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Rise of the Sex Machine

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This weeks gallery features photos from Timothy Archibald’s book “Rise of Sex Machine’s”.  Enjoy.

While researching a story about independent inventors in the spring of 2002, I came across
a small web community for inventors of sex machines. The group seemed tiny. It was
made up of a handful of guys with names like “Inventor Bob” and “The Toymaker.” They
were sharing ideas and solving problems in the classic garage-inventor manner. Amidst
tips on reworking domestic hardware into complex sex machines, their posts would
occasionally reveal glimpses into their surprisingly conventional-sounding, family-oriented
personal lives.

A chance conversation with an inventor got me into the depths of the Mature Audience
section of eBay, where I discovered a regular offering of 15 to 20 different sex machines
daily. Through this I stumbled upon a number of grassroots sex machine web communities.

Whom I chose to visit depended on who seemed the most passionate—inventors who
proudly felt they were on a mission. It didn’t matter to me who was popular or who was
making money. Sincerity and passion is what piqued my interest.
While driving from an interview in Champlin, Minnesota, to another in Kansas City, Missouri,
I was struck with the big questions: What does this all mean? Are sex machines some
embodiment of men’s misguided attempts at understanding women? Are they a form of
contemporary folk art? Or am I simply witnessing a pop culture trend that will fade away
in a few years?

I soon discovered that the U.S. patent office is filled with early designs for mechanical
sexual devices. A peek into erotic world history reveals that people have been creating
forms of sex machines since the invention of Cleopatra’s bumblebee-powered vibrator.
I began to see this preoccupation of creating a mechanical sexual creation as part of human
instinct. The technology we now have is allowing the inventors to share their ideas, but
the act of creating these machines has been going on for centuries. The people I met and
documented are not simply following a trend. They are current practitioners of a timeless
craft, one that will undoubtedly continue long into the future.

-Timothy Archibald”


Written by icecreeem

May 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm

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