! a platform for sensing and indicating human arousal !

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We should be more comfortable talking to one another about sexuality and intimacy. To help normalize a general dialogue about sex, I'm creating a series of wearables that will sense and indicate human excitement using a variety of sensors as input... and some crazy mechanical nonsense of my own design as output.

The platform I have designed for this wearable project is open source, so I invite you to participate as well, whatever your gender may be. My goals:

1. I hope that if you choose to log and studying your own bio-feedback, the act of focusing attention on new aspects of your body will help you know yourself better than ever before.

2. I hope that if you choose to create your own wearable augmentation to indicate your physical status, you shed any stigma that may have ever been associated with your sexual nature!

3. I want humanity to take ownership over its most basic right, without shaming, victimizing, or feeling embarrassment.

Hi everyone! This spring I've committed to make myself "a suit of armor" that will indicate my physical status... particularly my level of excitement. My intention is to manipulate a multitude of sensors in order to track my physical status, so that when I reach a heightened state, some other mechanical wearables will actuate to indicate when this threshold is reached!

As a creator of technology and physical things, I would like to live in a world where our bio-data can be used to communicate what is otherwise invisible... and as a result, grants us humans the ability to express our individuality in new and unique ways.

I wish to wield technology in order to make life more interesting for myself, and everyone I interact with. If you would like to accomplish the same thing, I welcome you, fellow maker/hacker, to talk to me about your thoughts and reflections. Lets make the world awesome by choosing to know ourselves, and each other better. <3

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The scope of this project involves the creation of many individual systems, all with their own poetry and quirks. So far I have finished one peripheral, the "BEAT BOX" - however, several others are in the works right now for other parts of the body...

...I'm making all of this stuff in the moment, as the ideas come. The idea fuel is conversation with friends; the kind that occur when completely sober in the lab, as well as the kind that take place long into the night after all other conversation is exhausted... and everyone is super buzzed.

  • Goals For the Next 30 Days!

    Sarah Petkus3 days ago 0 comments

      FIRST OF ALL, SHE BON in a finalist in the Human Computer Interface category for the HackaDay Prize!! This is so very exciting!! =D

      This means two things: ( 1 ) I get a little bit of money as a result to spend on materials and parts ( 2 ) I have a TON of work to do in the next month!

      As a refresh on the memory, the SHEBON project will involve the creation of (9) unique wearable augments! Even though I intend to complete them all in time, I can only expect to make so much before the HackaDay Prize judgement period begins on October 22nd.

      It seems like a good time to hash out my goals before then, and also go over what I am preparing for open source documentation!

      As much as I'd like to have the entire project ready to prance in by the middle of next month, I don't have enough humanly power and waking hours to pull that off. I will try my hardest to have a decent sampling to show... say... a full outfit. Here is a list of the sub-systems I will shoot have have developed by the judgement period:

      1. nips (propellor pasties) 
      2. pelvis (beat box)
      3. buns (spank skirt)
      4. thighs (hot spot)
    Read more »

  • Away for August! (but not lost!)

    Sarah Petkus08/31/2018 at 00:36 0 comments

    Hey everyone! I realize I teased with two new enticing project challenges: the "HOT SPOT" and the "SPANK SKIRT" and then went quiet all month long!

    The reason is that I have a very important exhibition coming up at the beginning of September involving my robot offspring, NoodleFeet, and needed to focus all of my parental energy into readying them for the big day!

    I promise to get back to SHE BON soon. I have an update on the HOT SPOT in progress right now, and am well on my way to getting both peripherals up and working (to some relative degree for a first iteration lol).

    Until I return, you can check out what I've been preparing for on my youtube channel : ROBOHEMIAN! (I'll be in Linz for the ARS Electronica festival)!

    Here is a little bit of the fun I had a few weeks ago while calculating how much torque is necessary to spread my buns. :3

  • Talking About SHE BON @ HDDG 32

    Sarah Petkus07/29/2018 at 22:02 0 comments

    Two weeks ago I gave a talk about SHE BON at one of Supply Frame's HDDG Meetups in San Francisco!

