Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Buttplug: An open-source software suite for teledildonics (buttplug.io)
770 points by vopi 27 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 249 comments

This is actually an amazing project. I see they have an extensive list of devices already supported. People freely discuss on HN all the time about the security of private messaging between different people online and how corporations track and use this data against us as consumers, but it seems people are incapable of recognizing and discussing this maturely when in fact the same issues are present with teledildonics.

There's a number of very popular remote control devices on the market, and the security and privacy of users is paramount, especially when proprietary apps integrate audio and video and these things could be used for all sorts of reputational damage against consensual users, exactly for the same societal reasons people aren't taking this seriously.

Having free and open libraries and APIs for handling this stuff and free universal applications which take user security and privacy seriously is critical to the advancement of teledildonics in a way which is safe for the public and doesn't take advantage of consumers.

In VC pitch lingo, Buttplug is "Signal for remote control vibrators".

Thanks! So right now, on the Buttplug side, we're more FreePIE or Osculator. The library is made mostly for local side communication with hardware, think of it like an HID manager for VERY SPECIFIC types of human interface devices. :)

We'll be getting to online services though! I just did a big 4 part tutorial called "Teledildonics 101" on my youtube channel that covers some of this:


I saw that there weren't mobile apps and a backing service as part of this yet, but I am rooting for you to get to that point. It'd be great to see a community-driven open-source response to Lovense and the other companies like that which dominate the industry currently.

Plan for mobile apps is to build those on top of the Rust core, using methods similar to the FullStory posts here over the past couple of weeks. We had a Xamarin thing working at one point, but it was... Xamarin. We can also work through WebBluetooth on android devices (and there's a WebBLE iOS browser in the store), so that's a crappy-but-workable option.

Standing up services is something I really want to get to, with the plan being to run a containerizable system with optional hosting similar to Discourse/Matomo/etc models, but first I gotta stop rewriting the damn core library. The problems of making your back yard shed hobby project a business, right?

As cliche as it sounds, maybe sex will be what brings privacy to the internet.

Nah. Remember the Grindr leak?[1] Nothing changed.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/04/grindr...

There's been some really neat work around teledildonics and anonymity. I highly recommend Sarah Jamie Lewis's Oniondildonics work: https://mascherari.press/oniondildonics/

Maybe Privacy will bring sex to the internet

Not surprising at all; people always say sex/porn has brought most of the advances of Internet technology (at least in the earlier days).

Yep. One of the more memorable NYTimes article titles, from 1994: "Porn, the Low-Slung Engine of Progress" https://www.nytimes.com/1994/01/09/arts/porn-the-low-slung-e...

Gotta love the headline

And the VCR (RIP).

I'm a bit surprised how many hardware are supported: https://iostindex.com/?filter0Availability=Available,DIY . It's like a whole new world of names: estim machine, rabbit, bra vibrator, twerking butt deluxe, night howler, kinikat ... Even the Microsoft Xbox controller made the list.

Yup! If it vibrates, we support it. The XBox controller (and other rumble gamepads) are probably the most widely owned vibrators, so hey, why not?

I'm still trying to find a bluetooth electric toothbrush with a controls API. Most of them just have timers. :(

Qdot did I ever show you, like 8 years ago after some Arse Elektronica, my thrusting brushless linear motor based sex machine? I designed and built brushless linear motors from scratch as well as the drive electronics. Anyway I never made it in to a business and lately think I will open source it all. I was going to ask for your email but I just discovered metafetish, so I can post something there. I'll do so in a few days.

Anyway I haven't seen you in 8-10 years but it's good to see you around here!




Yeah you brought it to Jupiter when we met there way back when!

I've been talking about it again lately because more people are building machines and I was all "Man I wonder what that dude is up to and if he's still working on that machine"

I'll throw you email at your address in your bio!

Is there anything more beautiful than seeing two old friends reconnect over memories of a motorized sex machine?

Not just motorized but with custom built linear motors. Impressive!

Hah yessss email me!

In 2013 I switched from sex toys to Flutter Wireless (based on the wireless remote from the sex toy) and my kickstarter for Flutter met its funding goal. Six years of continuous burnout ensued. [1]

Now I’m largely recovered and working half time to allow for open source development like my off road robot. [2]

Hope you’ve been well and looking forward to catching up more. :)

[1] https://youtu.be/huOzokY_fME [2] https://reboot.love/t/new-cameras-on-rover/

Wow the off-road rover is spectacular. My old roommate and I built one years ago, but out of hope, dreams, kapton tape and an iPhone running Skype (https://twitter.com/martinmroz/status/518511940675440640?s=2...).

Oooh that looks like fun!

Screw the sex machine part (heh!), I want to hear about designing your own brushless linear motors!

Heh yeah I am going to put some stuff on github and I suppose make a YouTube video about it.

You can read the patent I filed though. I don’t think patents are cool anymore but at the time I was a lifelong goal:


If you ever find one, let me know. I'd love to have a sonicare that just lets me use its power button as a simple on/off toggle. No timers, no 30-second stutters. Not even joking.

I’m pretty sure you can disable those if you look in the manual.

You can reset the brush back to easy-start mode, and do a thing where you reset the two minute timer. Haven't found a way to do just a simple on/off/no timer, though. I found this rather amazing rabbit hole of a page while looking:


This says... something about modern dev practices. I'm not sure what.

Hey qdot! Not sure if we've ever met, but definitely talked a bunch around the Comingle days...glad you're still working to make this happen! - Craig (formerly @ Comingle)

CRAIG! Hey! I think we talked once, during the lawsuit days. I still talk to Andrew every so often, and Comingle still comes up a lot!

Hoping to do a video on my youtube channel about it soon, still have my Mod!

My dental insurance, Beam, sent me a free Bluetooth toothbrush when my company signed up. There's a companion app with plenty of settings to change power and patterns too. It may be worth looking into!

If you could let me know the brand/model, that'd be great. Thanks!

There used to be a “purring kitty” app for the old Symbian Nokia phones that was very popular, there were even special cases made for those phones I wonder if there is one for an Xbox controller.

Man I used to download that app not knowing what it was intended for. I thought it was just an app to test your phone's vibrator.

One can’t help but wonder how much that trend has accelerated now that the modern phone is waterproof and trivially cleaned.

The phones are much larger today too large to be inserted* tho.

*comfortably, by most people I would assume.

Lots of vibrators aren’t inserted.

The scope of things that people, usually teenagers, use as a vibrator is surprisingly wide. It’s not uncommon for game controllers and phones to serve this purpose for those who can’t get a dedicated device.

The thing that comes to mind is the Harry Potter broom that vibrated to simulate flight, which had to be recalled after parents were outraged; although honestly I feel like everyone should’ve seen that coming.

