Tag Archives: sexuality

Will Sex Robots Make Us Better People?

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I’m going to do it again. That’s right. I’m going to talk about sex robots. Do I have your attention now? I know it’s not the first time I’ve brought up this inherently kinky, but sexy topic. I doubt it’ll be the last. Honestly, there’s so much potential in this topic, sexy and otherwise, that I’m surprised I don’t talk about it more often.

There’s no way around it. Sex robots are coming, literally and figuratively. There’s already a brothel in Spain that employs sex dolls for customers. Companies like RealDoll are actively working on developing them. Given that sex still sells and there’s a lot of horny people in the world, the economic and personal incentives are just too huge.

Like any early technology, though, it’s going through some growing paints. It’s still a ways away from being refined, effective, and cheap. Like early cell phones and TVs, sex robots are going through that clunky phase where they seem more like a novelty than a practical reality.

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Eventually, we’ll work out the kinks, so to speak. I’m confident that everyone under the age of 30 will live to see a day where sex robots are almost indistinguishable from real partners. They won’t just look, feel, and sound real. They’ll be every bit as customizable and versatile as modern smartphones.

You want a meek, submissive partner who only lives to serve you? There will be a sex robot for that. You want a tough, dominant bondage enthusiast who makes you their personal bitch? There will be a sex robot for that too. The only limit is your own perverse imagination.

This leads to one vital question, which I’m sure hasn’t slipped the minds of those who still make weird faces when the topic of sex robots comes up. I imagine these same people used to think Twitter was a waste as well. Today, I imagine they’re still kicking themselves for not buying stock in it. It’s still a wholly relevant question, though.

How will sex robots affect society?

I’ve been dancing around this question for a while because I’m still not sure how to address it. Believe me, though, I’m working on it. I do want to keep talking about sex robots. I’ve noticed it gets my target audience uniquely excited.

However, there are others who think about this topic as well, sometimes more intently than even an aspiring erotica/romance writer would dare. The cast from ThinkTank, a fun and sometimes kinky YouTube channel that I’ve cited before, actually chose to ask that question in a different way.

How will sex robots make us better people?

On the surface, that does seem like a loaded question, if that’s not too inappropriate a term. It seems inherently bias that sex robots will only make people better. That’s like pretending ski masks are only used for skiing or that guns are only used for hunting.

Loaded or not, they do highlight an important dynamic of sex robots. It’s one that tends to get overlooked and underplayed, but one that has the potential to change society in a way that’s very positive by most measures. It has less to do with how we interact with sex robots and more to do with how they’ll interact with us.

Here’s the video that explores this discussion. I’ll give those who own fleshlights and vibrators a minute to collect their thoughts and steady their hearts. Take all the time you need.

At the core of the issue here is how the artificial intelligence within these sex robots is configured. There will be some that just obey orders. Like any appliance or gadget, you push a button and you get the effect you want. There will be a market for those sex robots, just as there’s still a market for old flip phones.

However, that’s not going to be enough for some people. I know this because those with vibrators and fleshlights still seek love and companionship. That’s because, in addition to being extremely horny, we’re a very emotional species as well. We are biologically wired to seek intimate connections with others. Incorporating that function into a sex robot just seems logical.

A sex robot with that kind of ability would do more than just provide the experience of sharing an intimate connection with a user. It’ll help people explore and develop their ability to seek such connections with others. It could be a teacher or a mentor of sorts. This is just one you have sex with and looks as sexy as you want it to be. There’s literally nothing unappealing about that concept.

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Beyond the teenage fantasy, though, there’s another aspect to that idea that ThinkTank didn’t touch on. It has to do with our collective struggles to explore and deal with sexual issues. Given the erratic nature of our sexual attitudes, it’s an issue that’s bound to come up.

Think back to the heath classes or sex ed you got in high school, assuming you didn’t go to school in Texas. Those classes told you what sex was, how it worked, and the body parts involved. Some may have even touched on the dynamics of sexual relationships. Again, if you got your education in a state like Texas, your experience may vary.

Just knowing about sex isn’t enough, though. Most of those students are still horny teenagers who don’t know how to deal with their horniness just yet. They don’t have many outlets to explore that feeling. Other than internet porn and each other, their options are limited.

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Now, imagine getting that same information from health and sex ed. Then, imagine getting your own sex robot to help you explore your sexuality. Whether you’re a man or woman, gay or straight, you have something that will actually guide you through the intricacies of having sex and forging relationships.

It may sound like a bad scene from a porno, but throw an intelligent sex robot into the mix and suddenly, it’s not just pornographic. It’s wholly pragmatic.

As the clip said, sex robots with AI could be programmed to help teach users to interact and understand one another. It could teach men and women to better form genuine, intimate connections. Compared to the lessons that movies, video games, and fairy tales teach, which makes it seem like everyone needs to be a prince or princess, sex robots would be invaluable towards molding healthy minds and genitals.

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So much of our struggles to get along, be they unequal gender dynamics or a poor understanding of what constitutes consent, stem from our limited ability to form relationships. They also may be a product of not getting laid often enough.

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again. There are a lot of health benefits to regular sex. When someone has a rich, satisfying sex life, they’re generally happier and nicer to be around. A society full of sexually satisfied men and women who actually know how to forge intimate relationships can only be a good one.

