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Intimacy, Sex, and Critical Technical Practice

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Association for Computing Machinery
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Microsoft Word - GIBBS et al. - Sexual Interaction Workshop _CHI'06_.doc ‘Was it good for you darling?’ – Intimacy, Sex and Critical Technical Practice Abstract Sexual expression is innately intimate. How can digital technology, which is so often meant to be generalized and catch-all, hope to service such a particular human activity as sex? On the basis of seven weeks of ethnographic data collected across six pairs of co- habiting partners, we have theorized about the nature of intimacy [1, 2, 3], developed artifacts for its mediation [4, 5, 6] and explored methods for its study [7]. In this workshop we wish to take this work as our departure point, and reflect on: the importance of approaching intimacy and its relationship to sex critically [8, 9]; the complex and multiple meanings of intimacy in the context of ongoing intimate relationships; and finally, the losses and risks attendant on supporting intimacy between distributed couples. Keywords mediated intimacy; mediated sex, critical technical practice, ACM Classification Keywords H.5.3 Group and Organization Interfaces - Asynchronous interaction. Copyright is held by the author/owner(s). CHI 2006, April 22–27, 2006, Montréal, Québec, Canada. ACM 1-59593-298-4/06/0004. Martin Gibbs Interaction Design Group The University of Melbourne, Australia [email protected] Steve Howard Interaction Design Group The University of Melbourne, Australia and HCI Group, Aalborg University, Denmark [email protected] Jesper Kjeldskov HCI Group, Aalborg University, Denmark [email protected] Frank Vetere Interaction Design Group The University of Melbourne, Australia [email protected] Christine Satchell Interaction Design Group The University of Melbourne, Australia [email protected] 2 Introduction The scene from the 1970’s porn classic ‘Debbie Does Dallas’ [10]

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