Kat Sweet

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(NSFW) Speaking at BSides!

Approximately six weeks from now, I’m going to speak with a room full of hackers about 3D printing sex toys.

As some of you may know, next month I’ll be speaking at the information/security conference BSides Las Vegas.  Fourteen other presenters and I make up the Proving Ground, the speaking track for people who have never presented at a major conference.  Each of us is paired with a seasoned mentor to help us develop our talks and hone our presentation skills.  (I've found mine to be a tremendous help thus far.)  BSidesLV recently released the Proving Ground lineup -- it looks to be a fantastic track, with topics ranging from malware to mental health... and then, of course, there’s my own NSFW abstract.  

In “The Sensual Side of 3D Printing”, I’ll be discussing the ins and outs (pun fully intended, as are any subsequent puns) of designing and constructing sex toys with a 3D printer.  Laughter is wholeheartedly encouraged, but I also hope this talk will be educational.  (If all I wanted to accomplish was making my audience laugh via a string of innuendos, I’d just throw back some shots and do karaoke of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Dirty World”.)  While 3D printing is a fairly simple skill to pick up, there are several special considerations when using 3D printing for sexual purposes, from materials selection to design concepts for an optimal -- for lack of a better term -- user experience.  We’re toiling in a sensitive area here.  Therefore, I’ll be taking the audience through the steps of Toymaking 101 so that they can go home to their 3D printers and get cracking, without repeating some of the rookie mistakes I made while first learning.

Why 3D print sex toys?  Well, it’s an ideal way to tackle some of the problems with the state of sexuality in our society -- namely, lack of privacy and lack of choice.  What constitutes “acceptable” sex is very narrowly defined, and so we get uniformity.  Enter 3D printing.  Since 3D models are infinitely customizable, we’re free to design our toys exactly the way we want.  Which, when you think about it, is hackery at its finest.  After all, what is hacking if not learning how something works and taking control to make it our own?

Many of us have known the awkward-turtle experience of entering the skeezy conventional sex toy shop (in my college town, it was the oh-so-classy “Whack Shack”).  Depending on our location or living situation, that may be our only option for getting sex toys, and the price we pay is that our private sexual desires are made uncomfortably public in a world that’s telling us that those desires are bad.  3D printing provides us with the privacy we deserve -- we can make our own toys at home, and there’s no one around to judge us.  Even the NSA doesn’t have to know when we 3D print a toy.  (Although they know when I write about it... Hi, NSA.)  3D printing sex toys means our sex lives only have to be as public as we want them to be.

Plus, it’s just really, really fun.

I’m thrilled to be attending and presenting at BSidesLV, a conference that seems very welcoming and certainly has a rich history of hosting talks that push the envelope or are a little outside the box.  In the weeks leading up to the conference, I’ll be discussing my talk further, and in the meantime I’m happy to answer questions.  Happy printing!