Stumbling recently upon MP’s neither-particularly-recent-nor-particularly-surprising disappointment that I’d become “lost” in navel-gazing triteness on these humble pagesi rather than devoting myself to “serious” material so as to create a funnel of prospective disciplines or some such,ii as if that were the only measure of an online existence (or any other existence for that matter), now seems as good a time as any to discuss the future of sex, particularly as it pertains to robots. Is that serious enough?
Future [sex] robots will have the allure and cues of fertility of a flesh-and-blood woman combined with the artificial intelligence that creates compulsive reward directed behavior. An intelligence, unlike the intelligence of humans, that will have the gratification of its owner as the only goal.
So basically, in the future, every man becomes a master? Every robot becomes an idealised sex slave that submits to our every beck and call? Where do I sign up! I jest, of course, but only because I’m too old and married for such games, not because I don’t see the appeal for those excluded from the dating market by their general incompetence with the fairer sex, prejudiced apps, and winner-take-all financialised economies. In another life, that poor sod could’ve just as very easily been me. Statistically speaking, it should’ve been me nine times out of ten, but here we are. Alas, an ego-less robot wasn’t my love-to-be, but does that make it a “bad” love?
Courtship is expensive and complicated by design, and it’s the limiting factor of the sexual fulfillment of men. Women impose costs on men to gain sexual access for very good reasons: to test their genetic fitness and their long-term potential supporting a family. If courtship is costly and the costs are not clearly defined, this not only tests a man’s motivation toward a specific woman, it also acts to monopolize a man’s resources so he can’t afford to woo anyone else. Pornography and prostitution are popular because they arrive at sexual end goals, or a reasonable facsimile, with more clarity and lower costs than in the mating market.
Courtship is expensive only to the extent that success in general is expensive. That’s by definition. Cheap things are cheap, plentiful, and in no way exclusive. They’re also not markers of success for mating… or anything else besides. News at 11. But does that mean resources are being “monopolised” by women selecting men? Or merely that selection is occurring and that some men have more resources to bring to bear than others? I’ll let you ponder that for a moment, and while you do, in addition to pornography and prostitution, another thing that leads to a reasonable facsimile of mating is… yes, cars! Of course I was going to say cars. How not? While not everyone has this unique
ability affliction, some of us are able to satisfy our reproductive appetites with sex robots of the four-wheeled variety. Speaking as someone so dearly and deeply beset – with no less than four registered vehicles and a DD2 kart to his name – my apparently voracious sexual hunger is very nearly being met by this one hobby alone. Not bad!iv At the very least, I’m doing my damnedest to channel my loin-borne energies in a direction that maintains “family stability” while my boys are of such a tender age.v Indeed, even thrice weekly trips to the mechanic for tunes, tires and track-prepping is a modest sum compared to managing an entire parallel universe of second wives and/or mistresses, not to mention that my current set of family and friends are much more open to sharing in the experience when it’s car-related.vi Also, it doesn’t hurt that quality>quantity when it comes to child-rearing in the 21st century, certainly as this equation pertains to parenting leverage.vii All of which is to say that healthy non-mating markets can and do support healthy mating markets, and vice versa. They’re far from mutually exclusive.
The complications of courtship are driving improvements in sexual substitutes, like masturbation aids (e.g. fleshlight, fliphole) and 3-D porn. There are already thousands of RealDolls in the world, silicone sex dolls that cost around $6,000 each. LovePlus is a Japanese game in which players interact with a virtual girlfriend including kissing her by touching the screen and taking her out on dates, has hundreds of thousands of users. LovePlus is a great demonstration of how this market isn’t only about providing sex, but also virtual companionship. You can’t even have virtual sex with Rinko, the ingénue of the game.
It’s hard not to read such developments as necessary products of Urbanism, what with its attendant feminisation (ie. pacifism). That so many resources are being poured into the development and purchase of such tools is reason enough to believe that the planet could handle, say,
10 20 40 billion humans?viii If the overwhelming majority are stuffed in a skycube, fed granola pellets at 4am, and given 3-D Rinko sexbots,ix who would possibly complain that a small handful of men were siring 50 75 95% of newborns?
