Sidsel Meineche Hansen, Second Sex War, interview with Ryan Ormonde, Fader (2016)

The allure of virtual reality lies in its possibilities for escape and exploration, to exist—if only fleetingly—in a world free from the physical parameters imposed on you by biology and genetics. However, when you lock into virtual reality via hardware such as Oculus Rift, you substitute your flesh and blood for a virtual body designed by a digital media company. As such, the sum of characteristics and behaviors that make up a given avatar is limited by the assumptions and prejudices of its content creators. What does that mean for the ways in which the gender of a virtual body is presented? Is there any room for expression of sexuality and sexual orientation? While these questions often arise from a gaming context, what happens when we consider them in terms of another industry making serious inroads into virtual reality: pornography?

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