tagSci-Fi & FantasySex in Sci-Fi Ch. 06

Sex in Sci-Fi Ch. 06

byTonyDowse©

CHAPTER 6: NEITHER WITH A BANG, NOR A WHIMPER

As is always the case, various sections of the community clearly saw the danger early and did their best to warn the authorities and the people long before any official attempt was made to tackle the problem. And, as had always been true, by the time the governing bodies did stir, it was already too late.

Media researchers, in the course of preparing stories for that section of the community that still called-up public information services, variously traced the origins of the problem to; neurological research, computer technology or to social disruption - all dating from the second half of the twentieth century.

Learned professors, humanity guides, Teev stars, local dignitaries and assorted 'talking-heads' agreed, disagreed and produced pet theories - as they always had.

As usual, the truth fell somewhere in between all of the so-called facts.

But regardless of the date, source, cause or causes - the fact was quite simply that homo sapiens sapiens was becoming extinct. Neither with a bang nor a whimper - but with a silent scream, of ecstasy.

It had long been recognised that mankind's sex-drive was far stronger than and quite different from just about all other living creatures. Man (and woman) thought about, responded to and took part in sexual activities more frequently than was necessary for the survival of the species and more enthusiastically than was good for the planetary population.

Sex had been used overtly and covertly in every activity - politics, sport, commerce, religion - nothing had been free of the all-pervasive and ever powerful message about the difference between male and female. Moralities had come and gone - swinging from licentiousness to prudery. Diseases appeared and were in turn - feared, controlled and conquered. Specific acts were from time to time and from place to place, declared illegal and incurred penalties that varied even more widely than the acts themselves.

What one society, at one time considered likeable, another considered laughable another debatable and yet another jailable. Perversion to one was normality to another. Yet still they did it. In private or in public, in pairs or in groups, with gaiety or dedication.

Levels of enjoyment and excitement varied dramatically, bliss for one was an everyday experience for many others and the pleasures themselves varied from one day to another; dependent on mood, circumstances and partner. But still most people, enjoyed most of their sex, most of the time - and as each succeeding generation practised their own particular sexual activity, most of them found it sufficiently enjoyable, most of the time, to keep on doing it.

Certainly there had been problems, for some enormous problems. Problems of non-erection, premature ejaculation, frigidity, obsession, fetishism, rape, incest - an ever expanding range of problems. But for every one with a specific problem, there were scores simply getting on with it.

Until!

The early models were of course crude and clumsy by comparison with what came later. Originally designed as a 'feely' attachment for Teev units they were really nothing more than mild electro-shock generators. Electrodes fitted to various parts of the body transmitted signals synchronised to the Teev or recorded programme and resulted in mild stimulation of muscles or nerve centres, providing a heightened sense of shock, fear, well-being or arousal.

It was not long before a more sophisticated but still essentially simple, cranial version was marketed. This not only reduced the tangle of connecting wires but also enabled a greater degree of precision in triggering the appropriate response.

Whilst there were at this time some murmurings of concern these came mainly from the religious fringe. As the population was used to hearing these describe every innovation, from dancing to space exploration as being 'works of the devil', little notice was taken, even by their followers. Several business leaders were heard to complain about a slight rise in absenteeism but their voices were overwhelmed by the manufacturers, distributors and advertisers of the product.

Sensex was marketed brilliantly. The virtues of an enhanced appreciation of Matisse and Mozart and the educational benefits to the young, were cleverly combined with the underlying promise of undreamed of delights of a baser kind. As virtually all major Teev stations aired at least one porno channel and recordings of all descriptions, to suit every conceivable taste were readily available, it was not long before the majority of homes acquired the latest technological wonder.

Next came an adapter box, enabling couples to share what had until then been primarily solitary pleasures. That gadget pushed the home ownership of Sensex from around sixty, to almost ninety percent virtually overnight. Then it was only a matter of months before stores began to stock and sell in growing numbers the adapters that accepted other adapters, enabling groups of any size to communally participate.

Still the marketers stressed the joys of artistic appreciation - schools were equipped at low cost, to improve the quality of teaching - hospitals, to speed the recovery of patients - various types of institutions, to calm or motivate the inmates.

