Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Vogue

 . . . .  The online application process had been lengthy and tedious. And a little shocking to revenants of decency he hadn’t even realized were still there.

The topless, but soberly dressed Chinese woman, after reconnecting her face, had begun taking down the details of exactly the kind of machine he was hoping to stick his dick in tonight. What gender? Man? Woman? A young boy or a young girl?

A little boy? A little girl? Was she kidding with that shit? Did people do that?

Oh yes, sir.

She assured him, with an indulgent smile that such models were quite popular and a few were available this week with promotional discounts for new customers. Further discounts on young boys or young girls were available with their special membership card. Would he be interested in acquiring a membership discount card?

No thanks, lady. I’m sinking fast, but not that fast. Not yet.

A grown woman, please. Keep your little girls.

What age group? Our adult group begins from fifteen years of age to precisely seventy years of age. Older than seventy would be an additional charge.

He cringed again. There was something in the woman’s artificial eyes that seemed to be testing him. You don’t have to do this, mister, she seemed to suggest, behind her saleswoman’s smile. You still have some of your soul left. It’s not too late to cut your losses.

Young. Not too young. Maybe twenty-five. (Am I pathetic for wanting to do a twenty-five year old?)

Race of preference? Or a combination of ethnic groups?

Every man should take this quiz at least once, he thought. He watched the fields passing by outside the tinted windows. It’s good for you. Even if you’re not trying to get your freak on with a robot, this quiz will show you some seriously fucked up shit you didn’t know. They should make it part of your job applications. Hell, they should make you take it if you’re getting married to somebody’s daughter.

We know what strange flesh you really want to poke your junk into, Mister. You just think you know.

He had never thought of himself as a racist. He had never much been aware of the races of people he worked with. He was white, Scots-Irish with some Mexican on his father’s side. No big deal. Gay? Lesbian? No big deal, either. Common barnyard animals, maybe? Go in peace, my brother and sister. To each his own. But when it was laid out right there in front of you, like dog food in a dish, when all you have to do is reach out your tentacles...

Would you like an elderly black man or an elderly Asian woman?

A little boy or a little girl?

Jesus.

Big ass and big taco tits. Like those old National Geographics. Fuck me, bwana. Fuck me, great white hunter. Fuck me, bwana.

Christ.

He had settled on a non-threatening combination of Scandinavian and Polynesian. Scandinavian for the racially familiar. Slightly dark skinned Polynesian for the exotic. Was there such a thing? Amazing. What size tits? Prepubescent? Adolescent? Athletic?  Nursing mother? Or dancer? She demonstrated each size by adjusting the size of her own breasts and nipples. Dancer, oh! Definitely dancer, yes! Mommy!  Buy me that mommy!  With those big nursing nipples and whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top, please and thank you. Pubic hair? Body hair? Certainly, the more the better. Teeth?

Teeth??

There were people who preferred them without teeth.

But goddamn, Hal.

Teeth please. Yes. Definitely teeth.

They offered a wide range of sexual aggression for his personalized simulacrum pleasure. He might choose from terrified virgin (weeping and pleading) to insatiable nymphomaniac. Well, someday who knows, but for starters just something safely in the middle, please? Experienced but demure.

For an extra insurance charge, they could throw in some bondage and strong sadomasochism in the works. No thanks.  Maybe not this time. Did they offer that to the assholes who ordered the little kids too?

Oysters or snails. Tacos or egg rolls. Red wine or white.

Roses or handcuffs.

From “Mortal Engines”  copyright 2009  C. Sanchez-Garcia




The first story I ever sold was a science fiction story about sexbots and artificial intelligence (gone terribly! Terribly! wrong) called "Mortal Engines".  I was quickly advised at the time by Lisabet to find a pen name, a warning echoed by M Christian in his craft book on erotic writing - get a pen name, dude.  You do not want people to know you write this stuff.  You do not.  At the time, not that many years ago, we erotica writers were the punk rockers of narrative fiction.  Hungry, out there, defiantly illegitimate.  Fifty Shades of Grey recently brought us all out of the dark and into the Walmart book aisle, complete with board games and T shirts.  That seemed to take the steam out of it for some of us.  A few of our most transgressive artists, like Remittance Girl, simply wandered off in disgust.

