Researchers discover 'virtual reality porn' can improve couple's real life sex

Researchers discover ‘virtual reality porn‘ can improve couple’s real life sex.

But they are warning about the dangers of ‘virtual reality porn’….where some users think sex via a head set is ‘better than the real thing’.

The latest technology allows gamers to become an active part of ‘new’ experiences through sex games on screen.

A research team from Newcastle University found the growing popularity of VR technologies opening up a whole new market in pornography.

Dr Madeline Balaam, co-author of the research, used 45 volunteers, 14 men, 18 women and three described as ‘other’, to find out how VR porn could be used.

A view of a short erotic film through a virtual reality headset

A view of a short erotic film through a virtual reality headset (Photo: Getty Images)

She said: “I think it is a more first person rather than a third person experience. The sensory experience through this technology means you think you are playing a role in it, rather than watching it.

“I think people were writing these accounts, to attune technology to create their fictional desires, so the character looks exactly what you want them to look like and does exactly what you want them to do. It is the ultimate for users in that sense.”

She added: “Some wrote stories about being caught using VR in their own lives. But instead of getting angry, their partner agreed to explore sexual fantasies played out on screen.

“Then they had an amazing sex life together. So this technology could also be used to improve your sex life.”

A porn user who watching explicit footage regularly

Some couples wrote stories together after watching the pron (Photo: Getty)

Dangers include more violent fantasies, however, and using photos of a partner – or even a stranger – to create characters involved in VR sex on screen.

By the 19 th century, pornography was in books and art, before postcards introduced it to the masses.

Now, with 3D cameras, photos of real people may be used for on line sex games, rather than avatars, including nude photos of partners past or present, which is one of the risks posed by the use of new media.

Dr Balaam added: “We are already obsessed with body image and the digital industry is no different, creating the perfect virtual woman from Lara Croft to sex-robots. VR porn has the potential to escalate this.

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“Our research highlighted not only a drive for perfection, but also a crossover between reality and fantasy. Some of our findings highlighted the potential for creating 3D models of real life people, raising questions over what consent means in VR experiences.

“If a user created a VR version of their real life girlfriend, for example, would they do things to her that they knew she would refuse in the real world?”

Researcher Matthew Wood told how VR offers the opportunity to move from being ‘simply an observer to being a participant’ for the first time.

“This changes the experience massively,” he added. “Our findings suggest VR porn could be more like cheating on a partner because of the increasing reality of the VR experience.

Some couples like it more than the real thing (Photo: Getty Images)

“We found that for most people the potential of a VR porn experience opened the doors to an apparently perfect sexual experience – a scenario which in the real world no-one could live up to.

“For others it meant pushing boundaries, often with highly explicit imagery, and we know exposure to this can become addictive and more extreme over time.”

Through headsets such as the Facebook owned Oculus Rift, the ‘Playstation’ style sex games are growing in use, and it could be seen in ‘revenge porn’ in future, according to the research.

It was presented at Computer Human Interaction conference last week.

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