Written Cindy Gallop for Hot Topics. Originally published on May 26th, 2015.
Burgeoning industries like fintech, edtech and healthtech are constantly in the news. But not sextech. Given the ubiquity of sex, is that about to change?
‘Sextech’ is a term you may not have heard a great deal about – as of yet. However, if you search the hashtag #sextech on Twitter, you’ll start to get a sense of how many exciting things are happening in the space right now, and why this is a tech sector that should be monitored as much as any other.
What is the definition of sextech?
Sextech is technology, and technology-driven ventures, designed to enhance, innovate and disrupt in every area of human sexuality and human sexual experience.
Why is it important?
Sextech is important because sex and sexuality lie at the heart of everything we are and everything we do.
This fact cannot be overstated. Society’s conflicted attitude toward sex – we all enjoy it but we don’t talk about it – means that sex is defaulted in the public consciousness to an act, a thing we do. But sex is personality. Who we are sexually informs everything to do with how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about others; it informs our relationships, our lives, our happiness.
Sextech is also important precisely because of that conflicted attitude.
No other area of human existence is hedged around with so much shame, embarrassment, guilt and self-torment. How fundamentally important sexuality is to us, combined with how fundamentally conflicted we are about it, makes it the richest possible territory for advances and breakthroughs using technology to disrupt and enhance our experience of sex.
This is important because in a broader context the failure to openly discuss, address, solve for and improve sexual issues lies at the root of many social ills.
From sex trafficking, sexual abuse, rape, sexual violence, intolerance of alternative sexualities, through sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, to unhappy marriages and relationship breakdowns – all can be positively impacted through initiatives designed to change the way we think about and behave around sex.
And ultimately, sextech is important because sex as the universal human usecase makes this the biggest technology market of them all, and therefore potentially far and away the most lucrative.