Ola Miedzynska by Giada Armani

Love in Times of Technology — Sx tech EU

Revolutions sometimes come silent…

This time, revolution comes silent and is battery-fueled.

Berliner visionary Ola Miedzynska has founded the world’s first SexTech exhibition: Sx Tech EU.

Here, the global innovators of sexual wellness connect and talk about the future of erotic.

You have sex-robots with AI, teledildonics for distant affairs, apps with medical advice, erotica eBooks, platforms for sex education and a lot of innovative, open people.
This is the world summit of smart sex.

What is Sx Tech?

Sx Tech EU is the only global event designed to enhance the innovation in the industry called ‘SexTech industry.’

The SexTech industry is a huge umbrella — for all technologies supporting human sexuality.

We work with products, services and companies from sexual health, sex education, interactive sex toys and devices (for example, products to connect with a partner in a long-distance relationship), artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality… And, last but not least: We work with educational platforms designed for adults to educate themselves about their sexual wellness and health.

This big program covers most of the important innovations in sexuality today and tomorrow.

Ola Miedzynska by Giada Armani

Is this an event? A congress? An exhibition?

All of it! This year, we are hosting the even virtually. We will do an online Teaser Event on 20th November, giving a short and fast overview about the latest developments in the scene.

You have a quite impressive agenda. What are the topics of your speakers?
Well, I give you just a few examples: Sharing of intimacy in data, for instance. Or STI innovative domestic home kits. Or innovative systems of sexual assault prevention.
Of course, we have a lot about sexual health. And we have informative presentations about new media, new platforms, fantastic innovative sex toys, including AI or VR (like, for example, the amazing new developments from Satisfyer).

You´ll hear basically from every angle of sex and technology.

What’s new in the next edition of Sx Tech?

In the next edition of Sx Tech, we will include the medical community.

Our Sx Tech Academy helps sex therapists, sex coaches and sex educators to facilitate their daily work with the extension of technology. We will have six different therapists that every day will use different tech with their clients.

We have, for example, a sex therapist working with VR, another one sex therapist working with the integration of sex toys, and then one sex therapist working with stand-up comedy as an educational tool for adults and teenagers.

Ola Miedzynska by Giada Armani

Is Sx Tech a sex exhibition or a tech fair?

We are designed for the professionals who are mainly working in the sex industry, the tech industry and the adult industry. So, if you are planning to start to work in any sector of the adult industry, any sector of sex, sexual awareness, sexual health and technology, you should be there.

We bring together all the CEOs, product designers, hackers, programmers, marketers, HRs, investors and campaign managers and people who are the top in the industry.

This really is the place to start your business and to connect.

It’s perfect for networking.
Sx Tech is not like an Erotic-Con. We do not have strippers on stage. We have specialists.

Why Berlin?

Well, yeah, the story started like a typical Berlin story. I was in a relationship with a Berliner. So, I moved here, since I also had a few business connections and thought this would be the right city to follow my vision: we have only two centers of sex technologies, the US and Europe. But we are very different — the US is really prudish, they have more money, but they also have more censorship.

Berlin is obviously very good for reference with its kinky lifestyle. Everyone in the city is swinging, everyone in the city must be kinky, everyone is for free love and it’s just the stereotype of the Berliner.

Ola Miedzynska by Giada Armani

Who comes to Sx Tech?

To put it in a nutshell: Sx Tech EU is very international. And very female.

In the first edition, we were very much surprised by what happened. Because — I’m going to be completely honest with you — we didn’t target the US market, because we thought: okay, we start small, we are in Berlin, let’s focus on the European market. No one will come to us from the US.

That was bullshit! We had a lot of US visitors, investors, and interest because the US is a big market for Sx Tech.

And Berlin has a great reputation in the US. Secondly, we were not expecting that we would immediately grow to a European event. But it turned out that our guests were mainly from the UK, France, Italy, Spain! We had few Germans. Imagine that! Therefore, we now have partners from all over the world, even China.

And we have an agenda covering speakers from the whole globe: The US, Philippines, India and literally every corner of Europe. So, it’s a very, very international group of people and they represent very different angles of sx tech, society and technologies. Now, the “female” aspect:

We have 75% female speakers on our agenda, because women were always revolutionizing sx technology, even before this industry was labeled as ’SxTech’. Also, our guests last year were 50 % female entrepreneurs.

Why are women so actively participating in Sx Tech?

Well, it’s very simple to answer your question: As a woman, you didn’t have a chance before. If you envision that — only in the 90s we started to anatomically understand the clitoris.

