September 21st, 2005

Slashdong has an incitefully funny post up at the moment about the apparent craze for regarding the new Revolution controller as a sex toy, and just how ridiculous that is. While I personally can’t help but feel excited about anything that vibrates (The trans vibrator is in the mail! Now only the infamous Hello Kitty “back massager” eludes me), all this talk about sticking controllers up gamer butts has opened my eyes to something I never really thought about before: guys. The world of video game sex toys, beneath the prominent sugar-coating of girly articles on how to have your boyfriend get you off on Rez, is about men and their asses.

That may seem like an obvious statement, especially when you consider how many more male gamers there are out there than female, but, I guess, as a girl with girl anatomy, when you look at a vibrating, phallic object, “ass-bound” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. Of course, it depends on the girl. But all these years I’ve been laughing about/admiring game-related vibrators, I guess I’ve been imagining women using them. Silly, right?

Maybe not. It’s hard, on first glance, to imagine the gaming community as we know it to be so into anal toys. These are the guys who put up tough, male exteriors, who boast about the hot “chix” they want to have sex with; they like fast cars, realistic graphics, and (female) ass. Does the fact that a guy likes it up the butt mean he’s less masculine or heterosexual (if that’s his thing). Duh, no. But, while we may realize that, most of America doesn’t.

All of which just seems to me to reveal a lovely underbelly to the supposedly “macho” world of gaming when, in truth, some of these hardcore guy gamers are taking their oh-so-beloved peripherals and, quite literally, shoving them up their asses.

Don’t believe most gamers like anal stimulation? No worries, we agree on that! See the comments for this post for some friendly clarification.

Tags: Blog

13 Responses to “Take Your Revolution Controller and Just Shove It”

  1. qDot Says:

    First off, I have been told that I need to scale back my description of the Trance Vibrator, as “LOINQUAKE” is only valid due to the fact that my thighs are made from a mix of shale and limestone, providing an unstable and easily quakable foundation. (Translation: Don’t be looking for sustained vibration with the TranceVibe. It’s great if you use it for Rez, but just plugging it in and using one of the current vibe controllers on the PC sucks. It’ll be a lot better once we have nicer gain and attack controls, whic is on the way).

    I have the Hello Kitty Vibrator (as I have Sanrio and San-X everything, which you’ll notice by looking at the pictures on slashdong). Not particularly useful. The ears hurt. However, OMG CUTE.

    Now, onto the actual article… After the first release of the SeXBox back in February, the reaction to the phallic-centricness of it was a little offputting to me. Being an engineer, I tend to think about the things I build as modular solutions, i.e. Just because there’s a dildo on that controller right now doesn’t mean you can’t replace it with something hole-like. However, I quickly learned that most guy gamers don’t have that cognitive ability, it’s kinda WYSIWYG taken to a new extreme. There were HUNDREDS of snickeringly yet uncertain derisive comments about it being only for girls or gays or whatever.

    SeXBox v2, I used a toy for guys instead. Granted, it didn’t get the same amount of press as SBv1, but this time, silence. Complete and total silence.

    I think part of the problem is, most guys simply aren’t aware that sex toys exist FOR GUYS. The most knowledgable people I talk sex toys with are either women, or hardcore BDSM guys.

    It makes sense, too. You walk into a toy store and are presented with the amazing wall o’ vibes, with the overly expensive and rather boring men’s toys stuck in the dusty back corner. There’s quite a few reasons for this (physics, mechanics, and storage being one of the major ones, something I may write an article about soon, but for a basic idea, compare the pleasure generated from, say, a rabbit vibe, to the Priceless ( http://www.toysinmotion.com ), comparing size, cost, and engineering), but the fact is, guys probably just aren’t AWARE there are things they can stick it in.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    First of all, I should clarify something. I think I’ve already pissed off at least one intelligent reader (who was kind enough to send me an email), so this seems worth pointing out:

    I don’t think all gamers are interested in anal stimulation. I don’t the majority of gamers are doing it, or even, comparatively, “a lot” of them. My point is simply that the controller/sex toy community, however small it may be, is more directed at men then I ever imagined.

    qDot (above) helpfully suggests that men may not realize there are toys out there for guys, that when they see a vibrator they might not consider just where it can go. My fiancé Scott (hi!) also suggested that perhaps there’s so much to-do over controller/vibrators because men like to fantasize about the women they could use them on, even if they never get to put their toys to work.