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It’s still impossible to know just how sex robots will affect society. There may very well be other negative consequences that I either haven’t explored or thought of yet. Whatever they may be, expect me to talk about them or write about them in my novels at some point. It’s just too sexy a topic to ignore. In time, nobody will be able to ignore it.

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A Second Sexual Revolution: The Potential (And Inevitable) Backlash

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Think back to brief, but memorable time between elementary and middle school where kids are still kids for the most part. It’s the time before you develop concerns about things like acne and hiding awkward boners during gym class. It’s a time before the girls start wearing thongs or hiding bra straps. For some, those times have fond memories.

Often, during these times, you’ll encounter one of those annoying little shits who likes to think of him or herself as the class clown. You know how they operate. They’re loud, annoying, obnoxious, arrogant, and will set their own hair on fire if it gets attention. They might have been funny the first few times, but it doesn’t take long for them to be a walking source of frustration.

Teachers, parents, and counselors do anything and everything they can to get the kid to shut up, but nothing works. Every time they push him, he just pushes back harder. Every time they react to his antics, he reacts even more. Since he’s a kid, he can sort of get away with it.

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What I just described is a testament to how kids can be annoying little shits and what happens when our efforts to fix a situation ends up causing a backlash. It’s one of those things that happens almost as much in real life as it does in bad sitcoms. For every time Peter Griffin’s antics in “Family Guy” backfires horribly, there’s a real-life class clown in a public school ensuring everything around him backfires just as badly.

We don’t just see it in elementary school classrooms and Seth MacFarlane shows either. Throughout history, backlashes have shaped the course of events, from the ancient world to modern presidents who think randomly invading a Middle Eastern country won’t cause any geopolitical problems.

It’s not unreasonable to say that many events and cultural movements are very much a backlash at those that preceded it. It’s how dynasties rise and fall. It’s how religious and cultural movements morph into cults and denominations. It’s even how some successful TV shows inspire spin-offs. Not all of these backlashes result in improvements, but they are very much a part of how people, cultures, and nations evolve.

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This brings me back to the prospect of a second sexual revolution. Admit it, you knew I was going to get to this. It was only a matter of time before I tied the concept of a backlash into something sexy. I would’ve gotten to it sooner, but I wanted to establish a context. It’s necessary because in every cultural upheaval, it’s easy to lose perspective.

The problem is that we don’t know just how much perspective we’ve lost until we have the benefit of hindsight. It’s like getting blackout drunk and waking up in another city with a donkey, a dildo, and a dead gerbil in your bed. You remember starting the night with good intentions and having a great time. Somewhere along the way, though, something went horribly wrong.

When we look at the context of the sexual revolution in the 60s, we can see how backlash shaped its promising beginnings and how it got blackout drunk towards the end. I’ve mentioned how technology like antibiotics and contraception reshaped sexuality by effectively removing some of the consequences and barriers to sexual expression. There are other, less tangible factors in play as well.

We know from 50s sitcoms that the period before the sexual revolution was a tough time to be really horny. The 1950s was a time of rigid sexual conformity. Anything outside of marriage, procreation, and the missionary position was considered a deviant social ill. Things like masturbation, the female orgasm, and Elvis’ hips were all taboo.

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This kind of sexual restraint went so far that an emerging generation of horny youth decided to spit all over that prudish culture. Armed with modern antibiotics, contraception, and mind-altering drugs that made orgasms easier to enjoy, they really went for broke. They didn’t just push the envelope. They bombed it with napalm and buried it in horse shit.

Ironically, they went so far that they incurred a backlash just as strong as the one they led. That led to the rise of people like Jerry Fawell, Pat Robertson, and the Moral Majority, people and organizations who went full fire and brimstone after seeing one too many mud-soaked hippie orgies. Add this on top of the emergence of issues like abortion and diseases like AIDS and it’s easy to see why everyone’s panties got a little tighter.

In both cases, one backlash incurred another. One extreme led to another. Even today, we may be seeing another backlash from a general loosening of sexual freedom again, but it’s just taking the form of political correctness and reactionary outrage over issues as trivial as a swimsuit ad.

These days, you won’t be shunned if you have premarital sex or watch porn in your spare time. However, you’re in big trouble if you don’t understand the increasingly esoteric concept of consent, directly or indirectly body shame women, or want to draw a female character wearing sexy clothes.

Every trend, especially the sexy kinds, seem unstoppable at first. That’s why it’s become popular to urge others to be “on the right side of history.” That’s an exceedingly vague excuse, as is often the case with excuses in general, but it lays the foundation for a future backlash.

I’d say any second sexual revolution should take that into account, but I know that would just be empty rhetoric. Backlash is something that no revolution, movement, or reformation can truly take into account. Being flawed humans with flawed brains, we tend to overestimate the staying power of any trend. Just ask anyone who was ever part of a boy band not named Justin Timberlake.

A second sexual revolution, like the one that occurred in the 60s, will likely shock, horrify, and excite. Those are the key ingredients of every revolution or movement. They’re so different. They get peoples’ attention because it doesn’t fit with their idea of normal and, much like our annual failure to keep our New Years Resolution, people cling desperately to their sense of normal and resist change at every turn.

A second sexual revolution may involve anything from group marriages to sex robots to gender-bending orgies in public parks. It’s impossible to predict where our collective libidos will take us. It is possible, if not inevitable, that there will be some kind of backlash along the way. When change happens that fast, people get really stressed out and people do crazy things when they’re stressed.

