Did you know that Apple now offers users the option of tracking sexual health and activity? That’s right- iphone users everywhere can tell Siri about their sex life with Apple’s health app.
The new sex-tracker feature, called ‘Sexual Activity’, allows you to log the date and time you had sex and whether you used any contraception.
Apple claims it will keep all the data from the bedroom entered via the health app private, by default, but users can choose to send it to physicians or anonymously provide information to third parties such as universities and physicians for research studies.
This phone health app may have troubling implications, specifically the risk of not knowing how personal sexual health data is really being used, if and when an individual elects to release it for research.
Talking sex with Siri in hopes of addressing women’s health
The update, which went live last fall, was introduced by Apple’s Senior Vice President of software engineering, Craig Federighi at the company’s 26th Annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference in San Francisco earlier this year. It can be viewed as an attempt to address women’s health issues after the release of the original Apple Health app at the end of 2014.
The health phone app is a core part of Apple’s iWatch, allowing users to track everything from calories to electrodermal activity to heart rate to blood alcohol content to respiratory rate and even to daily intake of chromium.
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One feature, or lack thereof, in the original health app was met with some controversy. Apple Health doesn’t track menstruation, an omission that was quickly scrutinized on social media.
Documents sent to developers say the health metrics tracked include: basal body temperature, cervical mucus quality, menstruation, ovulation test results, sexual activity and spotting.
This information is displayed as a graph or chart depending on preference, and can be shared with other apps.
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According to an article on appleinsider.com, Apple is expanding its pre-installed HealthKit app to include a category called “Reproductive Health.” Features include ovulation tracking and sexual activity tracking.
Having tools to track ovulation and body temperature is important and useful when used in cadence with a doctor’s professional advice. The fertility monitoring feature is something positive and could help many who are trying to conceive, but it’s important to keep in mind there are already other user-rated phone apps out there catering specifically to this sexual health service.
Advice best served in the form of a professional with personal experience
Tracking sexual activity should preferably be done with the guidance and confidentiality of your gynecologist or fertility doctor; not on an health smartphone app where very personal information could become vulnerable to others. The sexual activity app could intrude and negatively affect a given doctor/patient relationship.
Cell technology proven to be a mood killer in the bedroom
A Durham University study this year found that people are reporting having sex three times a month, down from four times a month in 2000 and five times a month in 1990. That’s a huge decline within a single generation.
Is it a coincidence that this gigantic loss of interest in sex happens to coincide with the meteoric rise of entertainment and communication options? In the same Durham University survey, 40 percent of adults admitted to delaying sex to send a text, check email or just browse the Web.
The tangibly tepid response on social media after announcing the new sex app feature may be fair warning and proof that Apple’s sex app isn’t going to spice up anyone’s bedroom anytime soon, nor do we want it to.