Union power, increases in mandatory working standards, and minimum wage laws accelerate the push toward automation. Machines are already replacing cashiers and factory workers. Soon the jobs of truck drivers, clerks, and accountants will be automated. The current political climate around courtship and interactions between the sexes is more powerful than the market forces that are replacing jobs, because escalating costs aren’t transparent and neither is the punishment for not paying them. If a business owner wants to adhere to employment laws, he reads them. The costs of courtship are codified nowhere.
Juicy! Diana hits the nail on the head here, previewing what will almost certainly be a robot tax for sex robots with the proceeds directed towards the coming masses of orphans and children of single-mothers. As to the hidden costs of courtship, I’d argue that popular culture today, ie. hip-hop culture, ie. Black Culture lays out a perfectly readable blueprint for success, no matter how unappetising, incomprehensible, or “inconvenient” that reality may be for Joe Average. The message? Get rich or die tryin’, innit?
Men high in conscientiousness, who are sensitive to social disapproval but who nonetheless have difficulty reading subtle social cues, could make good husbands for women. These men are unlikely to want to take the risk of approaching women. As substitutes like sex robots and virtual companions become better and cheaper, they will monopolize the attention of such men.
Well, what value was the “good husband” in the first place? To make his wife happier? Possibly, but that’s not totally clear.x To make the children stronger and more successful? More likely, but what does that even look like today, to say nothing of the future? As noted in footnote v, we’re not really sure! So don’t shed a tear for our fair human race just yet.
Underpinning feminist anxiety is the specter of female replaceability. Men can build alternatives to a sexual market that has been made less navigable because of ideology. Substitutes are built and bargaining power dissipates. Sex robots are to gender politics as scabs are to labor relations.
Quite so! But, pray tell, where are the unionistas to protect us from the sexbots that tookurjerbs? Nowhere, that’s where. Meanwhile, like a thief in the night, sexbot scabs are coming to tilt the tables towards men. Not all men, mind you, just the best among us. That this shift will play a role in the politics of the future is not in question, nor is the diminishing value of gender politics in doubt. Look around already and see who’s playing and who isn’t. Now ask yourself, who’s winning the game? That’s right, the ones who aren’t even playing. It’s the ones who aren’t even playing that are fucking like rabbits, not the ones wasting their short lives virtue signalling.
If my strong, silent, would-be disciples are satisfied now, I’ll be returning to my usual navel-gazing daddy-blogger content next week.
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- Ironic coming from the guy who posts more sushi pics than a mommy-blogger on her first all-expenses-paid trip to Japan. But hey, irony is en vogue! ↩
- How could a “cult” like MP’s failed La Serenissima ever hope to grow proper meat-funnels when i) its members were largely introverted loners who couldn’t project manage and market, nevermind lead their way out of a paper bag (yours truly included, if moreso at the time), and ii) the whole structure derived nearly the entirety of its social bonding value in being oh-so-superior to the herd to the extent that the point of “outreach efforts” became reporting back to the tribe how stupid and dumb the whole world was. In case you weren’t there in those blissful days between 2014-2015 when anything seemed possible and “the tipping point” seemed nigh, the implicit social accreditation system of TMSR hinged on each individual’s ability to mock and show disdain for the outside world, which meant engaging with said outside world in a distinctly detached and fundamentally disinterested way, exactly as you find in any random attention whore economy, if with a pretty wicked intellectual bent and sardonic sense of humour. Still, this holier-than-thou posture that those of us in the once-mighty “Lordship” took was all-but-assumed to be necessary and sufficient in order to secure our respective places in the deeply feudal Bitcoin-based world to come, despite the fact that nearly all of us lacked the soft skills to manage a convenience store, nevermind a “castle.” Yet we maintained the delusion that if only we showed just a bit more cynicism and disgust for the status quo, we were soon in line to receive the unadulterated adoration of all and sundry. Surely, we figured, the world was about to realise just how wonderfully elite we all were… any day now. It was somehow always 1988 and the Berlin Wall was always just about to come crashing down, revealing the incompetence of the soi-dissant powers-that-be and the ultimate strategic and intellectual superiority of MP et al…. Alas, as with Annie, tomorrow was always a day away, and that day simply took too long to materialise. So it was that the Groundhog Day effect eventually wore off, leaving