Publicity stunt or legitimate new use of virtual reality?
VRBangers [NSFW] is back in the news with the announcement of Time Capsule, a new and pricey service for recording sex with your partner in virtual reality.
There’s nothing really new in this, of course, but what makes their approach different is their pitch that by making a recording you can then relive the experience in the future—when you might be a little too old to enjoy the real thing.
Serious or publicity?
If the company rings a few bells it’s because they’ve appeared more than a few times here at Future of Sex, most recently through the development of a so-called “sex helmet” that allows adult film stars to make erotic scenes in full VR.
Before that, they popped up with an earlier take on the same kind of technology: a robotic “head” also designed for more immersive VR recordings.
While both the helmet and the head are interesting technological improvements, the new project, unfortunately, feels much more like a way to get some attention as opposed to really moving the industry forward.
For one thing, they are charging a staggering $10,000 for just a single VR recording of you and your partner, with it going up to $15,000 if you want the services of an editor or any post-production work.
VRBangers explains in a press release, that the money also pays for “the rent of beautiful locations that VR Bangers acquire for the needs of the recording session–luxurious places appropriate for a one-of-a-kind lifetime experience, chosen based on the needs of a given client.”
Still, $10,000 to $15,000 is a lot of money—so why spend it? According to VRBangers, the reason is clear: because if you’re not young then you aren’t sexy:
Regardless of how cruel and unjust it seems to be, time is rushing inexorably and we cannot do anything about it. With ageing, it is completely natural that our bodies become less and less attractive, but this does not mean that the deeply hidden desires and passion felt for our sexual partners and significant others must also disappear.
Let’s be blunt about this: this attitude is incredibly insulting. But even though VRBangers has been rightly called out for it, is the idea of using VR to record sexual activity to be enjoyed in the future fundamentally a bad thing?
Sex has always been ageless
It shouldn’t really have to be said but let’s go over it anyway, just in case the point isn’t crystal clear: physical sexual pleasure is ageless, with people being able to experience satisfying, and joyful, erotic activities well into their 80s and even 90s.
Similarly, “Attractiveness” is a complete illusion, sexual attracting having always been completely subjective, and VRBangers publicizing their new service by praying on people’s insecurities is deplorable and the company should be rightfully called out for it.
Snow on the roof, fire in the furnace
Let’s try to step aside on that for a moment and instead ponder the basic idea of recording sexual activity using VR.
The first is that, as with any kind of recording, those involved often have a lot of fun making them. Secondly, there’s the pleasure in sharing it with others. Though both recording and distributing should always be done with the consent of those involved, as well as everyone having the right to change their minds about either at any time in the future.
It can also be a way to preserve the past: not because we’ll be too old to enjoy the real thing, though that could be a factor, but because we want to re-experience and cherish certain memories.
And not just cherish but perhaps also to learn—by looking at the past through VR becoming a way to become a better lover in the future.
It might even be a healing tool, a way for therapists to aid their patients in dealing with the aging process or even processing memory loss: made even more powerful through virtual reality’s immersiveness.
And why limit them to being made in the distant past to be replayed in the far future? As it gets easier, and far cheaper, to make consensual erotic recordings they could be done often, even edited together to create a timeline to better understand our sexual development?
Recordings, too, could be created and shared with others. In this way, the ignorance and intolerance of VRBangers might eventually become extinct, with anyone, at any time, being able to not just see but also experience what sex is like with other orientations, genders, and especially ages.
Learning important lessons
VRBangers has made a massive mistake in how they’ve pitched their new VR recording service and they justifiably should be nailed to the wall for their bigotry but at the core the idea of using VR recordings to preserve erotic activities isn’t necessary a bad one.
So, like the idea of using VR to examine, study, and grow as a lover, let’s hope that VRBangers learns from this mistake and becomes far being more inclusive and tolerance—and much less ignorant—going forward.
Image sources: VRbangers [NSFW], Stannah International