Maybe sexting wasn't quite the crisis they warned us about

A meta-analysis of 15 published studies concluded that "although sexting might be an indicator of risky sexual practices, it is not a particularly good one." Read the rest

Finally, you can sext with a bot

What would visitors from space think if they saw your sexts? Nonsense words accompanied by alien knobs of human flesh -- the creases, the arresting hairs and things. Would it turn them on?

Now you can sext with a bot and try to arouse it. The prolific Mike Walker has developed Sext Machine, "an SMS-based game exploring the frailty of algorithms and human sexuality." You send it fleshy pictures and sexts until you can convince it that it's doing something hot.

Ideally you don't send it actual nudes -- the ruddy floret to the left of your knee, maybe, or a close-up of the rude, hard tendon at the back of your heel, and you see if the bot thinks it's hot. "I was interested in exploring all of the little arbitrary things about human sexuality that make perfect sense to us, but would seem completely arbitrary and foreign to an alien species or something unfamiliar with humanity," Walker tells me.

"I was really excited about experimenting with the form of human-algorithm interaction that's at the core of the game," he says. "This isn't an experience where you consume a bunch of pre-written content, or explore some sort of consciously-designed game system. You're just interacting with a pure algorithm, and one that was designed with no intention of being appropriated this way (I'm using a nudity-detection service meant mostly for businesses who run sites that allow upload of user-generated content)."

Sext Machine also intends to prompt the player to think about and interact with their own body in a new and different light. Read the rest