Three weeks ago, a Kickstarter campaign launched for a piece of technology aimed at improving couples’ communication about sex. LoveSync promises a solution to mismatched libidos. It offers “an entirely new way to increase your sexual frequency and boost your romantic relationship with the simple press of a button.”
The idea is simple. Each person in a couple places a button on their bedside table, which they press when they are in the mood for sex. If both partners press the button, there is a match and they are alerted that it’s sexy time. If one partner presses the button and the other doesn’t, “no one will be the wiser.”
LoveSync’s claim is that folks will be more likely to assert their desire for sex if they don’t fear rejection; and direct rejection, of course, is impossible if your partner only knows you want to have sex when they are also in the mood.
The Kickstarter campaign met its goal in just two days and has now raised close to $13,000. Despite its momentary popularity, LoveSync is a terrible idea— so bad, in fact, we might as well rename it “The Divorce Button.” It’s a technological solution to an interpersonal or relational problem. Our sexual needs, desires, and insecurities are complex and cannot be easily boiled down to an on/off switch, and glossing over this complexity is likely to deepen the problem.
The solution is not to reduce each other to human sex dispensers by eliminating any conversation that may lead to conflict; instead, real solutions lie in working to understand the root of conflicting desires and negotiating compromises that make both partners feel seen and cared for.