    I think both of these comments are really important ones, and that they definitely apply to the thousands, millions, whatever number of men out there who have thought about controller/vibrators – who have looked at their rumble-equipt peripherals and wondered what it would be like to use them.

    But the guys who actually DO do use them, the ones who actually own toys, are, in my opinion, in a totally different category. I refuse to believe that all the male gamers out there who have modded controllers, trans vibrators, etc., are using them on their galpals, or waiting around till they have some. I really think that, even if no one’s speaking up, there’s a lot more anal stimulation in the gaming community than anyone, especially the “macho” gamers themselves, are willing to admit.

    Like qDot mentioned, society as a whole has different standards in regards to toys for men and toys for women. You still might not want a dildo on your coffee table, but it’s becoming more acceptable for girls to own vibrators then men (Due to Sex in the City, male fantasies, so on and so forth). Yet, it’s not considered “normal” for guys to like anal pleasure; the majority of Americans don’t understand the difference between being gay and liking it up the butt. Our culture in general has a major ass taboo, which is what makes this such a delicate issue.

    The point, in the end, isn’t to laugh at gamers and say “Look what dandies you really are.” It’s just to try to make us reconsider and possibly open our minds a little about what we believe to be “masculine”.

  3. Adrian Says:

    I saw this story linked off of Kotaku and I thought to myself….”what?!” (question mark and exclamation point and all)

    I consider myself a fairly hardcore gamer and i can honestly say the thought about putting a controller up my bum has NEVER ocurred to me. Sex and videogames are completely separate from each other.(Thats in my case, but i know there are some guys out there that get off on stuff like virtual bouncy chicks playing volleyball and that sex scene in GTA)

    Even when i see those controllers with the dildo attached i just think they’re made for women and move on to the next story. I dont think its necessarily the case where I am frightened of ‘anal pleasure’. It more that the combination of the two just doesnt make sense to me.

    controller up the bum = painful
    controller in hand = pleasureable

    controller up the bum + controller in hand = I couldn’t be a hardcore gamer anymore because the truly hardcore would be able to take the original xbox controller while i would dying over the type S.

  4. Bonnie Says:

    Hi, Adrian. Like I said, not for everyone. Certainly, there are plenty of people who look at a controller and don’t think to put it up their butt. But I think that has to do with the distinction I mentioned earlier, about those who think about these things, and those who actually do them… All, of course, are totally valid approaches.

  5. Illidan Says:

    I have to agree with Adrian. I think that in all likelyhood you’re the only person to ever think of rectal insertion + videogame controller.

    .. er, wait. People are very strange. So maybe not. But still.. just.. HOW!? Do you people walk around looking at each thing you run into in life thinking “I wonder how this would feel up my..”

  6. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    Illidan: First off, it’s a bit unfair to say “you people” in this situation. I understand that it’s not something you’ve ever considered, but there are a surprising number of individuals (yes, male and female) who consider anal stimulation pleasurable. That doesn’t necessarily mean a full object inserted INTO the anus, but sometimes light pressure or vibration around the area.

    And it’s not strange to enjoy your own body, even if it’s in ways that aren’t widely advertised. If anything, it’s entirely natural to enjoy anything and everything that feels pleasurable.

  7. Bonnie Says:

    Illidan: I totally second Scott’s “you people” comment – not cool. Also, you’re just off-base. Personally, I’m not into anal stimulation. And the entire point of the post was that, since I’m a girl who doesn’t, frankly, like it up the butt, I never even considered video game controllers as anal toys before.

    As for me being the only person to come up with “rectal insertion + video game controller”, that’s just silly. Have you read the Slashdong piece linked to in the post? The entire point is that there’s a ton of talk floating around the game world about Revolution controllers and anal stimulation. Look for yourself.

    I know it’s a sensitive topic, but pointing fingers isn’t going to change anything. Obviously, some people are into that kind of thing, some people aren’t. I’m not saying what’s good and what’s bad. And Illidan, no one is saying that YOU like anal stimulation. The idea is simple: there’s a sizeable number of people interested in controller sex toys (just type into Google, as Slashdong suggest), and, obviously, not all of them, or even most of them, are female. There’s more going on here than we’d like to admit, which seems obvious to me from your reluctance to talk about it.

    Illidan, I don’t want to alienate you. But open discussion without being judgemental is what this site is all about. If anal stimulation isn’t your thing, whatever. It isn’t my thing either. But that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it. Let’s try and stay open minded.

