5 Apps to Spice Up Your (Real or Imaginary) Sex Life
We’ve shared our favorite smartphone tools to help you have a great time between the sheets while preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Next on the agenda, 5 apps to spice up your (real or imaginary) sex life.
This app totally rocks—though we might be a little biased. You can create an anonymous user profile and upload your sauciest and silliest sex stories (like this hilarious one) for others to read. Or you can just browse other users’ stories—from a 48 hour sex marathon to engaging in a little BDSM to “sexy fun” on a lazy Sunday (we made postcards of a few of our favorites). The app also has a BootyMap so you can see what other users in your area are doing in the sack (or in the street or hallway). And of course BootyLog reminds users to prevent unplanned pregnancies by choosing the birth control that’s right for them.
We say: Log it!
Ever admired a Facebook friend (or two, or three) from afar but weren’t sure how to propose a hookup? Bang with Friends aims to solve this frustrating problem. Users indicate which of their Facebook friends they would like to fool around with and if two people say they’re DTF with each other, the app will notify them both. It was designed by a German group, which makes the Google translation of their welcome email quite funny (let’s hope that “Let it rip!” means something else in German…).
One downside of Bang with Friends is that your dream Facebook-friend-with-benefits also has to use the app—and we’re guessing it’s still pretty unlikely that he or she will be a user given the novelty of the app. Another downside based on our experimentation: it seems like the technical kinks haven’t been worked out yet, so sometimes mutual propositions between friends don’t make it to your inbox. How’s that for a cock block?
We say: Meh.
A twist on the classic truth or dare, this app is designed to be played in a group—and while I’m pretty sure that I have a very open-minded group of friends, I doubt that they would be down to play this game without dangerous levels of alcohol in their systems. With dares like, “Strip down to your underwear and get in the shower with the person next to you,” it is understandable that some people would be uncomfortable. It also comes with rather unsexy dares such as, “Wear only a toilet paper diaper for the next 10 minutes” and “Make out with your neighbor’s butt like you are in love.”
But while we’re not totally buying it, the Truth or Dare app could be a fun way to see just how crazy your friends are. Just remember to keep it super-safe (condoms, birth control, and the most important ingredient of all, good communication) if a striptease turns into something more…
We say: Um, save it for a snow day?
Imagine you want to cover yourself in chocolate and have your partner tie you to the bedpost but you don’t know how to bring it up in conversation. “Honey, could you please pass the salt and then lick chocolate syrup off my inner thigh tonight?” might not work, even if you’re really close with your significant other. Kindu hopes to solve this communication problem by giving both parties a list of different, less-than-conventional sexual activities for both to answer ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘maybe’ to. If a couple disagrees (let’s say she wants to go to an S&M club and he doesn’t), then Kindu hides these answers to avoid embarrassment for either party. If they both answer ‘maybe,’ then Kindu lets them know that they should discuss it later together. And if they answer ‘yes,’ well then there is one more happy couple in the world.
The downside: it costs 99 cents and both partners have to purchase the app. Still a worthy investment in our book.
We say: Anniversary treat?
Much like the Truth or Dare app, this one can be played in groups or as a couple. Group play may easily become awkward (“Three way kiss time” and “Get completely butt naked” are possibilities), while couple play may be a little boring. But hey—it could still be better than the typical kegger.
We say: For when Quarters gets old.
Of course, we think the sexiest way to spice things up is by finding the perfect birth control that works for you and your partner. And if you’re still looking for more ways to heat up your relationship, we’ve got some suggestions in the Frisky Friday archives.
STD Awareness Month is drawing to a close, but there’s still time to get aware, get safer, and get your test if you haven’t already!
There’s also time to read the awesome comprehensive safer sex series The STD Project wrote for our tumblr, watch Veralyn Williams’ video on 5 Facts About STDs That You Should Know (and Probably Don’t), and learn more about birth control methods that prevent STIs over on Bedsider.org.
Before we conclude College Week, we’d be remiss not to display the back of the gorgeous condom dress made by our ambassadors at the University of South Carolina. Looks like someone has a future in safe-sex fashion…
Do you know everything you need to know about STDs? …Are you sure?
The Fine Art of Condom Negotiation
Why the need for STD Awareness Month? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20 million new sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) occur in the United States each year, and half of them happen among young people ages 15–24. It’s scary to think so many young people have not gotten the memo that safer sex is a must.
It should go without saying that a big part of practicing safer sex is using a condom—every time. And yes—in “the heat of the moment” negotiating condom use can be difficult. That’s why in a perfect world that conversation would always happen long before the foreplay starts. But of course we live in the REAL world, where things tend to move quickly. So how can we get our partner on board for using protection? I talked to 3 sexual health educators who offered the following pointers:
#1 take-away here: Make using a condom fun! And as I recently learned during a Harlem United Tea Party (the name of their safe sex presentations), one way to do that is by putting on the condom with your mouth. (If you’ve never seen it done, check out Putting on a condom w/ NO HANDS, starting at 6:21). During our interview, sex educator Tasha Douge explains why this method can be highly effective:
What are your secrets to negotiating condom use? Share them in the comments below!
Veralyn Williams is a Multimedia Freelance Journalist currently working in New York City. She has spent 4 years at WNYC Radio working with various departments including: Radio Rookies, Culture, News, and Freakonomics. She also freelances for Black Enterprise, BronxNet Television, Bedsider, and The Museum for African Art. Her independent work is featured on her website VeralynMedia.com. Through all of her endeavors she aims to give a voice to perspectives that are often forgotten in the media.