Horror and erotic writing are the most ancient of story forms, going back, I'm sure, to cave men fires.  Demons who punish the wicked and innocent equally.  Gods and goddesses who fuck and fill the universe with teeming life.  Even Bible stories of King Solomon with his 700 wives and concubines and Esther draining the balls of an enemy king and killing in him in his afterglow slumber with a tent peg through the head or  Lot's daughters seducing their father and committing incest with him to carry on the family line have lost their subversive shock.  

The physical power of horror and sex have always come from the implied more than the explicit.  From the allure and the danger.  In erotica, what is most sexual is most transgressive, but to be transgressive there have to be boundaries where ossified cultural values can be cheerfully challenged or kicked aside.  

The great film director Akira Kurosawa said "The role of the artist is to not look away."  Horror and erotica have always been those most physical and sensual forms of story telling where the artist could ferociously not look away, opening a path for a beloved poet like Mary Oliver writing of her own childhood molestations from her father in "Rage":

                   “But you were also the red song
                   in the night,
                   stumbling through the house
                   to the child's bed,
                   to the damp rose of her body,
                   leaving your bitter taste.
                   And forever those nights snarl
                   the delicate machinery of the days.”


 or Anais Nin with her completely consensual seduction and incest with her own father in her famous Journals.  There was a time when words had power to shock, with the sheer audacity of their images.  Therefore the dire warning for anyone who wanted to suit up for this game to get a name. 

I was recently grieved to hear that Playboy - which I subscribe to - would no longer have nude photography in its issues.  When Playboy appeared in the fifties, it was transgressive, violating boundaries, the most important being the boundary reserved to define good taste.  Talk about defiance.  What could be more defiant in the fifties than offering soft pornography wrapped in a package of genuine cutting edge cultural sophistication?  Internet killed this forever.  With the coming of searchable online pornography, any act, even the most vile, was served up for free, and in the blue lit privacy of a computer screen.  Now a tablet or a phone you can take in your pocket does the same thing.  A person can view the most bizarre acts human bodies can be paid to contort themselves into, while tuning out the dull drone of a budget committee meeting.  Intimacy and human touch are being replaced by Facebook, that alter of loneliness.


It makes me rethink my ambitions about sexbots, which I am now convinced will become a reality maybe in our lifetimes.  With the advent of artificial intelligence, which algorithms can plumb your actual desires, not just the ones you allow yourself to imagine, desires sounded through the sonar of subliminal body language to deep water levels unknown even to yourself, sex can be served up with cold precision.  Pure desire without the emotional risk of being refused by the desired, an essential element of eroticism.  That kind of disposable sex was always what had been purchased or simply taken from the professional and the slave.  Soon it will be legitimized as well.  Oh perversion, where is thy sting?




14 comments:

  1. A very timely post, Garce. I recently viewed a video about AI that predicted sex robots would be common by 2020 and that marriage between humans and robots would be legal by 2050.

    The Internet has indeed taken some of the sting out of erotica, but ultimately it's not the acts that are transgressive. It's the characters' reactions. Your character in Mortal Engines still has the power to convey both arousal and shock. In fact, I'm not sure how much of the audience for erotic fiction and the market for online porn really overlap.

    I find little of interest in most visual porn. It's TOO explicit, leaving nothing to the imagination. And imagination is what arouses me.

    BTW have you seen the movie "Don Jon"? Very relevant to this post!

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  2. Hi Lisabet!

    I saw Don Jon when it came out a couple years or so ago. Yes, very relevant. A guy who was burning himself out on a porn and a very controlling girlfriend, played by Scarlett Johansen. I don;t remember the details though. Makes me want to go back and take another look.

    Hey - I would be very interested to see that video discussion. Can you send me a link?

    I haven;t looked at "Mortal Engines" for quite a while, since it went out of print. I also predicted driverless cars in that story, which no one was talking about at the time, and just a few years later they are a reality Which makes me think the AI lovers may be even closer than we think. I wonder if they will turn out to be as sensitive and violently rebellious as my "Ilsa" ? This theme was done in greater detail and skill in the recent movie "ExMahcina". Have you seen that one? Michio Kaku said that we are still basically cavemen with fancier technology. In that way, if you want to know what future trends will be, they tend to follow the same primate desires as neolithic ancestors. "Cavemen values", which is why so much of modern entertainment technology was driven by porn. If that's true, AI lovers with superhuman skills will be inevitable.