  8. Kelly A Says:

    My immediate reaction when I read Bonnie’s original article was “what the heck is that girl smoking?”. But then I decided not to be judgemental, so I didn’t post anything ;)

    Basically, I’m sure there are *some* men who enjoy some sort of anal stimulation. But I’m pretty sure, without any statistical validation, that those men are very much in the minority. And I’d say that of those relatively few men, even fewer would want anything so large as a typical vibrator. That said, what one person finds pleasurable another may not, and I don’t want to be judging people so long as their preferences don’t harm others. I’m absolutely certain that there are a statistically significant number of men who *do* find large objects up the posterior to be pleasurable. But “statistically significant” is below 10%…which I think anyone would be hard pressed to call a “majority”.

    That isn’t to say that men don’t find vibrators interesting. A vibrator can be used for more than insertion, for one thing: on sensitive surface skin anywhere, for example. And of course, there is the fact that the vibrator invokes images of how it might be applied to a willing partner, and that can be very appealing.

    So…personally, I found the original article, taken on the surface, as off-balance, possibly misdirected and structured for shock value. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but I didn’t find the article as thought provoking as Bonnie’s usual work, and in fact it actually drove me away to a certain degree. By no means should this suggest self editorializing, Bonnie- its just my opinion.

  9. Illidan Says:

    After writing up several extensive explanations, I decided to go with the simple one: I wasn’t considering whether what I said would be understood in the manner I intended it, and it was not. I wrote in the style I might use to converse with friends I know well who would understand my meaning. What one person finds humorous, another will not, and I didn’t catch the alternate interpretation of my post until I saw it. Therefore, any misunderstanding of said post was my fault and a direct result of my stupidity.

  10. Bonnie Says:

    Illidan: sorry for the misunderstanding on my part as well.

    Kelly: Nope, not smoking anything :-). Like I’ve said before, this is definitely not about the “majority” of guys; it’s just about the majority of guys who own video game controllers modded to be sex toys, which, like you said, is a small number indeed.

    Sorry to not be “thought-provoking” :-), but I personally find it very interesting that a community that considers itself so traditionally masculine is made up, in whatever small part, by men who use peripherals for anal stimulation. For me, it calls into question the narrow-minded perceptions of masculinity that so many people in the gaming industry hold.

    I think that it’s important that we, as a gaming culture, examine all aspects of our members, whether or not we personally agree with their activities. And I would direct your attention yet again to the number of male gamers out there, as you can easily find via Google, who are obviously into this sort of thing.

    In the end, maybe what’s more interesting than the anal play going on is our reaction to it…

  11. Illidan Says:

    Okay. Finally time for a (hopefully) better phrased response.

    Firstly, what I’m not trying to say:

    I’m not attacking anyone’s right to personal time as they prefer. I’m not trying to group anyone together as strange.

    What *is* my point, then?

    I think you mis-read the gaming community. People from all walks of life participate in a diverse variety of activities. But have enough gamers gamers considered putting the revolution controller where the sun doesn’t shine to make it a trend? The idea almost made me fall of my chair laughing when I saw it.

    Howso? I looked through the assorted links on Slashdong, and found not one person really considering it as a sex toy. What did I see:

    “All the consoles i bought were nintendo, but seeing that the nex controler looks like a sextoy I now know that I’m never going to play another new nintendo game again. In other words ill buy a playstation. Something that I should have done a decade ago.”

    Consider the Punks and Nerds cartoon. Sure, it’s about someone using the controller for self-pleasure. What’s the next cartoon in the strip about? Cheering up a depressed individual through bukkake.

    I’m seeing a flood of sarcasm and humor related to the controller, but (as of yet) no-one taking the “alternative” uses seriously – except for those reporting on the people making the jokes. It quite probably seems like I’m a bit too certain of myself, but if there’s one crowd of people who’s I know, it’s stupid teenage gamers like myself; and when they’re all ridiculing something that just doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t actually mean any of them support it.

  12. Bonnie Says:

    Illidan, I’m not responding to the comic hype on the issue (because, like you say, there certainly is a lot of that, and it shouldn’t in anyway be taken too seriously) but to the community that uses sex toy/controller (They certainly do exist, whether or not they’re mainstream.). That really is all.

  13. Brummbar Says:

    Illidan: Do you people walk around looking at each thing you run into in life thinking "I wonder how this would feel up my.."

    Well, I’m a straight guy and I don’t walk around wondering what it would be like to insert my penis into every concave surface I encounter…

    …well, ok. Some of them. Maybe half.

    Three quarters, tops.

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