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Can the Solarpunk Movement Give Us the Sexual Utopia We’ve Been Waiting For?

An optimistic view of the future from an emerging Sci-Fi genre.

A wind turbine appears over a sunset horizon.

Bicycles humming down winding avenues; buildings sheathed in gardens; homes drinking in the sun; windmills lazily turning in a steady breeze; rainbows of myriad cultures laughing, creating, in a world of acceptance; life, in all its forms, strolling the streets; love, in all its beauty, singing together; technology as art; equality, equal opportunity, everywhere; the world as a place for everyone—and the planet cherished.

Right now the world seems to be fighting itself when it comes to sex: far too many people are holding onto old and, let’s be frank here, antiquated views. There’s a lot of fear out there, and with that fear comes hate.

The solarpunk movement, though, offers hope that one day we’ll look at sex with our eyes wide open. Acceptance for everything from homosexuality, polyamory, transgenderism, the right of self-definition, and more is practically built into the foundations of the solarpunk genre.

A green tomorrow

While relatively new, solarpunk has been gaining momentum. Joining the ranks of the other “punks” like cyberpunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, and the ubiquitous steampunk, solarpunk, according to Wikipedia, is an “eco-futurist speculative movement focused on envisioning a positive future beyond scarcity and hierarchy, where humanity is reintegrated with nature and technology is used for human-centric and ecocentric purposes.”

In short, it’s a beautiful future where humans live in harmony both with the planet and with our own nature. Think Star Trek’s optimism but with windmills and bicycles.

As it’s a pretty new punk genre, the world is still waiting for solarpunk’s defining novel—though Ernest Callenbach’s fictional ecological utopia, Ecotopia, is a great place to start. And I took a humble stab at solarpunk fiction in this article’s opening paragraph.

Cinematically, Hayao Miyazaki often embraces solarpunk, especially his Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

In its heart, solarpunk is not just in the idea of an eco-friendly heaven-on-earth. It’s the idea of humanity achieving a social evolution that embraces tolerance, compassion, acceptance.

Especially when it comes to sexuality.

Erotic technology and solarpunk

Technologically, there’s much that’s been discussed here at Future of Sex that fits into Solarpunk—that shows we actually might be heading towards its vision of the future.

Solarpunk is all about preserving resources, of striving—even in regards to sex—to think responsibility about waste and efficiency.

Virtual reality can quite easily be argued to fit into this idea. After all, beyond the creation of the hardware side of things, with VR you can create, or inhabit, a vast world that uses nothing but time and computing power. Instead of traveling all over the world, with VR you can see the wonders of the planet—and, similarly, you can engage in sex with a wide variety of people without leaving the comfort of your home.

That bringing of the world to you, instead of you going to see it, also fits well with solarpunk’s inclusive and respectful themes. \Being able to interact with all kinds of people, see their lives through their eyes, can do nothing but bring humanity closer together.

Similarly, augmented reality can give anyone access to vast amounts of immediate knowledge, superimposed directly over their vision. Looking at someone, for instance, with AR glasses in a solarpunk future won’t just give you all the information you’d ever need to know, but also things like instantaneous language translation—making connections, sexual or otherwise, much easier.

Teledildonics could also be part of a solarpunk earth. Once again, to become intimate with a lover we no longer need to wastefully travel from one city or country to another. We can have physical relations wherever we happen to be, and with whoever we want—as long as the other person is also game.

The 3D printing of sex toys is another field that shows promise in a solarpunk context. Instead of creating thousands of identical products for sale, customized sex toys can be made only when needed, and to your personal specifications—and even recycled when no longer desired.

Even sex robots are another solarpunk-ish development. True, big industry might be needed for some of the components, but a multipurpose android—that can unpack your groceries and push you to climax—could be a major time and labor saver: one that would service other things as well as its owner.

Workers walks across slanted solar panels.

A future for the planet

Beyond sex tech, just look at recent green developments: Elon Musk’s solar roofing tiles, the proliferation of hybrid and electric vehicles, the round-the-world flight of a solar plane, major cities (and even countries) striving for 100% renewable energy, the tiny house movement, and autonomous vehicles.

While the future of the planet may sometimes appear bleak, now there’s every indication that the Earth solarpunk envisions may not be that far off. In fact, it may even be inevitable.

It’s easy to dismiss solarpunk as a hippy dream, where everyone holds hands and sings “Kumbaya.” Sure, it’s right now just a genre of science fiction. But it’s one that dares to think that no matter what happens to the world today, one day we might living in a world that’s technologically, socially, and especially sexually, conscientious.

Image sources: Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, Centre for Alternative Technology

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