Porn and virtual reality: a changing industry

Apr 3, 2016
Sex Tech
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“The lack of eye contact makes [the performer] appear distant for a sexual encounter – but there is also something sexy about that,” says male porn performer Xander Corvus, “in the way a glory hole is sexy.”

Virtual reality is changing pornography. It’s changing the way we watch it, and the way it’s made.

Porn has always been a driver for technology. From Blu-Ray to VHS, Super 8 projectors to pay-per-view cable, porn has often been as a surefire way of taking new technology into the mainstream.

In 2016, pornography is at another one of those moments. Profits are dwindling thanks to readily available free content across the web. Larger production companies are scrambling for the next big thing, and many have grasped onto it in virtual reality.

With the launch of the Oculus Rift and the advent of affordable headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard and countless others, VR is readily available for the masses, while the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR will be in homes by the end of the year.

It’s pretty obvious, then, how we’ll be watching VR porn – but how is it changing the experience for the people involved in making it?

“I’m always bummed out when I look at my call sheet and I see [regular] point-of-view,” says Corvus. “I’m all for VR. If anything it’s relaxing, like a porno spa day for me. I much prefer virtual reality. Traditional POV shoots are annoying, because it’s even more of a tease and annoyance for me.

“I mean, I get to be more hands on, but I have to think about so much more, like not bumping the camera man who is breathing down my neck.”

The experience of performing within virtual reality can be entirely different to filming traditional 2D video, perhaps even distracting.

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