This weekend I attended Singapore’s first Sexual Wellness Festival and SexTech Hackathon.
It was fabulous treat to say the least – the marketplace, the people, the music, the food, the talks and panels – everything was organized incredibly well.
I even bought my 63-year-old mother a vibrator called the Fireman. I hope this fireman can get rid of her hot flashes.
According to the Guardian, SexTech is estimated to be a 30 billion dollar industry that is growing at 30% each year (faster than the drone industry!).
There is Fintech, Edtech, healthtech and of course – Sextech
What is SexTech?
“Technology, and technology-driven ventures, designed to enhance, innovate and disrupt in every area of human sexuality and human sexual experience.”
This could mean addressing challenges from access to quality sex-ed to long distance relationships to disability sex, closing the pleasure gap and so much more.
The human sexual experience is broad and diverse.
My lovely friend Bryony is the founder of Future of Sex podcast and also the pioneer for creating and leading these Hackathons in New York, Australia, Singapore – check out her website to see where she’s having the next Hackathon..
What is a SexTech Hackathon?
According to Bryony, hackathons are a vital way of sparking critical social conversations, adding diversity of perspective and creating new solutions and dialogue to an emerging industry like sextech.
It’s a weekend-long collaboration in which people with a range of skills and expertise come together to work on solutions to social, tech and behavioral challenges.
The hackers, hipster and hustlers of the startup culture come together with the educators, sexologist, psychologists, therapists and other experts.
Together they develop solutions that combine sexuality and tech in ways that explore what it means to be a human in the modern era of fast changing, technology driven world.
Solutions may range from sexual health, personal safety, sexual well-being, choice of sexual experiences, personal dignity, games, entertainment and dating experiences.
Here are some examples:
These hackathons give space for voices and ideas outside the media spotlights with the goal of changing the cultural conversation around sex.
SexTech Hackathons bring new ideas, people and perspectives to challenges at the intersection of sex and tech.
How Does a SexTech Hackathon Work?
A diverse range of voices and ideas come together to find new and innovative ways to deliver sex education, products and services for sexual health and wellness, assault reporting, dating among other areas.
The teams generate a working prototype, whether this is a technology product, a design or a campaign.
They receive mentorship from business owners, investors, creatives, etc…
On the last day the teams pitch their idea to a judges panel to win the prize.
Questions to Think About
- How can we deliver Sexual Education to adults? (Men, Women, Couples)
- How can sextech help the aging population form meaningful sexual relationships?
- How can people with disabilities get access to sexual resources?
- How can we deliver sex education in a way that is more engaging to young people in schools?
- How can kids have safe and honest conversations about sex with their parents?
Uncovering the real potential of any technology means going beyond the obvious; in sextech’s case, going deeper than media headlines of the day which tend to focus around robots and VR partners.