Virtual reality adult world from the eyes of VR Porn founder

Back in the times where I was still PR & Developer at Immotionar, I got to know on Twitter a guy with the account name “VR porn”. Strangely he didn’t write me to propose some super-sexy videos with beautiful women, but to compliment with me for our eccellent work at Immotionar about full body virtual reality. We chatted a bit and I discovered he had bought the domain vrporn dot com when no one was interested in vr porn for few money and started using it for sharing VR news… so despite the name, it was a VR-related blog… just like this one.

We continued our lives and from time to time I returned to chat with this smart guy, whose real name is Daniel Peterson, because we’re both VR passionates. I made a tiny collaboration with his blog, I observed its website evolving from a VR tech blog to a full featured successful porn website and also chatted about VR and startups sometimes. He wrote me a very heartful letter when I published my startup post-mortem and talked to me about his previous experience as startupper. I thought that this guy had an interesting story to tell, so I decided to interview him.

Porn is something most people do not want to talk about, but we all know that it is one of the main driver of internet traffic (along with social networks) and that most people consider porn one of the possible reasons for widespread adoption of virtual reality. So, the more we know about VR adult entertainment, the better.

Notice: the interview of course talks about NSFW arguments and contains NSFW-ish photos (but no porn, don’t worry) and links to VR porn that is a NSFW website!

Hello Daniel! Tell me the story behind VR Porn!

One day in 2013 I was tinkering around the internet when I came across this viral video of a grandma apparently experiencing virtual reality at the kitchen table.

My jaw just about dropped. What was going on? What is that headset she’s playing with? Is that really virtual reality?

I had always been a fan of virtual reality. The Matrix was my favorite movie of all time. I read and loved the virtual reality sci-fi novel Ready Player One in 2011. But I had thought it was still firmly in the realm of science fiction.

I knew I had to try one of these Oculus Rift headsets asap to see for myself. But they were sold out with a multi-month backorder directly from Oculus. So I went to eBay and paid an exorbitant amount for one. The first thing I tried was the demo that grandma was experiencing: Tuscany by Oculus. My mind was blown. Virtual reality was here.

Of course it wasn’t like being jacked into the Matrix, but the possibilities for the future of this technology were readily apparent. The technology for VR was finally possible. It was year 0 and the technology would iterate until it was approaching Holodeck levels. I became convinced that VR was coming in a big way. It was a technological tsunami coming out of nowhere, like the internet.

This was like the early 90’s for the internet. There was incredible potential. This was a once in generation opportunity. There were trillions of dollars to be made. Who was going to be the next Apple? The next Google? And I was one of the few people in the world who was aware of this fact at this relatively early stage. That’s where the real opportunity is. So what was I going to do about it?

What could I do to spread the word of VR? What could I invest in? What businesses could I start? These are all questions that people are asking nowadays because it is still early and there are lots of possibilities.

I knew that in the future there would be millions of people searching for vr porn, so that’s when I bought vrporn.com.

Ok, but I remember that at beginning yours was not an adult website…

I did start way back in 2013 with the VR fan blog. My first post was about Titans of Space by Drash. And as a favor to an old VR buddy, we made a new post about Drash’s latest GearVR release.
We featured that prominently so it got lots of exposure.
But I didn’t launch the adult redesign until March 2016, which is about when PornHub launched their VR content also. Traffic was much lower then. I can tell you that people definitely want adult content! I would write both porn and non-porn blog posts, and the porny ones got like 20 times the engagement.

And now here we are, VR has grown incredibly, and we’re at the top of Google with huge traffic.

Top of Google? Huge Traffic? Which numbers are we talking about?

I saw your comment on that recent article about Pornhub reporting 500k daily views

virtual reality porn views Pornhub
Pornhub virtual reality statistics (Image from PornHub, got from UploadVR)

Well, we actually have about 500k daily views ourselves, and if you look at the Pornhub charts, they’re somewhat under 500k. In fact, judging by the numbers, we likely have more vr traffic than Pornhub overall. Though we don’t have the giant marketing department that Pornhub has, David vs Goliath. 🙂
We’ve an average of 503,500 pageviews/day, which is more than Pornhub.

