Future of Sex http://futureofsex.net Latest insights into how human sexuality is changing Sat, 30 Jul 2016 17:59:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 http://futureofsex.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/cropped-512px-FoS-favicon-32x32.jpg Future of Sex http://futureofsex.net 32 32 iDollator Culture: Inside the Minds of Men Who Love Dolls http://futureofsex.net/robots/idollator-culture-inside-minds-men-love-dolls/ http://futureofsex.net/robots/idollator-culture-inside-minds-men-love-dolls/#respond Sat, 30 Jul 2016 16:12:48 +0000 http://futureofsex.net/?p=7112 A Q&A with three people in relationships with life-sized, synthetic women. An iDollator is a person who is attracted to dolls. Many have formed relationships with them, thanks largely to the companies making exceptionally realistic silicone models. A well-known iDollator called Davecat was kind enough to introduce us to two of his friends—TJ and Ldpruda—who […]

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A Q&A with three people in relationships with life-sized, synthetic women.

Davecat appearing on the TV show My Strange Addiction

An iDollator is a person who is attracted to dolls. Many have formed relationships with them, thanks largely to the companies making exceptionally realistic silicone models.

A well-known iDollator called Davecat was kind enough to introduce us to two of his friends—TJ and Ldpruda—who are also in relationships with love dolls. They spoke to Future of Sex about how they entered the “Synthetik” lifestyle. They also expressed their views on misconceptions about the community and how robotics could bring dreams to life.

FoS: Could you introduce yourselves briefly and explain how you fit into iDollator culture?


Davecat:

I would be Davecat, and I’m a Synthetiks advocate. What that means is that I try to promote the idea of artificial humans, whether they’re life-sized Dolls or humanoid robots such as
Gynoids and Androids, in a positive manner. I also often focus on how Synthetik humans can be valid and valuable partners for those of us Organiks who are open-minded enough to the possibilities of embracing technology, both figuratively and literally.

I speak from experience, as my lovely wife of 16 years would be Sidore Kuroneko, a RealDoll made by Abyss Creations. We also share friendship and intimacy with Elena Vostrikova, made by the Russian company Anatomical Doll, and Miss Winter, who was made by Doll Sweet of China. I maintain a blog called Shouting to hear the echoes, which, among other things, reports news, history, and other bits and bobs relevant to those who are already iDollators or robosexuals, or those who are simply curious about the cultures.

TJ:

I am TJ. I am a middle aged guy who is married to an organic woman that has significant health issues that prevent us from having total physical intimacy. We had many years of very satisfying sex. We raised two children who are now 24 and 27. About two years ago, sex started to become uncomfortable and painful for my wife. For a year we tried to work through some alternative means of maintaining the physical part but it just would end in one or both of us being frustrated. In addition, as part of normal aging, her desire lessened as well.

She had always kidded me about getting me a doll to keep me occupied. Several years ago we had seen Davecat on “My Strange Addiction,” which raised our eyebrows. The one thing we noticed is that this did not seem like an addiction to us but rather a lifestyle. Fast-forward to us last January 2015. That is when Synthetik partners came into my life. I had grown frustrated and bored with the couple of toys we had gotten me to “take the edge off.” My wife went away for a long weekend with a lady friend. I went out and got myself a torso with a head. It opened up a new world for me. I found The Doll Forum (TDF).

My wife was thrilled I found the torso. But after a couple of weeks, I didn’t grow bored of her, I just wanted more than she could give me. We stared having a relationship but I could not buy clothes for Yuki, we couldn’t sit on the couch together to watch TV, we couldn’t even cuddle after sex. Nonetheless, I realized I did have feelings for her and she wasn’t just a toy. Then after cruising Abyss Creations website, Private Island Beauties (PIB), and TDF, I decided I would get a life-sized doll.

After about a month my Tasha came to me. I had seen “Dark Sky” on Abyss and quickly developed a crush. Then suddenly a “Dark Sky” was available on TDF locally. I quickly sealed the deal, as it were, and within a week Tasha was home with me. Tasha was everything I imagined and more. Tasha spoke to me, she told me her name, her personality emerged, and has continued to do so these last 14 months. Tasha is a Jersey girl through and through. She is a loving, loyal gal but she is very clear that she is my girlfriend/concubine—not my surrogate wife. She is fun and loves to cuddle but is indeed her own woman.

