Expanding Your Virtual Sexual Horizon

Last month we discussed Intimacy and Exploration in Virtual Reality and how VR tech can shape our understanding of intimacy and the changing social norms surrounding dating, Sexual preference, relationships, and physical pleasure. Now we continue exploring where VR tech will take human sexuality in the near future.

Immersing yourself in a world of exciting sexual prospects and a vibrant adult culture can result in some of the most memorable times of your life. When saddled with conflicted sexuality or a social circle that doesn’t understand or accept your true desires, Virtual Reality can provide an outlet for exploration and fulfillment. If a user has harbored a same-sex attraction but never found an opportunity to do something about it, VR presents the perfect way to try something new without risk. There’s no chance of being accidentally outed nor any possibility of real-world conflicts with existing relationships or careers. There’s also mercifully no chance of the abuse and discrimination that can keep people in trapped the closet for decades.

Your Eyes: A VR Camera

Evolving technology plays a major role in realizing those desires, of course, but recent advancements point to the impending arrival of a much more fluidly immersive and interactive VR experience then what consumers have known thus far. At the recent Oculus Connect 6 (OC6) conference in San Diego, California, the Facebook-owned VR giant unveiled a varifocal lens system that allows for seamless focal transitions from standard to macro depths.

Varifocal lens system from Facebook Labs

Making more realistic such mundane tasks as removing a book from a shelf to open a page and begin reading, varifocal systems have the potential to remove visual obstacles to a virtual personal interaction of a much higher quality. Shifting your gaze from one area of the body to another – or from one virtual partner to another – shouldn’t bring blurring or distortion, let alone a clear cut. The impact of such visual hurdles shouldn’t be underestimated. As any cinema theorist or film editor will tell you, a cut (the interruption of a shot) creates a psychological barrier to realism, empathy, and connection.

Something to Do With Your Hands

Hand tracking, another major revelation of OC6, aims to allow the operation of VR systems and environments without the use of a physical controller. Head-mounted sensors read the user’s hands and register them as controllers, allowing the user to pinch, drag, point and tap for general navigation while feeling a far greater physical immersion in their experience. Just as this tech will benefit the creators of the next generation of virtual cinema entertainment, VR users seeking an intimate personal experience of seamless realism will be inching closer to finding it. Couple the increased usefulness of our own hands on input devices with advances in “smart skin” technologies and the possibilities for truly tangible physical intimacy seem to be exploding with every passing month.

Image: LeapMotion hand tracking.

Some of the major developments in VR may be coming from fiercely SFW entities refusing to directly cooperate with adult industries, but the tech being developed will continue to bleed into other areas. For users seeking to explore their sexuality or find comfort in a safe, private, and affordable means of trying something new, there’s no more exciting field of development than Virtual Reality.

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