Illustrations: Jennifer Vo.
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VR and teledildonics: welcome to the new flesh

All things considered, the 2016 tech landscape is shaping up to be a dream come true for fans of sci-fi rigmarole.

Virtual reality (VR) headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vibe are set to be released for public consumption, meaning that this hardware will finally be tested in the free market after what seems like a decade of hype.

Of course, most news outlets and tech magazines are primarily interested in VR for its ability to make activities like gaming and web browsing more immersive. However, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s curious to see what it can do to enhance our more primitive desires.

The most obvious example of this is VR porn, where a lucky guy or gal is given the opportunity to live out their wildest erotic fantasies from a first person perspective. What’s even more exciting is that this new type of experience is already being tested by the porn company Naughty America, who’ve released hundreds of new VR fantasy scenarios (like “Be the Boss” and “The Dirty Dean”) since July 2015.

But beyond surface-level titillation, this new form of adult entertainment could also lead to personal sexual self-discovery for certain users.

Sure, some dude bros over at Complex magazine might get grossed out by the idea of inhabiting the body of a virtual woman being penetrated by a big, throbbing cock, but for others—especially those who are bi or transsexual—the experience could be enlightening and trigger some deeply repressed feelings.

With that being said, concerns surrounding VR’s potential to isolate people and encourage them to lose touch with the rest of humanity are somewhat legitimate. After all, every time a new piece of groundbreaking technology hits the market, there’s always a small group of people who are inevitably going to abuse it.

Hopefully that lack of meaningful human interaction could be solved with the implementation of teledildonic devices, erotic toys that transmit tactile sensations miles away through a simple data link. 

For instance, a Dutch company named Kiiroo is attempting to fill the void in long distance relationships by bringing in the element of touch. This is largely accomplished through outfitting the male participant with a fleshlight like device and arming the female with a “smart” dildo, devices that transmit physical feelings and sensations over great distances.

Package these peripherals together with a pair of brand-new Oculus Rifts and a decent wi-fi connection, and you’ve got the makings of a steamy, intimate night together, even if you’re separated by entire continents.

Of course, this new tech isn’t cheap, and all together it could set you back $1,000 easily.

Despite the fact that it might take years before the price for these devices drops to a respectable level, it’s still exciting to see that the tech sector is letting us explore uncharted waters in the human sexual experience.

Kyle Darbyson

The new male contraceptive: it’s as easy as flipping a switch!

lot has been done in the past to provide means of contraception for men, albeit with mixed results. From vasectomies, to condoms, to new potential breakthroughs such as contraceptive pills, guys have yet to be offered a ground-breaking means of contraception that can compete with the easiness and reliability of female birth control.

A German inventor by the name of Clemens Bimek has decided to change it up by creating a simple, reversible means of contraception for men, a device that most people are referring to as the “sperm switch”.

This device is made out of a medical-grade polymer and is about the size of a gummy bear, which should make it easy to control the flow of sperm at will.

In theory, installing this contraceptive gadget would be a very brief and simple procedure.

As reported in the Daily Mail, “The valve is implanted in the spermatic ducts with a rocker switch—which can be located easily by hand through the thin skin of the scrotum.”

Bimek’s vision was to create an alternative to a vasectomy. Although this procedure can be reversed, it still poses the risk of life-long sterility. This can make the idea of a vasectomy unappealing, because it offers little to no chance of reversal for men who might change their minds about bearing children down the road.

With the sperm switch—also known as the Bimek SLV—men would no longer have to worry about long-term contraceptives and possible infertility.

It all sounds pretty simple, but, as with all new revolutionary pieces of technology, there are a few catches.

First off, you do have to give the switch a couple months to completely stop sperm from reaching the penis during sex.

Second, the Bimek SLV is not as easy as popping a pill every day. Men are urged to see a urologist after the device is installed to complete a sperm analysis and make sure that no sperm remains in the ejaculatory liquid.

Despite these minor inconveniences, I believe that the Bimek is on the right track.

It’s going to make contraception a lot more easy and accessible for men, and will reduce risks of permanent infertility. In fact, vasectomies may be a thing of the past once this new technology hits the market.

Although research is still in progress, Bimek is currently recruiting test subjects to see whether or not his invention is as good as it sounds. Any volunteers?

Jodie Côté-Marshall