“Conversation, like certain portions of the anatomy, always runs more smoothly when lubricated.”
Marquis de Sade
The vapour from my puff on the synthi-joint curls into the air of my spartan room on the neoprole side of town, as Barbarella, the three tittied green-skinned female Love Drone from Sci-Fi City warms the bed beside me. Her breath purrs and oscillates as I gently and absentmindedly fondle her rubbery antennae which react unconsciously to my touch and ooze a liquid that smells like prawn, but tastes like chicken. Her diamond-pupiled eyes lie still, closed and as locked and mysterious as her alien heart. The welts on her wrists, ankles and back from our Kinbaku session glisten in the sobering artificial light, as her curves spiral around the room in a psychoactive haze. This imaginary interspecies coupling (Humanoid! I am not a damn deviant, despite what the ex-wife would say) brings me a wistful post-coital wondering of what will come of all this hormonal, stinky, sweaty grinding and gurning as I shoot love-spores into the future?
What does modern “dirty” sound like? Could it sound of the sultry background hum of silicon sensuality as transistors flirt? A tempting rustle as polymer lays on top of rubber? The whirr of mechanised limbs under silk?
Since the troubadours turned love into an integral part of intimate human relationships, and with the liberty implied from the separation of titillation from procreation (whether by papyrus, pig skin, latex or The Pill), humanity has swung on branches from the heights of the wildly decadent Jungle (only to plummet, exhausted and drained), to the paradoxically puritanical scrubland of polyamorous desire. With the explosion of technology, identity culture and the voyeurism that inevitably follows the exhibitionism of Reality TV into our lives, kinks have become normalised to the point where even the once frowned upon behind-closed-lace-curtain sensual consenting activities have a whip-cracking Hollywood flick about them. Even terrorist organisations spread the legs of their frustrated jihad across the world; telling females to bind themselves with cloth in a violent kink all their own; their imaginations ending in a childish fantasy and physical bodies in an ejaculation of semtex and fire.
In our hypersexualised moist and glossy lipstick smothered experimental epoch, the hallowed word “sex” no longer has the distinct lexical meaning it once had; the word has subtly transformed to merely signify passionate excitement with, or without, actual physical frottage. Are we not only seeing a separation of love from sex where we experience the idea of sharing less intimately but our appetites more publicly, but sex cutting itself off from its earthly roots? At the other end of the scale, have we bludgeoned romance to death with a digital click, or has love, with its innate sacrificial aspect, transformed into a mass online obsessive crush where we have all become stalkers and the object of our infatuation, the lamb led to the slaughter?
In the wake of the Pop Cultural acceptance of BDSM, dogging, webcams, State sanctioned voyeurism, cybersex, transgenderism, foxy cosplayers, nude photo leaks, Germans dressed and treated as babies, creepy Japanese love dolls/virtual girlfriends (Do they get virtual STDs, if their “boyfriends” have been cheating on them?) and vibrating underwear produced by Durex, it would seem that anything goes – except that damn perverted Missionary Position. Frankly, I am surprised that some techno-genius with a penchant for quick-buckery has yet to invent the Orgasmatron from Sleeper (Woody Allen, 1973).
When it comes to the nookified quirks, one country occupies a special place in our perverted hearts – the emotionally undernourished Japan. With its animistic love of robotics, along with a culture of sex manga and Love Hotels (yet inside a traditional society with its own peculiar pubic taboos), the rise of the lady-garden-less (or pneumatic addendumed) Japanese sexbot will undoubtedly become only a matter of time. Until the Singularity happens and they bypass humanity updating their superior intelligence to become the nagging and hyper-aware partners that their buyers spent their lives trying to avoid. I prophesise a thousand salarymen smothered in their sleep.
And what of the discerning solitary gentleman or lady’s aid to satisfaction in playing personal nug-a-nug without an entity the size of a human body taking up all the space in one’s living cubicle? I predict 3D printed vibrating interactive sex toys in a modern, lubricated and hygienic version of Bukowski’s jar filled with mince and a raw egg, or a silky robo-appendage moulded to excite the internal passages of your choice with vibrating switches controlled by their eternally adoring virtual AI partners.
With the coming dream of Transhumanism, the question of the future of eroticism and a stimulating of the nerve centres metamorphosises into speculative question upon question upon question.
If our primal desires link directly to our carnal forms and if , one day, we upload ourselves into the digital cloud in search of the illusion of immortality (and if our AI contemporaries do not find a way to switch off the relevant servers holding our psychic data in a predatory orgy of zeroes and one; an act of global genocide), will we retain our sex drive? If physical brains, neural connections, synapses and chemicals revamp into a different form of integrated information, what would such an act mean in terms of occupying a male or female body? On the other hand, downloading our personalities into different bodies and even clones (phalluses unravaged by years of the five knuckle shuffle, or hymens intact) would hold that you could literally go fuck yourself.
Of course, any so-called technological progress contains the seeds of its dark underbelly, and with it the seeds are sown for the rise of criminal body trafficking and soul data assassination, simultaneously, if any disassociation does occur, surely the darkest elements of the unlocked De Sadean imagination shall run rampant. For instance, can you not foresee a future where corporal murder or rape for sexual thrill become commonplace, safe in the knowledge that the victim’s personality will be extracted from a microchip embedded in the brain and uploaded back into cyberspace? One might see the return of the atoning nature of love sublimated into a whole industry based on sensual terror.
As the protagonist predicted in J.G. Ballard’s Crash (1973) : “To Vaughan, these wounds formed the key to a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology. The images of these wounds hung in the gallery of his mind, like exhibits in the museum of a slaughterhouse.”