What will sex toys look like in 2050? Will porn finally make virtual reality popular? Are we in the midst of a design revolution in erotic products? Over the last month we've explored the frontiers of intimacy and technology through our special editorial series, the Core77 Sex-Tacular. Through conversations with educators and practitioners working in the fields of intimacy and design, we were able to better understand the landscape of today's intelligent sex toys and glimpse into the future of tech-enabled sexual interactions.
Justin DiPego's "Zero Gee Spot," Grand Prize winner of our Sex Toys 1-Hour Design Challenge
In our 1-Hour Design Challenge, we asked you to sketch out a vision for sex toys of the future that incorporate current or speculative technologies. From "smart" underwear to pheremone-powered room sprays, you guys impressed us and our panel of distinguished judges with your innovative approaches to intimacy. The grand prize winner, Justin DiPego's "Zero Gee Spot" (above) imagines a self-contained, reactive love seat to stabilize couples in zero-gravity conditions as space travel and new Mars colonies require intimacy in new environments. See more about Zero Gee Spot, comments from our judges and the Runner-Up concepts, Mark Salerno's "Rocker" and Robert Hanson's "Breath" here.
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But before we look forward we have to look backwards. Going back all the way to the Paleolithic era, our editors dig up the short version of the long history of sex toys. (Warning: there are stone dildos and terrifying mechanical objects in this roundup.)
And in this age of intelligent sex toys and app-enabled long distance relationships, our editors took a survey of the current landscape of sex and technology with an in-depth exploration of Virtual Reality porn projects, Crave's redesign of the bullet vibrator, and an interview with the author of Objects of Desire, a coffee table book and "showcase of modern erotic objects."
"I do not like the trend of attaching something to your phone to turn it into a vibrator. A phone is one of the dirtiest things around—why would someone want to put that near their clitoris when there are so many other more practical options out there?" --Rita Catinella Orrell, author of Objects of Design
We asked designer Jinsop Lee to share his views on multi-sensory design by explaining to the rest of us why sex is so good. Dan Chen, a MIT Media Lab Research Assistant and inventor of the Robot Intimacy Technology (RIT) explained how robotics can transcend normal notions of what humans need in order to feel loved and comforted. And designer and educator Judith Glover shares about her sex toy design course at RMIT and argues for a more design-focused approach in the sex toy industry in her interview with Core77.
A project from Glover's class called Kuma-Kan uses the aesthetic and cultural power of "kawaii" (cute) culture to more easily address the difficulties around the subject of Vaginismus for young girls in Asia.
And we wrapped up our coverage with our in-house organization editor Jeri Dansky sharing her tips on storing sex toys. Sure, your nightstand drawer can do the trick, but if you're ready to graduate into some purposeful storage options, and love design, read Jeri's pro tips. Maybe reading our Sex-tacular coverage has inspired you to amass a large collection of toys and baubles. This roundup of storage solutions is our gift to you.
Bookmark and read all of our Sex-tacular coverage here and look out for our next 1-Hour Design Challenge launching next week!