CES’s Favorite Brothel Wants You to Know Virtual Reality Porn Still Isn’t the Real Thing

When the CES tech confab gets under way in Las Vegas next month, attendees will play with drones, "hoverboards," self-driving cars and, certainly, virtual reality.

It has been a big year for virtual reality, with the release of the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headset arriving just ahead of the 2015 holiday season. And as Re/code outlined in our special feature on VR porn earlier this year, the adult entertainment industry is especially eager for what, ah, comes next.

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But not all sex workers feel that way. The staff at Sheri's Ranch, a legal brothel outside Las Vegas, say that virtual reality — replete with lifelike technology such as teledildonics and 3-D imaging — doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. You know, sex between IRL humans.

Samsung Gear VR
Getty Images
Samsung Gear VR

"Virtual reality technology will unavoidably change the sex industry, but I feel that it will more likely replace pornography than prostitution," writes licensed prostitute Marly in a company blog post. "I think it will take more than a 'sex simulator' to put me out of business, mainly because I offer so much more than sex."

Marly's colleagues, who Re/code visited and spoke with during CES this past January, tend agree with her line of thinking. In fact, they use language to make their (persuasive) argument that sounds strangely similar to what anti-pornography activists say.

"If men begin to rely on virtual environments to satisfy their sex life, rather than having a legal courtesan help them overcome their sexual anxieties, they will be less inclined to date real-life women and more likely to be trapped in a less-fulfilling virtual world," adds Red Diamonds.

The website of Porn Kills Love, an anti-pornography movement launched and funded by Mormon men, says "real love requires a real person."

Of course, the women at Sheri's Ranch don't think they're in the business of getting men to fall in love. They're likely concerned about the virtual reality evangelism of people in the VR porn business, who will be hawking their content at CES next month.

Ela Darling, a porn actor and co-founder of the startup VRTube, told Re/code's Eric Johnson that she thinks the future of adult entertainment lies inside VR headsets.

"There's so much more that people want," Darling said. "They want a human experience. They want something that helps fight the loneliness in their lives. They don't just need to jizz, they need to connect with someone."

By Noah Kulwin, Re/code.net.

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