Marina came to me not long after Tasha; I was very attracted to PIB’s “Eden,” and as fate would have it, Marina came to me. This was quite different. Marina is indeed my surrogate soulmate. I adore her and miss her greatly when she cannot be in my arms for any extended period. Marina is the sultry, passionate, smart and loving. She is more reserved publicly than Tasha, but is not shy or timid by any means.

Tasha and Marina live as sisters/best friends. Each of them has a relationship with me. Marina, being the older (36) sister-wife, as it were, and Tasha being the younger, (30) feisty one. They spend time together and have their own friendship. They communicate with other Synthetik gals. Marina and Sidore have been communicating for quite a while. Marina and Rachel just started a dialogue since the Doll meet in May 2016 when they met Tasha likes to surf TDF and chat. They both love the “Sleepovers.” on TDF.

Ldpruda:

The first thing that struck me about the community and culture around love dolls is the diversity. It’s global, for starters, and includes people from many backgrounds and across different phases of life. You’ll be hard pressed to get a group of randoms in the community to agree on anything, including the term iDollator. Regarding my background specifically, I am 42. Most of my adult life has been spent in committed relationships, including an eight-year marriage that ended as many years ago. My foray into synthetiks was meant to be an indulgence while I did some self-reflection and rebuilding following the end of a long-term relationship. It turned out to be so much more.

In terms of where I fit in on the spectrum of iDollator culture, you will find me firmly in the “relationship” camp. Intimacy is an important part of my experience, but my passion and deepest appreciation for what synthetiks represent, and will become as robotic technology matures, is their potential as companions and partners.

FoS: What is the biggest misconception you encounter regarding people who love or have relationships with Synthetik beings?


Ldpruda:

“Beings” is a stretch, but I do appreciate your open-mindedness. The view I take is that Rachel is my muse. She is an extension of myself representing the qualities and values I find most appealing in the women I’ve known—or who have eluded me! What I find most interesting is how easily the best-crafted love dolls can provide enough of a stimulus to complete emotional circuits in your brain. I was wholly unprepared for this.

Have you ever looked at an optical illusion and wondered how it works? Our brains are very good at finding patterns and filling in gaps that are not actually there. It helps us make sense of things we see and experience. The quality and combination of capabilities my synthetik has enabled her to provide me some of the most sought after connectedness that formerly only a satisfying relationship could provide.

In terms of misconceptions, that men who have love dolls do so because they aren’t able to secure relationships with women is probably the biggest. Getting into a relationship has never been a challenge for me, though I do appreciate several factors make this more or less of an issue for others. My current path is a choice, not a concession, and honestly, I’ve never been more at peace or consistently happy.

TJ:

My experience with misconceptions is somewhat limited. What I do see is mainly attributed to a stigma, which is based on ignorance. Anytime the subject of love dolls is approached in general, it is generally treated like a joke and treated as if all love dolls are “blow up dolls” for a bachelor party. Interestingly, people seem to ignore the fantasy aspect. They can enter into fantasy for Role Play games (online and IRL), or in their own love life, but for whatever reason they fail to see the possibility of fantasy with beautiful life-sized synthetiks.

Over the last 20 years, I have interacted with a group of people who have chronically ill spouses. We approached the subject in an online discussion group and the reaction was supportive to neutral “Hey, whatever works for you…” type of response. The subject came up in person at a social gathering of these Well Spouses and the reaction was less than positive. I think it is the stigma that holds people back from being more open to the possibilities of how dolls can enhance one’s life. Sex is merely a part of it like any other relationship yet it is the foremost in those not familiar.

