If I were to have kids in ten years, or even right now, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't make it, whether because they eventually suffocated under a build-up of polar bear corpses or because they played themselves in a nuclear "my bad"-type scenario. If you asked me if I thought my hypothetical children would ever possess the ability to go down on themselves at some point before their non-natural deaths, I'd say, "The technology won't be there for at least another 200 years, if it even ever gets there, what with all of these sinister funding cuts."
It turns out the technology is already there. O-Cast, a product unveiled earlier in March, allows people with a Lovense Bluetooth Lush vibrator (which was not designed with oral in mind) to lick their iPhones in the exact pattern they want their vibrator to "lick," or move, on their clitoris. When I first read about the app, which describes itself as the "iTunes of cunnilingus," I sorted the news into the Progress No One Asked For file and went about my day, masturbating with my preferred devices while making eye contact with the cardboard cutout of Drake propped behind my bed.
Yet I couldn't stop thinking about what it would be like for my vibrators to mimic the patterns my tongue made—the patterns I would like a tongue to make—on my vagina. For all I talk about men being awful at oral sex, I'd been presented with a unique opportunity to see if even I knew what I wanted, as I've never been able to put my tongue down there. (For a flexibility perspective, I can't touch my tongue to my knee, even after a 15-minute stretching warm-up.) Would my self-oral be better than oral from guys? If so, maybe I'd find the courage to reject guys who didn't offer me a baseline level of respect or camaraderie. If not, maybe I'd be more understanding and communicative about lackluster performances. Regardless, this could change everything.
Having read at least 30 stories over the years about how our phones are covered in poop—just absolutely littered with feces—I took a few minutes to scrub my screen with hand sanitizer, making sure the liquid didn't get into any of the cracks. (Preparing to self-administer oral sex would be a devastating way to break a phone.) Next, I went to the O-Cast website, where you're able to lick a pattern on the screen that you'd like to be applied on your vagina. Conventional oral-on-a-vagina wisdom is "do the alphabet with your tongue," which is a solid guiding principal, but it doesn't take into account those changes in tempo—and letter size, if we're sticking with the alphabet model—that make oral great. With my tongue pressed gently on my screen, I licked alternating big and small loops, quickly and then slowly, with some squiggly lines thrown in.
Preparing to self-administer oral sex would be a devastating way to break a phone.
I named the pattern "first try"—wild, I know—and then the site prompted me to attach a picture to the file, so I snapped a photo of the Cheez-Its box on my bed. Then I connected my minute-long tongue pattern to my device through the Lovense Body Chat app, which lets you upload your saved patterns as well as access other people's patterns, including those developed by porn stars. These sequences can be five seconds or five minutes—it's totally up to you. You can also set your pattern to play on loop, if you want it to repeat until you orgasm.
After 20 minutes of futzing around with the vibrator, which is girth-y on the G-spot end and curves into a svelte, antenna-like protrusion that juts out of your vagina and lands on your clitoris, I pressed play on "first try." Since the app also lets you orchestrate the exact right tempo, the pattern felt incredible: fast fast fast fast a little slower, a little slower, a little faster, a little faster, fast fast fast fast fast SLOW SLOW SLOW fast fast fast FAST. (Orchestrating the exact right tempo with a human down there can be trickier.)
I found a hack that was even more enjoyable: You can record a pattern on the Lovense wearables app—which, like the O-Cast feature, also responded to a tongue, I found, though it was designed for a finger—while the thing is inside of you. So I was able to I lick in a sequence and feel that exact sequence on my vagina, in real time. This turned me on to a degree I hadn't anticipated.
For everyone worried about robots usurping humans in life and love—a legitimate concern when all of my vibrators make me come, minimum, five times faster than with a human—we're not quite there on the cunnilingus front... yet. This device doesn't render human tongues completely obsolete, as there's a distinctly pleasurable mouth moisture that a vibrator can't quite replicate, even if you slather it in the lube that comes with it. Plus, tongues are able to hit different spots with more precision—and using more precisely varying pressures—than a device ever could, at least in 2017.
Looking back at the decade or so of cunnilingus I've received, I'd say this simulated version ranks precisely in the middle, but middling oral is better than pretty much any other middling act. So while my self-administered oral wasn't as good as oral from that Australian guy in Prague I met at a five-storey klub, it was certainly better than all the post-frat party, pre-snack run oral I received in college, which means iPhone oral sex is pretty good.
Sex Machina is a new and very personal column exploring the intersections of sex, romance, and technology.