Disclaimer: The sole purpose of the article is educational discussion. But terms related to sex and sex toys may be mentioned in the content. If you’re uncomfortable with the subject, it is advised that you reconsider reading the article.
AI takes one step closer to your bedroom. But can technology replace the human touch when it comes to intimacy? The answer lies in the conventions of sex technology. Let’s uncover what sex-tech is about and its effects on intimacy and relationship.
Modernity and artificial intelligence offer the ability to push boundaries when it comes to relationships. A few years back, a blind date meant meeting the other person initially in a coffee shop or restaurant. But now, it loosely means meeting a potential partner after interacting on Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, and other dating apps.
Moreover, the impact of technology on your romantic ties doesn’t stop there. Humanity’s hunger for advancement and novelty enables the emergence of sex technology. Now, what are the implications of this buzzword when it comes to intimacy? How will it change your notion of sex and relationship? Read the discussion below to know more.
Sex Technology: How It’s Defined
Sex technology is an encompassing term of products and tech-driven ventures involved in innovating the sexual experience. It includes technologies, such as sex toys, wearable devices, virtual reality, AI, and robots. At times, the terminology is referred to as sex-tech or sextech.
Several remote-control toys are available if you want to use them alone or with your partner. There are also products that your partner can control even at a distance. However, some technologies are not only about sex but also about intimacy and companionship.
An example of this technology is a sex robot prototype named Harmony. It is manufactured by Matt McMullen under RealDoll. Harmony can express emotions, talk about various topics, and even remember important facts about its owner.
In a study released last year, the global sex toy market, including sex tech, is expected to grow by nine percent from 2019–2026. It can even reach approximately $52.7 billion or more by the end of the forecast period.
Does the Future of Sex Depend on Technology?
According to experts, the interdependency of sex and technology hangs at the balance of risk management. Sextech manufacturers must manage the potential dangers of these innovations.
In an interview with Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist and researcher studying sexual behavior, he said there are two sides to the technology. Yes, it can help people explore their sexuality. It can also augment intimacy between partners whether they are in the same room or not.
But it is also prone to legal and ethical issues. Currently, many unanswered questions need resolution. Like, when is it okay to use someone’s profile for your bedroom activities? How vulnerable is your data when its exposure is necessary for the technology to work?
Moreover, sex technology can also alienate the cultivation of a naturally fulfilling sexual process. Since you can have an orgasm by pressing a button, the tendency to go right for the climax is possible. Some people believe that it takes away the emotional side of the activity, and personal attachments may be affected.
Here’s How Sex Technology Changes Intimacy and Relationship
Although sex toys and sextech are still taboos in many societies, more people are opening their minds to the idea. As it happens, social acceptance may also increase. It lessens the guilt and fear of judgments for those who want to explore their sexuality. So this time, let’s see how sextech alters one’s perception of intimacy, sex, and relationship.
1. Virtual reality enables experimental ideas.
AI and VR make it possible to try things you’re not comfortable (or afraid) to do in real life. It also poses fewer risks in terms of health and wellbeing since there is no physical contact. Most of all, people with physical limitations can now explore their sexual fantasies.
2. Sextech may be able to lessen real-life infidelity.
It’s a good thing, right? The urge to cheat from a partner is lessened with these technologies. But how? You can explore your fantasy in virtual reality without breaking the limits of monogamy. But the definition of infidelity may change in light of sextech. Its future context can mean interacting with someone other than your partner on a virtual platform.
3. Technology gives more spice to your bedroom antics.
Long-time couples can look into new ways to stimulate each other sexually. Now you can share your fantasy with your partner and allow them to learn about it.
4. High-tech sex toys enable personalization.
With advances in product features, it is possible to mold the sex toy according to your preference. There are products connected to an app, so you can adjust them based on your exact needs.
5. Sex technology strengthens long-distance relationships.
Are you in a long-distance relationship? Or are you away most of the time from your partner? There are products in the market that bridge that gap. For instance, Kissenger is an app that enables you to send a kiss to your partner’s device. It will transmit realistic kissing sensations in the way you did it with your device and vice-versa.
Legal and Socio-Cultural Implications of Sex Technology
Since the industry is still in its budding stage, legal concerns in privacy, consent, and long-term effects are up for discussion. Further probing is necessary to decrease risks and prevent potential exploitation of sex technology.
For one, the issue of consent is in the minds of industry experts. When is it appropriate to bring someone into your virtual sexual platform? How will consent be given to you, so you can have sex with anyone you want virtually?
Moreover, privacy issues are intertwined with the previously mentioned issue. As you interact with your virtual world, digital breadcrumbs may be left. The question of who has access to it and how vulnerable it is against hackers is still undefined.
Lastly, the paradigm shift in humanity’s perception of sex and intimacy may have long-term effects. But since the industry is still considered young, there is not enough data yet.
For example, if people prefer sex toys and virtual sexual acts, its effect on our survival as a species is huge. Additionally, since the human side of sex is replaced by robots and sex toys, it may also have an impact on one’s emotions. Furthermore, what if constant engagement in virtual fantasy leads to acting it out in real life—and it’s an illegal act.
Final Words on the Growing Industry of Sex Technology
Just like other technological advancements, sex tech tiptoes on two sides of the coin. But industry professionals are hopeful that research materials and regulatory terms will arrive to support its benefits. Rather than seeing these concerns as blockades, they see it as a challenge to improve sex technology.
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