The Future of Sex
Cybernetics, Bio-Feedback, Neurology and Plenty of Old Fashioned Dickie Dunkin’
by Robert Anton Wilson
from Oui, November 1975
The patriarchal age is over. The monogamous age is over. Everything is over. Buck Rogers is the name of the game from here on out. As Alvin Toffler noted in Future Shock there are more scientists alive and engaged in research right now than there were in all previous human history. This means that along with everything else, human sexuality will be transformed in the next 30 years than it has been in the previous 30,000.
Scan the acceleration of contemporary events: Only ten years after Lenny Bruce was busted and hauled off to jail for saying the word cocksucker in public, Linda Lovelace, Georgiana Spelvin and 99 44/100 percent pure Marilyn Chambers are having their cocksucking styles shown in public and soberly evaluated by erotocritics, who sometimes score the ladies’ talents on Peter-Meters.
The speed of travel has increased a hundredfold; know energy resources have increased a thousandfold; weaponry, a millionfold; data processing, a millionfold; and the speed of communication has increased ten millionfold in this century and is still increasing. J. R. Plat of the University of Michigan, the man who made these calculations, has this comment on their import: “None of our social organizations is prepared to deal with change on such a scale. . . . We may oscillate, or we may destroy ourselves, or we may reach a high-level steady state.” In other words, 2001 and Flash Gordon are more attuned to emerging fact than the most soberly intelligent social scientist in the college of your choice.
“We are living in science fiction,” as poet Allen Ginsberg said years ago.
Run this through your computer: “Our future will be one wherein sex is linked to procreation even less than it is now. . . . And procreation itself will be virtually emancipated from sexual intercourse in a world of sperm banks, surrogate mothers, test-tube babies and the utter asexuality of cloning. . . . Homosexual acts, for instance, will be seen as merely one sexual possibility among several open to every person, so long as he or – she is not inhibited by contrary programming.”
Now anyone who thinks that’s Dr. Tim Leary, Norman O. Brown, Charles A. Reich or some other prophet of futurism is missing the beat of the mutation. The speaker is a Roman Catholic theologian – Professor Michael Valente of the department of religious studies at Seton Hall University.
Some people, of course, insist that the pendulum must swing back to the uptight ethic of yesteryear. Arnold Gingrich, editor in chief of Esquire, for instance, has prophesied such a retreat since the mid-Fifties. Even today, “Esquire is eager to publish any neophobic Nostradamus who predicts a swing back to Gingrich’s mother’s notions of decorum, while in the real world, society has advanced rapidly from the nude breasts of the Fifties to the dawning of a muff-buff’s paradise, as the sacred snatch itself came out from behind the staples in the late Sixties; from a hullabaloo over use of the word virgin in a Fifties film (The Moon Is Blue) to ho-hum on camera fucking in the Seventies; from the time that mere mention of the abortion issue was political suicide to the day when legislators legalized abortion; from the acknowledgment that homosexuality really exists to gay pride and bisexual chic; from parental agony that their kids might engage in heavy petting (1955) to worry that they might actually have intercourse (1965) to nervous curiosity over whether they’re swinging both ways (1975).
“CITY HOSPITAL REPORTS RARE CASE OF HUMAN PREGNANCY”
-Newspaper headline of the 1980s
One reason the pendulum will not reverse is that it is extremely unlikely that any American woman will get pregnant accidentally in the 1980s. The contraceptive devices known to grandma and grandpa – mostly douches and condoms-averaged about 70 to 80 percent effectiveness; the I.U.D.s and coils of mom and pop raised the protection effectiveness to 95 to 98 percent; the pill is at least 99 percent effective. Today we have voluntary sterilization-which, though 100 percent effective, is presently irreversible-as well as a morning-after pill that is totally effective, although its side effects are questionable.
Foolproof contraception and, more socially important, the eradication of the fear of accidental pregnancy are just the overtures to the oncoming biological revolution-an upheaval that Dr. W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University has predicted will create social consequences “at least as great as those arising from atomic energy and the H-bomb. . . . They rank in importance as high as, if not higher than, the discovery of fire, of agriculture, the development of printing and the discovery of the wheel.”