Probably the same prudish parents who got outraged over the ET Finger Light.


Or the Dune Sandworm Action Figure:


Sometimes a Dune Sandworm Action Figure is only a Dune Sandworm Action Figure.

I didn't imagine Xbox controller fit in the butt.

Yes. Please do not put the controller in your butt.

With enough peanut butter and acceleration, all things are possible.

Hi! Buttplug Project Lead here! AMA!

I thought you might like to see this email that an earnest user sent us this evening. I got permission to share it anonymously:

So qdot handled this thread beautifully today. I don’t know who this person is but they managed to simply handle all questions, openly and without being rude. They spun gold from snark, they gave the childish a mature reply, and this post’s comments were a joy to read for how worthwhile they were.

I assume that the mods had some hand in this as well, because the chances of this ending this way without someone helping to ensure that seems near-zero to me. It’s not that I lack faith in HN, it’s just that human beings reliably go off course on this topic. And today, they didn’t.

Thanks for your efforts, whatever they were, and my hat is off to qdot for their stellar participation here today.

Since we didn't do anything, I'm signing our portion of this praise over to you. Bravo!

I... wow.

Many thanks to whoever sent that complement, as well as dang for pointing it out to me. It's been a pleasure to be in this thread, lots of interesting questions and honestly unexpected (but certainly welcome!) positivity.

I'm printing this out and hanging it on my wall.

I have one more line of questions. I have, um, observed that "cam" sex workers use teledildonics as a kind of "proof of life". The idea is that paying customers send signals to a sex toy in use by the performer, whose reaction reassures the customer that he is paying for a live show. It affords a way of (apparently) "doing stuff" to the performer in spite of the virtualized nature of the show.

Two part question:

1. A sufficiently sophisticated operation could use canned footage to fake the apparent call and response here. Is there any current research in the direction of possible authentication methods to prevent such fakery?

2. What are we to make of the way this form of remote dominance (simulated or real) has been commodified and put in service of capital accumulation? Are not the paying customers even engaging in a form of self-domination, helping to reproduce their roles as wage slaves, by participating in this system of production?

1. This is a topic that actually, seriously comes up often on cam model forums, and verification of authenticity is, to me, something that is just completely fucked in terms of even being an idea. Do these same customers get angry when they find out the movie they just paid to see was fiction?

2. Are you familiar with findom? Cause that's like, just straight up what findom is. Literally unbalanced trade of capital as fetish.

> verification of authenticity is, to me, something that is just completely fucked in terms of even being an idea. Do these same customers get angry when they find out the movie they just paid to see was fiction?

I mean, I think they would if they were told it was a live broadcast.

Of all the fetishes out there, I think wanting to view a person in real-time is one of the more easily understandable ones. I am positive that there are plenty of people out there who prefer watching a live cam over uploaded VODs, even if they never actually interact with the model.

I'm sure that cam models are exceptionally concerned about privacy for very good reasons, and I don't think anyone should be obligated to provide live verification if they don't want to. But it's not like it's an irrational request.

Ah, yeah, that's a better metaphor than what I gave there.

I'm also a bit divorced from the customer perspective in this situation because I've been working on the industry side for so long, so I have different expectations and views.

That said, as an implementer of technology of this type, my point was that I feel like live verification gets EXTREMELY INVASIVE in this context. Once you start bringing biometrics and really, hard numbers in general into the voyeurism of camming, it turns into this weird fractal of objectification that I haven't really had time to really unwrap in my head yet, which I'd kinda wanna do before even touching implementations of the tech itself.

Sure, that's reasonable. Your original comment sounded more like, "Why do people even care?" but I'm totally onboard with the idea that actually implementing something like that is very problematic.

From the customer point of view, though, "How do I know it's really them?" is a reasonable question because they don't really understand the implications of the answers.

1. If you buy a ticket to a live theatre show you don't expect to see a movie.

> 1. If you buy a ticket to a live theatre show you don't expect to see a movie.

A live theater show doesn't seem comparable, since in the cam model's case they're being viewed through a screen regardless. Your sibling comment that compares it to finding out a live broadcast turns out to be a movie is more apt.

> Literally unbalanced trade of capital as fetish.

Chapter 1 in a nutshell, so to speak.


Not to be confused with Commodity Fetishism? :p

How is this not an example of commodity fetishism?

As I understand it, the concept refers to reifying relationships between humans as relationships between things. Is this an example of that? People use this kind of stuff for the most varied reasons: long distance partners buy one for their SO, people online hand remote controls to roleplay doms... Hardly what Marx had in mind when criticising commodity fetishism ;)

Leaving aside how to apply marxian analysis to household relations, non-professional sexual partners, and so forth - the case of how people conceive cam sex workers using these things is an unambiguous example of marxian fetish. Your "human relations disguised as a relation between things" is laid pretty bare, there. That it also puns as "fetish" in a more conventional vulgar sense is just icing on that cake.

Ugggggggh I have a book chapter waiting to be published on ideas of labor and proxemics in digital intimacy that covers some of this.

So like, remember to check for that in September.

You KNOW beforehand what actors are doing, or that a person you specifically paid to scam you is going to scam you.

> A sufficiently sophisticated operation could use canned footage to fake the apparent call and response here

I mean, if the tech reaches such heights that a customer can't tell it from a human, does it even matter for the customer?

(Actually I think that on an emotional level it does, but realistically it's a question of inputs to the brain, i.e. the whole Matrix mind-body thing. Anyway, I'm sure this is firmly in the AGI territory.)

Are people afraid of watching a recorded show? Or are they afraid of watching a "virtual" model who is the creation of an AI?

In the former case. wouldn't the "cam" worker be able to achieve the same "proof of life" by simply having a conversation with the customer? Eg, the customer types something in chat, and the worker responds on the live stream?

In the latter case, if it is all virtual, then its all virtual, and response to a toy could just be faked.

How can tech employers use this technology to optimize workplaces for comfort and productivity?

Also, can teledildonics be applied to improve online shopping experiences and social media? I am thinking that buttplug scripts could be the new emojis or css dazzle.

Lastly, there seems to be some asymmetry in the development of these technologies: Passive reception of dildonic signals is emphasized, active transmission of signals that originate as muscle contractions (and such) gets the short shrift. Is this simply a reflection of the generally submissive tendencies of tech workers or is there a larger force at work here?

On those first two, we use Tampermonkey as a research platform for A/B testing integration with stock web interfaces.


On the tracking of muscle contractions, I'd recommend checking out the Nogasm project, an open source orgasm denial system that uses air pressure changes to track pelvic floor contractions, which are indicative of arousal levels. These could be tracked against, say, bug rates in code to monitor affective states in developers.


> air pressure changes

Hmm queue Ripley/Alien -- well "micro-changes in air density"

Woah, woah, woah. Hold up, full stop.

