Love is something far more than desire for sexual intercourse; it is the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives. —Bertrand Russell
Intercourse, that aspect of sexual relations performed primarily for and to the end of creating more little people with which to overpopulate the planet, is a problem. There are, globally, too many of us for the planet to sustain. Yet, due to uneven distribution of that population we, as Americans, don’t see the effects that come from having an excessive amount of copulation. We don’t see the overcrowding. We don’t see the poverty. We don’t see the disease. There’s a tremendous problem and, for the most part, we’re keeping our eyes shut.
Our children and grandchildren, however, may not have to deal with many of the consequences that come from our insatiable desire for sex. Earlier this week, we discussed how that, given that free will is a myth, we might one day be able to map the chemicals and neuron combinations that lead to inappropriate behaviors, such as murder, rape, and threat, and turn those off. Imagine how much better the world will be when we turn off that inclination and desire to kill people and do them harm.
Then, I was reading last night an article concerning how close we are to taking the sex out of procreation. With advances in in-vitro fertilization (IVF), not only is it safer to procreate without intercourse, the world’s longevity may soon require that to be the only means through which children are born. We may not have a choice.
Here’s the thing: procreating the old-fashion way of picking a mate and shagging until you’re purple carries with it a load of dangers. Not only is there the threat of sexually transmitted diseases, there’s an even greater likelihood that both of you are passing along genetic traits and tendencies that lead to even worse outcomes. The intercourse with which we are most familiar allows us to pass on to our children the entire gene structure of our ancestors, including their inclination toward male-pattern baldness, Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and over 250 other potentially fatal conditions that can already easily be eliminated with IVF.
As research continues, we may eventually be able to completely eradicate genetic disease and quite possibly build immunities against other forms of illness as well. Within four or five generations, we could have a population that is stronger and healthier than we have ever been. The downside to that, though, is that we won’t die off as fast, making the overpopulation problem even more critical than it already is.
Somewhere within the next one hundred years, overpopulation cannot help but become a front line issue that politicians and governments can no longer ignore. You think government interference in your sex life is bad now, it could get a lot worse. Requiring children to be conceived only through IVF or some similar method does two things that are important for the future. First, it makes our offspring healthier, wiser, and safer. If we drop genetic diseases and eliminate the chemicals and synaptic combinations that lead to crime, we have the healthiest and safest society ever. Second, by using only IVF, the rate of procreation can be controlled. We can effectively bring population numbers down in the most heavily populated areas of the world, and boost them in those regions where underpopulation is also a problem.
At this point, we no longer need intercourse. In fact, one has to wonder if, among all the other impulses we filter from human existence, we might not eventually elimination sexual desire altogether. After all, how many really good science fiction movies have you seen where the characters showed any inclination toward boinking each other? We might see a passionate kiss here and there because we can’t imagine expressing deep emotion any other way, but that’s about all we get in the future: a kiss. That prospect would be rather sad and disappointing.
However, if we don’t need intercourse but can still have intercourse, what that does is open the door toward exploring sex simply as an elevated means of physical pleasure. If we no longer have to worry about disease or accidental pregnancies, we are free to explore and allow our sexual lives to be more open. Proclivities we have hidden behind the term “kink” would more likely be brought out into the open, become more socially acceptable, and explore means of physical pleasure from which we currently shy away. Not using sex to have babies has the potential to be very freeing.
With such developments, we could also see a significant shift in power control as gay and lesbian individuals, whose sexual activities don’t produce children already, become the preferred leadership around the world. This would follow a line of reasoning wherein those who can still procreate naturally are seen as a threat to world security. Same-gender sex could very well become the dominant form of sex, which just might make the world a more fabulous place to live.
Of course, there’s a downside. Stolen genetic material might be manipulated in such a way as to create a race of super villains the like of which no one at Marvel or DC Comics has ever imagined. I assume the appropriate response from some future grandchild of Tony Stark would be to create a combative race of superheroes to keep the rest of us safe. The world would likely never be perfect, but it would definitely be interesting.
For better or worse, all of these possibilities still lie reasonably well into the future. I’m not expecting to walk into my doctor’s office one day and be told, “Hey, we can cure you of all that old-age grumpiness.” I’m not sure I would want that to happen. But if they can make intercourse better, then sign us all up! The future could be very pleasurable.