Sex Tech Predictions for 2024: Experts Weigh In on What the New Year Might Bring
Will the future be so bright we're gonna need shades—or take a turn for the worse?
Continuing our Future of Sex Expert Series, we reached out to six of the most highly qualified experts in fields ranging from sexual wellness to sex worker advocacy for their opinions on what opportunities, challenges, or innovative breakthroughs might lie ahead.
Their answers may possibly excite both consumers and those interested in the sex tech field alike.
Bobbi Bidochka, Director, International Sexual Health and Wellness Research Institute, Le Shaw
“In my opinion, Generative AI Porn/Explicit Images will be the talk of the town for 2024. As more and more sites keep popping up, and getting better with each iteration, we'll see exponential progress this upcoming year. There's a lot to debate on this topic, but one thing is for sure, the train has left the station!
“We need to ask ourselves some important questions, how will this affect explicit filmmaking? How will individual creators benefit and how do we mitigate the risks of capping, copyright infringements and other second order consequences that affect people's lives and livelihood. Where does the legal responsibility lie? Just to get started…”
Ola Miedzynska, Founder, SxTechEU & SXPR, Co-founder, Erobella
“Looking ahead, we anticipate a significant surge in the evolution of safety technologies embedded in platform features and wearables.
“A crucial development involves integrating cutting-edge safety technologies, such as safety buttons and real-time location tracking, to enhance the well-being of users across various platforms. This includes applications ranging from dating apps to online marketplaces catering to sex workers.
“Already, we have witnessed the creation of emergency jewelry, serving as a vital distress signal for individuals facing the risk of public harassment. Anticipated trends suggest the adoption of similar safety measures by sex work marketplaces like Erobella.com, aiming to offer safer and more inclusive solutions for sex workers.
“These emergency apps and trackers not only provide a safer approach to dating but also serve as indispensable tools for ensuring the safety of sex workers.
“In 2024, this innovation is paving the way for AI-powered customer matching, ensuring precision and security in matching based on individual preferences. This progress is designed to create a safer and more personalized experience across a spectrum of dating scenarios, benefiting both regular dating market users and those involved in the sex work industry.”
Raven Faber, Founder and CEO, EngErotics
“The Sex Tech industry has seen a ton of growth and mainstream acceptance this year, however, that growth has come with its fair share of bumps and bruises along the way due to inflation and the overall state of the economy. It has been a year of swimming upstream for many of us founders! I would anticipate that this trend will continue into 2024 for several months as the economy slowly begins to recover and improve.
“During this time, it will be necessary for Sex Tech founders to continue to be gritty, tenacious, and innovative (as they've always been) but also to remain optimistic that our economic climate will shift for the better. Although 2023 was an unusually rough year to be in business, the proverbial seeds that were planted by way of leaning into our professional networks for support during this time were many, paving the way for even more growth down the road.
“This year has not been the year for many of those seeds to sprout, however, my gut tells me that 2024 will be. The New Year will yield even more growth for the Sex Tech industry while allowing founders to breathe a little easier in a slowly improving economy.”
Melanie Cristol, Founder and CEO, Lorals
“We’re expecting 2024 to be another year of huge growth for sex tech, both in terms of acceptance and innovation. And I think a lot of that is going to be crowdsourced—in large part thanks to platforms like TikTok.
“People are sharing their individual experiences and searching for more education, more options, more products, and the smart brands are finding ways to engage with that need. Lorals has put a heavy focus on being part of those conversations on our TikTok account (155K followers and 6.6M Likes), and we’re reaching a critical mass of consumer, governmental, and business pressure against major media players and social media platforms that tend to censor sexual health content.
“The more people see others sharing their experiences, asking questions, and getting answers, the more likely they are to get involved as a customer, a reviewer, or as an entrepreneur innovating in the space.”
Jens Petter Wilhelmsen, CEO and co-founder, Handy
“In 2024, I predict the sex tech industry will be set to undergo a major shift with the rise of virtual reality (VR). To facilitate more immersive and lifelike experiences, VR will take intimate connections to a whole new level.
“VR technology is making it possible for users to explore deeper connections and sensations, breaking free from the limitations of traditional interactions. Picture a world where you can feel more connected, in virtual and/or long-distance scenarios.
“On top of this, there's a growing focus on user privacy and security. As technology advances, so does the need to ensure your personal data is protected. Expect stronger measures like encryption to become standard, building trust and ensuring a responsible approach to these exciting innovations in the sex tech space. 2024 will be the year where pleasure meets privacy, thanks to the transformative power of virtual reality.”
Anna Lee, CEO and co-founder, Lioness
“In this past year, we’ve seen a growing presence of sex educators on social media. Seeing the engagement they are getting is encouraging and clearly reflects that people want this content. I think this is going to continue to push tough conversations around censorship and the damage it causes to our understanding of overall health and wellness and its connection to sexual wellbeing. The demand for this data is real as we saw with the launch of our first-ever annual Pleasure Wrapped.
“I think as a growing trend, we will continue to see sextech come into the mainstream with new players like major CPG companies and lifestyle retailers. It will add fresh perspectives and drive a lot of innovation with sextech hardware, technology, and apps.”
Image Sources: Depositphotos