>Passive reception of dildonic signals is emphasized, active transmission of signals that originate as muscle contractions (and such) gets the short shrift.

Just want to make sure I understand what you're asking here; because it sounds to me like you're asking something along the lines of "Hey, the vibrating device is neat, but I'd actually like a device that can directly stimulate movement of the device wearer's muscle groups on reception of a remote signal. Can you do that?"

...because if that is what you're asking, the very idea horrified me at the prospect of the new forms of abuse that technology would enable. And I don't mean "abuse" in a good connotation either.

I'm not saying that anyone here would intend to go that far, but that's the first spit take I've had in response to something I read in a while. Ranks right up there with Neuralink in terms of cans of worms I do not wish to see opened by the unscrupulous.

>Is this simply a reflection of the generally submissive tendencies of tech workers or is there a larger force at work here?

That's an odd lens to look at the tech industry through... What exactly about the art of crafting, building, manipulating, and operating some of the most complex, sprawling in their capacity to influence people's lives/behaviors, and difficult to understand machines on the planet strikes you as submissive? Just because there may be a tendency toward expending energy in a direction someone else is willing to pay for doesn't make the academic exercise an overall act of submission. For that matter, look at how difficult it is to reign in the profession ethically. You have an entire industry worth of movers and doers who collectively have made possible some of the most outstanding advances in the field that is the application of computing machinery, while at the same time completely eviscerating some of the most basic and fundamental principles that have hitherto been nigh unchallenged in the history of the classical western democracy/republic. To program is not to submit; to program is to inflict one's wills and desires on others in the shape of the end product. Assumption of existing mores and the outcome of thoroughly deliberated, collective decisions in regards to the means and ends of any non-trivial project is a necessary thing to enable coordination. Is there some study correlating being a programmer with submissiveness, or is this one of those "introverts are all subs" stereotypes? Tendencies toward conflict aversion or social reservation do not accurately correlate to to submissive/dominant preferences by a long shot from what I've heard/experienced.

Then again, maybe you have a point, and you're referring to another facet of the industry I've never really meshed that well with. I just wish more people understood and looked at the Art the way I do... I don't think I'm very special or out there in the grand scheme of things. I've heard so much "Well, that's just the way it has to be" encouraged and even cultivated in the trenches it makes me sick. Sometimes to the point that I can even entertain there is an adverse selection pressure employment/career-wiseforthe self-direct(ed|ing) professional programmer. There is more disincentive to the practice of the adversarial duties of the engineer in the context of software I cannot help but be shocked it's taken as long as it has for a counterculture against Tech to form.

>These could be tracked against, say, bug rates in code to monitor affective states in developers.

Um... No. I think that is one set of data points better left uncollected/analyzed if only for the safety of laborers in all walks of life. Why are we so enthusiastic about making data like this exploitable? This reminds me of a project someone was working on at an NFJS a few years ago where They were collecting as much information as possible about the meta-state of the programmer at work. All through the presentation I couldn't help shaking the feeling that if managers ever caught wind of it, and decided to integrate it into their performance eval techniques, life as a working programmer would rapidly degenerate.

I apologize if I'm coming off as a complete buzzkill. It isn't like I've not been stimulated by the attraction and appeal of similar contemplation before mind. A lot of fun could be had between two consenting adults. I just hope we spare some time to consider what other uses could come from what we enable.

To sum up, I leave you with a cautionary snippet of wisdom it's taken me a while to come to appreciate:

"There is no greater downer, than the Supreme Square empowered by the Totally Rad;" [and the odds of this happening approach unity as social acceptance, Radness, and time approach infinity].

> "Just want to make sure I understand what you're asking here;"

You really don't.

The main thrust (sorry) of teledildonics as commonly pursued is that subject A presses remote buttons or whatever, and subject B experiences some vibration from the sex toy they are using. A has remotely caused the vibration.

A reverse is also conceivable: subject A is using a teledildonic sex toy, and subject B gets some signal (like a ring-tone or whatever) whenever subject A's erogenous zone muscles contract.

In other words, reversing the direction of the signal. Instead of remotely "doing something" to the sex toy user, one would get some information about what the sex toy user is doing on their own. This is what I asked about. You projected something really strange onto it.

> "That's an odd lens to look at the tech industry through... What exactly about the art of crafting, building, manipulating, and operating some of the most complex, sprawling in their capacity to influence people's lives/behaviors, and difficult to understand machines on the planet strikes you as submissive?"

You do it because some jackass told you to do it and gives you some cash to go be rude in bars and restaurants, and to overbid for apartments. Total bdsm degeneracy. Totally undignified. Totally degrading. You're a slave who takes solace in being slightly above the worst off slaves. Nobody in a cooperative society would do what tech workers do and if they tried, they'd be treated as people suffering some kind of cognitive illness.

> I just hope we spare some time to consider what other uses could come from what we enable.

Not to make you feel like you overreacted at all, because this is a fantastic reply and I desperately wish I saw more awesome thinking like this around tech and ethics, but I read the OP as a shitpost, and was replying in kind.

The only reason I can give stark commentary like that is because I've done a lot of ethics work on this field (first hire at my startup with an ethicist who helped craft our project mission statement and philosophies), and yeah, it could get REALLY, REALLY bad in terms of labor, privacy, and many other contexts.

If you'd like my full perspective on how/why I build this stuff, I gave a lecture at CMU last year that goes over a lot of it:


Specifically on the affective state in technical development, I do think biometrics is interesting there, but absolutely not in a way that could be harnessed like I was joking about above (even though it would be because who are we even kidding these days). I did some work on this stuff around 8-9 years ago, a project I called the "Quantified Coder" (I was involved in the whole QuantifiedSelf thing for a while):


Please note that this talk happened before the current ML craze of "your face can tell us if you're a bad human" shit. It sounds FAR different now than I did then. There's neuroscience researching doing really great work on affective state of developers these days (like Chris Parnin, who came up here a few days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23046429) that I think will be legit helpful.

Anyways, my reply was just riffing evilly on those ideas as a joke.

Apologies though, forgot I was in an setting where that reply DEFINITELY might not have come off as (extremely stark) humor.

> Just want to make sure I understand what you're asking here; because it sounds to me like you're asking something along the lines of "Hey, the vibrating device is neat, but I'd actually like a device that can directly stimulate movement of the device wearer's muscle groups on reception of a remote signal. Can you do that?"

> ...because if that is what you're asking, the very idea horrified me at the prospect of the new forms of abuse that technology would enable. And I don't mean "abuse" in a good connotation either.

E-stim is already a thing, it just lacks (so far) the remote aspect.

Remote estim has been around for decades actually, it's just all developed in very small, private (and sometimes extremely hostile, yes I'm looking at you Smartstim) communities so the info doesn't really get out much.

