Vibrating penises and DIY herpes medication: how biohacking will revolutionize sex
Self-experimenting biohackers are innovators using technology to “hack” the body and help humans overcome their natural limitations.
They employ all kinds of tools to improve the human condition, like cognitive enhancement drugs, radical diets, prosthetic limbs, device implants and gene editing.
Some are taking it even further.
Rich Lee wants to turn his penis into a vibrator. Aaron Traywick wants to cure his STD with a homemade herpes treatment.
Lee’s and Traywick’s inventions are specifically designed to boost performance where people want it most: between the sheets.
In its most familiar forms, biohacking sex looks like popping Viagras, integrating sex toys, or implanting an IUD.
On the fringes of the biohacking community, companies are creating probiotics that manipulate the body’s microbiome to make vaginas smell like ripe fruit. They’re designing drugs that reduce men’s recovery time, allowing them to easily achieve multiple orgasms. They’re developing smart condoms, which work like Fitbits for penises, tracking speed, thrust velocity and frequency of sex acts.
However, none of these options were permanent enough for Lee, so he created the LoveTron 9000 to transform men’s genitals into sex toys.
“The LoveTron9000 is a vibrating implant,” Lee says. “It’s a clitoral stimulator, designed for your partner’s pleasure.”
With this tiny device implanted underneath the surface of a man’s skin, his penis will get an instant upgrade — it will vibrate. The embedded chip will create a bionic boner that gives both partners a mutually pleasurable buzz.
“It’ll have multiple vibration options that you can shuffle through with a magnet, and if you want to sync it to music, it can convert the beats into vibration,” Lee says. This can give users something even better than an orgasm — a “cyborgasm,” as he calls it.
Aaron Traywick also wants to revolutionize sex. He believes he’s found a permanent solution to STDs in a genetic cut-and-paste tool called CRISPR. Scientists are dubious, but Traywick says that he and his company, Ascendance Biomedical, are sitting on the cure to herpes and HIV.
To demonstrate his confidence in the company’s experimental herpes treatment, Traywick dropped his pants and plunged a needle full of the “science syrup” into his thigh in front of a live audience at a bodyhacking convention in Austin, Texas.
“I wanted to inspire others to feel safe enough to self-experiment,” he says. “I wanted to bear a flag of hope for people who have herpes and no alternatives to treatment. Also, I have herpes, and I want it to be cured.”
Although the FDA warns against them, “do-it-yourself” gene treatments are all the rage in the biohacking community. Someday soon, they say, gene editing will turn us all into sexier creatures.
“Right now, there are gene therapies in the works that could end obesity forever,” Lee says. Next to go: genes for balding, hunchbacks and acne. “If all of the sudden everyone is a 10/10, there’ll be less diversity of bodies, and we’ll have to redefine our averages of attractiveness.”
This is one of the biggest concerns about technology and biohacking — that they may be creating points of no return.
Today, there are people who might not even masturbate without access to technology. There are people who have intensified their orgams with sex toys, and can never go back to regular orgasms again.
In a decade, it’s possible that no one will be able to get laid if they have an STD or don’t have the LoveTron9000 to make their genitals pulsate.
However, it’s also possible that many people can overcome the pressure to poke themselves with needles, pop pills and get implants. After all, sex and relationships are so incredibly complex that there are already one million things you could do to address issues in your sex life without resorting to body hacks.