Do Dating Apps Work? 7 Ways Technology Is Affecting Women's Sex & Love Lives
Technology has found its way into every corner of our lives, including our bedrooms. But how has technology changed our sex lives, exactly? To answer this question, the period-tracking app Clue and the Kinsey Institute surveyed 140,000 people (134,000 of whom were women) in 198 countries in June 2017 about their use of apps and other technology to improve their sex lives, sexual health, and relationships.
"I find it most compelling that while apps are so common in so many countries and cultures, technology doesn’t yet dominate our sex lives and relationships. Instead, it’s part of the whole picture," Clue CEO and co-founder Ida Tin said in a press release shared exclusively with Bustle. Amanda Gesselman, Research Scientist at the Kinsey Institute, also has an optimistic view of the research: "While there are many reports on the consequences of technology on our private lives, these results relay a more positive story: that people are leaning on technology to help them create better experiences for themselves and their partners."
From sexting to relationship apps, here are some of the biggest ways technology has influenced the sex and love lives of people — primarily women — around the world, according to the survey.
1. Two In Five Find Partners Through Dating Apps
That doesn't mean they're just looking for hookups, though. Fifteen percent said they use apps mostly for long-term relationships, another 15 percent are using them for short-term relationships, and then just 10 percent are looking for one-night stands.
2. Two Thirds Sext
Though it might involve some initial awkwardness, most women have overcome that hurdle and discovered the joys of sexting. Good job, everyone. The word "sext" may soon be obsolete, though: While the most common way to do it is still through text, Snapchat is the most popular method among those ages 18-20.
3. Nearly One In Five Have Learned About Sex Through An App
Since we're not learning much about sex from school, apps like It Matters, Tabu, Hookup, Tap That, and YES to SEX have stepped in where sex ed has left off. Sexually experienced people were almost as likely to use apps to learn about sex as those with no experience, proving there's always more to learn.
4. Two In Five Have Tracked Their Sexual Activity
A surprisingly high 40 percent of those surveyed are doing this. Then again, many of these people were Clue users, so that could explain why. Other than period-tracking apps, some apps are emerging purely to teach you about your own sexuality, like the one accompanying the Lioness vibrator.
5. 12 Percent Have Used Apps To Improve Their Relationships
With apps on the market like Relationup, which offers relationship advice from therapists, Couple, which helps couples communicate digitally, and Happy Couple, which lets couples learn about each other through quizzes, apps to enhance your love life aren't just for single people. Men were most likely to improve their sexual relationships through apps, including learning about their partners' bodies, and it's about time.
6. LGBTQ Folks Are Early Adopters
While only 28 percent of straight people had used dating apps, 44 percent of bisexual or pansexual people, 49 percent of gay people, and 55 percent of queer people altogether had. Way to be ahead of the game.
7. People Around The World Use Dating Apps Differently
Swedes were the most likely group to get into relationships through dating apps, with 46 percent using them overall and 23 percent using them to find long-term partners. Americans, on the other hand, use dating and hookup apps less than average. Thirty-four percent (compared to 40 percent worldwide) use them altogether, and 18 percent use them for long-term relationships. Just 11 percent use them for one-night stands or hookups, compared to 21 percent of Swedes.
These results really do paint an optimistic picture of technology. People are using it in all different ways depending on what they want, and the information it's providing has the potential to make us all better partners.