Teledildonics (also known as cyberdildonics) is technology for remote sex (or, at least, remote mutual masturbation), where tactile sensations are communicated over a data link between the participants. The term can also refer to the integration of telepresence with sexual activity that these interfaces make possible.
The term has also been used less accurately (since there's no "tele-" element) to refer to robotic sex, i.e. computer-controlled sex toys that aim to substitute for or improve upon sex with a human partner.
Sex toys that can be manipulated remotely by another party may be on the market. These toys sometimes come with movies to which the toys' actions are synchronized by means of a previously-written script. Other products being released fit a new category called bluedildonics, which allow a sex toy to be controlled remotely via a Bluetooth connection. A report in 2008 suggested that teledildonics, along with text and email and webcams, can be used to "wind each other up to fever pitch during the working day" as a prelude to sex with a human during the evening hours. New technologies can help people establish "emotional connections" via the web. Indeed, teledildonics technology has already been integrated with adult online webcam services and certain sex toys. such as OhMiBod, Lovense and We-Vibe.
A book reviewer of David Levy's Love and Sex with Robots in The Guardian in 2008 suggested that teledildonics was "but one stage in a technological and social revolution" in which robots will play an increasingly important role, with artificial lifeforms that will "attend to our needs with magic fingers"; Levy argued that by 2050 "sex with robots will be commonplace." Some products have been shown at the Museum of Sex in New York City.
Promoters of these devices have claimed since the 1980s they are the "next big thing" in cybersex technology. A report in the Chicago Tribune in 1993 suggested that teledildonics was "the virtual-reality technology that may one day allow people wearing special bodysuits, headgear and gloves to engage in tactile sexual relations from separate, remote locations via computers connected to phone lines."
The responses to teledildonics has been mixed, however the dominant concern has centred on the separation of personal intimacy and embodied presence. In the words of one early text on the subject:
Indeed, pushing at the cultural-technical limits of the integrity-fragmentation contradiction can, in the short term, supercharge the disembodied body with 'sensual', transgressive ambiguity. For example, ‘teledildonics’, computer-simulated; sexual arousal by wearing plugged-in bodysuits, may never become widely practised, but it certainly provokes interest as a risque possibility ... [T]echno-sex contributes to hollowing out the corporeal taken-for-grantedness of which, paradoxically, it depends.
At the 2016 South by Southwest Festival virtual reality entrepreneur Ela Darling asserted that patent holders were preventing the production of teledildonic technology. Many companies experimenting in the field have been hit with patent lawsuits.
- Stein, Joel "Will cybersex be better than real sex?" Time magazine, June 19, 2000. Retrieved July 23, 2008
- Stuart Jeffries (reviewer) David Levy (author) (10 May 2008). "Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships (book)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
we're in for a cybersexual revolution that will make the pill a negligible historical footnote.
- Lynn, Regina "Ins and outs of teledildonics." Wired, September 24, 2004. Retrieved July 22, 2008
- Stuart Jeffries (9 September 2008). "How has The Joy of Sex changed since 1972?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
... Text, email, webcams, teledildonics can all be used to wind each other up to fever pitch during the working day prior to extended evening action ...
- Aleks Krotoski (6 February 2011). "What effect has the internet had on our sex lives?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
And the web is all about helping people establish emotional connections. Throw in some erotic imagery, augmented teledildonics technologies, or a bit of sexting or Skyping, and you have the makings of a rather extraordinary, albeit mediated, relationship.
- "Teledildonics and Live Webcams". Webcam Reports. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- Alptraum, Lux (8 October 2015). "Cam Girls Are Charging Clients to Control Their Vibrators Over the Internet". Motherboard (website). Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- Wakeman, Jessica; Wakeman, Jessica (16 November 2016). "Virtual Brothels: How Teledildonics Is Revolutionizing Sex Work". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- "For Pleasure". Slate Magazine. 2011-02-08. Archived from the original on February 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
At a small and private teledildonics demonstration on June 1, 2005, sex writer Violet Blue, while in San Francisco, induced two orgasms in her partner, who was riding a custom-made mega-vibrator known as a Thrillhammer at the Museum of Sex in New York City. The event included a few technical hitches: At one point the woman (shown here at a different demonstration) knocked an electrical cord out of the socket. It seems that teledildonics—remote-control vibrator sex via computer—has a long way to go.
- Grossman, Anna Jane "Single, white with dildo." Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine Salon, July 23, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008
- David Rothschild (September 28, 1993). "High-tech Sex". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- Carkeek, Freya; James, Paul (1992). "This Abstract Body: The Self, the Body and Identity". Arena (99–100): 66–85.
Alex Needham (2016-03-18). "SXSW panel explores virtual reality porn: 'more eye contact and dirty talk'". The Guardian. Austin, Texas. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
Eventually, some suggest, “teledildonic” technology will enable them to feel sex as well as see it, though a strict patent, according to delegate Ela Darling, has prevented technological developments in this area.
- Mike Masnick (2015-10-08). "Kickstarter Refuses To Settle Or Be Silenced Over Ridiculous 'Teledildonics' Patent Lawsuit". Techdirt. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- "Stupid Patent of the Month: Trolls Go After Sex Toy Manufacturers". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "The 20-Year Patent on Teledildonics Has Expired". Motherboard. 2018-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-19.