Key Takeaways

The 21st century is the age of living alone. The percentage of singles in the US increased by 15% since the 1970s and currently makes up 50% of its population. We can observe similar trends in most of the developed countries.

This causes the erotic industry to thrive. The sex toys industry is currently estimated to be worth $15 billion globally, as it boomed in the last decade thanks to a shift in cultural norms and the anonymity and ease of buying online.

The Second Industrial Revolution in the 19th century led to a dramatic increase in the pace of everyday life. One of the effects of that was the surge of women reporting mental distress. At first, it was treated by doctors who performed massages of their genital parts that led to orgasm, or as it was called by physicians in that time, a ‘hysterical paroxysm’. Soon this method became inefficient, which led to the invention of a vibrator around 1880.

As we currently enter a period called by many the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with technologies including Internet of Things, 4D Printing, Immersive Experience, Smart Robotics or Machine Learning and social trends like Gender Neutrality, it seems interesting what the implications for our sexual life might be.

What is the future of the sex industry? How can we use technology to develop new, personalized toys? What does it take to make the business more ethical and inclusive? And how should it respond to the shift in perception of sexuality?

Designing the Future: Sex Toys Industry is an interactive event during which we invite you to help us answer these questions. It consists of an overview of the sex industry history, a workshop during which we speculate about its future, and a prototyping part when we let you build your own sex toys.