A long-overdue update

It’s been a while since we’ve updated the Tacit Pleasures blog, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been hard at work! It’s been a busy few months for us as we work to turn our vision into a reality.

We’ve built a new workshop as we continue with prototyping and experimentation. Right now, we’re moving into an experimental phase, focusing on answering a lot of questions about the best possible design for the bionic penis.

We’ve started to explore custom-casting silicone prototypes. Our early, proof-of-concept prototypes were made by modifying existing sex toys, and those prototypes have allowed us to validate that the idea really works. But now we’re starting to do design work that can’t be done just by modifying off-the-shelf sex toys, which means we’ve had to teach ourselves the arts of mold making and silicone casting. We’ve done some successful initial tests that show we can mold electrodes and sensors directly into silicone, so we believe we’re on the right path.

We’re also discovering, perhaps unsurprisingly, that there’s not a whole lot of research in the literature about neural density and resolution in the vagina, and there’s almost nothing about variations in sensitivity among different people.

One of the things we’ve learned form our proof-of-concept prototypes is that different people have different sensitivities in different parts of their internal anatomy, with some volunteers being more sensitive at the base of the vagina than at the top, some more sensitive at the top than the base, and some pretty uniform in sensitivity everywhere. That tells us that the final device has to be “tunable” for each individual wearer; there needs to be a way to tell the device where you’re more and less sensitive, so it can adjust the signals accordingly.

How much variation is there? How much “tunability” will the final device require? Those are some of the things we’re trying to learn.

We’re also building a special test rig designed to get a handle on the resolution of the sensory nerves in the walls of the vagina. How close together can the electrodes be? How many electrodes can we use, before the wearer can no longer feel individual points of sensation? This is also some of the research we’re working on right now.

We’re getting lots of emails showing tremendous support for this project, and we would like to thank you all for your enthusiasm and support. Keep checking back for updates!

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