More than two thirds of virtual reality (VR) headset users in the UK and US have used their devices to watch porn, according to a new market survey that also underlined the rising popularity of VR headsets in more general use.

The survey, conducted across the US and UK by market research firm CCS Insight, found that 68 percent of VR headset users surveyed said they had watched VR porn at some point.

57 percent of female survey responders said they’d watched VR porn using their headsets, compared to 74 percent of male responders.

60 percent of VR users said they watched adult content at least once a week – 65 percent for male users and 47 percent for females. More generally, 70 percent of users said they watched videos on their headset, which could have included adult content videos, music videos and TV episodes.

VR is a fast-rising sector of the porn industry, with VR porn sites such as Naughty America VR, VRBangers, WankzVR and VirtualTaboo all launching within the last five years. Last year VRBangers claimed that its sales had risen by 30 percent since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“VR porn actually gives you the opportunity to get transferred into a different part of the world. We have experiences in the woods, in hair salons, hospitals, restaurants, other countries, you name it – pretty much places that people miss the most right now,” Daniel Abramovich, VRBangers’ founder and CEO, told Insider.

Leo Gebbie, senior analyst at CCS Insight, told SEXTECHGUIDE that “the global pandemic has offered emerging technologies an opportunity to prove their value. VR has stood out as a means of entertainment as people have navigated lockdown periods, and acted as a form of escapism while they’ve been physically confined.”

The success of Facebook’s Oculus Quest VR headset has helped drive up interest in VR use in the home. According to the new survey, 70 percent of VR headset owners said they had bought their VR devices in the last year. 60 percent of users said they used the devices every day or almost every day.

Gaming was found to be the biggest driver of VR use, with 90 percent of headset users playing games on their devices at least once a week.

Extended Reality Headset Shipments
CCSInsight’s forecasted headset sales.

According to eMarketer, in 2020 around 52 million people in the US use VR technology at least once a month. CCS Insight forecasted that 55 million virtual and augmented reality devices will be sold globally in 2024, with industry growth helped by the development of smart glasses linked to smartphones.

Market experts said that despite growing popularity, VR was a way off being a mass-market staple.

“Price remains a challenging hurdle for the VR industry. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset at £299 or $299 offers a punchy price point, but it’s still more than people told us they were willing to pay for their first VR device. This price gap remains a major barrier to mass-market adoption,” Gebbe said.

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