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VR Porn Helped Me Reflect on My Sexuality

“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Yes,” I answered without reluctance, “It’s just porn,”
“It’s not just porn. You’ll see,” my friend said, as his fingers quickly stroked through a catalogue he downloaded on his phone.
“Do you want to be a man or a woman?”
“Man,” I said, as he gingerly pulled his phone into the Samsung VR headset.
He shuffled through the images and gazed at a couple options, asking me to choose the race and gender of my virtual partner. He typed an inconspicuous name on the browser to get the 3D porn for free, since most sites charge a subscription fee because of its exclusivity.
“Are you sure you don’t want a girl’s perspective since you’re…you know… a girl?” he asked, pausing several times.
“No.” I sternly said.
A look of concern crossed his face, before turning into a smile.
“Okay, this is the best one I could come up with,” he said “There isn’t that much free stuff out there.”


He found a video of a common porn duo: A glum looking man fanning over a tastefully proportioned blonde woman. He pulled the headset over my head and ears, and wrapped the Velcro strap tight over my face.
My sight was immediately enveloped in darkness. And then I heard a moan.
A woman huffed heavily in my ear. I could feel the reverb of her moans fill my entire body with her hot breath. The darkness immediately opened up. Suddenly, I was transported to a white room.
My friend hadn’t centered the headset to my sight yet, so I physically had to turn my head to look at something other than a door in front of me.
“Can you see?” came my friend’s muffled voice from the distance.
“I’m so confused,” I told him.
He smacked the button on the side of my head and centered my vision.
I looked down. My penis was erect. My long, hairy arm was stroking it while a woman held it between her lips softly. My legs were spread apart on a white bed. The room illuminated. I looked up. “A sunroof?” I thought to myself, still perplexed by this scene.
Her breasts rested on my knee. I could almost feel their plumpness as they gently shook up and down.

I felt powerful, despite being totally powerless.
“Is this how men feel?” I thought to myself, “Do men see what I see when I look down at her?” They must.
Her breasts bewitched me; it was a piece of the female body I hadn’t thought to gaze at or seek pleasure in. It had nothing to do with whether I was comfortable with my gender or sexuality, but rather because I was now invited to do so.

For the first time ever, I had no desire to want to be this woman. The envy I’d routinely feel whenever around a woman I deemed more beautiful than me was instead replaced by desire. I wanted to have sex with her. It felt real; I could feel the physical pleasure from her from the pressure on my body.

Although the body I was mentally immersed in clearly wasn’t mine, I couldn’t help but feel my heartbeat. Or his heartbeat, to be exact. I had his body, but what happened to mine? It was as if my body no longer functioned in tangent with my mind. The feeling of control I had possessed in real life felt irreversible and false, and this was the real reality.

I forgot about myself, who I was, and even my name. I was focused on this time and space.
I had a choice to be the gender I wanted to be, but what I didn’t have was the choice in what I looked like, what positions I could do, or even the gender of my partner. I did not have the option to switch between genders while already immersed in the experience. These setbacks didn’t affect the eagerness I felt. I wanted to bring myself back into this virtual space and try every other option imaginable. I wanted to find more virtual reality videos and separate my mind from my body. It wasn’t as though I didn’t want to be myself, it was that the excitement of temporary displacement was too good to resist.

I was curious as to what would come next, so I fast-forwarded the video. I was thrusting while my belly bounced up and down furiously. Her breasts were in my face. The rhythmic slaps of skin filled my ears. Sex felt like it was no longer something I shared between someone, but with myself. I was able to resist the wants and needs of my partner and focus solely on the experience of sex rather than stimulating myself while simultaneously watching a video. My venture into the virtual world went beyond a need for instant pleasure. It was invasive, and made me feel as though I colonized the actor’s body. I invaded his space and his gender. His pleasure was mine.

If I used VR for purposes of pleasure, I could have used a teledildonic device to stimulate myself with the vibrations of the thrusts. I’ll admit, initially I was interested in VR sex because of porn’s historical hyperbolic, excessive and stylized dynamics make its resonance so powerful. I could have asked a partner to control the Bluetooth in my body while I watched. But I felt a need to use VR for more than just a mere masturbatory tool. It was cathartic, rewarding, and powerful to succumb to sight and sound of a potential space that could mask my own existence.

I felt like I could smell, touch, and taste her. All my senses were confused, bound in a dance of frustrated by the confusion of tangibility. Although I knew it wasn’t real, it felt corporeal. Like a dream where only when I wake up do I realize it was a fantasy.

I could take off the headset anytime I wanted to and be transported back to my bedroom. But I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go back. Because I began to question reality that I never questioned before. And although VR is capable of mimicking everyday life and plays to the desires of conventional sex, I began to deeply reflect on my own sexual preferences. I questioned the impact of choices I’ve made before this moment, when I was myself: a cis female heterosexual body. Because for a mere four minutes, I had a penis, and the experience of gender felt different yet the same. It was only in my physical state where I considered myself to be a man. Just because I had a penis and could be considered a man, sex continued to be the same pleasurable experience. VR let me remove the boundaries of being female, and allowed me to revel in something completely different by focusing on the sole purpose of sex as an experience.

I began to imagine a use for this immersive sexual world where humans are able to explore their sexuality carefully and curiously without the touch of another human being. I began to question if VR could coexist in a feminist world that is confined to an environment known to shame sexuality beyond heteronormativity. Although current VR porn forces one to choose either a male or female’s point of view, it has potential to erase a dominant heterosexual view of sexuality. Sexual curiosity is the norm in a virtual landscape with the possibility of being a fervent sexual being without leaving your bedroom. The VR headset may potentially be the feminist stepchild of a sex chatroom or porn site.

The future of sex and humanness suddenly felt utopian and singular. In VR, we posses all of the control. We are able to take off the headset at our own will and resort back into our own lives. It is a call for resistance to humanness itself and the potential to live in a fantasy. The illusion allows you to leave your body at your own will. I was completely immersed in the fantasy of her body on mine. It titillated me to relinquish control. It did not feel as if it hinted at a future with female androids used only to please their human partner sexually and emotionally. It felt as if it hinted at a potential to discover sex in a fruitful way. A way to protect one’s curiosity but also engage with it.

I physically reached my hand out, but nothing was there. I heard my friend make a monstrous laugh, transporting me back to reality. I recoiled my hand. I felt ashamed.
I moved my head away, the headset still suctioned on my face. My quick jab forced me to look at the white sheets in the simulated bed.
I tore the headset off of me.
“This. Is. Too. Real.”

But I secretly wanted to return.

 

[Image via x]

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Written by Alissa Medina

Alissa Medina's love of online publications led to her spearhead Fembot. A decade ago, Fembot was something she created as a teen (then called Reasons to be Beautiful after the grunge band Hole.) Now, with three degrees under her belt from UC Riverside and NYU, Alissa plans to expand her academic feminism to publication writing.

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