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Why motion sickness can ruin watching VR porn (and how to reduce cybersickness)

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With the majority of US and UK users having already watched VR porn on their headsets, it’s predicted that by 2026 20 percent of all online porn consumed will be through virtual reality (VR) headsets. Up to 80 percent of these individuals may experience cybersickness, AKKA VR motion sickness, at some point when exploring VR environments.

Naturally, this could impact some people’s enjoyment of porn and self-pleasure when using VR devices.

If that’s a problem that’s sounds all too familiar, here are a few tips on how to reduce VR motion sickness when viewing interactive porn to help achieve optimal sexual pleasure.

What is VR Motion Sickness?

Cyber-sickness differs slightly from standard motion sickness as it doesn’t necessarily involve physical motion. This is because it can happen even when someone is viewing VR porn seated or standing stationary.

There are multiple types of motion sickness and these can all be caused by VR, if someone is prone to them. Individuals can experience a mixture of reactions when suffering from cyber-sickness; these can affect the gastrointestinal system, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and a general sleepiness.

Symptoms can include:

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  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
  • Feeling disoriented and/or dizzy
  • Headaches
  • Change in body temperature and sweating
  • Feeling tired, groggy or even irritable

Why do people experience cyber-sickness?

Causes for motion sickness can be down to the individual and how their body reacts, but also the type of activity that happens during VR porn, which may lead people to experience cyber-sickness symptoms even if they’re not prone to motion sickness more generally.

This is due to the activity happening within VR porn confusing the body, or the duration of time a user wears a VR headset, which can confuse the body’s processing and autonomic nervous system, resulting in unpleasant symptoms.

“Due to the fact that Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel they are immersed in their surroundings, the brain and body seem like they are travelling in motion like a car, airplane or boat travel hence the issues of motion sickness arises,” Michael Ekpechue, director of Afya Rekod, a digital patient platform for health professionals, told SEXTECHGUIDE.

5 factors that can make cyber-sickness more likely

1

Not having a focal point

When you don’t have a continuous point of focus within the screen, you’re more likely to experience motion sickness —‍ having something that can be a constant focus in the screen can help a lot. When it comes to VR porn this could include a particular performer always being visible, a piece of constant clothing or lingerie, a focal sex toy in the room, or anything that will help you to keep focused on the screen and help reduce disorientation.

2

Camera angle and frequent changes

When VR viewers have control of the camera (as if it’s your eyes), there’s a much lower chance of experiencing motion sickness. When the camera zooms in and out it can lead to a higher chance of experiencing motion sickness. In VR porn, if you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to avoid scenes that change the camera zoom or direction too often, as this can lead to a higher chance of cyber-sickness.

3

After effects once the VR headset is removed

Even after stopping viewing VR porn, someone who has experienced cyber-sickness may still have unwanted symptoms for hours afterwards. Having an aftercare plan in place for after you finish watching VR porn can be helpful and also help ground you back into an everyday routine. Some of these aftercare routines can work alongside your sexual aftercare rituals, just adding in things like taking anti-sickness medication or a moment to lie down, for example, to deal with cyber-sickness symptoms.

4

Quality of the VR headset

As with other areas of technology, there’s also likely to be a different experience depending on the tech you are using. For example, using a $30 smartphone headset from one of the many, many manufacturers will give you a different experience to high-end standalone devices like the Quest 2. Kiiroo says that the two types of headsets can’t really be compared.

“The VR headset we offer is used to having smartphones fitted inside it and is not considered to be a sophisticated VR headset like to Oculus[Meta Quest 2] and other brands,” a Kiiroo spokesperson told SEXTECHGUIDE.

Naturally, it follows that bodily reactions may vary from headset to headset.

5

Interpupillary distance (IPD)

We wrote about what is holding back the tech developments in VR porn for women, and discovered a study found that people assigned female at birth were 27 percent more likely to experience motion sickness. This was due to the distance between the centre of their pupils affecting how well the headset works for them. Just like early smartphones were designed for bigger hands until tech developers start to create less gender-biased products, headset developers need to tailor products suitable for all bodies.

