Art: it’s Sexy and it Knows it

Sexual Diversion: Cybersex

Virilio focuses on how technology has made cybersex and pornography an accessible and often desired part of life. In my opinion, he seems to imply that technology is solely to blame. However, the world has always been a sexually fascinated one, and you can see this with art, which has always served as a means for pornography to surface. You can see it as early as 22,000 BC sculptures, to the 1400’s Birth of Venus by Botticelli, to Ingres‘ scandalous Grand Odalisque.

 Woman of Willendorf, 22,000 BCE

Venus of Willendorf, 22,000 BCE

Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1483

Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1483

Ingres, Grand Odalisque, 1814

Ingres, Grand Odalisque, 1814

No matter what the time period, there has always been a fascination with what Virilio calls “the object-woman”, but also with sex. Technology, however, has provided new and more accessible ways to fulfill sexual desires, and Virilio claims that this cybersex technology will ultimately distance us completely. For example, he talks about the data suit innovation that “orchestrates sexual sensations” as a replacement for sex, and virtual weddings as the newest way to tie the knot. Do you agree with Virilio’s arguement? Do you think technology can completely replace our desire for both sex and love?


With these new technologies, there are more demands for women. Multimedia has changed the way we percieve the female body. Now not only do women have the pressure to look a certain way, but technology provides the means to reinvent the way we look. Again, while technology has certainly made this accessible, there has always been “an ideal” women are pressured to adhere to. If you look at Botticelli’s painting, Venus is depicted with perfect and ideal proportions. Because Ingres’ woman is intentionally painted as distorted, his Odalisque was not recieved so well. These ideals existed long before technology. However, technology has allowed these ideals to more dominantly infiltrate our lives.


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