What Klinger and the Lioness team have just launched, though, is a research platform where users can opt-in to fix one of the biggest issues that’s holding sextech algorithms back: all that rigorous, legitimate scientifically-gathered data on sexual function we don’t have.
According to Kyle Machulis, a software engineer in sextech who created buttplug. io, that’s one of the many reasons why the data set used for the Autoblow A. I. can’t deliver on its promise of being the "best blowjob machine in the world" that allow you to "enjoy blowjobs the same way they’re given in real life". “Sex is a complex emotional and sensory experience, and algorithms can only replicate vague traces of that experience,” Machulis said. “The hardware that the algorithms are controlling is usually nothing like a person someone would have sex with, and to match the marketing, the algorithms themselves have to distill all the desire and lust and scents and touches and sounds of sex into that crappy hardware.
According to Emily Sauer — the creator of the Ohnut wearable that allows couples to customize penetration depth to avoid pain — algorithms could help remove the societal shame of openly discussing our sexual difficulties. “We turn to sextech to feel less alone,” said Sauer. “We want to know how we relate to everyone else through the tech, the data, because nobody’s talking about these taboo things that make us uncomfortable.
Once we start doing that, the sex-positive potential of algorithms are theoretically endless. “There’s a lot that algorithms, software, and other technology can do to help improve pleasure and understanding of our own sexualities,” said Klinger. “For Lioness, some of the uses I’m seeing is utilizing real-world sex data to put different experiences of pleasure into context for our users. 1.
That’s on top of the biases built into algorithms, overstated tech capabilities, marketing gimmicks, and Silicon Valley capitalism. “The pleasure product industry is one of the few industries that has been relatively untouched by modern technology,” said Liz Klinger, co-creator of the Lioness biofeedback rabbit vibrator, which tracks and generates charts of your vaginal contractions during arousal.
Despite what giant social media platforms want you to believe, Brown said, it’s actually possible to create algorithms that can distinguish between legal and illegal sexual content.
Lips is trying to do exactly that, by working with those marginalized by social media algorithms and making them the central forces powering new algorithms around sexuality. “Black sex workers are very much pioneers of these digital spaces, the ones who navigate sexuality on the internet the most".
They’re also the ones who get to decide what their platforms — and the algorithms that monitor them — consider appropriate sexuality versus obscenity, or sexual exploitation versus sexual expression on the internet.
Lack of scientific research and data around pleasure and sex, especially when it comes to people with vaginas, makes it almost impossible for sextech to deliver on its promises of sexual optimization.
There’s also little data on sexual pleasure (especially for people with vaginas) that would even allow for an “objective” measure of pleasure. “I do think that there’s value in that data,” said Sauer. “I just think that our human nature is then to use that sexual data as a measurement against ourselves.
SEE ALSO: We’re in a sex toy revolution. Here’s how you can join. “You’re using the power of the collective to create the knowledge base and data set, which the algorithms can then apply in a way that’s faster than any one individual could,” Brown said of Lips.
We know a Fitbit for your sex life sounds good, but... https://t.co/iXkYA5wNxQ— Mashable (@mashable) September 2, 2020