“I’m taking a half hour off this afternoon,” says the president of Chase Manhattan Bank, Ms. Linda Gotrocks. “Going down to the lab to pick up my new baby.”
“A he or a she?” asks her secretary.
“Oh, a he this time.”
-Office conversation, 1985
Fertilization of human eggs in the laboratory has already been accomplished by three separate scientific groups; Cambridge University physiologist Robert G. Edwards and gynecologist Patrick C. Steptoe are currently researching the implantation of artificially grown embryos in the wombs of women unable to conceive normally; embryo transplants have been accomplished at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.
If some women can have sex without pregnancy and other women can have pregnancy without sex–or if the same women can have either choice at different times-then the moral codes based on the axiom of sex equals pregnancy are as obsolete as witchcraft laws.
The transfer of human pregnancy to artificial wombs (which Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World, placed 500 years in the future) can’t be more than ten or fifteen years away. General applications will inevitably follow, first for women who can’t bear children and then for women who want children but don’t want nine months of discomfort and time lost from careers. The Hallmark card people will probably encourage the next generation to send Mother’s Day cards to Johns Hopkins or Walter Reed with verses such as: “Put them all together, they spell OBSTETRICS / The ward that means the world to me.”
When pregnancy is entirely separated from the human body, all that will remain of the purpose of sexual intercourse is fun; the old insistence that sex shouldn’t be fun, or that it should be more than fun, will sound even sillier than the claim that there are cosmic moral dimensions in a football game.
“l’ll have a few inches more height this year, Sam. The board has given me an executive post on Mars, and executives have to be dominant, you know. And I’d like a 12-inch penis; competition for women is fierce out there. Blue eyes, I guess. Trim down the waist a little.”
-Instructions from a businessman to his biotailor in the future
Artificial fertilization is only part of what Gordon Rattray Taylor characterized as The Biological Time Bomb. The bigger part is the concept of genetic engineering, which can be practically defined as the science of redesigning humanity to become anything it wants to become. As Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg puts it, “The ultimate application of molecular biology would be the direct control of nucleotide sequences. . . to regulate, for example, the size of the human brain by prenatal or postnatal intervention.” When pregnancy regularly occurs outside the female body and inside the -laboratory, such interventions will become common.
Some molecular biologists already have carried the concept of genetic engineering to the point of seeking physical immortality in this generation. Paul Segall of the University of California at Berkeley, for instance, has invested 17 years in a search for the formula to reverse aging, and reports are that he will have a dramatic announcement about the time this article is published. Dr. Jose Froimovich, president of the Chilean Society of Gerontology and II-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in medicine, has also announced a major breakthrough “in the fight against aging,” and Dr. Johan Bjorksten is working on a formula that he says might raise average life expectancy to a minimum of 150 years. Dr. Timothy Leary, always the bard of the avant minority in science, argues plausibly that if we mount a national campaign similar to the atomic Manhattan Project of the Forties or the space race of the Sixties, we can have immortality before 1990.
Another brave futurist, Dr. Isaac Asimov, points out in The Genetic Code that there seems to be a basic 60-year cycle between an intellectual breakthrough in the sciences and a total transformation of society by the new technology it unleashes. For instance, Edison noted electronic energy in 1883; 60 years later, electronic technology was phasing out electric technology, radar had helped win the war and TV had been perfected (although not yet on the market). Similarly, Goddard fired his first rocket into the air in 1926, and 60 years later, in 1986, we will be well along in the exploration of the inner planets. As Asimov concludes, since DNA was identified in 1944, genetic technology should have revolutionized society by 2004; 1974 was the mid-point of that cycle, and the applications should be raining on us every year from this point forward.
