As much as I geek out when my monthly subscription of Playboy arrives in all its plastic-wrapped glory, there’s no longer much of a need to wait for a monthly issue to get off. Porn is fast, portable and streamable from almost anywhere 24/7.
From the way we use apps like Tinder (whether it’s to source a dinner-date or a casual hook-up), to how frequently we exchange a once taboo "sext," - technology has changed the way we have sex.
“Technology today has an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives. You can meet your soulmate with the push of a button or learn about sex on your smartphone,” says Ida Tin, CEO and co-founder of female health app Clue.
According to Amanda Gesselman, research scientist at the Kinsey Institute, people are sexting more than ever. Research carried out in 2012 revealed that 21% of people had sexted; this number has since jumped to 67%. “This increase, and the large proportion of respondents, suggests that incorporating tech into our private lives is becoming normal – sexting may be becoming a new, but typical, step in a sexual or romantic relationship,” says Gesselman. (It’s also made it far too convenient and commonplace for men’s penises to pop up on a woman’s phone - without consent.)
Then there are visual apps like Skype and Facetime – two of my favorite platforms for cyber sex. Never underestimate the value of a dial-in date – it’s like phone sex or sexting on steroids. Think face-to-face, real-time interactions with anyone you want around the world, only you don’t need to clean your bedroom. Plus, it’s the safest sex you can have with zero risk of STDs.
Getting back to basics, searching for sex on the internet has never been easier. There are even porn search engines, like PornMD, Fabdu and Boodigo.
“One underappreciated tool is the usefulness of Tumblr and Google Image search,” shares Sally in Seattle. “When I’m in a mood for a specific kind of porn, Google images is invaluable, especially now with the Gif filter function,” she says. “What I really love, I save to my Tumblr. And now when I’m getting to know partners’ tastes/kinks, sharing Tumblrs is a great way to explore compatibility. In sexual tastes, Tumblr is my Pinterest for porn.”
The thing with virtual sex is that things just keep getting more, well, virtual - and more interesting. Now we live in a time where we can actually virtually touch our partners with interactive sex toys. “Technology will soon elevate anonymous sex to a previously unimaginable level,” says Diaz. There are interactive sex toys, there's interactive sex education and then, of course, there’s the whole wide world of virtual-reality (VR) porn that’s just unfolding - and fast. According to Pornhub, views of VR porn are up 275% since the summer of 2016.
According to Pornhub, views of VR porn are up 275% since the summer of 2016.
Companies like Kiiroo have advanced the concept of teledildonics, a technology that essentially allows you to have sex with another person in another place via the internet. Cool, right? Now imagine pairing that type of experience with a VR headset and the pornstar of your choice. That's a future that would have been hard to imagine even a few years ago.
Read: 3 Cool Things I Learned Watching Women's VR Porn
“We are not far from that point where you will meet someone in a chat room online, connect your personal pleasure device and engage in virtual sex with someone on the other side of the planet via some anatomical avatar that replicates your partner’s movements in your corresponding apparatus,” says Diaz. Zero risk of STI transmission, zero physical contact and total anonymity, to boot. “Not even a walk – much less one of shame,” says Diaz.
It wasn't that long ago that people were sharing dirty messages in chat rooms, trying to get off with words alone. Could we even have imagined that we would come this far?