Virtually An Affair: Are Evangelicals Prepared To Face Pornography’s VR Revolution?1 -- By: Matthew C. Millsap

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 021:1 (Spring 2016)
Article: Virtually An Affair: Are Evangelicals Prepared To Face Pornography’s VR Revolution?1
Author: Matthew C. Millsap

Virtually An Affair:
Are Evangelicals Prepared To Face Pornography’s VR Revolution?1

Matthew C. Millsap

Assistant Professor of Christian Studies and Assistant Director of Library Services
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Missouri

Meet Michael. Michael is a 35 year-old, middle class, American male with a wife, Kate, and two small children. Michael has a good job, lives a relatively comfortable life, and is loved by his friends and family alike. Michael and Kate are both believers, each claiming to have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Both are active in their local church: Michael is a deacon and Sunday school teacher, while Kate leads a weekly women’s Bible study. If one were to ask Michael and Kate about the state of their relationship, each would answer positively—they enjoy a healthy marriage.

Meet Stacy. Stacy is an attractive, 22 year-old, single American female. Describing herself as an “adult performer,” Stacy works for a web-based pornography company through which she interacts live with her clientele online. Though she typically is many miles away from most of the men who pay for her services, she is able to perform for them in real-time via webcam in her apartment. Stacy talks to her clients when she performs, and, of course, her clients are able to see and hear what she does. But Stacy’s clients are different than what one might call traditional voyeurs; her clients are instead direct participants.

Michael is one of Stacy’s regulars, though his wife, Kate, is unaware. About two months ago, Michael felt he was becoming dissatisfied with his marriage. Something seemed to be lacking, and Michael traced it to his and Kate’s sexual relationship. Kate seemed to be tired quite often and reluctant to perform the sexual acts that Michael desired, thus Michael felt his “needs” were not being met adequately. Consequently, Michael found the company online that employs Stacy (or more accurately,

exploits, Stacy2) and for the past month, he has been availing himself of Stacy’s services. Several nights a week, after Kate has fallen asleep, Michael quietly slips into the study in their home. He logs in to the porn company’s website, goes to Stacy’s page, and initiates the video connection, though it is not to the screen of his laptop. Rather, Michael dons a virtual reality (VR) headset connected to the laptop. Through the headset, he has been transported into the virtual space of Stacy’s room and, through her placement of a special 360-degree...

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