VR porn pageviews
Google Analytics page of VR porn dot com, kindly shared with me by Daniel
Wow… from these huge numbers surely you’ll be able to give me some analytics on your users!

Our largest demographic is males 18-34 from Western countries.
All the usual popular niches are popular on our site, e.g.: asian, MILF, teen, hentai. POV of course haha

So you are in the market since 2013… what evolutions have you seen in the VR adult market since then? And how do you envision its future?

The virtual reality porn market has been progressing rapidly from the start. I remember back in 2013 there was almost nothing available, then one studio (VirtualRealPorn) started making vr videos. Now there are about 20 significant studios making vr videos regularly, and that number is always increasing.
There is also a growing amount of indie creators making great computer graphics experiences, and nobody supports these vr creators as much as we do.
For the future, I see vr porn getting easier to use, and better quality. Right now, it’s still too hard for the average new user to get started.
One of our major goals is to help make VR easy for everybody. Already, you can go to our site and stream all the vr videos in virtual reality directly with no downloads at all. We have a WebVR player that works with all WebVR enabled browsers, such as the native GearVR Samsung internet browser, Android Chrome, and Chromium. I expect WebVR to become standardized and work by default on all browsers eventually.
I see interest in vr porn continuing to increase as general interest in vr increases. If our traffic doesn’t double by the end of the year I’d be surprised. And who knows, things could get really crazy in the future. 🙂

Currently VR adult experiences are mainly 3D videos. Don’t you think that they are too similar each other and too static, all with the point of view of a motionless guy? And don’t you think that distortion is too high in those videos?

Yes, they are currently too static, and too POV. Virtual reality can simulate anything, including any other media. POV is just one porn niche that some people like, there is no reason that it has to account for 95% of all vr porn videos. There are certain limitations to VR videos, especially with current technology. But these limitations don’t exist with computer graphic rendered experiences. You can potentially move around and have much richer experiences with that. It will be like a sexual fantasy in the Matrix.

I think that over time, vr videos will become exceptionally good. The quality will approximate reality. I don’t think there is any technological reason stopping this. Resolution, frame rates, proper rendering/distortion, etc. are all improving exponentially. And they will even have some level of 6 DOF, this technology is already here, and will also improve over time.

VR porn interview
A beautiful girl enjoying some VR porn videos (Image by BadoinkVR)
How do you envision the future of VR porn?

Just like VR in general, VR porn will just get better and better until it truly becomes the medium of choice. The only question is how long that will be. We all agree that it is improving every year, and, as Elon Musk says, you only need some small level of consistent improvement until we’re able to make perfect simulations. Then eventually there will be a nearly unlimited amount of such simulations. Then the odds are that we ourselves are already living in a simulation, since there are many more of these than the 1 true reality. In conclusion, there were will be an infinite amount of heavenly sexual fantasies in the future, and nothing is real. 🙂

Do you think there will be a VR killer app?

Porn may be the VR killer app. 🙂 I think the killer VR porn app will be VRPorn.com. You simply visit the domain with any VR device, no walled gardens, and it’s the best experience available.

So you do think that porn will be a driver for VR spread, don’t you?

Literally millions of people buy their first VR headset in part because they want to try that VR porn they’ve been hearing about. It’s like the early days of the internet. Porn was a killer app, and it helped interest grow quicker. Even today, a huge % of internet activity is related to porn, and some of the largest websites are adult.

Every day, tens of thousands of new people make their first contact with the virtual reality ecosystem through our website. First and foremost, we love VR and are part of the VR revolution, so we take this responsibility seriously. We do our best to educate these people on how to get started with VR, we hope we are being good stewards.

What about AR porn?

I think AR porn has lots of potential also. You’ll be able to do many of the things you can do in VR porn, but without leaving the real world. Whenever AR porn starts to become a thing, we’ll be sure to have it all on our site as well.

VR porn interview
With virtual reality porn we’re able to explore all our fantasies and feel really immersed (Image by VRCosplayX)
How do you envision the future of your website?

We are always working hard to bring you the best VR Porn experience. This means the largest and best selection. This means the easiest to use. And this means always being on the cutting edge of the latest trends of virtual reality and adult.

