Virtual reality porn is here, and it’s only going to get bigger. There’s an unbelievable amount of money being invested in improving the technology behind VR porn. But it’s not only going to affect how we watch and engage with porn, it’s also going to have a big impact on how we have sex in the real world. Here’s what you need to know about VR porn, and the potential ways it will impact human sex.
What Is VR Porn?
Virtual reality porn is filmed to make you feel like you’re actually in the scene with the porn actors and actresses. Unlike the passive experience of watching 2-D porn, VR porn is designed to be an immersive 360-degree experience. Using special cameras and equipment, VR porn is filmed to make it feel like your head is attached to an actor or actresses’ body. You can look out into the room or down to your VR body, and other characters in the scene approach you and do things to you. So, while you’re not watching a dirty scene unfold in front of you while you stand in the corner of a room, you’re also not making many movements yourself.
How Does It Work?
As of now, the VR porn setup is quite complicated. It requires the usage of a special VR headset, like the pricey Oculus Rift or the budget Google Cardboard. You also have to find specially filmed VR videos, which aren’t very plentiful at the moment. The videos tend to cater almost exclusively to heterosexual men, and typically showcase more vanilla or mainstream sex acts. There are even fewer free VR videos, so you’ll often need to pay for your experience. Many videos require you to download instead of stream them, so you’ll need a lot of space on your computer (and more diligence if you need to remove any evidence from said computer). You may also need to use specialty programs to help you fully venture into the VR world. Some setups can be paired with sex toys, so you can have intercourse or oral sex simulated by a sex toy. There are even add-ons that can release scents into the air, making the experience feel even more immersive.
I’ve read a lot of first-person descriptions of watching VR porn, and the general consensus has been that using it was clunkier and less enjoyable than they would have thought. There are the common complaints that any new technology would be subject to, like the fact that almost all VR porn is filmed to be 180 degrees instead of the typical 360 degrees of other VR video. There can also be glitches in the videos, which can ruin the immersive feeling. Your VR avatar has to stay mostly still in the video, so you’re basically just watching one person do all of the work. Although some moments can feel wildly realistic (more on this below), many consumers said the illusion is quickly ruined once the characters actually start having sex. Plus, trying to masturbate while watching a video often feels like it kills the illusion as well. You simultaneously feel like you’re really there and really not there.
Several authors spoke about an increased paranoia about being caught masturbating with VR porn, since it’s easier to get caught off-guard when you’re lost in your headset, and not as easy to get rid of the evidence if someone walks in on you (no slamming your laptop shut or quickly closing the tab). Feeling more anxious during masturbation could translate to feeling more anxiety during sex itself.
There’s also the possibility that VR porn can create more performance issues. As a sex therapist, I have been concerned about the effect that watching 2-D porn can have on both men and women alike. Porn is designed to be entertainment, and it’s meant to pull your attention away from yourself and onto the screen. But paying attention to your own body is crucial for being able to control your erection and your orgasm, and even to simply enjoy sex itself. If VR porn makes you feel even more detached from your own body than traditional porn, there could be some serious concerns.
VR porn also brings up fascinating moral issues. In particular, does watching VR porn count as cheating? If the setup is designed to make you feel like you’re being seduced and a porn star is doing things to you, and you’re meant to feel like you’re actually having sex with someone else, does that make it more intimate than passively watching two random actors get it on with each other?
On the flipside, there are some exciting potential positive effects of VR porn. Some companies are talking about using VR for sexual education. Programs could be created to help men and women build sexual skills in less intimidating environments. Some videos already guide users through relaxing breath exercises and Kegel exercises, or focus on reminding men to spend more time on foreplay.
As the technology gets more advanced and interactive, there could also be the potential to create live role-playing scenarios where you practice divulging your STI status, asking for consent, or making sexual requests. Or you could even practice skills like performing manual stimulation or oral sex, or trying different sex positions.
