We at LELO are so pleased to welcome Emma Sayle, founder of Killing Kittens, the members-only club that hosts female-oriented sex parties around the world, to the Volonté blog as a guest author. Her first piece addresses the realities of dating in the digital era―and why it is so important to unplug.
The digital age has revolutionized how we have sex. But perhaps it’s time to go offline.
My parties are pretty old school. Before you are given a glass of champagne, my security team take your phone and they don’t return it until you leave. This strict rule has been enforced for the 11 years I have run Killing Kittens and it’s not just to ensure complete privacy, but also to encourage people to look each other in the eye, talk and connect.
The digital age has revolutionized how we have sex, how we date and how we fall in love but meeting people has now become about speed and convenience rather than chemistry and romance.
Once upon a time we met potential sex and love interests through friends, family and colleagues. Today we meet people within a certain catchment area and age range.
Yes, online dating services and apps are efficient but they have created a superficial world where people are judged on how eligible they are from a six-inch screen. This technology has given both men and women too many options – a phenomenon a recent Vanity Fair article called ‘pussy affluenza’ – and these options have created a surge in dishonesty and fantasy leaving people insecure, disillusioned and confused about sex.
‘I mean, she’s got a GSOH, she’s smart, she’s hot and she can ski, but she’s half an inch smaller than my preferred height. Hmmm. She is just three roads away though.’
And that’s just the early stages. What about when it all comes crumbling down? They say breaking up is hard to do – try doing it when your entire relationship history is displayed on various Facebook accounts and your ex is getting over his pain with a week in Ibiza complete with daily Instagram posts for you, your friends and his to see.
Social media has created armies of insecure addicts who are desperate for praise and validation and whose moods are dictated by how many people have liked their latest post. And don’t get me started on selfies.
As a mother, a wife and as a CEO of a growing global network aimed at embracing women’s sexuality I can tell you that like pregnancy and childbirth, sex is one of our most primal human experiences and no app will ever be able to replicate the chemistry that goes off when you meet someone face-to-face and think ‘I can’t wait to screw your brains out’.
This is why I’m urging you to put down your phones, your virtual reality sex goggles and your virtual sex suits and head outside. You don’t need to go to out with the intention of meeting your dream guy or girl – you just need to have a good time doing whatever it is that you like and people will be drawn to you like a magnet.
It’s about getting back to basics, something the sex toy world has cottoned on. Forget fancy kit, 2016 has been about getting back to basics with slick, simple designs.
I do, of course, acknowledge that the internet has helped socially challenged people with niche preferences and habits have sex and find love. There are now sites out there just for stoners, gluten-free singles (who knew wheat could be such a problem?) and even Ugly Schmucks.
I also have to keep up with the digital world myself. Our online community is now crucial to my business, especially since I have expanded into cities like Sydney and NYC but the aim of the site is, and always will be, to help people meet up in the real world and have face- to-face interactions. It is not about spending a year digitally flirting with a total stranger who you have no intention of ever going on a real date with.
Or, worse, you do meet up and all he wants is a fuck because, you know, he’s talking to 10 other Tinderellas on Whats App and if you don’t put out, he will meet one of them tomorrow night.
Don’t get me wrong, casual sex is great. I’ve made a career out if it and without an iPhone, back when people preferred not to openly talk about their sexual conquests and when men didn’t want to be with a woman that had slept with loads of people.
And I can guarantee that my sort of casual sex is still way more fun than sitting at home, swiping left and right.