Some of the main reasons for individuals not wanting to experience sexual pleasure or struggling to enjoy sexual stimulation are often linked to upset stomachs, headaches, tiredness and other bodily disruptions that are similar to those that are experienced through motion sickness and cyber-sickness.

Disruptions of the environment can also affect how individuals enjoy sexual and erotic stimulation, and this can happen within a VR environment too.

When people experience these dysregulations, it can not only make it harder to get into the right emotional headspace for sexual interactions, including VR porn, but it can have an affect on the the user physically, leading to erectile or orgasmic difficulties.

How can people prevent cyber-sickness during viewing VR Porn?

Michael Ekpechue from Afya Rekod suggests trying some of the following free at-home VR motion sickness reduction techniques:

  1. Aim a fan on you while you play
  2. Eat ginger, chew some gum, and use essential oils
  3. Focus on a fixed point in the scene
  4. Turn your head when you are making turns
  5. Use the in-game controls to your preference level
  6. Start with minimal in-movement games
  7. Do not eat and then immerse yourself immediately in VR

If cyber-sickness and motion sickness are still really troublesome, then talking with a healthcare provider or pharmacy for antihistamines or anti-sickness medication may be helpful. However, antihistamines that are sometimes prescribed may lead you to experience erectile dysfunction or make you after taking the medication. So, while they may work to reduce motion sickness, you might end up a bit too sleepy to truly enjoy the experience.

If your budget allows, better quality VR scenes may be the solution. VR Porn Creator Katie Fox from TS Virtual Lovers, suggests.”Give it a go. If you already have the headset, then all you’d be paying out for is the content itself.”

You don’t need to invest in a porn or sex tech branded VR headset to start enjoying VR porn. Headsets from dedicated VR manufacturers may end up as a better option than sex toy branded ones, particularly if you want to reduce the chances of cyber-sickness and motion sickness.

Top 3 VR Porn Sites
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POVR review (2024): A great value VR porn site with thousands of up to 8K scenes

Curious about the hype surrounding POVR? As virtual reality transforms the adult entertainment industry, POVR has fast become one of the most popular VR porn sites offering high-quality VR porn videos. In this in-depth POVR review, we’ll explore …
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The ultimate adult VR aggregator, with hundreds of new scenes every month
POVR is our top choice vr porn aggregator, slightly edging out VRPorn.com and SexLikeReal for overall value, largely due to the quality and variety of scenes available. OK, it doesn’t have every single porn scene from every single studio, but it does make it easy to sort and find over at our last count, with around 11,000 included in the Premium subscription currently in 2023.

There’s a reason that these sort of adult VR websites are known as ‘the Netflix of porn’ — it’s super-simple to watch anything you want, in a whole range of categories, including transgender and female POV.

More importantly, there’s a pretty damn awesome 2-day free trial that offers unlimited streaming so you can try it out. No downloads are allowed in the trial, but every other plan includes unlimited access to downloading too.

Lastly, and just one more reason we love POVR, the VR Porn Room makes it really easy to find, filter, watch and download all your favorite VR porn scenes, from across a whole range of different studios. It’s so convenient if you’re used to watching on any sort of a phone-based headset, and equally useful if you’re using something like a Mixed Reality or Oculus VR rig too. Hell, you can even check it out on your desktop without being in VR at all.

As with every site, you’ll need to download for the absolute best quality, but the streaming option in VR Porn Room is entirely acceptable quality, if you don’t want to clog up your storage space.
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VRBangers sits first in our list of VR review scores because it’s our favorite overall VR porn site, and has been for quite a long time now. It was one of the first sites to introduce a standalone app and was the first to support 6K, then 8K VR porn scenes. It has managed to keep its regular release schedule (currently 3 per week), even through the pandemic, all to give you smoking hot porn scenes, which is hell of an achievement.

