River’s digital team recently attended a talk on all things tech, dating, love and relationships at Sink Shoreditch, organised by General Assembly. It’s no secret that technology has changed the way people meet, fall in love and interact, and after hearing from leaders in the sex and dating space about an ever-changing industry, and exciting things to come, we’re sharing our top five insights into the business of tech and sex.
A partner from the award-winning lesbian dating app Her revealed research has found that while young people aren’t willing to spend more than £14 for a subscription to a dating app, the elderly are happy to part with £2,500 upfront, no questions asked. This generation has reached a point in their lives where they feel they have nothing to lose, and dating apps are allowing them the opportunity to get back into the dating world. If they’re happy to pay so much for no guarantee of a date, it goes to prove that the older generation shouldn’t be written off in the tech world just yet.
Human interaction is dissipating in all realms of the sexual health world. ‘There are STI home testing kits because of tech, which helps those who otherwise wouldn’t or couldn’t access a GP.’ All aspects of sexual health, from testing to diagnosis – and, one day, even prescriptions – will be technologically available. Sex journalist Alix Fox claims that those with a 3D printer will one day be able to receive the ingredients of a prescription and print it off for themselves at home.
It’s now possible to have an intimate relationship with a significant other on the other side of the world, all thanks to VR. VR provides users with intimacy and a space for relaxing together, and while VR is relatively new, many are using it to get the very best out of their relationships.
Tech is changing the societal rules of dating, love and everything in between. One main idea discussed was whether we are losing the social skills required to date in the real world and becoming too dependent on tech to find us dates and sex. No one has any real interest in approaching someone in a bar and striking up a conversation. They find ease, and often comfort, in communicating via an app. So is it an inevitability that we will all soon succumb to the comfort of online dating? The app Her champions the online world of romance, arguing that it provides us with opportunities to meet people that would have otherwise passed us by.
Even when physically together, couples are rarely engaged or intimate, preferring to spend their time watching Netflix or scrolling through various forms of social media on their phones. The tech world is trying to create apps to combat this, with the aim of getting couples interacting again. Speaker psychosexual therapist Kate Moyle provided the audience with an insight into Pillow, the new app encouraging intimacy in tired relationships through a variety of techniques, including psychosexual therapy and mindfulness. The exercises are ‘ultimately designed to hold a relaxed and safe space for you and your partner to spend a short amount of time focusing on one another’.