Urszula is currently working on two projects, both focused on digital technologies and sexual relationships.
Project 1: Teledildonics in the Media: An Analysis of Journalism on Virtual Sex Toys
This project explores how teledildonics – virtual sex toys – have been written about by journalists over the past three decades, since the term was coined by technology critic Howard Rheingold in 1991.
Teledildonics systems such as the Kiirroo Interactive Couples Set and Lovense Bluetooth Sex Toys consist of hardware devices—male and female sex toys, such as sleeves and dildos—that connect to each other through a computer, via WiFi or Bluetooth. The toys transmit haptic data, allowing partners to experience the physical sensation of touch – through vibrations, contractions, and other motions – during virtual sex. Most teledildonics systems include an online communicative platform, similar to Skype, that allows users to video chat while using the sex toys.
Analyzing journalism about teledildonics over time can provide insights into the shifting cultural meanings and social trends around sex and technology.
Project 2: Technology and Women’s Sexual Pleasure: A User Experience Analysis of OMGYes
This project (in collaboration with Dr. Leah Scolere from Colorado State University) uses interviews and the walk-through method to better understand the user experience of the site OMGYes.com, an instructional resource for enhancing women’s sexual pleasure.
This project is currently in data collection phase.