Things are starting to get pretty crazy. We’re already at a half million page views a day, and always growing. We have some exciting things in the works. VRPorn.com version 1.0 was my virtual reality fan blog. Version 2.0 is the porno site you see today. We are currently working hard on version 3.0, which will take things to the next level.

Aren’t you afraid of big websites like Pornhub going to kill your business?

I’m not really concerned about that. For one thing, they can’t focus on vr porn like we can. And for another thing, it’s a very big market. There is plenty of room for many successful adult vr companies. Even for traditional porn, there are hundreds of sites and adult companies doing well.

I really thank Daniel for this marvelous interview. I want to highlight the main takeaways:

  • VR adult traffic is incredibly huge. Upload VR, the most authoritative online magazine about VR has a web ranking below the one of VRporn dot com (source Alexa); And we’re considering only one website… if we consider Pornhub too, the traffic number doubles. I’ve made a blog with the wrong content! 🙂
    Jokes apart, I’ve tried VR adult videos and they’re really astonishing, they add a new dimension to the erotic entertainment, because they put really us inside the action. I always stress the fact that VR has been made to create emotions and sex is something that surely offers strong emotions, so VR is the ideal medium for it;
  • VR adult traffic is growing very fast. As he recalls, traffic grows steadily and from the below chart that I’ve obtained from an online website traffic estimator, you can see how this growth seems exponential. And Daniel espects his traffic TO DOUBLE in six months;

    VR porn pageviews
    Evolution of traffic to VR porn dot com: as you can see, the last part of the graph shows a steep ascent (Source Rank2Traffic)
  • I hate the idea of a VR killer application, as I’ve already told you in a previous article. But surely porn enhances the VR ecosystem, offering new opportunities to it, so will surely help in VR spread. When talking about VR, all other guys make me as first question “Do there exist porn for that technology?”. There’s a lot of interest about VR porn opportunities and I’m sure some friends of mine will buy a VR headset just to try porn when prices will go down (maybe in 2019);
  • VR porn is still dominated by males. I recently had a talk via mail with a #WomenInVR advocate, stating that even in this field men are dominating over women. I’ve also seen VR porn material for girls, but it is very limited. I’m wondering if this material doesn’t exist because there’s no market (few women interested in VR porn) or if there are few women interestd in VR porn because there’s no high-quality material for them. Inclusion matters, that’s why Max & me are studying a game that is suitable for women, too;
  • VR adult scene is still dominated by indies (“There is also a growing amount of indie creators making great computer graphics experiences”) and amateurs and this is something that was already told us by PornFoxVR founder. This is one of the reasons why VR adult experiences are still rough. Big players are starting entering the field, but as with videogames they’re entering slowly and there are big chances for newcomers to gain market shares;
  • VR videos currently suffer from various technical problems like motion sickness: if the camera moves too much, the user feels sickness and this is surely not enjoyable. This makes VR adult videos too static and is one of the problems that has to be solved;
  • VR is still too expensive and too difficult to be used for most people… and this is why it has still not taken off. We hope that cheaper and more user-friendly headsets, like Microsoft ones, will help in solving this issues;
  • VR opens up new opportunities for us all. A random US guy, passionate about virtual reality, in 2013 envisions the possibilities of VR and buys the domain vrporn dot com for few money, a domain that no one was interested in at that time. Now he has huge traffic on his website and I’m sure that selling that domain would give him hundreds thousand dollars. We all VR developers know that we’re in a land that is now full of opportunities and we have to catch them;
  • Daniel has failed with his previous startup, has recovered and in the end, thanks to his passion, he had success. This is really motivating;
  • From a startup standpoint there’s also another thing to notice: he started with an idea (a VR blog with the funny name of VR porn), but soon discovered that his customers wanted something else (“the porny ones [posts] got like 20 times the engagement [the simple techie ones]”), so he pivoted and actually transformed his website in a successfully porn-only service. Follow your customer needs, always.

Hope you liked this interview… if this is the case let me know your opinion about VR adult entertainment in the comments!

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Skarredghost

AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I’ve no idea what I’m doing.

I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I’ve still not waken up…