March 14, 2010

The Future of Virtual Sex

(Reprinted from

Back in the 90’s, “Demolition Man” was released, starring Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock. One of the most memorable scenes is when the two stars engage in “sex” using movie visors and body sensors. But is this scenario realistic? Can technology really replace or imitate sexual sensations?

Long gone will be the days of shyly talking dirty via Instant Messenger or even engaging in webcam peek-a-boo. While these methods of gratification may continue to hold a place in our hearts (and pants), the virtual sex industry is looking toward the future for new and different ways of stimulating its customers.

Sexy Video Games?
One avenue will be through video games. While there have been implied sexuality in video games, it has rarely been explicit. However, gamers are wanting more - more violence, more action, more control, and yes, more sex. Recently, it was discovered that a hidden “scene” in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas allowed the main character to enter a house and engage in explicit coitus. But will consumers be content to merely watch such a scene? With such physically interactive consoles becoming exponentially more popular, how long will it be until a sexed up version of Wii Fit is released?

While video games have not yet reached this point, the Internet certainly has…and how! Some games innocently poke at the notion of sex like The Sims, while others base character development off of it. Red Light Social Center, for example, is an Internet-based social network, which allows its VIP members to engage in cyber sex with other avatars. The popular game, Second Life, even has a thriving prostitution industry (using real money, no less).

A Virtual Sex Machine
The most interesting developments in the area of virtual sex will combine the Internet and technology in a movement called teledildonics. The invention making waves is the Virtual Sex Machine. After affixing the machine (which resembles the infamous enlargement pumps of the past) to his penis and turning on a specially designed DVD, a user can experience the sensations which mimic the porn star’s actions. For example, onscreen fellatio will trigger different settings within the machine, causing the user to feel as though he is the recipient.

One potential off-shoot of the VSM will enable a person (possibly one who is performing sexual acts on webcam) to control the machine—and thus, the sensations—of another person. Similarly, such sites as are releasing vibrators which are connected to a computer, and which allow another person to control the action from a different room or even a different country.

The sex industry is anything if not resourceful. They can take a current technology and tweak it ever so slightly, in order to create a new product or service. For example, the iBuzz is an iPod with a vibrator attached to it. When the volume is increased, the vibrations increase. They speed up for fast songs, slow down for the calmer ones, beating in time to the music.

Yet for all these new inventions and ideas, will virtual sex ever completely eradicate the need for real, person-to-person contact? Or will vibrators, webcams, and avatars always be second-best? I should hope so.

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