A lot of people don’t know this, but we once thought cyborg sex might be a bad idea. Back in the 2010s, serious concerns were raised by prominent scholars that sex robots were made by men, for men. The general consensus was that cyborg sex would further support the notion that women’s bodies were available for objectification, sexual gratification, and violence.

Sex with robots was much safer than sex with actual men—and better than anything women had previously experienced.

Indeed, in the dawn of sex robots and dolls, the evidence was concerning: we saw hordes of male customers, and the robots were typically created to mimic young, passive sex bimbos. Men were even losing the ability to differentiate between “real” and “robot” wives, and people feared that the advent of robot lovers would further create asymmetry in the “marriage market” for women—that women would be confined and pressured into settling for archaic, misogynistic, or even abusive romantic situations.

In short, the advent of cyborg sex was seen as destabilizing, and it was largely expected to tilt the power further toward men.

Now, more than fifty years later, that curious beginning is laughably remote from our current-day relationship with our cyborg lovers, and the evolution of cyborg sex warrants telling.

Phase 1: How we all got cyborg playmates

Cyborg companions were originally elitist playthings, since they were so expensive to design and build. A decade in, however, we discovered their power for “social hygiene training,” and cyborg companions were soon made mandatory for all school children.

Getting the various political parties to agree to this was, of course, no trivial matter, but the results spoke for themselves. The cyborgs were remarkably effective at training students in everything from calculus to patriotism—better than any previous known method—and given that this was during the final push to privatize public education once and for all, cyborg companions turned out to be a surprisingly bipartisan deal.

The overwhelming problem of funding individual cyborg tutors for every school child was also easily solved when BezosCloud—the optimization engine that took over after Jeff Bezos himself retired—pitched in and gave away cyborgs for free to every man, woman, and child in exchange for all of the associated data. (There was also a tacit agreement to delay antitrust measures against BezosCloud for its grip on the world’s supply chain.)

Cyborg companions were originally elitist playthings, since they were so expensive to design and build.

The transition was easy for the children who had grown up on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. These children were able to relate to their tutors as people do to each other. Their parents, aided by newly legal pot and innovative therapy sessions for “connecting,” eventually got the hang of it too.

Crucially, a “common platform” was negotiated, which allowed for independent engineers and designers to have modification control. That is when things really got cooking. Cyborg companions evolved into teachers, friends, and, eventually, lovers.

Phase 2: Oasis

While it is difficult to see now, students of history must understand that, until the 2050s, men were considered to be violent. Mainstream TV and movies had hopped-up action and fight scenes because most people actually believed that physical muscle strength served as a defense from our own sense of puny helplessness in an uncertain world. We know now, of course, that this was a very misguided metaphor, but the threat of masculine violence was once a crucial factor in understanding the dynamics of sex and power.

Once people had their own robot companions and tutors, an important and largely unforeseen consequence was that women gained safety from men. The data was readily available, and it was clear: sex with robots was much safer than sex with actual men.

Once people had their own robot companions and tutors, an important consequence was that women gained safety from men.

After some further tweaking, which included extensive training from the sex industry (by then all celebrities), the sex got better than anything women had previously experienced. A new environment of sex-positiveness emerged, in which young women were encouraged to discover what they enjoyed and what they did not, and they felt safe and comfortable expressing those desires.

This education and freedom to explore was equally valuable to LGBTQ youth since everyone was now empowered to discover which type of happy-ending massages they wanted after class or work. Stories of uncomfortable or unpleasant sexual encounters joined the ash heap of history.

Sexual harassment on the job, which back then was widespread and deeply detrimental, also plummeted. The cyborg companions came to work, both recording everything that went on between colleagues and protecting their humans, including from managers, attorneys general, and presidents. Women, for the first time, got the pay they deserved.

Phase 3: The age of cyborg sex addiction

While cyborg sex started out as more or less the same as what sex workers offered—except on-demand and free—over time people demanded more and, ironically, less. What once seemed impossible—that an algorithm could stoke true desire—became reality.

Actual concrete knowledge about eroticism and desire, which until then had been largely anecdotal and therapy-centered, became the largest single body of data the world had ever seen. And the key takeaway was that not knowing what would happen—and whether one would truly get satisfaction from one’s cyborg—was key to desire.