    This was super exciting for me, as it was the first time I spoke publicly about the project. I really had no idea how it would go over with humans outside my immediate social bubble- and I was pleased with the amount of feedback I received from everyone at the bar afterwards.

    Read more »


    Sarah Petkus07/26/2018 at 21:42 1 comment

    I had every intention of finding some proper suction cups for research and development on the augment for my "buns". My plan was that this coming weekend would be all about my butt- but no such suction cups did I find... no… so plans had to change.

    In leu of what I sought, I did stumble upon some meaty-beefy silicone grilling mitts on clearance in Target's summer section (that they were shedding to replace with back to school crap).

    These gloves are thicc and have a satisfying weight to them (just the way I like). There were two pairs of these bad boys left. Since they titillated something within me, I snatched them both up. I wasn't yet sure where my subconscious was running off to- but I figured I'd catch up with it eventually.

    Read more »

  • ! Incoming Challenge ! ... THIGHS

    Sarah Petkus07/25/2018 at 22:05 1 comment


    As the name suggests, this augment involves heat… and a spot

    If you’re familiar with the other modules part of this project, then you know the drill. This device senses something from the part of the body it is designed for, and then utilizes that part of the body to indicate that which is sensed. I get extra credit if I can create a feedback loop with a totally unintentional byproduct of pleasurable stimulation... So here we go! Challenge: THIGHS

    (note: I originally labeled the 'spank skirt' as being the augment for the thighs, but decided it made more sense for the buns. so I switched it!)


    INPUT: Body temperature… specifically the atmosphere between my thighs; a place very likely to exhibit temperature fluctuations for a number of reasons.


    OUTPUT: an elevation in body temperature beyond a designated threshold will activate a geared motor or winch mounted on either hip. The winch will tug on a kevlar tendon stitched through the length of a suction-cup-like tentacle whose cups adhere to the surface area of either half of my… butt. When the winch winds, the tendons should be pulled taught, tugging the flesh of my checks apart from one another. At the point when separation is achieved, a light will shine through the gap that’s created, backlighting the negative space formed by this action.

    Once the gap is formed, this will allow the free flow of air into the open space. This will cool the area below the triggering threshold and trigger the system to unwind the winch, releasing the cheeks.

    Think of Moses… parting the Red Sea. Think of any of those action…. Sci-fi……… adventure films where the ocean separates into two solid walls with nothing but a vertical slice in between. I want that. This is my goal.

    Read more »

  • Lets Enhance Ourselves... Together

    Sarah Petkus07/17/2018 at 22:03 1 comment

    This week, the "Human-Computer Interface" category for the HackaDay Prize popped wide open. 

    I've followed this contest from the sidelines since the beginning, so I'm very excited to announce that I'll be participating this year............. by entering none-other than the SHE BON project as an open source offering! 

    If you aren't familiar with the project scope, "SHE BON" is a wearable platform for sensing and indicating the user's level of arousal with mechatronic body augments.

    How might we use our body data to communicate what would otherwise go unnoticed? Can the technology we create help us express ourselves in new ways, adding another layer of texture to our daily lives?

    Read more »

  • Sensing from & Indicating to : NIPS

    Sarah Petkus07/06/2018 at 00:46 0 comments

    Most of the areas of the body listed on the PULSE board are open and waiting to receive something to control: arms, thighs, head, buns, nips, and neck!

    Each comes with its own challenges and list of potential ideas. After much thought, I decided to direct my attention to the nipples for my next project... 

    The first nipple augment is called the "Propellor Pasties"! As its name suggests, it senses fluctuations in the size of the wearer's nipple using IR distance sensors and then indicates the fluctuation by spinning a geared propellor mounted to the other breast.

    Read more »

  • Building the Whispering Crotch Box

    Sarah Petkus07/01/2018 at 22:11 2 comments

    At some point this Spring, I recall closing my eyes after a long breath and thinking to myself, "I could really use a pussy whisperer right now."

    Soon after, the words dissolved from abstract meaning into disassociated literal imagery: "pussy. whisperer." -I ran into the lab to fetch a pair of calipers. I measured my pelvic bone, opened a fresh document in CAD and started modeling an actual box that ergonomically fit between my legs. It would house a speaker aimed directly at my lady parts... and do precisely that, the pussy whispering.

