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The Porn Industry’s VR Problem with Mike Wehner

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Curiosity about new ways to consumer adult entertainment might drive adoption of new technology, but that’s not always a comfortable or enjoyable experience, at least when it comes to the current state of VR porn.

This may be a case where older technology is better than the latest gadgetry, no matter how great you think it should be.

Mike Wehner, the technology columnist for The Daily Dot, tells Michael Hainsworth and Alan Cross this week that virtual reality porn is more awkward and uncomfortable than titillating–at least for now.

The virtual reality industry is just hitting its stride, with several companies promising the next big thing at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. But when it comes to adult entertainment, there’s “plenty of content to be had” and enjoyed by those who want to take their porn watching to the next level, Wehner says.

What’s out there has some drawbacks, however.

“Unfortunately, the actual task of watching porn in virtual reality is far more cumbersome than normal porn consumption,” he explains. Compared to a typical setup — say sitting in front of a computer, tablet or smartphone. When it comes to VR porn, there’s far more equipment involved to create the desired environment. “We’re talking the headset, we’re talking the head tracking hardware…we’re talking at least two or three software programs to get the porn up and running on your headset,” not to mention needing a computer powerful enough to run all the programs at once with any kind of clarity or realistic environment creation. Then there’s the matter of, y’know, doing what people do when they watch porn.

“If you’re taking care of any kind of stress relief and you can’t hear or see anything going on around you, you better hope you have a padlock between you and the outside world,” lest you get caught in the act, a la George Costanza, he says.

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To make matters worse—not that anything he says is particularly enticing, to be truthful—there’s also the issue of how the camera is set up: it’s typically being worn by one of the “actors” in the film, Wehner says.

“I never thought that somebody in a video could make me feel uncomfortable as though they were looking directly at me,” he confesses. “This is the closest I’ve ever come to that.”

Excerpt from the podcast Virtual Sex Show Listen Now