Metafetish

10 Years Later, Time to Slash the Dong: Welcome to Metafetish

Yup. It's been 10 years since that fateful post that kicked off my career as the world's foremost expert on a type of sex toy very few people use.

The SexBox is sitting here on my desk, with a new round of epoxy curing so that the jacks don't fall out on their way to an art show in Austria.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

When I started the site, I... Ok fuck it I honestly can't remember why I started this site anymore. I bought the domain in late 2003, didn't do much with it through 2004, started things up in early 2005. The SexBox got onto BoingBoing, and I've been doing it ever since, albeit sometimes with also a year between posts. I've come up with a million different reasons for keeping the site going between then and now, all of them valid, and all of them temporary.

I've been unhappy with the name 'Slashdong' for a while. In 2004, people still read slashdot, and this was all about open source teledildonics or something, so it was funny. Now I'm just sick of saying the name and explaining what slashdot was. Sick of having people wonder if I run a website about cutting dicks off and why that would make me internet famous (people that obviously don't know the internet very well).

In celebration of 10 years of internet buttplugs, I'm destroying the brand I've worked so hard to build. I've been mulling over new names, but the one that stuck with me was actually a domain I've owned for years.

metafetish.com

The plan was to turn the name Metafetish into my own custom sex toy/object/whatever building company. That was before I realized that I hate dealing with people and I hate dealing with customers and most customers are people so fuck that.

Why metafetish? Well, it feels like it reflects the aim of the site these days.

  • I don't really use the toys I get or do sex toy reviews, and honestly, with people like OhJoySexToy around, I don't feel I need to.
  • I don't really build much in the way of toys anymore, and companies like Orgasmatronics and Comingle are taking ideas that were talked about here and running with them farther than I could ever hope or care to go.
  • I can't be at the forefront of news like I used to, as almost every gadget blog will pick up and reblog tech sex toy releases faster than I'll be able to.

So, this is now just me nerding out over weird aspects of sex toy design that I find interesting, with no real regard to being the end user. People still seem interested in that perspective, so hey.

Of course, the word fetish is probably going to be taken in a BDSMy context or whatever. Kinda planned on that. Ah well. I'll deal. I have some thoughts of technological sex toys being/requiring their own fetish, but that's a post best saved for when I'm drunk.

I should point out that none of the above list items are complaints. It's been really fun/educational/exhausting watching where things have gone since 2005. I'm looking forward to another decade of being horribly pessimistic about humanity's attempt to get itself off with machines. I've learned more about people from this project than probably anything else I've done in my life, which is probably why I'm so alone now.

Here's to another 10 years of whatever the hell this is, even if most of that is spent rebuilding my search engine ranking after today. There's no plans to change the site focus or content, and I won't be replacing the slashdong name in old posts or anything. Just means I now have a site name I won't hate saying, and as an added benefit, I have something new to correct people on. I've been practicing my "Actually" all week in preparation.

Most importantly, this new domain name means I'm finally done sharing part of my site name with another old website no one uses.

RealTouch: The Shutdown, and the Parts You Can Still Get

As you may've noticed, there's been no way to buy a full RealTouch setup since January 1st, 2014. While this was first announced in November of last year, there hasn't been much reporting on it yet outside of the initial announcement, so I figured I'd clear a few things up.

This message has been at the top of the RealTouch website since November:

Please be informed that we will no longer be able to sell RealTouch Devices as of January 1, 2014. RealTouch Interactive and VOD will continue to serve existing customers.

Due to increasing licensing and manufacturing costs we will not be able to sell RealTouch Devices effective January 1, 2014. The RealTouch product uses a very small amount of technology licensed from a technology partner and without this license in place we are unable to sell the RealTouch Device. Costs of manufacturing have also escalated significantly in the last year. After nearly a year of discussion and negotiation we have been unable to reach agreements that would allow us to continue the project at this time.

There is a limited quantity of complete RealTouch Devices remaining and we anticipate selling out prior to the end of the year. We also have a limited number of replacement devices (device only, no mini-tower) which can be used with your existing mini-tower available for purchase until January 1, 2014, or as long as supplies last.

We remain committed to RealTouch, and hope that agreements can eventually be reached to enable us to continue to provide this one of a kind experience to the public. While we will be unable to sell new devices next year, RealTouch Interactive and RealTouch VOD will continue to operate and provide touch enabled content to our existing users.

Thank you for your understanding and support,

The RealTouch Team

We're 4 months out from the shutdown now. What's left?

Well, like the message said, the website is still alive and well, as is the RealTouch Interactive cam date service. Streaming still works, as assuming you have the hardware, you can still set up Interactive appointments. So that bodes well over other products we've seen leave the market, like the slow, rotting death of Sinulate. Also, RealTouch is a project of AEBN, a content conversion and streaming company. This may sound weird to readers of this blog, but there's still money to be made in distribution and streaming of adult movies, even when there's no hardware involved.

Assuming you do have a RealTouch already though, what can you still get?

