Slutbot is being hailed as a worthwhile invention. "Sexting can be a fun, relatively stress-free way to explore your sexuality," reports Hello Giggles. "But if you’ve never done it before, the idea of sexting might stress you TF out. If that sounds familiar, then Slutbot might be for you."
Slutbot is a system created by sex-ed teachers and erotic fiction writers that will engage you in sexual conversation via text. The goal, apparently, is to teach proper sexting etiquette. The bot asks for consent before each session, offers users a safeword (it's "pineapple" btw) and doesn't respond positively to unsolicited photos of body parts or—confusingly for an app with the word "slut" in the title—words like "whore" and "bitch."
This new service is coming to us from the makers of San Francisco's very own relationship and sex advice app, Juicebox, apparently in response to a multitude of queries about how to sext properly. It's a nice idea in theory, but, put it under any scrutiny at all and it starts feeling an awful lot like a Black Mirror version of Her. (The technical advancements start out with the best of intentions in both of those too, remember?)
The idea that Slutbot might bring humans closer together is pretty ludicrous. Research into relationships in the age of tech makes it abundantly clear that—and this sounds like a '90s joke about nerds—the more technology we use to connect, the less sex we have. It's why the demographic that sexts the most—18 to 24-year-olds—are now having less sex than people in their 50s. It's why men under 30 are now 30 percent more likely to go a year without sex than they were a decade ago (though finances and employment status also play a role).