Traditional pornography use on a flatscreen (FS) is associated with lower relationship satisfaction, greater rape-myth acceptance (RMA), and problematic pornography use. Increasingly, immersive media technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), are transforming the way people consume and are potentially influenced by pornography. Spatial and social presence help explain differences between VR and FS in other media contexts and are therefore considered in the present study. This research examines effects and associations of VR pornography compared to FS pornography. A two-phase study was conducted to investigate how relationship satisfaction, RMA, and problematic pornography use vary between FS and VR formats. Study 1 used a survey to assess associations between use of VR pornography and relationship satisfaction, RMA, and problematic pornography use. Study 2 employed a 2 (modality: VR or FS) x 2 (masturbation: restricted or unrestricted) between-subjects online experiment. After the manipulation, participants completed a questionnaire. In both study phases, results suggest that consuming VR pornography is associated with less relationship satisfaction. Both RMA and problematic pornography use were associated with VR pornography use in Study 1, but there were no effects in Study 2. The findings presented here elucidate potential impacts of VR pornography use compared to FS consumption.

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