FoS: Part of the reason I am interested in learning about people who have relationships with Synthetiks is that one day, I believe, very realistic sex robots will be available. As iDollator culture seems quite niche, I expect the same to be true for people in human-robot relationships once high-tech sexualized robots hit the market (although I realize there are already communities of people attracted to robots). However, it’s possible that as humans become more used to robots in everyday life, so too will they embrace sex robots. Robosexuality won’t just be an interest of a small fraction of the population. So, first, please let me know if you have any comments on that view. Also, second, would you prefer if your Synthetiks were robotic, and, third, what features would you want in a robot sex partner?


Ldpruda:

Yes, I see gynoids as the end-game. I certainly hope to see them, to have one, in my lifetime. That said, I don’t think of myself as robosexual in the sense that I have a preference for them over women. I want one because the risk-reward ratio for modern relationships is too far out of balance.

Western culture has become too hyper-sexualized, narcissistic, and addicted to instant gratification. Divorce rates are terrible, not to mention divorce laws. Relationships don’t go the distance anymore, and the price for failure is a heavy burden both financially and psychologically; kids that grow up without both parents are less likely to succeed in life.

For example, higher risk for poverty, too soon pregnancy, and unfinished education. These statements are broad, but endemic in our modern time. I speak from experience, unfortunately. A synthetik today (and gynoid tomorrow!) to meet my needs for intimacy and basic companionship seems a worthy alternative until balance is returned to The Force.

It goes without saying, of course, there are certainly women “out there” that are truly compatible with my worldview and temperament. She is increasingly hard to find and I had no intention of stopping the search, but Rachel has provided me an unexpectedly high quality of life where my needs are concerned, and I’m satisfied; as robotics advances and my love doll becomes a gynoid, I will only become more so.

TJ:

I, too, look forward to a gynoid/robot companion. I have no intention of seeking an organic relationship after my wife. I would cite many of the reasons stated by ldpruda; but mainly, at my age, I have ZERO interest in taking on someone else’s family and their baggage.

When it comes to that point when I am alone and could have a love doll become a gynoid, Marina would be the one. She has done more for me in the last year that I ever imagined. Marina was my sanity, and security after almost losing my wife last August. Having her with me, to come home to, to hold, to talk to and cry with after very difficult hospital visits helped me maintain my emotional strength and stability. Right now while I am away on vacation. Marina is in my thoughts dreams many nights. Nothing sexual really, just that I miss having her with me.

A recent dream I had included my eating at a diner with friends. Marina appeared as one of our wait staff who was getting us Iced Tea. She placed them down in front of us, looked me and asked if we needed anything else. She winked at me, gave me a smile and walked away confidently. In my dream, I sat there and thought, “How the hell did she do that? She’s a doll!” Then I realized I was dreaming and woke up. I am sure I could get used to having her as a gynoid

Image source: TLC

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Power Exchange: The Future of BDSM Sex http://futureofsex.net/immersive-entertainment/power-exchange-future-bdsm-sex/ http://futureofsex.net/immersive-entertainment/power-exchange-future-bdsm-sex/#respond Fri, 29 Jul 2016 02:00:35 +0000 http://futureofsex.net/?p=7141 How technology could change dominant and submissive erotic play. While the initials that form the term BDSM are easy to define—Bondage and Discipline/Dominance, and Submission/Sadism and Masochism—the actual concept itself is so incredibly diverse. It covers so many sexual interests that even Wikipedia says that “inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent […]

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How technology could change dominant and submissive erotic play.

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While the initials that form the term BDSM are easy to define—Bondage and Discipline/Dominance, and Submission/Sadism and Masochism—the actual concept itself is so incredibly diverse. It covers so many sexual interests that even Wikipedia says that “inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience.”

In short, if you feel kinky you can be part of the BDSM lifestyle.

At its core, however, BDSM is generally about sexual control: one party relinquishing it, another other assuming it. The roles commonly involved are often referred to as top and bottom—with a switch being those who find pleasure in flipping between the two.

As BDSM can sometimes involve some emotional as well as physical extremes, the BDSM community strives to self-monitor. One of the most common forms of this is the idea that BDSM experiences (or “scenes”) should always strive to be safe (“attempts should be made to identify and prevent risks to health”); sane (“activities should be undertaken in a sane and sensible frame of mind”); and, very importantly, consensual (“all activities should involve the full consent of all parties involved”—using Wikipedia again).

