ABC reports from a recent conference of America’s top sex researchers (including one of our all time icons Annie Sprinkle) that it’s all looking well, a bit mechanical. In a field called ‘teledildonics’ people can already via two remote computers manipulate electronic devices such as a vibrator. According to Steve Rhodes, president of Sinulate Entertainment, “Cybersex is here! The Sinulator lets anyone control your sex toy over the Internet!”:
People who use it are just blown away. This is not something that just the lunatic fringe does. The Iraq war… was kind of a boom for our company.
And it’s not real life relationships that are benefitting. Kyle Machulis (or qDot as he’s known online) talks in this month’s Bon Magazine about all the shagging that goes on in MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games). In particular, he’s interested in the sex life of one of the most popular, Second Life. Originally conceived as an economic experiment along the lines of The SIMS, the game emulates the pioneer experience with the slogan, “Your world. Your imagination.” As befits any kind of ecoculture, the game is teeming with sexual experimentation. According to Machulis, who edits a news site MMOrgy.com:
Users can build their own objects and program them themselves. And people make .. well… everything imaginable. It’s hard to be more specific. Literally everything can be found in there. Second Life has been around for three years, and I promise you that every sexual fetish you can imagine is represented.
And it’s now getting truly interactive. The programmers are alert to this: the game has developed a porn mag starring nude female avatars called Slustler, which is both shot and distributed within the world of the game. More recently Second Life was equipped with new hardware, enabling objects that exist only in the virtual world to control physical sex play in real life — in other words, it’s back to teledildonics again.
Entrepreneurs are unsurprisingly looking to cash in by melding traditional video porn with real-life sensation. Brad Abram, president of ZStream3D Multimedia, says that his firm’s “Virtually Jenna”, an online game in which the player has sex with a realistic cartoon of porn star Jenna Jameson, can even link hardware devices following the action to genitalia. Which sounds painful. We’ve already written about realdoll.com whose products recently co-starred with Tom Ford in a racy shoot for W Magazine. Real Dolls have reached such critical mass now that there’s even a Real Dolls Surgery site (as featured on this week’s Popbitch — good lord).
At the other end of spectrum is a recently published book of DIY auto-erotica — Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews — which explores the readers’ wives/Forum territory. Fucking in the future — shiny or sordid — take your pick.
With thanks to Tom who reads ABC News so that we don’t have to and apologies to Walter Benjamin. Pictured is the sex machine from Barbarella (top) and Paul Gaertner, inventor of the Thumpstir and Gangbang (above).