opinion

Marketplace Musings: Going the Distance

Mark Espinosa

How many friends do you have on social media that you have never actually met in the real physical world? Someone asked me this, recently, and I was shocked when I realized that my number is well in the double digits. This means that I’m sharing intimate aspects of my personal life with complete strangers who I have never actually met in the physical world. Well, not “complete strangers.” There’s usually a mutual friend or two that can vouch for these “non-corporeal Internet phantoms” that keep “poking” me or requesting help with their imaginary cartoon farms.

As I write this, the reality (or virtual reality) of this is starting to sink in. I’m blindly “tagging” and “checking in” almost every personal detail of my life. I’ve drawn back the curtain and exposed my private life in exchange for imaginary Internet points in the form of “likes,” “favorites,” and “retweets.” Is nothing sacred? That settles it! I’m going to delete all my online accounts and focus more on my actual life! It’s the dawn of a new day for ole Mark Espinosa!

We spend more time checking in and monitoring the “comings and goings” of our acquaintances located all around the world, and less physical time with the people located right down the block.

I lasted five minutes.

It’s staggering how prevalent social media has become in our lives. We spend more time checking in and monitoring the “comings and goings” of our acquaintances located all around the world, and less physical time with the people located right down the block. Actually, we spend just as much time virtually interacting with those same people who live right down the block, than we do physically. Grab a cup of coffee together, you weirdos! Yes, it’s true that social media does have a way of physically isolating us from each other. Despite all the negatives, the recent advances in telecommunication and social media websites have proven to be extremely integral in maintaining connection with friends and family over great distances.

With the addition of “direct messaging” features to some of the more popular apps, it’s now easier to share more intimately with those special “someones” in our lives. Wherever they may be. It’s good to know that while we mostly just stand completely exposed in front of the infinite vastness of the Internet, we can also still find quiet little corners where we can be alone with others. But, what comes after intimacy? With communication and sharing technology progressing as fast as it has, it was only a matter of time until the technology allowing actual physical stimulation, over great distances, was introduced.

Over the last few months, we have seen a huge influx of wireless vibrators being introduced. While most of them only allow for wireless control from inside the same room through a wireless control or phone, some vibrators, actually allow for one person to control a vibrator from anywhere in the world. A technology known as “teledildonics.” With the announcement of the Opue and SVir from KIIROO and the Blue Motion from OhMiBod, we’re beginning to see a very interesting melding of social media and sexual interaction. (I imagine that it’s only a matter of time before wireless/app controlled vibrators, The Vibease, We-Vibe 4 Plus, The kGoal from Minna Life and The Magic Motion, have similar features.)

These new innovative vibrators also allow for people to directly influence the actual stimulation of their partner (or multiple partners) are experiencing. Basically, you don’t even need to be on the same continent as your lover to have sex with them. Where social media sites allowed for the uninterrupted continuation of friendships over great distances, these new app controlled vibrators are allowing for the continued intimacy of lovers from afar. Long-distance relationships aren’t as long as they use to be.

As the concept of teledildonics slowly introduces itself into the mainstream consciousness, an awareness will need to be developed with the modern-day sex toy retailer. The customer looking to satisfy themselves while their partners are away is not a new concept by any means. Or even the customer looking for “something to use” while they chat with their lover over the phone. In all my years working on the sales floor, I’ve never had a customer tell me that they needed some products to use while their partner remotely stimulates them from across the country. How do you help that customer? Perhaps some wrist restraints while they are teased remotely? Perhaps some porn to watch while the vibrator does its business.

Besides the potential add-on purchases that come with this new generation of vibrator, a stronger technological understanding will be needed. An understanding of how to download apps, the differences between Androids and iPhones, the differences between Wifi and Bluetooth, maneuvering through standard app menus, online security, etc. With the creation of any new technology, that is sure to be extremely popular, comes the added responsibility of having to learn all the technology that surrounds it. This is especially important so that you can properly sell and troubleshoot it. Also, when the robots finally take over, they’ll surely spare the ones that they’ve already been romantic with.

As National Sales Manager of Pleasure Works Wholesale, Mark Espinosa believes that as the industry progresses alongside communications technology, it’s important that we always remember that we get to say that we “give people orgasms for a living!” So, why not have a little fun in the process?

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