Remember when Game Cubes were cool as shit? Well, I said “Game Cube” casually in conversation recently, and my friend responded only, “You’re a dinosaur.”

That gives you insight, first, into the kind of crowd I hangout with, and second, depending on your age and therefore your temporal relationship to the rapid succession of evolving gaming consoles (or history prior to), some indication of this writer’s length of time spent on earth.

Game Cube was released in 2001. It was Nintendo’s sixth generation game console, the same generation as Sega’s Dreamcast, Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s Xbox. Then Nintendo brought us Wii in 2006 and the Wii U in 2012. Sega (once our arcades) brought us Sega Interactive in 2015 and the microconsoles in 2020. PlayStation gave us generations 3-5, while Microsoft gave us four generations of consoles, all named “Xbox.”

Well, my aging friends, Nintendo consoles have been discontinued since 2017, Sega makes game apps for smartphones now, PlayStation has announced ‘PlayStation Portal,’ Microsoft is playing its own game and today the kids are all on…what? The Switch? PC Console? VR headsets?

It’s the immediate procession of updated tech — human “history” is now yesterday — which makes something like a Game Cube seem so ancient. Time appears to move a bit swifter now than, say, the development of the first blunt hand axe in the lower Paleolithic Age, to the flint axe of The Mesolithic age (a time difference of approximately 47,000 years).

For sanity’s sake, let’s avoid the lineage of the Apple products altogether. (We’re at iPhone 15 Pro by the way, and I still have a relic of a 13, from 2021.)

Like sediment on bones, technological references are an immediate date determinant. And who doesn’t want to hear that they’re a dinosaur now?

But you didn’t come to STOREROTICA because you’re a die-hard for the Game Cube. So, let’s talk about sex tech.

For starters, while the oldest, two-thousand-year-old dildo was recently uncovered in the UK and linked to the Roman empire, sex toys were essentially re-buried by the Church and remained taboo until after Victorian times. From Michelangelo’s fig leaf garland skirt for the latter David to the great penis removals under the mandate of Pope Pius IX, it wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s, known fondly as the “Sexual Revolution,” that sex toys began to be take up talk in feminist “consciousness-raising groups,” and could eventually reach the greater public, to enjoy the technological competitiveness of all the other industries.

We have an incomplete history of sex tech on STOREROTICA here, which shows the timeline from the first Magic Wand vibrator (holy orgasm, ladies!) to the Rabbit of the 1990s, allowing dual stimulation. Variations aside, things stayed relatively the same, until, in 2008, We-Vibe brought on the first wearable vibrator.

Then, the “smart vibrators,” the first Bluetooth-enabled by We-Vibe in 2014, broke ground in “teledildonics,” that is, the technology of virtual sexual encounters which can be controlled remotely. We-Vibe’s paired with smartphone apps allowing long-distance relationships to share in orgasms, a feature many sex toy companies offer today.

But it doesn’t stop there. According to t3, in its 2023 Sex Census report, the Swedish sexual wellness brand LELO predicts that many of us will soon be incorporating AI as part of our sexual experience.

“Business magazine Forbes concurs, citing predictions that the best sex toy tech will reach a value of $122 billion in 2026,” reports t3.

AI and VR technologies are advancing as rapidly as game consoles, and your old vibrator is starting to look a lot like the Game Cube.

“AI currently exists within the sexual wellness industry, as smart sex toys are pretty commonplace,” continues t3. “Teledildonics (or cyberdildonics) is an immersive technology that stimulates hyper-real mutual masturbation between couples, or indeed with a virtual being. We’ll continue to see more AI-informed sex toys too, such as the male masturbator Autoblow AI+, trained on information gleaned from 1,000 hours of oral sex videos.”

Within porn, VR is making waves. The website VRPorn currently receives receives around 8 million monthly visits, and that number is only increasing (this, in spite of the big T-Swift AI explicit image lawsuit — that VR porn is questionably legal or ethical).

According to CBS News, nine US states have already enacted laws against the creation of or sharing of non-consensual “deepfakes,” which are artificial images designed to mimic a real person’s likeness.

Needless to say, consent becomes tricky when reality is virtual.

Another controversial technological development in the sexual wellness industry is the emergence of sex bots, according to t3: “Not to be confused with sex dolls, a sex bot can move, stand and talk. Its brain and ‘personality’ is controlled via an app on a smartphone. Sex bots are currently incredibly niche, partly because of cost (around £7,000). There are also various concerns, including sexual objectification.”

LELO’s survey shows that a third of people “would ‘maybe’ consider using” a sex robot if it were affordable, with the gender breakdown being 43.9% men, 21% women and 71% non-binary.

More for the common person is the use of a chatbot as virtual sexual partner.

T3 shares that “Soulmate AI provided this service until its closure late in 2023, leaving thousands of digisexuals heartbroken and heading to apps, such as Replika or Kindroid.”

Sorry, did you say ‘digisexual’?

Here’s another way to date a person (assuming you’re into that sort of thing): by the words they use to define their sexuality. For instance, most people using the word “queer” today are probably coming after the period in which “QUEER” was something you’d find scratched into your car (and significantly after the period in which it just meant ‘strange,’ or even ‘sick’ with no relation to the LGBTQ community). According to the Columbia’s Journaling Review, the word wasn’t reclaimed until the late ’80s, and, in fact, was popularized by groups like ACT UP bringing visibility to the AIDS crisis, which disproportionally affected LGBTQ people.

And if you don’t know what a digisexual is, you’re probably a dinosaur.

Plenty of STOREROTICA’s trusted brands are now offering ‘interactive’ sex toys you can talk to, or which will talk to you, and have functions you can sync to your favorite porn, from Kiiroo to We-Vibe. Check out who PornHub syncs to right here.

In its Sex Census report, LELO showed that AI can provide many positives within the realm of adult sexuality: orgasms are increasing, and many are learning what it takes to get them there. For those with social anxiety, or disabilities, which keep them from having much of a  sex life in the physical world, the benefits are undeniable.

“Additionally, when applied to sex toys,” LELO shares, “this tech could provide a more personali[zed experience to consumers.”

But isn’t that also where some of the criticisms lie?

Dr. Joseph Walton a research fellow at the University of Sussex, shares that the downsides of AI-integrated sex toys include privacy problems and data surveillance complications, as well as “algorithmic bias and long-term psychological impacts of data-driven personali[za]tion.”

Additionally, we at STOREROTICA queried on the fear of the impact of AI intimacy on human empathy here.

“Other concerns regarding objectification, consent, natural relationship development and the marginali[z]ation of the LGBTQ+ community are also cited in the LELO report,” adds t3.


“Medieval Censorship, Nudity And The Revealing History Of The Fig Leaf,” Forbes

“Opinion: Is AI taking over the sexual wellness industry?,” t3

“Explicit AI-generated Taylor Swift images spread quickly on social media,” CBS News

“How the word ‘queer’ was adopted by the LGBTQ community,” Columbia Journalism Review

“PornHub Videos Can Now Sync With Your Sex Toys,” PC Mag