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Presence, Sexbots, and A Mind Of Her Own. - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
Presence, Sexbots, and A Mind Of Her Own.
As an amateur futurologist (no, really!), it often falls to me to compare and contrast the news of the day in order to figure out if what's being said jibes with what I believe is coming in the next twenty years. I expect to live another twenty years, and I expect to be able to talk about whether or not my predictions will come true.

Most of the job of a futurologist isn't really to predict the future. It's to take other people's off-the-cuff comments and decide whether or not they're indicative of something more interesting. My favorite example: in 1982, Elaine Lee's Starstruck was published as a graphic novel. In one scene there's a background in which an advertisement is playing. Starstruck was absolutely prescient that video and holographic advertisements would be ubiquitous and annoying, but it was the content that got my attention.

Now, you have to understand that Starstruck was one of the seminal works of my own writing career. "Living Doll Cybernetics" and their production of non-sentient love robots, especially the way it dealt with emergent sentience and second-hand robotics, was super-significant to my own ideas about human/robot relations in a way C3PO could never be. But "Living Doll" specialized specifically in non-sentient toys because, as their slogan put it, Why fuck something with a mind of its own?

I read that and thought, "Welp, I know where the future is going."

I wasn't wrong. Here we are, 35 years after Starstruck, and Elaine Lee's prediction is spot-on. Widespread distribution of Internet pornography, in all its incarnations from the most feminist to the most abusively gonzo, has actually led to a reduction in sex assaults. The evidence is solid: pornography gives men who would commit sexual assault an alternative outlet that sometimes alleviates their criminal impulses. Violent men really would sometimes rather masturbate to images they can't even influence than go through the trouble of finding a victim.

At the same time, Men's Rights Activists predict that when apparently submissive, enthusiastic, lissome, docile and deferent sexbots appear on the market, women will be "sorry." No real men, MRAs argue, really wants to fuck a woman with a mind of her own. And they may be right.

Even more prominent: are you aware of the psychological phenomenon known as Presence?. When you read a book or watch a movie, you have to consciously be willing to suspend your disbelief. No such suspension is necessary in a sufficiently powerful virtual reality: in fact, it's hard to suspend disbelief. The Samsung Gear isn't good enough, but the Occulus Rift easily reaches this state.

Headsets will get lighter. Smaller. Not only will the sexbot you buy be physically fulfilling, but an augmented reality overlay will change her face and her body type so readily you won't need to buy more than two of them to literally have a harem of hundreds.

The fetishists of the future will be those who want to fuck their fellow flesh-and-bloods.

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Comments
sirfox From: sirfox Date: May 13th, 2016 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
"The fetishists of the future will be those who want to fuck their fellow flesh-and-bloods."

I remember that Journal Entry. XD

What will be interesting is when conservative / repressive / authoritarian groups try to ban it.
elfs From: elfs Date: May 13th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
So far my impression has been that it's lefty authoritarians who want to ban it most, because it creates habits of thoughts that lead men further objectivize women.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: May 16th, 2016 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Its been possible to simulate the physical sensations of intercourse very nicely for some years, he says with one of the first Fleshlights in the UK.

But has anyone come close to the sensations of say giving cunnilingus?
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