    Garce

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    1. You let Mortal Engines go out of print? Shame on you!!

      Here's the video:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HlAlSEge0w

      The whole point is that as AI becomes more sophisticated, interacting with a sex bot will not necessarily feel that different from interacting with a human being.

      Did you see "Her"? A skillful exploration of this sort of attraction, in a situation where there are no bodies involved. (I have been trying to find a copy of Ex Machina here, so far without success.)

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  3. (Pst, Garce,it was Yael with the tent peg. Judith seducung and then decapiatating Holofernes would also be a good example. Esther was a queen who saved her people by less violent means.)

    Your point about transgression being a moving target is right on, and there may indeed be pretty much nowhere to go from here but to robots.

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    1. Hi Sacchi!

      Hey, at least I had the right idea. I need to go back and read my Bible again. its been awhile. There's also a book, hard to find, called "The Harlot on the Side of the Road" which has a listing of all the subversive stories in the Bible you won;t hear in Sunday School.

      I don;t know. I know it's a weird idea, but I've liked exploring the possibilities of alternatives to the usually Homo Sapiens Homo Sapiens combination.

      Garce

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  4. It may be inevitable, but that is so sad. I thought the best part of Don Jon was when he finally realized that sex without a "connection" is empty. Took him almost the entire movie, but he finally "got it," only to find that his father never had. Made me feel sorry for his mom!

    I used to call it "rec-sex" as in "recreational sex." Good for scratching your itch, but at a higher cost that doing it yourself. Might be better orgasms, or might disappoint or result in a messy scene with a guy who might hurt you for not wanting to be with just him from now on. Always a risk, but risks are attractive to the young. Or they used to be.

    Having sex with a machine will be even more sad than paying another live person for it, because it will be like having sex yourself. No one else's personality to deal with, means totally selfishness, taking care of your itch and to hell with everyone else. If the machines ever develop consciousness of their own, the first thing they'd do is take down the losers who can't attract a member of their own race, figuring, "Who'd miss them?" The saddest part of all is the answer, "Probably no one."

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    1. Hi Fiona!

      That was the idea I was playing with - machines with consciousness. Oh, I could go on that topic for hours. There is speculation that artificial intelligence with genuine consciousness could be possible, and if it is, it might represent the next level fo our evolution. The most intriguing, and scary thought is, that because human consciousness is based on an organic platform, the brain, its latitudes for expansion are limited. But artificial intelligence wouldn't have that limit. it could become literally god like.

      Garce

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    2. Fiona, I don't think that either having sex with an artificially intelligent machine, or paying for sex, will always be "empty". It all depends on what the protagonists bring to the encounter. Prostitutes are people, too. And if the predictions are correct, sex bots will have personalities, maybe even passions.

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  5. Powerful story, Garce. However, I would much rather hear of pedophiles paying high prices for custom-designed robots than preying on actual children, and this concept could be expanded. Considering that much prostitution is based on the financial desperation of the seller, sex with machines might be a better form of trade, but only if those in the sex trade could find a better way to survive.

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    1. Hi Jean!

      That would be an interesting aspect of AI sex, in that a human might be able to work out their darker compulsions without harming a person. But what if the sexbot has achieved genuine consciousness and maybe doesn't like being abused? What if that sexbot fights back?

      And of course those in teh sex trade would face the same problem that America workers in blue work are in trouble with - automation.

      Garce

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    2. Sounds like an amazing story idea.

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  6. Another great post from you Garce. You sure do delve.

    Another related movie was "Real Girls". (Not to be mistaken for "Lars and the Real Girl" Though not automated, there are life-sized dolls available. They feature replacements for the parts likely to wear out. Strange, real, and quite sad film.

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  7. I liked mortal engines! It's nice to see a clip from it.

    Re Playboy, I felt like most of the articles I saw about that were written by people who hadn't seen Playboy in a long time. I tried subscribing to it a few years back, fueled by fond memories I have of looking at it as a teenager. It was so, so disappointing, not because there's more hardcore stuff on the Internet but because every woman was photoshopped to within an inch of her life, or possibly beyond. It went beyond sexbots, practically. For me, it's pretty hard to be turned on when I'm actually thinking, "Dear God, what happened to her thigh?!?"

    I am still down for paying money for artistically photographed sexy nude women. That's just not what Playboy is providing anymore, IMO.

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