There are all sorts of ways that a second sexual revolution can manifest. I don’t want to make too many predictions. I’d rather save those sexy contemplations for one of my future novels. I will, however, throw in one last complications that may make the next revolution unique from every other revolution in human history.

No matter how extreme or kinky a revolution was in the past, including Victorian England, there was one common theme. They were all driven by the crude and horny whims of our caveman brains, whose wiring hasn’t been upgraded in over 100,000 years. It’s like constantly changing the rules of the game, but never changing the equipment.

Advances in biotechnology and brain enhancement, such as that being planned by Neuralink, may completely change the dynamics of human thought and society. The same forces that incurred backlashes in the past might not be a factor anymore. People may very well be an entirely new way of dealing with a new sexual revolution.

Again, it’s impossible to predict. As soon as we start tweaking our brains and upgrading our biology, all bets are off. History and hindsight are no longer accurate guides with which to understand the course of society. The potential of another sexual revolution is vast, but the potential for backlash is every bit as big.

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A Disease-Free World: We’re More Ready Than You Think

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It’s such a frightening thought. It terrifies parents, priests, rabbis, mullahs, monks, and conservative republicans. People, especially young people, are having sex at this very moment. If that’s not horrifying enough, they’re having sex for fun.

They’re not doing it with their government-approved, religiously-sanctioned spouse. They’re not doing it to produce more babies that will grow into tax-paying, church-going citizens. They’re just doing it because they enjoy the wonderful, toe-curling pleasure that comes with sex.

The most horrifying thought of all, though, is that they’re doing it and they’re not facing any consequences for it. They’re not getting pregnant because of modern contraception. They’re not getting sick either because of modern medicine. There’s literally no legitimate reason other than stigma to dissuade people from having sex for fun. It’s such a horrifying thought.

Okay, that’s enough sarcasm for now. What I just described is an exaggerated extreme of the mentality of those who are opposed to a society that permits or does not punish sexual promiscuity. It’s a reverse of the thought experiment I pitched last year about a world where the diseases that used to scare people out of having sex are all cured.

I don’t think people realize just how much closer we are to that world than they think. Most people alive today don’t remember a world where the biggest dread wasn’t HIV. It was debilitating diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. To give you an idea of just how devastating they were, over 20,000 people died from syphilis alone in 1939.

Like small pox, these diseases ravaged generation after generation. Also like small pox, modern medicine eradicated it from our collective fears. In fact, the rise of antibiotics has been largely credited with kick-starting the sexual revolution of the 1960s, more so than contraception.

There are still some scary diseases out there, though. In some respects, those same parents, priests, rabbis, mullahs, monks, and conservative republicans can take a perverse comfort that diseases like HIV/AIDS provides a strong incentive to avoid excessive promiscuity. That comfort, however, won’t last.

 

In a previous post, I talked about an emerging medical tool called CRISPR and how it may hold the key to ending infectious disease as we know it. I also asked a question I’m sure the anti-promiscuity crowd dreads. Are we ready for a world where we don’t have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases?

There are people who believe that our society simply cannot function in a world where there aren’t any scary diseases to dissuade people from having more sex than the Catholic Church sanctions. On paper, their fears aren’t wholly unreasonable.

In a society with so much promiscuity, fewer people will get married. Fewer people will form the stable, nuclear family that every 50s sitcom championed. Without disease, why would anyone forge any stable family units? Then, there’s the children. How traumatic would it be for them if they grew up in a world where people just had sex for fun?

 

That’s not entirely sarcasm. That is a very real concern and I can empathize with it to some extent. A society without disease, but full of rampant promiscuity is just so different. Our society has always had to content with these horrible diseases. The idea that they would no longer be a factor just seems unnatural and uncharted for our species.

However, empathy or not, it’s also a sentiment that I believe is misguided. It’s rooted more in flawed assumptions about a specific cultural ideal than actual human biology. I would argue that human beings, as well as society in general, is more prepared for a disease-free world than the Vatican would have us believe.

I believe this because there is a precedent, sort of. In fact, this may be one of the few instances where caveman logic works in favor of our emerging future and not against it. To understand this, we have to go beyond the ways our hunter/gatherer ancestors functioned. We have to look at the practical aspects of these nasty diseases.

For a disease to be real nasty, it has to both spread easily and within a population of hosts that are able to infect as many potential hosts as possible. When you look at our modern infrastructure, or even our ancient trade routes, it’s easy to see why a nasty disease would choose humans.

It’s also easy to see why diseases would use sex to spread. Like eating, it’s a hardwired drive that built into every human being. The desire to mate is every bit as powerful as the desire to eat. Unlike foodborne disease, though, sex provides more opportunities to infect other hosts. On top of that, rubbing body parts together is a lot more direct than simply sneezing on someone.

However, while modern and even pre-modern infrastructure made sex an ideal mechanism for spreading disease, we have to remember that this situation is actually very recent. The ability to simply travel to other regions, meet other people, and possibly have sex with them is very new in the context of our evolutionary history. For most of that history, though, the story was very different.

That brings me back to the hunter/gatherer lifestyle from which all our ancestors evolved. Books like “Sex At Dawn,” which I’ve mentioned before, describe in great detail the particulars of this lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that, ironically to some extent, makes sex a pretty lousy method for transmitting disease.

