SEX and DAW's - A Users Guide



Hi Folks. This post has come from some musings arising from another post of mine. I thought the more warped and twisted of you might find this amusing - even revealing. (OK those of you that believe you're not warped and twisted put up your hands. Right you can go and stand with the rest of your minority group in the kitchen!).

PREMISE:Forums such as this one appear on a new Medium/technology - the Net. Some people consider them to exist in "cyberspace" and call them "virtual chatrooms". As a new medium, conventional forms of communication may need to be "fitted" into the new form. Often misunderstandings occur, where they may not have happened before. Any of you that have put up a post, and got a reply that claimed you were rude, insulting, callous, or just a bad dresser, when you thought you were being nice, charming and a pleasure to associate with may know what I mean.

This is lengthy but hopefully you'll find it worth the trip.

BACKGROUND:A few years ago I was part of a university research team looking into the notion of Virtual Galleries. One day I was innocently surfing the net. The next thing I knew I was whisked away to a full on Porn Site - I don't know I clicked something (honest Mum, I don't know where those magazines came from!) and there I was. And boy did these guys have their multi-media, all singing, all dancing websites together. You want movies? You want music? You want fast efficient downloads and sites that load quickly? You want easily navigable well designed interfaces? Well they've got them!!! I became intrigued with the eroticism that some people are able to invest in these technologies. Those people who are into phone sex and cyber sex (let me underline this : THOSE people!). On a lesser level, a good friend of mine joined the ICQ chatlines. She stopped going out, even her Saturday nights were spent "chatting" for hours on the computer. I was amazed at the level of intimacy that people were able to quickly establish on these things.

Anyway, this became the basis of a post-grad Honours thesis. What was it that prompted people to become so - erm - attached - to these technologies? I began to re-read the early writings of Freud and his theories of the unconscious.

REFRESHER:Just to refresh: for the young Sigmund Freud SEX ruled. Everything was to do with sex. All art. All music, all communication, all religion. Sex. Sex. Sex. Freud would have even linked the new sports Jaguars to sex (hmm…maybe he had a point…). So I looked at the operating system of computers, and compared them with Freuds interpretation of the symbols that occur in dreams. Remember of course, Freud also believed that these unconscious symbols and desires ran as an undercurrent in our waking, conscious life. So, although many people believe Sigmund's early theories to be severely limited (for instance sex does not exist for some people e.g. the Taliban), nonetheless, to an extent, he did have a point (no pun intended). So, for your approval, edification, and (hopefully) enjoyment, here is :

(Sorry about some of the language, I mean I did nearly become an academic!)

Using the classic theories of dream symbolism formulated by Freud we can try and understand why people "Love" their ProTools, Logic, Paris,Digital Performer etc. etc.

For Freud everything related to SEX.He thought all our thoughts and desires of and for sex were "coded" in dream symbols.These also operated "unconsciously" in our waking life. He also split symbols very clearly into male/female categories. Freuds claim that everything relates to sex is considered by many to be...excessive.Assuming that he may be right in some cases however, we can see how the operating system of a computer based DAW may be interpreted.

So using the symbolic coding described by Freud in
his "Theory Of Dreams", here we go.

1. The Computer Screen.
The screen of the computer monitor represents the unconscious. This is a transference/projection of one of the components of the unconscious, called the "id" (which exists in a state Freud called primary narcissism). The screen becomes an embodiment of a feeling sensed as a "limitless extension and oneness with the universe". This matches the earliest feelings we have as an infant.

2. GUI's and Windows.
Two of the major players in computers, Apple Macintosh and Microsoft both feature a windows-icon-menu-pointer interface(WIMP).This is also a feature of most DAW's. This interface symbol, the window, is for Freud, a major and
exclusive signifier of female genitalia. (Are you still with me folks?).

3. The Cursor.
Using an arrow shaped cursor, one clicks the mouse over interactive signs -"hyperlinks" - buttons,plug-ins text, etc., to access more windows. The arrow is a sharp pointed weapon of penetration, which for Freud means it is also a symbol of the male genitalia.

To continue.( Or maybe you should have that cup of coffee now).

4. The Computer "Mouse".
The additional use of the "mouse" - which enables a faster more visual access to computers - lays this reductionist, latent content approach on with the proverbial trowel. The mouse, as a small animal, or vermin, is a signifier for children, ie. a child. We see then, a symbolic configuration of major primal,infantile, mythic proportion.

5. "Help" Balloons.
But wait, there's more! If one gets stuck, there are "help balloons". And the significance of the balloon?

"The remarkable characteristic of the male organ which enables it to rise up in defiance of the laws of gravity, one of the phenomena of erection, leads to its being represented symbolically by balloons,flying machines, and most recently by Zeppelin airships."
(Introductory Lectures To Pyscho-Analysis- Vol One. Sigmund Freud.)

Apart from anything else this may help to explain the front of Robert Plants trousers in the Led Zep movie!!!!

6. The Browser.
A major browser used to surf the web is "Navigator" which features a ship's steering wheel as its icon.We sail upon the electric ocean.

The significance of all this can be read and summarised as follows:
1. The computer "window" is a symbolic representation of the female genitalia.
2. The arrow of the cursor is a signifier
for the male genitalia.
3. Water (upon which we surf ie. "surfing the net" or the new Internet capabilities of systems such as Pro Tools) is an expression within dreams of birth.

So what does all this mean? It means that the next time you click your cursor on the screen of your DAW make sure that your girlfriend/boyfriend/anything in between/ is not looking over your shoulder - they might not understand. And the next time you hear somebody say "I love my Pro Tools" for instance, well, they
might not be kidding!!!
Happy Mouse clicking.
Regards Stedel


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2001
That definitely settles it. One of these days I'm definitely going to have to learn to speak Australian!


It's easy. Repeat after me. K....Y....L....I....E
By George, you've got it!!!!


Ooops. I just tried to access that site. I run a small Digital Audio and Music Studio for the (shhh!) Australian Government. The firewall on this system won't let me access the site. There's nothing erm.. naughty up there is there Jay? Jay?


I dread to think about what the cigar puffing raincoat -clad Beat Detective represents in this particular analysis?!!



Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2001
I found that site a year or so ago and almost choked on my drink!! Snarf!! I loved the part about being a beta tester for it!! Fufme...great stuff...and of course I love how they show skinny people using it...I wouldnt reccomend heavy set people getting on top of their computers like that!!!!


Well-Known Member
Nov 3, 2001
and, of course, towards the end of his life, freud changed his mind about sex being the primary desire, and decided it was death (thanatos)
to quote:
"Thanatos – The "death instinct" identified by Sigmund FREUD, which signals a desire to give up the struggle of life and return to quiescence and the grave. "

say no more

newcastle, oz


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2001
Originally posted by stedel:
Ooops. I just tried to access that site. I run a small Digital Audio and Music Studio for the (shhh!) Australian Government. The firewall on this system won't let me access the site. There's nothing erm.. naughty up there is there Jay? Jay?

Damn, looks like it's not working. I'm getting this;
You are not authorized to view this page
You might not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials you supplied.

I know it worked a few weeks ago when I showed it to a client. Bummer... Anyway... it was artificial male and female genitalia that was designed to fit into a slot in your computer in place of a hard drive. Funny stuff. Almost as good as this one;

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