Thursday, January 5, 2017

Transhumanist Sexuality

(Not to be confused with "transsexuality", which is a completely different topic. ;-p)

I've been trying to articulate my particular approach to sexuality - and why it doesn't mesh with mainstream sex-positive (which is what I'd be inclined to call it) perspectives - for a while now, and I think I've hit on an important point.

Humans are animals. And animals are primarily sexual creatures. Propagation of the species is the one crucial goal we have above and beyond immediate personal survival. But existential concerns like that aren't enough to ensure total compliance, so evolution has given us a prime directive to fuck. We desire it, and it feels good (when we're doing it right).

As rational beings, we can approach this undeniable fact in one of two ways. We can give in to the hunger, and copulate like the animals do, or we can aspire to be more civilized, and create deities characterized by their sexual purity, to hold aloft as role models, while shaming those who don't live up to their inhuman example.

It's the red pill/blue pill divide, and if you know anything about me, you won't be surprised to hear that I have another pill to offer you - the green pill. In this context, it means to embrace - not reject - our sex drive, but to do so in a conscious and deliberate manner, using our intellect - in the form of tech-knowledge-y - to optimize people's experiences and lives.

Now, I have heard - most likely in the realm of science-fiction - tales of possible futures and alternate realities in which the human sex drive - ever the nagging obstacle to human efficency and accomplishment - was eliminated. Imagine a world in which the desire to fuck did not constantly distract you from everything else in your life.

And when I was younger - before my proper sexual awakening - I considered this to be a desirable solution to the problem of sexual desire. It wasn't worth the trouble. But then I gradually came under its thrall, and eventually realized that, like any power source, sex can be exploited. It makes us feel good. Pretty reliably.

So what if evolution designed it that way to make us procreate? We're smarter than evolution. We can use science to drastically reduce, if not entirely eliminate, the risks involved with sexual intercourse, including the potential for making a baby - which is an enormous drain on resources (more than most people realize when they're just following their instincts in the back of a Chevy).

That's evolution's joke on us. But who's to say we have to let evolution keep pulling the strings? Even if you're antsy about the science, there's still masturbation - the only completely safe form of sex. Absent the arbitrary construction of shame, human sexual desire is a tool we can manipulate for our own gain - namely personal pleasure. And what's wrong with that?

So I think that if I marry this transhumanist approach with the sex-positive idea that human sexuality intrinsically leans toward the positive side of neutral, simply because it was designed to make people feel good (like, really good), and that the bad parts of it are all manageable in one way or another, I think that I'd be coming close to a formulation of my basic sexual perspective:

Sex is a tool that can be manipulated to make people feel good.

Hmm, I don't like that the word "manipulation" carries such a negative connotation - it sounds like I'm saying that we can manipulate people to feel sexual pleasure (theirs or ours?) against their will. Which is not at all what I'm saying. Let's try this instead:

Sex is a tool that can be manipulated to generate pleasure.

That's better. It sounds more like I'm talking about sex as the object to be manipulated, and not the people who have it. I would add a caveat in there about mitigating the risks and dangers using science (and common sense) - because you know that's the first thing critics are going to ask about - but I want to keep it short and to the point right now.

After all, any tool can be abused and turned into a weapon. The sex-positive approach is the one that aims to avoid this (without avoiding sex entirely, which is like throwing out the baby with the bath water). (Wait, was that a bad analogy? Lol).

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