This is because during those hunter/gatherer days, we humans roamed and foraged in small bands of closely-knit tribes. These tribes rarely interacted with other tribes because most were spaced out over large areas. Naturally, roaming lands and foraging for food makes it hard to stay in one place, stake claim to a territory, and fight over it.

On top of that, these close-knit tribes had very low population density, a limited ability to travel long distances, and no elaborate trade networks. That means that within these tribes, a sexually transmitted disease is rightly screwed. Sure, it can infect a tribe, but not much else. If that disease is fatal, it may kill the tribe, but it also kills itself as well. So if a disease as nasty as AIDS did emerge, it never had a chance to spread.

If there were any diseases, they couldn’t be fatal and they couldn’t seriously affect fertility. Like the common cold or the flu, it could only ever be so nasty. Otherwise, it never would’ve survived into the modern era.

Keep in mind, also, that the hunter/gatherer lifestyle was the lifestyle of choice for our species for nearly 90 percent of its existence. Our evolution and biology emerged within this lifestyle. That lifestyle was also conducive to some fairly loose sexual practices, many of which would make the Rick Santorums of the world faint. That’s why it’s not unreasonable to say that our ancestors had better sex lives than we do.

Those sexual practices were rarely conducive to the world of white picket fence type families that is so idealized by western civilization. It’s also not conducive to the world of kings and his multiple wives/concubines/sex slaves. That kind of rigid structure or hierarchy just doesn’t work in in a hunter/gatherer society. That’s why many practice strong egalitarian traditions.

This makes sense in terms of sheer pragmatism. In a society of hunter/gatherers where you’re only working with small tribes, you can’t be too much of a bigot. Everyone has to pitch in. Everyone has to share. You can’t be too big an asshole because you won’t survive without your tribe, nor will you have a chance to have sex. From an evolutionary and society perspective, it’s a pretty good deal.

In this context, human beings are already well-wired for a more promiscuous society. In fact, as “Sex At Dawn” argues half-jokingly, it may be better for us overall. You need only look at the happy, sexy lives that Bonobo chimps live. They have a lot of sex. They rarely fight. Even by hippie standards, they’re pretty chill.

At the moment, we humans can’t live those lives. Our world is too developed, too connected, and too vast for our caveman brains to make sense of. Add nasty diseases that can now use sex to effectively spread and it just isn’t pragmatic anymore, even if our biology favors it.

That may change very soon though. Once tools like CRISPR and contraceptives like Vasalgel are refined, those barriers are gone. We can safely exercise the same libido that our ancestors got to enjoy. What will that do for society? What will that do for the dynamics between men and women? It’s hard to imagine, but it’s a damn sexy idea that’s worth imagining.

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Neuralink: How Brain Enhancement Will Make Us Sexier (And More Loving)

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At the beginning of every year, millions people stand in front of the mirror, look at all the weight they’ve gained since Christmas, and promise to themselves that they’ll eat healthier and exercise more for the coming year. It’s an entirely noble promise, seeking greater health. It’s also a promise that most are destined to break.

Any effort to better ourselves, no matter how healthy or noble, is an uphill battle. That’s why the vast majority of diets do not work on a long-term basis. You can lose a little weight here and there, but it almost always comes back. Then, you hate yourself a little more, look for excuses, and go back to drowning your sorrows in a tub of ice cream.

However, it’s not entirely your fault that you broke that promise to yourself at the beginning of the year. It’s not even the fault of bullying, the media, or even food companies that insist on making unhealthy food that tastes too damn good. No, it’s the fault of one organ in your body. No, I’m not talking about your stomach either. It’s your brain.

Yes, your brain is the reason why you can’t keep your promises and stay health. Your brain is the reason why you can’t keep the weight off when you diet. Your brain is the reason why your body is shackled to unhealthy habits that keep our bodies flooded with greasy, sugary food and on the couch.

Naturally, this does affect our sex lives, our love lives, and everything in between. When we’re unhealthy, it makes it damn hard to get in the mood, sustain the mood, and make that mood meaningful. How can we when we’re craving sugar cookies, beer, and Netflix? Again, it’s our brains. It’s the reason why we can’t live healthier, sexier lives.

That brings me back to Neuralink. Yes, I’m not quite ready to shut up about it yet. There’s just so much to talk about and so many implications, some sexier than others. I’ve been talking largely about the big picture and the pragmatics of brain implants and brain enhancement so far. Now, I’d like to get to the sexy stuff.

Last year, I talked a bit about how I essentially shamed myself into adopting a healthier lifestyle. I went from a cookie-eating, soda-drinking couch potato to a guy who exercises almost every day and tries not to gorge on donuts every day. It shows in my health and my sex appeal. I can take my shirt off at the beach and be fairly certain that the women who see me won’t be disgusted.

That process of getting healthier was hard. My brain was my biggest enemy in that it fought me every step of the way. That’s because the human brain isn’t necessarily wired for a healthy lifestyle in an era where there are no famines and no hungry bears trying to eat us. It’s wired to basically do what makes it and the body happy.

Unfortunately, that often means eating copious amounts of the fattening sugar that used to be such a rarity in the natural world before modern sugar processing. Again, you can blame big corporations as much as the kale-eating hippies of the world, but the issue isn’t capitalism. It’s our faulty brain wiring that hasn’t been updated in 200,000 years.

