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The creepy future of dating

Robot sex! DNA dating! Dinosaur porn! New York City’s Museum of Sex (our favorite museum, for obvious reasons) and data analysis firm sparks & honey have compiled a list of 19 predictions for the future of dating, according to current trends. And we’re a little scared.


Microbial match

Woman getting mouth swabbed

The prediction: “As we continue to map and explore our DNA and individual microbiomes, anticipate services that match people based on both.”

Because nothing says “sexy” like swabbing your cheek and putting a saliva-soaked Q-tip in a Petri dish!


Formula one flirting

Woman on smartphone

The prediction: “The rise of instant gratification social media platforms like Snapchat, Vine, Tinder and Grindr have turned courtship into a fast and furious process. Seasoned speed daters find spontaneous snackable video snippets more authentic.”

Mmmmm, snackable video snippets. Did we learn nothing from the Charm, MeetMe and At First Sight apps? Videos of a bro showing off his skillz by dribbling a miniature basketball, a wannabe comedian doing his best Aziz Ansari impression, or some dude trying (and failing) to twerk against a wall aren’t exactly what we’d call appealing. Actually, it’s what we call “watching a stream of the most awkward homemade YouTube videos ever recorded and then giving up on dating completely.” Future, we’re kind of disappointed in you.


Selfie scrubbing

Retouching face in Photoshop

The prediction: “We’ve seen a number of auto-correcting retouching services launch, such as Facetune, to fine-tune photos effortlessly. From profile writing to history cleansing, expect perfecting practices to become standard operating procedure for daters of the future.”

Oh, come on, like you’ve never Photoshopped the dark circles under your eyes or chosen the perfect Instagram filter that makes you really, really, really ridiculously good-looking (hmmmm, Kelvin or Nashville?). Besides, no one looks like their online dating profile anyway. Especially not in an age when you can take 1,382 selfies in front of your bathroom mirror and pick the one that accents your eyes but hides your chin. It’s an art form, really.


Quantified relationships

Couple going over spreadsheet

The prediction: “Big [bedroom] data from sensors and apps, such as Spreadsheets, provide insights into your ‘performance’ and why relationships (and sex) work or fail.”

Although we love a dude who loves spreadsheets (like this guy, who tracked his online dates in Excel — that’s just practical), show us a guy who wants to measure how long he lasts in bed, and we will show you a guy who doesn’t exist. Unless he’s Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. As fun as sexy sensors sound (“do they vibrate” is what we want to know), sex spreadsheets just aren’t going to happen, especially when one person is pissed that the sex is over and one person is fast asleep.


Long-distance foreplay

couple in a long distance relationship

The prediction: “Recent inventions such as sophisticated sex bots and Fundawear have compressed space and time, making virtual (or long-distance) sex a physical experience. Virtual sex is no longer vicarious, but visceral. This stands to keep relationships intact as society becomes more mobile.”

The idea of widely available vibrating underwear is awesome. As are the startups that are trying to make other interactive vibrators happen. But… if you’re interested in something a little more real-feeling than vibes, kissing machines still look like this or this. Hot?


Love metrics

Woman looking at graph

The prediction: “Metrics can now be applied to ephemeral concepts such as love. For the quantified self-inclined, stats help to optimize current relationships, extract learning from mistakes and guide planning the next encounter. Imagine one’s ‘love footprint’ is not only measured but broadcast.”

Um, we’d rather our mistakes not be broadcast. Especially our recurring mistake of falling for the frontmen of various local bands. Also, if everyone were judged on the quality of their exes, we’d all be single forever. Future fail.


Professional cuddlers

Free hug

The prediction: “A modern (cleaner) spin on the oldest profession is a ‘Professional Cuddler,’ who simply comforts with hugs a society of singletons. This must be loosely connected to the motivation behind the Free Hugs campaign. Hugging has also become a common greeting practice, sometimes replacing handshakes in U.S. business settings.”

Does this read like an Orwell novel to anyone else? If the future is paying someone to hug you — or being forced to hug your creepy boss — we’ll be opting out of society, thanks.

Photo credit: Photawa via iStockphoto

Biometric bonking

Woman wearing Google glass

The prediction: “Whether connecting with a distant loved one, living through another’s experience or having a fresh perspective on an encounter, wearables and virtual reality/augmentation innovations enable unparalleled sexual experiences. With so many different ways to track and manipulate biometrics (heartbeat, breath, sweat, electromagnetism, etc.), we expect ‘hooking up’ to take on a whole new meaning.”

We’re not entirely sure what this one means, but if Google Glass can make our boyfriend look and feel like Channing Tatum, we’re in!

Up next: More freaky predictions about sex, love and tech >>

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