There have been numerous stories in the past of IoT sex toys basically being thrown together by people with no tech knowledge and leaving the passwords as defaults, etc. Makes hacking/stealing the data trivial and obviously problematic for the product and users.

What does project do to ensure security?

For Buttplug specifically, it's just a hardware control library. While there are ways to use network-as-ipc for the system (mostly to establish control from browsers that don't support hardware access internally), it's not recommended as a basis for a service without some modifications.

Buttplug is a core technology of my startup, alongside the user facing Intiface brand (https://intiface.com). I'll be working on more network focused services there in the near future, where I'll be addressing more security focused questions.

If you're curious about some of the beginning directions of that, I posted a full Teledildonics 101 workshop last month on my youtube channel, that goes over systems design thinking for remote intimacy, including some touchpoints on security.


Oh, and for more security resources, see this comment up-thread.


Does the project need an adorable mascot?



I did a sex tech workshop like, 3 blocks away from it, and Paul McCarthy is a major influence on my work! :D

Oh great, now I feel like the enthusiastic programmer who wanted to tell Peter Norvig how awesome the Clojure language is. ;)



...if you would like a bespoke adorable mascot for this project, I do a lot of smutty art in Illustrator and would be interested. http://egypt.urnash.com has art and contact info. I would gladly take money but this might be a thing I'd think of doing pro bon(er|o) as well.

EGYPT! Extremely long time no see! (We've met before at FC and other south bay stuff but it was well over a decade ago, have some common links from Puzzlebox, etc)

Astolpho has been doing most of my art (like the squid buttplug on the buttplug.io page, and the Buttplug sommlier foxes on my patreon - http://patreon.com/qdot), but I'll try to contact you once I'm looking for more art, which I'm hoping will be soon, once I can get out of the code mines and back to applications work.

holy fuck I have not thought of Astolpho in like a decade

and of course this turns out to be by someone I have run into before in the Yiff Mines :)

Not to perpetuate the fox stereotype, but of all the things a fox would show up on the front page of HN for... :3

I always imagined using a technology like this would feel really contrived. Like the number of dimensions of expression, or sensation you can impose on another person using it are so limited that it would almost feel kind of silly. The only thing you can really impact in a meaningful way seems to be timing. But good sexual experiences require so much more, pressure variation, directionality to name a few things. Can you comment?

Taken at pure sensory value, yup, you're completely correct. These are an extremely lossy compression of physical intimacy. It's like watching a 4k movie compressed to like 4 pixels of monochrome color.

However, you really have to look at the surrounding situation and mental state of the user to get why any of this matters. When you've got enough endorphins flowing, the slightly augmentation to sensory input can have a multiplicative effect. Since the brain regulates whatever your reality is, it's our job to fuck with that (in good ways) more than it is to make some completely mechanically/physically correct 1:1 recreation of sex with another person.

Let's say you're stuck with audio/video chat for intimate relations. But you've added some touch via teledildonics! Sure, it's crappy touch, but someone you want actually touching you but for some reason can't can now at least control that touch!

The media loves to spin sex tech as "this will replace sex in the future" a la Demolition Man or whatever, but that is both the wrong goal and complete bullshit. The fun part of all of this for me is building machines and interfaces to do what people and their genitals can't, and providing technology to build those interfaces/machines to see what other people come up with when freed from the tyranny (allow me my melodrama here) of human form.

This also allows us to build new forms of intimacy, possibly very, very silly forms. As an example: I work with cam models a lot, trying to build interfaces that aren't quite as a objectifying as the usual cam room. One time, I worked with a model and her fan club to hook up Rocket League (yes, the cars in hats playing soccer rocket league) to a sex toy, so any time the controller vibrated, her sex toy vibrated. There's video of how this works (and the software I used to do it and the github repo) here:


Now, this probably sounds like some weird as hell sex. Cam model is on camera, nude, using a toy, playing 3 v 3 rocket league with up to 5 cam room customers. However, this means that the normal rules of rocket league get bent. Players were no longer interested in goals, but rather, in how to cause the model's controller (and therefore toy) to vibrate. This might mean crashing into cars (Hi JG Ballard fans!), trying to get goals when the model was close to a goal to make big explosions, etc... It ended up in all of these continuously shifting team/social structures as people would join/leave, figure out new things, etc... Everyone ended up playing for hours, everyone had a really good time, and it was interactive for both the model and the customers.

So, basically, you've gotta look at these as new forms of sex, not replacements for what we've got. They may not even be good forms of sex, but hey, if everyone's consenting, no one gets hurts, and even maybe it turns out to be a buggy horrible mess, it's fun to try, right?

Do you see a lot of potential in this space? Any insight into the unit sales, usage stats, etc?

It's really difficult to say? There's lots of media articles right now about teledildonics being the future and super popular during COVID, but I'd say the real winner here is video conference still. Teledildonics has a LONG way to go in terms of UI/UX before it'll really catch on, and I would never go as far as claiming it's a replacement for physical intimacy, much as VR isn't a replacement for actually being somewhere. Rather, it's an augmentation of it, and a way to allow us to be or feel things that may not even be possible (for better or worse).

Is there a public roadmap for the project? What aspects of the project currently have the most traction? Are there any plans to remove any existing parts of the project?

There have been a few (tried Trello and ZenHub), and they've all turned into a mess, so I recently hit the reset button again and am just trying a github project now:


tl;dr - Right now I'm trying to standardize our logic on Rust (I'm also the ex-device interfaces lead on firefox at Mozilla, so I love some rust :) ), then extend back out to other languages and platforms through FFI to the Rust base.

The Rust work has also ended up creating other libraries, including:

- systray, a library for building simple systray apps with rust: https://github.com/qdot/systray-rs - btleplug, a cross-platform host side Bluetooth LE library in Rust, mostly via copypasta but hoping to unify soon: https://github.com/deviceplug/btleplug

In the end, Buttplug is just a hardware abstraction layer, think of it like the USB HID or Bluetooth Profile model, except outside of the protocol specification space. I'd like to abstract the back end a bit more and allow other projects to use it, so you could have, say, a library that abstracts health device protocols or something.

> There have been a few (tried Trello and ZenHub), and they've all turned into a mess, so I recently hit the reset button again and am just trying a github project now

In my experience, this is mainly caused by planning in too much detail, too far ahead. And then your plans change and it's a bunch of cl noise you have to clean up or live with.

The only system I've stuck with for my FLO projects is the following:

- One tag (or milestone) named "someday/maybe". This is for things that are reasonable to do (you'd accept patches), but not worth the time/effort for you to implement personally. It exists so you can filter them out without closing. - One milestone called "next release". Only add issues to this milestone when you've competed them. Note: don't close these issues yet; keeping them open results in more visibility and fewer duplicate bug reports.

