Future of Sexuality 

Natasha Vita More (f/k/a Nancie Clark)
© All rights reserved. 

Presented at EXTRO 3 Conference, 1997


"In five years, the penis will be obsolete." So says the salesman in John Varley’s Steel Beach

My friend Robin told me that he wants sex to be around in the future. Not a different view from my friends Lee and Sarah, or Carol and Jackie.

Maybe our genitals will change form, and perhaps we will have new genders and a mixture of genders. Maybe not. Maybe we will eliminate physical sex altogether and endow a simulated creativity center in our brains manufacturing mental orgasms on an assembly line.

Was it as good for her as it was for me?

Just imagine you have a new sexual partner or partners and haven’t worked out the kinks in your physical relationship. You are fumbling around not sure what to do next, not sure what she likes, not sure if he wants it this way or that way. After its finished, you feel a bit tense, a bit down. Was I good enough? Did she enjoy it? Was it as good for her as it was for me?

Now, flash forward a decade or two. You are in a luxurious setting. A cool breeze is blowing across your sunlight terrace overlooking the south pacific sea. You smell the exotic fragrance of orchids. The sheer silk curtains blow gently on your skin as you move your right hand across the nape of your partners’ neck. You reach out towards that soft spot that excites you. No, stop. You’re getting a signal from your internal sex simulator at your hypothalamus and feel your partner’s responses. Ok, A little to the left and down. Yes. That’s it.

 This is one of many scenarios that will take place in the future. The ability to know first hand how your partner or partners are responding while having sex. Not a week later, if at all, but in the moment. Not to mention that your partners are not in bed with you, but in different locations across the planet. You are actually experiencing euphoria via simulated telepresence sex with teletactile experiences.

Sexual Preoccupation

The other day I went into a sex shop in West Hollywood. The paraphernalia was pretty much the usual types of toys and designs. There was Dominique, lovely with blond flowing hair who, once blown up, became a realistic vibrating vagina. And, there was Rambo, the mouth —super soft and supple rubber. Then there was The Ultimate Triple Stimulator Multi Speed Vibrator with extras.

 But what about this preoccupation with sex? Is it merely part of our animal urges to reproduce or to dominate? Is it actually no more than an animalistic preoccupation with our early transhuman bodies and looping of old programs that have yet to be updated in our brains? Do we really need sex? And if so, why with the very organs that we urinate with?

Thomas Mann asked, "How can I rid myself of sexuality?"

Madonna stated, "Everyone probably thinks that I’m a raving nymphomaniac, that I have an insatiable sexual appetite, when the truth is I’d rather read a book."

Susan Sontag mused in her book The Pornographic Imagination, "Even on the level of simple physical sensation and mood, making love surely resembles having an epileptic fit…"

We may eventually have less preoccupation with sex and become more absorbed in creative and intellectual pastimes for excitement and challenge. We may become as excited about creating new types of sex as much as "doing it. " We may creatively automorph ourselves by actively changing our own psychology and physiology.

Automorph Gender and Sexuality: Reconstituted and Reconfigured Gender and Sexuality

The new sexual landscapes will bring about different types of sexuality, different types of genders. In the future, we may still want to perform the traditional types of sex—meaning rubbing mucus membranes against one another—or we may want to participate in the reconstituted and reconfigured gender roles and sexuality that will radically change us. We may do away with our bodily nerves, but keep some sensations, the ones for pleasure of perhaps some for pain to remind us not to do something. Yet, eventually we will begin to shuttle more and more parts of ourselves as we become post-biological.

Put an artist at a drawing board and he may design new types of genitals that attach like replaceable parts, or at least move them around a bit (Clitoral relocation) so that they are better positioned, or not so vulnerable (internal testicles). Genitalia could resemble the unfolding designs of a Georgia O’Keef Paintings, or an element that rises indefinitely like M.C. Escherís staircases. Genitals could be advanced prosthetics that barely resemble the parts that we have today. We could have several genitals, or none. Add an extra one for more stimulation, have none when you really want to focus without distractions.

Put an inventor to the test and she may come up with new devices to activate arousal and orgasm such as simulated orgasm for learning, mental stimulation, energy or relaxation. What would happen to the learning curve if learning caused the same excitement as sexual orgasm? If every time a teacher gives a lesson, we experience a rush of physical ecstasy? How about maintaining the afterglow effect for days at a time when you really need to drop out of the rat race. Or, use that first moment’s arousal to aid curiosity and creativity.

Put a scientist in a laboratory and she may come up with new sexual beings as well as new genders. Gender traditionally refers to social and cultural categories such as masculine, feminine and neuter. There are parts of our brains that are programmed for female and male behaviors. Altering the genitalia does not change this. Yet, in the future there will be a blurring of these traditional categories. Female does not merely mean a person who wears nail polish and frills, has a capacity for communication and empathy, or is endowed with a mothering instinct. Nor will masculine merely mean a person who is rugged, emphasizes spatial temporal thinking, or the protectorate of home and hearth. The continuous blurring of these distinctions will enable the reconstitution of genders. What has yet to change is the XX and XY or XYY chromosomes. Herein lies a current scientific truth determining our sex and our genetic gender. But not for long. We will alter aspects of our brains and switch genders by augmenting "direct route gender swaps" for easy access and quick fix gender changes.

Sex and somatic gender identity are not so immutable. Sex, (how organisms are classified as female or male on the basis of their reproductive organs and functions) is being modified by surgery and hormone treatment. In society today there are bisexuals, transsexuals, homosexuals, asexuals, and intersexuals. Soon there will be negsexuals, solosexuals, technosexuals, postsexuals, multisexuals VRsexuals or even just plain ole’ sexuals who remain nostalgic of the 20th Century.

To automorph our sexuality—to independently chose our identities both physically and mentally—we are using biotechnology and plastic surgery; chemical messengers to manipulate our sexual characteristics and hormonal makeup; and psychological enhancements to help us develop new identity profiles.

The possibility is that we might have as many genders as colors in the rainbow or as many types of genitalia as patterns of flowers.

The Penis May Not Become Obsolete.

In the future, sexuality may evolve more radically or simply phase-out. Future anthropologists might study the early stages of sexual evolution as an indulgent fixation or a most pleasurable pastime. Regardless, future beings—transhumans or posthumans— will certainly continue to relish in the heat of flesh, physical or virtually simulated, for at least the next few decades. After all, the penis may not become obsolete indeed.

By: Natasha Vita More
© all rights reserved