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A Brief History of Teledildonics

In 2000, Time magazine's Joel Stein tried--and failed-- to do the nasty with a porn star using an Internet-operated sex toy. How far we've come...or have we?

In 2000, Time magazine’s Joel Stein tried – and failed – to do the nasty with a porn star using an Internet-operated sex toy. How far we’ve come. Or have we?

“There are two fields in which I’m anxious to see technology improve: medicine and hard-core pornography. And since I’m not sick yet, I’m pretty focused on the porn thing,” Stein wrote in his 2000 article about the burgeoning cybersex industry.


Pornography, of course, was one of the first things to take off on the Internet. According to a 2000 study conducted by MSNBC, 60% of all web visits at that time were sexual in nature and 25 million Americans were spending between one and 10 hours a week looking at online porn. So, it made sense to postulate that the world of virtual sex would explode, so to speak, before the decade was out – especially considering how low the bar was to start out with.

Stein’s attempts were facilitated by the websites and, but he found the devices unappealing and the virtual choreography unsatisfying.

Through the online dating website HighJoy, I experimented with cybersex a few years later, but was equally underwhelmed. I had pictured that I’d feel like Barbarella in the Orgasmatron, but ultimately found that the telephone is a much sexier piece of technology than any USB-operated dildo.

I, like Stein, found the toys to be clunky and the interface frustrating. “The physical awkwardness of typing and touching myself was a problem – kind of like trying to eat an ice cream cone while washing dishes,” I wrote in Salon.

Honestly, I haven’t given the area much thought since my 2005 dalliance, but technology has come so far in the last five or ten years that I assumed there was some cybersex technological revolution that had occurred when I was busy playing Scrabulous. Apparently not. As far as advancement goes, the video below illustrates about as good as it gets.

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