Shown above are the 3 relevant pieces for the RealTouch products:

  • The RealTouch Control Box, which was the piece affected by the licensing issues, is no longer available. They sold out quickly in November.
  • The RealTouch Hardware is still available, so if you've already got a RealTouch Control Box, you can buy replacements for the body.
  • The RealTouch Interactive is still available to models only. It is not sold as a consumer product.

If you're REALLY dedicated to the cause, there's nothing stopping you from buying the body and trying to build your own control box, but I doubt it'd be easy. RealTouch released their control/content protocol as open source, and I've written low-level control software for the RealTouch if you want to be able to translate the content protocol to what the hardware control box expects, so the capability and information is there on the software and driver side. You'd still need to figure out how much power to supply to the belt motors/heater/etc though, and I'd just steer clear of the lube pump altogether.

If any other news about the RealTouch surfaces, rest assured we'll be like, the 15th or so to let you know. News about sex toys travels fast these days and I am so done trying to scoop that shit.

French Documentary on Virtual Erotica featuring Yann Minh and Ovidie

The BiTS series of Arte.tv has a new episode (in French) on virtual erotica, featuring artist Yann Minh (who really deserves his own post on here at some point, as he was making cyberpunk and virtual world video art while I was busy being a toddler, even if rocking a Neurosky headset while sitting in front of an SL client in 2014 now almost feels quaint) and film director Ovidie.

Looks like this mostly deals with VR, virtual worlds, and Second Life, or at least, that's as much as I can get via my subpar understanding of French and looking at the pretty pictures.

There's more information and links to reference materials on the BiTS website, including the oddest use of Tetris I've ever seen. I don't think Tetris was really meant to be an information interface.

The Autoblow 2

Time to cover more sex toy crowd sourcing campaigns! Even if they aren't computer connected or dragon throats. For anyone wondering /why/ I'm doing this, I consider this my chance to be an armchair marketing guru. I've watched many large advertising campaigns try to get people to stick their fiddly bits into electronics. Smaller ventures convince them to throw cash at The Emperor's New Fucktube makes for some interesting approaches. Sometimes it even works, too!

When I see an image like

as the opener for a sex toy crowdsourcing campaign, I know I'm in for a treat...

I dunno. I kinda can't stop staring at it and trying to mentally insert the sound the bouncy rubber part makes. I've been trying for at least 15 minutes. This is the closest I've gotten so far.

Anyways, what you see there is the inside of The Autoblow 2, the sequel to The Autoblow. According to the website, the Autoblow a game changer in that...

virtually all male toys either required you to hold something and move your hand up and down or were automated but created as toys, not appliances

I'm not sure where either side of this argument comes from. There's tons of automated male toys out there. But apparently those that are aren't appliances.

I have no clue about their definition of appliance in this context. Maybe it refers to having replaceable parts? That's actually a good idea, after all. Being an "appliance" is supposed to be a standout thing I guess, but I honestly can't see myself storing the Autoblow next to my Vitamix and Kitchenaid, even if they all basically perform the same task.

Here's the pitch video:

http://vimeo.com/91265854

Classy. But hey, the purveyor of the toy guarantees you that it WON'T SHOCK YOUR DICK, even while advertising an electrostim buttplug on the front page of his store. But I guess your butt isn't your dick.

OR IS IT.

The toy uses a ball/spring-binding mechanism attached to a linear actuator run by a small motor in the bottom. This isn't really anything new, as toys have used ball/spring binding for tensioning for years. Remember the horrible mermaid toy dissection we posted video of a few years ago? It had a similar mechanism, though on a much shorter actuator.

The campaign has already netted $8000 of the $45000 needed in 4 days, which isn't a bad pace. One of the positive differences I see in this campaign is the fact they're an established brand. There's lots of talk about having a supply chain set up in China, and the store has been around for years, so unlike, say, LovePalz, there's actually a chance the thing might ship vaguely on time and pretty much like what it looks like in the picture. Whether that's a good thing is another question entirely.

In closing, for some reason this line out of the campaign particularly tickled me.

I am aware that gay men in particular might not want a vagina sleeve. If its the case that you are gay, and don't want your vagina sleeve, perhaps you can be a pal and pass it along to a friend!

Now I want one just so I can call up a straight male friend, meet them for coffee somewhere, hand them the vagina sleeve and be like "Hey, your people like these things, right?"

A10 Cyclone Standalone - It's like a Cement Mixer for Your Junk

Ah, the A10 Cyclone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Wq9oOOKoc

A fearsome rotating beast that fetched reviews like "way too fucking much," "seriously stop it I can't deal with that," and "oh my god did whoever make this have a leather penis?"

Well now you can control the joy of "No really this is bordering on CBT please stop constantly stimulating only the most sensitive part of my genitals" wherever a bluetooth connection is available! The new A10 Cyclone Standalone features the same rotating motion of the original A10, except instead of an overprice tiny control unit running PWM over the power lines of a mini USB cable, you can use the stable, trusted connection of bluetooth!

Here's a lovely animated gif of the latex cement junk mixer.

Not only will you be able to control the toy (via CSV files according to Kotaku, so that pretty much kills any interest I had since that's no fun to reverse engineer), you can share your patterns online with others. So now penis-havers across the internet can cringe together!

Info and images via Kotaku