How Technology Plays a part in Dating and Sex

By Nduta Waweru

Technology has had an impact on our everyday activities down to dating and sex.  Clue, an organisation that uses science and data to provide insight into female health, collaborated with Kinsey Insititute, a research institute for human sexuality and relationships to carry out a sex survey to determine how people use technology in their sex lives, dating habits and sex education.  Here are highlights of the study.

  • Dating Apps are quite popular

According to the survey, 30 per cent of respondents used dating apps and out of this 15 per cent use it to find a partner and 10 per cent for one night stands.

Compared to heterosexual respondents (28 per cent), respondent identifying as queer are the most likely to use dating apps (55 per cent), followed by homosexual people (49 per cent) and bi/pansexual people (44 per cent).

According to Research Scientist at the Kinsey Institute, Amanda Gesselman:

USING APPS TO FIND EITHER LONG-TERM OR SHORTTERM PARTNERS, but not friends with benefits, may signal a reliance on tech/apps for either commitment or spontaneity, but not for regular sex with no romantic connection.

  • People turn to technology for sex education, whether they are sexually experienced or not

Eighteen per cent of the respondents use technology to learn more about sex and sexuality, whether they are sexually active or not. Respondents with sexual experience use apps just as much (19 per cent) as sexually inexperienced respondents (17 per cent). According to Gesselman, the reason for this could be that respondents are looking for ways to make their sexual experience better. The findings also show that some cultural restrictions cause men to use apps (32 per cent) more than women (18 per cent) for information about sexual intimacy.

  • Sexting is more popular for younger respondents

While 67 per cent of all respondent sexted, the habit is more popular in respondents aged between 18 and 20  (43 per cent) and least popular for the 45-54 age group at 3 per cent.  These young ones, however, are less likely to use SMS for texting (33 per cent) as compared to the rest (41 per cent).

  • Men are most likely to use apps to improve sexual relationship

Twenty-three percent of men use technology to not only improve their sexual relationships but are also to be comfortable with their partner’s bodies and for safer sex.  Gesselman says that people are using technology to improve sexual relationship indicate that getting information and opening channels of communication can improve relationships and consequently lives.

  • There is still resistance in using apps for private aspects of sexual  experience

While 40 per cent of respondents used apps for keeping track of sexual activity including regularity and number of partners, many did not disclose information about more private details like body and health facets. One of the reasons for this, according to Gesselman, is that people do not want potentially damning information to leak. Thus, only 3 per cent and one per cent used tech to track sexual satisfaction and STIs respectively.


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