Sex and the Social Network

KiirooAMSTERDAM – RealTouch, a web-enabled male masturbation device, may have collapsed beneath the weight of mounting technology-licensing and production costs, but the device’s legacy lives on. The latest company to enter the race to fill RealTouch’s shoes in the “reach-out-and-touch-someone” market seeks $100,000 in crowdfunding to begin mass production of a similar, bidirectional product and a proprietary social media network to go with it.

On Monday, Dutch tech startup Kiiroo Technologies launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund its eponymous product. Unlike RealTouch and other similar self-pleasure devices, Kiiroo includes two interactive components — one male and one female.

The designers describe Kiiroo as “an intimate social tech gadget or the next generation of designer sex toys.” When connected through a Kiiroo interface, the actions of one device generate a direct response in the other by erasing boundaries between the physical and virtual world. According to co-founder Reno Voet, couples literally feel one another’s presence, whether they are located in the same room or on opposite sides of the planet.

“The journey of Kiiroo was all about finding that sweet spot between technology, emotion, intimacy, curiosity and identity,” he said.

As enthusiastic as they are about debuting a bidirectional, male-female sex toy, the Kiiroo team is even more excited about launching what they believe will be the first adult social network to offer real-world interaction.

“Our main goal was to bridge the gap many social media platforms lack,” said co-founder Toon Timmermans. “We believe that despite the distance or time difference, some online relationships are worth exploring. As technology evolves, the Kiiroo platform and devices can adapt, still providing its core benefit: the real sensation, bringing the ability of touch to the internet.”

The company hopes to begin making the product commercially available by mid-year.


Marty O'Brien

Marty O'Brien

Raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Marty O'Brien was the first of the O'Brien clan to obtain a college degree. A former sports journalist, O'Brien got a peek at the inner workings of the adult entertainment industry while on an assignment to cover the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the YNOT editorial team in late 2010 and now specializes in technology , business news and ogling starlets.

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