Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


SXSWi 2009: Make It So Sexy: Lustful Design in Mainstream Science Fiction

Filed under: Utah Geeks — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Last March I went to SXSWi 2009. I posted the notes from two of the days, but conference exhaustion got in the way of me posting the notes from the last three days. After much delay, here they are.

Make It So Sexy: Lustful Design in Mainstream Science Fiction

Nathan Shedroff Program Chair MBA in Design Strategy, CCA – He showcases the examples of sex and technology design in science fiction.

Chris Noessel Sr Consultant, Cooper

They are playing S.E.X.Y.R.O.B.O.T. by the Pinker Tones in the background. – He showcases the examples of sex and technology in real life and how it compares to our fiction.

Make It So Sexy


Nathan Shedroff:

They are only looking at TV and movies. No cartoons.

Chris Noessel:

We didn’t find much in the porn section. Most of it was just boring. If we pass over your fav, we’re sorry.

Nathan Shedroff:

Matchmaking, coupling augmented and mediate, sex with technology

Body and brain

Matchmaking: Two humans use tech to get together

Logan’s Run: He couldn’t specify his preferences.

Total Recall: John has a memory implanted in his brain, he gets to specify his mate.

Weird Science: They specify the physical aspects. Should we give her a brain?

Joss Whedon’s Firefly: Inara is a prostitute. She accepts applications and we see the interface. The sex workers have a way to filter their bad clients.

Chris Noessel:

iTrick Little Black Book for keeping track of your sexual encounters. It’s a REAL people of software.

There are tons of escort sites out there. It’s not quite collaborative filtering. Escorts can share information about clients.

There are tons of matchmaking websites online.

1998 Love Getty device matchmaking device.

What isn’t being covered is “Where is the network?” iPhone crossed with a Love Getty with a matchmaking device.

Nathan Shedroff:

Sex with Technology: The most examples

Human like devices

Device like devices

THX-138: It was kind of hard to see what the device does, but he’s not having “real” sex.

Space Truckers: Sex with cyborgs There is a wang pulse, but she doesn’t like it.

Creation of the Humanoids:


Stepford Wives:

BladeRunner: Priss

Data: Nonjudgmental

The Outer Limits: Valerie 23, Bits of Love

Artificial Intelligence

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Intervention



Futurama: Sex slave problems. Why should anyone bother trying to mate? All civilization was just an effort to impress the opposite sex.

VR Partners

Sleeper: The orgasmatron

Star Trek Voyager The Holodeck Body and Soul A neutral depiction.

The Matrix: Meets the woman in the red dress.

Chris Noessel:

We don’t have holodecks and sex bots aren’t available.

Real Dolls: Lars and the real girl

Kenji from Toshiba He is an emotional caretaker.

OhMiBod: iPod music vibrator

BodiTalk plugs into your phone.


Fucking Machine Take the dildo by making them more actionable

Real Touch Might not actually exist. Fleshlight with batteries, motors and lubrication

Virtual Jenna 3D Sex Simulation Looks very Second Life-Like You’re talking to a program.

Does this promote sexual addiction?

There are problems with the uncanny valley. The creep factor. People are creeped out by the Real Dolls

Unless you can really portray a real human, it just isn’t enough. That line is different for different people.

There is very little experimentation with the network. You could mine the network for signals that make your OhMiBod to make it respond. What if it was your server? You would have a sexual reason to make the server active.

Chris Noessel:

Coupling is where things get interesting

Augmented: Sexworld take off of WestWorld Music starts by the room.

Mediated Coupling

Barbarella: the device undresses her and pleasures her

Flash Gordon 1980 Gestural interface beautiful

Outer Limits Skin Deep

Lawnmower Man is bad man and he brings his girlfriend on a strange sex thing.

Demolition Man

Brainstorm 1983 Records full sensory human experience. One guy records sex splices it on an endless loop until he almost orgasms to death.

Strange Days 1995 Nero is trying amateur porn He experiences it as a woman.

Nathan Shedroff:


MaleBots.com Interesting community trying to augment their bodies for sex. www.malebots.com

Second Life poseballs Most of the activity in SL are for sex. This is different than VR Jenna because there are two people mediating sex.

Red Light Center

Furry Vermin Monique Walcott

The Machine by Greg Larson A fucking machine for two people This is a mediated sexual experience.

Eating My Cake and Having It Too by Benjamin Cowder Mediated experience

USAV Ultimate Sexual Arousal Vehicle by Michael from CoxyPro The back of it comes down and for use with two people.


The real world is actually more interesting than the mediated sex in sci fi. There are also the one-to-many sex hasn’t been explored in either fiction or the real world. There have been explorations in literature.

Nathan Shedroff:

So what?

Who is leading the way?

Chris Noessel:

The real world is actually pushing this much more than sci fi has. That’s the opposite of other technologies.

Nathan Shedroff:

Technology might break sex. Anything that threatens our reproduction is creepy to us, so the fact that there isn’t that much available might be an innate imperative.

Chris Noessel:

Sex has to satisfy the audience and story.

io9: Forbidden Science

Nathan Shedroff:

For most people, evolutionarily it’s about two people getting it on. Tech breaks sex.

Chris Noessel:

Humans actually like romance.


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