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Why is sex tech for men so dumb? CollegeHumor clip shows industry’s problem

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This CollegeHumor video isn’t anything close to new. It was first posted to YouTube in March 2014, making it a veritable dinosaur in Web terms.

But it’s hard to ignore how much more (almost depressingly) accurate it becomes as each year passes – probably without all those wires though.

Virtual reality is now becoming more commonplace, teledildonics allow you to pleasure a partner that could be on the other side of the couch or the other side of the world. Holograms definitely exist, in rarified form, and that pneumatic contraption is certainly possible, if a bit scary.

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Venturing back into the reality of 2016 and you have the catchily named ‘iFuk VR‘; announced as the future of sex tech for men just last month.

This is not the future you were looking for

The first problem, clearly, is the straight-to-the-point naming. The ‘iFuk’.

Seriously? In the meeting you had to decide what to call this product, when people were saying ‘eyefuck’ out loud, no one had a problem with it? No one thought, ‘hmm, perhaps having a name that while spelled differently to eyefuck actually sounds entirely indistinguishable from eyefuck is a problem’?

No? OK.

(On a sidenote: It’s not 2008. iThere’s iReally iNo iNeed iTo iPut iI iBefore iEverything.)

Then, of course, there’s the next problem. If you want sex and technology to be a harmonious marriage that appeals to the mainstream, an image of a naked guy with a VR headset strapped to him and an app controlled masturbator just isn’t going to cut it.

I’m not making any judgement on the product, its users or its abilities. I’m just going out on a fairly sturdy and safe limb to say, it’s just not one that’s ever going to gain any ‘mainstream’ adoption,

There are companies trying to bring tech and sex together in ways that educate and evolve; an attempt to elevate beyond stigma and tittering, but it tends to be a reinvention taking place by women on behalf of women (as it should be for a female market).

Perhaps the well-documented profitability of the existing sex toy-related market means that there’s simply no need to ‘go the extra mile’ for companies looking at sextech for men.

Invariably, change is a slow process – and a changing of mainstream attitudes an even harder one. In some ways, women’s use of sex toys has become more mainstream and accepted. It has managed to shed at least some of the stigma.

You’re even starting to get female-friendly VR porn at last.

Ironically, while the notion of men masturbating hasn’t been a problem for society as a whole (outside of religious beliefs held by some), the use of sex toys does feel more challenged. As a (straight) man, I couldn’t tell you of a single person who would admit to using a ‘Fleshlight’ or similar product. That tells me that there’s still stigma attached to the idea and the wider notion of ‘sex toys’ for men.

And there’s not really any way of bringing up a discreet conversation about a product called the ‘iFuk’ is there?

So, any companies ready to step up?

Read next: WILL REGULATIONS AND MYTHS CRIPPLE AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY IN A MARKET WITH 1.3BN PEOPLE?

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