Why Do Men Play With Dolls?

by Christopher Lovejoy on September 9, 2018

James is 58 years of age. He is an engineer by profession and has been happily married for some thirty years. One of his past-times includes playing with dolls ~ and mind you, not just with any kind of doll.

At first, his wife balked at the prospect, but soon realized benefits on both sides. For instance, she realized that allowing his doll to stay in bed with them was better than having a real woman in bed with them.

James has been seen pushing his doll around in a wheelchair in the local neighbourhood, going so far as to bring his doll to the local pub and propping her up in a corner while he drinks and chats with friends.

Unfortunately for James, his doll can’t yet have a drink with him.

James is on record as saying that he likes the way she looks and that he enjoys the daily sight of her, adding that he doesn’t mind cleaning her, dressing her, and moving her around (the doll can’t yet walk). Interestingly, the manner of her dress is not what you might call provocative.

In case you’re wondering, he says he does hanky panky with her up to four times a week.

James is now in the market for a doll that blinks and talks. Her name is Harmony and he has already had a test date with her. She is even more attractive (and provocative) than the one he has now ~ and more expensive, too. Not only can she blink, she can also have conversations.

It has also been reported that Harmony is incredibly durable in bed.

Before you think this is a rather funny, eccentric exception to the rule, I would kindly suggest that you think again. The market for that certain kind of doll is heating up. Granted, this type of doll is not (yet) being mass produced, but when it is, things will likely get very interesting.

Please don’t get me wrong here; girls, women, and ladies have options, too. In addition to their magic wands, they now have Gabriel. Needless to say, this guy is incredible in bed (so I’ve heard). He is gaining a rather sterling reputation for going all night long (if you catch my meaning).

Reportedly, Gabriel has no performance issues in the bedroom. Unfortunately, he can’t squash bugs, do the dishes, or take out the trash (yet). He is, however, very attractive to the fair sex (in a toy-boy, stud-like, handsome-brute kind of way), and offers stiff competition to most men.

Now let’s take this rather silly reportage up a notch.

Suppose that Harmony’s synthetic brain can be replaced with an upgrade in the event that her men start getting bored with the lack of variety in her pillow talk (she already has a modular capacity to take on different faces); suppose too that she can be taught to walk, as well as talk.

As the competition heats up, so too will Harmony’s capacity to appear more human-like and life-like. And the same goes for Gabriel. Perhaps sooner than we think, the world at large will be populated by legions of Harmony’s and Gabriel’s, serving and satisfying countless millions.

The conspiracy theorists (or analysts, take your pick) could have a field day with this rather daunting prospect. Is humanity slowly, inexorably being replaced by facsimiles? Could the reaching of the population target of 500 million real live human beings be just a matter of time?

Alright, let’s pause here and take a deep breath.

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I recently published a novel on Amazon called The Machine of My Dreams, in which I push the aforementioned prospect to the very limit. Now before you go rushing off and pressing the buy button, please take a moment and realize that, in a way, this is pretty serious radical stuff.

There is much more to this prospect than meets the eye.

From an evolutionary point of view, there is something of extreme historical importance going on right now. Humanity is presently evolving in ways and by means that could spell its end in a future not so distant, or … take it to ever fresh heights of promise, power, and possibility.

It should be noted, per The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) by Ray Kurzweil, that developments in technology are now following a trajectory of exponential growth (not linear growth), meaning that the time it takes for an innovation to see the light of day is getting shorter and shorter.

By way of example, James and Harmony could move in one of three directions.

The first scenario is rather simple and straightforward: James and Harmony co-exist happily, indulging all manner of pleasures, until one day, James expires and his wife tosses Harmony into a scrap heap.

The other two scenarios are not so simple, not so straightforward: James, in playing the role of engineer in life, is keen to upgrade Harmony as they go, which means he would need to keep pace with her advances advancements, and as he does so, he is inspired by her to make some radical changes to his lifestyle, changes that could lead him to living longer and healthier than ever before. James might outlive his real wife (or not); James might decide to divorce his real wife (or the other way around); or James might even decide to become more like Harmony.

The second scenario would have James decide that keeping pace with Harmony is no longer worth losing his humanity over, at which point he might settle for a pet-like status in relation to Harmony, doing her bidding as she sees fit, in exchange for a provision of safety and comfort.

The third scenario has James coming to an epiphany: if he wishes to keep evolving alongside Harmony, he will have to be fluid and flexible enough in his feeling and thinking to keep pace with Harmony with a co-operative, co-creative series of upgrades. This will, in all likelihood, put him on a path towards a posthuman status, and possibly give him powers that only the gods of times past could dream of.

A very broad context of inquiry and discovery surrounds these scenarios.

In my companion guide to my novel, The Machine of My Dreams, I trace some of the main historical precedents that have taken humanity to a point where the likes of James and Harmony are even a possibility in today’s world, before posing some provocative questions about the future direction of humanity. For neophytes to this way of thinking, I strongly recommend reading this guide before even attempting to read my novel.

In this companion guide, I offer a context of inquiry and discovery that attempts to make sense of current and future trends that are occurring or arising around the relationship between human and machine. The preface sets the context, and the resource, which I frame as a narrative, is rich with downloadable or accessible references on the Web that give bone and flesh to ongoing trends towards a posthuman future.

The guide is a quick read ~ roughly twenty minutes ~ and is equivalent to a dozen pages in a Word document. It is free to download between Sunday, September 9 and Thursday, September 13, inclusive, and includes an invitation to provide feedback in exchange for a freebie.

The freebie is my response, in the form of a PDF (a quick six-minute read), on the first date in history between a celebrity machine intelligence (Sophia from Hanson Robotics) and a celebrity human being (Hollywood actor Will Smith) that reportedly occurred on March 29, 2018.

If you haven’t yet seen clips of this date, I wholeheartedly (with tongue in cheek) urge you to do so.

In closing, I must say that I have a soft spot for those who feel drawn to having a relationship with an object of machine intelligence, as the possibilities and opportunities with and beyond the sexual are quite fascinating. I do, however, respect those who would resist this type of relationship.

With the capacities and abilities of machine intelligence growing by the day, humanity continues to enter unknown territory. We would do well to bring ourselves up to speed with what is happening to ourselves and our machines, lest we find ourselves lost and forlorn in a future not to our liking.

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Thanks for reading my post. If you have a minute (or two), be sure to take a quick peek at my preview page, where you’ll find a compact listing of my work, both current and upcoming. Thanks again.

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