Getting Down in the age of Tron

9780865478794 Photo credits: MacMillan Publishing Co.

 

Let’s be real here, the song featured in the Broadway play, Avenue Q aptly named, “The Internet is for Porn” (and cat videos, of course) is onto something, or at least it was… considering that in the 1990’s closer to 30% of internet traffic was of an erotic nature (Even if it wasn’t HD, but hey, perhaps the sound of dial-up works in a Pavlovian manner to get those folks wet).  However, according to a more recent comprehensive study in 2010, “Out of the million most popular (most trafficked) websites in the world, only 42,337 were sex-related sites.” That’s down to roughly 4%.  The point being, is while we use technological advances much more for everyday life, such as checking our email on a smartphone, there will always be others trying to figure out how to make tech better, for the sake of sustainability or sexual desire.

Some of the most expensive robots to ever be created, and certainly the only ones we seem comfortable with taking on a semblance to the human form are made primarily for sex.  Of course, some people may just want a companion. May I suggest to instead see Lars and the Real Girl (and then a good therapist).  They are also leading the front on research regarding characteristics in AI that most closely simulate Love, and Matt McMullen, RealDoll’s CEO and Founder, made a recent announcement on Reddit saying they “are building an AI system which can either be connected to a robotic doll OR experienced in a VR environment.”  While some of these creations feel like a slippery slope in a generation that reports feeling more disconnected from peers, but can’t seem to leave the comfort of Facebook or Tinder (the ubiquitous fast-dating app that was recently valued at 1.6 Billion) despite all of these things lacking the pheromones and other hormone releases we experience when touching another real, live, breathing person. That said, there are bound to be greater understanding of what drives us, hard-built Evolutionary aspects of sex, play and love as this sort of research continues in the name of Tech, as well as some players that are looking to give back.

It’s a well known fact, that those in Puberty are looking at Porn, with a wild cocktail of sexual hormones swimming inside them (I’m certainly guilty of doing such at that age, even if porn was still in print back then).  The issue at hand is your average porn isn’t going to show the conversations regarding consent, testing and protection that should happen beforehand, even if those things are happening via contract, etc. It just isn’t sexy. Now, Americans are in the wake of a terrifying President and a Head of the Department of Education that believes in “abstinence only” Christain teaching in public school, and defunding current Sex-Ed health programs alongside gutting protections and reporting for sexual assault in schools. So, let’s all give a brief applause to the makers of PornHub, who have taken up the task of aiding in sexual knowledge for all via free Sex Education videos on their website. Who knows where we will go next and if tech belongs in the bedroom, or better left at work, but let’s keep the positivity, femme-designed vibrators, safety and education coming!

 

 

Sources:

The Internet is For Porn, Duh.
https://theindex.generalassemb.ly/sex-tech-industry-predictions-8ce871b47d4b#.r2dgze8wl
http://www.forbes.com/sites/julieruvolo/2011/09/07/how-much-of-the-internet-is-actually-for-porn/#a8f27ca61f72
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/01/18/under-devos-education-department-likely-to-make-significant-shift-on-sexual-assault/?utm_term=.448fe7a6c543
http://www.pornhub.com/video/search?search=sex+education
Also, please check out the wonderfully written exploration of Emily Witt, Future Sex, with Cover Art Seen Above.

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