Virtual sex meeting
Max* met his partner around 18 months ago, when they struck up conversation in a bar.The pair found they had lots in common; small talk turned to flirting, flirting turned to dating, dating turned into an exclusive relationship, and the couple are now engaged and planning a “traditional wedding” with a guest list including each of their closest friends.
In our Extremely Online series, we explore the apps, trends, subcultures, and all the other weird stuff the internet continues to offer.And as he points out, “the added bonus of not having to pay makes it easier to have so-called ‘dates’”.But while virtual relationships and the feelings underpinning them can be real and intense for those involved, the users I spoke to all referred to the real world implications of virtual love.It’s a strange mix, because the people are physically in the same space but can only see each other and interact in VR.The body scanning also has glitches that mean the limbs of their avatar can do strange things, like arms going right through bodies.With VR coming of age, we’re about to discover what happens when you combine the two.
This is dating where a version of you can spend time in the same virtual space as your love interest, but without physically being there at all.
Overall, users emphasised the respectful nature of the platform: some told me about an “underground experience” within VR Chat, consisting of erotic role-play using full body equipment and private worlds especially catered to fetishes – but all wanted to remain anonymous due to the taboo nature of this activity within the VR Chat community.
A recently launched VR dating site, which works in a similar way to Tinder, includes a NSFW filter and rules against harassment and posting images of other users.
Max and his fiancee live on different American coasts but are determined to make their relationship last by meeting up offline in the near future.
Hybridninja7 explains that a previous relationship that didn’t work out due to “time zone differences and real life situations getting in the way”.
“The relationship developed just like a real world one, and the feelings we have for each other are exactly the same,” says Max, who speaks to me between his real life part-time job as an office administrator and the ten-hour shifts he puts in daily on VR Chat.