We here at Gleek love sex positivity. We also love democracy. Which is why we were horrified to learn that prior to the 2016 presidential election, Russian hackers successfully penetrated voter registration rolls, as well as some actual voting machines. State election officials claim no votes were actually changed due to the hack, but it’s a wake-up call for how easily Russia can infiltrate our tech systems.
Which, of course, leads me to butt plugs.
The sex toy industry is a massively successful one. It’s expected that global sex toy sales will exceed $29 billion by 2020. Growing consumer demand means that sex toy makers are constantly looking for the NEXT BIG THING in the bedroom. For some sex toy fans, that means a full-on AI sex robot.
But for the more budget-conscious sex toy aficionados among us, it means Wi-Fi-enabled vibrators. Which brings me to the exciting new field of Teledildonics. (FUN FACT: Teledildonics was also my favorite Teletubby.)
Teledildonics uses technology for internet-linked sex toys, such as Bluetooth-enabled butt plugs and webcam-connected dildos. It’s an intriguing area. (ANOTHER FUN FACT: “Intriguing area” was what I called “third base” in junior high.)
But with all this new tech being introduced into our sex lives, we’re also inviting some unwanted security nightmares. Because if hackers can access our bank accounts and voting machines, they can also access our e-sex toys.
In 2017, researchers tested a bunch of sex toys for security bugs. They discovered that the Lovense Hush butt plug could be hacked and remotely controlled via Bluetooth.
Hackers call this activity “screwdriving.” And if hackers have given it a funny name, then you know they’ve already done a ton of screwdriving.
What’s the big deal, you ask? So your vibrating butt plug gives you a few unexpected pulses now and then. That sounds kind of exciting, right? Wrong. If hackers can gain access to your e-butt plug, then they can also gain access to the smart phone or laptop you use when you’re butt-plugging away. And while you might not care if hackers are in your ass, you should certainly care if they’re in your bank account.
So I would like to send a request to all those Russian hackers out there. Go ahead and try to subvert our democracy.
But please, for the love of God, leave our wifi-enabled unicorn horn dildos alone!