Oh boy, this one is going to get weird. VR is around the corner and with it a whole new way to experience and interact with virtual worlds. So that means someone, somewhere has looked upon this new pinnacle of human technological innovation and decided, ‘yeah, lets have sex with it’. Its hard to be suprised at this moral panic in the making, but from a purely theoretical level it could be seen as the greatest threat to world wide population counts. I told you this would get weird.
There are already quite a few variants of sexually themed VR products in the making, but like most things of this nature, Japan looks to be the reigning champion of pixel perversion. During Oculus Fest this year, Youtube user zeroyon01 came across a scene that reminded him why the Amish may be onto something with that whole ‘no technology’ thing. A young man bumping uglies with a plastic doll in a school girl costume, blissfully unconcerned about the crowd of smartphone wielding onlookers that would condemn him to a life of infamy. The game? Space BattleShip Girlfriend, a starfaring experience where you must hump for glorious points. Thanks Japan, good job.
The porn industry is worth almost $97 Billion globally, so it stands to reason that content developers are always looking for the next way to capitalize on the market. Tenga, a sex toy manufacturer, is part of this drive to change the face of our sexual experiences. By incorporating a VR headset into a handheld…well..sex tube, they hope to be one of the first on the market to really help make sex a more rewarding solo experience.
So now you know what the future may bring lets get theoretical. Take out those thinking caps and shame boxes and join me on a journey into the sad, slow decay of the human race. You may be aware that South Korea and Japan are suffering from dramatically freefalling birth rates and stand on the brink of population collapse. According to Statistics Korea, the population will suffer huge declines from 50 Million in 2020 to a drop down to 34-44 Million by 2060 if current trends continue. Some theorists see this as a direct result of Japans similarly declining population, which has been shrinking over the last decade, influencing other like minded cultures. In a number of surveys by the Japan Family Planning Association in 2013 it was found that 45% of Japanese women aged 16-24 are ‘not interested in or despise the idea of sexual contact’. Furthermore, 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship.
Japanese conservative values have caused much of the concerns that currently plague the population, which has remained unchanged with the current crisis. Many turn away from traditional sexual relationships in favor of instant gratification; online pornography, cartoons and now the threat of VR distraction. Despite efforts to alter the course from Japanese ‘celibacy syndrome’ the current sexual landscape is looking pretty dire. With the future of realistic VR sexual gratification, it could be the tipping point. Skynet didn’t need bombs to beat humanity, all it needed was cartoon girls and a fleshlight.
If we take a moment to indulge our ‘worst case scenario’ tendencies, the prospect of fully immersive VR lovemaking could be apocalyptic. A future of dwindling populations, a publicly motivated distaste for real relationships and a culture that views sex in the same light as a pot noodle are all horrific, but humanity adapts. No more sex you say? Well, we found a way around that in 1790. Artificial insemination and sperm donation has been a means of reliably producing children without a need for a functional relationship, and in a future where these no longer exist it could be the best means to save humanity from total sexual annihilation.
Basic inter-spousal socializing has begun to fall with the advent of smart phones, webcams and more, which effectively replaces much of the experience. So a world in which children and families are removed from an emotional core to a functional one could be on its way. Families collapse in favor of institutionalized child rearing, robot partners replace humans and eventually everyone will live in tiny virtual sex dungeons performing unspeakable acts of Sci Fi promiscuity! Okay, that is a ridiculously overblown prediction, but it’s relevancy to our current may grow with each decade.
But it’s not all bad, as VR could be a perfect addition to a traditional sexual dynamic. Long distance relationships are hard on both parties, often mired by frustration and minimal contact, but the creation of devices that can effectively imitate love making with two human parties involved could turn the office into the new bedroom. The LovePalz Iphone sex toy relays your partners ‘movements’ with Motion sensing technology. The various gestures one party takes will be mimicked by the toy, with a face camera so you don’t miss out on all the creepy, creepy action. It’s not a stretch to expect to see this implemented into VR headsets and used to help to strengthen relationships through the medium of a face mounted cinema.
No matter what your opinions on VR may be, it is hard to deny that it will be a huge part of large social changes over the next few years. Whether replacing human sexual interaction entirely or simply making it better, the implications are astounding. The sexual world is becoming increasingly open and accepting, but in areas such as Japan this could be a detriment to the stability of the nuclear family. A detachment from the world can very easily be created with technology, but a sexual detachment may have considerably more threatening results. Until time gives us these answers the ancient proverb stands; ‘Sleep with your computer and doom humanity forever’.