Considerations

  • Digital Phantasmagoria — Electronic Culture & Transformation of Eros

At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 40 companies displayed their latest virtual reality (VR) systems of device and programming, including Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Sony’s Morpheus, Samsung’s Gear VR, Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google’s Cardboard VR headset. Also in attendance were numerous companies displaying the latest in VR porn programs. Does this signal the future of sexuality?   Sat-Mat=Digital-Phan.pdf

  • The Erotic Spectacle — Sexting, Technological Innovation & the Reconfiguration of the Pornographic Imagination

Sexting is the 21st century’s first of form of pornography, involving upwards of 20 percent of young people taking, sending and receiving sexually-explicit image and/or messages via a wireless device. This new medium is the latest development in what Susan Sontag called “the pornographic imagination.” Sex-Mat=Spectacle.pdf

  • Sexting & the Pornographic Imagination — Where the “Digital Pubic, Digital Private” Intersect

PP Presentation, “Media In Transition,” MIT Media Lab, 2013. MiT-Sexting.pdf

  • Secrets of the Sexual Fetish — How Sin Became the New Normal

In 1905, Freud wrote: “No other variation of the sexual instinct that borders on the pathological can lay so much claim to our interest as [fetishism], such is the peculiarity of the phenomena to which it gives rise.” The fetish has evolved over the last century from an illicit perversion to a marketplace sex toy.  Sex-Mat=Fetish.pdf

  • Polymorphic Party Play — What is Forbidden?

Hidden beneath the shadow of the religious right’s culture wars, a sexual insurgency emerged and spread among consenting adults. Much of it is noncommercial in character, but a good deal involves commercial relations, often involving kinky sex like sadomasochism (s&m) and bondage & discipline (b&d). Hidden in plain sight, a new sexual revolution is taking place in America. Sex-Mat=Forbidden.pdf

  • Paradise at the Sandstone Ranch — Pleasure, Perversion & the Technologies of Sexual Life During the 1960s-1970s Era

Secluded in the hills of Topanga Canyon, just north of Los Angles, the Sandstone Ranch was a unique experiment in erotic exploration. Founded by John and Barbara Williamson in 1969, it drew a fairly wide and often distinguished following among “free love” advocates, those exploring the vast — yet limitedly chartered — territory of sexual intimacy. Sandstone was but one of the forms of sexual expression that remade America’s moral order during this tumultuous era.  Sex-Mat=Sandstone.pdf

  • The Gershwins’ Bathhouse — Pleasure, Perversion & the Technologies of Sexual Life During the 1893-1929 Era

One of the most notorious venues for homosexual assignations during the World War I era was the Lafayette Baths, located on Lafayette Street just south of Cooper Square in what is today’s New York’s East Village. What distinguishes the Lafayette from the other popular bathhouses is that on December 29, 1916, the Gershwin family took over its ownership and Ira Gershwin became its manager.  Sex-Mat=Gershwins.pdf

  • Rev. Parkhurst Goes Slumming — The Birth of Modern Sexuality

 In 1892, Rev. Dr. Charles Parkhurst entered the Golden Rule Pleasure Club, a unique sex “resort” on West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village featuring young male prostitutes in drag, and gasped, “Why, I wouldn’t stay in that house for all the money in the world.”  Sex-Mat=Pankhurst.pdf

  • Sex Across the Race Line — Francis Wright & the Incubation of Modern Sexuality

On June 16, 1827, James Richardson and Josephine Lolotte began living together. Their arrangement took place at the utopian community of Nashoba, founded by Frances Wright in the wilderness of eastern Tennessee, a full day’s coach ride from Memphis. It was a radical – if flawed – utopian experiment in not only interracial relations but free love.  Sex-Mat=Wright.pdf

  • Mrs. Berkley’s Flagellation Parlor — Pleasure, Perversion & the Technologies of Sexual Life in pre-Victorian London

One of the most celebrated houses of ill repute in London during the pre-Victorian era was the flagellation parlor owned and operated by Mrs. Theresa Berkley at 28 Charlotte Street. According to a fellow brothel owner, Mrs. Berkley “possessed the first grand requisite of a courtesan, viz., lewdness.”  Sex-Mat=Mrs-Berkley.pdf

  • Sex with the Devil — The Sexual Other

In 1651, Hartford, CT, ministers and magistrates examined Rebecca Greensmith for witchcraft. She admitted that “the Devil had frequently the carnal knowledge of her Body” and was hung in January 1663 – along with her husband, Nathaniel, who denied all accusations until the bitter end. A recent Barna Group poll found that while 59 percent of adults believe that Satan is only a symbol of evil, more than a third, 34 percent, believed that the devil is a living being. Unfortunately, the poll does not report on those claiming to have had sex with the devil.  Sex-Mat=Devil.pdf