At a minimum, genetic engineering will produce newborn humans within 30 years who will be a quantum leap ahead of modern humanity (which already has a life span 30 years longer than the average in 1840 England). As F. M. Esfandiary baldly proclaims in his Up-Wingers, “A Futurist Manifesto,” “Today, when we speak of immortality and of going to another world, we no longer mean these in a theological or metaphysical sense. People are now striving for physical immortality. People are now traveling to other worlds. Transcendence has become a reality.”
“Oh, baby, that was fantastic. I felt as though I came for hours.”
“You did-just under twenty hours, in fact.”
-Postcoital intimacies of the near future
Another trait of tomorrow’s lovers will be their ability to turn on at will with a little help from their chemical friends. Nathan S. Kline, M.D., says in Psychotropic Drugs in the Year 2000 that we can expect real and specific aphrodisiacs by that date, as well as drugs that “foster or terminate mothering impulses.” The former class of drugs, increasing maternal behavior, will no doubt be joyously endorsed by gentry like Billy Graham and widely prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists grappling with the housewife syndrome; but the latter group, terminating the whole mothering program, will be seized upon by dedicated career women and, if outlawed by establishment pressures, will be bootlegged by women’s lib groups.
And this is only the new stuff. Many currently popular counterculture drugs are, if not real and specific aphrodisiacs, certainly powerful enhancers of sexuality, and they will not disappear-despite witch-hunts, secret-police tactics, midnight raids and a general reign of terror against users. They will remain and become a larger part of the general public’s ecstasy arsenal. As Baba Ram Dass has testified: “Tim [Leary] is absolutely right about LSD enhancing sex. Before taking LSD, I never stayed in a state of sexual ecstasy for hours on end, but I have done this under LSD. It heightens all of your senses, and it means that you’re living the sexual experience totally.”
One of the interviewees in Barbara Lewis’ The Sexual Powers of Marijuana testifies to curing herself of frigidity by use of the devil weed: “We turned on, and I can tell you, I’ve never been so turned on in my life. I was really turned on. . . . We spent two hours at loveplay, the most intense loveplay, just letting it happen. . . . Finally, I went out of control-my facial muscles were twitching. My arms began to tingle. . . like it was just too much, as if I would explode. I just couldn’t stand it. Then, when he got on top of me and we started fucking, I knew that it was going to happen and that nothing could stop it. It sounds silly, but I felt out in the universe. . . and I saw myself out there surrounded by stars.”
Drugs that are either safer or less likely to spook the herd than grass, coke and acid are certainly on the way. Dr. Kline predicts that by 2000 we will have drugs to control, reverse, accelerate or extinguish virtually any emotion or compulsion. Katamine (researched by Dr. John C. Lilly and allegedly given to astronauts to prepare them for zero gravity) seems to detach brain from body (and from body emotions) and leave one suspended in the yogic samadhi state for an hour at a time, as compared with the brief seconds of samadhi at LSD peak.
“Hey, man, I’ve got some Einstein RNA-perfect for that physics exam you’ve got coming up. Only barter, no money. I’m looking for X-adrenaline for the track meet. Can you score it for me?”
“Well, I’ve got some triptophanthe stuff that stops time-and there’s a guy in the philosophy department who’s always trying to score more of that. I’ll see if he knows where X-adrenaline is being dealt.”
-Two technology junkies doing business, 1990
Bio-feedback promises even more than biochemicals-especially since Americans are not as paranoid about technology as they are about chemistry. Brain-wave research has already shown how to program oneself for the alpha, beta, theta and delta states, which makes about 50 percent of the traditional yoga blissouts readily available to us today in somewhat less than two weeks-compared with anywhere from one to several years of orthodox hath a-yoga training. Continuation of this research can be expected to yield precise control of sexual-peak states (along with other desirable neural states) within a decade.
In fact, shortly before completion of this article, a major breakthrough in sexual bio-feedback was announced jointly by Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey and Harvard University in Massachusetts, involving research in which male subjects tried to control the allegedly involuntary function of erection, with and without bio-feedback. The group using bio-feedback showed a 60 percent increase in voluntary control, while the other group showed only ten percent. In related research, bio-feedback has helped a subject-previously homosexual and then totally asexual as a result of crude behavior-modification techniques-to once again develop normal sexual functioning and to use it heterosexually.
