Virtual Reality Is Still Failing Half of the World’s Population

A new adult VR experience is likely to make women sick, but not because of its content

Lux Alptraum
Published in
7 min readOct 10, 2019
A double exposure photograph of a woman wearing VR Glasses in two different poses.
Photo: tolgart/E+/Getty

“The guy isn’t getting naked quick enough.” These were the words of a woman I’d known for just a few minutes, a fellow member of the media who, like me, had travelled to a co-working space in New York’s Financial District to get a glimpse of a whole new take on porn.

Erika Lust, an award-winning pornographer known for her cinematic, female-friendly approach to smut, had finally made the leap into immersive, 360-degree virtual reality porn, and we were some of the first people to get a look at her debut effort.

As I strapped on a VR headset, I was transported to a warehouse, where a sex party was ramping up all around me. Depending on where I turned my head, I could see all manner of sexual enticements taking place. Directly in front of me, a woman was stripping. If I turned 180 degrees, a male performer did the same. In one corner, a threesome; in the next, a foursome. Some performers engaged in light BDSM, others kept things strictly vanilla. It felt as though I were enjoying a sex party as a disembodied voyeur — a significant departure from the typical VR porn experience, where users are placed into a one-on-one sexual scenario, generally shot from the perspective of a male porn performer, whose naked body serves as a stand-in for the viewer’s own physique.

What does it mean to create something appealing to women using a film genre they’re presumed to dislike and technology thought to make them sick?

Lust’s film was dynamic and exciting, a sumptuous buffet of erotic action. But shortly into the presentation, I started to feel sick.

The nausea I felt wasn’t inspired by the content — Lust’s 360° of Lust is a beautifully crafted experiment in immersive sexual media. My reaction was a run of the mill episode of motion sickness, a nasty side effect of VR immersion that’s significantly more common for women than for men. As I grappled with my low-level nausea, it struck me that Lust’s latest project represented an interesting…



Lux Alptraum

OneZero columnist, Peabody-nominated producer, and the author of Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex — And the Truths They Reveal. http://luxalptraum.com