Have you ever wondered what sex will be like in ten, or twenty, or fifty years? Think about it. Technological advances in the digital era have not only improved and exponentially expanded the sex toy market but also afforded us countless opportunities for interactive, sexual play without even leaving the relative comfort of our computer chairs. Could sex soon become a 100% virtual fantasy experience?
This is the first in a series of essays on the dichotomy of fantasy versus reality regarding the modern-day sexual revolution. Come with me as we explore those advances together and consider their impact on our sexual experience in the years to come. Virtual sex: What’s good? What’s bad? Just what kind of products are already on the market, how are they used, and how might they affect our sexual reality in the future?
At first glance, the idea of virtual sex enhances our fantasies, expands our possibilities, and gives us a chance to explore a completely new dimension of our own sexuality. But virtual sex actually goes a step farther, allowing us to experience this not only alone, but also while interacting non-tactually with one or more partners whom we need never even meet in reality. Let’s take a look at some of the products on the market, how they enhance our real sex lives, and how they can also be used to connect with others physically through cyberspace.
Just a few years ago, activities such as phone sex seemed outrageously extreme to a vast majority of the population. But in today’s high-tech society, the introduction of web cams barely even caused a stir.
Whether you are a man or a woman, there is something out there for everyone these days. And as if the diversity of available products wasn’t mind-racing enough, the level of product interactivity is virtually beyond belief.
For example, women’s vibrating toys such as Je Joue, specifically designed to not only stimulate and tantalize the most private female areas, but also to be programmed and thus ultimately controlled by someone living many miles away. Thanks to the Virtual Sex Machine, a man can not only watch a specific woman delivering oral pleasure, but he can simultaneously feel her talents on his own penis. Both men and women can invest in products such as the Virtual Vagina System which merge interactive sex toys with DVDs to create totally consuming sexual experiences.
Of course, even something as simple as dating has taken on cyber-dimensions nearly beyond one’s grasp of reality. There are literally hundreds of Internet sites devoted to dating services offering online profiles, pictures, videos, and even audio clips. Many of these sites will even match one individual’s profile and personality against other registered users to create a list of possible perfect matches. And, with the invention of Internet-enabled adult toys, the possibilities are literally endless. You can not only virtually meet, but sexually interact with millions of people.
High-Joy.com merges online dating with cybersex in all sorts of fantastic ways. The company offers online dating, audio and video chat experiences, and totally interactive social networking with a twist…safe but satisfying sex in a long-distance format. So, not only can you see and hear potential partners (and relish them seeing and hearing you as well), but you can actually touch each other intimately with the assistance of several Internet-enabled sex toy options. Although the High-Joy product line, working in conjunction with Doc Johnson, is somewhat limited thus far (currently offering only web cams, an iVibe Internet-enabled Rabbit Vibe, egg and sleeve, and the iVibe controller with ballsy) the choice of adaptable toys will undoubtedly explode in conjunction with increasing popularity and high demand.
Clearly, virtual sex has obvious benefits: it’s safer, it prevents sexually transmittable diseases; it’s also simpler, easier, and often more convenient; and it has the potential to be a consistently satisfying experience. But I can’t help wondering about the long-term effects of such interactions on real-life relationships. The lack of actual, physical contact and health benefits of good old-fashioned sex aside…what about the importance of intimacy and connectedness that comes with being involved in a relationship? What about communication and honesty? I know you can talk to your lover via email, chat, or even a cell phone with an attached web cam, but how do you know your partner is really being honest?
Does cybersex effectively eliminate any sense of control we might have over our sexual feelings or behavior? There’s no real sense of compromise in a virtual relationship. You get what you want or you move on. Period. It’s as simple as that. There’s little emotional involvement or attachment unless both people put forth Herculean efforts. Admittedly, cybersex at least offers hope for long-distance relationships being built on mutual trust and planning for a future, real-life reconnection. But still…what about those searching for more than a one-night stand or quick masturbatory experience? Superficiality is fine for playing the field, but what about long-term commitments?
Thanks to the technological, modern-day sexual revolution, is sex destined to become a predominantly physical encounter, void of emotions and interpersonal dynamics? Are we chemically wired in such a way to be capable of enjoying virtual sex at a degree which we’ve never even ascended to with physical sex until now? Scientific research suggests that our brains have the capacity to enjoy virtual stimulation to increasingly higher degrees. It has also been suggested that through tantric sex, we may be able to transcend our physical bodies sexually in order to achieve a level of pleasure previously unattainable through traditional methods.
What about our physical senses beyond sight, sound, and touch? What about smell? Does the feel of a lover’s breath, warm on your neck, or the scent of their arousal add to your sexual experiences currently? If so, how must you adapt to function without this in the virtual world? Or is there a way to really and truly merge the two, to make fantasy blend with reality and have the experience culminate in an even more intense sexual encounter? For now, the jury is still out, as we wait to see what lies ahead for us in this virtual sexual revolution. Clearly, this is not the end, but rather just the beginning of our adventures and investigation into the ever-changing world of sexual fantasy and reality.