February 13, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 75  

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The marriage of technology and sex

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff

What I call technosex — or the marriage of technology and sex — has come a long way from its humble vibrator beginnings, progressing to something even Nostradamus could not have predicted: the ability to see nude people on demand.

The Internet has revolutionized how society perceives and accesses the wonderful world of sex and has exposed countless youth to exactly how the birds and the bees do their thing. In anonymity and privacy, anyone with a connected computer can indulge in whatever they want and become more educated in the process. But technosex is only a recent phenomenon.

With the founding of Playboy magazine in 1953, the latter half of the 20th century saw an explosion of sexual liberation and self-awareness due in part to society’s curiosity with the naked form. Women’s movements gained new strength but also faced new obstacles in the form of trophy wives and the blonde bimbo.

After the Stonewall riots of 1969, gay rights groups began to garner respect and command attention in the Western world, and societal attitudes to the great taboo slowly changed.

As the clit and cock became relatively public images, the pornographic print press steamrolled its way into the homes and under the mattresses of the nation’s youth..

But the Internet’s emergence in the mid-1990’s put even porn barons Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt to shame. Skin entrepreneurs flooded the web with homemade sites, dishing up everything and anything the public could get their hands on.

Soon enough, technosex went corporate and adult pay sites became the norm. Business models that relied exclusively on advertising went bust within months, so many porn princes resorted to more and more explicit depictions of sex in order to lure credit card-carrying customers.

Short of having sex on Star Trek’s holodeck, the Internet has allowed us to explore our darkest fantasies and innermost desires all from a comfortable distance. This ability has been abused by an increasing number, to the point that many individuals have developed a relationship with their computer and their right hand.

Sex involving pain, animals, scat and other alternative arrangements have found a hidden but curious online audience. A German court last month convicted a man who met someone over the Internet and proceeded to kill and eat him, all with the victim’s consent.

Google.com, widely considered the best online search engine, recently found a competitor in booble.com, a site designed to search out the world’s best porn. Naturally, a cease-and-desist order has been filed by Google’s lawyers — though few others have voiced complaint.

How long can this technosex craze last? Probably forever, but it will become less of a sensational fad. Once the taboo has been taken out of all these sexual arrangements, such perversions will be accepted as persuasions. As a tool, the Internet has the power to educate and enlighten, but also to disgust and disturb. What does it do for you?



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