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Sex Health Blog

Smartphone Apps with a Sex Health Focus

Mar 01, 2017

Smartphone Apps with a Sex Health Focus

If you use a smartphone or tablet, you probably use apps every day. These handy tools can help us learn more about current events, track how many steps we take each day, find reviews of the nearest Thai restaurant, and even provide specialized music to help our pets sleep at night.

So it’s not surprising that there should be sexual health apps, too. With just a few taps on a touchscreen, you can access sexual health information, track menstrual periods and sexual activity, or find out where condoms are sold near your location.

Why would people want to use a sex health app? Convenience is one reason. Having the information you need easily and immediately accessible can be a relief when you’re in the moment with your partner or visiting your doctor.

Privacy is another reason, although one that must be considered carefully. Many people use passwords on their smartphones to keep their data to themselves. This allows users of sex health apps to keep their information private. That said, the privacy policies of apps can vary and it’s important to vet any app or network you use to see how your information is protected.

Below, we list some popular sex health apps. Please keep in mind that this list is intended to give you an idea of the types of apps available and is not endorsement by SexHealthMatters or the Sexual Medicine Society of North America.

Tracking Sexual Activity

Apple users can use the Health app on their device to keep track of reproductive health data. For example, you can enter the dates and times of your sexual encounters and record whether they were protected or unprotected. (Entering partners’ names is not an option.) This information can be helpful if you are diagnosed with a sexually-transmitted infection (STI) and need to determine just when you might have become infected.

Women can also track their menstrual periods, ovulation, and spotting history. These features can be useful for couples who use the rhythm method for birth control or those who would like to conceive. Spotting can also be a symptom of a gynecological issue, so tracking that history is important, too.

Sex Education

What happens when one body part touches another body part or an object? Sex Positive, an app created by the University of Oregon Health Center, can tell you. Using a spinning wheel, you can make a variety of matches that come into contact during sexual activity, such as finger-vagina or mouth-penis. The app explains that match’s risk for STIs, provides safe sex information (such as tips for using a dental dam), and offers tips for talking to your partner about sex.

While Sex Positive is targeted to college-age people, older adults can find it useful as well, especially if their sex education has been limited.

Exploring Positions

Looking to try something new in the bedroom, but short on ideas? Sex Positions 3D offers guidance on 55 sex positions from 7 different categories. Each position includes a 3-D graphic along with instructions. You and your partner can view them together or separately, save the ones that look interesting, and rate the ones you’ve tried. You can also request a random position for something really new.

LGBT Focus

Moovz is a social networking app for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Users can connect on a local and global level to make friends, chat, and share ideas and information.

Gender Variant and Queer Community

Launched in July 2016, GENDR offers camaraderie and information for gender variant and queer individuals. Members can create their own profiles, communicate with other members, find out about live events, and discuss a wide range of topics, including gender and sexual identity, health, equality, transitioning, travel, and authentic living.

Talk to Your Doctor, Too

Note that sexual health apps are not a substitute for a qualified doctor’s care. Only a professional can answer questions tailored to your personal situation. And while sometimes it can feel awkward to bring up issues surrounding sexuality, we encourage you to do so. Remember, sexual health is an important part of your overall health, and your doctor is a professional who is there to help you.

Your doctor might also be able to recommend some apps – be sure to ask!

Resources

Bustle

Weiss, Suzannah

“4 Sexual Health Apps You Should Know About, Because Everyone Deserves To Be Having Amazing Sex”

(June 9, 2015)

https://www.bustle.com/articles/89019-4-sexual-health-apps-you-should-know-about-because-everyone-deserves-to-be-having-amazing-sex

HealthCentral.com

Bridges, Alisha

“The Best Phone Apps You Need for Better Sexual Health”

(Updated: March 9, 2016)

http://www.healthcentral.com/sexual-health/cf/slideshows/best-phone-apps-you-need-better-sexual-health

Huffington Post

Nichols, James Michael

“Introducing The World’s First App For The Gender-Variant And Queer Community”

(Updated: July 13, 2016)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gendr-app-gender-variant_us_5786571de4b03fc3ee4eb537

Motherboard

Alptraum, Lux

“Apple's Health App Now Tracks Sexual Activity, and That's a Big Opportunity”
(October 23, 2016)

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/apples-health-app-now-tracks-sexual-activityand-thats-a-big-opportunity

University of Oregon

“SexPositive: A shame-free sex education smartphone app from the University of Oregon Health Center”

(Last updated: July 1, 2015)

http://healthcenter.uoregon.edu/Home/SexPositive