Millennials have killed many things: cable television, golf, McDonald’s, and now, apparently healthy sexual relationships.
A new gadget currently being Kickstarted called “LoveSync” is the Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex. Instead of leaning over and vocally asking your girlfriend or boyfriend, the LoveSync button does it for you. Essentially, there are two buttons — one for you, and one for your partner. If you’re feeling horny, you tap your button to store your desire for a set period of time. If your partner also taps their button during the time period then both buttons will glow to signify a match.
The button may seem like a seamless way to start a heavy night of passion, especially if you don’t want to talk to your partner beforehand for whatever reason, but there are a couple of problems with the button’s existence.
“When you’re feeling like you could be gettin’ down for some action, you anonymously tap your button,” the page reads. “Your desire will be stored for a set time period. No risk of rejection here, and no pressure on your partner — if only one of you tap, nothing happens.”
According to LoveSync, seemingly the new frontrunner for sex therapists of the year, here are the conditions in which it is okay to have sex with your partner:
- If you push a button and they push a button
- If you push a button and they do not cancel their request for sex
- If your partner is actually the one to hit the button and not the cat or a book falling off a shelf or something.
- Uh... that’s it.
These set of buttons seem like they’re designed for a traditional monogamous couple, so it’s not exactly anonymous. Either you or your partner are horny; it’s not like there’s a third person in this equation. But it does bring up a particular quandary; as anyone with an Amazon Dash button and a cat, dog, or toddler will tell you, accidents happen. Sometimes, a button gets pressed over and over again, and you wind up with 10 cases of toilet paper because your cat got bored and started using the button as a toy. The same thing could happen with this button. Having a cat hit a button repeatedly, without your partner knowing, could send an awkward message about you being horny at 2:30 in the afternoon.
LoveSync’s Kickstarter campaign page states that “It provides the most benefit for couples who tend to not be as frequently outward about their sexual desires, but even those with above average drive have room to improve.” This may be a good starting point for people who aren’t comfortable or able to pick up on nonverbal cues, but it should only be the first step — everything should lead back to communication.
An FAQ section for the campaign goes into additional details about the product, including noting that although “LoveSync will significantly reduce the number of failed foreplay attempts targeted at trying to find out if your partner is ‘in the mood,’ foreplay itself is an important psychological and physiological aspect of healthy sex.” The FAQ section, unfortunately, doesn’t include advice about simply talking to your partner about why there are so many failed foreplay attempts between the both of you.
This is the main issue with LoveSync’s strategy: it might be an easier way to let your partner known that you want to have sex, but doesn’t fix the fundamental issue at hand. Talking about sexual relationships, and what your partner wants or needs to have a fulfilling sexual experience, is key to having a fulfilling sex life. It’s not just about having more sex, as LoveSync’s Kickstarter page boasts, it’s about having better sex. Kate McCombs, a sex educator, told HealthLine this in 2017.
“When you avoid those vital conversations, you might avoid some awkwardness, but you’re also settling for suboptimal sex,” she said.
LoveSync turns sex in an intimate relationship into a quantifiable activity, instead of one that should be centered around the quality of a couple’s sex life. Healthy sexual relationships are borne out of healthy and openly communicative partners. Simply tapping a button and hoping your partner will tap back, like some kind of morse code in a dark room, doesn’t fix the problem, it temporarily puts it on hold.
And if your partner chooses to hold their button down for four seconds and “cancel your desire,” you’ll be left thinking about what’s going on inside their head instead of simply having a conversation.
Seriously, just talk to your partner the next time you want to have sex and are unsure if they’re up to it — and save yourself $50 in the process.
Correction: The article has been updated to clarify how the buttons work. Pressing a button does not send “a signal to your partner’s button, basically asking if they’d also like to have sex” as previously stated.