In 2005, American photographer Timothy Archibald published a book called Sex Machines in which he met these creators and their various DIY sexbots in their garages, bedrooms, and living rooms.

He told BuzzFeed: “While researching the world of inventors for another project I came across a listserv online for people who were inventing these primitive sex machines. It was anonymous, but the inventors shared photographs of their inventions.

To me this little subculture had everything in it I ever wanted that would allow me to tell a rich story about men, women, and America.

Each person had a reason why this thing spoke to them, and every answer was different. I recall one inventor attempting to explain his fascination to me and it really came down to the sound the machine made. At that point I realised that like with many things, the appeal is really dependent on the individual.


Dan and Jan Siechert with The Monkey Rocker –Bakersfield, California.

Dan:“I wanted to create a machine that someone would really want to use for themselves, something that was appealing to women and men, something silent, convenient, discreet, high-end, and attractive. Something nice that women would not be afraid to try.”

Jan: “It doesn’t really surprise me that Dan came up with this. We aren’t an especially sexually obsessed couple, but we are as normal and driven as other people are. Dan is a man. I mean, I don’t think he can help but think about these things, the sexual, the mechanical, the craftsmanship of it all. Men are wired to think this way.

“He is a man — I think that explains enough.”

Marlon: “I don’t remember how I stumbled across first seeing a sex machine, but upon doing so enlisted the input of a female who was sufficiently open and articulate to talk to me about the range of functionality that she would like to see in a state-of-the-art erotic device.

“I had this female over to test the machine I built. It takes a while to get a female in the mental place where they can articulate what they would like, but we put the time in and got her to explain, then adjusted the machine accordingly.”

Carl Geers, pornographer, MachineMaidens.com.

Carl: “I’m looking at my audience and I’m thinking ‘What do you want to do, get off looking at a machine?’ I mean I’m in this situation where I’ve got this site, with this name MachineMaidens.com, and I’m kind of stuck. I kind of limited myself by putting the machine in the title.

“For me, it’s really just about women, beautiful women. But now I’ve got this niche I’m trying to work, the machine thing, and I really think it’s limiting me. If I could do it over I would in a second.”

Ruiin and Tuesday – Portland, Oregon.

Ruiin: “For me, the Holy Fuck is something to have that I made. Like with sex, I’m not really into the orgasm. Tuesday got to take it out for a ride, but that’s about it. It’s not like I’m loaning out a rake to someone to use in their yard. A lot of people gross me out. I’m picky as far as who could use this thing.

“I don’t really know what we are going to do with this machine now. Halloween is coming up. I was thinking of putting a ghost on the end and setting it up in front of the house for the trick-or-treaters.”

 

FERN O’ Carolan