Imagine a world where people couldn’t masturbate.

I’m talking about men and women here, remember, because women do it, too, whether they are as forward about it or not.

So, in this fantastical world that may only be two years in our future, imagine that, for whatever reason, there is now no masturbation in our genetic coding. Anything other than vaginal/anal/oral intercourse is not going to get the job done no matter how hard you try, so there is no reason to ever think it could happen.

The behavioral changes resulting from this slight reinterpretation (or evolutionary progression/regression depending on your point of view) of the human being would be stunning.

Viz:

- There would be a lot more sex happening. Women could not defer to their hand or vibrator, men could not defer to their hand or Pocket Pussy TM. Both sexes, for various reasons, would be more inclined to actual interpersonal interaction of the sexual variety, which is a truly undebatable result of this restriction, if you ask me.

- A lot more straight guys would be involved in gay sex–since they might get an undeniable urge at some point, be unable or unwilling to pick up a woman for a quickie, and would be unable to masturbate, remember–although my guess is that most straight crossovers would be in the “Only Blow Jobs, Thanks” category, and might even pay extra for some program that fakes men into women with digital wigs and whatnot (most helpful when paired with squinting), since it will happen often enough over a lifetime, let’s be honest.

- A digital solution to the “I Can’t Masturbate So What Do I Do” problem would emerge almost overnight, since computer geeks are out there and we all know the necessary technology exists at this moment for a virtual sex program.

A virtual sex program? What? Is this some kind of Strange Days meets laser tag meets sexting meets yeah-right-like-that-will-ever-exist bullshit?

Well…it actually could exist, it could be called “Pandora’s Box,” and hear me out:

A man puts some kind of sensor-equipped sleeve over his penis that is connected to his computer and a woman connects her specially-designed vibrator to her computer, they connect over the internet, and they’re off.

Every thrust and clench is made digital, transmitted over the internet, and felt in near-real-time. Piggyback this onto a program like iChat or gChat, and tell me you don’t have a near-sex experience with somebody–sound, sight, and sexual sensation.

Some of the long-term effects of this revolutionary leap would be as follow:

- Women will have more sex. Every time a woman would ordinarily reach for her vibrator or rely on her fingers, she would have the option of contacting some male friend of hers, ex-boyfriend of hers, or a total stranger for a virtual-sex session instead. Do you actually think she wouldn’t? Disease-free, semi-private (he’s not in your home, in your bed, there in the morning, etc), almost-not-really-cheating-since-it-isn’t-real, etc…you have to admit this would be an extremely attractive option if a girl could do this instead of whatever she does now.

- Men will have more sex. Every time a man wants to masturbate, he would instead have the option of contacting a female friend, ex-girlfriend, or stranger for a little semi-illicit virtual sex session instead of being alone. He would know exactly who to call, and one of them would eventually say yes. In a pinch, he could always call a guy he knows and play make-believe.

- Cheating as we know it will splinter into a million shades of gray. Is it cheating to use this program? Is it more like cheating if it’s an ex-significant-other instead of just a friend? Will fuck-friend finally be a term that makes it into the dictionary? Is it better to have a guy or girl virtually cheat than to actually cheat? Is virtually cheating okay, since it’s safe and virtual? Will there be caps placed on the amount of virtual cheating, in order to maintain status quo in the relationship?

- Threesomes and foursomes will skyrocket in popularity once they can be accomplished virtually. Think about it–if it ever starts to feel weird, you just turn the unit off and do whatever you want to do. It pretty much sells itself to that enormous chunk of the population that is currently on the fence regarding group sex.

- Sure, some people will abuse this capability and go off the deep end, spending 20 hours a day with some digital-capture attachment on their dicks, trolling the internet looking for any possible willing partner, but that is to be expected. There are always freaks around who do what they’re not supposed to do and skew the data. Your average consumer, meanwhile, would still benefit from this enormously, as it is something that will be a godsend whenever one member of the couple has to travel, whenever people date long-distance, whenever people are just too shy to get it done in person, or whenever people might otherwise go out and date-rape or rape somebody, etc.

- Whoa, yeah–I pulled out the rape card. If people couldn’t masturbate, there would be more rapes. That, I feel, is a tragic but inarguable point. Many of the potential-rapists out there today would jump off the fence and start getting into trouble once we removed masturbation as an alternative. But if we come back to the real world for a second, where masturbators are plentiful, and then add this revolutionary new program (Pandora’s Box) into the mix, then what we have here is a virtual way to reduce incidences of rape. If some guy could get lucky with a random acquaintance or prank call a girl in the phonebook who’s willing to virtually fuck him because she’s bored or just horny or whatever, he is less likely to go out there and actually rape a girl. It may not drastically reduce the number of rapes, but if it even reduced that number by one it would be worth it.

Now, whether or not we ultimately get into a David-Foster-Wallacean situation–where people purchase realistic-looking digital representations of themselves that are way hotter than they should be or of a different sex or whatever (from freelancers at Pixar?)–let’s just remember that while this potential development is fascinating from a philosophical/pyschological standpoint and full of further economic opportunity, it is also pretty much irrelevant to the conversation at hand.

The fact of the matter is that people who want to wear masks will be attracted to this, as will people who have no need for masks but won’t ask too many questions for fear of the answers. When virtual sex becomes fairly commonplace, asking a partner whether their digital representation is real would be like asking your girlfriend today if her eyelashes are real–you won’t even bother cuz you could never be sure you’re getting a straight answer, so what’s the point?

The gay men of today (who have iPhones) have Grindr…what will the gay AND straight people (who have iPhones and/or computers) have tomorrow?

The gays led us to all the trendy loft districts, all the trendy fashion updates…why not to all the trendy means of sexual gratification?

Why not jump into the endgame right away? I know we can do it and it’ll be a beautiful slow-build with a seemingly infinite lifespan, add-ons, apps, accessories, avatars, additional sensory receptors…

Have I sold you on this yet? If not, then I don’t think you are thinking clearly and I want you to forget you ever read this. If so, let’s talk investment stake and get this thing off the ground, hit up Sean Parker for some extra money, etc.

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