“As technology advances in complexity and scope, fear becomes more primitive.”
― Don DeLillo
“Fear not lest precautions and protective contrivances diminish your pleasure: mystery only adds thereto.”
— Marquis de Sade
Mortimer Granville isn’t a name that goes with Alexander Graham Bell or Philo Farnsworth. But the 19th century British physician who invented the vibrator belongs just as much in the pantheon of great inventors as any, so influential remains his work to the lives of ordinary humans. Unlike Jonas Salk, Peter Dunn and Albert Wood didn’t invent a vaccine — but they did invent Viagra. And surely you can recognize that those peddling erotica have always been pushing the fringes of technology forward, from the printing press to home video, web forums, DVDs, high-definition streaming, and VR — more often than not, porn has gotten there first.
Forget the ancient Sumerian who invented the wheel, or Ben Franklin’s key-tied kite — because for all of humanity’s legendary technological pioneers, innovators and inventors, there have always been those undersung geniuses, those pleasure-hungry sensualists, libertines, and thrill-seekers at-large answering the call from humanity (to say nothing of their own base desires) to feel higher and hotter, to go faster, to make it last longer and get it harder, stronger, sooner, and simply more, and more, and more. Necessity isn’t always the mother of invention. Sometimes, it’s simply curiosity. But sometimes, it’s just because we’re horny.
This week, we’re pleased to bring you a different version of Futurism, containing stories from the horizon of hedonism: Welcome to The Science of Pleasure. In collaboration with our sister site MEL Magazine, this week, both MEL and Futurism will be bringing you stories from both publications about the highs and pleasures and edges (or edging) of tomorrow, today.
This week, we’ll be taking you from the slightly horrific and fascinating world of AI-generated neural network porn, to the human technology implants delivering pleasure straight to your brain, to gene-hacked libidos, CRISPR’d sexual organs, bionic sex toys, space sex, self-driving sex, something called the "orgasmatron," VR bodyswapping, the neurocognitive miracle known to some as a “spank bank,” erotic hypnotism, and more.
To see everything in The Science of Pleasure series, check back here, as we'll be updating this page each week with new stories. If you don't wanna do that, you can always sign up for MEL's fantastic newsletter and follow them on Twitter and Facebook, where they'll be dropping all their stories from this thing.
Also, don't forget: Futurism has a free newsletter, too, and if you're missing out on it, you'll be missing out on all of our side of this thing, and the rest of the most cutting-edge news on the emergent science and technology stories of the day, as they happen, to say nothing of our Twitter and Facebook. And here's what we've published so far:
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