One of my female friends has the view that monogamy is tantamount to slavery of men. Once you control a man’s access to sex, you own him.
This discussion requires some background briefing.
Fact: Men are happy when they are rubbing their penises on pleasant people or things. Or if they think they might soon. Or if they recently did. During other times, men are not as likely to be happy. But men are also human beings, and so they blame their bad moods on things like “stress” or a bad day at work.
Women can fact-check that claim by querying a man about his mood immediately before, during, or after sex. Now compare that answer to any randomly picked minute of the rest of his day. You might see a pattern.
That’s the Moist Robot idea in a nutshell. Our bodies and the environment jack our body chemistry, the chemistry changes what we think and how we feel, and the result is our moods. The more common view of the world is that our moods are somehow a mind-generated problem that can be fixed by thinking better, resolving annoyances, or by taking prescription meds. But sometimes the world is simpler. I can’t speak for women, but most men are going to be in a good mood if you offer them a sandwich and oral sex for lunch. Even if they say no. It just feels good to be asked.
And ladies, if a guy thinks he has a chance of getting that sort of lunch now or any day in the infinite future, and you ask him to hand-wash your car, he will probably rearrange his schedule and maybe power-wash your driveway too. Just in case. Because it might be a good investment in the future.
Hence, some people would say monogamy is male slavery disguised by words such as soul-mate and “good man.”
The man might tell himself that he does nice things because he is a nice guy, or that no one can wash cars as well as he can. But in reality the man just loves sandwiches for lunch and he doesn’t want to die lonely. He’s not a liar; he just doesn’t know that his body is driving his moods, not vice-versa. We are all under the persistent illusion that our bad moods are caused by the “problems” in our lives as opposed to the chemistry inside your skulls.
But here’s the interesting trend I see emerging. This is where we get to the good part.
Monogamy and marriage made economic sense when the family model involved a working (or hunting) dad and a child-rearing, cooking, mom. In this arrangement the man gives up his option to pursue multiple sex partners and in return he gets the benefits of a mate who can do the things he can’t. The two halves of the marriage make a whole. Plus you get the soul mate thing, love, heirs, and other good stuff. And obviously married women are also giving up their options for lovers and whatnot as well.
Fast-forward to 2015 when gender distinctions are narrowing. The economic value of spouses has been reduced because of the rise of alternatives. Today women can do all the hunting and working they want. A man can hire a surrogate to carry a baby to term. A woman can go to a sperm bank for a father. The man can hire nannies, drivers, tutors, cooks, and more. So the job of “spouse” is simply less important than at any time in history. Women don’t need spouses for income or protection, and men no longer need a spouse to carry a baby, so long as a willing stranger wants to do it for money. And obviously there is adoption.
Today only the rich can afford to outsource the work of an entire spouse. But most of those “spouse functions” will soon be automated and less expensive for all. Food will arrive at your door by inexpensive drone, with perfectly balanced meals customized to each person. Self-driving cars with cameras are probably the safest way to transport a kid, and someday probably the cheapest. And I expect apps to come along that match bored senior citizens with neighborhood kids that need to be watched while a parent works. My point is that the option to outsource a spouse – either male or female – is moving down market quickly. I think it will be a middle-class option in ten years.
And then what happens to monogamy? Obviously many people will prefer monogamy and the traditional family unit for personal or religious reasons. It has its advantages. But monogamy will no longer be the economic and social necessity it once was. And at that point you might see a social movement to free men from the biological oppression of monogamy so they might seek happiness for the first time in modern history.
Everyone is different, but generally speaking, men aren’t happy without a sex life. And monogamy usually leads to a sexless future (typically defined as sex once per month or less.) Science tells us humans lose sexual interest in a mate over time, and no amount of magical thinking can stop biology’s slow march.
In 2015 men have the option of either giving up happiness to monogamy or being lonely and childless. I think we will see better options emerging now that the majority of adults in the United States are single. I predict that you will see an emergence of more complicated multi-person virtual “tribes” of single people who are taking care of each others’ needs in various areas so a spouse is unnecessary.
The only gating factor I see is the added health risks of multiple partners. But I’ll bet science can fix all of that in ten years with nano-robots, stem cells, and Indogene* skin. And let’s be honest about the negative health impact of a sexless marriage, recognizing there are trade-offs in all things.
In Top Tech Blog, here come the nano devices to play doctor inside your body.
And it raises my usual question: How many nano devices can a human have inside its organic frame and still remain a human? A few nano devices is no big deal. But if the nano technology evolves in time from simply fixing health problems to making your body work better in general, you might be gulping handfuls of nano robots for breakfast. You’ll be more nano device than human at some point, offloading the tasks of your internal organs and eventually even your mind to the tiny robots that are, collectively, you.
In time (decades) I would expect the nano robots to handle your body’s basic needs better than your natural organs, thus making your human parts unnecessary one organ at a time until we are mostly robot and a little bit of skin.
The robots don’t need to conquer us. We will evolve into them as soon as they do a better job than our natural organs.
The good reviews keep coming for this book.
*Fans of Defiance will appreciate that reference. Great sci-fi show, by the way.