Why we’re producing Australia’s first sextech hackathon

“Sextech, so… how do you explain that again?”

For the past 2+ years I’ve been studying this word *sextech*; the people innovating around it, the challenges it poses, the market value, and what future industry may be.

What I’ve learned is this: sextech is (probably) the biggest business you’ve never heard of.

According to The Guardian it’s a $30bn industry growing at 30% a year, potentially out-pacing high growth sectors like drone manufacturing.

Like most technology, sextech is desperately in need of more diversity in voices and output — which is why we are hosting a Sextech Hackathon in Sydney next month.

Hackathons are a vital way of sparking critical social conversations, adding diversity of perspective and creating new solutions and dialogue to an emerging industry like sextech.


Uncovering the real potential of any technology means going beyond the obvious; in sextech’s case, going deeper than media headlines of the day which tend to focus around robots and VR partners.

If we think about sextech as the intersection of sexuality and technology, sextech includes advances in education and health, solutions to sexual violence reporting, and factors affecting gender identity (and much, much more).

Australia’s first sextech hackathon is a chance to positively impact how we look at many issues that impact sexuality, from sexual violence and abuse, to global health crises like AIDS and STDs, to education models that help us live healthier lives.

Some questions I’ve already begun asking…

How can sextech help the aging population form meaningful sexual relationships?

How can people with disabilities better access sexual resources?

How can we deliver sex education in a way that is more engaging to young people — where in Australia, 50% of young people express significant dissatisfaction with sex education at schools, citing irrelevance to their real experiences, lack of relationship advice and lack of discussion of same-sex issues as problems?

I believe if we can get over the fact this category of technology has s-e-x in the title and start investing in ideas outside the obvious, we can change the world.

In a typically male-dominated industry, we are aiming for 75% female-identifying participation in Australia’s first sextech hackathon. Involving more women, we will no doubt produce a more creative, innovative, disruptive, lucrative and healthier industry overall.

We’ve already seen success with the sextech hackathons in New York, London and Paris. These events can shift more than attitudes around a taboo topic; they result in meaningfully created applications that enhance our behavior, health and wellbeing.

So Australia, consider this your open invitation.

Regardless of whether you consider yourself a hacker or not, if you have an idea or want to be involved in an amazing project that can make a difference in people’s lives, join us.


The Future of Sex community includes leading sextech entrepreneurs from USA, France and Pakistan, and cutting-edge local partners like Disruptor’s Handbook and Academy Xi to support Australia’s first sextech hackathon.

Join us now.

Bryony Cole