The Future of Sex and Architecture: Love Hotels, Microapartments and VR
A look at tomorrow’s (small) pleasure spaces.
Inarguably, we are living in a time of incredible changes. Practically every field has been utterly transformed: medicine, government, publishing, the arts, social interaction, transportation, and so many other fields are totally unlike what they were only a few years ago.
Architecture is no exception. In fact, the whole concept of home—a space to rest, work, and play—is undergoing a total reinvention that’s also certainly lead by new technologies and techniques.
But also by sex.
Home is where… what is?
There are two main driving forces in architecture: space and money. But, coming up on two decades into the 21st century, we are running critically short of both.
In answer to this, architects have been reducing cost and size. Places like San Francisco and New York, for instance, have already begun approving microapartments: spaces no bigger than 360 square feet.
For those who want their own home—but affordable and similarly micro—the tiny house movement is gaining serious momentum. Often built on trailer frames, they offer portability as well as a way of hoping to get around zoning laws in American cities that forbid houses under certain square footages.
This leaves a problem, though: intimacy. An apartment or tiny house is fine for one or two people, but erotic play usually requires a bit more space.
Or, to be more exact, it’s fun to romp around in a house bigger than a sneeze.
Room enough for love
Bedrooms used to be designed for sleeping—as well as other (ahem) activities. In fact, a look at the history of architecture reveals a lot about the sexual proclivities of their eras. The Brutalist school seems to lend itself to state-sponsored positions. The Victorians were prim and proper on the outside, yet wild and debauched behind closed doors. During the 60s, sex was augmented by mirrored ceilings, rotating beds, and lots of nice cushions.
We are, however, approaching times when we just don’t have space for anything except for small and affordable.
But we can get a glimpse of where sexual architecture may very well be going by looking at what’s been happening in many countries for quite some time.
To people used to McMansions and sprawl, the idea of a hotel designed from the ground up to be a getaway for erotic adventures might seem unusual. But for residents of places like Tokyo and Mexico City, where space is a premium commodity, and—people being people—sex is on everyone’s mind, the logical conclusion is to offer a place to get what you can’t at home: sensual pleasure, sexy amenities, and lots of space.
In Japan, the concept is called a love hotel: a rentable room that occasionally offers services like adult films, sex toys, and hot tubs or saunas. The perfect getaway for those interested in amorous times, soundproofing, privacy and elbow room. It’s easy to see the possibilities of love hotel-type establishments popping in many other cosmopolitan areas.
So if your microhome doesn’t have enough room for what you like to do sex-wise then there may be an elegant and very full-service hotel just down the street.
No reality, no limits
Here’s yet another alternative for erotic playgrounds when space is at a premium: to use non-physical spaces.
We already consider the concept of what is reality to be pretty flexible. Humanity exists not just in flesh-and-blood form, but also as information.
And this is where architecture is also seeing an intriguing artistic, and sensual, renaissance.
In a world of brick and mortar buildings, there are all kinds of limitations, like the aforementioned space and money. But in virtual environments there are none.
In virtual reality, architects are already creating incredible erotic environments: massive old-school bordellos, entire BDSM coliseums, high-tech cybersex latex nightclubs, and anything else you or anyone else might find exciting.
Coupling physical space to digital ones is actually pretty simple. We already have the first steps in this via developments in virtual and augmented reality headgear.
In its most simplest and affordable form, a sexual playground could simply be a piece wearable of tech. Slip on a pair of VR goggles and you could experience a wide array of erotic environments—all from within your comfy microhome.
Augmented reality gear could also be used to project into your field of vision, overlaying images onto the walls of your home. Want a piece of erotic art or a window to your lover’s house? Just digitally superimpose it wherever you want it. It’ll always be there—as long as you wear your augmented reality glasses
If you want to dispose of the headgear, and more than likely pay a bit more, you could have the option of using haptic technology. As with virtual and augmented reality, we are seeing some promising developments with that already: lasers and focused sound, both hidden in the walls of a house, able to project not just a visual illusion of whatever you wish but to also provide a sense of touch. Star Trek’s holodeck may be only a few years away.
Your future home
These and other new architectural concepts are already altering our concepts of home: spaces that are perfectly affordable, beautifully efficient, and absolutely pleasurable in all kinds of ways.
And, even more importantly, it could very well change what we think of as living.