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Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1(1), 4;

The Cyborg Mermaid (or: How Technè Can Help the Misfits Fit In)

Independent Researcher, Zambesidreef 68, 3564 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Human Geography, Radboud University, Comeniuslaan 4, 6525 HP Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Adrian David Cheok, Cristina Portalés Ricart and Chamari Edirisinghe
Received: 1 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Love and Sex with Robots)
Full-Text   |   PDF [241 KB, uploaded 24 February 2017]


In feminist studies, the figure of the mermaid has long been regarded as flawed, disabled and less-than-human. Her theoretical counterpart in that respect would be the cyborg, an image used to show that with the aid of robotics, humankind could be larger than life. What would happen if we could combine those two images and apply them to create “super love” more-than-human relationships? This article explores the possibilities of technology for “mermaids”, people who normally fall outside the norm, to satisfy human desires in a new way. Two case studies will be presented, first we will look at people who identify as having ASD (Autism Spectre Disorders) and second we explore the use of technology for people who have BDSM-oriented desires (related to Bondage and Discipline (B&D), Dominance and Submission (D&S), and Sadism and Masochism (S&M)). We briefly discuss the added value of practice theory for exploring how people are altered by technè. View Full-Text
Keywords: mermaid; cyborg; more-than-human; practice theory; autism; BDSM; hug machine; pegging mermaid; cyborg; more-than-human; practice theory; autism; BDSM; hug machine; pegging
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mussies, M.; Maliepaard, E. The Cyborg Mermaid (or: How Technè Can Help the Misfits Fit In). Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2017, 1, 4.

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Multimodal Technologies Interact. EISSN 2414-4088 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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