As a feminist writer who has covered quite a bit of sex related stuff in her day, I am often included in email blasts with press releases for the latest in sex toys and porn. So I wasn’t as surprised to get an email about a “kegel exerciser” as much as I was confused. What is this contraption and how do they expect it to work? Kegels strengthen pelvic muscles because you work them out on your own — or using “weights,” also known as ben wa balls. A device to work these muscles for you seems like it’d be the equivalent of a treadmill that did all the running for you. Alas, the term “kegel exerciser” was a bit misleading. It turns out that the Lovelife Krush actually functions as a kegel monitor that can sense and track the pressure of your “grip” as well as the endurance. In other words, it’s like a $150 Fitbit for your pussy. And because this is 2016, there’s an app to accompany the device where you can track your progress.
I found myself wondering, is there anything that has not been stained by the curiously ambitious little hands of the tech industry? And this wasn’t the first time I’d had to ask myself this question. Once while falling down a YouTube rabbit hole, I came across of genre of videos, mostly from emerging beauty and lifestyle vloggers, that provided full details on their bathing and showering practices and best products for keeping their lady bits clean. Many of them had views in the ten and hundred thousands. Suddenly I was the human embodiment of the Mr. Krabs meme that everyone is using now. I suddenly realized that my reproductive organs, and those of women everywhere, were the latest pawns in the great tech race.
When I discovered that there were apps to track your period, I thought it was cute. After all, it was essentially just a calendar platform that lets you know 28 days after the start of your last period that the next one was coming. We could do the math ourselves, but who has time for that? No harm done on that front. And a few years ago an app was created to turn your phone into a vibrator. The downloadable app was basically able to manipulate the vibrate function on your phone to varying speeds and intensities. But it was a bad idea from the start because unless their abiding Yo Gotti’s request and Snapchatting that pussy, why would anyone want their phone that close to their genitals? The idea never really caught on. Or at least I hope it didn’t. And even though ultrasounds have been utilizing imaging technology for years to check on the little humans incubating in their mother’s womb this seemed normal given the evolution of medical technology. I even read with hopeful fascination that uterus transplants may allow trans women who were born without wombs to experience pregnancy. Science was making our lives more convenient and making the once impossible, possible.
But was I overlooking exactly how far our tech driven world would venture into the lives and bodies of women? First Response, the pregnancy and fertility test company that has been there to either help or hurt many a pregnancy scare, has added themselves to the mix. They have created the first and only pregnancy test that is Bluetooth and wireless enabled. According to the website, not only are users able to read time and receive results on their phone using an app, they receive “wait support” in the form of cute puppies to distract anxious potential moms-to-be. Those folks have this internet thing down for sure. The app keeps its relevancy as a pregnancy support app should the results come back positive.
Capitalizing on pregnancy and childbirth by giving moms more and more means of feeling in control of their fertility is a predictable tactic. But the tech industry turning its head toward menstrual cup users? That I didn’t see coming. The reusable menstruation cup loved by environmentalists, penny pinchers, and radical feminists seemed to be morally safe guarded from this kind of thing. But alas, there is a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Looncup, a Bluetooth enabled menstrual cups that can track the cup’s fullness and use mobile alerts to let busy users know when it’s time to empty it. It will also act as a period tracker when Aunt Flo isn’t around to ruin your life.
One of my favorite tumblr blogs — ran by Sanam, whom you might recognize from Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” music video — uses the handle: cantcolonizethispussy. But with the advent of so much twat tech, I’m not sure how true that is anymore. Our now bionic bushes are being tracked, monitored, and marketed to, proving that nothing is safe from tech or capitalism.
Dicks beware: they’re coming for you.