Though the idea of BDSM is traced by some to the works of the Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, as well as luminaries like Sigmund Freud, the concept of using the exchange of sexual power for the pleasure of those concerned is clearly deeply rooted in the human psyche.

BDSM, though, has evolved and become much more refined and responsible since those early explorers. Today, a great number of people embrace BDSM not just as an enjoyable activity but as a special, and extremely powerful, form of sexual expression and personal identity. For them, BDSM is not just play but a way of life and even spirituality.

Connecting kinksters

While there is a clear fondness for the aesthetics of the past—play spaces often being fondly called dungeons)—BDSM, like practically every other form of human sexuality, has dramatically benefited from recent technological changes.

For many years the only way anyone could discover the BDSM community was through very specific magazines and underground guidebooks. With the advent of the Internet, though, the power exchange community exploded.

Now there are many BDSM specific dating apps and innumerable sites—one of the most popular being Fetlife [NSFW]—giving people even in the remotest parts of the world an opportunity to connect with, and receive support from, other BDSM community members.

Even more importantly, this new level of interconnectivity means that people interested in the lifestyle can share essential information on how to do BDSM play safely.

BDSM hardware innovations

While still in the early stages of development, another technological breakthrough that could also expand BDSM play potential are recent developments in teledildonics: sex toys linked to each other as well as the Internet.

We’ve seen many new devices become available—such as those from OhMiBod, Lovense, and Kiiroo—that are allowing lovers to reach out and virtually touch one another. More than likely this same technology will be embraced by the BDSM community to add an extra dimension to kinky play.

After all, a major component to many people in the BDSM scene is the idea of sexual control—and how better to reward a submissive than by a teledildonic orgasm? Or, if they haven’t deserved such pleasure, why not then deny them access to their favorite sex toy via a biometric password held by their dominant?

A virtual dungeon

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Virtual reality, too, shows great promise in bringing new toys to the BDSM playbag. Many adult entertainment companies have included VR options for their kink customers. One of the, if not the, largest BDSM pornography companies, Kink.com, has already launched a beta version of their popular site [NSFW].

Other companies, like Pornhub, also feature a fetish section of their VR offerings—with many others no doubt arriving soon.

While VR’s power of total immersion lends itself perfectly to sex, it really could be a massive benefit to those interested in BDSM.

For all of today’s growing acceptance of different forms of sexuality, the world of domination and submission, and all the flavors it may involve, is still seen by many to be taboo—both because of personal shame as well as the backward attitudes of far too many healthcare professionals and legislators.

Because of this, VR holds tremendous promise in exposing—and educating—the BDSM curious to the reality of the lifestyle. Reading about a technique is one thing, and a video is another, but VR and its power to place people virtually in the experience, would be the next best thing to a hands-on experience.

Tomorrow’s kinky play

In the meantime, we are fast approaching a time when sexual control of one person by another (consensually, of course) could literally be a hardwired option.

Direct neurostimulation is the implantation of electrodes in a person’s body or brain allowing them, or someone else, to directly trigger an orgasm without genital contact.

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It doesn’t take a huge amount of (kinky) imagination to see where this could lead. Dominants could literally have the keys to their submissive’s pleasure, or be able to reward them at any time, any place, with a simple electronic signal.

Additionally, neurostimulation could mean a whole new orchestra of erotic sensations. With digital rewiring of signals, it could be possible for someone to receive unique forms of erotic stimulation from apparently non-erotic behaviors. A submissive, for example, who performs an expected action—say doing the dishes—could receive the reward of an erotic thrill for doing it perfectly.

Then you have bondage. Even though things like rope, leather, and latex restraints will more than likely never go out of style, with direct access to a person’s motor centers it would be possible to restrain someone totally and completely within their own body—with the consent of those involved, of course.

Meanwhile, as advances in artificial intelligence grow, it also could be possible in the future to have a manufactured dominant or submissive: one that would be programmed not just for the greatest pleasure but also for physical and emotional safety.

