You don’t have to be a doyenne of the digital age to realize that we are beset by images all day, every day. Bright, colorful, migraine-inducing images that flash in the dead centre and peripheral of our vision. The biggest problem is, it actually works. One day the neurons in our brain will wail with neon abandon like Times Square at night.
Sex and pornography are no different. Indeed, it’s probably one of the most visually-enhanced deals of our time. Think of peroxide porn girls in mansions with bright white tiles and cream couches. It’s junk food for the brain alright, and like actual junk food too much will leave you feeling sluggish and vapid. Perhaps then it’s time to try something else.
So guys, when your partner comes up to you and says, “I wanna do somethin’ a lil’ different tonight… how about aural sex?” that doesn’t mean you should jump up like some eager lapdog with your jeans around your ankles. No way, not at all. Listen up; it’s kind of the point.
Blindfold is the website and product that is quietly changing the way we think about foreplay and the art of romantic tension. It’s bringing back the notion of whispered seduction. It wants to take you away – even if it’s just for a little while – to a world of pure imagination. Blindfold has put its beautiful head above the trenches at just the right time. When the world is still reverberating from 50 Shades-related shockwaves and more and more people clamor for some of that sweet, sweet real world sex, Blindfold are hoping to entrance would-be sexual explorers with a sexy and exciting blend of expert instruction and practical application.
The premise is simple. ‘Angelina’ is your instructor. The calm and sultry voice, soulful and enticing, offers simple instruction that should prove enough to unlock the key to your partner’s heart, among other things. It’s been dubbed ‘the Siri of sex’ by some commentators, but it’s worth a great deal more than that.
Problems like the ones encountered by Jess are common, and it’s the type of thing Blindfold are hoping to eliminate. Founder and CEO Darren Smith wants Blindfold to become to ultimate is sexual learning resources.
“Learning about pleasure should be fun and playful for adults – just like education should be for kids! When education is perfectly executed, it’s simply perceived as “play” – and this is at the core of Blindfold. We’re guiding couples through new sexual adventures which we find is great at encouraging you and your partner to try new things and talk more openly, two essential components of a fulfilling sex life.
“One of the guys told us that his girlfriend actually said, ‘That was the best thing anyone has ever done to me in bed!’ Now, not everyone will get that experience, but depending on what you’ve tried or haven’t tried, or depending on exactly how you follow along to Angelina, or how you and your partner usually enjoy foreplay, it can be a refreshing change!”
It’s not just about hauling some poor person up in front of a microphone and making them say rude words. Like reality, it’s about knowing what to say and when to say it. You gotta have class to get some ass, right?
“We’re hearing that the pacing that Blindfold affords encourages guys to slow down and it gives more time for their female partner to become aroused. Also, hearing Angelina’s sexy voice whilst you’re being pleasured… this is a huge turn on. It’s kind of like a threesome, but without the awkwardness of a real third person! Blindfold isn’t for everyone. If you’re already into the Kink, Fetish or BDSM scene you might find that Blindfold is a tad tame for you… but never-the-less it’s great to try new things!”
For Darren, the creation and growth of Blindfold isn’t simply some soulless money-making scheme. It’s a labor of love. One born from not only necessity but with the thoughts and feelings of other people in mind. Parallel to Blindfold, Darren has been running Pillow Talk – a newsletter centered around ‘playtime ideas for busy couples’. He even quit his job in the sole pursuit of his vision: building an app to improve sex lives.
Like anything else it all comes down to communication. Most of us aren’t exactly verbose when it comes to expressing our sexual preferences, needs and desires. SexTech is the perfect medium to cultivate an opportunity for technology to help with that communication process. This is a big part of what Blindfold are trying to achieve. Having Angelina tell you what to try makes it easier for you to say ‘I’m not sure I really like that… ‘ or ‘do it like this instead… ‘ without hurting any egos.
