One night stands of the future may be electronic.
It might have taken close to two decades for the idea to infiltrate the mainstream, but digital romance is now a normal part of our lives.
We’ve watched its evolution since the mid-nineties, as early online dating services gave way to the slick, stripped-down design of hookup apps like Tinder. At this point, it’s undeniable that many of us are outsourcing our sex lives to the Internet.
Competing for attention at a crowded bar has been replaced by the elegant efficiency of targeted algorithms.
Meanwhile, as electronic matchmaking has continued to develop, sex toys have become equally as sophisticated just outside the public’s view. The tactile-based field of haptic technology has led us to teledildonics: advanced computer-controlled sex toys that make use of data and feedback to transmit a partner’s movements and pressure in real time.
Last week, a Taiwanese company took the world of online dating one step further with the beta launch of its new social network the LovePalz Club. In a press release, it explained what people can expect on signup. You can set up an account, upload photos, write yourself a bio, and start adding friends.
So far, it’s pretty standard.
But here’s where things get interesting. Intended to be paired with the LovePalz Twist (a sex toy with male and female versions that retail for $89 and $79 respectively), it makes use of Bluetooth to connect devices through a cloud server.
Once coupled with another Twist, you can control the speed, pattern, and pressure of the vibrations felt by your partner. This means if users get bored with chatting, then they can easily take things further by having remote sex.
Or as LovePalz said in its release, “Now you are so ready to begin the adventure of sexual pleasure.”
Speaking to us about the launch, LovePalz marketing specialist Carrie Chang described what sort of audience the company anticipates signing up. She said she expects it to appeal to those who are young at heart and love trying out new trends.
The director Oni Chen added that the site is, “For those who are interested in exploring new ways of interaction. For some people, it takes time to get used to new things.” At least initially, it seems that only trendsetters and early adopters may be brave enough to take that first leap into the LovePalz virtual world.
When the company first emerged back in 2012, LovePalz was marketed toward long-distance couples. However, according to Chen, they soon realized users were looking for more.
“We did receive consumer demand and we started to think, why not to give more options to those who is also in need,” he said. “We decided to start serving more people, no matter they are single, in a relationship or other status. What we do here is to provide an open platform for people to interact.”
Although its technology may be bleeding edge, the layout of LovePalz Club helps to allay fears, sporting design elements that resemble a comfortably familiar mashup of Tinder and Facebook.
Chen told Future of Sex that users have been responding positively.
“They simply love it,” he said. Chen added that while the Internet has been around for years, it’s now been extended to the physical world.
The charm is distinct, marrying nostalgia for the chatrooms of a nascent Internet with the convenience of modern-day dating apps.
Yet despite being on the market since 2009, teledildonic devices have been unable to move past niche appeal. Luckily, LovePalz Club is prepared for the business to scale, with plans to explore making the social platform available to other devices.
Explaining the approach Chen said, “Technically speaking, it is not difficult to be compatible with similar products, and we see others as partners instead of competitors.”
“After all, we have limited resources and we could not do this by our own. However, with others’ help, this cyber world could be so much fun and grow faster. And we would love to see users get more benefits from it.”
While some may have a hard time getting past the lack of physical intimacy, people are always attracted to novelty. Social networks like Facebook and Tinder have not lost their luster, but our attention spans are waning quicker than ever.
Chang gave us her perspective. “I think people never get bored with social network no matter in traditional or modern style, they are just always hunt new thing.”
Chen expanded on how the LovePalz Club fits into the social media landscape.
“In my imagination, [the LovePalz Club] is more in between Tinder and Facebook. We want it to be able to help people do dating online and on the other hand, we want this it to be a place where people come here very often to just relax, and have fun. One thing for sure is that we will add more functions to it so LovePalz Club can be a place all users can get what they want.”
Fortunately, if you’re excited about having a virtual one night stand, then you won’t have to wait long. Though the signup for beta testing is now closed, Lovepalz are planning a wide release for later this year. Early access is also being granted to the media from the end of October, allowing coverage before the site goes live.
Those fearing an isolated future devoid of human contact can relax. Social networks like LovePalz Club are intended to facilitate interaction, not replace it. Plus with no potential danger regarding pregnancy or STIs, there are certainly obvious advantages.
Like sexting and hook up apps, they seem destined for a place in the technological terrain of our sex lives.
Would you sign up for the LovePalz Club?
Images source: LovePalz