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Coming soon: Cybersex for masses

Cybersex, until now a niche market for nerds, is poised to open up to the masses thanks to new user-friendly software

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 18:45 IST

Cybersex, until now a niche market for nerds, is poised to open up to the masses thanks to new user-friendly software,

New Scientist

reports.

At present, cybersex is practised among so-called sex communities, in which small groups of people interact via animated 3D characters called avatars.

"But it's not easy to enter the sex communities," the British weekly explains in a report to be published on Saturday.

"To begin with, customising a beginner-level avatar into a sexual being is difficult and expensive: genitalia, outfits, more realistic skin and hair, and sexual moves all cost extra unless you can programme them for yourself."

All this is now due to change, it says.

Games developers are teaming up with the porn industry to open up cybersex to the broad public, offering punters a pre-programmed menu of characters, looks, sexual preferences and actions.

The first generation of "erotic multiplayer online games", Red Light Centre, will enable avatars to dance, visit art galleries and take jacuzzis in addition to having sex.

Later this year, a virtual arena called Naughty America "will tie cybersex to online dating," New Scientist says.

Subscribers will fill in a questionnaire to match them with a selected partner, and their avatars can have cybersex before their owners meet in real life.

One big driver for the cybersex market is the belief that people want casual sex without complications and without the risk of going home with someone.

"The developers of both games think this safety aspect will appeal especially to women, traditionally an untapped market for the entertainment software industry," the British science magazine adds.