Is the future of porn in Oculus Rift?

Porn is about to get up close and personal—a whole lot more up close and personal, thanks to Oculus Rift. The virtual reality social network Utherverse is developing the technology for an all-immersive Oculus Rift experience, which would theoretically allow users to navigate pornographic virtual worlds beyond their wildest imaginations. So if you’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to receive oral sex from your favorite porn star, or get to second base with a busty blue sex alien, pretty soon you’ll have your chance to find out.

According to Utherverse CEO Brian Shuster, who was recently interviewed by writer Aurora Snow for a piece on virtual reality porn in the Daily Beast, Utherverse plans to sandwich together two different technologies to create this ultra-immersive VR experience—Oculus Rift and Leap Motion, which allows you to navigate the menu options in your virtual reality world without using a keyboard or a mouse, creating a totally hands-free virtual porn experience. (Bye-bye, shamefully sticky mousepads!)

While the idea of Oculus Rift porn will probably fill your head with images of grainy, poorly rendered cartoon women unenthusiastically massaging their genitals, Shuster insists that the content he’s developing for Oculus Rift is “almost indistinguishable” from your standard 1080p porno video. “The resolution is basically identical,” he says. “It’s anatomically correct and with the motions you have the really subtle movements of the inner labia and clitoris.” He claims you can even determine how stimulated your virtual reality paramour is by whether or not she shows signs of “wetness.”  

Although Utherverse’s technology sounds advanced, Shuster is not the first person to come up with the basic concept for all-immersive virtual reality porn. The distribution company SugarDVD debuted a demo for its own XXX Oculus Rift content last summer, as we reported back in May, and adult developers MiKandi shot their own immersive virtual content when they produced the world’s first-ever Google Glass porn back in 2013. (On the creepier end of the spectrum, there’s also this Oculus Rift game from Japan that lets you look up teenage girls’ skirts.)

But unlike Google app developers, who are forced to adhere to the company’s stringent policy barring adult content (indeed, Google removed MiKandi’s Tits and Glass app from the Google Glass app store), developers for Oculus Rift aren’t limited by such restrictions. Rebecca Bolen, the director of marketing for SugarDVD, told the Daily Dot earlier this year that the Facebook-owned company doesn’t appear to have a problem with naughty content on their platform—or at least, they’re not making a concentrated effort to do away with it.

“We’re on XBox, Playstation, and Nintendo. All of those companies say they don’t want hardcore porn, but obviously we’re still on there,” she said. “They don’t want porn associated with their public brand, but they’re more than happy to take money from us.”

Even if censorship from mainstream tech companies isn’t going to pose any obstacles for developers, a few lingering questions remain: How high-quality is this technology exactly, and when is it going to become widespread? Given my own, albeit limited, experience with Oculus Rift, I’m not totally confident in Shuster’s assertions that Oculus Rift porn is “virtually indistinguishable” from regular porn: When I tried a location sim, I found the picture grainy and the headset obtrusive, and my overall impression was that the technology just wasn’t there yet to create a fully immersive VR experience. Further, if Oculus Rift porn is going to become a thing, Oculus Rift itself needs to be more accessible and less expensive: Snow says the device costs anywhere between $200 and $400, and because it’s not yet available on the general market, pretty much only diehard techies and gamers have developer kits in their homes.

Still, the porn industry has always been considered at the forefront of technological advancement, and with the advent of webcamming, custom clips, and social media networks for performers and fans, it’s never been easier for performers to interact with their fans; if nothing else, Oculus Rift porn would be the ultimate manifestation of that trend. It’ll be a while before you can squeeze the girl from Avatar’s boobs, though: The consumer version of Oculus Rift likely won’t be out till 2015.

H/T Daily Beast | Photo by Sergey Galyonkin/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.