Tech Dirty to Me

This Bluetooth-Enabled Vibrator Might Bring Us Closer to Computer-Engineered Orgasms

But that doesn't necessarily mean human contact will be rendered obsolete.
Suki and Brian Dunham show off OhMiBod's new product, blueMotion, at their Babeland launch party. (Photo by Jordyn Taylor)

Suki and Brian Dunham show off OhMiBod’s new product, blueMotion, at their Babeland launch party. (Photo by Jordyn Taylor)

“Come over here and fuck me,” Brian Dunham said into the iPhone he was holding. A few seconds later, the vibrator in my hand pulsated to the rhythm of the sentence he’d just spoken.

We were stationed in Babeland‘s Soho boutique last Thursday, where Mr. Dunham and his wife, Suki, were launching the latest addition to OhMiBod, the line of sex toys they founded together in 2006. Their new invention—which I was demo-ing with Mr. Dunham—was blueMotion, a $129 Bluetooth-enabled wearable vibrator that the wearer or their partner can control through an app.

“For us, its about keeping a connection or making a connection with somebody who might be not physically standing next to you,” Ms. Dunham announced to the room.

Back at the demo station, Mr. Dunham had an iPhone and iPad, both equipped with blueMotion’s app, and both synced up to the vibrator in my hand. Under his instructions, I walked outside the store with the vibrator and the iPhone. Mr. Dunham stayed inside, where’d he’d be able to use the iPad to control the vibrator’s patterns.

Normally, I should add, users are meant to wear the vibrator in the pair of pocketed underwear that come with each purchase. For now, I’d just be keeping it in the palm of my hand.

From outside the store—far enough that I couldn’t even see Mr. Dunham—I felt the vibrator’s patterns changing based on Mr. Dunham’s iPad commands. For the person who’s in control, blueMotion offers a number of different ways to affect the vibrator’s pattern. Using the app’s Tap & Record function, Mr. Dunham could tap a pattern onto his iPad, and moments later, my sex toy vibrated with the same rhythm. Using the Audio Record function—as Mr. Dunham had demonstrated earlier, inside the store—he could speak a sentence into his iPad, and have my vibrator mimic the pattern of his speech.

Mr. Dunham controlled the vibrator from inside the store, while I was out on the sidewalk. (Photo by Jordyn Taylor)

Mr. Dunham controlled the vibrator from inside the store, while I was out on the sidewalk. (Photo by Jordyn Taylor)

blueMotion also has an in-app messaging feature, so Mr. Dunham and I could communicate while he controlled my vibrator. “Can you feel me?” he texted me (wow, that was forward) as he switched from one controlling function to the next. Users, I saw, can also send each other pictures, though the service doesn’t support video yet.

Even still, toys like OhMiBod’s blueMotion are helping to popularize teledildonics, or cyberdildonics—fancy words for sex toys controlled by computers, and therefore capable of being operated over large geographical distances. In other words, imagine your partner stimulating you in real time—but from another country. It’s an idea that’s been buzzing around for years, but hasn’t really materialized on a broad scale.

“There are people that have tried to do teledildonics before,” Mr. Dunham told me, “but we’re the first to bring it to the mainstream, and then make a mass market toy out of it—something really geared toward couples.”

The Dunhams envision couples using blueMotion on small and large geographical scales; Mr. Dunham suggested couples might want to use it to secretly play a “fun, sexy game” at home or at a dinner party, while Ms. Dunham noted it’d be great for people in long-distance relationships, like military couples, or people who travel a lot.

But there’s more to teledildonics than just aiding people in long-distance relationships. Suppose instead of using their hand to make you orgasm, your partner could always—not just when they were out of town—command a remote-controlled vibrator to do it instead. Or perhaps, as Indiana University professor and teledildonics expert Bryant Paul told the Guardian in June, “a person who has a 5-inch penis can operate a 10-inch teledildonic device and see what that does to a person as they operate it.” Teledildonics have the power to augment and improve the type of sex people are having, Mr. Paul said.

“I’ve yet to meet a person that can vibrate at 120hz. And there’s something to be said for that, you know?” he told the Guardian. “That the technology is potentially able to offer a level of pleasure that is higher than the real thing. That’s going to have real ramifications for what people expect.”

The app's main screen. (Facebook)

The app’s main screen. (Facebook)

At first, the notion can seem a little scary: if teledildonics become mainstream enough that we can digitally perfect all our sexual experiences, would we ever go back to back to having non-tech-enhanced sex? Would everyone’s attempts at pleasing their partners without toys seem lousy in comparison with what, say, OhMiBod blueMotion could offer?

I’m still inclined to think not, because I don’t think sexual acts can be ranked as better or worse than one another; they’re all just different. When a woman uses a vibrator, for instance, it’s not necessarily because she isn’t satisfied with her partner’s attempts at oral sex. Rather, I think they’re two separate activities—sometimes you want to be alone and use a vibrator, and sometimes you want your partner’s mouth.

So we shouldn’t worry that teledildonics will make us all seem terrible in bed, because comparing a human handjob to a computer-induced orgasm is like comparing apples to oranges. Teledildonics wouldn’t replace old-fashioned human-to-human contact; they’d just expand the already broad range of sexual experiences available to us humans of the 21st century.

They’d give people the freedom to sometimes want a blowjob, and sometimes want to put their penis into an ultra-powerful remote-controlled oral sex machine (the Autoblow 2 isn’t teledildonically-equipped yet, but hey, maybe it’ll happen in the future).

On the flip side, if any Her fans have been desperately awaiting the day when it’s socially acceptable to fall in love with a computer, your time could be nigh.

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com

Comments

  1. mastermeat says:

    Reblogged this on Thee Blog and commented:
    Technology is coming full circle. The man thought that PornHub was good, well women no have one up’d the man here with the computer controlled sex toy called OhMiBod. Pretty crazy if you ask me, though I thought this invention would have come sooner than it did. Any females out there own one yet? If so let me know what your feelings on this interesting sex toy was.

  2. Reblogged this on Southern Mistress Alex and commented:
    “teledildonics”!!!