Technology has become pretty much inseparable from human life. At any given moment we carry little computers in our pockets that we use for occasional work and countless hours of cat videos. We have apps, gadgets, software, hardware, robots, AI – pretty much all the things I was reading about in sci fi novels as a kid are a possibility now. We as a public have become incredibly tech literate as well. Our parents or grandparents carefully studied the instructions on how to program a VCR while we grab a brand new smartphone or computer and are able to get it operational in under a minute. Yes, some of it is due to millions of dollars and countless man-hours that tech companies spend improving the UX with their product but a lot of it is just general know-how that we have developed.
And of course, this is reflected in all things sex-related. We have movies such as Her or series such as Black Mirror that explore the possibilities of emerging tech on our love lives. Anyone who has ever wished for a “mute” button for their spouse has considered the benefit of being in a relationship with a robot.
The sex industry is not much different from any other industry. When I needed research for this article I decided that the most interesting tech is perhaps not in the stores yet so I hit up indigogo (popular crowd funding website) for novelty techy sex toys. A simple search with keyword “sex” under the technology category brought home some interesting results. Here are my findings:
The most popular toy that raised the most money is* TAM DAM DAAAAM* – Autoblow 2. It does exactly what it sounds like it does. It’s a fully automated sexual stimulation toy for men designed to imitate fellatio. It’s slick, portable, washable, comes in different sizes and is advertised by a man who looks like he wasn’t getting much head from actual live humans for at least a part of his life. Some 600 dudes cashed out $130-$140 for this invention. I wonder how many of these were purchase by spouses who are no longer interested in giving their husbands oral. It’s like “Honey, would you?” “No, do it yourself! I got you a tool and everything. Now leave me alone, I am pinteresting my dream bathroom.”
The least interesting toy in my opinion was the The Glov. It’s basically just a tool that allows for slightly more convenient way to hold your vibrator. The only thing that came to mind for me was it’s like a selfie stick for vibrators. And while there is nothing wrong with taking an occasional selfie, acquiring a tool for this activity is just a little sad. I don’t know maybe I am wrong and some people with carpal tunnel would really appreciate the Glov, but I just don’t see the point.
Perhaps one of the more interesting observations had actually very little to do with sex toys and more to do with marketing. Two very similar products with exactly the same campaign goals; however, one of them raised 2K and the other 27K in funding. Why is that and what are the products? They are both couple’s toys for him and her that allow users to connect via internet to each other (I can only assume they can easily make this for same sex couples as well). This way you basically control someone else’s toy while in video chat with them. So where was the main difference between the two products? One of them was advertised as a toy to connect with strangers while the other one as a tool for couples in long distance relationships. The one advertised for long-distance couples did way better than the other one which leads me to conclude that to this day love sells better than just sex.
For long-distance couples
For sexy strangers
One of the more nerdy toys out there is the Master Beta Kit. It’s a kit that provides basic assembly pieces and instructs the user on how to program the vibration patterns into a sex toy of their liking using an open source platform Arduino. This is probably in a way the most interesting thing I found on indigogo because it allows for a tech savvy user to come up with various new ways to use this. If the tech is “hackable” it opens all sorts of doors. For example, it allows you to connect this tech to other tech. Ever wanted to cum exactly on the crescendo of your favorite music piece? Well now you can hack your vibrator to move faster or slower depending on the music. This is just an one idea, but you get the gist. Also, talk about a great way to get teenagers interested in engineering…
This finally brings us to the two cutting-edge tech sex products for women. Only one of them is on Indigogo, the other one I came across accidentally. One is SmartBod. Dubbed Vibrator of the Future by some publications, it’s essentially a FitBit for your orgasms. It tracks all sorts of data pre, during, and post masturbation and uploads it into an app and allows you to share results with other users. I guess the thing learns from the data it collects as well so that next time it can skip over the “gentle vibration” and go straight into “jack hammer that pussy” setting, or you know, whatever is your fancy. I’ll be honest, I don’t know how excited I am about this one. You know these fitness achievement status updates on facebook that you see in your feed right as you unhinge your jaw to take a bite of the most monstrous cheeseburger? Nobody likes them except the people who post them. I am fairly certain that the only motivation they had for running these 10 miles was to be able to post their result on facebook and gloat. I don’t need this kind of pressure when it comes to masturbation. It’s not a competition. But to each their own…
The last toy I wanna talk about is something called HUM – an artificially intelligent vibrator. This things looks AWESOME! “HUM feels your touch and motion, and creates vibrations that change in harmony with your body.” This toy actually responds to you while you play with it. It’s 3d printed and charges wirelessly so there are no knobs on it. It also records data and uses “hackable” Arduino-based code.
Well, whatever your fancy may be it looks like there is a tech for you out there. So next time you are going through a rough break up, don’t fret – just invest in some next level sex toy and all your worries will resolve into a fit of high-tech ecstacy.