A new study commissioned by WeVibe, a sex toy company, found loneliness and anxiety during the virus-induced lockdowns has likely resulted in the emergence of "technosexuals."
Readers must be confused about what exactly the term means. Well, it turns out that anyone who is sexually attracted to machinery, robots, and or, in this case, smart-speakers, is a technosexual.
WeVibe surveyed 1,000 men and discovered 14% of respondents confessed their Amazon smart-speaker sexually aroused them.
Also known as "Alexa," Amazon's smart-speaker is no longer just fulfilling questions about the daily weather or telling lame jokes, but rather the Chinese-made device is fueling men's sexual fantasies.
U.K.-based psychologist, Lucy Beresford, wrote in The Telegraph that the number of technosexuals is increasing as their "primary source of arousal are through interacting with their tech," indicating that society is "sleepwalking into a different kind of epidemic – one of loneliness and fear of intimacy" driven partially by the lockdowns.
Beresford said, "their [technosexuals] favorite gadgets. Whether it's the 'ping' of a message, swiping right, or the seductive, authoritative tones of cloud-based voice service, their tech fulfills them by mobilizing the reward system in the brain and releasing dopamine – the 'happiness hormone.'"
"The instant activity of using their tech – likes and comments – is like a sexual turn on. This 'dopamine hit' happens in all of us, but, in technosexuals, something else is at play," she said.
Beresford said, "In all my years of practicing, technosexuals are perhaps the most troubling cohort of mental health sufferers I have seen, because the source of their distress appears, on the face of it, to be so innocuous. Where most of us just use tech when we need it — and, as Zoom-fatigue has shown, can get quickly turned off by it — the technosexual is hit by the double whammy of intensified use, which arises from (and is subsequently inflamed by) an existing fear of closeness to other human beings."
She warned, "If we're not careful, mindful even, tech has the power to tempt all of us to invest too much time in a 'virtual' life at the expense of our real one."
Besides fantasising about Alexa, some technosexuals have been buying futuristic AI-driven sex dolls.
One sex doll company has announced the best of both worlds for technosexuals - embedding Alexa or Siri into dolls.
What a crazy world we live in. So will remote-working lifestyles drive a new era of technosexuals?