Sex Machines as Mediatized Sexualities: Ethical and Social Implications

  • Nicole DullerEmail author
  • Joan Ramon Rodriguez-Amat
Part of the Ethik in mediatisierten Welten book series (EMW)


Sex machines are also communication practices. This chapter considers sexual interactions with technological devices as mediatized sexualities. Media are integrated in the definition of most of the contexts of human life—and the combination of the mediatization perspective with an Actor-Network Theory enables an organic cross-disciplinary discussion about technologies across specific socio-cultural fields. Sex machines, hybrids of fundamental humanness and either or both artificiality and artifactuality, push the boundaries and raise social and ethical discussions about the limits of the integrated circuit involving society, individuals, culture, values, interactivity and intercourse. Therefore, a consideration of sex machines enriches media discussions on technologies, communicative, social and cultural practices and ethical debates. This chapter starts with a discussion on how sex machines belong to the world of mediatized sexualities. After an introductory section on mediatization, ethics and sex machines, the argument builds on a typology of sex machines (similarity, extension, substitution, sublimation, sensuality and creativity) to provide a discussion on ethical issues. The debates consider, amongst others, robots, surveillance, psychological, sociological and body-related concerns, which are also relevant for media and communication studies.


Mediatization Media ethics Sex machines Mediatized sexualities Sex robots Media technologies Surveillance Artificial intelligence Technology governance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Medien- und KommunikationswissenschaftAlpen-Adria-Universität KlagenfurtKlagenfurtÖsterreich
  2. 2.Department of Media Arts and CommunicationSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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