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ON TOPIC: Technology interfering with intimacy

The rise of sex-tech devices to hopefully help us

‘I propose an event that will illuminate how we no longer recognise the signs and signals of our bodies but, instead, turn to technology to reconnect with our bodies. Resisting this process might be possible, but I suggest a different angle. During this event, we will explore how we can better connect with technology in a way that will honor our bodies’ signals and needs.’

As tech is getting more prevalent in our lives, there are little fields left that tech does not interfere with. The sex-tech industry is on the rise, with smart vibrators that have sensors and mobile apps that visualize the user’s orgasms. There are different types of technological devices that can track and even assist humans with sex. For example, the popular app for calorie counting, Run Keeper, has released Sex Keeper. An app to track your performance including how long your steamy session lasts for and what positions have been tried to see if this really is one of the best cardio activities ever.

If you think that finding a date through an app is interfering too much with how we relate to others in the age of communication technology, wait until you hear about Lovesync. This sex-tech invention is available as a mobile app or set of bedside buttons. If you could be up for gettin’ down, discreetly tap your button. No risk of rejection, and no pressure on your partner because… If only you tap, your partner never knows. But, if your partner’s also feelin’ frisky and has tapped their button, LoveSync recognizes you’re both privately thinking the same thing and lets you know your moods are matched! You Tap + Your Partner Taps = Sexy Time!

Sounds amazing, right… Another way to look at it is this: The great promise was that technology would free time for people to focus on themselves by facilitating everyday, mundane tasks. Instead, we started relying on technology to maintain normal bodily functions. Also known as body hacking. This phenomenon is increasing in popularity, giving developers and Big Tech companies control not only of our data but of our physical bodies, as well. This risk of giving away physical control over to tech companies, who are getting bigger and more powerful by the day, is something to watch.

Think about technological singularity, where in the not-so-distant future artificial intelligence could surpass human intelligence. Every aspect of the human body and mind we share with computers can speed up this process. In this case, technology can maybe fill in for us when it comes to body control, containing sexuality, or might even be able to replace certain human affections with AI created behavior.

When technology gains more and more information about our bodies and our wants and needs, it can become something we depend on. To see the inventors and companies behind things like LoveSync and similar devices, it can be good to find out who we give this personal information to, and what these people’s motives are. It is not just technology, but also the people behind it. 

The event we described in the beginning of this article is not just something to imagine. Next Friday on the 10th of May, we present one of our special guided tours called Touch Base: a tour & talk at IMPAKT. During this event, Christl de Kloe, specialized academic researcher at Linköping University in the field of sex media and sex cultures, will walk us through the tight connection between sex and technology and bring up relevant questions for everyday life.

For more information and tickets for Touch Base 10th May. Visit the link https://impakt.nl/events/2024/tour/touch-base-a-tour-talk/



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