‘Men acting more depraved will cause men to act less depraved,’ say sex robot advocates

Today, msnbc.com reports on the emergence of robotic sex-dolls that are allegedly poised to take over the human prostitution industry and alleviate the harms to women of the global rape-trade.

Did I say “reports”?  Sorry, I meant acts as a stenographer for the gum-flapping of a sexologist and a “futurist with an interest in tourism” who recently co-authored a paper entitled “Robots, Men and Sex Tourism” for the current issue of Futures.  In that paper, the authors

envision a future where robotic prostitutes are the solution to the sex industry’s most glaring problems, such as human trafficking, human degradation and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

They literally envision it, and make us envision it too, by presenting a vivid scenario of Amsterdam’s red-light district in a futuristic, post-sex-robot sci-fi/porn fantasy circa 2050, “playing off the Yab-Yum, once one of Amsterdam’s most exclusive brothels before its closure in 2008”:

The Yub-Yum is Amsterdam’s top sex club for business travelers located beside a 17th century canal house on the Singel. It is modern and gleaming with about 100 scantily clad blondes and brunettes parading around in exotic G-strings and lingerie. Entry costs $10,000 for an all inclusive service. The club offers a full range of sexual services from massages, lap dancing and intercourse in plush surroundings. The Yub-Yum is a unique bordello licensed by the city council, staffed not by humans but by androids. This situation came about due to an increase in human trafficking in the sex industry in the 2040s which was becoming unsustainable, combined with an increase in incurable STI’s in the city especially HIV which over the last decade has mutated and is resistant to many vaccines and preventive medicines. Amsterdam’s tourist industry is built on an image of sex and drugs. The council was worried that if the red light district were to close, it would have a detrimental effect on the city’s brand and tourism industry, as it seemed unimaginable for the city not to have a sex industry. Sex tourism is a key driver for stag parties and the convention industry.

The Yub-Yum offers a range of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features. The club is often rated highly by punters on http://www.punternet.com and for the fifth year in a row, in 2049 was voted the world’s best massage parlor by the UN World Tourism Organization. The club has won numerous technology and innovation awards including the prestigious ISO iRobotSEX award. The most popular model is Irina, a tall, blonde, Russian exotic species who is popular with Middle Eastern businessmen. The tourists who use the services of Yub-Yum are guaranteed a wonderful and thrilling experience, as all the androids are programmed to perform every service and satisfy every desire.

All androids are made of bacteria resistant fiber and are flushed for human fluids, therefore guaranteeing no Sexual Transmitted Disease’s are transferred between consumers. The impact of Yub-Yum club and similar establishments in Amsterdam has transformed the sex industry alleviating all health and human trafficking problems. The only social issues surrounding the club is the resistance from human sex workers who say they can’t compete on price and quality, therefore forcing many of them to close their shop windows. All in all, the regeneration of Amsterdam’s sex industry has been about the success of the new breed of sex worker. Even clients feel guilt free as they actually haven’t had sex with a real person and therefore don’t have to lie to their partner.

It’s difficult to digest all this depravity in one sitting, but one is left wondering about the details: how is this supposed to “transform[] the sex industry alleviating all health and human trafficking problems”?  Some specificity would be nice, as well as some actual data to back up the claim which appears to be, essentially, that “letting men act more depraved will cause them to (somehow) act less depraved.”  Adding in what we do know, the proposition could be illustrated thusly:

1.  Design and build female-human-looking robots for men to stick their dicks into;

2.  Further normalize and perpetuate the current working definitions of “sex” and “sexual” which appear to be “a man sticking his dick into any object under any circumstances” and “whatever sensations a man might experience while sticking his dick into any object under any circumstances” respectively;

3.  ??

4.  Helps women.

What?  The discerning non-misogynist reader is left reeling, wondering and concerned, and with a multitude of unanswered questions, the first of which perhaps being “Is there somewhere we can view this ‘paper’ — and its footnotes — without having to pay for it?”

But instead of asking any of the dozens of obvious questions that immediately spring to mind, the stenographer writing msnbc.com’s tech beat leaves us with this to ponder: (of course they aren’t even the reporter I mean stenographer‘s own questions, but the questions fed to him by the paper’s authors)

Robot sex is safer sex, free from the constraints, precautions and uncertainties of the real deal, but regardless of how good the sex is, will we always continue to think of it as something less than fully human?

Are they suggesting we would be wrong if we did?