Projecting such voluntary control over previously involuntary sexual functions only one or two decades into the future, one can easily see how the feats of tantric yogis or such LSD specialists as Dr. Leary and Ram Dass – e.g., staying in sexual ecstasy for hours on end-will be possible to anyone with a few weeks’ training in bio-feedback.
“Oh, darling, remember the night we met-the stars, the music and . . . us? I’d give anything to be back there again.”
“Hold on, while I plug you in.”
-50th wedding anniversary conversation, 2001
Meanwhile, ESB – trade jargon for electrical stimulation of the brain – is opening as many neural doors as psychedelics and bio-feedback combined. In one famous ESB experiment, a group of rats became so turned on by pressing a button that sent current into the pleasure center of their brains that they starved to death, ignoring the food button in order to go on pleasuring themselves. In another test, an enraged bull was stopped in mid-charge by an ESB wave activated by Yale physiologist J. M. R. Delgado.
Dr. Delgado has more recently specialized in retrieval of sensation by ESB. From his reports, it appears as if the sexual gourmets Of 1990.not only will have aphrodisiacs to intensify pleasure, bio-feedback training to control the previously involuntary functions (thereby abolishing frigidity, impotence and premature ejaculation) and freedom from worry about unwanted pregnancies, they will also be able to re-experience any particular sexual sensation at will.
It staggers the mind to project what future sexologists will accomplish when they learn to combine the Masters and Johnson retraining techniques with biofeedback, neurochemicals such as LSD and katamine, and ESB. Only those who already know such arcana as “A blowjob is ten times better with pot” or “Any orgasm is 50 times wilder with coke” will be able to imagine the sensual rebirth in store when, the taboos crumbling, science is able to frankly explore and teach the magnification and intensification of sexual experience.
The “hedonic engineering” forecast by Dr. Timothy Leary will then become a reality. His general scenario for the outcome is as plausible as any and more likely than most: “[The future] will be scientific in essence and science fiction in style. . . . Politically, it will stress individualism, decentralization of authority, a live-and-let-live tolerance of difference, local option and a mind-your-own-business libertarianism. . . . It will continue the trend toward open sexual expression and a more honest, realistic acceptance of both the equality and the magnetic difference between the sexes. . . . Advances in modern science now make it possible to develop an understanding of the nervous system, its evolution in the individual and the species, and the effects of chemical and electrical adjuvants on its expanding functions. . . . This understanding. . . is leading to a truly scientific philosophy of a self-responsible human nature.”
In other words, .as we gain precise control over our nervous systems (a practical science that Leary calls neurologic), we will have less and less resemblance to the glandular-emotional robotism that the behaviorists found in studies of animals. Instead of being programmed and controlled by “involuntary” functions, we will program and control those functions ourselves. Then, at last, the alleged purpose of political democracy – “the pursuit of happiness” – will be more than a wistful phrase; it will become a practical goal.
The self programming man or woman has no quarrel with deviates, heretics and subcultures of bizarre belief, so long as they in turn remain nonviolent and noncoercive. This is why those with the greatest joy in life – the economically secure aristocracies, the bohemian drop-out groups who accept poverty as the price of freedom-have always had the greatest tolerance for sexual (and other) heretics. As general misery decreases and self-programming skill increases, a similar tolerance will spread into all segments of society. The quarrel between the Playboy bachelor and the women’s lib careerist, or between the hetero and the gay, will seem as absurd as the War of the Roses or the feud between Big-endians and Little-endians in Gulliver’s Travels.
The loose tolerance introduced by such overtouted and imperfect systems as psychoanalysis and behavior modification will escalate into real tolerance when true neurologic and hedonic engineering are unleashed in the next decade or two. Norman O. Brown’s visionary version of Freud’s “polymorphous perversity” (total sensory turn on) will inevitably follow.