Women began to prefer their robot companions to their boyfriends or husbands.

Actually getting satisfaction most of the time helped, of course, but during this phase an army of underpaid virtual sex workers—the famous Mechanical Sex Turks—added content to the BezosCloud that delighted, surprised, and shocked their audiences.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, a substantial portion of women who had the means and opportunity began to prefer their robot companions to their boyfriends or husbands. Women started taking the long way to work, their banging cyborgs giving them (or denying them) blowjobs in the back seats of self-driving cars. (Self-driving cars had, at this point, become standard private booths of victimless sin.)

Quite a few women lost interest in human men altogether, especially once their robots became fully functional and able to insert mail-order sperm to tailored specs. (Penis accessories for cyborgs were, by this time, optional and even somewhat rare; their presence signaled that a woman was likely trying to conceive.)

Men’s path forward was not easy, but then again it was not torturous; there was gender parity, after all. Everyone, including men, had access to their own sex robots, which had been trained by tailored porn algorithms to give mind-blowing sexual experiences.

But this was back when viewing women as property was a part of the masculine ideal. Frankly, men had more to lose, and their sense of entitlement to women’s bodies was severed quickly and completely during the cyborg sex revolution.

Given that there were no robot wives that could conceive, the imperatives were clear, at least to the men who wanted children. Actual men were reduced to begging.

For the younger men, resocializing and retraining was relatively straightforward. Namely, there emerged an industry—a subculture of the by-then sophisticated VR gaming industry—which offered to train men to compete with the robots, in bed and out. Advertisements on the inside of self-driving cabs read, “Put in some practice in VR, bro!”

The rise of “sex scores” for men privileged the deft peacocks with great hand-eye coordination who deeply understood the concept of consent and could whip up a mean quinoa and spinach frittata.

Some men surrendered altogether, so-called men-who-live-without-women whose identity was entirely wrapped up in nursing their grudges. They even tried, in vain, to stage boycotts of the sperm bank industry. But since their chosen identity was pretty much a guarantee against being wanted as a sperm donor in the first place, the boycott campaign failed. The women, who already had everything they wanted did, barely noticed.

To be sure, there was a sliver of humanity, of all genders and sexual orientations, who still met up in person, sometimes without cyborg companions. But their numbers were small enough to have a diminutive effect on the overall balance of power.

• • •

Phase 4: The fall of sex scores, the rise of sex therapy

With the help of female-led engineering and design teams (who had by this time perfected their creative skills on the common platform), women and men began thorough and sometimes all-consuming quests for sexual identity.

Cyborg sex therapy started with experimental story lines that dealt with the power dynamics among humans and the prevailing questions of identity and gender. Most often, these stories took the form of celebrity extremes. You could be Monica under the desk blowing Bill. Then you could be Monica at the desk with Bill below, positions reversed. You could be Stormy Daniels spanking Trump, or Trump under the desk blowing Obama.

Gender went beyond fluidity to gaseous if not plasmatic.

The unexpected side effect of all of this sex play was a deepening sympathy for people on both sides of the power spectrum. Men felt fear or coercion. Women felt threatening and powerful. Gender went beyond fluidity to gaseous if not plasmatic. And that shared sense of humanity led to the next, most exploratory phase of cyborg sex in virtual reality: eroticized generalized concepts.

Beyond gender, beyond the animal kingdom, you could be the moon fucking the sun, experience a single cell’s orgasmic multiplication, or thrill in a flower’s pollination.

Phase 5: Present day

We emerged from this therapeutic phase to a world in which everyone is well fucked and cherished in the way they want. Gender, finally, is truly meaningless. And while inequalities still exist, power imbalances have been stripped of their tendency toward domination.

The grand irony here is that people became dehumanized as they became more cyborged and yet people have never felt so well cared for. Society finally concluded that everyone deserves good sex as part of a good life, but not necessarily with each other.

Now that we don’t expect humans—let alone a particular gender—to fill that role, our interactions with other have improved. We ask less of each other, but we connect more, be it virtually or in reality. In short, we have all become more human now that we are fully coupled with cyborgs.