We tend not to give too much thought to the future of sex (the present of sex is more than enough to keep us occupied). But we still have to wonder just what sex will be like in...the future.
Will we still be boning when we're all plugged in to computers, Matrix-style, experiencing the world in a virtual way? Will our robot avatars be bumping uglies? And what about porn? H+ Magazine has assembled some of the leading minds in the radical tech community to get their thoughts on the issue. A few selections below:
Conventional sex will likely persist in a transhumanist future, but only as a small subset of a much larger space of pleasurable activities which have been deliberately engineered. The connection between certain activities and the sensation of pleasure lies entirely in our cognitive architecture, which we
will eventually manipulate at will. It's probably less complex than we think - many drugs can directly stimulate the pleasure center, and these are much simpler than brain-to-computer interfaces. - Michael Anissimov
Anything that has persisted for hundreds of millions of years clearly has high survival value. Transhumanism seeks to enhance the positive aspects of the human condition, so love and sex are unlikely to be abandoned. Differences? Yes. Sex for procreation will be separated from sex for pleasure. Polyamorism will be the norm. After all if "I" have uploaded, duplicated myself and exist as self-similar copies in cyberspaces co-existent with realspace, where does the "self" end and the "other" begin? - Extropia DaSilva
The experience of gaining pleasure via in some sense merging with another being... that will probably survive the Singularity, but will likely be customizable into various forms, which may end up bearing little resemblance to "sex" as we know it today... - Ben Goertzel.
The primary purpose of the Singularity will be seen, after the fact, to be Awesome Sex. There will be exponentially more sex, with exponentially more interfaces, and with exponentially more measures of pleasure. - Alex Lightman
Exosex, sex outside the biological body, would be simulated in virtuality, much like Second Life or Skype and other digital formats where sex is enhanced, extended, digitized, and synthetic. It would be more real than real - a hyper-real experience.
Endosex, sex within the body or form, would exist even if the posthuman is so-called disembodied or, better, a distributed collection of selves (multiselves) co-existing on multiple platforms, including biological personas, virtual avatar personas or other types of forms in different substrates and platforms. - Natasha Vita-More
So there you have it: sex will maybe, probably, definitely still exist; and will be exactly like nothing we've ever experienced before. Also, we'll be doing it all the time, with everyone. So, uh, win?
For the full article, check out h+'s digitial edition (link below).