iPhone App May Encourage Casual Encounters That Turn Into Sex

Blendr: Some iPhone users already have it. Some are considering it. Some say they’ll never download it.

The much-debated iPhone application called Blendr continues to be a focus of serious concern and conversation among experts, who fear the app is contributing to higher numbers of sex with near-strangers and could be fueling some people’s sexual addictions.

Blendr utilizes GPS systems to let users know if there are other Blendr consumers in their region, describing it in terms that might sound harmless. The reality, say experts, is that many users activate Blendr for sexual experiences with people they’ve met on the spot.

The encounters created by Blendr are often for sex without any kind of commitment or further relationship contact.

A recent news post describes how one Blendr viewer may have had sex with at least 13 people in a three-week period. It’s this kind of randomness that’s especially concerning to psychologists and addiction experts, as it allows people with sexual addictions to continue using sex as a tool for escaping negative emotions and harmful intimacy problems.

Blendr may also create a forum where people with sexual addictions can plan sexual experiences and carry them out in secret, prolonging and fueling the addiction instead of guiding people toward help from the powerful, complex condition.

People with sexual addiction find themselves unable to control urges for the behavior, which can range from sex with multiple partners to paid services or online pornography. As the addiction progresses, many lose their careers, families and financial security.

Professional help is necessary to reach recovery, and growing bodies of scientific research are highlighting the ways sexual addiction causes changes at the brain level, similar to alcohol or drug addiction.

While not every encounter on Blendr ends up in sex, the iPhone app is part of a growing trend toward sexual relationships that start online and quickly progress to real-life encounters that don’t involve any emotion or personal connections. The encounters are also linked to higher numbers of sexually-transmitted diseases across the globe.

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