Science geeks invent pill to get women to have sex with Beta-males

And this pill has been known colloquially for decades as “the Pill.”  CNN’s resident PIV-positive mansplainer Ian Kerner reports that the results of a recent study published in Scientific American reveal that many women who were on the hormonal birth control pill while choosing their mate, and then went off the Pill after getting married, woke up one day to realize they were sleeping next to a giant dork.  And the women weren’t happy about it.

From the article:

[…] women with lower testosterone levels – typically caused by the use of hormone-based oral contraceptives like the pill – are more attracted to men who also have low testosterone levels.

Previous studies have shown that the less testosterone a man has, the less likely he is to cheat, the more supportive he is, and the better he is at providing for his family. Sounds good, right?

Not quite. Previous studies have also shown that most women are historically more sexually attracted to higher testosterone levels. And the mothers in the study who eventually went off birth control post-wedding reported less sexual contentment than other women; they found their husbands less attractive and less sexually exciting once they went off the pill.

Dr. Craig Roberts of Stirling University questioned more than 2,500 women from around the world for his research. Did their taste in men shift? Or did their birth control have a “love-potion” type of effect?

By “love potion” do you actually mean a pharmaceutically-induced altered reality that makes women willing to fuck men they normally wouldn’t?  Sounds like rape to me, Mr. Kerner.  But apparently since so many women are being raped this way, it’s become completely normalized and doesn’t count as rape, even though it is.  Just like every other instance of PIV on the planet that happens under dubious or coercive circumstances, which are also rape, but are alternatively known as “just regular normal everyday sex, nope nothing to see here, move along.”

Dr. Roberts, who performed the study, even advises that

women who met their partner while taking hormonal birth control should consider switching to another method several months in advance of tying the knot in order to assess whether their feelings for their partner will change or stay the same.

Women’s perception is so drastically altered by the Pill that they are in danger of marrying a man to whom they would not ordinarily even give the time of day, if they hadn’t been drugged for years by a reality-altering pharmaceutical that makes women fuck and — unsurprisingly, considering the potential for and reality of trauma-bonding from all instances of PIV — fall “in love” with Beta-males.

Mr. Kerner’s favorite handmaiden of the patriarchy, Dr. Madeleine Castellanos who wrote a book about “all things penis” even adds regarding the Pill and hormonal contraceptives that “some of these side effects are so serious that I now urge young women to consider just using condoms and leaving the birth control pills behind.”   That’s coming from a woman who is about as dick-pleasing and male-centered as one can possibly get.  If you aren’t extremely concerned yet, you should be.

Problematically, Mansplainer Kerner concludes in the face of these findings that

for those women who do choose to stay on the pill, the study offers a silver lining: the women on the pill were happier overall in their relationships and more likely to stay together than their non-pill-taking counterparts. The benefits of the non-sexual aspects of the relationship outweighed any sexual downsides.

So perhaps it’s better to be evenly matched at the low-testosterone end of the spectrum (with a man who is more likely to be faithful) than potentially mismatched.

Yes that’s a silver lining alright: there’s a pill women can take to make partnering with men more tolerable.  And women taking a pill to make partnering with men more tolerable, even if it’s a dangerous drug with known side-effects that can kill you, is better than the alternative; in Kerner’s mind, the “alternative” obviously being “partnering with an Alpha male who might have better genes but who will treat you even worse, being more prone to violence and more likely to infect you with disease.” It’s a lesser of two evils: men and male violence and male abuse/neglect within the context of the het partnership being the “evil” of course, but Kerner never says it.

Unsurprisingly, CNN’s resident mansplainer does not conclude that women partnering with any man, whether Alpha or Beta, is neither necessary nor advisable, and that there are alternatives.  It’s a false choice, and the one that includes women taking drugs to cope is presented as the better of the two.  The scary thing is that it just might be, if you believe those are the only options.  The truth, of course, is that they aren’t the only options.  And women having to be medicated to survive in (men’s) reality is pretty solid evidence that this thing we know as “reality” is really men’s reality, and male-centric social engineering, no more and no less.

Suggest for one second that men be medicated to make them easier to control, however, and more than a few people get their panties in a bunch: social engineering — including medical interventions — is how we control women under patriarchy, not men.  And not a single allegedly “rational” or egalitarian-minded person seems to have much of a problem with that, at all.

Big surprise: Kinsey study underscores that condoms only mitigate harm, don’t erase it

Msnbc.com reports that a recent study by the Kinsey Institute has revealed improper condom use is rampant worldwide, and that because of this “improper use” condoms very frequently do not adequately protect against unwanted pregnancy and STDs.  Interestingly, unlike previous studies that have attempted to quantify consistency of condom use, meaning how often the “problem” with this method was that a condom wasn’t used at all, this study explored what the researchers deemed “errors and problems” that occurred when couples attempted to use a condom, but experienced a failure of protection anyway.

