VR Porn Is Helping Men Jerk Off Into Cups at Fertility Clinics

Producing a sperm sample doesn’t have to be stressful.

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Jul 26 2017, 3:25pm

Image: Shutterstock/Composition: Louise Matsakis

When a heterosexual couple begins fertility treatment, part of the process often involves the male ejaculating into a cup at a doctor's office. The semen is then analyzed to assess whether it's healthy.

Jerking off in a cold, hard, fluorescent clinic is not exactly sexy. Reddit is full of men recounting the awkward experience of trying to finish at a clinic or sperm bank, which are typically only equipped with outdated porn magazines and videos.

In an effort to make this mandatory masturbation smoother, VR Bangers, a virtual reality porn company, is beginning a program to bring VR headsets to fertility clinics. For now, it's only working with USC Fertility, which is affiliated with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles. But the company is in talks with "a few more IVF [in vitro fertilization] fertility centers," and "with some sperm banks," Mike Henigan, a spokesperson for VR Bangers, told me over Skype.

Image: VR Bangers

The hope is that letting patients fully immerse themselves in a virtual environment could help lessen the strain associated with getting intimate in a clinical setting. "We are very sensitive to all of our patients' needs and the stress of collecting a sperm specimen in a doctor's office is a major source of stress for our male patients," Dr. Richard Paulson, the director of USC Fertility, said in a statement emailed to Motherboard.

VR bangers is using an all-in-one AuraVisor VR headset, which doesn't need to be attached to a smartphone. It comes preloaded with just 12 "premium" videos, but it's relatively easy to expand the selection. "We can add more by just sending them the file and they will upload it straight to the SD card of the headset," Henigan said.

Read More: Don't Use This Sperm Counter On Your Phone While FaceTiming

While it probably would be nice for patients to put on a VR headset and forget they're at a clinic, I had some very practical questions about the process. For example, if you can't see, how do you make sure the semen gets into the cup? Also, how are they going to keep the headset clean? USC Fertility didn't respond to two requests for comment.

For patients who aren't really into VR porn, there are other innovative ways to reduce the awkwardness associated with producing a sperm sample. Trak, a $200 at-home system, lets patients measure sperm count without needing to head to a doctor's office.

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