If the insane popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey” has taught us anything, it’s that people are curious about exploring sex even if they’re too embarrassed to admit it.
That’s where PlsPlsMe comes in. It’s a new app designed to provide you and a partner a safe and research-based way to explore what you’re into sexually.
While you can explore PlsPlsMe by yourself, the core idea of the app is to give you and your partner an easy way to be honest about what turns you on. Once you’ve taken the app’s sexual profile quiz, you and your partner are then shown only the things you are both into — the rest remains hidden.
“The initial idea for PlsPlsMe came from the fact that I didn’t know how to get the sex I wanted — or even what that was!” PlsPlsMe founder Graceann Bennett told Business Insider. “I was a virgin Mormon bride that couldn’t get in touch with my sexual self to improve my intimate relationship with my husband. When I looked for resources and advice, I was completely turned off by what was out there. I shut down and the communication got worse.”
Bennett says the communication gap between partners is something couples both new and old experience, and that the persisting stigma around sex leads many to choose silence instead of opening up and pursuing potential sparks.
“It’s really hard to talk about what you really want when it comes to sex, and it’s hard to stay turned on with a partner over a period of time,” said Bennett.
“If you think about technology and mobile phones, it’s your most intimate device, and we thought we could facilitate better conversations that don’t have to be in the bedroom at that moment where it’s awkward to be having a conversation the kind of sex you want.”
The backbone of PlsPlsMe is the 2015 Sexual Exploration in America survey the team conducted with Indiana University, home of the famous Kinsey Institute. “All the research we’re doing, one out of three Americans say they have a hard time talking about their sexual desires with a partner. And we also know that over half of Americans wish people were more open-minded when it came to sexual exploration, so there’s this gap between what we want and what we’re asking for and getting.”
With a design inspired by the classy decor of the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan, PlsPlsMe gives its users the opportunity to honestly answer some questions, further explore some specific situations related to those desires, and then it matches up any mutual interests with your partner. Armed with the latest research, PlsPlsMe users will also see how their desires compare statistically to the rest of the United States.
“Once you take the sexual profile quiz, the app puts you into one of four sexual profile segments, which will give you an insight into who you are sexually,” said Bennett. “But then you can play these specific turn-on cards, which are each separate questions. Right now we’re starting with one deck of cards, 52 questions, centered around sexual activities that you can rate ‘love it,’ ‘like it,’ ‘not so much,’ and ‘no way.’ So that can be anything from toe sucking and cuddling to sex in public — there’s a whole range of vanilla to racy.”
“You play those cards, and then your partner plays them, and when you match up you’re taken to what we’re calling ‘The Private Chamber,’ a private chat room for the two of you to start to explore that thing that you matched on.”
When asked if there were any lines for as to what was deemed “too racy,” Bennet said there was only one limiting factor: Apple. “The one line is that we have to get into the Apple App Store, so there certain guidelines. We think that’s kind of a good thing, because if we’re getting into the App Store, then we have to have a certain level of taste and discretion with how we present the app so that it passes.”
PlsPlsMe is still in the private beta for now, but Bennett says to expect an open beta this summer followed by a release “late summer, early fall” on iPhone, with an Android version possibly down the road.