Every few months, as was to be expected from smart marketers, enhanced models were released. Finer tuning, improved separation of the stimulator nodes, sharper holo-pix, clearer colours, better sound, better muscle response. A seemingly never-ending wave of inventiveness.

However, up to that point the Sensex had suffered from one limitation. It was of course necessary to be linked to both a power and a signal reception source, added to this was the fact that both the modulator and translator were complex and bulky, restricting all but the most adventurous of users to an indoor, structured use. So most users treated their Sensex much as the earlier viewers of TV had, certain programmes or recordings were watched by the family as a group, others were reserved for a later, more private use.

As a result the average family's use of Sensex as a part of their sexual activities was restricted and rationed more by circumstance than by choice. For the greatest percentage of time Sensex was in fact used just as the advertisers had said it would be - as an enhancer of the regular Teev shows.

Then came the new generation of Sensex. As different from the original as a visi-phone was to a message stick.

Truly portable; a pocket-sized pack provided power, Teev reception and recording player. Unobtrusive; gone were the cranial caps and wires, being replaced by a band containing the transmitter nodes, that simply fitted around the upper arm or leg. Vastly improved performance; response levels were lifted by a factor of six. And, almost more important than all of those refinements, with this model the holo-pix themselves could be viewed via a pair of tinted glasses, that were of course available in a wide variety of fashionable styles and colours.

Again, being excellent marketers, the new Sensex was priced at a level that discouraged most people from immediately buying, which made it all the more desirable for the majority to purchase one as soon as possible. But it was not too long before competitive models began to appear. Some with additional features, at a similar price, others with less expensive components, at large discounts. Then, in the anticipated second selling wave came the equipment necessary for multiple hook-up, for group use.

Within a year market penetration had achieved over ninety nine percent of homes in the industrialised world and in many parts, as large numbers of individuals purchased different models for different situations, personal ownership was well over one hundred percent.

The manufacturers and distributors quickly began to dump their older models into the third world countries, at virtually give-away prices. Then, as saturation levels were reached in their domestic markets, followed-up by providing new, even more compact models at lower prices.

Within five years of the introduction of Sensex there were few inhabitants of the planet that did not either own or at least have regular access to at least one model.

The first Sensex related suicide had occurred within a month of the very earliest unit coming on to the market. It appeared that death by a combination of dehydration and constant arousal was not particularly pleasant - at least so the medicos said. The media of course had a field day sensationalising the cases that followed in a geometric curve. But, as was predictable, after the first few weeks, those that chose to quit the world in that way were no longer of interest, except to those that found and had to clean up after them.

But, as the months turned into years several other effects of the growing use of Sensex began to be noticed by those concerned with such things. People stayed home more, ate out less frequently, bought fewer clothes, sporting equipment and a surprising variety of other goods and services. Sales of prepared foods had always shown a steady growth, they sky-rocketed. But liquor consumption came down, as did the sales of medications and mild drugs.

Whilst some products' sales rose, beds and bedding did very well for a while and there was quite a boost for a manufacturer of a version of a chaise-longue, most suffered either static or more frequently, negative growth. More importantly it was not a passing phase, in fact most industries found themselves in a rapidly steepening, downward slide.

As economies declined, shop and factory closures were followed by bankruptcies and growing unemployment. Since virtually all homes contained a Sensex the initial depression of the jobless was relieved in more ways than one and an ever growing number of both individuals and family groups chose the easy, happy and final way out of their difficulties.

The jobless were followed by the soon-to-jobless, the managers-with-nothing-to-manage, the friends-who-had-lost-friends, the shareholders-with-valueless-shares, in short, whole sections of the community.

Supplier countries, dependant on large, wealthy populations to purchase their crops and minerals found few buyers and began to go hungry. They too found larger numbers of drying, grinning corpses around the countryside. In some cases whole villages went in one, final group orgasm.

Many bodies tried to turn back the tide. Governments formed committees. Religious sects offered alternative paths. Sociologists talked, mainly to each other. Business leaders denigrated the attitude of the workers. But still people, in ever increasing numbers settled themselves comfortably, turned on their Sensex, hiked the response levels up to the maximum - and came - and came, as they went.

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