Sexual health apps are real, and growing in popularity
It’s the number one thing that sells- whether you’re flogging movies, alcohol or fad diets. But with ever-increasing visibility, the worry is our natural obsession with physical contact is leading to increasing risks to public health.
In 2015 alone, the UK saw new diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections soar by half a million year-on-year, with many blaming apps like Tinder and Happn, which are perceived to encourage one night stands. Either way, we’re definitely finding it harder and harder to keep sex off our minds.
The result being a new push to try and get safe sex practice to the top of the agenda, both in schools and colleges, and amongst the adult population, with the biggest spike in STIs amongst the under-25s. Perhaps logically, this is also the age-range most likely to use dating apps to find new partners. Thankfully, though, it’s not all bad news.
In response to this a number of new smartphone downloads have been created, or old ones adapted, with the intention of making men and women take more precautions and consider the long term implications of those fleeting passionate moments. Sexual health apps are very real, then, and growing in popularity all the time. Need proof? Here’s a list of the biggest players in this emerging marketplace.
OK, so this might sound confusing. With close to 1billion swipes per day worldwide, Tinder is the easiest and most popular dating app, but has a reputation amongst critics for advocating promiscuity. In an attempt to show it is taking some responsibility, the firm has now added a new function that allows users to track down their nearest sexual health clinic, encouraging them to play it safe.
Developed by the University of Oregon in an attempt to combat America’s alarming STI statistics, SexPositive is pegged as ‘shame free sex eduction’. Using a wheel function, you simply jog through various body parts to learn exactly what the risks are if that area touches another person, read advice on consent, and suggestions for safer alternatives to what you may be thinking.
Sexual Health Guide
Made in Ireland, in addition to an expansive glossary of terms with full explanations and accompanying imagery, you also get a live stream of the latest sexual health news- for example the outbreak of so-called super-gonorrhea that occurred in Leeds last year- information on problems relating to medical conditions, and in-depth details of all contraceptive methods.
A godsend if you realise all the shops are closed, or simply feel embarrassed at the thought of buying condoms. L. Condoms delivers the world’s most popular contraceptive 24-7, and, better yet, the couriers have no idea that they are delivering. Perhaps most impressive is the philanthropic element- for every condom bought one is donated to a developing country with a high instance of HIV.
My Sex Doctor
Another platform that focuses on education, here you’ll find advice on how to begin and maintain a healthy relationship, tips for flirtation, a glossary of sexual heath terms and phrases, along with ‘100 things you need to know’, because like BuzzFeed says, everyone loves scrolling through lists with numbers in the title.
‘Your sex is your business. Your safety is ours.’ Top marks for the best tagline from all the apps on our list, Screet will specialise in the delivery of sexual health products- not just condoms- and provide information to boot. Sadly, at the time of writing this is still in development, but refreshingly this one is solely aimed at meeting the sexual health needs of women, who remain shockingly underrepresented in this area.