"Pleasure is your birthright": Digitally enabled designer sex toys as a case of third-wave HCI

Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

75 Scopus citations


In the past decade, HCI has become increasingly preoccupied with the deeply subjective qualities of interaction: experience, embodiment, pleasure, intimacy, and so on, an agenda sometimes grouped under the heading of "third-wave HCI." Analytically understanding and designing for such qualities has been an ongoing challenge to the field, in part because its established theories and methodologies are comparatively weak at understanding and being responsive to human subjectivity. In this paper, we present a case study of a group of designers who have, in the past few years, revolutionized their domain - sex toys - by combining embodied pleasure, intimate experience, health and wellness, emerging technologies, high-quality design processes, and social activism. We consider the implications this case could have for researchers innovating on especially third-wave HCI design theories, methodologies, and processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2011 - 29th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings and Extended Abstracts
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450302289
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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