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  • Five Techy Toys That Can Change Your Sex Life

    December 16, 2011
    Five Techy Toys That Can Change Your Sex Life
    Phone sex, raunchy emails, and sexting are classics now. What can you do that hot-and-heavy partners couldn’t do ten years ago? Plenty, as it turns out. Have a quick peek at five stars of the new generation of sex tech ready and waiting for your sweaty mitts.

    It seems like the two recession-proof areas in life are technology and sexuality. Whatever else happens, we want our next-generation gadgets and innovative ways to get off at the end of the day. In fifty years, will we look back at today’s sexy tech and chuckle the way we do today at the “soothing” vibrators of the 50s? Maybe, but until then, you might as well enjoy these tips, tricks, and services while they’re still cutting-edge.

    1. Free porn
    Sure, this one isn’t exactly “new,” but the prevalence of relatively good-quality free porn sites is different from the virus-ridden dial-up two-minute skin flicks that were around a decade ago. Arm yourself with common sense and a script blocker, and you’re good to go. Most free sites now offer a “favoriting” function, and if you feel like creating a mutual account with your partner(s), your “favorites” list can serve as a great jumping-off point for real-life shenanigans.

    If you’d rather not make an account or your tastes run across multiple sites, you can use the previously mentioned privacy-friendly bookmarking site Pinboard to create a private list of bookmarks to share your favorite videos. This option even allows you to add notes to each link, just in case you’d like to make it clear you thought the guy’s fetish gear was awesome and not so much his piss play.

    2. GPS phones
    If you and your hookup are iPhone owners, you’ve probably already figured out the joys of sexy FaceTime. A free location app, “Find My Friends,” can expand your fun beyond the bedroom, especially if you’re the “kinky scavenger hunt” type. Find My Friends allows you to see, in realtime, where your friend’s iPhone is on a map. You can hide and reveal your location at will. It would be a great way to lead a date on a wild goose chase through town, or to subtly offer up hints that you hit up the lingerie store, the chocolate shop, and the kink boutique before your date — if, of course, they happen to be watching (A temporary setting is available if you happen to be hooking up with folks you’d rather not be privy to your every move for all of eternity).

    3. Collaborative playlists
    As more and more “cloud-based” music services pop up, more options for sharing and interacting around music do, too. For example, Spotify, a popular subscription-based music service that has just recently hopped the pond to the U.S., allows collaborative playlist making. You start a playlist, indicate who has privileges to change it, and you all build the playlist based on the service’s extensive library of tracks available for streaming. It’s the perfect way to make sure a make-out mixtape doesn’t contain his breakup song or her bad-experience-at-a-concert track.

    Even if you don’t collaborate, public (or semi-public) playlists are a great way to expose a partner to new material before it really counts. For example, I maintain a Spotify playlist of tracks I find sexy that might wind up on one of my nookie-night playlists; it’s visible to my partners so they can browse around what I’m gravitating toward and comment on it before they hear it while we’re between the sheets.

    4. Reading (yes, it’s technology now!)
    Whether you have an Amazon Kindle, a Barnes & Noble Nook, a Google Books-enabled iPad, or any of the free “reader” app equivalents on your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, et cetera, you are book-ready at any time. Ebooks are booming in popularity, and the erotic ones even more so. You can “gift” an ebook to anyone, and ebooks often offer a much more private reading experience than toting around something with a lurid cover. (And let’s face it, you’ll get fewer looks taking your iPhone into the bathroom for a wank than you will with a rolled-up issue of Busty Boobies under your arm.)

    If your tastes run less mainstream, there are still a slew of e-reader-friendly options. Many slash archives, for example, collect stories into PDF files which can be read in most e-readers. Use precautions; PDFs and erotic content are two of the most exploited items online for propagation of viruses and spyware. Should you be unable to find any prepackaged solutions, reading directly online via a browser is also an option — somewhat clumsily on Kindles, with a little light jailbreaking on Nooks, and simply through a brower app on phones. (There are also several “iPad-lite”-like full-color hybrid reader/tablets on the market, including Kindle and Nook versions, which will handle Internet content better. Watch for connectivity, however; some are Wi-Fi only, and your hot spot isn’t always near a hotspot!)