“It’s been a slow process of listening and learning. I quit my job seven months ago to pursue the vision of building an app to improve sex lives, but at that point I didn’t know how it was going to manifest itself. I’ve always found that in my longer term (sexually monogamous) relationships that sex becomes less exciting – unless I spend time nurturing it. I used to find myself reading books and watching videos to come up with ideas in order to pleasure my partner, but it took so much time and effort. I wanted something to make this easier!
“It became apparent from my readers at Pillow Talk and from peers and mentors in the tech space that a real-time, audio guided, sex experience might work given that we’re becoming sufficiently liberal in our sexual practices. We’re also taking our smartphones to bed with us anyway, and so the next logical step is to use them for sex! The same thing is happening in other industries – we’ve got apps to date, workout, cook, meditate – why not sex?”
‘Why not sex?’ indeed! That proverbial cooking app will tell you how much you need and detail everything perfectly. There’s Nothing Wrong with ‘asking for help’ when it comes to sex. Well, given Angela’s stern-yet-sexy tone of voice, you’re not asking for advice so much as getting it. ‘Irresistibly Tantalizing’ – one of the site’s free audio samples – is rated five stars for Sensuality and one star for Kink, but it’s a perfect introduction to the digital blindfold. Angelina instructs you to tenderly touch your partner, paying attention to the whole package instead of the three or four usual hotspots you might just aim for. Even the act of listening on your own gets you in the mood. It’s a heady, dreamy mix that gets you drunk on romance.
“Angelina is a voice artist that we’re working with” explains Darren. “We explored dozens of voices before settling on hers and even then, we’ve worked hard on getting the balance between being sensual/sexy and authoritative/directive. We didn’t want her to be so sexy that she might be perceived as competition in the bedroom but not so monotone that she was off putting whilst you’re pleasing your partner! We’ll be introducing a variety of voices in the future. Some more dom than others – and hopefully some famous voices!”
It makes for a fascinating experience, but there is still plenty more to come. The initial take-up and positive feedback for Blindfold hasn’t dimmed the fresh ideas and momentum. It’s only amplified it exponentially. That’s the beauty of SexTech: the hits keep on coming. The focus, the energy, the drive and the success in the face of adversity and mainstream patronizing is nothing short of amazing.
As for those Siri comparisons?
“Given that we’re at the early stage of our business, being associated with something as well-known as Siri could be a good thing, but Blindfold doesn’t work like Siri! You don’t find yourself asking Angelina questions just to be told that she’s either offline, can’t understand you or she misinterprets your question. Blindfold is more like Headspace which is a guided meditation app, but for 2 people engaging in a fun activity! We’re still trying to work out how to describe our product because we’re pioneering a new space.”
For Blindfold, the future’s name is Variety. The broad sexual spectrum will be attended to over time. Darren is more than excited enough when reeling off the bounty of ideas he’s currently having. Not bad work for a guy bootstrapping his business all the way in Thailand and have started looking for a new round of angel investment.
“Right now, our focus is on writing and recording episodes that focus on the pleasure of women – so MF or FF couples. We’re exploring a variety of episodes that introduce a diversity of sexual practices which are conducive to being guided by a voice. One of my favorite upcoming episodes is centered on a feather tickler, and another is 20 minutes of nipple play. The variety of episodes that we can create are seemingly endless – we’ve only just scratched the surface! We’ve been working with erotica writers so far but we’re on the lookout for new writers from different backgrounds – if any of your readers are interested, contact us!”
The future too is in compatibility. Well, this is SexTech after all. Darren enthuses about the possibility of merging the capabilities of Blindfold with something due to become very popular very soon: Apple’s iWatch.
“I’d love to explore dynamically changing Angelina’s suggestions based your partners pulse… if you’re licking her pussy at a particular pace, direction and pressure and her heart rate is steadily increasing, Angelina shouldn’t be telling you to stop and go do something else! Well, I guess it depends what game you’re playing…”
Life’s all about playing games anyway. And this seems like one where everyone’s a winner. So pull this Blindfold over your eyes and remember that what you can’t see won’t actually hurt you. Unless Angelina tells you to…