The current study was a review of prior research, and both the study and the media report reiterate what many people already know: with “proper use” (apparently meaning perfect adherence to at least 14 criteria with every instance of intercourse) condoms are effective against unwanted pregnancy some 98% of the time, which is already far, far too risky to make even “protected” intercourse worthwhile for girls and women.  (That rate of failure means that in a year of perfect use, 2 out of 100 women using condoms as birth control will get pregnant anyway.  2 out of 100 condom-using women every year, year after year.  And how many millions of women are using condoms worldwide, whether correctly, or incorrectly?)

And taking into account several common “errors” as well as inconsistent use the effectiveness rate drops to around 85%, depending on the source.  That means that 15 out of every 100 women who are using condoms incorrectly (otherwise known as “typical use”) will become impregnated, every year, against their wills.  Whether that’s in addition to the unfortunate 2 out of 100 annually who were doing absolutely everything right and also become impregnated against their wills anyway, is unclear.  And the “failure rate” regarding STDs appears to be unknown.

From the article:

Condoms can’t prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease if they’re used incorrectly. Unfortunately, a new review of research finds that condom use errors are all too common.

Some of the most frequent mistakes include putting a condom on partway through intercourse or taking it off before intercourse is over, failing to leave space at the tip of the condom for semen, and failing to look for damage before use.

Mistakes?  This is what we are calling “putting a condom on partway through intercourse or taking it off before” it’s over?  A mistake?  And who is making that kind of mistake, and who would even be able to accomplish that, mid-act, logistically speaking?  Both women and men reported experiencing this type of “error,” but is it women who are taking condoms off of men’s penises “midway through” the act, otherwise known as before the man ejaculates into her reproductive tract, and then finishing anyway, otherwise known as continuing until the man climaxes?  Or are men doing that?  Unfortunately, the language used is sex-neutral, so we are never told whether, in penile-vaginal intercourse, it’s the women or the men that are deliberately exposing their partners to STDs and leaving women vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy.  But we can all venture a guess.

An analysis of all 50 studies found a laundry list of reported errors in condom use. For example, between 17 percent and 51.1 percent of people queried in the studies said they’d put on a condom partway through intercourse — negating any disease-controlling benefits, since fluids are exchanged throughout intercourse not just during ejaculation. Other studies found that between 1.5 percent and 24.8 percent of sexual experiences involved putting a condom on too late in the process of intercourse.

Mistakes and errors, that, in penile-vaginal intercourse, are more likely to put women than men in danger of STD transmission; and are likely to put women and only women at risk for pregnancies that are unwanted by the woman.

Oops!  My bad!  A mistake, like that time I put salt in my coffee instead of sugar, wasn’t that funny?  Haha!  Ah well, no big deal.

Besides “late application” and “early removal” there are 12 more common “errors and problems” that reduce condoms’ effectiveness against unwanted pregnancy and disease transmission:

3. Unrolling a condom before putting it on: Between 2.1 percent and 25.3 percent of people reported completely unrolling a condom before putting it on.

4. No space at the tip: Failing to leave a reservoir for semen was reported by between 24.3 percent and 45.7 percent of respondents, depending on the study.

5. Failing to remove air: Almost half (48.1 percent) of women and 41.6 percent of men reported sexual encounters in which air wasn’t squeezed from the tip of the condom.

6. Inside-out condoms: Between 4 percent and 30.4 percent of people reported rolling on a condom inside out and then flipping it the other way around, potentially exposing their partner to bodily fluids.

7. Failing to unroll all the way: 11.2 percent of women and 8.8 percent of men had started intercourse before a condom was unrolled all the way.

8. Exposure to sharp objects: Between 2.1 percent and 11.2 percent of people had opened condom packets with sharp objects or otherwise exposed the latex to tearing.

9. Not checking for damage: Meanwhile, 82.7 percent of women and 74.5 percent of men failed to check condoms for damage before use.

10. No lubrication: Between 16 percent and 25.8 percent of participants had used condoms without lubrication, increasing the risk of a break.

11. Wrong lubrication: In about 4.1 percent of sexual events, people used oil-based lubrications with latex, which can degrade the condom. About 3.2 percent of women and 4.7 percent of men reported this error.

12. Incorrect withdrawal: Failing to promptly and properly withdraw after ejaculation was a common mistake, occurring in up to 57 percent of encounters in one study. About 31 percent of men and 27 percent of women reported this error.

