So, someone shared this article via social media (I swear, I wasn’t googling, “How to turn a thousand dollars of VR immersion equipment into a masturbation aid”). I’ll post a link, but the upshot is that a Japanese company that makes fake vaginas (faux-vaginas? Fauxginas! Nailed it!) that look like Neuro bottles has jury-rigged a set of Oculus Rift goggles, a Novint Falcon 3D haptic controller thing, and said fauxgina, into a gizmo to make you believe you’re being jerked off by a cartoon girl.
There’s nothing surprising to me about people figuring out how to use technology for sexual gratification. The technology exists, so we will figure out how to use it most effectively for porn. Least. Shocking. Thing. Ever.
No, I’m compelled to write a blog post because of this line: “‘I think that there’s a taboo with male masturbation,’ Sato [the CEO of the fauxgina company] said. ‘We want to normalize it, that’s why we design features for it.'”
That. That right there. To normalize a taboo, all you have to do is add features. Because if it’s a grand of technology instead of sixty cents of rubber tubing, it ain’t weird.
And there’s precedent too, isn’t there? Have you been in a head-shop in the last decade? Even a shitty head-shop will carry a mind-boggling variety of pipes, bongs, vaporizers, and rolling papers. And Colorado just legalized smoking pot.
Now, maybe there’s a problem with the direction of causality here. As a thing becomes less taboo, industry will take a greater interest in it. Or…maybe this company has nailed the causality.
Remember when it was impolite to get up from the dinner table to answer the phone. Now motherfuckers wear a bluetooth earpiece all through the meal and take calls right at the damn table in the middle of a fancy restaurant.
When you were a kid and you went out to a restaurant, would your parents let you bring your Walkman to listen to at the table? Now kids in restaurants everywhere are plugged into iPhones playing Angry Smurf’s Ville at the table, or watching Disney’s Fauxginas, or whatever. (Yes, I suggested the existence of a movie in which 3D talking fauxginas go on an adventure and learn valuable life lessons, because why the fuck not? IT’S COOL, THEY HAVE FEATURES!)
The phone gained more features, and now is acceptable EVERY-FUCKING-WHERE. There are essentially zero phone taboos left, and pretty much everything else the phone has consumed (cameras (why not take a picture of that funny looking stranger?), stereos (sure, play Ke$ha on the subway), whatever) as an extra feature-filled feature has been stripped of any taboo for its usage.
So, there you go. Adding features leads to normalization, not the other way around. I look forward to using my cell phone to film people on the bus accepting me having sex with my cell phone as normal. Now we just need to figure out how to
add features to sheep make gay marriage take pictures…
DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying this will (or should) work on moral issues, like, say, rape or murder, but essentially everything that’s a social taboo against personal choice is fair game.
Take note, science fiction authors: if it’s been fetishized by technology, it’s never abnormal. You really think we’re going to have black-market techno-whatever (memory mods, body mods, cloning)? Nope, if it has features, it’s all above board.