Orgasms? There's An App For That

Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
When you think of devices that track performance, you most likely think of fitness gadgets. But, with their SmartBod "adaptive vibrator" and its accompanying app, two UC Berkeley engineers are tackling another vital aspect of health: sexuality. Liz Klinger and James Wang were inspired by the self-learning that fitness trackers make possible (and unimpressed by the sex toys currently on the market). So, they set out to develop a vibrator that would offer real-time feedback on users' sex stats — for example, how long it takes to climax, or the times of day when sex feels the best. According to the vibrator's creators, it is intended to help users "understand, discover, and take control" of their own bodies; meanwhile, the app visualizes this data and provides a social platform on which SmartBod users can share stats and ask questions.

Comparing your sexuality with someone else's or aiming for the norm of a social network does bear a risk. And, approaching sex and sexuality in normative terms ("should," "have to," "supposed to") can lead to stress about being "normal" when in reality, "normal" sexuality falls within a broad range of capability and desire. As long as Smartbod's social element inspires women to better understand their own bodies rather than encouraging them to gauge whether they measure up to others, then we're all for it. Klinger and Wang plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign later this year and are hopeful that Smartbod will make its grand entrance into your sex life sometime in 2016.
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