Violet Blue tries to find out why some women like to have sex with machines, and why some people will pay good money to watch.
As this year’s international sex and technology conference Arse Elektronika 2008 hit its stride last Saturday — that’s Folsom Street Fair eve here in San Francisco – I found myself on a panel discussing “The Erotic of the Machine” (listen to the MP3 here) with six men and a sizable audience. The men were an assembly of artists from the Bay Area and Seattle to Austria and France, along with a sex machine maker, a sex machine pornographer and a spokesperson from San Francisco’s Kink.com, where the most famous sex machine site hails from. (That’s F-ing Machines.com, also here in San Francisco.)
They went off on an existential tangent as we discussed sex with machines, ideas for “softer” interfaces, theories about the industrial revolution, gender and sexuality. I sat on my hands with a burning query until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Finally, I grabbed the microphone and asked Monochrom’s Johannes Grenzfurthner if I could ask Kink.com’s Thomas Roche what I thought was the million-dollar question. And for Kink that million dollars is probably literal. I said, “Thomas. You work at Kink. The F-ing Machines site is insanely popular. Why!? Why do people want to watch women have sex with machines, and pay good money to do it? What’s the appeal?” Read more