But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of VR porn comes from what many are calling the empathy effect. While users of VR porn have complained that the experience can feel clunky and not as pleasurable as they had anticipated, many have also been surprised to realize that they were most turned on by subtle moments of connection. In particular, a lot of users were thrilled by how intimate it felt to make eye contact with the characters in the films. Another favorite was when the actor or actress came in close to the user’s face, or whispered in their ears. Many users have said they felt more connected to the people on the screens in front of them, and they felt more aroused by those little moments of connection than by the sex itself.
Whereas traditional porn has gotten more and more extreme, the thrill of VR porn seems to be in the subtle moments. In that way, VR porn may ironically help people get more excited about real-world intimacy.
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For outdoor wilderness enthusiasts, balmy summer weather is a reason to celebrate. My friends and I love soaking up the summer sun out on the lake or river. We try to take full advantage of gorgeous summer days by playing outside as much as possible — and what better a way to appreciate nature than taking a camping trip or enjoying a bonfire. One thing I have found surprising is that many of my most capable, bad-ass, granola friends don’t know how to build a proper campfire. I’m not sure why, but it’s a basic wilderness skill that virtually anyone…
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Playing video games for a living sounds like a childhood fantasy, but these days, it’s becoming more and more of a reality.
From Twitch streams that garner millions of viewers, to pro competitions like League of Legends, Counterstrike, and World of Warcraft, there seems to be no limit to how big eSports can grow to be. That’s part of the reason the NBA decided to put together the NBA 2K League, the first eSports league run by a United States pro sports league.
Although the players in the NBA 2K League don’t actually set foot on the basketball court when they compete, the difference between pro gamers and “real” athletes isn’t as big as you might think. Gamers deal with a season-long schedule, train at NBA facilities, watch game film, and prep for opponents every week the same way NBA players do.
“We take the game seriously, and we prepare week in and week out just like pro athletes do,” said Shaka Brown (“Yeah I Compete“), who was taken with the third pick in the first round of the NBA 2K League draft by the Utah Jazz 2K team. “Everyone who made it into the league had to give it their all just to qualify for the draft, putting in long hours and giving up jobs and stuff like that. We’re ready to help the league grow into something bigger.”
The league has 17 teams run by different NBA franchises, and the first season includes 12 weekly team matchups and three tournaments. The 2K League is heading into Week 7 of the schedule, and by the end of the regular season, eight total teams will make the playoffs—the top seven regular season teams and the winner of the third tournament. The inaugural season has been quite an experience for many of the 2K players so far.
“I know it sounds cliché, but it’s been an unreal ride, a rollercoaster of emotions since being drafted,” said Alexander Bernstein (“Steez”) of the 76ers Gaming Club. “I come from a college football background, so being competitive has always been a big thing for me. Everyone here is passionate and comes here to compete. The games can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting, but we all love what we get to do here.”
Muscle & Fitness spoke with Bernstein about his start in gaming, what it’s like to play in the NBA 2K League, how the 76ers Gaming Club practices, and why pro gamers are more like athletes than people think.
How long have you been gaming competitively, and how did you first get into playing NBA 2K?
I’ve always had to have a competitive activity going on, whether it was baseball or football. So once my football career was done when I finished with college, and I was working as a financial advisor, the competitive scene for me kind of faded away. But I still lived for that competitiveness, so I needed to find a way to do that. It wasn’t through football anymore, so I got into 2K. Crazy enough, I only started 2K last year, so I’m a one year wonder I guess [laughs]. I saw so much potential in the game, and I had some much fun with it and with the competitive angle of it. So when I heard the league was starting, I decided to go for this whole hearted, and if it worked out great, and if not, at least I could say I gave it my all. It worked out well.
What’s a practice session like for you and your teammates?
Like traditional sports, we like to get an early start to the day when we practice. We get up around 8 a.m., we do maybe a 45-minute to an hour workout in the gym, something that gets you started right during the day. Then we’ll head over to the actual 76ers facility, where we have the training center with computers and games, and we’ll try and get some matchups against other teams in the league. We’ll organize scrimmages with some of them. Playing the computer is beneficial in many ways, we can build chemistry ourselves, but there’s nothing like playing another team in the league, so we try and round up as many teams as we can. We’ll do that for about three or four hours. Some days, usually Tuesday and Thursday, are film days for us, we’ll look at our weekly matchup and look at how the team did against their last opponent, and we’ll break down the film of the games just like the traditional athletes do.
