In these 50 Shades of Grey days, we talk a lot about sex but our exercises on the sheets and our perceptions of it have changed drastically over the years. From the Renaissance chastity belts to the wanton powder wigs in the 1700s and to the sexual liberation in the 1960s. Today technology already plays a role in our sex life, and scientific advances have helped us “do it” since an American doctor began treating “hysteria” with a steam-driven vibrator in 1864. Now we have reached an age where we go to the cinema to watch movies on SM and bondage. But what will sex in the future look like?
You get home late at night from work. You feel like having sex. But your boyfriend is out traveling. Back in 2015 you would perhaps turn on Skype to seen each other, but this evening, in the future, you do not only look at each other on the screen, you can actually touch your boyfriend – although he is sitting on the other side of the world. And he can actually feel your touch.
And if you do not have a boyfriend, it’s no problem, because with this technology, you can have sex with a virtual partner on the internet and feel as if she / he is real. Or you can have your very own Sex Bot (sex-robot) lying at home under the covers.
How to have sex in 5 (unbelievable) ways in the future
- Teledildonics and the virtual sense of touch
Haptic technology, haptics or kinesthetic communication is tactile feedback technology, which recreates the sense of touch. An object (it could for example be a T-shirt) is provided with sensors that make it possible for the user to feel things, in a virtual way. It has been used extensively in medicine, as technology makes doctors able to perform remote surgery, but it has also been used for military training and space exploration. And of course, sex is the next area in which the technology gains ground. With products such as “Hug Shirt” that enables you to feel touch, or “Kiss Transmitter” (described as a cross between an electric toothbrush and a joystick by technology author Robert Iam) sensory technology is well on its way into our sex life, even though it is still at a level that causes most of us to smile. And then there are the electronic toys that can be controlled by or via a computer – also known as teledildonics or cyberdildonics. We are gradually seeing the beginning of the “remote sex technologies” with products such as Mojowijo,where you can control your girlfriend’s dildo e.g. with an app-remote control, and Lovepalz which is an interactive sex toy you can play with alone or online at the “cyber-enjoyment platform.” Condom manufacturer Durex has launched “Fundawear,” which is the world’s first wearable technology, which enables us to transfer personal touch from a smartphone app to a partner, wherever they are in the world.
- Do-it-yourself 3D printed genitals and sex toys
The easy access to affordable 3D printers has sparked a boom in demand for personalized sex toys that can be ordered online or printed at home – and a large number of new start-ups and companies are popping up to meet the demand. Take the New York Toy Collective, which now offers what they call the “most personal and customized gift ever.” It is a copy of your private parts, which are made with advanced 3D modeling, 3D printing and molding in sterilizable and flesh-like silicone. Maybe an idea for next year’s Valentine’s gift .. (or not).
- Virtual reality and interactive porn
Apparently it is now time for virtual reality to make the leap from military training to gaming and sex. The website Red Light Center, a multiplayer virtual reality platform like Second Life and World of Warcraft, has about 2 million users (and yes, it is a game based on sex and virtual prostitution!). The platform also has its own currency, “Rays”, and with them you can buy various services such as interactive pornography in CamGirl Alley, clothes, shoes and virtual real estate. If you can not persuade another player to have sex with your avatar, you can also buy sex with the “Rays”. The website also hosts about 100 virtual weddings a month, and there are wedding planners, DJs, after parties, etc. And people earn thousands of dollars a month by making virtual wedding dress designs and plan the weddings. Whatever we might think about this, the fact is that sites like Red Light Center continue to grow.
In Japan the company Tenga developed a product that combines an erotic video game, a Fleshlight-like contraption and Oculus Rift to create an augmented reality sex toy. I imagine that we will eventually be able to live out all our wildest and most kinky fantasies with Tenga, and if you’ve ever dreamed of having sex with Gaston from Beauty and the Beast or one of the blue guys from Avatar, then it becomes possible.
- Digital lovers
Some may think that a preference for the virtual world rather than the real world is absurd, but in the Japanese city of Atami men go on vacation with their virtual video lovers via the dating simulation game LovePlus+. This is a development in the Tamagotchi craze, as you may remember from the 1990s, when children worldwide took care of virtual pets with a small plastic gadget and where the purpose was to inspire a true emotional connection. In the Oscar-winning film “Her” from 2014 the trend of digital relationships is brought up to date. The film, set in the future, tells the story of a deep relationship, including wild sex, between a man and his virtual love Samantha, who is the operating system on his computer. It may sound sci-fi-ish, but if you have an iPhone you might also form some kind of relationships with virtual creatures such as Apple’s intelligent personal assistant “Siri”, which still has its flaws, but is constantly improved.
- Robotsex and sexdukken Roxxxy
And then there’s sex with robots – or Sex Bots, as they are known. The inflatable Lolita doll is out, while Sex bot Roxxxy is in.
Roxxxy is the world’s first sex robot and costs between $7000 and $9000. Roxxxy comes with pre-programmed personalities such as shy, outgoing and experienced, and you can also set her to different moods such as tired, skank or horny. And Roxxxy is also found in a male version, should you be interested.
A future where people spend their lives connected to a machine, living their lives on the Internet, while at the same time they are getting any physical desire fulfilled with a variety of tools, instruments and sex robots, might not sound very appealing. But the technology is here and I wonder if we have only seen the beginning of it.