Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Japan's pizza vending machines, Detroit Design Month, "sextech" patents and more

Detroit Design Festival Grows to Month-Long Extravaganza In 2015, Detroit was anointed as the first-ever UNESCO City of Design in the United States. This honor pertains to their astounding past and the continued revitalization coursing through the Motor City as we speak. In celebration of the award and the abundant creative energy, Detroit Design Core has expanded the Detroit Design Festival from one week’s worth of activities …

The “Sextech” Patent Has Finally Expired

Since 1998, a patent on “teledildonics”—the connection of sexual-stimulant devices to computers, phones, or tablets has stunted innovation in the sector. The patent strictly protected the—arguably overly broad—idea behind the “method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks.” The owners of the patent, in the eyes of analysts and competitors, seemed to own it solely to troll smaller companies …

An Illustrated History of Sex Toys

The oldest pleasure object (that we know of) was a siltstone dildo estimated to be about 30,000 years old. Later, others were made of ivory, bone, limestone and even teeth. After their launch, electric vibrators were sold as beauty devices that could help with wrinkles and health issues. It wasn’t until the late ’60s, thanks to the feminist movement, that vibrators and sex toys were …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Pleasure toys, foldable phones, Basquiat's personal style and more in our look around the web

1. Places to Have a Timeout From Helsinki Design Week Helsinki Design Week is on now, and Dezeen asked local interior designer Joanna Laajisto for her list of favorite spots when a little time out from the event is necessary. Laajisto’s picks are—as expected—beautifully designed and very photogenic. From the Helsinki Design Museum to the restaurant Atelje Finne and sleek Jackie bar, the list is …

The Women Who Helped Make Vibrators Mainstream

In her new book “Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stories Changed the Business of Pleasure,” Lynn Comella explains how—in the ’70s—a small group of feminist retailers helped make vibrators and sex positivity mainstream. Opening stores specifically for women, these shop owners not only sold pleasure objects, but also helped to educate and empower women. In the book, Comella interviews “Dell Williams of Eve’s Garden in …