13. Condom reuse:  Between 1.4 percent and 3.3 percent of study respondents had re-used a condom at least twice during a sexual encounter.

14. Incorrect storage: Between 3.3 percent and 19.1 percent of people in the studies had stored condoms in conditions outside of the recommendations on the package.

Checking for damage before use?  Really?  If that’s part of “proper use” then how many couples have ever used a condom properly?  And how many women were really in the 85%-effectiveness range when they were having PIV, when they thought they were in the 98%?  Just about every single woman, and just about every single time, judging by these numbers.  And those were the women whose partners used condoms at all.  It’s sickening to think about.  What does seem clear, though, is that the 98%-effectiveness rate — and the 85% effectiveness rate, for that matter — is just a number, and doesn’t mean much more than “if you are going to engage in dangerous PIV-centric sexuality anyway, you are better off at least trying to use a condom correctly than not even trying to use one at all.”  If that doesn’t make anyone feel that much better, that’s a good thing, because it shouldn’t.

This is the language of damage-control (aka. harm-mitigation) only, and these damage-control rituals do not eliminate the risk of PIV and the PIV-as-sex paradigm for girls and women.  The risks to girls and women of STDs and unwanted pregnancy are, despite what we are told to believe, very serious problems that have not been remedied, and probably cannot be remedied, although everyone talks about them as if they are non-issues, whether the discussion centers barrier methods (like condoms) or the even-more-effective-if-used-properly (but still not 100% effective) hormonal methods like the Pill.  These problems remain, but we aren’t allowed to discuss it.  There’s a reason for that, and it’s *not* that it benefits girls and women to do it the way we are doing it.

It’s because it clearly benefits boys and men to talk around the harms of PIV this way — as essentially non-issues, or problems that can be completely avoided, when clearly that’s not the case — boys and men who have everything to gain from deliberately damaging and controlling girls and women with PIV, through terror, trauma-bonding, and medical events; and where men have designed their patriarchal institutions — particularly religion, medicine, and law — to attach to women’s bodies at the moment of conception, in ways that these institutions never attach to men and men’s lives.

And the so-called “sex-researchers” and the work of prior researchers they rely on, who use sex-neutral language in their studies, and in this case never revealing who was removing the condom early or not putting it on until it was too late for example, only obscure the issues of intention and harm, including who is deliberately harming whom, and why.  And while it might be tempting to interpret these slights as evidence that “sex” is or can be observed in the absence of “sexual politics,” if that’s ever the case, that is clearly not the case here, where the researchers could’ve collected and analyzed their data in a way that didn’t obscure certain realities, and support the status quo.  They just chose not to.  In their own discussion following the study, the researchers admit that

Participant-level analyses may help identify people experiencing multiple episodes of breakage or any other problem or error who may benefit from intensified intervention efforts.

Indeed.  In this case, they could’ve asked who insisted that the condom not be put on until midway through, or who removed it, and just kept going.  But they didn’t.  Whether other researchers pick up on this issue specifically and explore it further remains to be seen.

London smart-ad detects viewers’ sex, not gender

Yesterday, CNN.com reported that a new London-based advertising campaign utilizes facial-recognition technology to detect a viewer’s sex, then tailors its marketing message accordingly.  Unfortunately, CNN actually mistakenly asserts that the gadget detects a person’s gender (and doesn’t say sex) but upon reading further, it becomes obvious what they are really talking about.  And it’s not gender.

From the article:

[The] bus-stop ad […] uses HD cameras to take photos of people who stand in front of the advertisement and, importantly, who chose to have their gender detected. A computer program then “measures the distance between your features, such as the length of your nose or the length of your jawline,” Williams says, and uses that data to determine, with 90% accuracy, whether you’re a man or a woman.

See?  They aren’t using facial-recognition technology to determine how someone feels on the inside, and they aren’t using their technology to detect markers of gender, such as cosmetics, hairstyle or plastic surgery.  This advertising campaign utilizes facial-recognition technology to isolate and evaluate known sex-based differences in the facial characteristics of female-bodied persons and male-bodied persons, and they get it right some 90% of the time.  There’s a reason for that.

What’s really interesting is that an advertising firm, surely based on butt-loads of data and studies of human behavior and preferences over time, decided to tailor its message based on a person’s sex, and not their gender, obviously believing that sex (and not gender) was the better predictor of a person’s preferences, susceptibility, mutability, and future behavior.  When it could’ve easily added another step to the identification process to identify gender, such as “male face but wearing makeup equals female” and then giving that viewer the message tailored to women, and not the one tailored to men.  But it didn’t.  There’s probably a reason for that too.

