Sex toys and science: What’s not to love? When we first heard about Orgasmatronics, an amazing company that’s focused on using innovative technology to make smart, accessible, and accessible sex toys for all, we were instantly intrigued. When we contacted them, we were delighted to hear that they were about to launch a new crowdfunding campaign—and we knew we had to get on board. Check out the following interview for an in-depth look into Orgasmatronics, and don’t forget to check out their Indiegogo funding page!
Unbound: I'd love to hear how Orgasmatronics began. What inspired you all to start the company?
Orgasmatronics: I (Doctor X. Treme) wanted to start a company based on selling new technology since I was a kid. I never knew what exactly. I tried building lots of different things, and either the tech or the business never made sense. Then I started building sex toys and saw both how badly people wanted them and how accessible the market is. But I'm not a web/marketing/brand/copywriter person! Help! So fortunately Alexandra Ars also believed in the mission and was able to be the other half of the team initially, doing all the web marketing branding stuff while I did the technical and assembly stuff. I'd say both of us were inspired by people's reaction to toys and how great an impact we can make with them.
U: What makes your products different from others on the market?
O: Well, the X1/X2 Orgasmatron and the Ambrosia Vibe are very different from one another in addition to being different from other things! The Ambrosia is totally unique in that it allows someone not born with a penis to experience the sensation of having feelings in a penis by having sensors in a strap-on dildo. Nothing else does that. We've had people say that our product helps with their gender dysphoria, and that's amazing for us to hear. It's less of a sex toy than a body extension that can be used for sex. We hope to soon make much more realistic Ambrosia dildos of various sizes. The X1/X2 Orgasmatron is unique in how deeply it moves while still being a hand held machine. The motion has been compared by users to the Sybain or big industrial fucking machines which are out of reach to most people due to size and cost, but the X1/X2 similar in size to typical wand products and a fraction of the cost of a fucking machine.
U: What are the biggest differences between the X2 Orgasmatron and the X1 Orgasmatron? What make the X2 Orgasmatron itself unique and revolutionary?
O: The X2 Orgasmatron (just like the X1) is a hand-held gyrator with Sybian level stimulation at a fraction of the size and cost of high powered sex machine like the Sybian. The X2 Orgasmatron is a more ergonomic, stylish version of the toy that’s even more durable than the original – the better to guarantee it keeps on giving intense orgasms as the years go by.
I'm (Alexandra Ars) thrilled to have the opportunity to give our awesome customers the enhancements they have been asking for. The most exciting improvement going from the X1 to the X2 is easier user handling. The gyration or vibration is minimized in the hand and stronger where it counts. The attachments hold steadily in position. The position of the pink silicone boot and cord allow for precision control, and the speed dial is always within easy reach. Plus, the cord is a manageable length and easier to pack in a purse for a night out.
U: Your upcoming crowdfunding campaign sounds awesome! Could you describe the products that are in the Master Beta Kit in detail?
O: Master Beta Shield board (with spring clips for easy assembly), Arduino UNO R3 board, Bullet Vibe, AA battery holder with switch, AA batteries, Connecting Wires: USB A to B cable, 6' male pigtail, female pigtail.
U: What makes the Master Beta Kit different from other products you have created before? Again, how is the Master Beta Kit different from other products on the market?
O: The Master Beta Kit is an easy erotic engineering project for everyone interested in learning to hack hardware with an Arduino. It is a collection of all the bits and pieces you need to “hack” your very own sex toy. The kit provides a no-experience-needed, no-soldering-needed, easy introduction to using an Arduino to control vibrators and other sex toys. It lets even a beginner program vibration patterns for their own vibrator! And it’s not just limited to sex toys – the Master Beta Kit provides the skills to work on a variety of basic programming projects. We just think vibrators make hacking a whole lot more fun.
There are many basic Arduino programming kits at SparkFun and AdaFruit, but ours is the first kit for hacking a sex toy. The maker movement has always been dedicated to broadening the participation in technology.
That’s our goal here: we want to give artists, programmers, musicians, servers, nurses, gardeners, and everyone else the ability to create projects and build devices that might seem out of reach for anyone without an electronics or physics background.
We also way to increase the diversity of sexual experience for all people (really. it’s part of our Mission(ary) Position). In the past our products have been sex toys that push the boundaries of who can enjoy a sex toy and what kind of pleasure experiences people can have. With this kit we want to give even more control to the individual to create their own unique pleasure play. What better way to increase the diversity of sexual experience than by opening things up for more diverse group of people to get involved in creating that experience?
U: What's the most important thing a completely beginner hacker should know about the HackOff board?
O: The HackOff board is a simplified version of the Master Beta board. It allows a beginning hacker to do the same basic project as the Master Beta Kit. It is built to do just the basic vibe hacking project whereas the Master Beta board in the Kit allows expansion into more advanced projects as well. Another difference is that the person will need to purchase the other parts of the kit separately from places like SparkFun or AdaFruit. The HackOff is a great purchase for someone who already owns an Arduino UNO.
U: What's the number one thing you'd like Unbound readers to know about Orgasmatronics?
O: Our Mission(ary Position) is explains why we do what we do. This is the reason we exist. We want you to get off. Yes, you.
We believe in increasing the diversity of sexual experience for all people. We use the principles of applied physics to enhance current technologies and create fundamentally new products. We keep our customers at the heart of our developmental process and embrace the range of sexual desire presented to us. We encourage open, uninhibited dialogue and employ a wide cross-section of testers for each toy. Your satisfaction is our success.
Our motto: “less pants, more science,” reminds us to ignore traditional constraints and explore our creativity both in the lab and in the bedroom. It inspires us to push the boundaries of existing methods. To study new techniques. To invent. To make it possible for you to fulfill your sexual potential. Also, we hate wearing pants.
U: Finally, at Unbound, we're really focused on empowering women to own their sexuality and love their bodies. I'd love to hear more about how Orgasmatronics promotes this mission!
O: As the female co-founder of Orgasmatronics, I (Alexandra Ars) feel passionate about women learning more about their bodies and how they can experience sexual pleasure. I grew up in a very conservative household. Any discussion of sex centered on its sinfulness outside of marriage. In my quest to live up to my community's ideals, I locked my sexuality away in a dark corner of my mind.
Using the Magic Wand and then the X1 Orgasmatron helped me discover my sexuality and learn to orgasm. The X1 and now X2 Orgasmatron can be a great toy for a woman who has trouble reaching orgasm. It has also allowed women to learn to squirt! I'm excited about the ways our toys allow women to explore their sexuality!
I also learned new things about my body during the development process for the X1Orgasmatron. I hadn't realized that the part most people think of as the clit is just the tip of the iceberg. The clitoris actually extends up inside the body. The X1/X2 Orgasmatron is designed specifically to stimulate the interior clitoris with its strong gyrating motion for a deeper orgasm.
We also blog regularly about sexual health and have plans to do more in that area. Orgasmatronics also has made a point of hiring women and gender queer people. The majority of our company is female and/or gender queer.
Special thanks to the folks at Orgasmatronics for taking the time to answer our questions. Head over to their campaign here and learn something (and get off!).
Interview by Sarah Hogg, a queer feminist activist with a penchant for reproductive justice, healthy sexuality, and body positivity. Follow her Twitter musings @sarahlovely.