The Future of Sex Tech

Collage graphic of hands typing on a computer with bare legs sticking out and a lock around screen against a pink and green background of shapes

There’s never been a more exciting era in the world of sex innovations. What a time to be alive. 

As I write this, sex tech is a $30 billion industry. You may already be familiar with some of its advances, like this smart penis ring. But VR porn, sex toy customization software, biofeedback vibrators, and sexual augmented reality are all on their way. 

What exactly is sex tech? 

It’s any technology designed to enhance sexuality. And now that AI is here (can I get an AMEN for Chat GPT), I predict sex tech is about to get really interesting. 

How can sex tech improve my sex life?

As taboos around personal pleasure and sex fall away, I see several benefits to this technology including: 

  • Convenience. Instead of, say, going to the doctor for sexual health guidance, tech advances like telehealth and at-home testing could save you hours. 
  • Education. Sex tech tools can help us better understand how our genitalia works, our arousal patterns, factors that improve erectile health, and so much more.
  • Confidence. Just like beauty tech and health tech, sex tech can meet us where we are, and give us the tools to help ourselves feel better.

But because “sex tech” is a huge, all-encompassing umbrella, the old rules still apply when it comes to healthy engagement. Namely:

  • Increased sexual expression and pleasure is a positive thing, unless tech usage turns into tech dependency. Know the difference.
  • Sex tech alone isn’t a substitute for intimacy. If what you seek is a deep connection, invest in good old fashioned communication skills. (And/or therapy.)
  • Cheating looks different for everyone. If you’re already in a relationship but want to try some sex tech (like VR pornography for example), talk to your partner in an open way.

Now then, what innovations am I particularly interested in?

Three sex tech innovations to watch

1.) Vulva-Inspired Sex Toys

Isn’t it wild that sex toys for vulva owners were strictly phallic-shaped for so long? We’ve had terribly incomplete knowledge about the clitoris (and how to pleasure it) for time immemorial. We didn’t even get a full MRI of the clitoris until 2005.

I’ve talked about the Lalalena by CERĒ before, but it’s worth mentioning again, because it’s the first sex toy for vulva owners that mimics what a clitoris actually looks like. Designed by physicians, it’s ideal for foreplay and arousal, since this toy stimulates the whole organ (and not just the tiny, external portion of it). But it’s also a teaching tool that I personally use now, to help folks visualize this organ. The clitoris is almost entirely inside the body after all, but it’s so much larger than we realized – for centuries! 

2.) At-Home STI Screening currently offers tests for STI’s across the board, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, even HIV. They’re one promising company, but I see several others popping up. Together, they’re making STI testing super freaking easy, which is the way it should be. You don’t have to leave your house! It’s one more innovation that will give you peace of mind regarding your sexual health. Use code “EMILY” to get 25% off your screening kit. 

3.) Cosmetic Surgery for Penis Owners

It’s a myth that penis owners don’t suffer from body image issues. But when it comes to beauty and personal confidence, it’s fairly normalized for women to seek breast augmentation, facial fillers, Botox, etc. Notice I said “women” there: I’m using that word on purpose. Because regardless of your sex, if you identify as a woman, there’s a whole industry waiting to help you with any body image or self-esteem issues you might feel.

Now, whether you seek out those options is up to you. But we really haven’t had equity for penis owners in this department. Which is why I believe Penuma, the first FDA-cleared penile implant for cosmetic enhancement, is a worthwhile innovation. It’s safe, removable, and utilizes medical-grade silicone to enhance girth and expand penis length. It’s also designed to feel natural in the penis, both to the touch and during penetration. 

In my book Smart Sex, I talk a lot about self-acceptance. I do believe it’s important to befriend your body, and love on it daily. But just like breast implants / facial fillers / etc. are personal decisions, so too is penis augmentation. I’m just happy there is a safe option out there, and as a sex educator, my goal is to present the information to you. Do with it as you will!

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