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The world’s first sexual wellness space has launched in the metaverse

The Metaverse is considered the next “big thing” in Internet technology.

This immersive virtual world is already being extended to improve social connection between users. With many brands and companies taking advantage of its popularity, we are already seeing the creation of virtual spaces. The Lovehoney Group, for its part, has taken a bold and impressive step onto the web3 by launching the world’s first metaverse sexual wellness space.

The brand’s first sexual wellness pop-up space at Decentraland has been in place since July and spans four virtual floors. It offers visitors a complete and immersive brand and product experience, educational videos, workshops, a dance floor, and an NFT erotic art exhibition and auction. Open until the end of August, visitors can enter this immersive new world with any computer without any additional equipment like VR glasses.

Virtual exploration of sexual matters

The Lovehoney Group’s Sexual Wellness Metaverse space is not only easily usable and accessible for a wide audience, but it also acts as an anonymous place for people to explore sexual wellness products and content around the theme of sexuality.

“In a world where ‘Big Tech’ is silencing sexual wellness brands, with increasingly strict regulations on Instagram and Google, it’s exciting for us to launch an experience like this pop-up space.” , explains Johanna Rief, Head of Sexual Empowerment at Lovehoney Group.

With consumer welfare and protection being a top priority for Lovehoney Group, the company has taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of visitors. Betty the Bee, the company’s security avatar, will greet visitors at the front door with information on how they can report inappropriate behavior and block anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable.

By clicking on the other person’s avatar, users can easily select the blocking feature, and by pressing the “E” key on their keyboard, they will be moved to a random area of ​​the Lovehoney Group store. All consumers will also be asked for their age when entering the experience to ensure they are over 18.

“The Metaverse allows us to immerse ourselves in digital content rather than feeling like a separate viewer,” says Bryony Cole, global sextech expert at Lovehoney Group. “People naturally see entertainment as the only possibility for sextech, but there is also great potential for sex education, sexual bliss, and sexual health support in the metaverse. Additionally, the combined anonymity and privacy of this platform allows people to engage more with this topic where they may not feel comfortable in real life, allowing more people to educate themselves.

To learn more about what this metaverse sexual wellness space will bring to visitors, we chat with Cole to discover the positive paths people can take to explore sexual issues and issues in this high-tech virtual world.

Can you tell us more about your role in this Metaverse sexual wellness space with the band Lovehoney and what drew you to it?

As Lovehoney’s sextech expert, I was thrilled to be able to join the project as a thought leader, organizing the launch in the US, UK and Australia at Decentraland and delivering a keynote virtual opening on the potential of the metaverse for sexuality.

What exactly is sextech, and can you explain it more in simple terms?

Sextech is any technology designed to enhance sexuality. This concept brings together two terms: sexuality and technology. Sexuality, not just sex. The sexuality umbrella is broad, encompassing health, education, entertainment, gender identity, crime and violence. Similarly, technology includes several categories, from virtual reality and AI to robotics, applications and games. Technological innovations will continue to expand the categories to which we can apply sextech.

In your experience, what are the most common issues people face when it comes to dealing with sexual issues in the tech space?

Any challenges that arise in the physical world, we can expect to be replicated in virtual worlds. This includes sexual assault and violence. There have been reported sexual assaults before in the metaverse at Horizon World, and before that in VR games. There is a question if something happens virtually – is it real? We know from those who have experienced it that yes, sexual assault can be a virtual experience.

What happens to your avatar also impacts your emotional brain and nervous system. Recognizing gender issues in the tech space is something that innovators are quickly coming to recognize and address. It will take more time for regulators to catch up, so it behooves developers and creators of the metaverse to conscientiously incorporate features that enable more protection and security.

Examples include buttons that immediately create a security aura or shield around you against other avatars, escape keys to remove you from the store, and security avatars in virtual space like Betty the Bee from Lovehoney. It will take a few years for legal and governance to catch up, as will the trend of technology cycles, such as social media, and the lag to allow legislation against cyberbullying and digital assaults like revenge porn. While the rate of technological innovation is exponential, regulatory and legal frameworks tend to lag behind.

Does the metaverse provide a safe space for sex discussions and sex education as it allows for anonymity?

The relative anonymity of the metaverse creates a sense of freedom so people can more openly converse about sex and explore without stigma.

In your experience, are people today more open to discussing sexual wellness issues?

Absolutely. Over the past few years, cultural movements around sexual harassment and assault like MeToo and TimesUp have fueled a conversation about female sexuality and encouraged us to go further. People feel heard and feel like there’s a sense of camaraderie – that there are people out there who understand them. “That they are not alone.”

Sexual pleasure (and our pain) is coming out of the shadows with celebrities collaborating with sex toy companies like Lilly Allen for Womanizer, influencers no longer just models but certified sex therapists like Chantelle Otten educating millions wellbeing online as well as everyday people are creating open discussions about sex on TikTok… signaling a new shift in our openness to discussing sex.

Has technology fueled a shift in the way people approach their wellness issues, especially as it relates to sex?

I see sextech as an incredibly powerful way to use technology to not only help us find our voice, but to change the culture of shame and silence around our bodies. The internet has opened up channels of communication and, at best, the ability for us to see ourselves in others. People of color, queer and trans people, people with disabilities, and even non-monogamous people are all communities that can benefit from greater visibility. Technology like the metaverse presents us with a huge opportunity to improve this accessibility and representation of diverse members of society in the context of well-being.

Real game-changing technology will take a broader look at sexual bliss, including understanding health prevention, pain management, and feeling safe. Examples of this include fertility tracking apps, STI health sharing platforms, dilators and innovations for painful sex (something 85% of women will experience in their lifetime) as well as taking into account the well-being of a social dimension such as ecological vibrators and greener, more sustainable products.

Do you foresee the metaverse being a key area that advocates for this change?

Yes, due to its ability to be interactive yet relatively safe, the Metaverse provides an interesting platform to change the dialogue around sex and wellness. What we have to remember is that no technology will be the solution. Technology has no ethics. He doesn’t care about your feelings, your values, your pleasure. It’s on us. Technology is a tremendous amplifier of what is happening in society. I hope the metaverse is a simple way to get people of all ethnicities, orientations, and backgrounds thinking about this.

(Images: Lovehoney Group)

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