Love in the Transhumanist Era


Or, How The Amount Of Fuckbots Surprised Nearly Everyone

By Pip Foweraker

(Editor’s Note – this is a draft work in progress that, like all drafts, may never be finished. Read at your own peril.)

One of the consistent defining experiences across the broadest possible range of human circumstance is the enjoyment of, passion for and desire for an increase in fucking.

People fuck for the basest and most noble of reasons, and love and lust are so intertwined in our minds that separating them is considered an act of high moral and intellectual virtue – something that requires unusual levels of cerebral run-time. The asexual and sexually weird aside, generally speaking people tend to want to fuck people they love, and tend to develop feelings of love for people they repeatedly fuck.

The same is true of sex toys.

The same is already true of fuckbots, and will continue to become more so over time.

Shifts in social constructs

Robin Hanson in his outstandingly provocative and excellent book, The Age of Em, highlights some of the potential societal shifts that will inevitably arise from having agents acting in our economies whose attentions are splittable, not limited to human metabolic rates of consideration and action, and who we will hopefully ascribe some level of moral agency.

Traditional social constructs have, in many if not all ways, been delineated by scarce resources – time, attention, wisdom, calories, hydrocarbons, etc.

Gender roles are certainly going to be increasingly interesting – the Gibsonian trap – and to a greater or lesser extent, re-negotiated as part of the flow-on effects from increasingly erotically charged social environments.

Kim Stanley Robinson most effectively explores the idea of marriage contracts with an acknowledgment of fulfillingly-ended relationships, notably (spoilers!) in the closing passages of 2312.

What else will longevity do to us and our basically-insatiable horniness? If the actual evidence is to be believed, then there should be no real diminishing of sexual desires in an ageing population, particularly if that population is ageing well.

Further consider Steinmetz’s treatment of enhanced physical eroticism in his short works. An explosion of sexual enhancement unlike those since the invention of the vibrator and the synthesisation of cocaine is likely to happen. Given the depths of weirdness mathematically predictably contained within our collective futures, it’ll be surprising indeed if we’re all going about things the same old fleshbag-to-fleshbag ways in thirty years’ time or fewer.

This is neither the time nor the space to delve into the ethics of fuckbots – something that is frankly a little tedious of a distraction, not because of its moral importance, but because horny people will do whatever possible things they can with whatever they can stimulate themselves with. Given that the entire gamut of Human sexual interaction also includes, consensual or not, sex with other species, it can be safely assumed that Humans will fuck whatever robots, semi-robots, unincorporated entities, semi-sentient blood-and-drug-sharing-hookay-bots, or whatever other monstrous entities await us in our consensually tentacular sexual futures.

The existence of empathy-altering drugs and hormones – particularly the MD families, oxytocin and other blood-brain barrier shifting nootropics – is memetically aligned with contemporary, neodymium-balls-to-the-wall Let’s Go Try This Shit Transhumanism. The Venn diagrams overlapping people who consciously fiddle with the settings of their consciousness – Bayesian inference down (or is it up?)  and those who are willing to see their bodies as clay that is morally theirs to mold is quite large. And those on the outside edges can often empathise or recognise the urges to do so in others, even if it is outside their particular ambit.

There will inevitably be people engaging in abusive relationships with non-human actors, regardless of the level of sentience/moral equivalence/value-recognition granted at large by society.

Defining relationships is also about to get a lot messier. There may evolve a continuum of accepted degrees of ‘realness’ –

  • Your Virtual Friend is not real,
  • Your Virtual Friend is semi-real,
  • Your Virtual Friend is embodied, but semi-real,
  • Your Virtual Friend is embodied and real,
  • Your Virtual Friends’ state of embodiment is irrelevant.

Care and Feeding

The end state of the Tamagotchis does not bode well for early generation Fuckbots.

One thing that they have going for them, though, is the same impulse that causes many of us to hold onto technologies embedded in objects of affection long past the point a strictly rational agent would have disposed of them. I think in these instances of laptops, vacuum cleaners, cars, wetsuits, lawn mowers, antique china sets and warranties for media playing devices. Where on the emotional attachment scale these more personified and embodied sexual partners will fall is as yet unclear.