5 Ways Your Smartphone Can Make Sex Safer
To kick off STD Awareness Month, we chose a few of our favorite smartphone tools for helping you protect yourself—and your partner—from sexually transmitted infections (STI). We think we found a few gems, but don’t take our word for it. Download and weigh in with your comments.
We know our smartphones can be lifesavers in some terrifying situations—and some not-so-terrifying ones—but can they help you have safer sex? Okay, we know the answer to that one too (yes!), but to further prove our point, allow us to tell you about five safer-sex smartphone tools we love:
You can’t tell if someone has an STI just by looking at them, and when it comes to one night stands, most of us aren’t going to insist on going to the nearest clinic together to get tested first (although wouldn’t mobile testing units outside bars be kind of awesome?). Qpid.me is a service explicitly dedicated to making it easier to share STI test results right when you need them. Users get tested for STIs and/or HIV with certified health care providers and have their results sent to the Qpid.me service. To show potential partners their results, users can request to have their records sent via text message or email—so while it’s not an app, cell phones are essential for Qpid.me to work.
Here’s a sample text of what your results will look like on Qpid.me:
We’ve been believers in this service for a long time and look forward to seeing it become more mainstream. Qpid.me is easy to sign up for, the directions are easy to understand, and the FAQs cover all the basics. And of course, we love that their website makes the point that using a form of birth control is still über-important to prevent pregnancy. But don’t take our word for it—check out the reviews from Qpid.me users.
We say: Do it! (Sign up, that is.)
2. MedXCom (a.k.a. STI Bump)
Late last year, MedXCom—an app for various health issues ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure—released a new ”MedXSafe” feature to allow users to download their STI/HIV test results onto their phones, then bump phones with potential partners to share their results.
We love the idea, though the execution is a bit convoluted. Health care providers have to download and register themselves with the app first and then upload the test results—which we’d guess could be a barrier for some. On the other hand, maybe it’ll encourage more frequent visits to providers—and better communication!
We say: Promising.
It’s also important to remember that some STIs can take a while to show up on medical tests, so it’s a good idea to use a condom even if you think your partner has tested negative. What, did someone say condoms?
You need a condom, stat! What do you do if a convenience store isn’t near you? In the old days, people would sneakily steal one out of their roommates’ nightstands, go digging beneath mountains of clothes in their closets while sweating bullets of desperation, or simply wait for another time to have sex. With iCondom, those days may be coming to a close. Using your phone’s location services, the app tells you which stores or community centers near you sell or give away condoms.
All information about these locations is uploaded by users, so it should be a reliable way to find condoms. To test this hypothesis, we’re going to go on the Great iCondom Scavenger Hunt of 2013 in the very near future…
We say: Stay tuned!
4. SOS Condoms
The tragedy is that this app is currently only available in Dubai. Users in, ahem, desperate situations can send an SOS to their friends at Durex when things are hot, heavy, and about to require a condom. Durex then discreetly delivers the goods to their eternally grateful customers, who can then enjoy their night knowing they’ve taken a crucial step to protect themselves and their partner from STIs and unplanned pregnancy. And despite what the commercial indicates, women can order them too. You can vote on their Facebook page for the next lucky city to get this service—why not make it yours?
We say: Waaaannnnttttt…
5. Condom Pro
Think you’re a pro at putting on a condom? Test your prowess with Condom Pro (full disclosure: we made it…and at the moment it’s only available on iPhone), an app that let’s you practice to your heart’s content. Players put condoms on lollipops, fish, popcorn, gear shifts, and much more while racing against the clock. With useful tidbits dropped in between levels, this app is fun and educational. Could you get even better at putting on condoms than the Condom Master?
We say: Practice makes perfect (and we’re only a little bit biased).
oh oh I get it. Your boyfriend doesn’t like condoms. So you don’t wear them.
Does he happen to like babies?
Don’t date that.
Some useful equations for Method Monday, inspired by this “Date this not that” illustration: Boyfriends who are into safer sex = awesome; boyfriends who refuse to use condoms = not awesome. And to all the condom skeptics out there, fear not—research confirmed that condoms don’t decrease sexual pleasure.
We say: protecting yourself (and your partner) from unwanted pregnancy and STIs = awesome-est.
A Sexy - and Safer - “Spring Break for Geeks”
Attending SXSW Interactive is one of our favorite things to do. Like, ever. The festivities and information get us so giddy we often end up seeing double (like the two Austin capitol domes above).
Alas, we couldn’t make it this year, but we’ll be thinking of our friends who will be there. Friends like Ramin Bastani and the Qpid.me team, who are bringing safer sex to Austin through their free website.
As geeks ourselves, we’re happy to see Interactive getting some attention in for their interest in sex this year. In the past only the music attendees received condoms in their tote bags. But that oversight has apparently gone the way of those stuffed and not-so-green tote bags.
Qpid.me is “for people who want to privately share their verified STD results with anyone via text message or online,” according to a recent new release. We’re down. Just remember to also check out all your options for birth control—especially those that are “party-ready.”
And raise a glass for us. We’ll see you next year!
Larry Swiader is Senior Director of Digital Media for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a.k.a. “Mr. Bedsider.” When Larry is not working, surfing the Web, watching sports, or playing tennis, he is enjoying life with his wife and daughter—as often as possible in their second home of Greece.