Interest in cybersex is increasing as the pandemic has left people subject to lockdowns and travel bans and unable to seek intimacy in the usual way, according to experience designer Angelina Aleksandrovich.
At the same time, the pandemic has also raised people’s willingness to use a technological solution to an unprecedented level.
Aleksandrovich runs a collective called Raspberry Dream Labs that creates multi-sensory cybersex experiences that allow people to enjoy intimate moments together even when they are not in the same place.
“Thanks to COVID, many people understood how we can use technology and virtual reality in exciting and expanded ways,” Aleksandrovich told Reuters.
While virtual reality used to be dismissed as something for gamers only, it has become mainstream and is being used in intimacy and dating, he added.
At an industrial unit in North London, two volunteers demonstrate their prototype expertise combining virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and even smell, delivered via a collar that is worn around the neck, head and neck. hand sensors.
Volunteers look like human shapes outlined through their headphones and can caress each other without even touching.
The experience involves haptic stimulators placed over erogenous zones, something that could eventually be incorporated into soft robotic underwearables, Aleksandrovich said.
She argues that since we are happy to allow technology to be incorporated into many aspects of daily life, such as health or finances, we should include the bedroom.
A 2019 report from US market research firm Arizton said that the global market for sexual wellness products is expected to reach around $ 39 billion by 2024.
When asked what she thought of her cybersex experience, volunteer Victoria Gillett said, “I love it, it’s definitely an experience.”
“There is so much going on and it takes a while to take it all in. When it was over, I wasn’t ready,” said fellow volunteer Aaron Vandeyar.