“Hi, I’m Joe and this is my substitute, ACE-IV,”
“Gee, he’s cute.”
-Singles’ bar come-on of the Eighties
The vibrator – first a, shady joke, then a growing fad – has already prepared us for the technologization of sex, so introduction of the artificial sex partner will come as little surprise. Rudimentary doll-like models are already for sale; one (called the Deep Throat model, naturally) is even capable of performing fairly realistic fellatio. Hedy Lamarr’s autobiography, Ecstasy and Me, reveals that a former lover of hers had a very elaborate imitation – Hedy manufactured to give him solace when their affair went on the rocks. Such developments indicate that in sex, as elsewhere, desire plus money equal results – or, as George S. Kaufman once said of a friend’s new estate, “This is what God could have done, if He’d had money.”
Are we talking about substitute sex for the crippled, the malformed, the hopelessly ugly or neurotic? Only in the first generation of such technology. Brain-wave and other bio-feedback studies lead inevitably into the concept of cybernetic sex robots programmed to scan neural signals from the human partner and provide exactly, precisely, exquisitely what is desired in every second of sexual union. In fact, reports from Masters and Johnson indicate that their crude and precybernetic (brainless) ACE model (artificial coital equipment) produced glorious orgasms and no psychological frustration in the women who tried it. Eventually such mechanized substitutes can be programmed for an effect “better than the real thing,” as William S. Burroughs fantasized in his Sixties sci-fi novel The Soft Machine.
Right now, as you read, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Baltimore possesses a 100-pound robot, affectionately dubbed The Beast, that knows how to “feed” itself; i.e., to seek electric outlets and recharge its circuits when its power runs low. Sim One, an experimental robot at University of Southern California, has the external features of a man, stands over six feet tall and has a normal pulse rate, blood pressure and heartbeat; is white-skin colored, moves its diaphragm and chest in simulation of breathing, and even possesses a tongue, teeth and vocal cords. Sim’s keepers plan improved models that will sweat, bleed, cry out in pain and eventually ‘replace cadavers in training medical students. The Sim One of today combined with the Masters and Johnson ACE of today would ‘already constitute a crud_ artificial playmate for women. A more complete Hedy Lamarr doll (or Linda Lovelace, or Raquel Welch) cannot be far away.
“Wonder why Smith 23X hasn’t come out of his house in the past week? And what are all those buzzing and humming mechanical noises?”
“I dunno. But a truck marked Artificial Paradise made a big delivery there last Thursday”
-Back-fence gossip, circa 1985
Yes: why not a totally programmed sexual environment? Saul Kent, who has described this concept as “multimedia masturbation,” envisions sex tapes for the house computer, programmed for the ideal all-around sexual trip – with or without partner. Already, X-rated motels in California provide water beds and closed-circuit, TV featuring porn films, so that a shy couple can have a simulated orgy and share their real selves ‘with each other and the images of Georgina Spelvin, Harry Reems and Marilyn’ Chambers. The next step, easily obtainable for the rich even now, is to program the whole inner environment of the bedroom for a fantasy that goes well with the sex act. ES.B control of brain centers via this computer-programmed artificial environment would give, in Burroughs’ perfect phrase, “precise control over thought, feeling and apparent sensory impression” (italics his). Reality in that room would be whatever you wanted it to be.
Multimedia pornography will enthrall millions when it first appears; porn light shows, porn 3-D and porn holograms are the dawning intimations of a revolution that will climax – certainly by the early years of the next century – when the difference between porn and the artificial sex mate will no longer be visible: Multimedia solipsism and all-channel masturbation will be the pleasure norms.
Such a sensory revolution would amount to the creation of a fifth brain, or neurosomatic brain, according to Dr. Leary, who contends that we already have four: a survival-program brain, an emotional-territory brain, a symbolic-logic brain and a sex-bonding brain. The new neurosomatic brain will give us eventual total control of sensation for a state of rapture. Yogis, shamans and modern research subjects in sensory deprivation (i.e., environmental monotony) turn on this fifth brain, at least temporarily, and forever after rave about the pure bliss they have experienced – the sheer godliness of it an: “I AM who AM.” “I have become God,” wrote Baudelaire, the French poet, and he was under the influence of only a single crude neurochemical (hashish) and never knew the effects of the biofeedback and brain-wave technology currently dawning.
