I'm having sex on my cellphone. No, I'm not dirty-texting my ex or using the vibration mode as a kinky toy. I'm making game avatars on my tiny screen fuck missionary-, doggy-style and so on by hitting combinations on the keypad.
Welcome to Goma Sex, the first sex game available for North American cellphones. Created by Chicago-based Goma Systems, it's set solely in a bedroom, with a naked couple facing each other and ready for some raunchiness. Within five minutes, I have to put these Sims-like characters in as many positions as possible, including foreplay, to accumulate points. When five minutes are up, I'm dubbed a college stud, swinging bachelor, Casanova or master. Even if I just stand there, I somehow reach college stud glory, despite being closer to adolescent shyness.
Goma Sex (and its guy-on-guy gay variation, Rainbeau Café) is mildly entertaining at best, giving the cell owner no real erotic excitement or gameplay intensity. Rather, it's important for what it signifies: sex as a central function of mobile games. After all, North American wireless carriers are still ignoring all adult-oriented games, which explains why Goma only sells its dirty simulators online.
In April 2006, Cingular and Verizon created content restriction guidelines prohibiting the distribution of pornographic material. Cingular went so far as to ban the words "lesbian," "condom" and "pee-pee" from all gaming content. But even if the wireless industry is stiff-arming sex games, manufacturers like Goma are optimistic.
"If sex drove the rise of cable TV and the Internet, sex will drive the popularity of cellphone games," says Kevin Lyons, vice-president of Goma Systems.
He's not just spewing spin, if a quick survey of other countries is any indication of the future. The UK has allowed softcore titles like Sexy Soccer, which is like strip poker for the soccer set: score goals and a saucy lady starts showing you her naughty bits. Also, England is the home of RJMobile.org, Ron Jeremy's headquarters for sex-themed games, phone wallpapers and "groan tones" - yes, ring tones that sound like orgasmic exhalations.
The most active adult mobile game-maker is Denmark-based Touchlink, whose catalogue includes games like Boob Raider, Kama Sutra University and SexTris. Touchlink also features the popular puzzle/adventure series starring Oskar, who works different jobs that always involve testing his prowess with naked women.
But North America is notorious for being years behind Europe and Asia in cellphone technology, so expect Goma Sex to corner the market for now. Wait, is there a market for this stuff? Lyons says his cell-sex game appeals to men between 18 and 60. Um, so that means every guy who thinks about sex daily?
"Some people can learn a thing or two from the game, like trying new positions," he says. He might be onto something. Couples can overcome their bedroom inhibitions by first trying out the reverse cowgirl on the cellphone, and then mimicking the avatar-on-avatar action. Or bi-curious guys can finally figure out what anal sex looks like on Rainbeau Café.
Even if the game's raison d'être is suspect, there's no denying the mobile sex game industry will yet skyrocket. Despite its infancy, the market is out there, experts says.
"If you wanted to quickly connect with your partner, a cellphone sex game is ideal compared to a PC game," says Brenda Braithwaite, author of Sex In Video Games and game design professor at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. "It's a nice distraction, and mobility makes it accessible."
Looking at the evolution of sexual content in media, Braithwaite predicts wireless carriers will eventually ease their conservative restrictions. "Major corporations are selling sex. Hotels let you buy adult movies. It's only natural that would happen."
Lyons sees another satisfying utility in his product. "Think about it: mobile games can be played with one hand. If users want to masturbate with [Goma Sex], that's fine by me."
But will cellphone erotica be fine by telecom bigwigs, phone-makers and organizations with the word "family" in their name?
The reception still isn't clear.