The home page for author Eric J. Juneau

The Sliding Scale of Infidelity

sex doll couch video games

I was talking about this with my wife the other day. Apparently there is some new sex robot that can replicate emotions and give responses. I’m sure it’s not much better than a furby. But it reminded me that we are facing a paradigm shift in technology + sex and it’s going to go common soon.

I can’t remember where I read it, but there’s a quote that says “As soon as a new technology is invented, people will figure out a way to use it for sex”. It happened with paintings, the telephone, the video tape, and so on. I don’t know if the same debates occurred back then, but I know that today’s technology allows to get into some very gray area regarding infidelity.

Case in point, there’s a scene in Bad Moms (2016 starring Mila Kunis) where the husband is on the computer masturbating. The wife thinks it’s just porn, but he’s webcamming with another girl. I don’t know if this is a camgirl or a normal citizen. It’s someone he’s established rapport with, that much is known.

The wife (and mine) considered this cheating. But no fluids were exchanged. They were never in the same room together. In fact, they had never met IRL and lived in different states.

To be clear, I’m not saying this ISN’T cheating. I’m saying it’s an interesting debate. I understand both sides of the issue. On one hand, feelings were hurt. On the other hand, how different is this than pornography or strippers? To what degree of intimacy was exchanged?

And that’s just today. I don’t know what it was like in the past days–I guess women didn’t feel like they had voice enough to protest their husbands sexual escapades. But now that we’ve got stronger women PLUS accelerating technology, a hand must be raised.

And it’s interesting that this “accelerated technology” is pretty much devoted to giving humans artificial experiences. I grew up in a time when the greatest advance in VR was A) that thing at the State Fair where you shoot dragons or your friend in Blockoland or B) Virtual Boy.

Right now, sex dolls are still tossed in the uncanny valley, but eventually, they will make a human-passable gynoid. Is a nearly human gynoid worse or better than watching a camgirl?

When I try and evaluate “am I masturbating or am I having an affair?” I think of it on a scale from 0 (monogamous, no fear of betrayal) to 10 (you’ve been unfaithful to me, I want a divorce). Here are some things that are going to have to be placed on that scale:

  • A full-size sex doll with no electronics or moving parts
  • A sex doll that can have a face projected onto it (any face you want)
  • A sex doll with moving parts and electronics (meant to be as close to a human as possible)
  • A non-humanoid robot that can give a handjob
  • Virtual reality porn
  • Virtual reality porn with a peripheral
  • Virtual reality porn with a haptic suit
  • A sex game on a Kinect (or perhaps virtual sex on the Kinect)
  • Attaching a fleshlight to an iPad.
  • Anything you can make with a 3-D printer
  • Interacting one-on-one with a camgirl (compare to getting a lap dance with a stripper)
  • Interacting one-on-one with someone on ChatRoulette

  • Using a remotely-operated sex toy (they’ve got everything from kissing simulators to virtual vajayjays).
  • Putting on Google Glasses and face-swapping your partner with someone else.

To me, none of these sound terribly appealing. Maybe the most likely one I’d get is something VR for the cell phone. Nothing too expensive. I’ve got kids, I’ve got to hide it, you know. I can’t put on a haptic suit every time. But the thing about VR is it does feel a leetle beet too much like having sex with someone who’s not my wife. Also, someone could walk in and I’d never know it.

For me personally, I think a big part comes from “is there a human on the other end or not”? Although this is not an end-all/be-all. Men can fall in love with a non-feeling object. We’re living in a world where people marry their pillows, for God’s sake.

Ultimately, it comes down to what’s okay between you and your spouse. And these days that may not be so cut and dried. So that means some uncomfortable communications are going to have to occur, and it’s better they occur sooner than later.

What Video Game Do I Play Next?

guy looking at racks of video games

So I got Bioshock: Infinite done. It was shorter than I expected, so I find myself at a time when there’s lots of A+ games out there, but nothing I’m really jonesing for or missing out on. The next thing on my mind is Batman: Arkham Origins, but that doesn’t come out until October. I mean, really, I’m drawing a blank.

So I think to myself, if I could get one free game, what would I get? What would I try? Here’s a few of my options.

World of Warcraft – I’ve always been curious about this game. It’s free to play now (up to Level 20, which seems like a fair distance), so it’s no monetary risk on my part, just a time risk — I heard it’s very easy to get sucked in. Plus, I have an idea for starting a blog/diary, role-playing as the character and reporting on my activities. I think it would be hilarious to see a n00b wander around, exploring the world, the culture, and the mechanics for the first time. No FAQs, no guides, no RMTs, no spoilers. Just a confused old man and his keyboard.

Dishonored – This was the first game that came to mind, but it looks a lot like Bioshock: Infinite. FPS, jumping strikes, damsel plotline, contemporary technologies. And with the addition of stealth, I’m not sure it’s my cup-of-tea. I just don’t have the patience for stealth games.

Assassin’s Creed – This game’s got what, three sequels? It’s probably the most recent IP that’s been as successful as Halo or God of War. And I haven’t played even a store demo. I would like to find out what it’s all about, but as I said before, I’m not a fan of stealth games. But I heard the story’s interesting, and people seem to love the character. The question is, the game’s already six years old. Do I just consider it a ship that’s sailed?

Halo 2 – I played Halo 1, but I was only lukewarm on it, and I don’t know if I’m in the mood for more FPS games. I want to play something different. These triple A games based on established properties tend to get samey, and Halo 1 was even samey in itself.

Borderlands – I heard good things about this from The Spoony One, but for some reason I rarely agree with the TGWTG critics about movies and games. Also, this is another new IP that seems right up my alley — an action RPG with cyberpunk/bizarro themes. My question is: what is the gameplay like? Is it just another shoot-em-up or something different?

Fallout: New Vegas – This and Borderlands looks so similar, it might be a toss-up based on price. Both have quirky post-apocalyptic settings a la Tank Girl. Both are FPS’s with RPG elements. Both have a lot of action. It’s like they’re dueling — six of one, half-dozen of the other. And I haven’t been able to gather which one people liked better.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – It looks like Matrix/Neuromancer: the Game.  I heard it had a good story, but the climax was disappointing. From the videos, I can’t tell if it’s too easy or too hard. And do I need to know anything about previous Deus Ex games to play it? I played a shareware version of the first Deus Ex way-back-when, and the upgrade system was too complex for me. I felt like I had to grind to get everything.

Skyrim – I probably won’t be picking this one, even though everyone seems to love it. It looks like a big timesink, and the gameplay looks not very solid. You wave your sword around like an idiot and they clink from three feet away. The intro didn’t seem gripping and all the environments look washed out. There’s something about a game that’s too open-ended, too branching path, that turns me off.