Why sex toys controlled by smartphones are a bad idea

by Lux Alptraum

Imagine you’re in bed with someone you’re really into. Things are starting to heat up, when suddenly, the object of your affection reaches for their phone. And not because they’re about to score a snapshot of the action, but because they’re hoping to show you a hot new app. In most scenarios, this would be an automatic moodkiller, right?

But what if the app was actually a remote control for a pleasure device your partner wanted to use on you? Would that warm you to the idea of having phones out during sexy time?

A growing number of sex toy brands are hoping the answer is yes.

Perhaps foremost among them is PicoBong, which is about to launch a fancy new line of phone-controlled sex toys called REMOJI. Unlike the gadgets that came before it, REMOJI promises to be an entire pleasure ecosystem, complete with four different toys—a bullet vibrator, a cock ring, a butt plug, and a masturbation sleeve—all of which can be remotely controlled through a brightly colored cartoon app.

Practically speaking, REMOJI works like this: When you want to introduce a sex toy to coitus, you open the app, choose which device you want to control, and if all goes according to plan, bring your partner to orgasm remotely. Possibly without even touching him or her.

With this technology, PicoBong claims REMOJI will allow couples to get intimate whether they’re in the same room, thousands of miles apart, or even out in public. REMOJI, the copy proclaims, is fun! REMOJI will make sex better! REMOJI, a press release informed me, will usher in “a world where everyone could orgasm outdoors in public and no one would know!”

From REMOJI's Indiegogo page.

REMOJI, I think, looks god-awful. While its makers argue that high-tech sex will allow us to discover more intense levels of sexual intimacy, I fear they will instead lead to the sacrifice of close connections in pursuit of a cheap technological thrill.

Are app controlled sex toys the beginning of the end of great sex? In order to understand their danger, it’s helpful to know how we got here in the first place.

It’s not uncommon for an industry–any industry–to be driven by trends.

As fitness tracking has become popular, its ethos has influenced all sorts of unlikely products: not only wristbands and smartwatches, but enhanced scales, cups, and even cutlery. This philosophy permeates all sorts of markets. If something is popular, might as well incorporate it into what you’re selling.

So it’s not a huge surprise to find sex toy companies hopping on the app bandwagon: “Since mobile technology already touches most parts of our lives, rather than be turned off by that, we say bring it on!” the REMOJI campaign exclaims. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em–or at least beat off to them…




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