Understanding Sex Tech and Its Impact on Sex Toys
Sex tech isn’t exactly a common phrase unless you geek out over the sex toy industry as we do, but even mainstream media picks it up from time to time. So you may have heard it and wondered what it is.
Well, let’s clear up the mystery of what it means and, most importantly, how it impacts sex toys. There’s a good chance you’ve used “sex tech” and not even realized it…until now.
What is Sex Tech?
Sex tech aka sex technology is a term used to refer to any technology that improves and innovates sex and the sexual experience in some way. It’s estimated to be a $30 billion industry, primarily led by women. Female sex tech inventors often use technology to solve a sexual problem they’ve faced personally. That might be enhancing (or nearly guaranteeing) orgasms, tracking periods, controlling sex toys with a mobile app, and much more.
While sex tech is primarily thought of in terms of advancements in sex toys, it’s an umbrella term that includes a lot more. VR porn, chatbots on sex education sites, sex robots, and health and sexual wellness technology are all part of sex tech. It’s wide-reaching and continues to grow, evolve, and change.
Sex Tech and Sex Toys
How does sex tech impact sex toys? Let’s focus on two specific ways this occurs that you might be most familiar with.
Bluetooth Capability and Mobile App Control
We can do almost anything by mobile app these days. We can order dinner, buy groceries, start our car, and lock our front door. It only makes sense that mobile app functionality would come (pun intended) to the world of sex toys, too. At the same time, Bluetooth functionality was invented in 1994. Yes, this means it’s technically a 20th-century invention. Combine the two, and you now have powerful control over your sex toy. Control that goes well beyond an on-off switch and a few vibration patterns.
Some vibrators using Bluetooth and mobile apps can only be used in proximity to your mobile device. These toys continue to be popular for solo play and is part of the earlyish generations of sex tech. But there are companies like We-Vibe and Mystery Vibe that allow partners to play over any distance through apps and Bluetooth. We-Vibe famously makes the Chorus among other toys.
Even better, these brands take our strong societal desire to personalize everything and give us a new level of control over a toy and our own pleasure. It’s not just enough to control the toy with your phone. Now you can make your own custom “playlist” for the vibrations and patterns you feel.
Virtual Reality Experiences
Porn is often one of the leaders of innovation. Developers often figure out and/or invent new technology because they want to enhance their sexual experience. VR porn companies are no exception. They’ve been at the front lines of virtual reality technology, continuing to make it better and more realistic for users over time.
Sex toy companies have not sat back and let the technology bypass them, either. Kiiroo produces sex toys designed to be used directly within virtual reality settings. Pair up your Onyx stroker with VR porn, and it’s as real as you can get with a sex toy. Kiiroo went one better, though, by offering partners a virtual reality experience over any distance. Two partners can pair their toys, and they can “feel” each other as they use their own stroker or vibrator. It’s a marvel of modern sex toy science. Instead of controlling the other’s sex toy (like you can with mobile apps) but still experiencing the pleasure in a disconnected way, both partners can play together at the same exact time.
Does virtual reality replace live and in-person contact? Of course not. But it creates different kinds of connections, so a user may temporarily forget they’re masturbating alone. And for those who simply love what sex tech does, they can enjoy sex in new and interesting ways.
If you use a period tracker, chat online with a sexual wellness provider, have a sex toy with Bluetooth or watch VR porn, you’re using sex technology. As advancements in tech continue, we will continue to see sex toys and sexual wellness improve and change. As sex toy users, you’ll feel the benefit even if you don’t care about the tech inside your toy. If all you want is another orgasm, sex tech will help lead the way to better toys and more pleasure.