Here are the best immersive adult studios, scenes, apps, devices of 2019.
From web-based video streaming to the widespread adoption of online payments, it’s not hard to make the case that the adult industry was one of the primary drivers of innovation in the development of the Internet from its early days to its current state.
Of course, this relationship between our smuttier proclivities and technology was well-documented long before the Internet—so it’s not hard to imagine how immersive formats such as virtual and augmented reality, known for their ability to create a sense of presence and interaction, would similarly see innovation coming from the adult vertical.
“Perhaps even more than we’ve seen in recent decades, the adult industry is focused on pushing boundaries and finding a way forward in unexplored territories,” said Ela Darling, adult performer and marketing director of sextech company ViRo Club, in an interview with the author. “In part because standout creators in the space are always explorers of curiosities and in part because historically this kind of forward thinking means survival and longevity of a particular extension of the world’s oldest profession.”
Like all young formats, innovations here require risk and experimentation; they’re expensive in the face of small mainstream understanding. Notably with XR, incumbent “Big Tech” companies like Facebook and Google play an outsized role in the overall development of the ecosystem—and as the recent censoring of Tumblr indicates—that role serves to largely gate out adult content.
“2019 marked a year of pushing forward and exploring potential new areas of interest for consumers of adult XR,” Darling said. “Whether that meant video producers exploring new niches or tech leaders finding new venues to test the waters with the hope of thriving in a nascent space in the early days, the adult industry has demonstrated that it is still a tidal force in the intersection of future tech and eroticism.”
Like all year-end posts, this one is intended to highlight notable developments from the past year. Where this one differs slightly from my other lists, though, is the inclusion of an “ongoing support” category to highlight companies founded in prior years but that continue to play an important role in the ecosystem.
NOTE: while there is no explicit imagery in this post, much of what is included here will understandably be perceived as NSFW.
Adult XR Studio of the Year: 2049 Entertainment
Founded by Adult VR veteran Anna Lee, 2049 Entertainment released its first series this year titled The Black Box Collection: Season 1, a series of solo ASMR scenes set in a black box stage. Lee, the first and only VR director to have been nominated for Director of the Year by AVN and Xbiz, tailors each experience around the performer’s personality—with unscripted scenes that use inclusive, gender-neutral and non-binary language in the richly detailed sonic environments.
Adult AR App of the Year: AR Conk
While many of the major players on the VR side of the industry have established themselves, it’s still early days for adult mobile AR content. Earlier this year, AR Conk released an Android app this year that puts a 3D scanned performer in your room with you (or wherever you are). The visuals and latency hold up despite the limitations of mobile AR, and the low price point ($4.99) have quickly established AR Conk as the name to know in AR adult content.
Adult VR App of the Year: ViRo Club
If the “dream” of VR is presence and interaction, ViRo (“Virtual Romance”) Club stands out as a full embodiment of the medium’s potential. The app features high-quality, customizable experiences that focus on haptics, supporting more than 45 haptic/teledildonic devices. In the months since its launch, it has grown a dedicated following because of its curated library of diverse, high-quality solo experiences, as well as its intent to launch social spaces with a focus on consent, privacy, and judgement-free self-exploration.
Top Adult Immersive Streaming of the Year: Stripchat VR
With the shuttering of CAM4VR, there was a gap in the adult VR space: live cam streaming. Stripchat, already a popular 2D cam site, worked with a VR team to release StripchatVR in 2019. Users navigate to the site through the GizmoVR Video Player to watch, tip, and even enter private chats with the cam performer—allowing for new forms of immersive audience-performer interaction.
Top Adult Immersive Apps of the Year (Ongoing Support)
SexLikeReal is a veteran adult VR content aggregator, with content from almost every adult VR studio and producer. It remains a top name in adult VR due to its continued efforts to provide broad content offerings, which can be accessed by every major headset on the market via the SLR app.
Virt-A-Mate is the go-to sandbox app in adult VR, letting users upload and engage with custom 3D avatars. The app’s online community encourages users to share scenes, models, and other mods, which sparked polarizing opinions among users and critics—notably in recent months for its potential function within deepfake culture. Like many emerging technology tools, it carries with it the potential for abuse, but remains a popular CGI-centered application, particularly for developers and tech-savvy folks.
Top Immersive Adult Devices of 2019
Fleshlight Launch – Kiiroo
The Fleshlight Launch is the product of a partnership between Fleshlight and Kiiroo, one of the top producers in the teledildonic space. The device, which “automates” the Fleshlight for users, remains a favorite among adult VR fans with penises, who cite its quality and versatility of offerings. The Launch is compatible with most standard Fleshlight products, which offers the opportunity to customize the experience, and it syncs with most VR video and game experiences. It is also designed to pair with the Fuse by OhMiBod, an interactive Rabbit-style vibrator that is also produced by Kiiroo, for partner play.
Max 2 – Lovense
The Max 2, a device for people with penises, has become a favorite among adult VR users since its release in early 2019. The latest release from Lovense is sleek and easy to clean, boasting 360-degree contractions and a redesigned vibrator. Like most teledildonic devices, it has the ability to sync to the content on-screen(s) as well as other Lovense devices for long-distance partner play. It uses a Bluetooth connection to sync with video or other devices for easy setup and has a longer battery life than previous releases.
Osci 2 – Lovense
Lovense has gained a reputation as being cutting edge in the field of interactive sex toys with its thoughtful design and catalogue that caters to any gender. The Osci 2 is a step away from the standard Rabbit-style or clitoral-focused options that dominate the market and instead focuses on G-spot stimulation. As referenced with the Max 2, The Osci 2 can pair with content and other Lovense offerings for more immersive experiences. While the Osci 2 is certainly not the first toy to promise G-spot orgasms, users claim it’s a device that fully delivers on the promise.
Top Adult Immersive Productions of the Year
Black Box Collection, Season One, 2049 Entertainment
Not surprisingly, The Black Box Collection: Season 1, delivers some of the most thoughtful, innovative adult content of 2019. Director Anna Lee features a variety of top-billed performers in this ASMR series, including Tera Patrick, who came out of retirement to perform for it. Lee’s choice to use gender-neutral language is also an important step toward broadening the audience of adult XR content.
Fidelio III, Naughty America
Naughty America has been at the forefront of the XR space for years, known by fans for the clean, high-end production style and curated list of top-notch performers. With stars including Bridgette B., Romi Rain, Whitney Wright, Dolly Leigh, Naomi Blue, Kayla Paris and Emma Starletto, Fidelio III is a New Year’s Eve-themed, boudoir group scene, evoking the sense of being at a luxe private sex party (think Eyes Wide Shut).
Jumanjizz, VR Bangers
The adult parody porn lives on in VR with Jumanjizz, which stars Lacy Lennon. Inspired by the iconic adventure film, Jumanji, the film combines a good script, beautiful outdoor location, and incredible effects to create an experience that brings an erotic, immersive angle to the classic.
So what’s in store for adult XR in 2020?
Darling expects to see growth in the AR and indie verticals as new creators enter the adult XR industry, as well as more experiences that make use of connected hardware.
“I think in 2020 we will see more exploration of AR technology in the adult industry, expanded VR production, and more specialized and niche content from new producers,” Darling said. “I think we will see more independent producers this year as performers are empowered to explore the space as well, and I think we will see the introduction of even more great auxiliary and teledildonic devices to supplement the viewing experience.”