Mainstream Tech With T&A: Start of a Trend?

Bob Johnson

CYBERSPACE — As any web surfer knows, sex and technology have a long and somewhat infamous history. And now a new wrinkle has emerged that combines the photos and video of hot babes with tech news and instruction that’s causing a cyberspace kerfuffle.

Hot Tech Today, a recently launched subscription ($19.99 a year) digital magazine that describes itself as “not an ordinary tech magazine,” — specifically because of its “Hot Tech Hotties,” photos of sexy Maxim magazine-like photo spreads and centerfolds — is taking heat from online feminists likening it to a purveyor of misogyny.

Blogs and social media have reportedly slammed the T&A tech venture, calling it sexist and in some cases idiotic. An open letter on the Huffington Post from a female tech professional called the mag “repulsive.”

But the female CEO of the online magazine, Erica Williams, said the site is doing very well, believes that its content doesn’t negatively reflect women in the tech industries, and called her critics a small but vocal minority.

The magazine boasts some of the best tech writers in the world on its roster and also promises 11 centerfolds a year, along with one user-submitted fan favorite. There are also live promos and events on tap.

Williams told Forbes, “We certainly foresaw some level of backlash in this regard, and frankly we’re fine with that. Our magazine isn’t for everyone, and anyone who finds our material objectionable is cheerfully invited to go elsewhere for their tech news. What has surprised us, though, is the strongly held yet very wrong position put forward by some of our detractors that our magazine is somehow demeaning to women in general, and to women working in the tech industry in particular.

“As a professional, success-oriented woman it’s hard not be offended by these accusations, especially since they’re so very misguided. I challenge anyone to find anything in Hot Tech Today, be it in our articles, videos, or photo spreads, that in any way demeans or belittles anyone. Do we embrace sexuality? Absolutely. Is sexuality a bad thing? We and millions of others think not.”

And Williams is not alone in the quest to combine T&A with tech. A web development-training site, Code Babes, has emerged that promises programmers that they can learn to code while checking out babes.

Although the girls in the introductory videos are not scantily clad, the “hot for teacher” model does make learning the dry tech matter much more interesting. It’s not clear in the actual instructional videos if they'll deliver on the T&A, but in the intro “CSS Virgin” clip the hottie instructor says she might have a little less clothing on in the next lesson.

The Code Babes philosophy states, “This is the natural evolution of the Internet, bringing together a Triforce of Babes, Code and a healthy dose of Memes. Hopefully it brings coding and web development to a butt load of new people.”

And to head off the potential for sexist backlash, the site says it’s also looking for “CodeDudes.”