It seems these days that nothing in tech is going anywhere unless it’s heading into the metaverse. With so much talk about the metaverse, both that created and owned by Meta (formerly Facebook) and the general existence of meta-universes, it pays to give some time to understanding what has driven such a technological development and the role the ‘net’s more risqué content both has played and is playing. It may strike some as unlikely but it’s an unavoidable truth: adult entertainment has been one key ingredient. After all, as a chief driver of technologies as diverse as the VHS tape and cryptocurrency, adult entertainment has proven itself at the forefront of users’ desire to immerse themselves in the new opportunities tech advances bring.
Does the Metaverse Even Exist?
Some have called the metaverse little more than a marketing ploy by the company formerly known as Facebook. While there may be some validity to that claim, there definitely is a virtual world operating online that allows users to fashion new visions of themselves and move through social interactions together. When Second Life first launched in 2003, many assumed the online virtual world would result in people pursuing their more prurient interests without repercussion, and deemed that a negative. While Second Life did foster adult communities based around sexual exchanges (and still does), they are entirely the creations of the users themselves.
In many ways a successor to Second Life, VRChat also allows for freely sexual interactions. Although its most commonly seen custom avatars lean toward the fantastic, if not ludicrous, VRChat is operating in a way quite similar to how Meta envisions its own metaverse – only less restricted or corporately governed.
Reshaping Adult Entertainment
When it comes to adult content provided to, not created by, users, the focus falls largely on virtual pornography. To some degree interactive but dependent on the users’ hardware, virtual pornography offers a surprisingly strong degree of lifelike virtual interaction with the featured performers, especially since one side of the “interaction” may have been produced more than a year prior to the user-side experience. With a booming VR porn industry producing powerfully realistic depictions of actual humans that seem to speak to, flirt with, and, of course, make love with the user, many in the traditional 2D adult entertainment game shifted gears and went 3D.
Further interactivity comes in the form of adult VR gaming, which can range from animated interactions barely controllable by the human user to fully-featured sex simulators in which a user can customize their virtual partners’ every physical and psychological trait. Whether these games and simulations take place in a virtual world resembling our own or in brilliantly fantastic creation unlike anything here on Earth, the added interactivity pushes them closer to being truly metaversal than anything else in the adult entertainment realm.
Picking Up a Virtual Partner
When the metaverse does land in our social media spheres and stream into our VR headsets, many users will have one thing on their mind and, we can surmise, plenty of ways to pursue it. Just as Tinder and its ilk opened a whole new avenue of social interaction and ways of finding romance or a simple hookup – something VRChat has more or less allowed in a more primitive virtual space – opportunities for dating in the metaverse are extensive.
Wander by a glowing neon beachside or float through a gravity-free galactic vista and spot an avatar you fancy then simply strike up a conversation. With low risk and complete privacy (should you choose it), most metaverses (including Meta’s) will add a huge range of options for any romantically inclined user. Just when, how, and from whom these options will first arise, however, remains to be seen. What’s clearly a foregone conclusion is that when the metaverse truly does take hold of our social media landscape, love and lust will be quietly surging forward into a virtual future.