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VR With Exes, Remote Controlled Orgasms: Here’s The Future of Sex Tech To Come




A woman presents an app-based sex toy at the booth of Satisfyer at the Internationale Funkausstellung IFA international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances on September 3, 2020 at the fair grounds in Berlin.
A woman presents an app-based sex toy at the booth of Satisfyer at the Internationale Funkausstellung IFA international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances on September 3, 2020 at the fair grounds in Berlin.
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

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For better or worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the sex life of many couples throughout the U.S., leaving either partners locked together indoors to revitalize their carnal knowledge or long-distance lovers to search for pleasure elsewhere.

It seems that the upward trend of sex tech couldn’t have come at a better time. A 2019 report from Research and Markets predicted the $30 billion industry would balloon to $52.7 billion by 2026. With the pandemic tapping into people’s intimate loneliness, many sex toy shops are experiencing that peak in sales a little earlier than expected.  

According to a 2020 consumer behavior report by e-commerce company Ella Paradis, over ¼ of individuals say their sex life has gotten worse since the pandemic and nearly 93% of those surveyed have used sex toys during the pandemic.

New sex tech and intimate products are just beyond the horizon of affordability. Among the new innovations are a kissing device that transmits lip locks to a partner abroad, VR technology that allows for customization and sex dolls that heat up to human touch. But as with any innovation, there are some legal and ethical risks

Today on AirTalk, we explore the future of the sex tech industry. Have you invested in sexual devices? How has the pandemic fared for your intimate relationships? Give us a call at (866) 893-5722. 

Guest:

Justin Lehmiller, social psychologist and research fellow at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute; author of “Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life” (Hachette Go, July 2020); host of the “Sex and Psychology” podcast; he tweets @JustinLehmiller