Our brain is wired to value sugary, tasty foods that give us a quick dopamine rush. It’s also wired to maintain existing habits and mentalities over creating new ones because change is a stressful process. Being the crude piece of hardware that it is, the brain generally tries to avoid stress.

Naturally, this unhealthy brain wiring affects our sex lives as well. While we are a very social species, our brain often struggles between selfish and affectionate tendencies. That means that once the brain gets its dopamine rush from the sex and love we make, it’s generally pretty selfish about it.

That’s why we have men who will do a few casual humps, blow their load, and then look for an excuse to turn on Sportscenter. That’s why we have women who will just lie there, bark orders, and expect their partner to do all the work. That’s why we find ourselves in relationships where two lovers just aren’t on the same page, get bored with each other, and look for the next dopamine rush, whether it’s the pool guy or the babysitter.

It’s a sad and unpleasant byproduct of a brain that has been stuck on the same settings since the stone age and is at the mercy of crude, unguided chemistry. There are those who can overcome it to lose a lot of weight and form marriages that last more than half-a-century. Unfortunately, that’s the exception and not the norm.

That’s where Neuralink comes in. It’s doing what no diet pill, self-help book, or talk show host ever dared to do. It’s getting right to the root of these problems, which is in our brains. Tweak the wiring and suddenly, every weight loss guru is out of a job.

How would that work? Well, keep in mind that Neuralink‘s stated goal is to integrate computer technology directly into our brains to improve various brain functions. Well, that improvement part isn’t just limited to basic math and keeping up with the latest season of Scandal.

Picture the brain of someone who is insanely fit, like the Rock or Kate Hudson. How is their brain wired? How do they get themselves to do what they do? Well, we already know how to scan brains. It wouldn’t be easy to decipher the particulars of that wiring, but it’s not impossible. A neural implant would simply mimic that wiring, setting our brains up so that we have the right mindset for being healthy.

It goes even farther than that though. A neural implant means we’re not restricted to the brain’s traditional limits. That means it could, in theory, wire our brain in a way that makes us less hungry. We would no longer succumb to that powerful impulse to buy a dozen donuts every time we walk by a Krispe Kreme.

Beyond mitigating hunger, an implant could also wire our brains in a way that makes us feel an extra rush of dopamine when we exercise. Remember that so-called “coregasm” I mentioned when I talked about different kinds of orgasms? Well what if doing 100 sit-ups or 100 push ups gave us the kind of orgasm usually reserved for three-ways with cheerleaders and Hugh Jackman? You’d become a fitness junkie overnight.

The same extends to food. One of the reasons why we can’t stop eating all the unhealthy shit we eat is because it tastes so damn good. It tastes good because our brains make us believe it tastes good. Well what if a neural implant could make it so a bowl of kale tastes like a slice of chocolate cake dipped in bacon grease? Suddenly, eating healthy isn’t just practical. It’s a goddamn party.

So a neural implant can wire your brain in a way that makes you eat better, exercise more, and feel healthier. That’s all well and good, but looks alone aren’t going to make you sexier. You can look like an Olympic athlete, but if you’re an amateur once the panties come off, then you might as well be Al Bundy.

A neural implant with just the right settings can change that. Ladies, have you ever had a man just hump you for a few minutes, blow his load, and then roll over and fall asleep before you even had a chance to get wet? Well, it’s not entirely his fault. He’s still an inconsiderate asshole, but there is a biological reason for it.

In the brain, there’s this chemical called prolactin. It has a lot of complex impacts on the brain, but it’s what keeps a man from going more than a few rounds between the sheets. When his brain is full of this chemical, his soldier will not be saluting you for a while. Add the shot of endorphins that comes with a typical male orgasm and he might as well have a tranquilizer dart in his head.

Now tweak that brain chemistry a bit. Make it so a man’s brain isn’t wired so he’s “one and done,” so to speak. Ladies, you now have a lover who can hang in there for multiple rounds, keep the mood sexy, and ensure you that special trip to O-Town you crave. That’s what a neural implant could do.

It’s not just for the men either. Guys, have you ever had one of those ladies who, despite your best efforts, can’t seem to make it all the way to O-Town? Well, there are any number of reasons why that could be and not all of them are your fault. Many, in fact, are in the woman’s brain.

Using the same approach, adjusting the wiring for female settings, a neural implant could install the mental equivalent of an express lane to O-Town. That means that men can feel like Brad Pitt on crack when they’re making love, sharing multiple round-trip vacations to that special place of sensual bliss. How much better would your sex life be if your brains were wired like that?

Go even farther than that. Go beyond having the kind of hot sex that sets bed sheets ablaze. Get a little romantic and suddenly, brain implants become the most romantic thing that doesn’t involve diamonds and Hugh Grant.

It’s true. Love also has a powerful basis in the brain. There even this chemical called Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone.” It’s basically your brain’s way of creating bonds and enhancing intimacy. It’s what helps mothers bond with children, husbands bond with wives, and children with dolls. It is basically the chocolate frosting of brain chemicals.

Normally, hormones like oxytocin are secreted erratically and chaotically in the brain. It’ll emerge whether you’re making love to your spouse on your anniversary or banging your tennis instructor. Nature is just too crude and too immature to wire the brain in a way that really makes those lasting bonds stick.

