Sexuality and Technology
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference & Publishing Project

Saturday 1st December 2018 – Sunday 2nd December 2018
Vienna, Austria

It has become evident that Technology is affecting our Sexuality.  From how we form, maintain, and end relationships to how we seek and have sex, technology has a pervasive impact on every facet of our sexuality. As such, the lexicon of dating has evolved to include terms like swiping left, swiping right, ghosting, breadcrumbing, catfishing, and hatfishing among many others.  Advances in sex toys include smart toys, wearables, artificially intelligent toys, remote controls, virtual reality (VR) pornography, customization with 3-D printing, toys with built in cameras, and advances in sex dolls as some examples.

This conference sets out to investigate the ways in which technology is changing sexuality, as it revolutionizes the ways in which we seek and select partners, shapes the types of encounters we engage in, and re-writes our scripts for erotic action. Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her pasks an important question in its examination of the unlikely relationship between Theodore and Samantha, the virtual assistant of his operating system.  Samantha asks in the film: “Like are these feelings even real?  Or are they just programming?”

Our first interdisciplinary Sexuality and Technology conference seeks to create a lasting network of professionals, practitioners and researchers in all fields related to this topic; to isolate, discuss, and explore the main issues, pressing matters, and recent developments in this field of activity; to identify areas to be subsequently explored in further depth; and to generate collaborative action that will lead to real, lasting change in the way sex and tech is perceived and approached globally. We welcome any relevant and insightful kinds of contribution from classic presentations to proposals for workshops; topics for debates, panels or round tables; brainstorming sessions for creating policy materials or research instruments; sharing of event-appropriate professional or personal experience or new apps, tools, toys, or technologies; or meaningful forms of artistic expression (film, poetry, photography exhibitions etc.)

Key Topics

Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Connection – Is the sex we are engaging in thanks to technology fundamentally different or is technology simply facilitating access to sex and relationships? Are we having more sex, better or worse sex thanks to technology? How is it creating and fostering relationships? What impact are advances in virtual reality creating? How will continued advances in technology impact our relationships?
  • Disconnection – What negative effects has technology had on our romantic relationships; The unplugging by plugging in phenomenon; The “alone together” phenomenon; Technology fails and its impact on relationships
  • Diversity, Inclusion, Exclusion – How has technology helped with diversity and inclusion? How has it amplified exclusion?
  • Managing Risk – Fake profiles, bad dates, the dangers of “proximity dating”; Revenge pornography; Safeguarding sexual history and anonymity on line; Risk management tactics; ‘Catfishing’; Stalking; Creating false meaning; Trolling
  • Online Dating – Historical perspectives of dating in comparison to online dating; Advances in dating apps; Censorship in dating apps; Ghosting; Face to face (FtF) vs virtual communication; Intimacy enhancers or detractors?
  • Online Pornography – Changes in the pornography field due to technology; Advances; Ease of accessibility; Risks; Online sexual compulsivity; Financial Dangers; Desensitization to FtF relationships
  • Sexual Wellness and Health – Sex education and mobile apps; STI management Apps: The advantages and disadvantages of posting STI status on line
  • Sex Work and Technology: Is on-line sexual commerce booming? What impact does technology have on sex work? What policies are needed? What policies are hurting?
  • Sexuality and Affect – How did that hookup really feel? Empowerment/disempowerment narratives; Ghosting and its impact; Virtual versus FtF relationships; Intimacy and vulnerability; Avatars and multiple personas
  • Sexuality, Technology, and Education – How is technology influencing the way we learn about sex in schools, higher education, or in general? Online pornography as sex education.
  • Sexuality, Technology, and Gender – What are the gender and identity issues due to the rise of technology?
  • Sexuality, Technology, and Geography – What cultures seem more willing to experiment? What is it about these cultures which allows this to happen?
  • Sexuality, Technology, and Robots – What advances are being made? How will robots or similar technologies impact our relationships?  Advances or problems in developing new apps, tools, toys, or technologies?
  • Sexuality, Technology, and The Generations – How does technology impact the young versus the old differently?
  • Social Media and Sexuality – What impact does social media have on how sexuality is perceived and viewed?
  • Technology and Sexual Violence: New media’s role in the normalization or prevention of sexual and gendered violence: New forms of sexual and gendered violence via new media and technology; Survivors and media exposure/coverage; Media propaganda upholding state violence
  • Teens, Technology, and Sexuality – Sexting; The criminal distribution of the naked selfie as child pornography; Codes and neologisms (“Netflix and chill”)

What to Send

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 8th June 2018. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 22nd June 2018.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 19th October 2018.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Sexuality and Technology Submission

Where to Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Organising Chair: Kristine Seitz:

Project Administrator:

Details and Information


Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room

Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 8th June
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 22nd June
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 13th July
Booking Form Submissions

w/b Monday 16th July 2018
Circulation of Draft Programme

Friday 20th July 2018
Invoices issued

Wednesday 22nd August 2018
Final date for payment

Friday 14th September 2018
Circulation of Revised Programme

Friday 19th October 2018
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Monday 5th November 2018
Final programme to printing

The conference is being held at the Hotel Mercure Wien Westbanhoff

Felberstraße 4, 1150 Wien, Austria
Tel : (+43)1/981110 - Fax : (+43)1/98111930

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms..

Standard Room - Singe Occupancy
€103 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy
€112 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.

Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.

You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 13th July 2018 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 22nd August 2018.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.


A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.


A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.


An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.


An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.


Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.


Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration