Today, General Assembly London held a tech talk on the topic of sex and dating in the digital world and the future of the love industry.


Stephanie Alys – Co-Founder, Mystery Vibe (IOT sex toys)

Vivienne Errington-Barnes – Global events & communication manager, HER

Alix Fox – Journalist, broadcaster, sex educator

Kate Moyle – Pychological Sexologist


Key Notes:


  • When considering the ethics of technology, it should never replace face to face interaction. (Chatbots concept by Durex to help young kids learn about sex can cause conflict)
  • When tech becomes the only way you meet people, you’ve hit bottom. (Japan decline in sex)
  • Technology like remote healthcare and contraception can provide medication but doesn’t care about the wellbeing of the person who seeks help. Ex. a 3D printer won’t ask how your relationship is but will print a contraceptive pill for you.
  • Legality of shared VR sex material, when a couple breaks up,  can someone keep their past experiences?
  • New digital dating questions the human construct (ex. fidelity, polyamory)


  • Technology is supposed to be about connection and in the digital love industry, they connect you to niche, fetishism that you may have felt alone in being into before. Now you see others and things become less taboo, people start to get a lot more niche about what they like, making things less awkward (In my opinion, this could also mean we are categorizing and pigeon holing more, you couldn’t categorize your preferences of people in any other industry and filter people ex. in job search)
  • People want to experiment with their sexuality, their avatar online. So they play catfish on dating apps and this can be dangerous.
  • Mate segregation of dating apps, which is the survival of dating apps but not good for humanity


  • The nuance is in the pros and cons of technology in sex, we need to have these conversations early about robot sex dolls, child sex dolls and ethics of technology. Can child sex dolls stop pedophiles from offending?


  • The gestures in porn has become a sex education tool for people, this is what people think sex should be like
  • Monopoly of the porn industry by MindGeek – deems what kind of sex people are having similar to dating apps defining the attitude towards love
  • Research on couples using VR for sex to see if it improves relationships
  • VR is one way we are moving away from apps
  • Consider the mental health of users in designing technology
  • In the future will sex and relationship be separated?