When it's time to do a release, rename the "next release" milestone to the version of the release (ex: v2.4.1), close all the associated issues (making sure they're in the changelog as you go), and replace it with a fresh "next release" milestone.


In the past I also had a "planned" milestone, but it's redundant with someday/maybe; anything open and not assigned to a milestone is planned.

Red Moon has the same order of magnitude of open issues as Buttplug, and not much of a community.

- If there were a larger community, I'd probably write a high-level roadmap, describing my vision and areas where it currently falls short.

- If there were other contributors or significantly more open issues, I'd add a "high priority" tag, limited to ~10 issues at a time, so there's a way to engage with less noise.

Thanks for that insight!

For me, it also stems from Buttplug being my playground to find some of this stuff out. This started as a way for me to work on research ideas both about sex tech, and about building and maintaining projects in a long term manner. For planning specificly, I went from "I can do it outside of bugs" to "Nope let's just use bugs" to "Nope that was a bad idea too let's go back to the original idea but store it next to the code". We'll see where that puts me.

Of course, now that this is trending HN, everyone gets to learn with me too. :D

Any chance of pavlok support? It doesn't exactly vibrate but ... (and if the answer is "patches welcome" I can always make another attempt to convince my rpi to talk to the bloody thing myself)

Yup, I've got a Pavlok 2, and there's multiple libraries on github for supporting it already. Feel free to hmu in the email I'm about to put in my bio if you'd like to talk more about this offline.

I get a TON of requests about estim support, it's just difficult to figure out how ethics/liability works around all of that.

I'm the founder of Pavlok 2. Awesome that you use it :)

HN comment threads are just the best sometimes.

Your device is, probably not surprisingly, popular with a subset of our users. Especially your wristband form factor, though the fact that you've made it modular has ended up with some interesting 3d printed mounting solutions too. :D

You can't have thrust without rust.

Any leads on a lightweight C++ client for bp's protocols? I'm thinking about creating a plugin for Skyrim/Fallout 4.

We'll be doing FFI to C ABI calls from our rust library very soon, which should make this doable. I've talked to LoversLab project people before about Skyrim, but nothing much has come of it.

Rumble rerouting support for Fallout 4 works with the GHR I think? https://intiface.com/ghr

> Skyrim/Fallout 4

Not the titles I'd expect in the context of electrosex.

(I'm oldschool so something in the vein of Leisure Suit Larry or Lula the porn studio management simulator would seem quite proper for me.)

It makes sense if you follow the modding scene surrounding those games.

The Skyrim lewd modding scene is W I L D.

Emacs or VI?

There's this link in another comment: https://github.com/qdot/deldo

I'm guessing not pico or nano

Hi Don. :)

Hi Kyle: I did know the answer but I just had to ask! ;) Come drop in on the epic Emacs -vs- VI battle going on in the Bill Joy thread. VI can't hold a candle to Emacs when it comes to teledildonics. You testimony might be able to convince a few lost souls to cross over. Emacs is ALWAYS in insert mode.

The way you insightfully psychoanalyzed the personalities of programmers of different languages in your deldo demo suggests to me that you might enjoy W Watson's "The Pervert's Guide to Programming Languages":




> Emacs is ALWAYS in insert mode.

You, sir, have won the internet today.

How does your CI work?

We're currently using Azure Pipelines, but trying to move down to Github Actions as we don't really need the whole Azure ecosystem quite yet.

As for the hardware part, well, let's just say I can never, ever, ever have a zoom meeting where anyone can see my desk.

Python support seems to be really lacking on your project. Why is that, lack of interest?

There's lots of interest in support for many languages. It's more that the codebase is 99% one developer (me), and there was a ton of fragmentation early on that I'm still working to clean up, that both makes it hard to implement new systems as well as hard for others to contribute. We're getting there.

I'm hoping to stop cranking out code and actually write the developers guide soon, which I think will help immensely.

Is there a list of supported devices I might have missed in my extensive 10 second search?

There's a few lists around the front page of our website, but the most comprehensive is:


Ummm. Where do I begin...

Hey nice project. You may want to consider changing domains though

"No .IO domain may be used, directly or indirectly, for any purpose that is sexual or pornographic"


Porntoken.io has been up for several years with no problems. Also porntoken was the first project to do teledildonics with the lovense toys through the Ethereum blockchain. https://github.com/porntoken/EthereumDildoMonitor

We had a live model at the late Dennis Hoffs cathouse near Reno with a lovense in her vajayjay taking ETH porntoken ICO investments in her toy through the ethereum blockchain.

Porntoken is largely done now, but we had a damn good time making the movies we did.


All the movies on the website still work however.

>We had a live model at the late Dennis Hoffs cathouse near Reno with a lovense in her vajayjay taking ETH porntoken ICO investments in her toy through the ethereum blockchain.

I'm a native English speaker, but apparently not a native teledildonics speaker. I can't make heads or tails of this sentence.

They got an actress to play with a toy live at a former brothel owners house to promote their porn related ICO.

Oh, so live model means a living-women

late Dennis Hoffs - no idea who that is

cathouse = brothel? because of pussy cat?

lovense - no clue

vajayjay - please don't tell me that is supposed to be vagina, are we still in middle school?

taking ETH porntoken ICO investments - something about money?

toy - this must be the teledidonics

through the ethereum blockchain - hey, whatever is your kink

Dennis Hof https://www.google.com/search?q=dennis+hof

Cathouse near Reno: https://www.loveranch.net

Where as massage parlors in the rest of America give men hand jobs and more for $40+ after a massage, a cathouse will skip the massage pretext and go right into sex because the Nevada law allows it in certain counties. They don't need a massage as an excuse to charge for sex.

The lovense info is on the github readme page.

lovense (Actually 'lovesense') - It's a vaginal/anal wireless vibrating egg that can be controlled via bluetooth. A lot of Webcam models use them and the viewers can trigger the vibrations via payment tip.

No, license is a brand [1], I don't think they have anything like what you described

[1] https://www.lovense.com/

Hmm then what am I thinking of?

Lush toy from them

"This falls somewhere between parody and possibly documentary, as James Bartholet portrays the same character in all four scenes, who is referred to as either Mr. Weinstein or Harvey. That, and the still photo of the real Harvey Weinstein that appears during the ending credits, pretty much cements the intended identity."

Thanks for the heads up! This came up earlier and I replied there:


It's a crying shame. The reason I chose .io for porntoken is because .io which is for Indian Ocean is also a dual meaning pun that in the context of sex is often interpreted as in/out like as in a peepee going in and out of a vajayjay or poop chute.

.io is just the tld for the British Indian Ocean Territory. TIL.