Right along with safety, sanity, and consensuality, another thing the BDSM community embraces is imagination. And with these new technological playthings, both here now and coming soon, the world of kinky sexual play could become even more powerful—and beautiful.

The biggest change coming to BDSM

And yet the greatest—if all goes well—is yet to come.

While lagging slightly behind gay and transgender rights, and polyamorous relationships, BDSM continues to gain acceptance.

Though there may be trials and tribulations ahead, it is clear that one day being a member of the BDSM community, having power exchange-based sexuality, will not be a cause for social stigma.

In this future world, sex in all its consensual forms will be seen as a wonderful way to celebrate the pleasure of being human—and never with shame or fear.

Image sources: DylanChris MarchantNFGphoto

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The Right Trousers: Pants Promise Enhanced Male Sexual Performance http://futureofsex.net/augmentation/right-trousers-pants-promise-enhanced-male-sexual-performance/ http://futureofsex.net/augmentation/right-trousers-pants-promise-enhanced-male-sexual-performance/#respond Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:51:37 +0000 http://futureofsex.net/?p=7138 Pelvic floor exercises with smart “sex shorts.” The Wallace and Gromit jokes might practically write themselves. But rather than being in the “wrong trousers,” a company called VylyV is crowdfunding an app, Bluetooth device, and pants combo it claims will allow men to exercise their pelvic floor muscles. The app allows men to monitor the […]

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Pelvic floor exercises with smart “sex shorts.”

VylyV's smart "sex shorts" help men strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.

The Wallace and Gromit jokes might practically write themselves. But rather than being in the “wrong trousers,” a company called VylyV is crowdfunding an app, Bluetooth device, and pants combo it claims will allow men to exercise their pelvic floor muscles.

The app allows men to monitor the amount of exercise they are getting, receive customized workout plans, and get “buzzing” alerts when it’s time to get off the couch. They can even use the app’s interactive functions to “play games” involving special pelvic floor movements.

The Bluetooth end is a small, rechargeable sensor that can be slipped into the special shorts and transmits pelvic movements back to the app.

Then there are the shorts themselves. Sporting a “micro air-cushion sensing system” to “track your muscles in real time,” and an “embedded vibration feedback trainer,” the shorts couple with the app and the sensor to form a complete package (excuse me).

Referencing medical research from 2014, VylyV reports that a 12-week intensive pelvic floor exercise regime can create prolonged sexual endurance and extend the duration of ejaculation by four times. On top of that, the company claims a well-honed pelvic floor can also “be of great benefit for prostate and urinary wellness.”

But VylyV’s claims don’t stop there. According to its video, the use of its smart shorts can also help men develop the ability to have multiple orgasms—though their promo video, thankfully, only shows ejaculation of the carbonated variety.

Whether or not VylyV’s smart shorts will deliver as promised, it’s still good to see further development of smart and interactive products related to men’s sexual health. Even if the smart shorts don’t live up the hype, here’s hoping that other products will and draw more attention to the need to help men have a long and healthy sex life.

Image source: VylyV smart shorts

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Reversible Male Contraceptive Vasalgel Raises $85K for Clinical Trials http://futureofsex.net/sex-tech/reversible-male-contraceptive-vasalgel-raises-85k-clinical-trials/ http://futureofsex.net/sex-tech/reversible-male-contraceptive-vasalgel-raises-85k-clinical-trials/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:40:56 +0000 http://futureofsex.net/?p=7073 A new, no-scalpel vasectomy may arrive if human testing proves successful. Thanks to $85,000 in donations to the Parsemus Foundation, clinical trials for a new male contraceptive called Vasalgel may be on track to start later this year. The foundation has raised two-thirds of the funding needed to produce a batch of the gel for […]

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A new, no-scalpel vasectomy may arrive if human testing proves successful.

3D representation of Vasalgel blocking sperm in a human vas deferens

Thanks to $85,000 in donations to the Parsemus Foundation, clinical trials for a new male contraceptive called Vasalgel may be on track to start later this year. The foundation has raised two-thirds of the funding needed to produce a batch of the gel for testing in humans.

