Get ready, everyone, because the future of sexual pleasure is here. And it’s a doozy.
Last fall, SexShop3D snagged Internet headlines when it announced its (semi) discreet service: In three easy steps, customers can order a sex toy design (be it a vibrator, butt plug, or anal beads), download a file, then print the toy using a 3D printer.
Want to tweak a model to your specifications? Consider the wonderfully named Dildo Generator. Looking to design and print a sex toy based on your own body part? The startup New York Toy Collective offers just that. Hell, even UPS allows you to print out a sex toy at one of its 3D printing outposts.
The idea of whipping up a customized sex toy from the comfort of your own home (or, er, UPS shop) is undoubtedly an appealing one. Plus, if tech makes you randy (baby), the service might satisfy your nerdy carnal cravings in ways that the Rabbit cannot.
But (there’s always a “but”), given the steps involved, we can’t help but wonder if the process is actually worth it. Worse yet, it may not be safe.
Toy material developed via 3D printer can form pores, which can in turn house bacteria (ick). To combat this problem, some innovators have used the printed model as a mere template, using it to create a safe cast, then pouring silicone inside.
Some companies have also developed unique solutions to the issue. In the video below, SexShop3D shares its ingenious method for fighting bacteria: After printing the toy, users can sand it down, then spray it with three to four coats of silicone conformal coating. Each coat must dry for 20 minutes in between applications. The toy is ready as soon as the final coat dries.
While this process doesn’t seem too terribly difficult, it again raises the question: Is it worth it? If extra steps are involved, why not just run out to the local sex toy shop? More importantly, can we trust people to not cut corners, thus putting sensitive body parts at risk?
It’s worth noting, though, that this idea is very much in its infancy, and that as the technology improves, so too will its accessibility. As Motherboard mused, “The dream of envisioning a toy, designing it, then printing out a functional copy is still a futuristic dream.”
But is it not a futuristic dream worth dreaming about?
This post by Giana Ciapponi originally appeared at Ravishly and is reprinted with permission.