Women who walk up to the billboard, which is located at a London bus stop and will be viewable for two weeks, are greeted with a 40-second film explaining the plight of women and girls in poor countries around the world, who often are denied eduction and opportunities that are afforded to men.

Men, however, get a cut-down version of the content. They can’t see the film, but they do get to see shocking statistics about the situation, like the fact that 75 million girls are denied education.

Clearly, based on shitloads of human trials and studies that all advertisers worth their salt use in creating advertising campaigns, this firm decided, in essence, that whatever else “gender” might mean to anyone else, for their purposes “gender” is synonymous with “sex.”  Probably because sex determines needs and wants in many instances (such as the need for tampons…or predicting who might actually be willing to spend a full 40 seconds of their lives seeing a short film about sex discrimination against girls and women) and in all other instances, sex is synonymous with gender in any and all ways that matter to an advertiser, such as identity, relateability, values, beliefs, desires, susceptibility, mutability, and predicting future behavior.

And this probably also indicates the industry’s belief that this is largely unconscious, and cannot be changed, even if you really really want to, and even if you *think* you feel like the opposite sex, or *think* you have somehow managed to discard the trappings of the gender-role assigned to you at birth, based on the sex you were born with.  You haven’t.  Not in any way that matters to an advertiser, anyway.

The bottom line appears to be this: there are millions to be made in advertising, and the advertising industry has determined, based on extensive studies, that how a person feels inside, or how they would self-identify if anyone asked, really isn’t that relevant afterall.  And that this is definitely (particularly?) true in the current instance, where the goal of the advertising campaign is to raise awareness of and generate outrage relating to the plight of girls and women, around the world, and how men continue to benefit at women’s expense.  Gee, I wonder why?

Kim Schmitz

The not-so-secret crushes of Silicon Valley fanboys

What if you could live a completely fictional life while raking in tens of millions of dollars in investment funds for your fantasy businesses? If I told you a woman did that, would you believe me? Of course, you wouldn’t. Women with eight-page professional resumes, sterling credit, and impeccable reputations can’t even get meetings with venture capitalists, let alone the investments needed to get their tech companies off the ground or into the next levels of access or success.

But pretend to be a bad boy hacker with mad technical skills and the techie fanboys will beat a path to your door and throw money at you. Kim Schmitz, the man behind Megaupload who is now in the news because he stepped on the wrong toes while blinded by his own megalomania, played that role to the hilt and was richly rewarded for it in money and fame. And no more so than now that he’s been outed for what he is and has been. The fanboys continue to slaver over him.

Tech writers have been devoting massive numbers of words to enshrine his antics, while pretending to be giving an accurate accounting. Such as in the Wired article “The Fast, Fabulous, Allegedly Fraudulent Life of Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom” by Sean Gallagher:

“In the early 1990s, Schmitz used a little hacker cred and the growing paranoia over the powers of computer hackers and phreakers to launch a media-powered cybersecurity career.”

What this writer doesn’t say is that what really happened was that Schmitz’s fanboys in the technology press and investment firms, as well as wannabe male geeks and nerds who support those enterprises, were only too happy to have a hero like Schmitz and to help him not only seem “bigger than life,” but to live the lifestyle they themselves craved. Also from the Wired article:

“Schmitz took advantage of the complete lack of technical credibility of reporters and the growing ‘hacker mystique’ to create a sexier, more dangerous version of himself—if not James Bond, then Dr. No.”

Does that sound like a reporter who has objective distance from his subject or rather someone who is exhibiting the very credulity and adoration that put Schmitz where he was in the first place? You can be sure it’s the latter — this writer has been working in the industry since Schmitz started his rise to fame and fortune, thanks to men just like this writer, and perhaps the writer himself.

From Schmitz’s deceitful beginnings, he went on to form companies for the sole purpose of getting money out of investors. And had no trouble doing so because he was selling an image that every man in that industry wanted a piece of. The writer of this article makes it clear that he thinks Schmitz is a sexy villain. He describes the married-with-children Schmitz’s porn-soaked fantasies as mere “fondness for models.” The wife gets a mention a few times, for a show of actual objective reporting.

You can read the rest of the article at Wired about Kim Schmitz to see for yourself that the writer has thinly disguised admiration for what Schmitz pulled off, while trying to give a gloss of objectivity (and respectability) to his reporting on the subject. The implication is clear: Schmitz is a problem because he went just a bit too far, not because he was a liar, a thief, and a scumbag. Contrast that with how few women have men writing devotional articles about their technical and business prowess, let alone have their tech companies funded. The technology world remains one big circle jerk.