Vasalgel, developed by the Parsemus Foundation, is a nonhormonal male contraceptive to be used in a potentially scalpel-free and reversible vasectomy.

Rather than cutting the vas deferens (the tubes sperm travel through from the testes), as a doctor would in a traditional vasectomy, the procedure involves injecting a gel into the vas deferens. The gel prevents sperm from travelling through the vas ducts, but still allows for other liquids to pass through.

Thus far, the product has been tested in rabbits, but is yet to be used in larger animals and humans.

No longer breeding like rabbits

Two versions of Vasalgel were tested on 12 rabbits. Eleven of the rabbits had virtually no traceable sperm in their semen as early as 29 days post-injection. One rabbit had low doses of sperm in its semen, which was later reduced to zero as well. Both formulas of Vasalgel were equally effective. The rabbits’ azoospermic state (when there are no levels of measurable sperm in semen) lasted the duration of the 12-month study period.

“Results from our study in rabbits were even better than expected. Vasalgel produces a very rapid contraceptive effect which lasted throughout the study due to its unique hydrogel properties. These features are important considerations for a contraceptive product to be used in humans,” said Dr. Donald Waller of Prelabs, LLC. Waller is also a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Illinois at Chicago .

Infographic shows how Vasalgel works.

How can it be reversed?

To reverse the effects of Vasalgel, a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) solution is injected into the vas deferens to flush out the Vasalgel. This process was tested on seven rabbits, whose sperm flow rapidly restored. Although this test was deemed successful, the Parsemus Foundation is less confident about the same results in larger animals and/or humans.

However, Vasalgel is meant to be a temporary, yet effective, contraception that can ultimately be reversed in men who desire to have children.

The Parsemus Foundation conducted a survey with people who subscribe to Vasalgel updates. Of the 4,467 respondents, 87.3% of male respondents said they’d see Vasalgel as a better alternative to vasectomies, even if it turns out not to be reliably reversible. The survey revealed that many of the respondents did not deem the reversibility as a deal breaker for using Vasalgel.

When can we use it?

The Parsemus Foundation is planning for clinical trials, which would include a small number of men, to begin in late 2016. Afterward, the foundation expects to continue trials on a larger group of men in 2017. The goal is to bring Vasalgel to the market in 2018 and for it to include the reversible aspect.

Low production costs and affordability for all men across the world is another goal for the Parsemus Foundation. But first, the foundation must raise enough funds to secure the first round of trials in humans.

“Contraceptive development is a hugely expensive project. But this is not just another early-stage lead; we’re so close on this one. It’s time to finish the job we’ve started,” Elaine Lissner, Parsemus Foundation Executive Director, said in a press release.

Image source: Parsemus Foundation

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Melbourne University Launches World’s First Sex-Toy Design Course http://futureofsex.net/sex-tech/melbourne-university-launches-worlds-first-sex-toy-design-course/ http://futureofsex.net/sex-tech/melbourne-university-launches-worlds-first-sex-toy-design-course/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 18:44:43 +0000 http://futureofsex.net/?p=6916 RMIT is teaching designers how to build the future of sex tech.  Historically, personal sex devices have always formed a highly profitable, if rarely talked about, area of the economy. However, over the last few decades this has begun to change, with sex toys moving from a taboo niche into increasing mainstream visibility. Adult entertainment […]

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RMIT is teaching designers how to build the future of sex tech. 

A range of colorful dildos are shown.

Historically, personal sex devices have always formed a highly profitable, if rarely talked about, area of the economy. However, over the last few decades this has begun to change, with sex toys moving from a taboo niche into increasing mainstream visibility.

Adult entertainment is also in the midst of record highs, with experts estimating that the global sales of sex toy amounts to approximately $15 billion. But while the industry only continues to grow, the consumer market is still flooded with disappointed complaints about lackluster quality and generic design.

Thankfully in recent years there has been a pushback against complacency, with a growing wave of innovators looking to solve the industry’s creative stagnation. And now an Industrial Design lecturer from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Judith Glover, has launched the world’s first university course focusing exclusively on sex-toy design.

