many believe VR masturbation can diminish empathy. Contrarily there are studies that show virtual reality is a successful aid in increasing empathy involving different races or genders. So there is a possibility VR can increase empathy in this sector too.

Some may say that this new platform of wanking 2.0 is a gateway to further deteriorating the notion of human intimacy. I say this could be a positive direction to healthier sex habits, getting to know your body better and exploring your imagination. We all need some future sex optimism in our lives. Just make sure you have a good wifi connection.

Virtual Reality sex tools are elevating how we wank off


By Camay Abraham

Nov 7, 2018

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An innovative female sex toy was banned from CES, what does this mean?

By Shira Jeczmien

Jan 17, 2019

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Last week, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the international trade show for consumer tech and innovation made headlines not only for the futuristic gadgets it showcased but for possibly facing allegations of gender-bias after it had banned a female sex toy from exhibiting in the show, even though the toy in question had won an ‘honouree’ award for its breakthrough design and innovation.

The smoothly curved grey Osé “is the only product designed for hands-free blended orgasms.” Describes the female-led company Lora Dicarlo, founded by Lora Haddock in 2017 with the mission of launching new physiologically appropriate women’s health and wellness products. In the product description, Lora Dicarlo boasts the intricate engineering work behind the toy, which uses what it refers to as advanced micro-robotics that “mimics all of the sensations of a human mouth, tongue, and fingers, for an experience that feels just like a real partner.”

A month after the announcement of Osé’s award in the Robotics and Drone category it was withdrawn by the CES’ organiser, the Consumer Technology Associates (CTA), claiming that it was selected by mistake, adding that the device was ‘immoral’, ‘obscene’ and simply does not fit within the specific category or, in fact, in any other categories of the trade show. In response, Haddock published an open letter on Lora Dicarlo’s website where she writes that “Two robotic vacuum cleaners, one robotic skateboard, four children’s toys, one shopping companion robot – looks like all of women’s interests are covered, right?”

Now it’s crucial to note that what the CTA regards as immoral and obscene isn’t at all sex-oriented tech, but female-oriented sex tech. Just last year, CES made headlines when it showcased Abyss Creations’ debut of its second RealDoll AI-sex doll called Harmony. Equipped with a shimmering blonde wig, soft pale skin, makeup and of course, a revealing cleavage of her perfectly perky breasts, Harmony is but a modular robotic head that can be fitted on a variety of robotic bodies, all customisable to the male consumers’ desire.

Two years ago, in CES 2016, VR porn company BaDoink teamed up with Kiiroo, who is “one of the leading pioneers in teledildonics” according to a press release, to create an immersive porn experience where users can ‘feel’ what they see. The experience, in fact, took up an entire room in the show and reportedly had been visited more than 1,000 times in its first day of opening. On show, as expected, was the usual male-oriented porn. Finally, in this year’s CES, the show had arranged for an unofficial shuttle bus to take people from the conference site to a legal brothel for a sex-video experience controlled by an Amazon Echo speaker.

Needless to say, the Osé was in no way out of place for its sexually-oriented technology. No. The Osé was simply out of place for the gender it caters to. On the one hand, we are witnessing a rise in sex-oriented technology and particularly a growth in fem-sex tech that tries to empower women through both sex education and pleasure. Yet on the other hand, when a tech fair such as CES fails to include and support products like Osé, it feels like that even in the forward-looking world of tech (or at least what is considered as such), there are still frictions that led to huge steps back in the quest for equality and female empowerment. We should only hope that it was the decision of a rather frustrated man sitting in the CTA boardroom which led to this otherwise unacceptable exclusion.

An innovative female sex toy was banned from CES, what does this mean?


By Shira Jeczmien

Jan 17, 2019

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