    5. OhMiBod
    No list of sex tech is complete without a mention of this delightful product (and maybe if I keep doing it they’ll send me a demo one day...). OhMiBod: Wireless. Music-Driven. Vibrators. That’s right. Buy a wired one for when you don’t mind being quite literally plugged into your home stereo, or snap up their wireless version for a more bumpin’ night at the club than usual. You can even control these babies using an iPhone app, with or without music — or use its built-in, non-musical controls if you’re feeling quiet or retro. Though there’s plenty to like here for a solo night, splitting the vibrator and its controller with a friend is a guaranteed boredom-buster. The variations, from fully musically-controlled vibration to self-programmed goodness, make this a terrific little toy for anyone who finds music the least bit sexy.

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  • Sex Hacker: Six Tricks to Tweak Your Sex Life

    September 14, 2011
    Sex Hacker: Six Tricks to Tweak Your Sex Life
    If you’ve ever had one of those “I never knew my smartphone could do that!” moments, you know how much fun it is to discover those little tricks that can change an activity forever. Even when your between-the-sheets life is off-the-charts awesome, the novelty of a new “tweak” can be a pleasure in and of itself. Check out these six sex hacks and add some of your own!

    1. The glove trick.

    If you’re a fan of Hitachi’s famous “Magic Wand” vibrator (and hoo boy, is it magic), you may have encountered the problem of cleanliness. A Hitachi is way too big for a condom, but painstakingly washing its head between uses or partners doesn’t always create the mood you’re looking for. Well, what else is in your safer-sex toolkit? Gloves! Slap a glove on that Hitachi, tucking the floppy empty fingers to the side, and you’re ready to use any lubricant you like without fear of shorting out the thing out. When you’ve had your fill of good vibes, just strip the glove off and voila — you can pass out without fretting about a clean-up job the next morning, or you can slap on another glove and go to town on the next partner.

    This trick works equally well on any vibrator with a shape that’s not too condom-friendly — or heck, if you’ve got a fetish for a typically non-sexual object, it’s a great way to keep everyday dirt on the object instead of inside of you.

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  • Google Plus Might Be a Minus for Sexuality Communities

    July 29, 2011
    Google Plus Might Be a Minus for Sexuality Communities
    It's what every geek wants this summer: an invite to the beta of Google Plus, the social network du jour. As with any beta, problems abound — but one in particular is causing quite a fuss. Why is Google Plus the latest accidental foe to the transgendered/genderqueer community and the current enemy of sex writers everywhere? Read on.

    Google Plus What, Exactly?

    Google Plus insists on use of one's “common name.” Despite the nomenclature, what they're looking for is one's legal name — nothing less. According to Google, not using one's legal name can and will result in termination of the Google Plus account. (Debate rages on what else may happen. Though many credible sources state their entire Google accounts were shut down — including Mail, Calendar, and Documents features — Google insists these are either errors or shutdowns for other Terms of Service violations. Very few terminated users are able to get detailed reasons for their termination, however, which compounds the difficulty in sorting out misinformation from fact.)

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  • Is the iPod Touch One “Bad” Apple?

    October 07, 2010
    Is the iPod Touch One “Bad” Apple?
    For the past three years, Apple’s iPod Touch has been the company’s biggest success with consumers under 18. Now that the device’s newest upgrades include the same video chat feature in the iPhone that was immediately adopted by the phone sex industry, what does this mean for the “kid-friendly” entry in the Apple empire—and for the ubiquitousness of tech and sex, no matter what your age?

    Rock and Roll

    Not so long ago, musicians could easily maintain a “no videotaping” policy in venues. The technology components necessary to secretly capture high-quality footage were extremely large and therefore easy for security to spot. While a few bootleggers inevitably prevailed—typically with inferior footage—distribution also remained a serious challenge. Since bootlegs had to be physically provided on videotape, there was a risk of discovery. Customers or traders had to be tenacious and work their contacts to even locate bootlegs.

    As audiovisual technology grew smaller and more ubiquitous, there was no longer any way to keep high-quality bootlegs from emerging. It’s now possible to take large amounts of beautiful 720p footage from a device that fits in the palm of your hand and will not be confiscated by the security at any venue: your cell phone. By the time the band is on the road to the next show, that footage can be making the rounds on equally ubiquitous social networks around the world, available to anyone able to perform a Google search and click “play.”

    The entire culture of concert bootlegging, up to and including the attitudes of musicians and record labels regarding fan recordings, changed solely due to the advent of tiny, ubiquitous technology. (For an excellent example of just how far this has gone, check out thisoneisonus.) Could our culture’s perspectives on sexuality be due for a similar tech-driven revolution?

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