All older two letter domains are all country codes. ccTLD is the term vs gTLD for the original com/net/org/edu but also now refers to all the custom tlds.

Good catch.

I started watching the video of hooking the Trance Vibrator up to Rez Infinite but I got distracted by the intense wave of, well, pretty much ASMR that ran up my spine once I saw level 1 on the screen along with its music and now I guess I am spending a while playing that instead. I shall not say what I am doing with my second controller or hint a ways I may be enhancing the reach of its vibrations.

100% analyzation, 99.6% shotdown, 100% support item, one hit taken during Earth [Tera] - not bad for the first time picking it up in years I guess, especially on a dim projector with some intense Sensations and Emotions going through my head as I was dancing with the first level's boss.

It's such a wonderful game, isn't it?

I got my first copy back on the Dreamcast and PS2 and played the hell out of it. I wrote my first USB drivers for the Trancevibrator around 2005, also.

When Infinite came out I still played it quite a bit (outside of the context of making that video heh), and it was like riding a bicycle. A couple of minutes of getting used to it again and I was back to near 100% on everything. :D

seriously, I have it sitting on my PS4 at like 95-100% in everything after one playthrough when I first got it, except Area 5 because I really cannot be bothered to run it like 5x in a row to remember all its little tricks. I'll probably buy it again when I replace this PS4 and there's a re-remake.

If you haven't played Polybius or Sayonara Wild Hearts, I can highly recommend them - they are both games that stroke their fingers gently across the same places that Rez tickles.

Ooooh hadn't heard of Polybius, been meaning to pick up Wild Hearts...

Still wish any other Mizuguchi game did it for me as much as Rez. Never got to try Child of Eden, Every Extend was good, Lumines and Tetris Effect were ok but just not quite the same. I think Rez had that combination of perfect timing and place.

I suspect it was a matter of budget and collaborators that made Rez work, too, though I haven’t looked at the crew list of his games with that theory in mind. Eden was trying to catch the same lightning as Rez but... didn’t.

Sayonara wildhearts looks wonderful! Just got it and I'm looking forward to playing it over the long weekend :D

It’s a hell of a ride!

It may also be a magical working. I am dead serious here.

When the Cult of the Dead Cow created Back Orifice, ostensibly a nicer Windows admin tool / Trojan horse, it had a plug-in system called Buttplugs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Back_Orifice

I am so glad someone caught this. :D

The STPIHKAL reference to the Shulgin's PIHKAL / TIHKAL books is what sold me. https://stpihkal.docs.buttplug.io/

In 2013 I imagined this industry as being the next big thing. Mixed with VR, Deepfake, and Voice changing tech, literally anyone could be anyone fucking anyone.

Thank you Buttplug, for getting us closer to that dream.

Total Recall


> I see it as an expressway for the continued objectification of women

Why? And do you also see it as an expressway for the objectification of men? Of not, why not?

It probably is also an expressway for the objectification of men, but it seems to be used (currently) for women - arguably the objectification of women is much more widespread with modern porn and tech than it is for men. Look at the number of female sex robots on the market versus male sex bots (and no, dildos/fleshlights emulating a single body part such as a penis or vulva by any reasonable argument is not the same kind of objectification of a whole body sex toy), or the amount of porn focusing on the female body versus the male body, nudes of female celebrities leaked versus male celebrities, pornographic deepfakes of women versus deepfakes of men, etc.

Objectification in media is common to both sexes. That does not mean to the same degree or in the same quality. (I'm making no comment as to the harm or benefit of objectification[0] here, and I don't buy the idea that programmable sex toys are a form of objectification).

[0] There is interesting research, though: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-019-01024-0 and https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ab.21719

Women are not showing demand for male sex bots.

It is far easier for a woman who desires sex to have it quickly with something higher quality than a sexbot (think tinder) than it is for men. As a result, men want to buy sexbots. Woman who want male bots likely make up less than 5% of the sexbot market and that's generous as hell of an estimate.

I'm willing to bet that this is not all social construction, and a world where men were equally as objectified would only cause slightly more demand for male sexbots. Additionally, I think male objectification is more widespread than you give it credit for. Though, much of it is men objectifying other men.

You're right about your other points though.

Women do purchase more conventional sex toys than men do, however. This suggests that women, even when they can get sex, are not as satisfied. If we go with the idea that dildos/fleshlights are not necessarily objectifying, it still leads to the conclusion that both men and women are dissatisfied, but they deal with it in different ways, with some men buying sex robots. An alternative hypothesis is that women on the whole simply don't objectify as much, and would not be in the market for sexbots. Yet another hypothesis is that these women feel as though the technology for male sexbots is not good enough yet (and an associate hypothesis for that would be that women look for other features in sex which cannot be so readily emulated by a robot).

I do think male objectification is widespread, but it differs in quality and scale. If male objectification is big, then female objectification is huge. The hypothesis relating to sex robots supports that, but I'm willing to accept it is only one of many.

So while this is off on a downvoted thread, I'm gonna leave the Buttplug Mission Statement here, which wraps up our core philosophies in relation to objectification and usage of our technologies:


Buttplug is committed to the safety, autonomy, and human rights of people using it as a sex technology standard, and stands in solidarity with the many intersectional rights of all individuals to be sex positive. As such, Buttplug encourages individual empowerment through self-directed education, and responsible behaviors which are also respectful of the needs and the choices available to everyone.


Note that sex robots is a... linked field to what I do but still kind of its own thing. I interact with a lot of the researchers there but it's really had to figure out whether the theory stops and any actual, real productization begins.

Shoe on the other foot, there's way less stigma around females using toys, see the proliferation of devices reaching back to mail order catalogs and ancillary mediums like romance novels. The argument with content or lack there of sounds like there's a huge undertapped market that's waiting for someone to fill it? Otherwise wouldn't the argument be that the demand is met? In practice it appears that there are different interests (males being visual, women cerebral) and stigmas at play.

I'm sorry your mind immediately goes to such a dark place regarding this subject. Sex and sexual fantasy can be a wonderful thing.

Ironically I think you are the one objectifying women by implying those devices are only for pleasuring women.

The standard meaning of "objectification" is not "inserting objects into".

Not it's not, 100% sure the meaning they were going for is "the action of degrading someone to the status of a mere object"

Emacs elisp hooks for controlling your sex toys? Yep. The examples are priceless. For instance tying completion of Org-Mode tasks to various vibration settings to "provide reward for task completion or motivation to get it done."

I do plan on supporting Buttplug in deldo at some point. :D

People joke, but this is actually really cool! It makes a lot of sense. Nice work :)

Thanks! It's been a lot of hard work but it's a super fun project, really glad people enjoy it. :D

Hi, I think you do a service to the world, I am a seller of toys, as shop owner, but was/am reluctant to sell teledildonics just because of security problems, I will keep a close look on your project to decide if and when I will start selling them and point my customers to your project. Any chance of using golang in the future?

