Where tech meets love

Tech­nol­ogy could be the glue that keeps you and your part­ner to­gether

Thornhill Post - - Life - DR. JESS

If you catch your­self com­plain­ing about cell­phones and dig­i­tal de­vices ru­in­ing re­la­tion­ships, you might just be an old fuddy-duddy. (Other ev­i­dence of be­ing out of fash­ion and fussy: us­ing the term “fud­dy­duddy”).

Toronto cou­ple Alex and Dee in­sist that tech­nol­ogy is the glue that keeps their re­la­tion­ship hot. They use an app to sched­ule dates/sex (In the Mood), an­other to ex­pand their sex­ual hori­zons (iKa­ma­su­tra) and even one to con­trol their sex toys ( WeCon­nect).

“Ex­perts are al­ways telling you to flirt with your part­ner. Or set a date. These apps give us more ways to do these things — and it’s not as awk­ward,” Dee ex­plains.

“Yeah. She’s not a nat­u­ral flirt,” Alex says and laughs. “What’s important is that we keep the tech that we use for the day-to-day, like tex­ting, sep­a­rate from the apps we use for sexy time. And the kids are prob­a­bly happy that our apps are pass­word pro­tected.”

Al­though it’s true the pres­ence of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy can de­tract from in­ti­macy and connection, tech also has the po­ten­tial to en­rich re­la­tion­ships, ac­cord­ing to a se­ries of re­cent stud­ies.

Cou­ples in mar­riages that blos­somed via so­cial me­dia, for ex­am­ple, re­port high lev­els of re­la­tion­ship sat­is­fac­tion. And one study that mea­sured cou­ples’ hon­esty, au­then­tic­ity and so­cial shar­ing found that those too-goodto-be-true cou­ples who post about their happy re­la­tion­ships are in fact … hap­pier. Those cou­ples are also flu­ent in the sixth love lan­guage: public dec­la­ra­tions.

Those in long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ships ex­pe­ri­ence greater in­ti­macy and more pos­i­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions than those who live close/to­gether, and re­search sug­gests that these ben­e­fits are height­ened when us­ing mo­bile and text-based me­dia. Not only do dig­i­tal plat­forms force us to forge new (and ex­cit­ing) paths to in­ti­macy, but they also offer more op­tions for self-ex­pres­sion in­clud­ing text, videos, pho­tos, GIFs, stick­ers, voice notes, memes and emo­jis.

In­ter­est­ingly, those who fre­quently use emo­jis have more sex and go on more dates, and women who use the kiss emoji reach or­gasm more quickly with a reg­u­lar part­ner.

Whether you’re 17 or 70, tech­nol­ogy plays a role in ev­ery re­la­tion­ship, and if you want it to be pos­i­tive, you need to dis­cuss your ex­pec­ta­tions and have some fun. If you don’t talk about tech, fric­tion (and not the good kind) is guar­an­teed. This old fuddy-duddy be­lieves phones have no place in the din­ing room or the bed­room (un­less you’re us­ing it to con­trol your vi­bra­tor), but ul­ti­mately it’s up to you to agree upon rules and fol­low them — no ex­cuses.

Cou­ples can use cer­tain apps to ex­pand their sex­ual hori­zons

Jess O’Reilly is a sought-after speaker, au­thor and sex­ol­o­gist. www.SexWithDrJess.com

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