Hardware turned hardcore: Sex and wearable tech laid bare

The connected self has arrived in the bedroom, but is this a quantified step too far?
Wearable sex tech laid bare

Under the duvets of the nation we're already feeling the tremors from the wearable tech boom. Forget taking clothes off, we're now putting clothes on. Wearable tech garments that promise us untapped pleasures, and bundles of silicon and software that sell heightened enjoyment of the flesh.

Essential reading: Can a wearable really know your inner most thoughts?

Sex and courting trends change quicker than you can say "speed dating" but there has never been anything that has the potential of wearable technology to completely reboot our bonking. But is the world truly ready for our hardware to turn hardcore?

Wearable tech is nothing but the physical embodiment of the quantified self. Wearables are bundles of sensors that enable us to turn every part of our lives into streams of data – and we love doing it. The millions of activity trackers sold in 2014 alone shows the appetite to understand the workings of our bodies, and it was only a matter of time before our sex lives got the Fitbit treatment.

Was it good for you?

Bondara is literally a Fitbit for your sex life – a wearable sex tracker that records every piece of data imaginable. We don't need to tell you where it's placed, but it will use LEDs to suggest a tempo for your activity, and enable you to dissect your performance after on the smartphone app.

That's just the start.

The sex wearable revolution includes cutesy vibrators that can be manipulated by an absent partner. The thrill of working late at your desk, whilst still exciting your partner whilst she sits on the sofa, or vice versa, is enticing. A rampant rabbit with a multiplayer function.

Others, like Vibease, take that a stage further and allow the female user to download a bespoke fantasy audio on to her smartphone as the device thrums and purrs in time with the breathy flow of the action.

Then unsurprisingly, high street behemoths like Durex are clamouring over themselves to get in on the wearable sex action. It's launching its own smart lingerie called Fundawear that vibrates according to your personal touch.

To me, to you

Journalist and entrepreneur and Hermione Way is the creator and co-founder of Vibease. She envisaged a device, which not only did the legwork for the female orgasm, but also tapped into their psyche and could be used with a partner. She created Vibease, one of many budding wearable tech vibrators that sync to the smartphone:

“When it comes to sex, boys and girls are super different – men are very visual, whereas women need so much more stimulation. I thought women need a simulator that merges stimulation with audio, visual and fantasy. It's about putting power literally into women's hands."

So wearable tech is coming to the bedroom, and it's all good fun. Couples having fun, perhaps questionably aided and abetted by connected technology – where the harm? Well, then it starts to get narcissistic.

Titillation nation

The very day Google Glass is released it's revealed that the user can watch their partner watch them having sex – the full, Christian-Bale-in-American-Psycho hall of mirrors. A pornographic pyramid of subversion that implodes in on itself to the point where we don't enjoy sex, as go racing headlong into climax.

Oculus Rift, originally created for ultimate gaming, has already seen its first wearable sex encounter. Its first self-love voyage, we imagine, followed soon after – the headset expanding your visual horizons whilst you can play with synthetic fake breasts or trace the shape of your ideal lover all with 360 degree stereoscopic 3D.

There are no barriers, the potential experience is as endless as it is breathless. As Palmer Luckey, the the original founder of Oculus VR and inventor of the Rift told us: "You can experience anything that's possible and anything that's impossible. It puts you into a difference space where there are almost no rules."

Sound and vision

Wearable tech even removes the need to fantasise. You can enjoy solo sex whilst a tailored vision plays out on a visual headset, being attended to by a custom-fit device. A YouTube demo shows how Oculus Rift technology could be accompanied with a Tenga - a sort of Fleshlight - to go at a man's member like a paint-mixing machine.

Whilst we snigger, it could actually entirely re-invent sex for everyone, including those with disabilities. Sex would have no frontiers, not even for paraplegics. Imagine not being able to use your arms or legs to fulfil your sexual desires. Wearable tech could change that, bringing light into the dark for millions globally.

People could even relive having sex with their partners long after they are gone, for better or worse, and porn-stars can make fortunes by licensing out their own 'real-life' sex slogs. The Svakom Gaga Intimate Camera might take that a grim stage further. Akin to key-hole surgery, you can see live rolling footage - with added massager function - from inside the sex organs. We can't even comprehend why.

