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Danielle Knafo: Fifty Shades of Upgrade:The Existential Escapades of Sex-Tech (Symposium: I U)

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

September: 30th -- 10 am Pacific Time

Danielle Knafo

Fifty Shades of Upgrade: The Existential Escapades of Sex-Tech Sex and technology have always partnered for pleasure, novelty, transcendence, and perversion. The tech enterprise is rooted in original anxiety about limitation and how it might be transcended. Tools and machines help us with our battle against threat while making possible new modes of pleasure. The internet and associated technologies (AI) have enabled the creation of an alternative adult world of sex dolls and sex robots, cybersex, teledildonics, sexting, catfishing, internet porn, and more in the widespread deployment of omnipotent fantasy. This paper explores the intimate connection between sex and technology, discusses the massive sea change in the new sexual landscape, and offers several clinical vignettes, including one of a man who loved a synthetic doll, to illustrate this connection.

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will learn about the intimate relationship that exists between technology and sexuality 2. Attendees will understand the existential and psychoanalytic explanations for some of the technological advances 3. Attendees will become conversant with novel technological advancements that are driven by sexual desire

Danielle Knafo, PhD, is on the faculty at LIU, NYU, and Adelphi Universities. She is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has written and lectured extensively on the topics of gender, sexuality, and technology. Her recent books include: The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture and The New Sexual Landscape in Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Recent papers include: Guys and Dolls: Relational Life in a Technological Era; Digital Desire and the Cyber Imposter; and Natural Born Deviants

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