While virtual reality has been a little slower to take off than some were expecting when the Oculus Rift launched half-a-decade or so ago, adult entertainment in VR has quietly developed into an established niche in the porn industry. Many people who have experienced porn in virtual reality have claimed that they could never go back to 2D material. Now a scientific study conducted by German researchers at the University of Hamburg has shown not only that VR porn is experienced as more ‘real’ and intimate by the consumer, but that oxytocin – commonly known as the ‘love hormone’ – plays a role in this.
It appears to come down to the eye contact of the performer, which for the consumer experiencing it in 3D POV (point of view of the male actor) VR, would seem to release oxytocin into his brain. Thus the experience in his VR headset is exactly that – an experience, rather than simply watching porn. Perhaps there is a threshold that virtual reality adult movies meet, and it is enough to release oxytocin that further intensifies the feeling of intimacy and realism?
Furthermore, the role of the social neuropeptide oxytocin in facilitating intimacy and interaction was studied. In the VR condition, participants felt more desired, more flirted with, more looked into the eyes. They were also more likely to feel connected with the actors and more likely to feel the urge to interact with them. Interestingly, saliva levels of oxytocin were related to the perceived eye-contact with the virtual persons indicating a role for the social neuropeptide in the perception of increased intimacy and interaction in VR. Thus, VR pornography seems to be a powerful tool to elicit the illusion of intimate sexual experiences.
Sources include : ‘VR Porn IS More Intimate and Real Confirms German University Study‘ (NSFW).