UPDATE: The original post said there were no photos of the Canadian “Fruit Machine,” only of the American one.
They were wrong. My husband found one.
Remember, liberal Mad Man fans — this is the “past” you’re pining for.
This would never work in Toronto now anyway, since every man except my husband and a few of my friends seem like raving queens, machine or no machine…
The Fruit Machine primarily used the “pupil area response test” as an indicator of a person’s sexual orientation, as well as perspiration levels and pulse rate. While undergoing the test, the subject would sit in a dentist-style chair. They’d then be shown various images, some completely mundane, while others depicted naked or semi-naked photos of women and men. If the subject’s pupils dilated when being shown erotic photos of people of the same gender, s/he was assumed to be homosexual.
UPDATE — Alexander of HollywoodLoser.com (the official t-shirt provider to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) and one of the few non-gay men in Toronto, writes in:
I was once tested on one of those gay-detector machines — not the old eye-based kind, but the not-quite-so-old genital-based kind.
At York U in the mid-80s, I took some Psych courses with another student who was quite a keener, and although still an undergrad was already working toward a career in psychological testing. He was already doing some (volunteer?) work running tests at that big brown brick “House of Shrinks” on the north side of College, around University Ave, which I believe is now called CAMH. I was given (for no particular reason) the test given to suspected child molesters.
Some sort of sensor was hooked up to my privates, and I sat in a chair watching a series of (old, faded) slides — a wide variety of photos that included pornographic, non-pornographic, men, women, children and IIRC the occasional inanimate object. My friend told me the device was sensitive enough that it could detect not just a burgeoning erection, but even the slightest beginnings of an erection. I was a little concerned the machine might be guilty of over-diagnosing, and that it might interpret normal fluctuations of blood movement through the region as sexual arousal. But I didn’t say anything, I just took the test — which was, as far as my conscious mind could tell, extremely UN-arousing — and let the chips fall where they may. I figured if I was misdiagnosed as being sexually interested in something that I knew for a fact didn’t sexually interest me, I could argue my defense afterwards. It’s not like I was charged with anything, or was under any sort of suspicion; I was just a volunteer in a study. (I don’t even remember getting paid; I did it just for a lark.)
When it was done, the young shrink-in-training gave me the following verdict: “Well, Alex, I’m sure this is nothing you don’t already know, but we can confirm that you are definitely not a pedophile. You are also definitely not a homosexual. The sensors detected no change at all during the pictures of men and children, and only slight change [which hadn’t been noticeable at all to me] during the pictures of women. We pronounce you completely heterosexual.”
I replied, “Well, yes, I did already know that — but still it’s nice to have it confirmed by medical science.”
UPDATE — Mark Steyn adds his thoughts.