Judi James - author of 'The Body Language Bible' says this heightened experience through virtual and augmented reality will be too much for many:

"Selfie sex has to be the next step – the idea of watching yourself on screen would be a massive turn-on for selfie addicts. The worry though is – with images and fantasises being available online – users might happily cut out the middle man and work with on-screen images exclusively."

Pushing us further apart

The key factor behind wearable tech in the bedroom is if it satisfies our mind and touch equally – why stop?

We are – online and in real-life – progressively raising a nation of unmanageable sex addicts. A Californian study by Tech Addiction, showed 40% of certified sex addicts lose their partners, whilst 58% end up in financial difficulty – divorces, remortgaging their houses, etc and, perhaps more worryingly, a third lose their jobs.

The human mind has been rewired by tech use. On a micro level, how many times have you caught yourself and your partner at night staring dumbly at a smartphone screen?

Imagine if that smartphone were now to hold all your pleasure pathways inputted already. Would that make you feel closer to your partner, or more distant, and could the addictive fun of connected sex actually drive us apart?

Brandon Ackroyd, head of customer insight at comparison site Tiger Mobile says the way gadgets control peoples sex live is unrecognisable from even 10 years ago:

"We already know from our own survey that smartphones are damaging peoples sex lives," he said. "I think wearable technology will make it worse and push people even further apart."

It's all sounding rather 1984, but Tilmann Petersen, co-founder and CEO of Lazeeva, a sex toy company, paints a more rosy picture. Instead of disconnecting, Tilmann believes interactivity is a healthy ingredient to happiness for couples and individuals:

"Wearables intensify real life sexual interactions. Of course, there will always be the cases where people do 'escape' to virtual worlds, but this is something that also might help those individuals achieve a more happy erotic life," he said.

The "zombiefication" of our lives

As we store our fantasies – shared or solo – into fallible machines, we could see all trust disappear, says Ackroyd. "Wearable technology is intrusive and can monitor your every move. Your partner may ask, 'Why did you burn 300 calories at 4am on Saturday night?' and similar queries of that ilk.

Then there's the security side of things to consider too. We've seen with Snapchat that if something can be seen on another device it can be copied. In the future we could be leaking each other's private fantasies all over the place."

Technology already greatly affects our sleep said Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan of the Capio Nightingale Clinic, which treats technology addiction. "I treat many CEOs who are like androids because they are so wired in. They have zero sex life or intimacy. Soon they do no exercise or socialising and exist entirely off caffeine, energy drinks and cigarettes."

Insomniacs and sex addicts don't make good partners, but - says Ackroyd - we soon won't need a partner anyway.

"The zombiefication will continue. I can see people actually replacing human partners with Japanese automaton sex robots that are controlled by a wearable device. The iPhone is the new dildo to be quite honest."

Really, how much pleasure can your body – and your mind – even handle?

Will there be a big sex wearable tech boom? Let us know what you think using the comments below.

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1 Comment

  • JanSt says:

    "Will there be a big sex wearable tech boom?" Will there ever?

    I guess that depends on the definition of "boom"?! In the late 1970s and early 80s video rental stores mushroomed explosively all over the world.

    The VHS revolution let to a goldrush. Short-lived, yes. But very profitable. What many people do not realise is: that boom was massively 'helped'

    by the porn industry. Sex shops had been renting out reels of sex flics for decades. They had the infrastructure all figured out when the first

    'family-friendly' video stores opened. 

    No porn, no 'family 1st' Blockbuster or Xtravision. Fact. 

    DVDs? Remember the BIIIIIG feature they tried to push? Multi-angle scenes? Guess what masters of what genre only ever used that?

    And let us be real: would corporations have managed to convince millions and millions of people to spend £500+ on 4in + smartphones without 

    half the population being, you know, smut-curious? Questionable. I recently discussed that with professional Elop-hater Tomi Ahonen when he mused about various factors that led to the smartphone boom. He wasn't willing to call porn a big factor, but eventually he admitted that it certainly played a role.

    Anyhoo - I'm digressing.

    One thing is certain: the sex industry knows an opportunity when it sees one. And during the VHS revolution mainstream TV stations

    wouldn't ever show explicite sex on TV. Boundaries are crumbling as I'm typing. The likes of Game of Thrones would have died a 1st season death without you-know-what.

    A local supermarket sold thongy bikinis for 10 year olds this summer. Society is ripe, it seems.  I dread to think what people will do with 

    the tubular HTC Re ;)



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