What’s it been like moving from California to Philadelphia?
I’ve been in California my whole life, and my college time was in South Dakota. So, I’ve been West Coast and Midwest, and when I first started doing the 2K League, I was hoping to experience something new if I got drafted. When I was drafted by Philly, I was really excited to head to the East Coast. I’ve visited a couple times when I was younger, so I knew it was a great place. It wasn’t exactly a culture shock for me, but it was different in a good way, getting away from California for a while. Yeah, it might be a little colder, but the Sixers are great, the community has been great, and I feel at home here so far.
What’s something that people who aren’t that into gaming might find cool or interesting about the league?
A question we always get from people is: “Why would people want to watch other people play video games?” That’s always one of the top questions, and my answer is that we’re really passionate about what we do. We like to bring energy—there are times when you have to be serious and locked in, but it also can be fun. It also can be relatable for people, because unlike some of the other shooter games or fantasy games, our game is a traditional sport that a lot of people recognize and know.
For basketball fans, the 2K League is something they can get into after the season ends. It brings a different look and energy, and it’s something different to watch. We try and show our personal sides on Twitter and Instagram, and we like to interact with the fans and show what we do here. It’s more than just video games for us. We’re very passionate and we take it seriously, but we also have a lot of fun with it. The emotions in a game are incredible, and when you’re done, you’re just mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. But every time a game is over, I’m ready to get back out there and play again. I don’t feel nervous or comprehend the pressure—it’s one of the best feelings in the world, and I’m so lucky to be in this position.
What’s the day-to-day like when you’re all in New York City competing in the 2K League studio?
Those are fun days, and usually we’re all staying in the same hotel as the other teams. Sometimes there’s some trash talk here and there, but it’s all in good fun. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re all one big family in a sense, but it’s fun to do that when we’re heading to a tournament to the studio. Then when you get there we lock in and compete. The feeling up on that stage is so amazing. Everything disappears when you’re up there, and you’re just focused in and trying to get a win together with your team. The atmosphere at the studio is unbelievable.
You guys train at the Sixers’ NBA facility and have access to a lot of great stuff there. What’s the whole experience been like for you being in the league?
It’s been unreal, it literally is a roller coaster of emotions. I actually was speaking with my mom recently, and I was saying, “Did you ever think I would be at this point?” And she said, “I stood by you through it all because I saw how serious you were about this.” It was so stressful at that time trying to get into the league because of the unknown and you didn’t know what was going to happen or if you’d make it. But now looking back, it’s unbelievable. I get to wake up and do something that I love, something that I’m so passionate about. The people in the 2K League and the Sixers organization have been amazing, and I’m blessed to be a part of all of it.
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The commonly-used OTC drug is dished out for anything from suppressing coughs to relieving pain. But could you be ho
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It may be winter, but don’t go into hibernation. There are some epic trail runs and MTB races coming up that you need to know about.
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Without further (avoca)ado, these low-sugar fruits will allow you to get your sugar fix minus the dreaded energy crash.
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No amount of socks, jackets or beanies have helped me get through a winter workout in the cold darkness of early morning. But this has…
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I’m the girl who basically gets a UTI every time she has sex. So I’ve tried it all. Except buchu. Obviously, I had to see if it would work for me…
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Earlier in the challenge, I asked people to pose like Grok for a chance to win a pretty epic prize. The rules were simple, but the ingenuity and thought put into every submission were far from it. So after much posing, primping, and staging, we chose two finalists that channel the spirit of Grok himself!
Picking a short list of favorites was challenging, so the Worker Bees and I threw our favorites into a pot and chose the first two.
What do you think, folks? Who hits the most accurate pose? The most intense? Pick your favorite and vote in the poll below.
Voting will close and a winner will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, June 28, at 9:00 a.m. PDT.
And a big thanks to everyone who sent in a picture!
Stay tuned. I’ll be publishing the winner of the poll and the grand prize winner tomorrow. In the meantime, choose the winner among our top two finalists, and Grok on!
Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.
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