The Horrible Future of Social — Oct 30, 2012
I'm proud to announce an upcoming private beta of sex.ly! sex.ly is a new web and mobile app aimed at bringing Social to Sex. It's based around the idea that sexual intercourse itself should be more social, more open, and more fun.
To that end, sex.ly will feature the following:
- Check-in to sexual encounters. You'll now never forget a night. Describe positions, durations, sounds.
- If your partner(s) agrees, you can rate and review them. If they don't, you still can review them as anonymous partners.
- Give a heads-up (pun intended) warning to other potential mates. Make sure dysfunction is kept out of your life.
- Earn sex-cred for number of check-ins, which can be used at sex stores and other selected merchants.
- Geo-tag sexual encounters! Support for in-airplane geo-tags is coming soon.
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sex.ly is of course not real. And yet, each day, I become more and more convinced that we really are not that far from it.
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You probably had a bad reaction to the above description of this imaginary site. But not because of some prudish reasons, not even because it had to do with sex. No. You were repulsed because sex.ly violates something very deep and fundamental about humanity. But what, in particular?
I doubt that it's some old-fashioned 'don't kiss and tell' shit. After all, we have plenty of sex writers in the world, all describing their sex lives in detail, and we don't hate that. Nor do I think it is even the egoism of the whole thing.
No. What is truly horrifying about sex.ly is that it so utterly and absolutely cheapens the experience of something very important. It bundles it all up into some packaged product of check-ins and ratings and de-humanizing rankings. It turns us into commercial broadcasters of the meaningful parts of our lives.
And yet one can almost already hear it: "It's not really sex until it's on sex.ly."
Now my description of sex.ly is obviously an intuition pump. I want you to hate it — because, with only slight exaggeration, this is how I feel about almost all life-casting.
We have begun to pollute and desecrate and cheapen all of our experiences. We are creating neat little life-boxes for everything, all tied up with a geo-tag, a photo, a check-in; our daily existence transformed into database entries in some NoSQL database on some spinning disk in some rack in suburban Virginia.
The end-game is this. Slowly, gradually, without realizing: we stop participating in our own lives. We become spectators, checking off life achievements for reasons we do not know. At some point, everything we do is done soley to broadcast these things to casual friends, stalkers, and sycophants.
Philip Larkin, writing about the destruction of the English countryside, once said that most things are never meant. That may be true here too. Maybe things won't get so bad.
But as I watch us fall further and further into packaged lives, I can't escape hearing Larkin's conclusion to that poem: I just think it will happen, soon.