I watched virtual reality porn in public. And yes, it was super-awkward

Esat Dedezade glimpses the future of self-indulgence, purely in the name of scientific research

Hi. My name is Esat, and I watch porn.

The specifics of what I view and how often are strictly between myself and Google, and things will remain that way until I'm dead and buried, thank you very much.

The reason I'm even bringing this up is because mere hours ago, I had sex in public, right in the middle of a pleasant outdoor cafe, slap bang in the middle of Mobile World Congress - with two people observing my every reaction.

Now before you start calling me all sorts of nasty names, I'd like to point out that the sex was entirely virtual, and took place within the private confines of a VR headset and a pair of headphones.

I had just popped my virtual sex cherry for the first time.

Weapon of choice

The tech used in the studio is only part of the story. Each shoot is captured in 4K, and the nature of VR videos means they require more complex editing and processing skills, with high end machines required to package it all together.

And then of course, we have the headsets. Currently Naughty America supports almost every popular VR headset, including Google Cardboard, the Samsung Gear VR, and the Oculus Rift.

The Rift, according to Paul, is probably the best tool for the job if money and access is no object, as smartphones tend to heat up after a while. In fact, he half-jokingly tells me that the hotter the on-screen action gets, the hotter a smartphone gets too, as more movement increases the load on the processor and GPU, eventually resulting in a message asking you to take a break - a problem the older generation of connoisseurs never had to face when browsing through the latest Victoria’s Secrets catalogue.

Enough chat. What’s VR porn like?

Incredibly surreal, and actually really rather good, if I’m being honest.

Because our interview is in a public place, I actually wasn't expecting a demo, so the offer to try it out takes me by surprise. Still, there's no way I'm passing up the opportunity.

On goes the headset and headphones, and I find myself in a very nice living room, lying back on a couch.

I look down and am immediately taken aback by my solid six pack and tattoo-covered arms, and the actual 3D effect - the depth of the furniture and the impression that I’m viewing the world through someone else’s eyes - is actually pretty impressive.

All of a sudden, a door opens, and in walks my partner in crime. Hi there.

The usual porn dialogue ensues, and it’s predictably not the kind of acting that’s going to trouble the Oscars. But of course it doesn’t have to be. Before I know it, my virtual nether regions are being expertly attended to, and suddenly the awkwardness hits me.

I remember that I’m literally surrounded by hundreds of people, many of them eating, sipping on a latte, chatting with friends, and possibly wondering what exactly I’m looking at that’s causing me to giggle nervously.

And then there’s Paul and the PR representative, presumably studying my reactions, possibly while making notes. As my onscreen lover begins to jump on me though, it’s impossible for me to tear my eyes away.

I still find the Gear VR’s screen to be rather pixelly, and the resolution could definitely be better, but it’s still very immersive, and rather enjoyable. Or at least would be when you’re not surrounded by complete strangers.

As we transition into another position, I begin to take the headset off in case I’ve allowed myself an embarrassingly long amount of time, but I hear Paul’s voice telling me that there are two more demos to experience.

Oh.

Almost immediately I jump into another scene, this time in an equally pleasant house, with a lavish bedroom that’s nicer than anything I could ever hope to afford. I don’t have much time to admire the drapes though, as three very friendly ladies have decided to explore themselves rather intimately in my presence, before diverting their attention to me in a very explicit fashion.

After a further few minutes, the demo is over, and I disengage myself from my virtual companions. No more six pack. No more tattoos. Back to the real world.

As I take the headset off, I’m surprised by a new, third person at our table. He’s a middle-aged man wearing a suit, perhaps in his mid 40s, with a fairly heavy french accent.

He asks me if he can have a go and, taken aback, I immediately ask him if he actually knows what the demo is.

Apparently the gentleman (I never caught his name) had walked over and asked what I was viewing, and immediately sat down and waited for his turn. I give him the headset and headphones with a nod of understanding, and continue asking Paul questions.

As I chat away, a part of my brain is going over all of the decisions I have made in my life that have lead me to this moment. Less than a metre away, the total stranger was, judging by his gigantic grin, having the time of his life.

Verdict

Would I recommend that you try it for yourself? Absolutely. It’s worth experiencing at least once, if only for the fact that you can say you’ve tried it. Although this is obviously assuming you have no problem with regular porn in the first place. There’s nothing here that’s going to overturn any moral objections that some people have.

As the recording technology improves, as the resolution of VR devices increases, and if the porn industry continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible, then even more realistic simulated sex-on-tap is definitely a very likely possibility. And just imagine the weird and potentially wonderful things that could be done with additional VR porn accessories.

But I’m not thinking too much about that at this very moment, because I’m far more preoccupied with hoping that my mum never reads this...