Over the last few decades, attitudes towards sex toys have changed. The once shameful vibrator hidden at the back of your sock drawer has burst into the mainstream. Not only have sex toys become more readily accepted, they’ve become an essential component of people’s sex lives.
This change in attitude is due, in part, to innovation within the industry. As consumer technology has grown smarter, so too have sex toys. Something as simple as a cock ring is now rechargeable via USB, Bluetooth ready, and app-enabled.
It’s because of this technological innovation that the way your standard male toy is designed and used has evolved, allowing for more nuanced use in their individual sex lives. By using sex toys, men are able to become more attuned to their body’s needs and what turns them on. If there’s a specific itch they need scratching, there’s most likely a sex toy that can help them experience that pleasure. These toys might even help scratch an itch that they didn’t know they had in the first place.
We’ve come a long way from the first toys that were carved from stone in 30,000 B.C., but how exactly has the sex toy industry been using modern technology to improve their products for men?
Using modern technology to upgrade the classics
While using exciting new and innovative technology has been used to design and develop new sex toys for men, sometimes the 21st-century upgrade involves using tech that already plays a regular role in their sex lives. While describing something as a “high tech sex toy” might conjure images of shiny, futuristic devices, it can also be something as simple as using rechargeable lithium batteries instead of single use ones, or making the toy Bluetooth-enabled.
The standard sex toy for men usually involves a very basic type of silicone that’s used to emulate skin – to varying degrees of success – or involves some form of vibration to create stimulation. It’s a case of working smarter, not harder, with sex toy designers repurposing everyday technology to improve the individual user’s experience.
As technology has become smaller and more streamlined, it’s also become easier to integrate into sex toy designs. These newer sex toys for men are more flexible, making it easier to adapt their use for any body type. They use more realistic and compatible materials, so they feel less artificial when they’re touched. By using smaller, advanced motors these high-tech toys can simulate human movement, while providing improved haptic feedback that feels closer to the real thing.
These advances in technology even include something as simple as making the toy waterproof.
Using more advanced technology in an intimate setting isn’t specifically restricted to being used in sex toys. Sometimes, it’s a matter of using the cutting edge versions of pre-existing technology, like webcams, microphones and video calling programs. These devices weren’t specifically designed to be used in intimate situations, but now play an important part in the sex life of some people and couples.
The rise of teledildonics
One major technological advance that smart sex toys haven taken advantage of is online connectivity. Also known as “teledildonics”, these high tech toys are Bluetooth-enabled and internet connected and can allow for partners to remotely control them, usually by using a mobile app.
These devices can be used to help to maintain a feeling of intimacy between partners when physical intimacy isn’t an option. A popular example of teledildonics is WOW Tech’s We-Vibe, a couple’s vibrator that can be controlled anywhere via the free, complementary We-Connect app.
Their base concept is that if you had access to your partner’s vibrator, you could potentially activate it while separated – be it from the other side of town, or the other side of the world. We’ve recently seen a boom in the usage of teledildonics, due to the importance of maintaining social distancing during the pandemic.
How new technology is being used for new experiences
The requirements for sexual stimulation aren’t a one-size fits all matter. The thing that helps one man reach orgasm might have little to no effect on another. Different strokes for different folk. By using these advances in technology, sex toy creators have been able to develop cutting-edge devices that can cater to a wider market of men’s needs.
Through one of their newest brands, Arcwave, WOW Tech have recently released the Ion, a sex toy for men that uses pulsating air waves to stimulate their frenulum in a way that no toy has done previously. The Ion is the first male-focused toy to use this “Pleasure Air” technology, created after extensive research and development by Arcwave’s engineering team.
“After more than two years of research”, explains Johanna Rief, WOW Tech’s Head of Sexual Empowerment, “over a dozen prototypes and regular input from the international tester panel – the MasturbaTEAM – the engineers and designers completed Ion. About 100 men have tested the toy so far and describe the orgasm as unique, more intense and varied than with their masturbation routine before.”
The Ion can be set to only activate when the user’s skin comes in contact with a sensor, and is constructed from hygienic CleanTech silicone. Even its overall design has taken clear inspiration from the sleek, subtle look of modern consumer technology, right down to the storage base doubling as a charging dock.
As put by Rief: “Like no other company in the sexual wellness industry, Arcwave invests a lot of resources, time and money into the research and development of new toys and technologies.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.