When people watched pornography through virtual reality (VR) technology, they felt more desired, flirted with, and linked to the actors and actresses than when they watched pornography through a 2D film, according to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research. They also had a larger desire to communicate with the actors and actresses and thought they were smarter.
Because there is currently no research on the consequences of virtual reality pornography, study authors Arne Dekker and his team were inspired to perform their investigation. While it seems intuitive that VR pornography will provide a more intense, connected experience with the actors than 2D pornography, sex experts have yet to prove this.
Dekker and colleagues conducted an experiment with 50 heterosexual men ranging in age from 18 to 60 years old to see if this effect existed. The researchers were able to obtain two separate pornographic films that could be seen in VR or on a flat screen. Both movies showed a man having sex with two ladies from the male point of view. Each subject was randomly allocated to watch two of the films, one in virtual reality and the other on a flat screen, on two distinct days.
All of the participants were asked to rate their sexual arousal before and after each film. They were also asked to reply to a series of questions on their emotional reactions as viewers and their impressions of the actresses.
In a number of areas, the data revealed that VR pornography provided a more intimate experience than 2D pornography. When men watched pornography films in VR, they reported higher levels of sexual excitement, physiological stimulation, and sexual desire for the actresses than when they saw them on a conventional screen.
Surprisingly, these discrepancies appeared to be due to the VR's immersive capability , which allowed for a more immersive first-person experience. Men claimed they felt more like the male actor, more like an agent than an observer, and more like they had sex with the actresses when watching the VR videos. Men in the VR movie also felt more flirted with and desired by the actresses. Finally, they reported making more eye contact with the actresses throughout the VR movie, feeling more connected to them, having a stronger desire to communicate with them, and attributing a higher IQ score to them.
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