People with anxiety and depression are more likely to use ‘sextech’ including VR porn and sexting, study finds
Individuals with impaired mental health may use sextech to help them experience temporary relief from their psychological distress, Kinsey Institute experts said.
Examples of sextech include erotic webcam sites, virtual reality porn or even just the capacity to share sexually explicit images or videos.
People are more likely to explore using emerging digital sexual technologies — so-called ‘sextech’ — if they suffer from anxiety or depression, a study has found. Pictured: a man enjoys virtual reality porn (stock image)
THE MOST POPULAR FORMS OF SEXTECH
Based on their survey results, the researchers found that the most popular forms of sextech were:
- Sexting (30% of respondents)
- Watching webcam streams (18%)
- Playing sexual video games (14%)
- Participating in webcam streams, e.g. by tipping or posting (12%)
- Watching VR pornography (11%)
- Using a teledildonic accessory (9%)
- Sexting a chatbot (9%)
Social psychologist Amanda Gesselman of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University said that it is a common misconception that people only turn to the Internet for romantic or sexual connections if they are incapable of face-to-face relationships.
‘Our results provide evidence to the contrary, suggesting that online sexual spaces aren’t functioning as “last resorts” for people who haven’t been able to form sexual relationships in real life,” she explained.
‘Instead, it’s likely that many users in these spaces do have social support and adequate social networks, but they’re turning to online sexual technologies for a unique boost to their psychological mindset.’
In their study, Dr Gesselman and colleagues surveyed 8,004 US adults about their mental health, online sexual behaviours and engagement with novel forms of sex-related technology.
Overall, 79 per cent of men and 51 per cent of women in the study reported having used some form of sextech — with usage being more common among gay and bisexual participants (at 83 per cent, compared to 61 per cent of heterosexuals).
The team found that participants who reported greater levels of anxiety or depression tended to report using sextech more.
While this trend held true for men of all sexual orientations, the team noted that depression was not significantly associated with sextech use in bisexual and lesbian women, while anxiety was not linked to sextech use among heterosexual women.
In contrast, the researchers found that people who felt lonely were less likely, not more, to engage with sextech.
Examples of sextech include erotic webcam sites, virtual reality porn or even just the capacity to share sexually explicit images or videos. Pictured: a man sexts someone (stock image)
‘As the global need for innovative mental health resources and interventions increases, emerging sexual technologies may provide relief for people with mental health struggles,’ said paper author and gender studies expert Alexandra Marcotte.
‘This research provides an important pathway for expanding the scope of mental health interventions, particularly as technology becomes increasingly prevalent and accessible in everyday life.’
The full findings of the study were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
HOW IS TECHNOLOGY CHANGING THE PORN EXPERIENCE?
In 2016, CamSoda launched a virtual reality platform that allows users to physically interact with each other via connected and coordinating sex toys.
The adult entertainment webcam company will make virtual reality sex possible using ‘teledildonics’ – connected and coordinating sex toys that relay touch between users.
The devices were designed by Kiiroo, who created a ‘female’ and ‘male’ simulator.
Pornhub also offers a virtual reality experience, after unveiling a new VR channel on the site.
CamSoda recently unveiled a mask that delivers smells to the virtual reality experience, providing users with immersive aromas while watching adult entertainment
In January 2018, CamSoda partnered with RealDoll to take things a step further – with ‘virtual intercourse with real people,’ which uses VR, ‘teledildonics,’ and high-tech RealDolls to simulate sex with a live cam model.
The firm also recently launched a ‘Dick-ometrics’ feature it claims will allow users to access their account by taking a picture of their penis.
The biometric security features uses the penis in a similar way to a fingerprint or retina scanner.
VR Bangers says its POV Head Rig will be able to create a more immersive experience
It analyzes a photo of the penises differentiating factors, including size, color and vein protrusion, to grant user’s access to their accounts.
VR Bangers recently unveiled a terrifying POV Head Rig, which it says will be able to create a more immersive experience.
Actors will be able to kiss, caress, and whisper into the device like they would with a real human.
It has stereoscopic cameras in the eyes, along with cameras on the top, front, and back of the head to ‘capture every angle.’ It can achieve 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.
The rig also has binaural sound microphones in each ear to make whispers sound real.
And, Camsoda recently showed off a bizarre new sensory mask to revolutionize the way virtual reality is used in the bedroom.
Dubbed ‘OhRoma’, users wear a sensory mask, which resembles a gas mask, alongside their virtual reality headset.
Users can choose from a range of smells to pump through the mask, including ‘private parts’, ‘body odour’, ‘fragrances’, ‘panties’, ‘aphrodisiacs’ and ‘environments’.