Iím sitting on the edge of a bed in someone else's hotel room in Glendale, Arizona with my fingers knuckles deep inside Real Touch. Most of the time professional conferences donít start off for me in such a semi-clandestine way, but I came to Arizona to give a workshop on sex tech for the American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists annual conference and this was an invitation I couldnít refuse.
My tour guides for Real Touch are two of the team members from AEBN, the company behind what I think will probably be the first giant leap in consumer teledildonics (after years of many smaller and clumsier steps). At least thatís what my fingers are telling me.
What Real Touch offers is tactile stimulation to accompany visual erotic imagery. That imagery might be in the form of pre-produced pornography or, eventually, it could be a live web cam feed (courtesy of either a sexual partner or a sexual professional). You put the Real Touch over your penis (or your penis inside of Real Touch, depending on where you want to place sexual agency) and you watch something sexual. As you see something happening on screen you feel a surprisingly similar thing happening inside Real Touch.
Real Touch comes equipped with two soft rubber drive belts, four vibrating areas, a heating element and the ability to deliver lubricant on command. All of these elements are programmed by AEBN to work in concert with porn (if youíre interested in the details I recommend checking out the site, itís wonderfully easy to navigate and answers most of the questions youíll have directly).
My fingers took a test drive of Real Touch while watching a clip from an educational sex film. As you see people engaging in penetration you feel Real Touch moving up and down in time to the penetration. When the couple moves positions Real Touch also changes. As the action progresses my fingers feel warmer and wetter thanks to the heating and lubricating properties of Real Touch (one of my guides explained that the lube chamber can be programmed to release a little or a lot of lube, such that a scene with female ejaculation can be felt as a gush of warm lube in Real Touch). They have plans to develop a dildo like toy that a partner can use to control Real Touch. When one partner strokes the dildo up and down the movements, speed, and pressure will be felt inside Real Touch. Eventually they promise to make toys for other body parts too. But being a company that makes most of its money of male porn viewers they logically started with them.
After having Real Touch on my fingers for four or five minutes, my hosts opened it up and showed me the insides of the toy. While the construction was impressive I was amazed there wasnít more going on inside. It felt to my fingers as if there were 10 or 12 different things happening at once something that felt reminiscent of really great sex Iíve had. But the insides of Real Touch seemed orderly and logical (which is less reminiscent of really great sex Iíve had).
Not having fully tried Real Touch I still have questions and concerns. Right now Real Touch only works with video that the company has coded. So youíll have a choice of what to use it with, but the choice will be limited to the porn the manufacturers have chosen. What I really want to see is Real Touch that can be controlled by another user with another toy.
My major concern is actually from a programming perspective. I wonder about the people who are actually coding the videos and the folks who came up with what Real Touch can do. As long as everything is closed technology users will be relying on the sexual creativity and sophistication of those making the toys and coding the videos. I think this severely limits the experience. What Iíd hope for is for the company to come up with some way to let users code videos (their own or professionals) and ultimate for users to suggest other things for Real Touch to do.
Whatís exciting about technology is how putting it in the hands of millions of people can morph it in ways that the developers never would have imagined. Most sex tech is closed and takes a relatively antagonistic attitude toward users. Hereís hoping the makers of Real Touch have the vision not only to make a great teledilidonic toy, but also to change the sex toy industry model.
Learn More - Real Touch Website
(note: the first few pages of the site don't have any porn on them, it's easy to avoid, but not hard to find).
Related - All About Sex Tech
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