Sure, it doesn’t have the absolute most scenes available, but there are more than 467 at our last count, which is a lot to get started with — crucially, they’re all filmed in glorious quality. Some other sites have thousands of scenes, but many of them are old, which means the visual quality isn’t as impressive and immersive.

If you want the full 8K virtual porn experience, you’ll need to opt or one of the longer subscriptions, but they work out much cheaper in the long run anyway.

The absolute best thing about VRBangers is the ‘Playa’ app, which is available for pretty much any headset. Through Playa, you can stream or download any of the VRBangers titles without having to mess around at all. It also has some neat features, like letting you jump straight to the money shot when the time comes. There’s also a VR porn game included, but we’re not including that in our overall review score. It’s nice to know it’s there if we ever want to play it though.
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  • VR ‘Playa’ App is Excellent
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WankzVR review: High-quality and an excellent selection of interactive scenes

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Outstanding VR choice for anyone with an interactive toy, particularly for lifetime deal
If you’re looking for a standout all-rounder that supports smart sex toys, includes non-VR porn access and has hundreds of VR porn films in a range of categories, Wankz VR is a winning combination. It’s for this reason that it’s our recommendation for anyone looking for a lifetime package that has a bit of everything – including access to six additional VR sites.

If you don’t have a teledildonic sex toy or don’t want regular 2D porn included, then consider VRBangers or VirtualRealPorn in this list too, as both have a lifetime option that offers great value.

Alongside the normal categories you’d expect from a mainstream site, there’s around 9 or 10 new scenes each month. Currently, that’s 536+ scenes. Some of the older VR sex videos max out at 4K, but the newer ones are now being offered in up to 7K. Of course, unlimited downloads of 7K VR porno scenes will take up a lot of space on your headset, but all plans include unlimited streaming too.

WankzVR also has a lot of VR films that are compatible with interactive sex toys too, though the quality of the funscripts (the scripts that sync the on-screen action to your toy) aren’t quite as well developed as those at CzechVR, though we expect this to continue to get better over time.

As with some of the others in this list, WankzVR allows payment via bitcoin, as well as the regular card/credit card and PayPal options.
Catalog
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Ease of Use
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Quality
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Value
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  • Lots of interactive scenes and toys supported
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CONS:
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  • No app or ‘theater’ mode
  • Fewer scenes than some sites

Headsets such as Meta Quest 2 have a screen refresh rate of 90hz, whereas headsets that just use an Android phone (or similar system) often have a standard refresh rate of 60hz. Certain phones refresh rate can be adjusted by the user, but this will depend on the phone and overall it may be cheaper to buy a purpose-built VR headset. The smoother the VR porn runs, the lower the chance of experiencing cyber sickness.

Some tech companies have noticed the high prevalence of motion sickness in VR and this has led to the invention of specialist devices to help prevent it.

Cyber shoes and other devices that are placed under the feet to allow your body to feel like it’s moving even when seated can be helpful. A similar effect can be achieved by resting your feet on a balance or rocking inflatable gym equipment such as a stability disc that allows the feet to wobble and flow while resting on them.

The use of a VR treadmill may be off putting to the natural masturbatory motions someone may want to perform when enjoying VR porn. But if you’re deadest on using VR porn and have the room and money, it may be the solution to cyber-sickness for some users.

Similar to getting your ‘sea legs’, ‘VR legs’ is where some believe you can train yourself not experience cyber sickness through repeated exposure to VR. It’s something worth trying before investing in more costly tech.

Using compatible sex toys with your VR porn can also help your real-life movements fit with the scenes you’re viewing and reduce disorientation. Fox says, “In many cases, the viewer can be part of the scene. If it is possible to couple this with some of the interactive toys that are now on the market, it takes the experience of viewing porn to a different level.”

Read next: Best VR porn: 19 XXX virtual reality sites with up to 8K streaming and downloads (2022)

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