Greetings from the year 2021 — where just about every appliance in our lives is “smart.” Our thermostats adjust themselves, depending on time of day. Packages arrive on our doorsteps within hours of us ordering them. And our homes are filled with speakers we can talk to, learn from, and shop through. Given all this, it should really come as no surprise that smart vibrators and other high-tech sex toys are about as abundant as smart phones and smart TVs.
The idea of a “smart” vibrator is a funny one to consider, given that vibrators have largely been the same since their invention in the 1880s. The highest-tech thing about vibrators has long been the fact that they vibrate—sometimes at different intensities, and with different pulsing patterns. But in the last decade, a handful of companies have aspired to reinvent the vibrator—or at least, render it a little tech-ier.
People in long-distance relationships can now use apps to remotely control each others’ sex toys from different states. Cock rings and rabbit vibrators now keep data on your performance over time so you can optimize your solo play experience. As if that weren’t enough, some toys will even optimize your experience for you—by learning your preferences and doing more of what you like with each use (something you also want your partner to do!)
Gone are the days of waterproof vibrators and rechargeable sex toys seeming impressive. In 2021, if your vibrator doesn’t know you better than you know yourself, it can hardly be considered high-tech. Intrigued? Start shopping—high-tech sex toys abound.
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A version of this story was published in October 2019.