We were on the moon in 69! Hello, excuse me?! It is only in the last few years that there are chances and places for women and female entrepreneurs to speak about pleasure. Pleasure not as a side effect of reproduction, but pleasure for pleasure’s sake, you know, just for your own.
Sx Tech shows that women are now conquering their fair share of the pleasure industry, away from porn

And why is it good for society? What advantage can female Sx Tech — entrepreneurs bring for us?

Until recently, the adult industry was centralized around the male perspective, the hetero, cis male. That’s why ten years ago, when you wanted to buy a Dildo, it wouldn’t have a distinguished design. Instead, it would be this disgusting massive Penis copy, made from cheap silicone. Would you want this on your shelf? Hell, no! And do you want to have sex with this dildo? Certainly, I don’t.

So, I’m really thankful that these female product designers came to the industry, looking at the anatomical perspective of the female body and designed toys for us that finally are responding to our needs and taste.
That’s why women are going to change everything in the industry. The products and solutions coming from the hands of those female entrepreneurs are no longer designed from the male perspective.

Is the future female?

No. The future has no gender. I mean, the future of Sx Tech has no gender, because in two or three years, what will we see on the market.

I can give you an example from the toy market: We see how companies finally start to understand.

You can’t say any longer that vagina owners are the people that are female in feeling and behavior. You can no longer say that Penis owners are the people who should be labeled as a male.

The Sex Toy sector finally notices that we need to start making toys that are gender neutral.

Because we do not want to decide for you (as the owner of a vagina or penis) how you should identify yourself and what product you should use.

This attitude started to become visible in ethical porn, ca. six years ago, where we also started to observe more of non-hetero-normative esteems and out-of-gender-classification actresses. And that means that the future of sexual wellness and sexual health will not be dominated by gender-typical stereotypes.

Does your engagement in sexual education have to do with your personal sexual development?

Sure! I grew up in a very patriarchal, post-Soviet country. I’m the first generation living in Poland after the change from communism to democracy. It was very hard. There was the very clear one Catholic perspective role of the female role — being a servant for male pleasure and domestic pleasure.
I already understood as a young girl that you cannot be sexual, because if you would be sexual, you would be labeled as a whore or a slut or whatever.
I was 16, I didn’t want to have a boyfriend, but I wanted to explore intimacy. But how would I be going to do it? The only way to have sex and not be labeled a whore, was to have a boyfriend. Crazy, right?
Then I moved to Ireland, which was not any better.

It was a very similar society, very catholic and white. I went to catholic school, imagine that.

When something suppresses you for years, then you just fucking explode. And when I got the chance to finally explode, believe me, I exploded. Later, I discovered kinky clubs and that there is another world out there. So I started to be super interested about how you can be open, how you can try things without being judged. Let´s just say I was always intrigued about human sexuality. And I am quite kinky myself and also bisexual. And, as you see, I am not shy to talk about it.

You say that the future has no gender. But the present isn’t even close to your vision. Is our openness towards sex and Sx Tech a typically western bubble?

The sex industry, speaking of a map, is mainly in Europe and in the US. In those two parts of the world, we are creating technology which is often manufactured in Asia. That’s the map. I don’t see right now sex technology being accessible to everyone, yet. But it’s also changing, because now when all have access to digitalization, we can also support the people by sex-educating them in countries like, for example, India.
One of our speakers is the owner of Ticklelife.com, Shakun Sethi. She founded this platform, designed to give couples sex education of every kind, even covering STIs, and other delicate matters.

Why is the Sx Tech industry often very avant-garde compared to other industries?

Because people in Sx Tech are naturally more open minded than others, thus more open for new ideas and developments.

I can give you a nice example: The Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has a haptic system. A haptic system, to explain it very simply, are those vibration patterns installed in different devices. Apple had the idea to use patterns of vibrations to remind you of something. This is the reminder function in the Apple Watch.
This came from dildos. So, dildos were the first devices to come with a haptic system, because we wanted to give you the customized pattern of your vibration into your toy. That means, the first and the most innovative parts of the haptic systems came from sex toys. Then, later on, it went to belts in sports, then later it went to Apple.

Another example is data protection.

Every device that is electronic, every single digital product, has vulnerabilities. And I’m not saying that sx tech is free of it. Of course not. But because we are the one industry that is transferring the most intimate data of humans, e.g. in dating apps. These apps use a tracking system, they take a load from your social media connections, because you connect through Facebook, then you go to Tinder. So, we had spectacular fuckups in our industry, spectacular fuckups that led us to make better protection systems.

Now these protections are being used by different industries. Remember Ashley Madison? They were that very popular cheating platform in the US who were hacked in 2015.

All those American wives saw their husbands fucking someone — this was drama hitting the country. A lot of politicians were involved, as well. This can ruin people’s lives. It is not any data, it’s most intimate data. This is why sx tech is leading regarding data protection.

Originally published in BERLINABLE



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