the mighty forces of meatspace to take back their property one-by-one. Because just as there could never be a Kahn Academy Re-Education Camp for Uighurs, there could never be a digital-only “cult” or “culture” or what have you that produced so much as a hill of self-important beans, in the same way and for the same reasons. I made this very same assessment as to the necessity of whips and chains for productivity pretty clear in early 2018, which only got me “blackballed” at the time, but of course the writing was on the wall, and even if it took two-plus-years to finally sink in, it was all over but the crying probably as far back as 2016. But hindsight is 50-50, or something like that. So that I personally saw fit (and continue to see fit) to while away the hours conferring with the flowers, consulting with the rain, while the nuclear-powered submarine swims in circles trying to coax chimpanzees out of trees is neither here nor there. Don’t like it? Go read something else. ↩
- “Uncanny Vulvas” archived. ↩
- I’m not quite at the level of Hoovie, Harry, Chris, or Damian, but I’m certainly headed in that curiously admirable direction! ↩
- Though to be fair to the fairer sex, I haven’t met another girl since The Girl for whom the juice was worth the squeeze. That either says something about my lofty standards or the prospects in these parts, but probably a combination of the two. ↩
- My most recent car-related indulgence, it must be noted, is elegant, expensive, futuristic, quiet, well crafted, finely constructed, middlingly practical, and highly abuse-tolerant. Make of that what you will! ↩
- As Agnes Callard eloquently points out regarding the contemporary phenomenon of “Acceptance Parenting” (archived):
Traditional parents were in the business of handing to their children a settled way of life: values, habits, standards, practices, skills, sometimes a job. On this older picture, it was the role of the parent to give—“tradition” comes from tradere, “to hand over”—and the child to accept, obediently. If I were a traditional parent, I would be trying to give my child some version of my life; as an acceptance parent, I am trying to give my child something I don’t have and am not familiar with—his life.
And yet parental resources are no greater than they have ever been. Apart from some desperate attempts at supplementation—all those after-school activities parents are mocked for enrolling children in—all that each of us has to give remains her own values and standards and practices and skills. The only thing we can change is how we “give” them, and so we’ve come to make our offerings with circumspection and delicacy. We hover around our children attentively, experimenting with what will or won’t “take.” Even though we acceptance parents are committed to tolerance, our resources are no less constrained than those of traditional parents: we are able to tolerate what we independently find tolerable. The difference is that now, when our children transgress our boundaries, we no longer feel sure whose side we should be on. Like all forms of freedom, acceptance parenting makes life more, and not less, stressful. If the parent is demoted from wise authority figure to tentative spokesperson for the child’s future self, childhood and child-rearing become a nerve-wracking quest to find one’s own footing.
Pre- and post-tennis, [Amy] Chua’s message is consistent. She tells her daughters, “My goal as a parent is to prepare you for the future—not to make you like me.” The fact that preparing them for the future and making them like you are contrasted rather than identified is one hallmark of acceptance parenting. Another is the tendency to privilege confidence over obedience. When you don’t know someone well enough to buy them a gift, you give them money; likewise, self-confidence and diligence are seen as the universal tool for the child who must “become someone”—you know not who.
- Might as well round up to 40 billion and go “Full Trantor.” Do you figure that Asimov, surely the 20th century’s Jules Verne, could have imagined that Earth===Trantor as soon as 2150 AD? ↩
- Pew pew!
- If women were built to prioritise happiness over healthy, successful progeny, our species wouldn’t be around much longer, as Jack Baruth keenly addressed in “Dating, Sex, And Pretty Much All Other Aspects Of Human Relationships, Explained With A Single Concept” (archived):
The “manosphere” guys have some of this worked out, but they are compelled to view it in a framework of “women are terrible creatures who are slaves to the basest instincts possible.” In reality, men and women mostly operate with a single goal in their subconscious minds: increase the number of healthy, successful progeny that you have before you die. It’s not a moral issue. It predates morality. “Morality” is something that had to be invented so agrarian societies didn’t break back into murderous tribes. There’s no such thing as morality in 80,000 BC. There’s successful behavior and unsuccessful behavior. If you’re reading this, you are the descendant of prehistoric humans who did whatever it took to succeed — and they did it for about twenty-three hours and forty minutes of the Homo day on this planet.