What the Future of Porn and Sex Technology Means for Women

Like every industry, the advancement of technology changes the way things are consumed and enjoyed. This is no different when it comes to sex.

 Photo credit: AskMen Latin America.

Photo credit: AskMen Latin America.

The supremacy of top-shelf magazines has long since waned. Now, thanks to the Internet, porn is more accessible than ever. However, things will take an even further turn in the future with virtual reality porn and sex robots already available and some experts predicting this will one day be the mainstream.

It often seems like these advances in technology, when it comes to sex, largely revolve around heterosexual men. This is despite the increase in LGBT porn and ever pervasive research signalling that more women are consuming porn than ever (Pornhub’s latest estimate is that 26 per cent of their users are female).

Cindy Gallop, the founder of Make Love Not Porn –  a subscription website featuring ‘real world sex' – says one reason for this is because the tech world, as well as the sex tech world, typically operates through a male lens. So any tech news about developments in sex tech industry typically are geared towards men.

“The tech media world is as male-dominated as the tech world,” she tells The Independent. “That means that coverage of sex tech defaults to the side of it that is much more comfortable to talk about - the hardware: Teledildonics, Sex robots, VR porn. It is a lot less comfortable to talk about the side MLNP (Make Love Not Porn) operates on - the software, involving people actually having sex with each other.  
"What that means is that all the coverage, talk, awareness, promotion and funding goes to the side that is through the male lens and is all about driving us further and further apart into our own little virtual worlds - versus the side that I and other sex tech female founders are on, which is all about bringing people closer together in the real world.
“The key issue here is it is not about ‘for women’, it is about ‘by women’. Sex tech through the female lens is sex tech men will massively enjoy.”

Dr Michael Aaron, a therapist and author of Modern Sexuality: The Truth About Sex and Relationships, says women tend to be excluded from these developments because when new technology is introduced, it starts off by being available to its primary audience. So VR porn may initially serve to cater for men because they are still the largest group of porn consumers.

“The problem currently is that when new technology is introduced, it is often expensive and clumsy, and so is often only attainable or available to the largest producers, catering to the most mainstream needs,” he told The Independent.  “As a result, smaller producers catering to smaller or more niche audiences may initially be excluded or crowded out. I think as the field matures and VR technology becomes more prevalent and accessible, the market will stabilise and you'll see more organic and authentic porn for all kinds of audiences. The same female producers and directors will create VR porn as the entire field shifts to VR.”

Gallop says women are currently at risk of being left behind when it comes to sex tech unless female entrepreneurs in this area get access to capital and funding (Gallop has relentlessly campaigned for banks and lenders to lose their ‘no adult content’ clause to help fund Make Love Not Porn) and access to the business infrastructure young white men are typically granted.

“Get us both of those and we'll show you the next trillion dollar industry,” Gallop says.

VR porn is being made for women, even if it is in the minority. Kelly from AliceX, a virtual reality adult webcam service, says they are striving to cater for both female and male members and one day hope to launch a site specifically for women. 

“What better way to explore fantasies than from the safety of your home computer? It allows you privacy and anonymity, while VR provides the opportunity to feel physically present in the experience. It also offers a less-than-solo sexual option for single ladies, without the risk that casual sexual encounters attract,” she tells The Independent.

 

Read the full The Independent article

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