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Old Tech, New Tech, Same Old Sex?

In the 70s porn theaters were a social space; in the 80s VCRs made viewing private; the 90s saw the rise of internet porn and online forums, allowing a still private but more social anonymous space; in the 2000s we are online with porn; meeting, mating, and educating, and very, very social--but this may or may not lead us to greater comfort and ability and pleasure in live, skin-to-skin and face-to-face sexual space. A mix of old and new technologies lead us to ever-increasing ways to connect, share, learn, enjoy. Today we can bridge technologies to create a social sexual experience that balances the risk of exhibitionism and exposure with the presumed safety of anonymity. Historically, media representations of sex have generated new sexual identities and helped redefine existing ones. Mingling identities real and virtual in real and virtual spaces may let us synthesize the best of old and new... or will it shape our knowledge and expectations in increasingly unreal ways?

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How does where we see/learn about sex change how we view sex?
  2. What is the relationship between public exhibitions of sex and sexual revolutions/attitude shifts?
  3. How does one create a public "safe space" for frisson and tension while disallowing boundary pushing behaviors in groups?
  4. Why did sex go underground with the advent of video-was this both due to personal privacy and also emergent technologies (video, credit cards) and cultural temperature?
  5. How does accessibility to communities online and off lead to greater exposure to education and safety around sexuality.



Julie Gillis, Producer, Bedpost Confessions

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