There is also, according to Dr. Leary, a potential sixth brain in which “neurophysical transformations can be accomplished,” or that which our ancestors called magic or sorcery; a potential seventh brain containing the “neurogenetic archives,” which will allow us to tap the DNA/RNA dialog and to consciously recall all incidents in evolution and all lessons previously kept on autopilot (the unconscious), thus making us consciously 3.5 billion years old and consciously immortal; an eighth brain, or metaphysiological circuit, linking us to all other high intelligences in the galaxy. This last has also been reported by Dr. Lilly in hisSimulations of God.
Another road to godsmanship is mapped by physicist R. C. W. Ettinger – the man who started the” immortality (called, more properly, cryonics) movement of the Sixties’ with the utopian slogan “Freeze-wait-reanimate!” Professor Ettinger now argues, in Man into Superman (1972), that after molecular biology really gets into high gear, “the sexual superwoman may be riddled with cleverly designed orifices of various kinds, something like a wriggly Swiss cheese, but shapelier and more fragrant; and her supermate may sprout assorted protuberances, so that they intertwine and roll over each other in a million permutations of The Act, tireless as hydraulic pumps . . . A perpetual grapple, no holes barred, could produce a continuous state of multiple orgasm.”
It will be noted that Professor Ettinger gets to the same projected destination (ecstatic mind) by a totally different line of scientific projection. Most of the bright-eyed young guys in molecular biochemistry these days have their own personal road maps to that destination. One physicist, with whom I recently participated in a radio discussion of futurism, even has a plan for mankind to achieve ecstatic immortality by its becoming lasers.
A significant-though subtle-part of this sexual transformation of humanity has already occurred in the Western world. Few realize today that the church fathers’ horrible anal metaphors for sex (stinking, filthy, putrid, etc.) were largely accurate in a literal sense, until modern medicine and the development of soap made bodily sweetness accessible to more than the very rich. As Aldous Huxley paints out in hisTomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, these puritanical put-downs of the body as well as the old aristocratic sneers at “the stinking masses” were quite natural to the fastidious of those days. R. Buckminster Fuller remarks in his Utopia or Oblivion that members of the average workingman’s family in 1905 – when Fuller’s family first moved to Carbondale, Illinois – were foul-smelling, toothless and ready far death at age 42.
The sexual revolution, like the world’s political-economic revolutions, stems from the disfavor that people don’t have to remain foul, and the future shack of our time is due entirely to the acceleration of technology, since theological and political terrorists have not been able to punish researchers (except far non-Lamarckian geneticists in Russia and psychedelic therapists in the U.S.A.).
“Sylvia, will you marry me?”
“Yes, but we’ll have to wait – I’m going male for the next couple of months, to do research for my new tape novel.”
-Two lovers, circa 2025
Peeking further into the mid-distance – early m. the next century – the rise of life expectancy to 500 years (the goal far which biologist Paul Segall is aiming right now) wm probably make sex-change operations fashionable for many who are not psychological transsexuals in the traditional sense. Rather, many will want to became the opposite sex temporarily for such purposes as (1) curiosity-scientific, sexual or otherwise; (2) “personal growth,” i.e., the artistic, literary or philosophical stimulation; or (3) entering a new extraplanetary environment where either the small, tough, long-lived female body or the large-muscled, quickly aggressive male body might be decidedly advantageous aver the other.
A great deal of the erotic realism of such writers as Joyce, D. H, Lawrence, and even, at times, Hemingway, is an attempt to get inside the female mind and see men – in the sex act and in other relationships – as women see them. Presumably, many gynecologists and obstetricians share empathetically in the female functions they tend to, and many an artist has decidedly fused into the glorious nude female models he paints. The desire to became the opposite sex far a while is also evident in women’s writings, especially women’s lib tracts. Sex change in the future will not be restricted to compulsive people.
