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Sex for Science! Epilogue

Sex for Science! Chapter 0
Sex for Science! Chapter 1
Sex for Science! Interlude
Sex for Science! Chapter 2
Sex for Science! Chapter 3
Sex for Science! Chapter 4

Last weekend was edwardmartiniii's birthday. Entirely on his own, with no input from me, he chose a theme for the party: a Mad Science Fair. Kind of like the science fairs that grade schools and high schools have, you see, only with significantly more insanity.

Regular readers of this blog are no doubt familiar with the ongoing saga of my quest to make a cheap, homebrew, thought-controlled sex toy.

I'm actually working on two projects in tandem: the Tormentor, a sex toy designed not to allow the wearer to reach orgasm, and a sex toy that is controlled by the wearer's thoughts. I've been making significant progress on both fronts in the past few weeks, with prototypes for both a thought-controlled vibrator and the third-generation Tormenter now complete.

And, thought I, what better Mad Science Fair project than the thought-controlled toy?

I put together a display detailing the experiments to date, most of which took place in an especially seedy motel room in Seattle; you are, I'm sure, all no doubt familiar with that tale by now. I also loaded up new beta-test software into the modified EEG, this time intended not just to record a person's brainwaves, but also to switch a vibrator on and off in response to them. This suitably equipped, we (zaiah and I) set out to the party, with the lovely shadow_5tails in tow.

The party proved fertile ground for test subjects, with a number of party-goers volunteering to have their brainwaves analyzed as they tried to switch a small egg vibrator on and off. (I have, it must be said, totally awesome friends; they give the best data!)

And, interestingly, more than half the people who volunteered to give the gizmo a whirl were able to make the vibrator switch on and off, even in noisy, crowded surroundings that made concentration difficult. Several people were able, with less than ten minutes' practice, to switch the vibrator on and off at will, simply by thinking about it.

Which is hella cool, if you ask me.

I've put up a PDF of the display for the Mad Science Fair, "Analysis of the Practicality of Detecting Physiological Signals of Arousal in Adult Human Brains with Practical Applications of Brainwave-Controlled Stimulation Via Neurofeedback Control and Regulation of Vibratory Devices: A Hands-On Investigatory Approach," which those of you who might find this particular flavor of mad science interesting can read at your leisure. Eventually, I plan to provide a detailed report of the equipment, software, and test results of the thought-controlled vibrator itself. Stay tuned!


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Can I take a moment to say how much i enjoy having you on my F-list?

All of this work is brilliant, hilarious and most of all, intriguing!

I am pleased to be subscribed to your newsletter.
Feb. 15th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
That is SO COOL. I look forward to further installments in this series, since I know you're nowhere near done playing with these delightfully mad-science sex toys!

Feb. 21st, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC)
Indeed! I'm working on some new variations even as we speak...err, type.
Feb. 15th, 2012 04:17 am (UTC)
Very cool news! Did you find out if the ones who had more trouble controlling it/turning it on had any commonalities, like more difficulty acheiving orgasm or A.D.D or anything like that? I'd be interested to hear :D
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
I haven't found any consistent commonalities yet, but the data analysis is still ongoing. :) I hope to line up a significant number of new guinea pigs test volunteers at a party this weekend.
Feb. 15th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
I'd volunteer but I'm across the country
Feb. 15th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
Other than the obvious of geographic location...how WOULD one volunteer? :)
Feb. 21st, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC)
By being willing to be rigged up to a goofy-looking headband thing in a seedy motel in Seattle or Portland or something while your partner sexually stimulates you, really. :)
Feb. 21st, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Well darn 2000 miles out of range and partner less :(
at least for now.

Ultimately my goal is to reside in the pacific northwest so if your still looking for Guinea pigs in 5 years I might be available.

If your ever in the twin cities though...
Feb. 15th, 2012 04:29 am (UTC)
You are awesome! I love reading about all your experiments and especially the ones that bring it home to me that we're living in the future. :D
Feb. 15th, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
Feb. 15th, 2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
Must add mad scientist mentality to my kink list! Gigglesmadly!!!!!!!!
Feb. 21st, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
You mean it wasn't on the list already?
Feb. 18th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
I will be looking for that detailed report...curious.
Feb. 20th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
Ok, so I've been wondering for awhile: could you rig this up differently and just have it work as an arousal detector? Like, have a little row of LED lights that light up in sequence depending on the arousal level of the wearer?
Feb. 21st, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC)
I had hoped to do something like this; the experiments in Seattle were designed to look for distinct EEG patterns correlated with sexual arousal.

As it turns out, it appears the answer is "no." There are a lot of reasons for that--the structures involved in mediating sexual arousal are deeply buried in the brain, so picking up signals from them with surface electrodes is difficult; arousal is a complex phenomenon that involves subtle changes in brain activation; the EEG I'm using has a single electrode that sits on the forehead, over the prefrontal cortex (which is surprisingly uninvolved in arousal); and the resolution of the EEG is quite low.

I spoke briefly with a neurobiologist, Dr. Larry Sherman, who suggested I might be able to modify the EEG to get readings more closely related with arousal, but haven't had a chance to do it yet. (It's a bit tricky, might destroy the EEG if I'm not careful.) If and when I get that done, I may have to do some more trials...
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 23rd, 2012 09:02 am (UTC)
I'm quite sure there will be opportunities for you to take it for a spin. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )