In my January 27th article What VR Porn can do for “Taboo” I question the effect that virtual reality porn, or more specifically taboo virtual reality porn may have on the human psyche. One thing I did not touch upon however, was the effect that Virtual Reality pornography may have on the sexual development of the more vulnerable younger generations, although such thought is certainly worthy of our consideration. Being a parent myself it is difficult not to wonder how such a thing as the Oculus Rift may affect the way my young ones not only learn about the world (and sex) in a formal sense, but how such things as virtual reality porn and teledildonics might influence the way they view relationships in general; and I can’t help but think the effect may be substantial. Sure, there is all sorts of porn currently out there on the internet today and though the majority of us parents are responsible enough to monitor our children’s computer activity and educate them on what is right and what is wrong, some of it definitely slips through the cracks (like when our kids are at a friends house); but when something has been around for so long and we’ve dealt with it for the majority of our lives there is ample time to figure out just what we need to say when we catch our kids watching it (even though most of us still flounder). Virtual Reality porn is a different beast altogether and actions speak louder than words, perhaps even when those actions are relegated to the virtual realms. Not to mention that it is going to be really difficult to know exactly what’s got little Timmy grinning so big when nobody can see what he is watching other than himself (if his hands are in his pockets, look out).
Now whether such a thing will be good or bad exactly is at this moment impossible to say, and most certainly dependent on a number of factors. Our children’s sexual education being foremost, and so that gives us all the more reason to talk to our kids about it earlier on, rather than wait.I can almost always put my mind on both sides of the equation no matter what kind of situation I am looking at, and in this one in particular I would like to surmise that the positive implications definitely outweigh the negative; but there will definitely be some hurdles and quite probably a few bruised shins along the way. Take for example the imaginative porn game ideas I proposed in Thursday’s article. Now while a “peeping tom” game may sound like a fine idea to most people, and I would like to hope the majority of the populace could handle such a thing without jumping out of their cars on the way to work to catch a little peep up Mrs. Johnsons skirt and have a quick fap, emulating the behaviour they were required to show in game; but it is really hard to say what effect such a thing may have on a 12-16 year old’s sexual development who is no longer just playing the game but experiencing it in virtual reality. Now although there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of porn and whether it is healthy or not, there is some evidence out there suggesting that pornography in general plays a role in the development of a young person’s mind, and repeated viewing increases the chances of having negative effects. Whether this is reflected in biological changes such as in how the body regulates serotonin and similar hormones or psychological changes such as a lack of interest in real sex, it seems clear that pornography can indeed alter our functioning; and when we are young it is all the more likely to have a lasting consequence. Whether or not Virtual Reality porn will amplify the response is an interesting idea to weigh in on, and I believe careful consideration will need to be made in how we limit our children’s exposure to our quickly evolving VR-enabled future.