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Open Source Sex Science & the PSIgasm Project

#sxsw #XXXcience


Our leading scientific institutions are failing to address sexuality with candor or rigor due to pressure from funding sources, journals, and cultural stigma. The resulting gaps in our collective understanding of human sexuality effect each of us, but are especially harmful to marginalized communities.
The PSIgasm Project is an open source hardware project aiming to create sophisticated, inexpensive DIY tools to record physiological data about the human sexual response. We cast custom silicone inserts embedded with sensors to monitor pressure, temperature, heat flow, and blood volume density. This data is streamed wirelessly to a computer and displayed in real time.
By taking the systematic investigation of sexuality out of academia and industry, we gain access to larger and more varied datasets and reduce our dependence on politically motivated funding sources. Crowd funding and DIY communities are now making this plausible on a large scale for the first time.



Maggie Mayhem Co-founder Mayhem Multimedia

Maggie Mayhem is am HIV prevention specialist gone rogue. From 2003-2010 she worked as an HIV test counselor, clinic coordinator, and eventually the HIV Senior Specialist of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, CA. In 2009 a grant sent her to Bagamoyo, Tanzania where she lived and worked at the district hospital and in the field providing care for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

In addition to this, Maggie is a loud and proud sex worker and sex worker rights activist. She has been an adult performer since 2008 as well as writer and porn theorist. In 2012 she was honored to be invited to speak on a panel about the ethics of pornography with Gail Dines, one of the most prominent porn abolitionist voices in feminism today. She is also a spoken word performer and artist who lives to grab the mic at your nearest open mic in a cozy cafe as well as Princeton University.

In 2010, she and Ned Mayhem traveled to Leogane, Haiti for a month of disaster relief work together before conspiring together to build The Psigasm. In addition to living in a tent during hurricane season to volunteer as rubble workers in Haiti and designing and building sex technology, The Mayhems also operate and perform on their own pornographic website.

They live together in Oakland, CA with their cat and

Ned Mayhem Co-founder Mayhem Multimedia

Ned Mayhem is a physics graduate student who moonlights as a queer porn performer. Ned co-founded the PSIgasm Project in 2010 with his partner and the project's brainparent, Maggie Mayhem. When they aren't hacking dildos to quantify arousal response, Ned and Maggie run the independent DIY porn site showcasing the couple's own brand of perversely heartwarming queer sexuality. As an adult performer Ned has appeared in films that have been recognized at Cinekink, AVN, and Feminist Porn Awards. Ned also uses the software he has developed for MeetTheMayhems to empower other adult performers and independent studios to control their own web presence and monetize their own content. In addition to, Ned’s software runs such sites as,,, and (coming soon) Ned loves to share his pornographic enthusiasm with crowds, and he's spoken at MomentumCon 2012, Sex Week at Harvard, Arse Elektronika, Hackmeet, Nerd Nite SF, and OpenSF. If you want to chat - or screw - drop him a line!