The porn is made created by 3D-rendering software like Virt-A-Mate and Foto2vam and shared or sold over sites like Reddit and Patreon, Motherboard reports. A booming marketplace already exists for 3D models of celebrities like Emilia Clarke and Emma Watson, along with individual people’s former partners — raising thorny questions about consent and abuse.
The people who have created or bought these 3D virtual sex models have an active online community, according to Motherboard. Many brag on Reddit about how the tech has let them act out sexual fantasies with partners past or imagined.
It can get very icky.
“From now on, we need to make sure we ask girlfriends to pose a few different angles with a blank expression and flat lighting for a few photos and then import them into VaM,” one person posted.
The people creating and selling avatars told Motherboard that they see it as a harmless way for people to act out their desires. But it’s easy to imagine issues surrounding revenge porn shared without the subject’s knowledge or consent, especially as computer graphics continue to improve.
“Is this something the other person wants? Is it mutually desirable/pleasurable?” National University of Ireland Galway legal expert John Danaher told Motherboard. “I don’t think anyone should be creating representations of this sort without the consent of the real person.”
READ MORE: ‘They Can’t Stop Us:’ People Are Having Sex With 3D Avatars of Their Exes and Celebrities [Motherboard]
More on virtual sex: Sex Researchers: For Many, Virtual Lovers Will Replace Humans