Add a neural implant to the mix and suddenly, you can channel oxytocin like a biological smart bomb. You want to be more intimate with your partner? Well, you don’t need to go on vacation or buy an expensive diamond. Just adjust the settings of your implant and just like that, you’ve got more love in your heart than every Barry White song ever made.

Are you excited/horny yet about Neuralink‘s full potential? Does the idea of getting a neural implant now feel like the equivalent of a VIP pass to the Playboy Mansion? I think I’ve done enough to pain a very rosy, very sexy picture of the future. Now there will be risks, as there are with all new technologies, but I honestly can’t think of a risk that’s more worth it.

If we have a way to fix our inherently flawed brains, then we won’t just be healthier and happier. We’ll be able to love, make love, and share love on a level that no human has ever experienced before. Sure, it’s still a ways off, but with Elon Musk at the helm and Neuralink providing the platform, that future is within our grasp. I say it’s worth embracing.

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Humans May Have A Mating Season (Kind Of)

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There are a lot of crazy things that set human beings apart and I’m not just talking about our eagerness to shave our pubic hair. When compared to other animals, especially our closest primate relatives, we’re downright freaky. I mean that literally and with all the sexy undertones that an immature teenage boy might imagine.

One of those freaky traits is actually the lack of a mating season. While it may not sound like a big deal to the non-panda population, it’s actually a big fucking deal. Most mammals, including some species of primate, have a specified mating season where the females are fertile, the males are extra horny, and the proverbial bushes are rocking. It’s a beautiful thing, even if you’re not an erotica/romance writer.

There are legitimate evolutionary reasons why a species has a mating season. The world is a dangerous place full of hungry predators, natural disasters, and diseases that make you shit out your lower intestines. We need to dedicate a lot of resources just to survive that world. Pragmatically speaking, it makes sense to reserve just a certain sliver of time to focus on getting frisky so that our species doesn’t go extinct.

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Humans, however, don’t have a mating season. Unlike the females of other species, human females ovulate about once every 28 days. They can, for the most part, conceive a child at almost any time in their menstrual cycle. There’s also no obvious sign, short of discarded tampon wrappers, that a woman is even in a fertile period of her cycle.

Again, this is pretty damn freaky in terms of traditional mammalian mating behavior. Most mammals ovulate and become fertile just a few times a year. That’s usually the time when everyone drops what they’re doing and focuses on boning. If a hungry predator shows up, then they’ll just have to lose their appetite or enjoy the show.

This ability for females to ovulate regularly and conceive at nearly any point in their cycle is a big reason why humans are so efficient when it comes to mating. I get that our ability to make tools, build cities, and think critically played a major role as well, but let’s not discount our mating proficiency compared to other animals. There’s a reason why some primates our endangered while we humans just keep boning and thriving.

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While we may be freaks, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re entirely divorced from our mammalian brethren. It’s technically accurate that humans don’t have a defined mating season. We’ll bone at any time and conceive accordingly, as our demographics data shows. However, practically speaking, it may not be completely accurate to say that humans have no mating season at all.

According to a recent article from Vice, there are a few times of the year where we’re more prone to get frisky than others. Data from the CDC does show a few telling variations in terms of when more babies are born. Working backwards, we can surmise when the extra boning went on.

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Using this method, researchers with too much free time and a dirty mind determined that most children were conceived in the winter. So while spring is often seen as a time for love and what not, it’s the winter when we do the humping. Again, it’s not the same as having an actual mating season, but it still functions as such.

So why is this? Well, I’d love to say that it’s a product of some complex psycho-social phenomenon with a basis in subtle neurological and physiological variations. That would make me sound much smarter than you’d expect of an erotica/romance writer.

Unfortunately, the explanation is a lot more mundane. It turns out that all that winter boning is more a product of boredom anything biological. The article puts it fairly succinctly.

A lot of people get knocked up when there are blizzards and hurricanes,” Shuey explains. “When they’re stuck indoors with nothing to do, they may not necessarily be doing it to mate, but they’re doing it because they don’t have anything else going on.”

That’s right. Being snowed in and stuck indoors during major storms leads to more babies being conceived. When you’re bored and not worrying about hungry predators, you immediately default to your mating instinct. There’s something inherently logical and sexy about that.

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So keep this in mind next winter. We human may not have a mating season, but there are certain times of the year where we love to do a little extra humping. So this winter, stock up on massage oil, candles, and lingerie. If we’re going to have a quasi-mating season, we might as well enjoy the hell out of it.

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When Love (And Lust) Is Genuine

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Does she love me?

Does she love you?

Is our love real?

Is the sex good?

Is the sex really that good?

Is this love the real deal?

These are all questions I’m sure everyone has asked themselves at some point. If not, then chances are you’ll ask yourselves these questions at some point in the future. Sometimes you may not even ask them with a completely sober mind and I’m not just talking about shots of tequila.

Love, lust, and everything in between is a beautiful thing. It’s one of the most powerful experiences we can have as human beings. In fact, according to research from MIT, being in love can produce a high similar to that of cocaine. In another life, maybe Pablo Escobar could’ve been the ultimate love guru. I guess we’ll never know.

