Sex tech is now a $30 billion industry. An expert talked us through 10 gadgets with very different uses.

The world is turning on to sex tech
  • Technology to enhance sex and sexuality is in hot demand, with the industry valued at some $30 billion, according to Future of Sex podcast founder and former Microsoft executive Bryony Cole.
  • Cole told Australian business conference Pause Fest the technology was rapidly changing to fulfil the changing nature of sex and society.
  • From VR that teaches you to be a better lover, apps that mend a broken heart and gadgets that allow you to kiss a partner thousands of kilometres way, these are the gizmos changing the world of sex.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Technology has the power to improve every aspect of our lives for the better, not least of which is in the bedroom.

While it may not be talked about as much, sex tech is clearly scratching an itch. After all, its an industry valued at over $30 billion.

“The definition of sex tech is really any technology designed to enhance sexuality, not just sex,” founder of the Future of Sex podcast Bryony Cole told her audience at business conference Pause Fest. “It’s about how tech intersects with things like education and health, as well as pleasure and relationships of course.”

Noting the earliest known form is a 35,000-year-old stone dildo found in what is today Germany, the former Microsoft executive says while sex tech isn’t exactly new, it is rapidly changing along with society, but it’s no replacement for people.

“Sex tech isn’t here to replace human connections. It should be here to enhance our lives, that’s what we want it to do.”

She’s spent years interviewing thousands of sex experts to understand the future of sex and therefore the future direction of sex tech. She says these are some of the top innovations.

1. Help you orgasm

OMGyes is a guide to female pleasure

Naturally, one of the most obvious purposes of sex technology is to get you where you want to go.

It’s why OMGyes surveyed 20,000 women all for the purpose of creating an online guide to female pleasure. Whether alone or with a partner the database aims to teach you what Mel Gibson never did — what women want.

2. Help men last longer

The Morari Medical device.

Odd as it might seem at first, sex tech is not only about enhancing pleasure but also diminishing it. Sexual health company Morari Medical has designed a product which inhibits the nerves of the penis to sustain lovemaking sessions.

“You put it on for five minutes before and during sex, and it stops you from ejaculating,” Cole said.

Until you want to, that is.

3. Get better at sex

Virtual Sexology

For those more concerned with their performance in the bedroom, there’s always room for improvement. In a product called ‘Virtual Sexology’, strap on a VR headset and be coached through the ins and out of sex by a pornstar.

“Virtual Sexology is like an education program brought to you by a porn company called BaDoink VR but designed by a sex therapist that’s aimed at making you a better lover. There’sone program for men and one for women.”

4. Keep an eye on your swimmers

Yo sperm device

Putting pleasure aside for a moment, there’s also plenty for those who want to go forth and multiply.

With men being the problem in between 30 to 40% of infertility cases, according to Cole, Yo puts sperm back in the spotlight.

“It essentially turns your smartphone into a microscope where you put a little sample on your Yo, and then your smartphone actually puts your own swimmers on the screen. So what you’re looking for is motility, how many and how fast your sperm move to see how healthy they are. It retails now for about $15 for a two pack.”

5. Fix a broken heart

Mend your broken heart.

There’s more to these gadgets, of course than just sex itself. Take Mend, a free self-care app to walk you through a breakup and which claims to help you feel better 58% faster.

“It works on an algorithm and sends you messages every day for three months to help you through heartbreak. I actually even used it and it worked,” Cole said.

6. Virtual companions to keep you company

Along a similar vein, a Japanese company created Gatebox for those who find themselves a little lonely. Its glass box houses an artificially intelligent woman called Azuma Hikari who acts as both a companion and a home assistant.

“She can control the lights in your house but also sends you text messages that can feel kind of emotional,” Cole said.

The product’s surprisingly touching ad helps show off what could otherwise be just another inexplicable Japanese innovation.

Although some speculate it could make Japan’s sex problem worse.

7. Conquer separation in long-distance relationships

Kissinger claims to be the first mobile kiss messenger.

If you and your partner are separated by literal distance, there is plenty of tech to at least ease the absence of them.

There’s the ‘Kissinger’, a gadget which allows you to transmit the exact sensation of a kiss to a loved one if you’re into that.

And for those seeking a more physical experience, there are of course gizmos for you too.

“Teledildonics are super connected sex toys that enable you to connect with a long-distance lover over wifi or a Bluetooth connection,” Cole said.

Set up a video chat, hook up the toys and away you go. What a time to be alive.

8. Teach you how to sext

Struggling to articulate sexy messages? Slutbot is a chatbot that teaches users how to sext.

“You actually practice with a robot and refine your sexting skills which, by god, a lot of people could use,” Cole said.

If you’re interested, unfortunately, the service is only available in the US for now.

9. Sex robots for… ordering pizza

A Harmony RealDoll customizable sex robot on display (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg, WireImage)

Of course, Cole was always going to mention sex robots – a topic she said she gets asked more about than any other. The most famous is Harmony, an AI-enabled silicone doll.

“She’s got 18 different personality types, including funny, shy, charming, cute and submissive. She can recite you poetry, and even order in your favourite pizza,” Cole said.

Because that’s presumably why you want a sex robot.

10. Break things off with an overeager fling

The Ghostbot app helps you avoid unwanted sexual advances.

Of course, not all relationships were destined to work out. If you’re looking to part ways with a one night stand, Ghostbot will handle the back and forth, excusing you from ever seeing them again.

You could also, you know, tell them yourself.