Men who are bad at foreplay can now be added to the annals of "there's an app for that." That's thanks to Blindfold, a company that bills itself as "your digital foreplay assistant" or "Siri for sex" -- which, OK, all new tech entities like being described as [X popular thing] for [Y]. Uber for food! Tinder for clothes! Netflix for books! And sex-tech is no exception (see: the sex selfie stick). More accurately, though, Blindfold is an audio guide for foreplay.
Each month, the company releases a new audio file that guides heterosexual couples through some pre-sex exercises that are meant to help them "explore new fantasies," "break free from routine," "improve intimacy" and "slow down." It's like a sophisticated version of naughty dice, only the directives are given, ahem, aurally. The narrator -- or erotic taskmaster -- is a woman known only as "Angelina."
Perhaps you're intrigued -- well, hold onto your knickers because it comes at a steep price: $19 ... a month. It's hard enough to get people to pay $19 a month for hardcore porn, let alone audio foreplay. This Angelina must really be something -- as in Angelina Jolie herself -- to command that price, right? Well, I decided to give it -- or her -- a try to find out, which led to the following Gchat conversatio...
Me: can we try "siri for sex" tonight?
Him: um wat
that sounds ridic
it's basically an audio version of naughty dice
"do this. now do this."
Him: oh! that actually kinda sounds fun/funny
Me: it's all foreplay tho
I was with him. Foreplay is great and all, but when I think of "exploring new fantasies," my mind doesn't immediately go to butterfly kisses and foot massages. Suffice it to say, when we sat down on our bed and clicked play on the audio file on my laptop, our expectations were low. "This audio recording is copyright 2015," said an accented voice that sounded part massage therapist, part sex-cyborg. The copyright announcement out of the way, Angelina began with the instructions: "Take a shower or bath to relax and refresh yourselves," she said and I audibly groaned. "Ensure the room is warm and free from any drafts. Begin burning some scented candles or incense if you have any." We determined ourselves to be clean enough and definitely do not own scented candles, nor will we ever, so we decided against her recommendations and skipped ahead.
"Lay your beautiful woman naked on the bed, covered only with a bedsheet and a blindfold," she said. "Sit on top of her and the sheet with your knees on either side of her body with your butt gently resting on her pelvic area." That's when the laughter started. "Comfortable?" she asked and, clearly, the answer was no. "Let’s see if you can obey my commands. To begin, kiss her on the lips, softly and seductively, with no tongue." But we were grinning so hard, our lips pulled tight against our teeth, that when we kissed, it felt like we were trying to eat each other's faces. "Bring yourself back to an upright kneeling position straddling her body," she said. "Place one hand, palm down, softly and gently on her stomach and over the sheet and just feel the rise and fall of her breath for a few minutes whilst taking a few slow deep breaths yourself." By this point, I was cracking up and tears were pooling against the tie we had fashioned into a blindfold, but I forced myself to breathe deep as she guided him to kiss along my neck.
Once our laughter subsided, there was brief, fleeting moment of intrigue when it started to feel like we were having a threesome. Was there a woman sitting in the corner of the room instructing my husband on how to touch me? Because it kind of felt that way -- and I wasn't not into it. She told him to do things like slowly run his fingers lightly up and down my arms, suck on my fingers and give me an eskimo kiss -- the last of which sort of took away from the wild 'n' crazy group-sex vibe. Then she said, "Pull down the sheet to reveal her alluring breasts and stomach," and I started to feel a bit objectified. Like, hey lady, I'm RIGHT HERE. I CAN HEAR YOU. And, indeed, why wasn't she ever addressing me? "Run both of your hands toward her breasts and slowly trace circles around the nipples, but don’t touch the nipples, as tempted as you may be," she said. "Enjoy your woman and listen to her reaction." But I was a bit too preoccupied with Angelina to have much of a reaction.
Just when our hysterics felt like a distant memory, she purred, "Suckle her nipple with your mouth, just like a baby would." That's when my husband snorted on my boob. "Are you kidding me? I hate this so much," he said. "It takes all the joy out of it!"
Things continued in this manner until, finally, she instructed, "Lay your hands on top of each knee and gently start making circular movements with your thumb as your hand very slowly starts to move up her thigh," she said. "When you get to the top of her thigh, begin gently stroking down each side of her outer labia” -- or as she said it, "laaahbia" -- “with your index fingers." Good looking out, Angelina. After some inner-thigh kissing, she said, "Pull your lips away from hers and take a moment to look at her beautiful pussy." Oh, so she can talk dirty, I thought. But just then she announced, "I’m going to leave you two now" -- which was fine, really. Actually, it was an enormous relief.
That isn't to say that it was an unenjoyable experience -- although, at points it did feel like we were the focus of an alien-directed human mating experiment. For the most part, Blindfold -- and this largely unexplored medium in general -- exceeded my expectations. It seems so obvious now: We read books and see therapists and write to columnists in an attempt to improve our sex lives, why not bring that advice into the bedroom in a real-time way? And if that advice comes in the form of a honey-voiced stranger who can bring some of the excitement of a ménage à trois to your relationship without threatening it, all the better. But perhaps the best thing this service offers is simple plausible deniability in the bedroom. If you try something and it doesn't work, it isn't you on the line. Go ahead and blame it on Angelina.
Judging by this episode alone, it seems Blindfold will be something of a remedial course in sexual intimacy -- and there certainly is no shortage of couples in need of that. As a 29-year-old woman quoted on the website says, "My husband's idea of getting things started is to lie on the bed naked and wait for me to walk in on him. Which, um, no." After trying Blindfold, she enthused, "This audio stopped that shit cold," she said. "Having a totally sexy sounding woman directing his every move allowed me to relax and just enjoy everything for a change, but allowed him to be controlled to an extent as well." So, if you have a man in your life who needs to "stop that shit cold," this app is for you.