Hopefully once the FFI bindings happen in Rust, yeah! We had someone produce a Go library right when the project started 3 years ago, but it's SUPER dated now and wasn't really supported much.


I see... Problem for me would be that updating that library would mean an investment of all these different devices, and you know they ain't come cheap. Would it be an option to create a virtual device which could be populated with the hardware rules of each of these producers, to enable swift creation of bindings in all sorts of languages without quick aging of code?

This is something we get questions about constantly, more from the DIY side (where people want to make < 10 devices) than from manufacturers (who still aren't sure what to do with us yet). There's a few standards popping up right now to talk at the device level, I'm hoping to do some writing about those soon. While my company blog isn't up quite yet, best way to stay in the loop on that is the project twitter account - http://twitter.com/buttplugio

You should definitely start a gofuckme campaign.

Now we just need an IDE integration plugin for github repos

"you'll get more pleasure when you make a commit that gets this test suite passing..."

Could be a great mechanism to encourage open source contributions ;)

I mean if I write a VSCode Buttplug plugin now I guess there's github codespaces...

Never,ever,even in a million years would I have thought that such a thing exists. Judging by the number of supported models,seems to be pretty popular too.

It's more us digging around places like Aliexpress to find what's out there. We're just dedicated. :D

Care to name some of the favorite/popular ones? You know... for science.

For reliability, if you just want a vibrator of some form factor to work with, go with something by Lovense (except for the Max, which is kinda shit). Easy to get, just works most of the time, decent ecosystem. https://lovense.com

If you just want the absolute god damn cheapest but still computer controllable wand, the Youou Wand for $16 (I buy these in bulk to give out at workshops): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F6XWF2F/

For strokers, Kiiroo Launch (aka Fleshlight Launch but branding is changing currently). Not the best thing on earth, but it does the job right now and there's currently an open source firmware rewrite happening (because there's some masochist out there that loves reading PIC24 assembly. Yes it's fucking PIC24 based.)

If you've got a 3d printer, the (currently mostly penile stimulation focused) OSR2+: https://patreon.com/tempestvr. Something like $2-8 for plans, 3D printable in about 2 days on a stock printer, multi-axis movement, vibrate development community and a ton of add-ons happening.

There's also really interesting DIY stuff happening on the vibrator/small controls side at:

https://www.touchyfeely.tech/ http://www.bodyinteraction.com

I'm half-asleep and I've got to say reading that title made me do a double-take and sober up fast. Didn't expect to see something like this on Hacker News lol (but it is legit innovation / hacking! Seems there's a lot of work put into this.)

Love to make code, code to make love.

"Teledildonics"... what a time to be alive. Just when I thought we were running out of new frontiers!

I didnt see the DefCon Talk posted on the page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnxcPeemHSc

Shout out to Ted Nelson for giving us one of the greatest words in the english language.

So, Nelson gave us Dildonics in the mid 70s, which Howard Rheingold expanded to Teledildonics in 1990. It's a team effort. :D

He’s probably pretty pissed that this, and not Xanadu, is what will end up being his legacy.

Anyone hiring buttplug developers yet?

So there's actually a startup behind Buttplug! Mostly consulting focused at the moment. I hope one day to be able to add job postings. :D

This sounds like some erotic sci-fi come true.

"In a world swept by a pandemic leaving billions unstimulated, teledildonics kept us together."

For the 4 months before COVID-19 shelter in place, I was working on a paper about remote intimacy and proxemics, as a lot of the work I'm doing on Buttplug has really interesting implications in digital proxemics.

Shelter in place started a week after I turned the paper in for publication. Now I feel like I was just staring at the sun for months, and am trying to figure out how to deal with what I thought were projections being realities.

It's pretty fucked up.

Here in Berlin, the unavoidably well-advertised dildo company seems to have started a poster campaign just for the pandemic. Roughly translated, the posters read “Keep Calm and Use Dildos”.

(Obvious NSFW Warning)

I am not sure if I get banned for posting this, but is this the company you are talking about: https://dildoking.de/ ?

Yes. I wasn’t going to look to it for much the same reason.

It's a sad comment on society, that this comment is automatically flagged offensive because it contains the word "fuck". -- paraphrased from fortune files, offensive section

"Get back there! I've got the Power Pasties, and I know how to use 'em!" -Dr. Flexi Jerkoff, Flesh Gordon


The book Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk comes to mind.

The io domain is actually for a British Indian Ocean Territory. I know a startup I worked at had issues being allowed to use an io tld previously, are there any concerns with the tld given the provacative nature of teledildonics?

Edit: Correction of British Territory to British Indian Ocean Territory

.io domain is for British Indian Ocean Territory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Indian_Ocean_Territory

> The only inhabitants are US and British military personnel and associated contractors

So wait, all .io domains map to a US/UK military base in the Indian Ocean?

How does that affect privacy...?

It doesn't "map" anywhere. It's just a domain name. DNS happens like it happens for any other domain.

Given that they didn’t give a f*ck about the natives (they kicked off all the native population in the 60s and 70s), probably the same amount of care.

In day-to-day usage, it doesn't, at all. Who owns a domain doesn't have anything to do with where the traffic flows.

If I owned buttplug.io (which I don't, unfortunately), and someone sent traffic to me (by visiting the website), DNS would look up and return the IP address of my server, and that's where the traffic would go.

In theory, since the owner of the TLD controls the root DNS servers, I guess they could hijack the DNS to send the traffic to their server instead. We would know if that happened though.

Actually tlds may have restrictions and can enforce them. This isn't very common, and most of the past issues with IO has been their very slow time processing registration requests as opposed to content takedowns, but some tlds require ssl and others do restrict adult content. Some restrict things to a given topic (which they get to be the judge of) and others require legal hoops to register such as proving you're a non-profit.

With the explosion of tlds and those tlds being privately owned, there's a good chance we'll see more of these problems in the future though right now it just seems like the owning orgs are just looking for easy money.

Yup, it's a risk on multiple levels, that I of course found out about after building the project and marketing it. I've got some backup domains, but I'm gonna lose a lot of link juice if/when this goes.

another fun one is that .af is for Afghanistan and websites must comply with Islamic law, sometimes Shariah depending on who happens to say they are the government at the time.

fortunately, most domain hacks for .af are colloquialisms that don't translate outside of native English easily

I knew the Rust community would be all over this.

I really hope that twitterdildonics and twitter_breakcore in your repos can use the same input and run synchronized.

But actually, running things in another direction, breakcore→dildonics, would really contribute to me, ahem, dying happy.

