Teledildonics (Cyberdildonics)

Teledildonics refers to interactive sex toys that can be controlled remotely over the internet or through Bluetooth and apps. The technology allows someone to control the vibrations of a sex toy held by someone who is not in the same room or even the same part of the world. They can also be used to interact with webcam sex workers1 (see the SexEd.net Sex Toys and Webcam Sex Workers (Cam Girls) Topics).

Theodor Holm Nelson has been credited for the term dildonics in 1974, and Howard Rheingold for the term teledildonics in 1990.2

For two decades, there was a patent on this technology. An application for a patent was filed in 1998 for “Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks.” On August 17, 2018, US Patent No. 6,368,268 expired. This has opened up the market for inventors and manufacturers of internet-controlled sex toys.3

Since these sex toys are hooked up to the internet, teledildonic technology is also prone to hacking or “screwdriving.” This term has been credited to Alex Lomas, of cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partner, and it means that these sex toys can be activated without the user’s consent and privacy can be violated by someone with knowledge of gaining access to unsecure (and sometimes secure) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.4

Some companies that manufacture these interactive sex toys say they have noticed an increase in interest since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 has required people in some parts of the globe to practice social distancing.5

The sourced articles below should provide more information on teledildonics and ways to be intimate from a distance.

Footnotes: 1. “Cam Girls Are Charging Clients to Control Their Vibrators Over the Internet,” vice.com, 10/8/2015; 2. “Ted Nelson,” computinghistory.org, accessed on 4/8/2020; “Where Did the Word Teledildonics Come From?” futureofsex.net, 8/20/2018; 3. “Teledildonics Startups Are Pumped This Cockblocking Patent Is Dead,” gizmodo.com, 8/17/2018; 4. “Don’t Get Your Valentine an Internet-Connected Sex Toy,” wired.com, 2/14/2019; “Sex Toys Are Just As Poorly-Secured As The Rest Of The Internet of Broken Things,” techdirt.com, 10/5/2017; 5. “Thanks to COVID-19, Internet-Connected Sex Toy Sales Are Booming,” rollingstone.com, 3/31/2020; “Sex Toy Sales Are Skyrocketing During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” vice.com, 4/3/2020

 

  1. Teledildonics And Rape By Deception

    Abstract: “It is now possible to buy sex toys that connect to the user’s phone or computer via Bluetooth and can be controlled remotely. The use of such Internet-enabled haptic sex toys involves an ineliminable risk of being deceived about particular features of one’s sexual partner and/or about which person one was having ‘sex’ with. Where this occurs, it is possible that the user would become the victim of rape-by-deception. We argue that determining whether a person using an Internet-enabled haptic sex toy has been raped or not when they are involved in a sexual encounter with someone – or something – other than that they intended requires us to confront difficult questions about the definition and significance of sexual intercourse and about the nature and harm of rape. Our discussion of these topics suggests that the use of such devices is more ethically fraught than has been appreciated to date.”

    Robert Sparrow and Lauren Karas, Taylor & Francis Ltd., tandfonline.com, 2/23/2020

  2. Sex Robots—A Harbinger For Emerging AI Risk

    “With the expiration of the teledildonics patent in August 2018, the cybersex toy industry is now poised for rapid expansion, but without protections in place for consumers… AI development for sex robots may increase consumer exposure to existing conventional risks and cybersecurity risks of sex toys.”

    S. E. Galaitsi, Christine Ogilvie Hendren, Benjamin Trump, and Igor Linkov, frontiersin.org, 11/29/2019

  3. The 12 Best Sex Toys For Couples In Long-Distance Relationships

    “Teledildonics (or remote sex toys) can take a relationship to the next level, particularly if the relationship is long distance. These interactive devices use haptic feedback to record and send simulations of your intimate movements to partners located thousands of miles away.”

    Natasha Turner, futureofsex.net, 8/13/2018

  4. Teledildonics And New Ways Of “Being In Touch”: A Phenomenological Analysis Of The Use Of Haptic Devices For Intimate Relations

    Abstract: “The aim of this paper is to analyse teledildonics from a phenomenological perspective in order to show the possible effects they will have on ourselves and on our society. … This paper will analyse these technologies from a phenomenological perspective in order to understand their effects on the constitution of the subjects and on our society at the intimate level.”

    Nicola Liberati, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 6/2017