“She’s wearing see- through shoes – must be a foot fetishist, too.” – Street comment of the next decade
Buckminster Fuller and Robert Heinlein, among other futurists, have predicted that clothes will be phase out as temperature and climate control are realized. My own hunch is that nudity will be everywhere (already many California beaches are as casual as Denmark’s), but that clothes will also be everywhere; the difference will be that clothes will serve primarily as sexual signaling devices, which, according to one school of anthropology, was their original function.
Kubrick’s joke in A Clockwork Orange, imagining a revival of the Renaissance codpiece, or enlarged peter-heater, may be a quite accurate prediction. Similar declarations for the female breasts already exist in porn and in other entertainment, and may soon escape into the streets. The old homosexual code – green on Thursdays – may be flooded in an ocean of similar sartorial signals as S/M people, exhibitionists and other erotic minorities go public.
“I didn’t get any last night-my clone had a headache.” – Locker-room lament of the year 2000
If eugenists’ dreams are to soon come true, so then will same of their nightmares. As hundreds of Albert Schweitzers and Albert Einsteins are reproduced in the laboratories when genetic roulette has a fixed wheel, then the public, having other interests besides humanism and science, will demand and get real-life duplicates of contemporary Mick Jaggers and Marilyn Monroes.
The Mick Jagger of 2005, in fact, will probably graduate from millionaire to billionaire by selling clones of himself out of which millions of Mick Jaggers will be mass produced for all the lustful lads and lassies who dig the real Mick Jagger. Why not? Any guy today can already have Norma Jean the Angel Child just by closing his eyes. A millionaire with a cosmetic surgeon and a female subject possessing (to start with) 70 percent of the basic physical equipment can have her with eyes open.
“Are you still hung up on that Sophia Loren gyndroid? Let me show you how to tune your brain waves into this euphometer and focus into perpetual ecstasy. . . .”
-Evil social influence, 2025
Could sex, after achieving its full flowering, wither away entirely? Is the true future of sex no sex at all? When reproduction is confined to the laboratory and sex has only the function of pleasure communication, it may well develop that even the most intensified sex cannot compete with generalized neural pleasure. This may or may not define eternal masturbation, depending on haw strictly one identifies sex with genitalia.
Herbert Marcuge predicts, in Eros and Civilization, that such a hedonic technology will retool the human nervous system in the same general direction of continual rapture foreseen in Norman O. Brown’sLove’s Body. (Same adepts of yoga and LSD claim to have achieved this already.) It is striking that the Dionysian visions of Brown and Marcuse, based entirely an Freud’s analysis of what the Unconscious mind really wants, are quite similar to the consensus of futurist probes into what the oncoming biotechnology can deliver. This can hardly be coincidence. Evidently, we have always sought our deepest yearnings, though consciously only daring to express them as myths or fantasies, while pretending to ourselves that we were accepting the grim, pessimistic, hardnosed view of the hurt-child aspect of ourselves.
Commenting on Dr. Otto. Fenichel’s observation that “behind every farm of play lies a process of discharge of masturbatory fantasies,” Brown says: “Nothing wrong, except [Fenichel’s] refusal to play: When our eyes are opened to the symbolic meaning, our only refuge is lass of shame, polymorphous perversity, pansexualism; penises everywhere. As in tantric yoga, in which any sexual act may become a farm of mystic meditation, and any mystic state may be interpreted sexually.”
The civilization of polymorphous perversity forecast by Brown, the society without repression described by Marcuse, the hedonic engineering of Leary, are dawning, and those who. think I’ve been writing about our children or grandchildren are mistaken.’ If star flight and immortality arrive when same futurists expect (1990 to. 2010), then, even as the last of the anxiety-ridden terrestrial mortals are reading and rejecting this article, some of the first of the ecstatic cosmic immortals are also reading it and accepting it.