The future isn’t all flying cars, jetpacks, and express trips to Mars — it’s could also be the ability to give yourself an orgasm at the push of a button.
Or at least that’s what Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist and research fellow at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, believes. Lehmiller, who is also the host of the “Sex and Psychology” podcast, recently gave an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which he explained some fascinating developments in the future of sex and “sextech.”
For example, he thinks that eventually there could be an “orgasm button” that’ll give you pleasure at the tip of your finger.
“There are doctors working to implant electrodes near the spinal cord to give you an orgasm at the touch of a button,” Lehmiller told the WSJ. “This technology could help people with disabilities or who have trouble reaching climax. But the risk is that it becomes a crutch — rather than trying to cultivate fulfilling sexual experiences, people will go right for the climax.”
According to Lehmiller, sex toys will also become more sophisticated in the future. In fact, we’ll even see the rise of practical sex robots.
Along with being able to address physical desires, he believes, these robots will be able to address our emotional needs as well.
“Some toys will be about intimacy, not just sex,” Lemiller told the WSJ. “Robots will be able to hold your hand or provide other comforting behaviors.”
Some examples of devices currently available are remote control toys that allow partners to provide sexual experiences at a distance, and even a pillow that “will transmit your partner’s heartbeat to it.”
Of course, there’s also plenty of dangers with all this — especially when it comes to VR sex.
“Do you need someone’s consent to have sex with them virtually?” Lehmiller posed. “Another downside is we don’t know what the impact of engaging with a virtual fantasy is going to be. If someone engages in a virtual act that would be illegal in real life, will that escalate the fantasy and make them want to play it out in the real world?”
There’s also the issue of privacy and security, he says. After all, we might see more companies offering virtual sexual experiences. That might mean forgoing your privacy and offering up your sex data to a private corporation.
“Whatever you do in the virtual world, there will be some digital footprint,” he said. “Who has access to that? What if your sex data gets hacked and revealed publicly?”
So while this technology has the ability to truly benefit people’s lives, the amount of ethical, privacy, and security concerns can be enough to turn anyone off.
(But hey, if you want an orgasm device installed in your spine, we honestly can’t blame you.)
READ MORE: How Tech Will Change Sex and Intimacy, For Better and Worse [WSJ]