There are some not-too-wild predictions out there suggesting that sex robots may be the next big thing in the future. Although that may be a bit far off for most people, the idea that technology has interfered with our sex lives is not. What is too far, when it comes to convenience, technology and sexual gratification?
“Technology has impacted today’s intimacy and relationships, both positively and negatively. The plus side involves texting sexy sweet-nothings and photos that titillate and excite your partner throughout the day. Regular calls and texts informs your companion that they are on your mind with continuity. This is a huge turn-on! On the negative side, technology doesn’t communicate nuance of tone and affect intent. There is still too much room for miscommunication and misunderstanding,” said Dr. Fran Walfish, leading couples relationship psychologist and author in Beverly Hills, CA.
In its simplest form, sex is a naturalistic act, meant to be a form of naked emotional and physical intimacy with another person. A predecessor for procreation, and at the very least, a culmination of courtship and romance. Sex is a biological process and one that is as old our world, older than our species, and ironically a force of nature that still influences culture, identity and a person’s overall perception of happiness.
Technology Helps People Find Love
Easier, more convenient sex can be a good thing in some cases. How many men in the 1980s lived lonely, frustrated lives without sex—going to adult video stores in secret shame? How many women settled on men who weren’t necessarily charming or attractive, but simply the best option for a limited mile radius?
Internet technology, and mobile dating apps certainly expanded everything we knew about romance and dating, giving single people (and married people for that matter) more options in the way expanding their dating pools and not settling on relationships based on convenience but true compatibility.
In fact, the Internet was so enveloping, so unlimited, that it didn’t start to really captivate the interests of women until long after the boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s. When online dating first became known to the world, it was still perceived as a strange social behavior, perhaps the last option left for socially unmannered or unattractive people.
However, as the Internet grew in the public consciousness and cell phone and tablets began replacing troublesome PCs, people began to see just how easy it was to date and not have to worry about a social stigma. Everyone was on Facebook, Twitter and Google, so why not date? Then it quickly became a question of, what advantage does “in person, real life” dating offer that online dating doesn’t? Online dating was less expensive, less stressful, more revealing as to a person’s inner thoughts, less dangerous and somehow, even more honest than just barhopping and looking for a date. By the time the “selfie” shot became a cultural phenomenon, a new sexual revolution had come.
With new apps like Tinder, Pure and Grindr, speed dating is no longer an experiment, but as simple as placing an order for pizza. In fact, these new age apps seem to be eschewing true online compatibility and instead replacing those 1990s concepts with a utopia of free sex and romance, take it or leave it. This new dating revolution has helped both men and women find each other, find more fulfilling sex lives, and get married. Smartphones and tablets have simply made sex and dating more accessible to everyone.
Internet Romance Has a Dark Side
However, with every great advent comes the potential for abuse. On one hand, the ubiquity and free sharing of Internet pornography has all but eliminated the need for adult video stores, porn magazines in gas stations and expensive DVD or cable habits. Now, pornography is free (whether pirated adult videos or free amateur sex), or inexpensive and with greater features.
However, there has also been record activity reported for “revenge porn” humiliation videos (sex videos without both partner’s consent), child porn, and plenty of instances of cheating spouses engaging in porn without the partner’s knowledge.
Pornography and virtual sex addictions can be every bit of damaging as a “real life” affair, and with certain sites like the notorious Ashley Madison and AdultFriendFinder, which encourage unfaithful couplings, it’s now a huge temptation for the happily married monogamous couple who are bombarded with opportunities to cheat. Pornography is just a click away and falling in love with another married person is just as easy as spending too much time on Facebook or Craigslist.
The Internet’s explosion of easy dating and social networking brings new advantages and disadvantages. We as a free society cannot totally remove content from the net or destroy all temptations. While there are programs that block adult content, the temptation to indulge will always return. That which is forbidden is usually harder to resist.
It is a far better idea to talk frankly with your spouse about what exactly you get from viewing porn and what bothers you about it. Through negotiation together, couples can find common ground and reach an agreement that makes both partners happy. For instance, some couples find that watching porn video together, reduces the feeling of cheating or keeping secrets and thus makes for a better “guilt-free” experience.
“When one person is uncomfortable with porn, using it in a relationship is going to be a stumbling block, but most people who are uncomfortable with it, will give it a try for the sake of their partner in the relationship. The only time it’s really a problem is if there’s an addiction going on, and the porn ends up interfering with work and relationships. When a user’s relationship with the porn is more important than the other relationships in his or her life, you’ve got a problem where porn is the substance and addiction is the issue,” explained April Masini of AskApril.com
This honest approach works far better than pretending to abstain from porn and keeping it a dirty secret, or from one spouse simply demanding that all porn be banned from the house. Find realistic solutions and attack the source of the problem, not the distraction.
Treva Brandon, blogger for The Late Blooming Bride and the Huffington Post agreed when she said, “As for adult materials? There’s always a place for that, given both parties are into it and enjoy it. Porn can add dimension and heat, and improve intimacy. It’s great for the imagination, great for bonding, and great for inspiring ideas.”
Internet technology has changed the world and changed our very understanding of sexual behavior in the 2000 era. However, more sex is not a bad thing. It simply requires more social adjusting to it, finding your own comfort zone and preferences, and letting your friends and neighbors left to their own “devices” without judgment or shame.