VR can trick the brain to sense sexual touch

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If you and I were to have dinner tonight, you would probably hear me exclaim, “You wouldn’t believe what I read today!” I’ve said this regularly to my husband, my friends, and even my Pilates teacher. That’s because I’m regularly blown away by exploring advanced sex technology and the future of intimacy. But talking to Kais Latiri, Founder and CEO of BrainWavesXR and Meta Spa VR really took my amazement to the next level.

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I can’t remember when I first heard about Meta Spa VR, a company in Alberta, Canada that combines sex dolls with virtual reality for futuristic sex. It sounds trippy, to say the least. But my previous experiences with virtual reality caused me to underestimate what’s really going on with these Canadians.

Virtual reality can certainly be frighteningly powerful and realistic. I’ve hung out with pandas in China, whitewater rafted down a treacherous river, and floated peacefully in space. However, what Kais offers at Meta Spa VR struck me as a niche market, especially since surveys show people don’t step out the door to experience sex with life-size Barbie doll lookalikes. Nonetheless, I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to interview Kais. As a self-proclaimed futurist with a particular interest in intimacy, I thought he offered one of the more futuristic versions of sex available in 2023. And my guess was correct.

I’m learning that the future of VR is far more sophisticated and powerful than my current virtual reality goggles reveal. Apparently I haven’t seen anything yet. AI experts like Kais have worked with neuroscientists to develop programs that trick the brain into experiencing strong emotions and sensations. Many of us will eventually have the opportunity to feel things we would never otherwise feel — like what it’s like to climb the side of Kilimanjaro — or have overwhelming, ecstatic sex without a human partner.

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But since we all have different opinions on what gorgeous sex looks and feels like, Meta Spa VR offers a buffet of emotional and sensual experiences that are sure to tickle every taste. Just as you choose between a romance, a thriller, or a comedian’s haunted stand-up routine when watching TV, in Meta Spa VR you essentially choose what you want to feel emotionally during your sexual experience (admiration, lust, or sexual empowerment). Example).

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This next generation sex technology allows you to choose an emotional experience while tricking your mind into believing you are having a sexual experience. This technology is based on the phantom sense in VR and achieves its goal by manipulating light projected from the two screens of the VR headset.

Most of us have an immediate emotional response to advancing technology – we want to characterize it as healthy or unhealthy, natural or unnatural, good or bad for humanity. But the truth is probably far more nuanced, and only time will tell. After all, people had a similar range of reactions to smartphones, and now they’re just part of our lives. Ultimately, some people will likely feel that this advanced level of sex technology enhances their lives and sexual experiences, while others will feel that it distracts from their intimate connections. Hopefully the majority of us find the advancement of sex technology most beneficial.

The challenge of any sex technology, I believe, is that it offers versions of sexual stimulation that are more intense than what typical human partners can offer. But this phenomenon is not new. Vibrators can manipulate skin faster than a human hand or tongue. Porn amplifies and exaggerates visual stimulation. However, virtual reality intensifies a more complex sensory experience. As researchers like Kais continue to develop phantom touch, you and I no longer need human partners to experience the sensation of skin-to-skin contact.

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These extraordinary developments are not limited to sexual sensations. Just as porn fueled technological advances on the World Wide Web, today’s sex technology will also fuel advances in fields as diverse as mental health and elder care. Just as Kais can enable guests to have certain emotional experiences by adjusting the lighting and sound in their VR goggles, future medical treatments will use the same technology to manipulate people’s emotional experiences – for example, to treat depression.

Just as Kais is able to create touch sensations that don’t actually occur, so the future lonely nursing home residents will feel the soothing yet ghostly caress of another. The possible uses of these technologies are probably beyond our grasp while they are still in their infancy. And as with most, if not all, new technologies, we can expect both positive and negative impacts.

The positive effects are likely to be numerous – providing creative sexual experiences for individuals, couples and single people. People struggling with monogamy may choose these non-human sexual partners as alternatives to infidelity. Yet to this list of positives is the potential for negatives – including the potential for disruption of human intimacy.

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Intimate relationships are challenging. Most people report that sex becomes less exciting as romances get older. Whether sex-tech becomes the ultimate elixir for these challenges, or the ultimate substitute, only time will tell.


Rubin, P. (2018). Future Presence: How virtual reality is changing human connection, intimacy and the boundaries of ordinary life. HarperOne.

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Spiegel, N. (2020). VRx: How virtual therapeutics will revolutionize medicine. Essential Books.