Pixar For Adults!

Virtual porn is coming to a bedroom near you. And you are welcome to be a part of it!

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Ola amigos. I wonder if any of you can recall Ela Darling, the pornographic actor who recorded her first virtual-reality sex scene a few years ago. In 2013, Darling chanced upon two computer geeks (James Ashfield, a quantum physics major, and his college roommate) who’d built a makeshift virtual-reality camera out of a couple of GoPros and posted a note on Reddit looking for a porn star to test it. Darling saw their post and showed up at James’s dorm room.

There she sat nude on a bed in a variety of provocative poses; and rather than the typical one or two-camera setup, she faced an array of cameras and a Kinect. Her resulting hologram, seen from inside an Oculus, in stereoscopic 3D with full 180-degree head-tracking, wasn’t too bad at all. It was a solo masturbation scene, and she was coy, flirty and then some. It felt sexy as hell. And the rest is virtual-porn history.

VR Porn is coming – and so can you

Last month, during a panel discussion of top virtual-reality executives at the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, addressed a topic that the rest of the panel seemed determined to avoid—porn. He stressed that Rift was an open platform, and that they didn’t intend controlling what software could run on it. That, my amigos, is a big deal for VR porn.

The CamasutraVR ‘film set’, where a pornographic actor moans and poses her way through her workday is about as sexy as your tax accountant’s office. She stands under fluorescent lighting, poses like the letter T, dotted from breast to bum with tiny white motion capture dots, in the middle of what appears to be a giant birdcage fitted with 132 cameras to capture every contour, squeeze, dimple and quiver.

Pornhub has introduced a free virtual-reality category to their site, in collaboration with VR porn producer BadoinkVR. It is compatible with Oculus Rift, desktop and mobile platforms, as well as Android and iOS apps. Essentially, Oculus Rift is your new wing man.

Meanwhile, a friend who was at Vegas this Jan, chanced upon the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo (yes, there’s an adult entertainment expo!), a convention and trade show where the latest advancements in virtual-reality pornography were on display. There was Harmony, a virtual-reality sex robot made by Realbotix, a company who is making the world’s finest ‘love robots’ that are focused on companionship and not just sex. There was CamasutraVR, a start-up building digital versions of hundreds of porn stars that are available for all your horny little fantasies.

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There were also companies that are adding taste and touch to the experience. There was OhRama, a small canister that attaches to virtual-reality headsets and releases “sweet and musty” scent during the action. Virtual reality companies are even partnering with sex toy companies to create vibrators or penis pumps that link to VR material. As the action ramps up, so do the vibrations of the vibrator.

And while we’d like to think there are miniature women taking residence within our VR goggles and begging us to “f**k them”, there’s a lot more to shooting virtual-reality erotica than meets the eye.

The CamasutraVR ‘film set’, where a pornographic actor moans and poses her way through her workday is about as sexy as your tax accountant’s office. She stands under fluorescent lighting, poses like the letter T, dotted from breast to bum with tiny white motion capture dots, in the middle of what appears to be a giant birdcage fitted with 132 cameras to capture every contour, squeeze, dimple and quiver.

This T pose is the first stage of the process to generate a realistic face and body in virtual reality. Next comes the facial detailing—from naughty and nice, to the ‘Oh god I’m coming’ face. Finally, the three Bs of triple-X: boobies, booty and baby-makers are captured for posterity.

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For close-ups, the actor sits on a stool in the middle of the cage where she goes through an assortment of expressions (that aren’t necessarily sexual) and the cameras capture the subtle movements. Having each muscle movement isolated will later allow the production team to string together the movements to create any possible facial expression. It’s essentially Pixar for adults.

Soon, you’ll be able to bring her into your living room. It’ll be as easy as slipping on a pair of goggles, choosing what you’d like her to do and then watching her act out your fantasies on your bed.

Also, it’s not just horny men and women lining up for these sex-tech conventions. Many sex therapists and educators are interested in the new technology. BaDoinkVR, a virtual-reality company in Rochester, has created Virtual Sexology, a series of free videos that help people overcome common sex problems. One of their videos takes women into the bedroom where they see how one woman arouses herself before sex. She sits in front of her partner massaging her arms, her legs, her breasts. As her breathing heats up, a voice-over says that some women need to be physically touched before feeling any desire for sex. The first video, aimed at men, was the most downloaded video on BaDoinkVR.com in 2016. It is impressive feat considering it was competing with non-educational pornography.

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Some people are also excited about how virtual reality can be used in sex education and therapy. Matt Mullen of Realbotix claims that clients have expressed interest in commissioning dolls that look exactly like people they know in real life: an ex-girlfriend they never got over, the girl next door, or someone about whom they fantasise. His company requires written consent from the model for his or her likeness to be used.

As they get better at customising avatars to look exactly as their customers desire, VR companies are going to have to address a few problems—what does consent mean in virtual reality? Can you do something to your girlfriend in virtual reality that you wouldn’t do in real life? If you are using someone’s likeness in virtual reality, do you require their permission? What if you’re able to make and share videos of your VR sexcapades? And what about revenge porn? That will be even harsher in virtual reality.

There is also the distinct worry that technology assimilating into culture as easily as dating apps will draw people away from flesh-and-blood encounters. It also introduces a lot of grey areas in the relationship space. Partners will have to negotiate whether virtual-reality sex constitutes cheating. It is, after all, much more life-like than traditional pornography.

And, while we lose ourselves in a panoply of CGI flesh calibrated to our every kink and whim, one must note that Realbotix also has a male sex robot called Henry. This 6ft sex robot has a tireless, pulsating robotic erection, and can recite poetry and flirt, too!

And you were worried about robots taking over your job?!

Adios!

PHOTOS SAGAR KHIWAL ❖ STYLING DRISHTI KHANDELWAL ❖ HAIR & MAKE-UP AMRITA SINGH ❖ ASSISTED BY AMAN NARANG

MODELS SOBEIDA GOMEZ (MULTI TALENT & EVENTS), KARAN CHAUDHARY ❖ LOCATION GURUGRAM, HARYANA

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