If you've heard about Sexonix, the world's first VR sex purveyors, chances are you've been had. The company is a hoax from start to finish masterminded by Joey Skaggs, professional media provocateur-cum-performance artist. Sexonix has lots of media appeal. Just imagine using the privacy of one's electronic goggles and gloves to bring about the ultimate in safe sex and digital convergence. So it isn't surprising that many in media fell for the scam. The company got its "start" at the Toronto Christmas Gift Show in the fall of 1992, when Skaggs rented a booth at the show and called a press conference to demonstrate his wares to under-stimulated reporters. Skagg's booth at the show remained empty: he claimed all of his VR gear was confiscated by Canadian customs for obscenity reasons, putting Sexonix out of business. The confiscation story was covered on TV, radio and newspapers in Toronto, and picked up by wire services around the world. His letters to Future Sex and New Media magazines were printed verbatim. Indeed, the editors added their own comments expressing outrage and cries of first amendment foul play. All well and good, except the gear never existed and he never had anything to show. The whole stunt was done with a few well-chosen video clips from Lawnmower Man, some actors, and help from a public relations agency to stir up press interest. But Skaggs wasn't satisfied with just duping the media: he went after the on-line community as well. In July 1993, months after the initial crush of publicity surrounding Sexonix, he posted a press release describing the "events" surrounding his Toronto confiscation and demise of Sexonix on several BBS's, including ECHO, Fidonet, and the Well. His posting stimulated discussions that were active over the summer and occasionally still get a query or two. Many "wellholes" (the term Skaggs invented to describe deziens of that electronic community) fell hook, line, and email for the scam -- except one, a reporter who actually checked his facts and realized who Skaggs was. Once uncovered on the Well, Skaggs was vilified by various postings, and one on-line hopeful tried his own counterscam by stating that Skaggs had died of mysterious circumstances. Needless to say, Skaggs is alive and well and quite amused by all the attention. This isn't Skaggs' first hoax: previously he has been covered as a priest riding a mobile confessional booth servicing potential sinners at the Democratic 1992 convention, starting up a dog bordello, and even sending his own stooge when "To Tell the Truth" featured him (or whom they thought was the real Skaggs) on one episode. And it certainly won't be his last. Skaggs claims he's a performance artist and the media coverage is his canvas. And with Sexonix, he has moved into using electronic communications such as email as another means of expression.