Volume 18, 2017
Teledildonics and Digital Intimacy
A Phenomenological Analysis of Sexual Relations through New Digital Devices
Computer technologies are riding a golden trend in terms of innovation. New computer devices are emerging and they directly aim to extend the subject’s living body (Leib) beyond the natural limits of its mere flesh. Some of these devices can be used to recreate perceptual organs in other places of the world. Of special interest are teledildonic devices, remotely controlled dildos, which provide tactual sensations that simulate part of a subject’s body as being relocated in another place, enabling a subject to “connect” and to “play” with a second subject as if they were actually in the same place at the same time; in other words, to engage in remote sexual activity. Thanks to internet connectivity, it is now possible to have control of the actions of a distant dildo and to have, at the same time, tactual and visual feedback by way of sensors and 360-degree cameras mounted on the device. This technology has the potential to re-shape our living body and, in so doing, re-shape our affections as well as our perception of the world. Phenomenological and post-phenomenological analysis makes it possible to study the social, psychological, and phenomenological effects of such technologies.