The Future of Our Physical Selves: Cybernetics, Body Switching and Genetic Engineering
Part two of The Ten Greatest Sexual Innovations to Come
In our first installment on future sex technologies, we took a look at upcoming developments in sensory tech: virtual reality, augmented reality, and direct neurostimulation.
But this time around we’re going to explore what may very well happen to the flesh and blood of humanity—and in fact how sex will no longer be just flesh and blood—by examining three promising innovations in sexual biotechnology: cybernetics, body switching, and genetic engineering.
Innovation Four: Cybernetics
Sure, Nathan S. Kline and Manfred Clynes may have coined the term cyborg in 1960, but the concept of enhancing humanity through artificial limbs and organs is actually an ancient one.
Through recent developments in direct nerve connections, exotic materials, and microscopic sensors, we are looking at a time in the not-too-distant future where we won’t just be able to replace missing or diseased organs with artificial ones—but may very well prefer them over the “real thing.”
This is especially true around our sex organs. Just look at how breast implants—in a way a form of artificial augmentation—have changed human eroticism. Right now, breast implants are mostly cosmetic, but what happens when we can alter our physical forms in any way we wish?
That’s the kicker: we’re limited only by our imaginations. More than likely we’ll first see people who look pretty much like people. Soon, though, we’ll begin to realize that we can become anything we want. With soon-arriving technology, we’ll be able to feel an artificial sex organ just as good, if not better, than the flesh and blood version.
What’s even wilder is that if you get tired of whatever new body part you’ve had installed, then you can just swap it out or upgrade it.
With artificial forms we’ll be able to turn any part of our bodies into sex organs, or use our entire bodies as one. We could make love to clouds, ocean currents, solar winds, or entire planets if we desired.
But we’d still be ourselves. This is where another huge development comes in: the technology that will allow us to become someone else.
Innovation Five: Body Switching
Okay, this one is a bit far out but the idea is actually rather easy to understand. First, we begin with the basics of cyberization: direct neural interfaces. Unlike direct neural stimulation, which we chatted about last time, this isn’t just sensing using our brains, but being able to control our new artificial selves like they were our original flesh and blood bodies.
Once we have that, the next step is to link two people together: I see through your eyes, you see through mine; you raise my hand, I raise yours. With enough bandwidth—and some elegant programming—there’s no reason two people connected by wires couldn’t switch physical bodies.
Just think of the sexual possibilities: we could know, without any doubt, what it would be like to physically besomeone else. Why travel when you can step into someone else’s shoes half a world away? Want to be anyone—male, female, or a new gender altogether—for a weekend, a year, a lifetime?
There’s no reason why we couldn’t have artificial bodies designed just for sex play, with unique sensors and totally original sex components. We could share special sensual bodies like we share vacation homes: timeshare eroticism!
Flesh and blood do have their limitations, which is why we will soon see many people choosing to replace flesh and blood for more durable, and flexible, alternatives.
Many will prefer to remain in the bodies they were born in. However, via upcoming new technologies, there’s no reason they couldn’t enjoy a new world of dazzling sexuality either.
Innovation Six: Genetic Engineering
It’s sadly become a frightening concept to some, but the potential to alter the human body on a genetic level shows incredible promise in eliminating so much suffering and pain—as well as changing human sexuality in amazing ways.
We are fast approaching a time when we will be able to clone, or fabricate, pretty much any part of any person we wish. This means organ transplants without tissue rejection—as they’d be fabricated from the recipient’s own DNA—but also that we’ll be able to do incredible things with the human form.
Those with gender dysphoria could be who they always felt they should be. By rewriting our genetic code we could walk in anyone’s physical form; change ourselves for any reason. What happens to bigotry when we can literally see the world through anyone’s race, gender, orientation, age?
As with cyberization, humanity would have close to total freedom of physical form—without giving up their flesh and blood. Want to experience sex as a whale or as an elephant? Drop your gray matter into a vat-grown form of your choosing. We could live to see a world where changing our bodies would be like changing our clothes: fancy dress, casual, or kinky.
The difficulty with cyborgs is that they still have that pesky meat brain. But with sufficient genetic engineering skill, we could see the death of … death by replacing dead or dying brain cells with new healthy ones.
Hand in hand, these two innovations—artificial organs along with new ones grown from our own DNA—mean that soon our physical selves will be restricted only by our fantasies, sexual or otherwise.
But some of the biggest changes are yet to come. In the future, we will have the ability to not just change how we see the world (real and artificial) or how we interact with it (again, real and artificial), but explore the truly limitless domain of consciousness.
Human or otherwise.
Next up on The Ten Greatest Sexual Innovations to Come: The Infinite Playground Of The (Sometimes) Human Mind