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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 was coined in 1975 by Ted Nelson[1] in his book Computer Lib / Dream Machines.

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.[2][3] Promoters of these devices have claimed since the 1980s they are the "next big thing" in cybersex technology.[4] 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."[5]

Sex toys that can be manipulated remotely by another party are currently coming onto the market.[6] 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.[7] New technologies can help people establish "emotional connections" via the web.[8] Indeed, teledildonics technology has already been integrated with adult online webcam services and certain sex toys.[9]

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."[3] Some products have been shown at the Museum of Sex in New York City.[10]



At the 2016 South by Southwest Festival virtual reality entrepreneur Ela Darling asserted that patent holders were preventing the production of teledildonic technology.[11] Many companies experimenting in the field have been hit with patent lawsuits.[12]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has named one such patent the "stupid patent of the month".[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nelson, Ted. "Curriculum Vitae: Theodor Holm Nelson". Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. ^ Stein, Joel "Will cybersex be better than real sex?" Time magazine, June 19, 2000. Retrieved July 23, 2008
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ Grossman, Anna Jane "Single, white with dildo." Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine. Salon, July 23, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008
  5. ^ David Rothschild (September 28, 1993). "High-tech Sex". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  6. ^ Lynn, Regina "Ins and outs of teledildonics." Wired, September 24, 2004. Retrieved July 22, 2008
  7. ^ 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 ... 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Teledildonics and Live Webcams". Webcam Reports. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Mike Masnick (2015-10-08). "Kickstarter Refuses To Settle Or Be Silenced Over Ridiculous 'Teledildonics' Patent Lawsuit". Techdirt. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  13. ^ "Stupid Patent of the Month: Trolls Go After Sex Toy Manufacturers". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 

External linksEdit