Actually finding some time to write in this blog at long last. Teaching and assessment work take up a lot of focus at this time of the year… but always look forward to seeing my students graduate this month! The past few months have been very hectic, involving quite a lot of discussion and writing surrounding the theme of robot sex. The conference proceedings from the last Love and Sex with Robots 2016 conference have been published, and my article on attachment is in it. I have also been participating in a few speaking panels, where I discussed the more positive side to sex and technology alongside Dr K Richardson who doesn’t approve of such things. Interesting discussions – but you’ll have to make your own mind up on the different arguments here.
It’s great to see young women in sex tech developing their entrepreneurial capabilities which makes me feel like I should have been born at least 40 years later than I was!! It is refreshing to see ideas surrounding sex and tech that were considered crazy all those years ago now making sense to people, and becoming physical realities. Consequently, I submitted a short journal article about the recent UK cultural history of VR/sex/tech. This is an interesting story that needs to be told and is continuously developing and I am writing about it. If we are going to look at possible future of sex and technology, then we need to also understand its history.
There are various snippets of interest in the digital world at the moment – the new report on Sex and Robots by Sharkey et al is out. I found it a little limited in approach, particularly when it came to specific sex practices that could have been better researched and articulated, with nothing really new in it that had not already been discussed in both the popular press and in multidisciplinary academic circles. Nonetheless, it was good to see a general overview on the subject, whether you agree with it or not. I still argue that Robots, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming ubiquitous in all aspects of our lives – including sex, intimacy and the body – and are part of an evolutionary sexual strategy for the anthropocene era.
Currently reviewing my own VR research practice signing up to Steam so that I can get to grips with Tiltbrush and start to produce my own concepts and contexts of eroticism in digital space. I’m the sort of person who likes to ‘do’ stuff if I am going to write about it. Also other talking engagements are coming up – including some trips to both Exeter as part if their contribution to the Women of the World programme and to Zurich for the Future Media Day in the autumn with other earlier events still in development.