Those are from like, 2007, so they'll need some upgrades. :D

Twitterdildonics came out at SXSW 2007, which was one of Twitter's first major conferences I think. There's (SFW) demo video from it:


Well, I'm now aspiring to the same level of dedication to avoiding eye contact.

I'm surprised I didn't know something like this existed until now. I think it's ingenious honestly to open source software for pleasure hardware. I also learned a new word and I love it!

The patent described in that article (US6368268B1) appears to have expired in 2018.

Yup, patent expired in August 2018 (I did a lot of research and consulting work on that, it's a huge story in and of itself). Of course, these days the landscape is death by a million tinier patents.

No Amazon Echo or Google Home interface? I thought all the IoT devices were supported by them these days..

[edit:] Well this totally exists!


Could you imagine the privacy implications? "Hey! It looks like you could use more fiber in your diet". Then suddenly, you're seeing Metamucil ads all over Facebook, and you start getting discount vouchers for prune juice in the mail.

Has the site been hugged to death or has my government decided I'm not allowed to browse such filth?

> Can support Bluetooth, USB, HID, Serial, and Audio controlled toys.

What is an example of an audio controlled toy?! Does that mean voice commands, or does that mean some sort of high-frequency (outside human-audible range) binary channel? I looked but did not see.

So, audio stuff is still a bit of pipe dream, but I want to at least try at some point.

Easiest would be something like what OhMiBod puts out, which is basically just a vibrator with an RC band pass filter as speed control. We could generate audio to work within the sensed reaction range there.

Electrostimulation toys also use waveform input, since it's translating signal-to-signal basically, but that's a whole other huge discussion.

Finally, if you consider HD Rumble (think what's in a Switch Joycon or VR controller), those also take audio buffers since they can deal with far higher update rates than eccentric motors.

perhaps the audio port (6.35mm) providing a data channel?

That is correct. (Though usually 3.5mm.)

The only places we usually see RS-232 (either swing or TTL) over TRS is estim, funny enough.

My Elecraft KX3 radio's computer link cable is almost the same RS-232 over TRS pinout that the ET312 uses. I think one pin is different, though, and had to build a sort of crossover cable.

Ok, since you're familiar with the ET-312...

You know we reversed the ET-312 to the circuit level, right? :)


Yeah I've looked at that a number of times. I always thought it was cute that they went to so much effort to scrape the part numbers off the ICs.

I don't think I've ever laughed this hard on YC. cheers.

What a shameless plug

My first thought was "ouch, what a badly chosen project name" but then I saw what it was for and it's actually perfect.

If somebody created a chat-app based on this, perhaps it could push WhatsApp out of the market (cf. VHS versus Betamax)

Most companies that make consumer hardware distribute their own apps, of wildly varying qualities. :)

Which is why an app that supports all of the gadgets regardless of make/model could be useful.

Cant wait to see some teledildonics penetration testing expert jobs.

Spark plugs?




We have reached peak startup

My electric toothbrush is about to get a pretty cool upgrade.

could be probably connected to "spankchain" to drive the toys with blockchain tokens. I see a lot of use cases here :D

I believe the concept of teledildonics is patented, but the owner is a really cool cat and I bet he would think this is a great idea.

Patent expired in August 2018, but not before the owner was kind of a dick with it for decades (allowing a licensing cabal to dictate what was done around the industry), then died in 2015, after which a patent troll got ahold of the patent, and sued 8 companies out of business.

Sooooooooo yeah. It sucked.

Well thats a lot of code to anal-ise

Javascript controlling something you put inside yourself or your partner. What could possibly go wrong?

teledildonics made my day!

I wonder if they do any form of penetration testing?

For more information on security testing with sex toys, check out the Internet of Dongs project:


Yes I'm serious.

Also, check out smealum's talk from Defcon 2019, showing a security pop from firmware to electron!


Obviously, they specialize in backdoors.

Hmm. Would a security breach count as assault?

/serious hat

I don't believe there's been a case history yet of "hacking + sex crime", but many of us in the community believe that this is a strong possibility.

It's one thing to target fintech, or some website, or a general SaaS offering. However when you're targeting sextech with the knowledge that a hack allows remote unintended stimulation (read: sexual assault), shows that they intended the hack and intended sexual assault.

Depends on how you frame it, really. Julian Dibble's "A Rape In Cyberspace" is a oft-referenced piece here, written about LambdaMOO in the mid 90s, but still applicable to online environments today.

(CW for reasons apparent in the title of the piece)


I get what you're saying in the abstract, but when I try to imagine it concretely, it stops making sense to me. Eg. a person is using a sex toy and tries to make it vibrate a certain way, but an attacker has caused it vibrate a different way. Sure, in some vague sense it's an unwanted type of stimulation and someone is involved in it that isn't supposed to be. But I think that scenario tortures the definition of sexual assault beyond recognition. Am I just not thinking of more obvious cases?

For example, say someone is in the BDSM scene, and hands their lover access to a buttplug that they are wearing. The plug is tied to the phone via BT and an app. The lover can stimulate when they wish. There's intent and consent here.

Hacker shows up on the appservers, causing the buttplugs to continuously stimulate. There was no consent here, as the consent was only to the lover. This third party who committed a crime to gain access never had any permission.

Consent was not there. Hacker used illegitimate access to then physically commit battery (lay hands or object on person without approval) in a sexual way.

Getting a bit gross here, you might feel pretty assaulted if the person doing the breaking was someone you knew, maybe someone you detested, or maybe a parent or step-parent or older relative. Or younger, for that matter.

I could keep going, but it gets worse...

Take your upvote and get out.

In the backend, I'm sure it's necessary.

Suddenly we see serious HN commenters become 5 yr olds lol

Let's stick with 18yr olds, just to be on the safe side, considering the context.

Fork this.

Welcome to the Internet of Dicks (IoD)

Open source software really _has_ penetrated every niche.

If I make an app that posts a FB status every time you use a buttplug, I'll call it FacePlug.

May I also suggest ButtFace?

Would it be terribly slutty for me to suggest a Peer2Peer protocol? Not everyone's into Master/Slave connections...

We're working on WebRTC now. There's still the issue of STUN server handshaking there but it's Peer-to-Peer after that.

What use case are you thinking of? Two peers, or routing through networks of distributed decentralized peers?

For the latter you could take your existing model and add an extension "gateway protocol" that would connect servers to servers, and through that protocol support advanced routing, which would in effect become a distributed decentralized peer to peer network.

(obviously all that is a lot more work than you need for your use cases, but it seems like an interesting way to give people sexual agency without either a) commercial infrastructure or b) potentially unsafe public services)

Tell ya what, this thread is starting to fall into the ether, so I'll throw you an email.

Anyone else who happens on this and wants to know more, please feel free to DM me on twitter or email me, all the info is in my bio.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact