You don't need to be a rocket science to know that new tech has absolutely changed the way you think about dating these days. In addition to apps like Tinder, Bumble and all the other sites out there that promise love, there's an enormous market for sex toys and other user-controlled devices.
Gone are the days of just two people romping in their bed with some candles and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" playing—unless you're over the age of 50, which, in that case, there's nothing wrong with that at all!
To really understand just how much sex has been affected by all this new tech, we asked sex therapist and author Rachel Hoffman to lend her expert advice. Here's what she had to say.
How Do You Think New Tech Has Impacted Sex Life?
"Tech plays various roles in impacted sex life. On the down side, it creates increased distractions in relationships. Partners are paying more attention to their devices than to each other. There is also more infidelity, with the ease of access to other partners. On the up side, teledildonics (user-controlled sex) are making it easier for couples to remain intimate from long distance. Other toys are also being used in the bedroom to enhance a couple’s sex life. Sex toys are important as they target g-spot and clitoral stimulation. Women may need clitoral stimulation to climax and therefore incorporating a sex toy into sex play might be necessary."
What Are Some Of The Gadgets People Are Using To Increase Stimulation?
"Different types of vibrators, dildos, anal sex toys, male masturbators are just some of the gadgets people are using to increase stimulation. This is a quickly evolving industry and people are looking for more ways to enhance their sex lives and experience pleasure. Toys are modernizing to parallel and keep up with the rapid growth of technology."
Any Risks That People Should Be Aware Of While Using These New Toys?
"It is always important to look at the material of sex toys. Also make sure you do not share sex toys. Additionally, make sure you clean your sex toy after use to avoid collecting bacteria. Lastly, every person responds differently to sex toys and have different levels of sensitivity. So be aware of how your body reacts."
What Makes These Toys So Popular All Of A Sudden?
"These toys are popular because people are finally starting to say, 'we deserve to feel pleasure' and 'we want to like sex.' Once people feel comfortable making these statements, the next step is what toy can I buy to make that happen."
Should Guys Be Scared A Toy Can Do Better At Getting His Girl Off Than He Can?
"Guys should not be scared! The number one thing I hear in my office is guys feeling nervous that they are not adequate enough if they need to use a toy. What I say to guys is that unfortunately your penis, no matter how amazing it is, does not have a vibrator attached to it that provides clitoral stimulation. So even if you are incredible at performing, if your woman needs clitoral stimulation, you are going to have to do something extra besides penis/vaginal intercourse. Either stimulate the clitoris with your palm or use a toy. At the end of the day, if you are able to use a toy on your woman and give her maximum pleasure, isn’t that the goal?"
What's The Proper Way For A Guy/Girl To Talk To Their Partner About Experimenting With New Tech In The Bedroom?
"Open and honest communication is the best way for any partners to talk about experimenting with new tech. First have a discussion about what you would want to try. Next plan out a night, where you have a date, get comfortable and try to make it as natural as possible. Don’t put so much pressure on each other and the night will be perfect. Try to enjoy and have fun trying."
At What Point In A Relationship Do You Think It's OK To Bring Up New Tech To A Partner?
"I would say when you are exclusive with your partner it the best time to bring up experimenting with new tech (although every couple is different). When you feel comfortable with your partner, you can discuss these intimate issues."
MORE: '12 Myths About Sex You Need to Stop Believing Right Now'