Angelina Aleksandrovich is an eclectic mind. Always fascinated by technology and its ability to make synergies with natural elements to create exciting innovations. For her graduation project, Aleksandrovich developed a mushroom mycelium VR headset. It was the beginning of a brilliant career in the field of extended reality, or Extended Reality (XR).
Extended Reality (XR) is the term used to describe immersive technologies capable of uniting the physical and virtual worlds. It combines all immersive technologies: augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) in addition to those that have yet to be created.
He worked in a virtual reality production company, OMM, and later as a freelance professional, developing multisensory experiences for big brands. After a good realization in this field, in 2018 Angelina founded Raspberry Dream Labs (RDL), a startup that creates innovative multisensory solutions for sexual experiences using XR technology.
Why did the Ukrainian entrepreneur choose this field in particular?
First of all, says Aleksandrovich, for never having received a sex education. This led her as a young girl to want to understand the truth about sex and sexuality, in a period (between the late 90s and early 2000) really unfortunate for a girl in Ukraine.
"Finding myself as a teenage sexual subject was not well received by my peers," he says. “When I was 12, I acted (like playing a part) like an adult and uninhibited woman. This exposed me to giggles, jokes and dirty comments. "
Then the move to the United Kingdom, and the comfort of art. The degree in Graphic Design Communication in a London University and the beginning of exploration on feminism, gender, identity, robotics, science fiction and future of sex.
Transhumanists do it better
Describing herself, Angelina says: "I am a futurist and transhumanist specialized in creative storytelling through extended reality (XR) technology".
Transhumanism, explains Angelina, is “a philosophical movement that supports the transformation of the human condition by developing. Transformation through sophisticated technologies widely available to greatly improve the intellect and physiology ".
Improve sex between humans
RDL's goal is not to replace human sexual relationships with technological solutions, but to improve and expand them beyond physiology, creating a new era of unlimited experiences.
His futurist and transhumanist vision forms the core of RDL, which investigates the potential of human multisensory ability through academic research and immersive experiences. The goal, as mentioned, is to improve the relationship that people have with their sexuality, themselves and others. It also works to break taboos on sexuality and create a healthy and positive future for sex by introducing sexual experiences no longer subject to the limits of the human body.
The first, sensory seduction, is an ongoing artistic research that explores the nature of multisensory sexual arousal, and how it can be shared among multiple individuals in XR. The startup has created Raspberry Dream Land, an all-inclusive VR universe under construction created with thematic islands, a hub for sex in virtual reality and the RDL virtual headquarters.
The second project is a series, UNSENSORED, centered on the community that helps to initiate conversations about sex that are positive for the body and mind, and focuses attention on sexual well-being. The series features four types of events, which help break existing taboos in both physical and virtual reality. Bimonthly mini-conferences and biweekly chats in the VR world of Raspberry Dream Land to talk, share, listen and learn all aspects of physical and virtual sex.
The third project, SENSIBLE, is a calendar of theme nights, with shows that extend sexual experiences with the use of technology and extended reality.
Challenges and censorship
Angelina Aleksandrovich sheds light on two constant challenges facing most brands sextech must face: limited access to funds and advertising censorship. Polly Rodriguez, co-founder of Unbound, a sextech from New York, complains of similar problems and constant censorship on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Aleksandrovich is very firm on this point: "The white cis male patriarchal system in which we currently live, does not support the diversity of sexual expression and tries to suppress the female brands that are dedicated to revolutionizing sex with innovative ideas and products" . His brand has been overshadowed on Instagram and Facebook.
What does "has been overshadowed" mean?
The contents of Raspberry Dream Labs are partially blocked for a larger online community. New users are unable to find the brand through organic search, their posts will not appear in the "explore" tab as a recommendation based on user interests. In addition, they cannot create paid ads on both platforms, as the content is classified as "sensitive" and "violates community guidelines".
"This is absurd, since the platform allows ads related to erectile dysfunction, but unfairly bans ads for the pleasure of women," adds Angelina Aleksandrovich.
Angelina Aleksandrovich, the way forward and the "technological reform of sex"
Even for issues like these, the global coronavirus pandemic has been an accelerator. Many people, Angelina says, previously didn't consider sexual wellness apps or VR simulators, but now they are starting to show interest (or find benefit) in these technologies.
I am delighted to see the growing demand in this field from a wider community of people around the world. People can experience how technology can extend our intimacy and build new, positive sexual habits.
With the loosening of lockdown and social estrangement, RDL plans the construction of new platforms, physical and virtual, to further extend the field of sensations to be experienced to an even wider audience. Will Angelina Aleksandrovich “reform” sex by adding the extended reality additive?
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.