Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

Virtual sex in Japan: X-Oasis offers intimacy with virtual cam-girls [Interview]

(Note: This article contains links to NSFW content.)

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, services have emerged in Japan allowing the adult entertainment industry to continue without the need for physical contact. For example, we previously saw SmaCaba, a service allowing customers to "attend" hostess clubs through smartphone video meetings. We also saw how adult video service SOD's servers crashed after they offered free videos. With many people stuck at home, it was perhaps inevitable. But many are also taking advantage of the situation to discover technologically-mediated experiences.

Virtual Reality, and the way it allows you to dive into and interact with completely immersive environments, is a technology that is clearly ripe for exploration when it comes to intimacy and sex. While there have been games where players interact with computer-generated models, so-called "VR sex" where only humans interact is very much an emerging field.

X-Oasis

Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

One new player in this field is X-Oasis (read as "Cross-Oasis"). Now in a crowdfunding campaign which ends on June 7th, X-Oasis is a Japanese VR service enabling dating and sex with virtual cam-girls, and is slated to begin Beta service at the end of the month.

Founded by "virtual adult video actress" Karin, multi-talented and multi-lingual VR engineer Dary, and with promotional advisory support from Vtuber, singer, writer and blogger Virtual bishoujo Nem, one of the world's first virtual YouTubers active since 2017, X-Oasis aims to be far more than a simple virtual "transposition" of pre-existing real-world adult services:

According to their press release, "the concept of X-Oasis is to bring together 'virtual' and 'adult' in a way that allows us to redefine 'sex' as a more open form of communication, all the while maintaining the privacy and ensuring the safety (of everyone involved). Our goal is to realize an oasis of sexuality where appearance, sexual identity, and age freely cross over."

"In this time when the pandemic has limited people's freedom to go out, we'd like to propose 'virtual adult service worker' as a new form of employment which was previously unavailable, thereby contributing to the revitalization of our stagnating economy."

Customers will be able to choose between a number of pre-selected avatars for themselves:

Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

They can choose from several environments:

Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

They can also customize the cast member's clothes, accessories and more:

Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

A wide range of options are available...

Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

...even fantasy items like animal ears, horns, and angel or demoness wings.

Reproduced with permission from X-Oasis

As for the service itself, there are "dates" where customers spend some intimate time alone with a cast member and can choose between any number of situations, positions, and various forms of play; a broadcast service where viewers can watch for free or opt to pay to perform actions on the cast member; and a mode called "VR hentai onsen" in which you're a female avatar by default and have fun with a cast member while soaking in a Japanese hot spring resort.

When the service begins its Beta run at the end of June, only "smartphone mode" will be available (using smartphone and VR goggles) with a more limited interaction system. However, from August, customers will also be able to join in "Quest mode" (using Oculus Quest + Link) with freedom of viewpoint and hand tracking, as well as "full-tracking mode" (using Oculus Quest + Link, Oculus Rift or THC Vive with 6-point tracking) where full freedom of movement is possible.

If you'd like to learn more, you can visit the X-Oasis website where they have videos and more details.

Crowdfunding

If you're interested in X-Oasis and would like to support their activities, you can contribute to their crowdfunding campaign with returns which include various options and items you can use within the service.

The campaign ends on Sunday, June 7th (JST), so don't delay!

X-Oasis crowdfunding campaign


Interview with the X-Oasis team

We had a few questions about X-Oasis so we reached out to Karin, Dary and Virtual bishoujo Nem who kindly agreed to talk to us in Discord.

grape Japan: "In terms of crowdfunding type, will the service begin regardless of the outcome or does it depend on meeting a goal?"

Karin: "It's an all-in type of crowdfunding. Participants can contribute freely and they will get returns based on their contributions."

gJ: "It appears you can only choose from pre-selected avatars. Do you plan on allowing customers to bring in their own avatars at some point?"

Karin: "Although we'd ideally want customers to have the freedom to bring in the avatar of their choosing, we limited that functionality to protect our cast members. We were concerned about the possibility of customers harassing them by intentionally using an avatar comprising some form of expression designed to make them feel uncomfortable."

Dary: "Actually, we're considering eventually implementing a list system whereby customers submit avatars in advance and we allow them to use the ones which are approved."

gJ: "It seems that much of the experimentation being done with VR and sex in Europe and North America involves pursuing realism using some form of haptic technology. Do you also intend going in that direction?"

Karin: "Thank you for asking that question. This is a subject we really care about. To begin with, we'd like our customers to experience the simulated sensations arising from first-person audiovisual input. That's because in order to experience sensations that you cannot experience with your physical body and interpret them as "real," getting feedback into your real body isn't the best way to do it. For example, when your avatar has animal ears or a tail, or when your avatar is of a different gender, that isn't something you can reproduce with haptic technology. This is known as "phantom sense" and it's a topic currently being researched within VRChat and other fields. (...)"

gJ: "But what about the cast members?"

Karin: "We're not planning on implementing any haptic technology for them. We believe that, as long as they are interested in expressing and exploring their sexuality and sensuality, cast members should be able to express their talents regardless of physical body shape or appearance. Therefore, haptics which set requirements on the user's physical body are not suited to what we're trying to accomplish."

gJ: "You're an equal opportunity employer!"

Karin: "You could say that LOL"

gJ: "For my final question, I'd like to ask about the terminology you use on your website. You talk about the sessions with cast members as "dates." Is this just a euphemism for sex or do you also see users treating the experience as a date with a girlfriend, just talking, cuddling, something more ... platonic?"

Karin: "To tell the truth, I've had private requests like that in the past, and I was OK with it. It's just that our cast members don't have 'OK with platonic interaction' set as a default (although I imagine almost all of them wouldn't mind). That's because it's quite possible that some cast members may have difficulty interacting with someone they've never met before only with conversation and without engaging in some kind of sexual communication."

Dary: "We also call it 'live date' to distinguish it from 'live chat.' (...) We aim to create an experience and an environment that is like a date."

Nem: "Actually, I thought that bringing in some kind of haptic interface might make things more accessible to people. The image I had was that it might be difficult to acquire 'phantom sense.' But (for journalistic purposes), I actually experienced X-Oasis for myself, and the impact on me from the beginning was far greater than I could have imagined! The second time I tried it, I could feel that my phantom sense had really developed. Just simply making out was a lot of fun, actually.

The way I see it, this is a new form of entertainment that also encompasses sexuality. You can also experience being a different gender than you actually are, so I think the potential need for this is great."


By - grape Japan editorial staff.