Just another technological revolution is ahead and this time it is happening in our bedrooms. Two fundamental sexual paradigms are about to change our life on many levels.
First of all the paradigm that we need sexual intercourse to reproduce as humans is developing into a new extreme. A trend started in the sixties as the anti baby pill and other contraceptives allowed us to start having sex without reproduction, and lead to a control of giving birth and changed the cultural position of the woman.
Today, new means such as cryoconservation of embryos, egg cells and sperms admits even a further delayed conception. It is even possible to produce egg cells and semen from body tissue, which opens up the possibility to have kids for infertile women or women in their menopause. Egg cells can be produced out of sperm and vice versa, enables it for homosexual couples to have their own original offspring. Male couples would still need help with the delivery but pioneering scientists in Tokyo claim just to be ahead of solving that problem with their extra-uterine fetal incubation method.
Therefore the act of giving birth will be more and more separated from the physical encounter of human bodies. Artificial reproduction will not only allow us to exactly plan when we want to make a family but also what genetic features they should have. Through this separation of giving birth and intercourse in the near future we can focus on maximizing sensual pleasure while having sex without worrying about our personal biological limitations. And just as with the process of reproduction new technologies will be helpful leading us into new dimension of sexual satisfaction.
This brings us to the decay of our second sexual paradigm. It is that sex is a act between two or more humans. Technological tools for increasing pleasure have been know back to stone age. Dildos have developed from carved stone or bone to interactive and electronically communicating sex toys that even allow partners to have ‘’sex’’ together through long distances. It is to expect that future technology will develop methods, that simply outclass regular sexual intercourse between humans.
Through a deeper understanding of bio-electronics or the development of new chemical drugs we will be able to create sexual experiences that are up to an estimated 11 times more intense than regular orgasms. Such experiences would separate the physical activity completely from the sexual sensation. In addition to that there are sex robots and reality simulation tools such as the oculus rift that open up a absolutely new range of sexual possibilities. Their abilities are still in early stages but products such as the Roxxxy, the curvy android woman with artificial skin, are programmed with a light artificial intelligence in order to learn their masters preferences and answer in a Siri-like voice. Therefore they will not only replace their function as a lover but will also more and more become a life partner. Spike Jonze’s movie ‘’Her’’ gives us an insight of how a romantic relationship with a software might look like. Even though modern technology is still in their early 1.0 stage experts as David Levy predict that already within the next 50 years there will be robots with highly developed artificial intelligence and human like physique which will make them almost indistinguishable from real humans.
But if sexual pleasure without the fear of potential denial through an other person and perfectly tailored to our personal needs is constantly available, how then will this change our social life? Will there be any motivation left to handle other peoples complicated emotions or influence them with our charming words? Or will we seek back to the dramatic roller-coaster of a real relationship because we don’t want to be the object of a sexual simulation that might be too one-dimensional?
Written by Jan Bühlmann