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posted May 9, 2012, 6:57 PM by Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators Student Group

by d'laney gielow 

This rather unfortunate/wildly problematic video, which has been making rounds in the feminist blogosphere in recent weeks, advertises a new social media app called BOINK. BOINK allows users to record favorite positions, kinks and fetishes onto a “sexual proclivities” profile, and then BOINK users can touch (‘boink’) their phones together to determine whether the BOINKers in question are sexually compatible. It’s based on the same technology as the data-swapping application “Bump,” but with a built-in “sexual compatibility calculator.” BOINK also provides a “stats” counter for keeping track of various sexploits, as well as a “tales” page where BOINKers can swap stories.

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think I’ll be BOINKing anytime soon. Technology is great for a lot of things, but when it comes to sex, nothing compares to some good, old-fashioned, face-to-face communication. From the looks of it, BOINK assigns sexual compatibility scores as percentages, but it doesn’t get specific about the specific “sexual proclivities” the parties may have in common. BOINK might tell me I am 91% sexually compatible with someone, but unless I know specifically what it is we had in common, that match percentage isn’t very informative. I can also imagine a scenario in which a high BOINK percentage could make individuals feel pressured to do things they don’t feel like doing merely because they expressed interest when they were filling out their BOINK profile. Heaven forbid a high BOINK rating be misconstrued as consent to sexual activity of any kind.

On the other hand, I have to imagine that anyone who is willing to BOINK phones in a crowded bar is already fairly comfortable talking about sex and wouldn’t think of it as a replacement for real communication. But the app costs 99¢, and why would you pay 99¢ for something you can just as easily have a conversation about for free? Instead of downloading BOINK, why not fill out a Yes/No/Maybe list with your partner? It’s fun, free, and rife with opportunities for realtalk. Next time, TALK before you, uh...boink.