    It came to be known in the days to come as the BEAT BOX! -and would become the first wearable I'd develop as part of the SHEBON project! :)

    The augment reads the wearer's heart rate and then outputs sound through a speaker aimed into the pelvic bone at a volume relating to their beats per minute (BPM). The byproduct of the whispering is a subtle vibration that only the user is aware of until the whispering intensifies to the point that it becomes audible to others near by.

    The first version of this wearable's enclosure looked somewhat like a fillet of fish, so I embraced its coincidental visual metaphor and integrated the idea into other aspects of the design... (the pet name of the BEAT BOX became the "crotch salmon"  :3 )

    Read more »

  • The Function of the PULSE Circuit Board

    Sarah Petkus06/26/2018 at 19:34 0 comments

    I describe the "PULSE PACK" as being the platform that runs the SHE BONproject. It connects everything with data and power, yada, yada.... but what is its function? Tell me more about this brain, right?

    When I first started daydreaming about the cortex of the whole project, it was a matter of aesthetic rather than function.I saw a mass of cables and wires branching out like veins from the upper back of a human... making the body look like a fruit waiting to be picked from a branch of some sort. I wanted to see lines spilling out from one location; the visual affirmation that everything has a definite point of origin.

    Read more »


    Sarah Petkus06/24/2018 at 20:56 0 comments

    The PULSE PACK is a wearable computing platform that orchestrates a collection of body augments, all part of the SHE BON project. These augments are individual systems that sense and indicate when the user's body enters an "excited" state. Each system is designed for a particular region of the human body and uses various types of sensors to detect bio-data as input, and then communicate the user's status with electronic and mechanical devices as output.

    You can think of the PULSE PACK as a wearable breakout board. Its primary function is to house the master circuit board, called the "Pulse". This heart-shaped Pulse board sends power and data over a network of cables, much like a heart pumping blood to distant organs through a series of veins.

    Why would I have the platform which senses and triggers the indication of my arousal be a BIG. TRANSPARENT. PULSING. HEART-DRUM?......Well... it might be a metaphor. ;)

    I am defining the cyber-punk reality I wish I lived in by creating my own works of technology and art. Also, there is something satisfying about a wearable that routs wires all over my fleshy bits. Bottom line, this is another meditation in the book of Sarah: body data as a means to communicate the intimate and the unseen.

    Read more »

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Josh Starnes wrote 07/25/2018 at 15:34 point

so a wireless sex toy?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 07/25/2018 at 16:37 point

seems a little overly reductive

I'm still chuckling (sensibly) over "suit of amore"

  Are you sure? yes | no

RandyKC wrote 06/25/2018 at 07:19 point

Isn’t what you’re wanting to build more of a suit of amore rather than armor?

First I would say that you’re talking to the wrong end. Maybe use a bone conductive speaker on a headband to communicate body status to the head? Plus if you’re communicating to another person maybe some sort of wireless protocol could be useful that could be enabled or disabled since sometimes it just isn’t appropriate. (There is room for a joke about Bluetooth here.) I tried to teach my wife to use semaphore flags but that killed the mood.

  Are you sure? yes | no

PointyOintment wrote 07/21/2018 at 07:22 point

Those could be other options, for sure, but I think they've been done by many people already. Doing new things is interesting.

On the other hand, I did see something recently about a link between bodily sensations and emotional awareness. IIRC, the gist was that people who more strongly feel physical sensations in their bodies are also more in tune with their own emotions, and this was thought to be because emotional perception is based on physiological changes. I.e., emotions start in the brain, which affects the body's state, which the brain then perceives. So technological means to strengthen that final step, whatever form they take, are probably worth pursuing.

In this project, so far, I think transforming one kind of physiological variable to be sensed in a different way (heart rate to vibrations/audio, nipple swelling to spin speed, …) is quite likely to do a good job of that, and it's less intrusive and more distributed over different senses/levels of conscious awareness than a display that you have to read and interpret, or audio feedback that you have to listen to and interpret.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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