Imagine that you’re snoozing in bed. You awaken and click a video on your phone. You immediately see your celebrity crush, a handsome young man with an angelic voice, whispering “Good morning, beautiful” while making intense eye contact with you through the screen.
You know it’s an ad, but it’s also an incredibly intimate moment.
In China, this type of virtual intimacy in advertising has become increasingly common as , luxury brands sell the (virtual) boyfriend experience.
In South Africa and other parts of the world, we are still trying to adopt virtual reality but this kind of boyfriend experience is coming to our shores. We love our technology and South Africans are likely to jump on the bandwagon.
Just imagine someone having AKA, CassperNyovest, Emtee, Kwesta, K.O and Mlindo as virtual boyfriends or a virtual girlfriend of Amanda Du-Pont, Bonang Matheba, Boity Thulo, Nomzamo Mbatha, Pearl Thusi and Pearl Modiadie, etc.
Cole produces @futureofsexshow podcast, sextech hackathons & world’s 1st sextech accelerator.
She has published an inaugural report on Virtual Intimacy [VR] exploring explores the essential dimensions of digital disruption applied to the private dimensions of our lives.
The report investigates leading technologies, devices, platforms and movements.
It places each within the sextech landscape and interprets them in light of the human, technological and social movements that are driving and shaping our cultural conversations around sex, identity and expression.
Cole describes sextech as, ‘any technology designed to enhance sexuality and the sexualexperience’ – which may cover any of the areas associated with sexual experience from sexual health and wellbeing, to personal safety, choice of sexual experiences, personal dignity in sex, games, entertainment and dating experience.
“The distributed nature of the internet is enabling new forms of intimacy. From the exponential rise of porn as a cultural force within mainstream society to its widespread consumption across mobile, desktop and tablet devices, we are seeing a shift from what could be considered ‘analog’ intimacy to ‘digital’. Into this mix you can add robots, artificial intelligence and connected devices,” argues Cole.
The release of the report is hot off the heels of Future of Sex’s fourth sextech hackathon to be held in New York. Sextech hackathon is a weekend-long hackathon in which all members will collaborate intensively on creating sextech products.
Unlike other hackathons that may require some coding expertise it is open to all skills and experience levels. Gathering together in teams, they will innovate, and depending on the expertise of the team, generate a working prototype, whether this is a technology product, a design or a campaign.
Cole’s company, Future of Sex wants participants at the hackathon to build tech-enabled solutions to reinvent sex education.
The Virtual Intimacy [VR] landscape is changing.
The report argues that the fusion of new and emerging technology is challenging VR hardware vendors, content producers and technology product teams to think and act outside of their silos – internally and externally.
“A new generation of integrated solutions are emerging, capturing the mind and wallet share of newbies and seasoned VR consumers alike. When it comes to sextech, we’re seeing strong offerings that tap into the shift to virtual intimacy in such a way that we expect leaders to rapidly out pace those slow to act, react and integrate.”
Andreas Hronopoulos, CEO, Naughty America, said virtual reality is giving people the opportunity to learn about their sexual interests in a way that was never possible before. It will be interesting to see, through trial and error, where it goes.”
How many South Africans will have virtual relationships with their celebes and slay queens and kings?