Ok, after a month of code and blog work on self quantification, it's time to get back to what's important: Internet Dildos.

Today, I'm taking a look at VSex.com, or at least, as much as I can without actually getting an account or seeing the content of the site. I'd rather not sully myself with actual sex when I can just talk about video game theory as applied to pornography, anyways.

While VSex may look like your run-of-the-mill machine control site, there's a few interesting choices they've made that make it worth writing about. But first, the basics.

VSex started up sometime in mid-2010, offering to let users take control of a sex machine to fuck their models. They were not the first to do this by far, with sites like The Thrillhammer having pioneered this area years ago. However, after seeing companies like Segment and Utopex not even make it to the live market with interactive hardware yet, VSex is at least doing something right in actually making it out the door.

(I'm kinda wondering what their pending patent is though.)

Users can select models to watch from the website. While the front page lists many cams, it looks like only the first few actually have machine control capabilities. Control of the machine seems to run in the $7-8/minute range, while watching someone else control the cam is in the $2-3/minute range, on par with other live show sites.

After a control session is over, models can actually rank how well a user did, which is something I'll talk about later. But while we're still on the topic of cost, note that on the "How it works" page, there's some not so fine print in the "See Your Score" section that says

After each session (min. of 5 minutes), the model will score your fuck performance...

So, a single scored performance will probably cost you a minimum of $35.

The machine itself seems to be a flywheel-based linear thruster with belt-driven rotation capabilities, with angle and vibration settings for the dildo. The website claims 300RPM rotation, and I have no idea about what the maximum thrust rate is.

For controls, we're back to the good ol' "Move the mouse back and forth" control that I've railed on and on about for the past many years. According to what I can tell from the video of the UI, thrusting actually requires constant back and forth movement of the slider, while twist can be set and will hold at the last place the user left it. I'm not sure whether the flywheel has an encoder on it or if the back and forth motion of the mouse is translated into a speed setting on the machine.

The website mentions that there are also preset patterns, just in case you want to free up the controls hand for other things.

However, I managed to stumble onto a control method that they don't really talk about outside of the faq. Apparently there's a version of the control panel that will work with the interactive fleshlight. For those not familiar, the Interactive Fleshlight is an accessory for the flashlight fuck tube that measures air pressure differences while the toy is in use, giving you a very rough sense of thrusting speed.

I've written far more than I probably needed to about this toy in the past, and it surprises me that it's still around. Even with the ridiculously cheap bill of materials to build it, it doesn't work very well. It does manage to create a (mostly) hands free interface to the machine control, so I suppose it's a value-add. It's also a price add, since each minute using the interactive fleshlight costs $1 more than a regular "by hands" control minute.

For all of my bitching, this is one of the first times I've seen non-mouse/keyboard controls on an interactive sex site that's actually live and making money. Kudos to them for actually getting it done and into production, even if it may not quite work.

To continue my bitching, though, why they say it doesn't work on mac/linux is beyond me. The IF picks up as a single axis HID mouse that any HID manager will intercept and use. But, whatever.

That's about it for the site. You have controls, you have chat, you can control a machine via a couple of different means. So why is this interesting?

Because there's a high score board.

It even greets you when you enter the site. 3 columns of names, including the top 5 of all time, the top 5 yesterday, and the current monthly winners.

The rating system has 3 categories:

  • Variety
  • Pleasure
  • Orgasm

Each of these categories can be scored between 0-10, and the overall score of the session is the average of the 3 ratings.

Remember that a score only counts if a session is 5 minutes long.

While we're looking at the scoreboard, let's do a little math there. Currently, herbie is in the lead for the month, by a wide margin. 255 points. Let's just say that user really, really knows their way around the controls, and therefore get an average of 9 throughout sessions, and can do it in the minimum time of 5 minutes. Therefore, in the past 14 days of this month, herbie's had 28 or so sessions, at $35 a session. $980. And we aren't even half way through the month yet.

Someone likes the site.

This is the profile for a model on the site. As you can see, her first two scores are very, very low. The 2.0 score doesn't even come with a video, for one of the following reasons (listed in the picture but too small to read):

  • The show was less then 5 minutes.
  • The show didn't meet technical or artistic requirements.

The next score is even worse. A 1.67, with video, which means the show was at least 5 minutes long. The message left by the model was

Hopefully next time will be more successful


This whole score idea is really interesting. I was talking to a friend about it, remarking that having low scores seems like it would kill their user base. He quickly corrected me, saying "Of course it wouldn't, it'd motivate them. You get a low score, you want to get back in there and fuck her until she's a 10!"

I hadn't really thought about it that way before, but for a lot of cases, it's true. It's the "quarters at the arcade" methodology as applied to pornography, and with the coins costing $7.50/minute instead. Not only that, seeing a high scorer on the site at the moment will attract more voyeurs, who will be paying the smaller fee, while the voyeur will want to play more due to ego from attracting an audience. It's an interesting dynamic that I hadn't seen applied in live sex shows before.

If you look at enough model profiles, outside of possibly feeling like having looked at the Bucket Of Truth (except replace truth with 'terse porn actress comments'), you can start to discern a few patterns. Most low scores mention length of session as an issue, even if a video is next to it, which means the 5 minute minimum was met. This may be indicative of some internal policy to score longer sessions higher.

Also interesting to see which girls capitalize and punctuate correctly. You know, if you're into that. The comments are usually boring, though it's doubtful you'd hear things like

a little lag never hurt anyone ;) (Note: 5.67 score)

after a romp in the non-internet sex world.

Rankings vary from model to model. Some give constant 8-10's, while others seem a little more discerning, wavering more toward the 5-8 area. A few just seem all over the fucking place, giving a 3 while commenting in all caps about how awesome it was. This seems like it builds a rather easy system to game from the outside, as you could plot your usage based on the schedules of the normally high scoring girls.

Those of you that are thinking I'm missing the point of the site altogether are probably correct. Welcome to Slashdong.

Competition in internet sites involving heterosexual situations with guys as customers seem to be popping up more and more these days. Take, for instance, Gamecrush.

Gamecrush allows you to find girls (and guys, but, uh, no, really, look at the girls page. Then look at the guys page. Then look at me. I AM A HORSE.) online who will play video games with you while being on a webcam. About the payment methods, from their contract site:

Credit value is transferable to 100 credits to US$1.00. While in a valid game session PlayDates earn 36 credits per minute. Credits can also be earned through discretionary tips or through the transfer of Digital Goods as defined by GameCrush. The value of GameCrush Credits is determined on the date they are earned and may be modified at any time and for any reason.

While possibly maybe slightly more innocent then the "the game is the girl" of vsex, at its heart, it's still the same idea, since money's involved. There's a per-minute charge for someone's time, it just happens to be a bit more good natured. A lot of the same scoreboard, competitiveness, and other just flat out weird issues run throughout both ideas. I'm sure there's much to be said about gender politics and "the new psychological peep show" here, but other blogs are better at doing that then I am, so I'm just going to leave it at "correlation?" and let people come to their own conclusions.

And, to end on a note of "just saying, is all..."