I know I say it a lot, but it’s worth saying again, especially for a topic like this. We are a very social species. The human race thrived, despite bodies that were easily crushed by hungry bears, because we could collaborate and cooperate. We worked together, shared resources, and made beautiful love that resulted in more humans. Now, we’re the most dominant species on the planet. Bears just cannot make that claim.

As beautiful as it is, sometimes the answers to those questions are tragic, if not downright heartbreaking. It does happen. Sometimes the love two people have isn’t real. Sometimes the lust they feel is fake. Sometimes the sex is only a minor step above having someone watch while you masturbate. The challenge is finding out how to answer these questions.

I bring up this topic because I recently got into an interesting discussion with some people on a comic book message board. Now in general, I try to avoid most of the discussions on message boards. I’ve found that over 95 percent of them involve fans whining about the current situation in their favorite comics and how they hate it so much, but not enough to stop talking about it.

Every now and then, though, there will be a more meaningful conversation. I really enjoy being part of that conversation because it brings out some interesting perspectives. A lot of those perspectives can apply to real life, even in comics that involve clones, time travel, and poop jokes. Yes, I’m referring about Deadpool.

Specifically, the conversation I had involved a discussion about how genuine the love and romantic chemistry is between two particular characters. In this case, one of those characters was Spider-Man, whose romantic history is almost as vast as Wolverine’s. While I do criticize Spider-Man for being an incompetent hero, the man is still pretty good when it comes to getting laid. For that, I do respect him.

However, like a lot of comic book characters and real people, his love life is subject to a lot of variations. There are times when his emotions are not entirely sincere. By that, I mean he’s with someone because they’re there. That’s it. Then, there are times when he really does love someone, enough to marry them and make a deal with a devil with them. Like I said, there’s a lot of range with Spider-Man.

Sometimes it’s hard to make sense of these situations. Within the discussion I had, there were all sorts of conflicting opinions about just how sincere Spider-Man was and how much potential the relationship actually had. For every one person in the discussion, there were at least five different opinions, including my own.

Comic book fans are notoriously stubborn for how their characters are portrayed, but when it comes to our love lives, the stakes are a bit higher. In the discussion, I noticed a few common themes that set genuine love apart from the kind of love that end with Spider-Man getting his ass kicked by the Green Goblin.

One of those elements is luck. I know that doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s an unavoidable function of life. Sometimes you’re in the right situation at the right time to take advantage of something, be it love or a winning lotto ticket. You can’t always control it, but it happens.

With respect to genuine love, though, luck plays a very specific role. If a relationship relies on luck to work, then that relationship is basically a reverse lottery. Over time, the odds just aren’t in anyone’s favor. The Law of Averages is both a harsh mistress and an outright sadomasochist. Spider-Man finds that out on a regular basis with how badly his relationships turn out, often due to forces he can’t control.

In addition to luck, there’s also the chemistry aspect. This is much sexier and much more romantic than luck. There’s no question about that. It’s also one of the hardest component to really nail down.

We all understand what romantic and sexual chemistry is to some extent. If two people are drawn together and struggle to keep their clothes on around each other, that’s a sign of pretty potent chemistry. Like real chemistry, though, some mixtures are more potent than others. Some are downright volatile.

If the chemistry is restricted to lust, then that’ll make for some hot sex. However, it won’t make for much else. Now I’ve got nothing against hot sex. It’s a wonderful part of being human. It can just be shallow and crude though. It can be a key ingredient for sexual chemistry, but it can’t be the only ingredient.

Add love to the mix and that’s where the potency shows. Genuine love complements one another. Genuine love involves two people cooperating, sacrificing, and sharing on a level that you just don’t do with a total stranger. Genuine love is usually equal for the most part. It’s rarer than hot sex, but beautiful. It even shows up in an X-men comic every now and then.

Lastly, one key element in genuine love involves reasons and excuses. I know this isn’t very sexy either, but it’s a necessary practical element of love. It can be either the glue or the napalm that binds/destroys a relationship.

Specifically, it deals with the how and why two people are involved in the first place. If they’re in an arranged marriage, which still happens a lot these days, then that’s a fairly unambiguous reason. If they’re together because they just don’t want to be alone, then that’s not much of a reason. That’s more of an excuse.

Sometimes Spider-Man is just with someone because they’re part of his life. They happen to cross paths with him both in and out of the mask. That’s often the case with characters like the Black Cat, whose about as genuine as a very hungry, very horny wolf. It rarely makes for a very genuine connection.

Sometimes two people start out as friends and the connection deepens. This often happens in a lot of teen movies and sitcoms, but it happens in real life too so it’s not entirely flawed like most movie tropes. That can sometimes be a solid foundation for genuine love.

There are also cases where two people are together purely for pragmatic reasons. A beautiful woman is with a man because he’s rich. A man is with a beautiful woman because she’s sexy. Sometimes people are just friends with benefits. That does happen and can work, despite what an Ashton Kutcher movie may claim.

That doesn’t mean pragmatism is necessarily genuine though. If two people are together because not being together would be too much work or too inconvenient, that’s not genuine. That’s just plain lazy. If two people are together because one has a great deal of leverage over the other, then that’s not genuine either. That’s exploitation.

Overall, there are a lot of components that go into a genuine romance and, without spoiling too much of the discussion I had, Spider-Man sucks at it. Characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Starfire, to some extent, have a much better track record.

