Feedback on Ethics portion of Buttplug Developer Guide


I’ve been working on the Buttplug Developer Guide for the past couple of months. While I’m finishing up the “Writing Buttplug Applications” section, it’d be nice to get feedback on the opening and Ethics sections.

I wanted to cover the ethics of building sex software because it’s a complex context to deal with via technology, and I’m not sure how clear some of the problems are. Definitely open to feedback on this. There’s also been a bit of a thread going over on twitter at

Please let me know if you have any thoughts!


Summary of feedback so far:

  • Needs editing, too long
    • Definitely. I’m not exactly sure who my audience is yet so a lot of time is spent begging people to read this. That can probably be trimmed, as well as other sections tightened up some. Will make it sound less “please clap” and more confident, i.e. “here’s how we’re approaching this”
  • Document is currently more of a “think about this” than “do this”
    • Difficult to come up with concrete answers here, though it’d be nice to have at least some. A lot of sex tech ethics problems have existed in the space for years and it’s hard to get past just staring blankly at them and/or waiting for a Black Mirror episode on them.
  • Could use more examples
    • Definitely agree with this. I’m pretty myopic about providing examples because I have a problem grasping what I know that other people don’t. Gonna try to add some basics on teledildonics, consent, user privacy, etc.


Nice discussion, I was pointed to it via Twitter.

My 2c:
Start with formulating values Buttplug wants to respect, these sit a bit inbetween the mission statement and the practical translation. Some suggestions:

  • inclusiveness, everybody should be able to have a desirable experience while using Buttplug, regardless of … (very long list is possible here)
  • Smooth user experience, using Buttplug shouldn’t be a turn off
  • Creativity, everybody experiences sex in different ways, Buttplug should not limit to one or more sexual scripts but invite developers and users to adapt it to their own needs and scenario’s
  • Safety, many applications of sex toys are surrounded with taboos in some cases users may experience social exclusion or even prosecution because of their use of sex toys, Buttplug should be a safe environment for its users

Once you have decided upon the values Buttplug should adhere to, you can elaborate them with examples and more technical guidelines on how to achieve those (my knowledge of the project is too limited to step in here).

I hope this helps


Thanks! This is super helpful.

We’ve got some of the content you mentioned in our ethics report that I can add. I think I was a little too “agh much convince reader they should read this” and didn’t actually consider content as much. Gonna rework the section with that in mind soon. :slight_smile: