Virtual Sex? It’s Already Here
By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S
Looking beyond the sad mess of Former Congressman Weiner’s recent sexting scandal, today’s as yet under-the-radar, but evolving sexnologies are about to make texing nudie pics to strangers as old-school as focusing a 35-mm camera.
Last fall while researching the effect of social network and smart-phone technologies on sexual addiction, I came across what appear to be some of the first products specifically designed and mass-produced for purchasers to engage in virtual sex. Called Teledildonics, these white plastic gadgets are described by the manufacturer as “hardware components that can, when hooked up the Wii platform, allow remote partners to simultaneously enjoy each others physical stimulations.”
Privately developed as adult accessories for the Wii, Teledildonics consist of a pair of unassuming generic looking rods, one with a ring shaped end designed to fit over the penis, the other more appearing more solidly structured with a wide smooth vibrator-like tip. Again per the manufacturer, “by connecting the two“Wii-motes” to pre-existing Wii hardware, wiggles and thrusts on Wii-mote A are detected and sent via Bluetooth to a nearby computer. From there this information is sent over the Internet and reproduced by Wii-mote B. which acts as a Wii-brator at the other end (virtually reproducing genital movements occurring either next door or half-way across the world).”
At first glance these somewhat plain and generic appearing sex toys, readily available over the Internet for about $300.00, hardly appear to represent the leading edge of the next sexual revolution yet the implications of their development and sale are profound – as they intertwine real-time sex, the Internet and computer technology together in as yet unexplored ways, Teledildonics may represent one of the earliest attempts to mass market sex that is mutually experienced long-distance.
Whether in working in Dubai or visiting the family in Vancouver as long as you and a partner can hook-up to a compatible hardware program with fast-enough Internet service – you can share a rudimentary physical experience of mutual sex in real time. As long as demand and interest remains strong there seems little doubt that virtual sexual will inevitably become more and more sophisticated. Using a bit of imagination by picturing the near full or partial body suits yet to come, individually sized and shaped to fit both in and outside our genatalia, you’ll get the idea of what virtual sex is about to offer.
As with all evolving technologies, virtual sex has the potential for both positive and destructive experiences. The good will likely involve those married military and other long-distance working spouses, separated for long-periods of time, who long to feel the (virtual) caress and intimate strokes of distant loved ones. However as with all developing tech, challenges to relationship intimacy and fidelity will again show up, as they did with web based porn, web-cams, virtual chats and smartphone sex – and we will once more be faced with the question of what actions and behaviors define infidelity and relationship adultery – especially when the virtual sex partner of the future is thousands of miles away.
Robert Weiss is Founding Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute and Director of Sexual Disorders Services at The Ranch Treatment Center and Promises Treatment Centers. These centers serve individuals seeking sexual addiction treatment and porn addiction help.