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Rise of the f*cking machines: Arse Elektronika bumps uglies with Web 2.0

Teledildonics to fill emptiness of modern geek-based life forms?

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A brief history of the dildo

old school dildo Arse Electronika

Old school vibrator, photo courtesy of Fox Magrathea of Metaforge.com

The good people of Good Vibrations were on hand to give us all a welcome history of the sex toy. At least as far back as ancient Mesopotamia, and culminating today with the latest in vibrator tech, the Talking Head mp3 vibrator - which offers Juan the Latin Lover and Bergen the German Mountain Man as audible assistants for the ladies - the humble phallus seems to have maintained position as the prototype of choice, although the Good Vibrations museum has a collection of vibes from makers such as Wahl and Hamilton Beach that bear uncanny resemblances to home appliances.

American households apparently had more vibrators than toasters in 1917, as the steam-powered vibes prescribed by doctors for female hysteria in the 19th century gave way to the 110 volt beauties of the electrical age.

Sex and democracy - the early adopters

John Coopersmith gave us a history of how porn has pushed the technological envelope. From the first Polaroid - the Swinger - to the video recorder and the development of the internet, human lust has led the way. Now that anybody can be a porn producer or star the trick is to find the audience. The high barrier to entry of the pre-internet porn industry had the benefit of facilitating distribution to a wider audience, which has left the internet as a fetish-driven niche market.

The idea that the internet has unleashed human depravity, as social conservatives claim, seems specious: for example, the humanimal fetish, in which human and animal body parts are combined, is too reminiscent of Greek or Egyptian mythology to be a uniquely disturbing, contemporary conceit. There's more farce there than fetish.

Teledildonics

Teledildonics is the field of remote controlled sex machines. It is also our new favorite word here at Vulture Central.

Kyle Machulis, who created the first sex toy interface for Second Life and runs slashdong.com, a site devoted to open source development in the field of teledildonics, gave a presentation covering the various ways in which modes of communication such as the internet or cell phones can be utilized as sex toys. Machulis, a robotics engineer, brought the world twitterdildonics at the SXSW festival this year by converting the ASCII characters of twitter microblogs into vibrator commands.

The basic idea of remotely controlling the sexual pleasure of another is simple enough, inasmuch as the organs involved on either end are what we've always had, but the field has also given rise to a novel form of fetishism, in which software programs replace the dom in a BDSM context.

This type of code-based auto-domination - erotocodism, we'll call it - in which the participant submits to the commands of the software without the riding crops, gimp masks and assorted other paraphernalia associated with BDSM, is of course only a precursor to the day when F*ckzilla himself gives the orders.

When he does, rest assured El Reg will be there to cover it.®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

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