Has a man ever woken up one morning and thought to yourself, “I wish I could be a woman today?” It may sound like the musings of someone with serious gender identity issues, but I think it’s more common than we care to admit. Besides, it’s hardly the craziest thought that’s popped into my head in the morning. Depending on how much I’ve been drinking, I’ve been known to think some pretty twisted thoughts.
I’ll save those thoughts for another post. For this post, I’d like to discuss what I believe is the ultimate endgame for upgrading the human body. Those efforts are already underway. As futurist and author, Ray Kurzweil, discussed in his book, “The Singularity is Near,” we’re well on our way creating what he calls, “The Human Body 2.0.”
This body is to us what a Lamborghini is to a horse-drawn carriage. It’s a body that’ll give us strength, stamina, longevity, durability, and connectivity in ways that go far beyond where we put certain body parts. It has the potential to fundamentally transform how humans relate to one another socially, romantically, and sexually.
The romance and sex part is definitely of interest to me, if only because it gives me some twisted ideas for novels. Men and women in these bodies will definitely have a lot of options once they’ve enhanced themselves to a point where they can carry out acts of intimacy that make even Japanese anime porn look boring.
However, there is one other step to this trend if you can believe that and it has the potential to step up the craziness of our love lives even more if you can believe that. It’s something else that Kurzweil discusses in his book, but not in great detail because our caveman brains can’t process the implications.
Thankfully, I’ve twisted and warped my brain with a potent combination of sci-fi, comic books, and erotica for decades. I feel like I’m a bit more equipped to process these implications than most. Kurzweil calls this endgame, “The Human Body 3.0.” I call it the “Mystique Factor.”
What is the Mystique Factor? Well, once again, I need to revisit my love of comic books, in particularly X-men. I’ve talked about X-men in terms of love triangles that suck and romances that are actually equal. I’ll probably find ways to apply X-men to many more issues on this blog, but in this case, I think most will agree that the context here is just too perfect.
Specifically, I’d like to talk about Mystique. Who is Mystique? In the comics, she’s a mutant shape-shifter who specializes in deception, infiltration, and generally making life for the X-men a living hell. In the movies, she’s the character that required Jennifer Lawrence to run around naked. For that, straight men everywhere should have a special place in their heart for this character.
For the purposes of this discussion though, she’s more than just a perfectly malleable character whose sexiness is only limited by one’s perverse imagination. She’s essentially a manifestation of what The Human Body 3.0 will do for humanity, minus the blue skin and strategically-placed scales.
Mystique can shape-shift into any form she chooses. In the X-men comics and the movies, she with the same amount of effort that most people put into changing the channel on their TV. One minute she’s Wolverine. One minute she’s a middle-aged senator. One minute she’s an insanely sexy 20-something woman with blond hair, great legs, and a smile that can resurrect a dead puppy.
Yes, I’m a big Jennifer Lawrence fan, by the way. No, I’m not going to apologize for that. Let’s try to stay on topic here.
It goes beyond just tweaking her appearance in ways that plastic surgeons can only dream of. Mystique can basically swap genders on a whim. He default form is a woman, but she can take the form of a man. It’s never directly stated in the comics, most likely because the censors prefer to leave such dirty thoughts to internet message boards, but it’s pretty obvious. Mystique can turn into a man, grow a penis, and use it.
At one point, famed X-men writer, Chris Claremont, even planned to explore that concept by having Mystique father a child with a woman. Specifically, he wanted her to father Nightcrawler. In case you don’t know, this is Nightcrawler. He’s as devilishly charming as he looks.
Marvel vetoed that plans for reasons that I can only assume had to do with how confusing it would be to the collective balls of the entire X-men fanbase. In a series that already involves clones, aliens, and time travelers, this was deemed to be too much. Go figure.
Even if it was too much for Marvel in the late 20th century, who’s to say it won’t become a legitimate issue in the 21st or 22nd century? Transgender issues are already an emerging issue today in 2016. A century can bring a lot of crazy social change. Just ask any minority before the year 1950 for proof of that.
If we do indeed enhance our bodies to the point that Kurzweil predicts, then it’ll do more than just radically alter how we relate to one another romantically and sexually. It’ll completely upend the concept of gender as a whole.
For one, it would effectively render the whole transgender issue a moot point. If our bodies enhance to 3.0 status and we gain Mystique-caliber shape-shifting skills, then that means we can choose whichever gender we identify with. On top of that, the gender we choose will have fully functioning equipment, so to speak.
Individuals born as a men could turn into women to bear children. Those born as women can turn into men to never ever have to endure bearing children. That, or maybe they just want to know what a boner feels like. I imagine they’ll get bored with that real fast, but who’s to say they won’t have other reasons?
Technically speaking, there’s no reason this can’t happen with sufficiently advanced smart blood and nanotechnology. One of the big advancements with the Human Body 2.0 is that it utilizes nanotechnology and biotechnology to revamp, rewire, and reconfigure our physiology into something more robust and less prone to puking.
Gender, and all the equipment that comes with it, is just a manifestation of genetic information. Once our technology can manifest this information in the form of actual flesh, then all bets are off. We will all effectively become Mystique.
What will this mean for us? What will this mean for our sex lives, other than the fact we’ll be much better at recreating sex scenes from Game of Thrones? What will this mean for our love lives when everyone around us can turn into the gender we’re attracted to?
Whether we do it in real life or within a virtual world that’s indistinguishable from real life, it fundamentally changes our identity and how we see ourselves. How would men see women if they actually experience what it’s like to be a woman? How would women see men if they actually experienced what it’s like to be a man? It’s a step beyond empathy. It dealing with entirely different body parts and all the maintenance that comes with them.
A romance between two shape-shifters is a romance that requires a complete overall of basic courtship rituals. How do they decide which bodies to use? Do they have a template form? Do they have preferred gender roles? How do they decide which one of them has the kids if they want to have kids? You think couples argue about trivial shit now? Think about the arguments they’ll have when discussing which one of them gets to have a penis.
At the moment, I don’t think our caveman brains are equipped to handle being shape-shifters. Mystique has a handle on it because that’s what she’s always been. The comics and movies never depict her as being anything else. Sure, she tends to be a homicidal maniac who has been known to have babies with men who look like the devil, but it’s unreasonable to assume that’s typical.
It may very well be the case that humans in 2016 are only equipped to be one or, at most, two genders throughout our lifetimes. However, the humans equipped with 2.0 or 3.0 bodies be better situated. Both versions of bodies emphasize enhancing the capacity of the human brain, if only to handle all the major overhauls for the rest of the body. That brain will very likely not have the same flaws as our 1.0 caveman brains.
For the moment, I’m stuck with a 1.0 caveman brain and all its assorted flaws. That means I can’t comprehend entirely what a society of shape-shifters may be like between the sheets. That won’t stop me from trying though. If there is a way to tell an insanely sexy story about shape-shifters, then I’ll find it and turn it into a novel. That much you can be sure of.