BDSM & Technology

BDSM & Technology: A Playground for Kinky Engineers and Electronic Enthusiasts

How creators are making sex tech for 24/7 and long-distance kink.

BDSM & Technology

BDSM is an acronym used to denote various possible combinations of bondage (B), bondage and discipline (B &D), domination and submission (D & S), and sadism and masochism (S & M).   

Entering into the world of BDSM can be like wandering into a Willy Wonka-style candy store and being overwhelmed by the sheer array of bizarre, bold, and flavorsome goodies. 

Adding to this eye-watering content are new technologies and how they can enhance “play” during BDSM activities. 

And the ingenious creators of BDSM sex tech have much to add and say about this intriguing field.

Have a quick search on Fetlife and you will find both professional and amateur engineers as well as electronic enthusiasts sharing tips, ideas, and finished products of technologically based BDSM tools.  

The role of technology in BDSM

The field of BDSM and technology is complex and broad. Devices and services that can automate and augment communication (a central and important aspect of BDSM play) such as BDSM task tracker apps are extremely useful for establishing boundaries.  

Boundary violations, of course, are when punishments are called for and the ‘training’ of a submissive can be done.

For the sadistically inclined Dominant (typically spelled with a capital D to denote power), technology may offer an increased repertoire of choice for control, punishment, and connection. While many people associate sadism with the desire to inflict pain, more broadly it is about the creation of sensation.

Technologically enhanced toys can replace traditional tools-of-the-trade for Dominants such as floggers, whips, canes, and paddles. 

Instead, sensation (and control) can be inflicted by more modern gadgets such as electrostimulation devices, shock collars (of which there is a high demand), 3D-printed wrist and ankle restraints, chastity devices that shock the wearer to prevent self-stimulation, eye-tracking devices (see Deviant Designs [NSFW] for his work on this), and interactive online stimulation.

It is the ability of technology to allow in-person or long-distance play that is so appealing to many in the BDSM scene. Those in long-distance relationships find technology allows them to still engage in BDSM routines, behaviors, and tasks, and stay connected in the dynamic. 

Obedience app

Tracking apps like Obedience, for example, fit in this category. For submissives who crave being told what to do and how to do it; technology allows for this virtually 24/7 (for the dedicated Dominant or Master).

Expectations of technology

Technology in the bedroom and in BDSM scenarios only mirrors the expectations most people have of devices used every day to enhance and improve daily life, FetLife user and gadget creator Onwrikbaar told Future of Sex.

He added the use of technology “allows us to do things that would simply be impossible otherwise” given the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and the scope it offers to enhance sexual interactions. 

Onwrikbaar’s inventions include a Bluetooth-enabled electronic leash and an electromagnetic wrist stock for self or long-distance bondage. He is also the creator of DeviceWeb: a system used to control electronic, electric, as well as BDSM sex toys that are programmable for use online.

These days the vast majority of people conduct some degree of daily interactions online, and Onwrikbaar says people’s sex lives are no exception.

They will simply expect that their partner away on a business trip can control their vibrator across the web as easily as they can have a video chat

Safety in BDSM and technology

Challenges do exist, of course, not only in the ability of the creator/user to have sufficient skills in design and programming but also for safety reasons. A cornerstone of good BDSM play is that it be safe, sane and consensual (SSC) and constitute risk-aware consensual kink (RACK).  Further information on safety in BDSM can be found on Kinkly.   

Hardware automation has risks for the inexperienced amateur electronic engineer when controls and safety mechanisms are not adequately tested. Sure, there is always an element of risk in BDSM play, but the benefits must always outway the potential for serious harm.  

The best way to ensure safety in any BDSM scene is to always communicate. And if you’re building or developing anything technologically new, jump online to one of the many forums and threads on Fetlife or Metafetish, and get feedback and advice from like-minded kinky tech-heads. Most of all, have fun!

Image sources: Onwrikbaar/FetLife, Obedience app