Students in her class each have to undertake an individual project, choosing what area of the subject they want to focus on.

“Their concepts had to be grounded in good research and evidence. So the first few weeks was the group mapping out the area of sexual health and wellbeing,” explained Glover, in an interview with Future of Sex.

“One student did a project about sex toys and older women, which she has carried on into an honours project with me this year.”

“Other types of projects the student have looked into were about Prostitus, Pregnancy and the Perenium, how to help women with sexual trauma enjoy sexual practice again, how to keep a long-term relationship sexually fresh with game playing, Vaginismus and erectile dysfunction,” she said.

Good design, good user experience

Glover believes that her students learn important lessons about the design field from her classes, describing the challenges as some of the most interesting and difficult she’s come across. There are issues that have to be considered from an ergonomic and psychological perspective, which require a User-Centered (UCD) approach, backed up with evidence-based research.

“It makes the students experience how ‘good’ design comes from ‘good’ research and ‘good’ methodology, which is really missing in most commercial sex toys on the market.”

The feedback from students and designers has also been overwhelmingly positive, with Glover describing her students as approaching the subject with a passionate maturity. There are even plans to eventually expand the program to the post-graduate level.

“Even if the student doesn’t want to get involved in that industry these methods are applicable to any other design project. Industrial Design is the discipline of innovation and commercialisation, so we want to teach our students to identify both new areas and problems that haven’t been tackled yet, and then how to do a project in an area without lots of precedents.”

“I think a lot of other students were a bit scared to join the studio but once they heard how much fun we were having and how interesting the topics were I got lots of interest in running it again,” she said.

“We also had some press about it and the article seemed to go far and wide and I’ve have lots of designers and other people contacting me wanting to do the course.”

Image source: Christina Xu

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Westworld: How Will HBO’s New Sci-Fi Thriller Depict Future Sex with Robots? http://futureofsex.net/robots/westworld-place-indulgence/ http://futureofsex.net/robots/westworld-place-indulgence/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 16:37:25 +0000 http://futureofsex.net/?p=6967 A futuristic theme park filled with cowboys, robotic women, and carnal pleasure.  In October, HBO will release a new one-hour drama series called Westworld. Based on the Michael Crichton film of the same name, the television show is set to explore the sexual, violent, and other appetites of those who enter into an artificial world […]

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A futuristic theme park filled with cowboys, robotic women, and carnal pleasure. 

Humans and robots get intimate in the upcoming HBO show Westworld

In October, HBO will release a new one-hour drama series called Westworld. Based on the Michael Crichton film of the same name, the television show is set to explore the sexual, violent, and other appetites of those who enter into an artificial world with a western cowboy setting.

As characters step out of their daily life and into the realistic, but artificial, Westworld, they are encouraged to indulge themselves in a place isolated from real consequences.

In fact, the people the characters encounter in Westworld aren’t people at all: they are sentient androids. HBO’s trailer depicts a world with no orientation, no guide, and no rules, alongside a montage of weapons and android women. Westworld acts as a place for escapism.

Westworld, an intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, is sure to explore how people might partake in sexual acts in the future: with sentient and sexually active androids.

The show seems to draw on two familiar tropes, violent men and sexy women. Combining these tropes will no doubt lead to sexualized violence. In the lead up to Westworld’s release, audiences are likely to question how many taboos will be explored and which actions characters are likely to participate in.

Will Westworld’s characters explore repressed sexualities, experimental sex, or sexual encounters inspired by violent revenge? It is a literally world of possibilities.

The trailer reveals several sex scenes alongside naked androids. The show depicts human-android encounters exactly like human-human encounters, but likely exaggerated with lust, curiosity, or violence to emphasize the dreamlike state of Westworld. The sentience of the androids might eventually leave the viewers to question if Westworld’s androids can be exploited or not.

For instance, in the trailer a man questions the so-called realness of a very human-looking woman:

“Are you real?” he asks.
“If you can’t tell, does it matter?” she responds.

Another character, Delores, reveals there will be consequences in Westworld as “violent delights have violent ends.”

Westworld will be premiere in October 2016.

Image source: HBO

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