In the real world and throughout history, you’ll find plenty of examples of genuine love. They don’t always make for great stories or good erotica/romance, but that doesn’t make them any less genuine. In the end, genuine love combined with genuine lust makes for the best and sexiest connections. Not everyone can find it, but that’s what makes it so precious.

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How “Sexually Fluid” Can You Be?

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Whenever I ask a question on this blog, it’s usually for two general reasons. One, I want to get people thinking strange, sexy thoughts that may or may not require a change of panties later on. Two, I want to explore possible ideas for future novels, which may also require a change in panties at some point. In either case, the only real loser are the dry panties of the world.

I’ve asked questions about human enhancement, artificial wombs, and sex with robots. I admit I tend to think some oddly sexy thoughts in my everyday life. These aren’t exactly questions I can ask somebody on the bus without getting thrown out. I still think they’re worth discussing though. We’re all hear because of sex. It’s worth talking about.

This latest sexy question isn’t quite as colorful as sex robots, but it’s a lot more relevant. It has to do with recent trend that has been observed by GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, that the current generation of millennials is more sexually and gender fluid than previous generations.

What that means to those who took one too many sex ed classes in Texas is that more people today are not identifying as 100 percent heterosexual and more are not identifying 100 percent as a particular gender. I’ll give the Pat Robertsons of the world a moment to gasp and faint.

In terms of specifics, GLAAD’s 2017 Accelerating Acceptance report says that about 20 percent of millennials identify as something other than heterosexual and about 12 percent identify as something other than one particular gender. That’s quite an increase from previous decades where you couldn’t even get people to admit they masturbated.

GLAAD and their supporters say this is a positive thing and I agree to a large extent. It shows that more and more people are willing to come out as something other than what is considered “normal.” Given how the very concept of “normal” is flawed to begin with, especially in matters of sex, I think that shows that society is gaining a healthier attitude with respect to sexuality.

While this does count as progress in my mind, it does raise a bigger question that’s much harder to answer. Exactly how “sexually fluid” can we be in terms of our gender and sexuality? Does the report reveal a greater sexual flexibility in people? Or does it just reveal our current cultural trends?

Those are difficult question to answer. In some respects, they’re impossible to answer. Culture and attitudes do have an impact on our sexuality. Just look at last year’s trends in porn consumption for proof of that. At the same time, there are some components of our sexuality that are innate and inborn, a product of both genes and conditions in our mother’s womb.

The primary issue, and the one that neither GLAAD nor religious zealots can claim to know with certainty, is where cultural influence ends and biology begins. That line is not clear, poorly defined, and constantly changing as we learn more about our bodies and minds. Chances are it’ll keep changing for generations to come.

It’s still a relevant and interesting question to contemplate though. Is there a particular limit to how flexible a man or woman can be with their sexuality? I’m not just talking about the kind of flexibility that we see in “Orange is the New Black.” Prison is just one of those extreme situations that require us to be more flexible with our genitals than we’d usually be.

In this case, let’s try to avoid extremes and ask the question in the context of a functioning society. Just how fluid can a man and woman reasonably be? The answer for both genders might be different.

Current research indicates that women may be more sexually fluid than men. Is there a biological reason for this? Does the absence of testosterone or the abundance of estrogen make someone more likely to be attracted to both genders or not identify exclusively with one gender? Or is it possible that in a culture of internet porn, Lady Gaga, and Carl’s Jr. ads, female sexual fluidity is just more acceptable?

Again, it’s hard to pin down. The impact of sex hormones is always subject to change. We may discover tomorrow that pregnant women listening to boy bands may influence whether their child becomes homosexual, bisexual, or transgender. Human beings and biology in general are complicated, erratic, and as organized as a drunk stumbling through a Lego factory in the dark.

There may also be another factor to consider. These days, the worst thing you can be isn’t a communist, a Nixon insider, or an internet troll. Today, the greatest villain in Millennial crowds is the so-called “straight white cisgendered male.” Picture every villain inspired by Lex Luthor or Justin Beiber. That is who Millennials hate.

To be a straight white man who identifies as a man these days is to be a bad person by default. No matter who you are, whether you work for the peace corp or write erotica/romance, Millenials hate them because they think they’re the source of all the world’s problems. It’s one of those simple, believable, and wrong assertions that every generation believes to some degree.

The hippies had their villains. The yuppies had their as well. Millenials are no different. As such, they may be more inclined to identify as something other than straight, white, or male. It’s less a statement about their sexuality and more an elaborate display of virtue signaling, which is about as honest as genuine as a biology lecture from Jenny McCarthy.

So with these various complications in mind, I think it’s hard to conclude much of anything from GLAAD’s study. It’s one of those issues that’ll only become clearer in the future with the benefit of hindsight. By 2060, our descendants may look back on Millenials and say, “Wow! Those were some sexually confused motherfuckers.” They may also say, “Wow! I can’t believe we made that big a deal about sex back then.”

Until the day comes when we can all be shape-shifters like Mystique, this is going to be an issue. Sexual fluidity is one of those unavoidable outcomes from nature’s chaotic, often irrational forces. We can’t avoid it any more than men can avoid awkward boners.

It’s difficult to navigate, but I believe that Millennials are making a concerted effort to change that. The price, benefits, and extent of those efforts remain to be seen. All I know is that those efforts should give me plenty of interesting ideas for erotica/romance novels.

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