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How Virtual Reality Porn Helped Me Come to Terms with Monogamy

When the scene ended, I actually felt relieved. It felt like I'd cheated on my girlfriend in real life.

by Dylan Wachman
May 6 2016, 6:27am

Photo via Flickr user We Are Social

No matter how good a relationship is, I start to get bored after the one-year mark. It happens like clockwork. The desire starts to wane, I start looking for an out, and then immediately try to find validation from someone new. This, I'm told, is serial monogamy—described by the Cambridge Dictionary as "the fact or custom of having a number of sexual relationships one after another, but never more than one at a time." I get into relationships for the feeling of security, but I can't keep it up in the long-term because I need constant validation. I'm too jealous for polyamory, too insecure to be single. I would hesitate to call my problem "sex addiction"—it's more like an addiction to chasing new relationships, and the validation that comes from being with someone new.

The problem with serial monogamy, of course, is that it isn't sustainable. It's not conducive to having a life or a future with anyone. And while I'm currently in a relationship with someone I really love, it's tough to come to terms with the idea that I won't be able to continue this routine of seeking validation through the various relationships that I knew and loved. I cant help but have the nagging feeling that I need to get out there and experience something new. It's especially tough when I know that leaving the person I have would ruin my life.

Eventually, the desire to cheat became almost unbearable. It's not that I don't love my girlfriend—I do, and she's the first person I've imagined spending the rest of my life with—but the need to be validated outweighed all that. I'd find myself staring at my phone at four in the morning, looking at people that Facebook suggested I should add. I considered downloading Tinder just get the rush of having matches. I already had an OkCupid profile, which I kept open just to read the messages.

It was around the same time that I got my first virtual reality headset. I'd been enjoying the panoramic view of WWE fights, going on virtual safaris, and exploring the streets of New Orleans—all from the comfort of my room—when I started to wonder what kind of porn was available. I've never been overwhelmingly excited by porn, but I figured it couldn't hurt to look. I worked my way into Pornhub's VR section and downloaded a few of the files to my phone, then popped on the headset.

Related: Pornhub Brings Bad Virtual Reality Porn to the Masses

The video I'd selected seemed like your standard one-on-one porn with a nice, normal looking girl. As the scene began, I looked down at my virtual legs, which had some black pants on. The room was carefully decorated, with nice artwork on the walls. These details made the VR experience seem silly at first. Who cares what the room looks like? I thought. But when the woman in the scene turned to notice me, lounging in the recliner, those details made everything seem more real. She walked over to me, sat on my lap, and stared into my eyes. For seconds at a time, I forgot I was staring into the headset and thought I was with a real person.

It's hard to explain what it's like to suspend disbelief with the VR headset on. You know you're being tricked, but you're allowing yourself to remain in that state. There's a constant cognitive dissonance between the part of your brain that knows it's a screen and the part of your brain that just wants to enjoy it. I fought to stay focused as the actress began taking off her clothes and helped me to remove mine. For a moment, I started to feel motion sick as the male actor moved into a position wildly different off from my real-life posture, but soon after his pants came off, he laid back again, and I began to relax into the scene.

The details of the scene aren't important. What is important is that several times throughout this scene, I felt a real life connection to the virtual woman before me. She seemed completely real: I could see her makeup as a texture on her cheeks. I could see the little hairs around and in her ears, and I could see every nuanced expression on her face. Several times, when her head moved closer to mine, I could even see the individual hair follicles on her scalp. And because she looked so real, the lust of the moment felt shockingly real too. For several moments, I could swear that it was all happening until something snapped me back to reality, like a frame-jitter, or me lifting my arm in real life and not seeing it reciprocated from within the headset.

Related: Is an Affair in Virtual Reality Still Cheating?

When the scene ended and the production company's logo reappeared, I actually felt relieved. It felt like I'd cheated on my girlfriend, but when I took off the headset, I realized that I had been sitting alone in the dark up against the wall in my bed for half an hour. Even still, I felt great. I fell asleep without worry and woke up guilt-free.

The next day, I felt a new confidence with my girlfriend. And as I used the headset more and more, my desire to stray melted away. I explored new scenarios in virtual reality that I could never imagine ever doing in real life; at one point, I downloaded a group scene, where I could look to my right side and see a "friend" being pleasured by an actress while someone went to work on me. I was in a mansion, getting a blowjob from a total stranger, and it fulfilled every ridiculous fantasy I never knew I had.

I've continued using the headset for porn as needed. It's an amazing feeling to know that at any time, I can open a door to another universe, away from this one. Some people may want to visit Morocco, or do a walk-through tour of Disneyland, experiencing new places. For me, just put me in a well-decorated room with a stranger who's interested in hooking up, so I can experience a new person every now and then.