Sunday, September 09, 2007


Would you still feel like yourself if you modified your body or tried on a different body? Would you have the same sexual appetites and desires? Would it feel the same to be with your partner sexually if you were in a different body? If he/she were in a different body? If you were both in different bodies?

Selecting different bodies would separate the physical and mental aspects of sex. Pheromonal and other elemental physical chemistry might be surprisingly different in different bodies (as Richard Morgan explores in Altered Carbon). There is probably a wide dispersion in people's preferred mix of physical and mental sexual characteristics.

Consider for example senescent seniors trying on teenage bodies for a sexual romp. Should it be illegal to have sex with a body aged below the age of consent if it is inhabited by an adult?

The range of sexual issues that are challenging to discuss in relationships now could explode. Current issues regarding virtual world sex are just a warm-up, for example, is it cheating to have virtual sex with an avatar inhabited by someone other than your partner?

My partner wants to be someone else
How should I feel if my lover wants to experience being in a different body? What if I don't want to have sex with the person he/she wants to try being?

My partner wants me to be someone else
How should I feel if my lover wants me to be in a different body? Is self-agency diminished in inhabiting a body picked by my partner or is it just a more extreme form of doing what I know my partner enjoys? Would I or should I feel rejection pangs if my lover wants me to wear the Angelina Jolie body or would it be fun? Then of course the respite to the novelty could be the really wild - lets just wear ourselves tonight...

Its all about partner is a sexual substrate
Would sex disappear as a special interaction amongst partners in favor of a way to explore individual desires? How could I be desiring my partner if I want him/her to wear someone else's body? Do I still desire my partner or is he/she just a sexual substrate if I can have sex with him/her as Brad Pitt one night, as Angelina Jolie the next, etc.? Does it matter if we are both wearing each others fantasy bodies? How could turning current fantasies into reality be achieved in a healthy way that doesn't hurt feelings but rather opens up new doors to fun and exploration?

We generally don't expect our partners to mind if we engage in other means of entertainment and relaxation with others, could an evolved understanding of sex be as casual? As possibilities increase, the possessiveness of sex probably diminishes.

Does it depend on whose body?
Is it different if it is another real person's body (the Brad Pitt) vs. a fictional body (the anonymous Pleasure Bob model)? In an advanced society, there should be no difference in the connotation of a partner's desire for the Brad Pitt body, the anonymous pleasure model, the Next Door Neighbor or the Guy from Work that you met at Happy Hour.

What would the world be like if we could all have sex with our neighbors, co-workers, celebrities and politicians via a filter worn by our partners? Ironically this could strengthen monogamous or polyamorous bonds and allow relationships to revolve around non-sexual aspects.

It could be that the Brad Pitt model is actually not that well-endowed, and would need to be modified mid-stream, or switched to the Johnny Depp or the Marilyn Monroe model, or become a rotating kaleidoscope of morphing physicality.

How should I feel if my lover wants two copies of me simultaneously? This is actually a new concept of having sex with yourself. Would I want a threesome or foursome with multiple copies of my lover? How would I expect my lover to feel if I wanted to experience a multiple-some with copies of him/her?

Presumably sexual options will eventually extend at minimum to wearing a neuro-experience filter mapping real or imagined partner behavior to personalized sensors and magnitudes, experiencing your partner wearing someone else or having sex with humanoid robots.

If different bodies can be tried on, sex is but one area for discovery, ethics and imagination.


Roko said...

Interesting post. I've had some thoughts about this, and have blogged about it

LaBlogga said...

Hi Roko, thanks for the comment and for exploring some of these ideas in your post.

With immortality and non-sexual reproduction (via upload copies, AI etc.) evolutionary psychology's sexual selection competition which has been perhaps the primary dynamic of human society goes away.

Eventually, I think most people will experience sex via their Virtual Reality rig. It is fun to speculate about other scenarios; David Brin's "Kiln People" gives one example.

Intimacy in relationships amongst intelligent individuals could still revolve around the main aspects it does now, emotion and shared values and interests.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Im from Melbourne. Please check out these related references on the all important emotional-sexual nature of our intrinsic humanity.


LaBlogga said...

Hi John, thank you for the comment and links. One of my points is that while sex has evolved with humanity to date, the future of sex can be engineered in interesting and radical new ways.

samantha said...

One thing that virtual sex with and without avatars teaches is that a lot of sex and even deep intimacy and emotional bonding is very much in the mind, it is mental state and willingness (perhaps suspension or override of disbelief?) dependent.

That said the physical space experience thus far is much richer, especially at the level of touch and stimulation of major important happy making nerve bundles. It is much more of a total experience.

Certainly this can change. And many other types of overwhelming total experience can be added into the mix as desired. A sort of cyber-tantric sexuality is very possible. Even without future projections I am sure I am not the only one that has experienced archetype loaded sex where there is an experience of deep mythic universal joining that seems highly transpersonal and beyond the immediate people involved. It is hard to imagine adding too many bells and whistles to that, but fun to consider. It certainly would be great if such could be experienced whenever we wish with however many or types of partners or self-forms desired.

But if sex is not a celebration then as Woody Allen said, "Sex may be a meaningless pleasure. But as meaningless pleasure go, it is the best!" :)

Only Southern Baptists (or other fundie types) can make sex only a matter of hydraulic and nervous relief.