Interdisciplinary Conference


in Art & Science

26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online

139. PLAY ME: sonification of sexual arousal for stage performances
Session: Session "NSP16 / Allure"
Speakers: Rudolf Arnold

PLAY ME is an innovative system for the musical expression of erotic emotions and sexual arousal. It is based on the fusion of artistic public masturbation and experimental orgasm research. Although artistic music and dance performances by means of PLAY ME break several taboos, they are non- explicit as well as thrilling and full of excitement and tenderness. 

Several psycho-physiological signals like ECG, EEG, heartrate, blood pressure and skin conductivity are recorded and sonified during masturbation. In sex science, pulse, galvanic skin response and breath are common methods to quantify sexual arousal. Measuring pelvic muscle tension by way of a pneumatic anal pressure sensors is one of the most significant gender-neutral methods in orgasm research. Mapping anal pressure and contractions to pitch, makes sexual arousal and orgasms audible in an agreeable and stimulating way. Different masturbation methods are used on a femme-identifying subject to find out what leads to the strongest changes during sexual stimulation. These methods are  also examined in order to discover practical, emotional and aesthetic ways of stimulation during music- and dance-performances. The aim of the research done with PLAY ME is the development of a  convenient yet artistic system to make the emotional and erotic connections between performers tangible by music and to showcase the human body as a musical instrument. Short performances for a limited public evaluate the reactions to this kind of art.

Rudolf Arnold

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