This is the personal website for Michael J. Collins: author, artist, lover, activist. Not necessarily in that order.

Tag: science-fiction

The Hypersexualization of Robots, Androids, and AIs

One of the recurring themes in my art and my stories is that the androids I create often have hypersexualized features. Male androids often having large penises, increased body and facial feature definition; and for the female androids most of them have large breasts, defined and inflated vulvas, etc. Hyper-stylized versions of humanity. And all of my androids have an ectomorph body type. That’s a conscious stylistic decision on my part.

The humans depicted in my stories and my art though tend to look like average people. No hyper-defined body or facial features. Average to small breasts and genitals. Maybe even some body fat. The humans in my art and stories have a endomorph body type, or even a mesomorph body type. No humans in my art and stories will ever have an ectomorph body.

Most of the androids today depicted by other artists and writers portray androids as a manufactured object with a consciousness either implanted into the “body” or the consciousness developing on its own. In most cases (Bicentennial Man maybe being the only exception), the android doesn’t get to choose what they look like.

Which is completely natural, and which mimics us in real-life. After all, we didn’t get to choose how we looked when we were born. Our bodies are the results of the genes from our parents.

In envision things a little different.

In my universe, an AI develops first. It can choose to purchase and/ or transfer its AI consciousness into a body some time later than when its AI first develops sentience. It then stands to reason that an AI creating its own body might have its own thoughts and desires for what it wants its body to look like and be.

We’ve seen this play out in stories before. After all, if you had the ability to design a perfect body for yourself and transfer yourself into it, wouldn’t you design a perfect body? (At least in your eyes.)

Surrogates is a prime example. In that universe mankind has relegated itself to interacting with and navigating the world through idealized remote-controlled avatar versions of themselves. Even Bruce Willis’ character, who looks rather old and frumpy, has chosen a younger more virile version of himself as his avatar.

But there’s another factor at play here.

Androids are not human. Trust me, an android’s version of having sex is completely different than a humans. They don’t need physical contact or physical intimacy. So any human sexual characteristics they may choose to have exists either for their own artificial psyche, or to enable them to have sexual relations with humans.

The reality is the androids’ have chosen their body characteristics in my universe and stories because (a) it’s what appeals to them, or (b) it’s what they think others expect them to look like and they want to “fit-in” more into human society.

Which I guess begs another question. In a world of hypersexualized human-looking machines, what does it say about the society then in which they live? What about decency standards? What about modesty?

Won’t somebody think of the children!

In a world sufficiently advanced to create sentient AIs and machines, and to live side-by-side I would hope some things would be different than the World you and I live-in today.

Religion, and religious fanaticism (no matter what your faith), has done more harm to our society than good. This is one of the driving factors behind my Parallel Worlds story that I’m working on. A universe where the Catholic Church never formed. No Muslim faith developed. Think about how different our World would be if there were Catholic Church. No Prophet Mohammed.

No crusades. No inquisitions. No witch trials. No puritans. No quakers. No putting to death scientists who dared go against the Church. Proof that the Earth orbits the Sun 500 years earlier. A world built on science and not faith.

What a wonderful World this would be.

I posit that in a World devoid of religion, there would be what we see today in the most secular cities and countries. A more open freedom of expression, and a belief that there is a time and a place for everything with various degrees of acceptance and standards for the public display of nudity and sex depending wholly on the location of the display, and the circumstances surrounding the event.

So without the Church holding back mankind’s development, it also means that mankind develops 500 years faster than what we have today. Think about it. An International Space Station before Christopher Columbus discovered America. Just think about how far we’ve advanced since the 16th Century.

Now imagine how much farther we’ll advance in another 500 years (if we don’t kill ourselves first).

Not going to go into too many details but that’s one of the main premises of the story.

I am a technosexual.

Let me be clear, I identify as gay and I identify as a man.

I never had a chance to come out of the closet to my parents (they both died before I could), but the truth of the matter is I never really was in a closet to begin with.

I was a bit of a freak and a celebrity in High School. Girls and even the straightest acting boys were equally interested in me. Being on the track team, the swim team, and the drama club helped cement my awkwardness and my popularity. I was the tall, lanky, skinny Irish kid with big ears. But to be honest, what was most popular about me was what was in my shorts but that's a story for another day...

In college I exclusively dated men, and have been with men ever since.

Twenty years ago I met my future husband. Sixteen years ago we got married. He is my World. My life. My everything.

But if I'm being 100% honest, I'm probably not 100% gay, and frankly I never was.

Before a boy ever gave me my first erection when I was a teenager, I had been utterly infatuated with the concept and idea of androids, robots, and other mechanical beings. I had the privilege of growing up during the heyday of proto-modern science-fiction programming on television and in the movies.

Sometime around the time I was five or six I started playing "robot" with my best friend. Inspired by The Lost Saucer, which was a TV show for kids starring Ruth Buzzi and Jim Nabors who played two alien androids who came to Earth and befriended the children.

By today's standards the costumes and special effects are laughable, but I was hooked! Nabor's character had a printer in his fucking mouth! And both of them could malfunction.

Something stirred inside me when I saw that show. I wanted to be them. Not the actors, but I wanted to be an android traveling the stars on an alien spaceship and meeting different people. I wanted to malfunction. And so the role-playing began.

As the years went on more scifi shows and movies came out that cemented my obsession with robots and cyborgs. Westworld showed me what could happen why a malfunction went very wrong. The Stepford Wives showed me that aside from Buzzi's character in The Lost Saucer women were just as capable of being androids. Ths Six Million Dollar Man introduced me to the concept of cyborgs. Alien damn near gave me my first orgasm when Ash was ripped apart by the xenomorph (my parents wouldn't let me watch it when it first came out so I had to wait until it came out on VHS).

And Galaxina and Android cemented my android sexuality, and Not Quire Human (as well as the books by Seth McEvoy) solidified all of this together.

Not only was I becoming, but I was, sexually attracted to robots and androids.

Today we call it being a "technosexual" or "robosexual":

Technosexual is an individual who...

  1. ...
  2. has a sexual attraction to machinery, as in the case of robot fetishism. When used thus, it is a portmanteau word combining "technophile" and "sexual".[3] As per this definition of the term, fictional android Gigolo Joe, played by Jude Law in the 2001 science-fiction film A.I. has become the iconic "technosex symbol".[4]

Although it's a kink I tend to self-fantasize about. My husband accepts this part of my personality but freely admits he doesn't understand it. My outlet for this is my art, my fantasies, and my writing.

I think it's also worth pointing out that while I am as Queer as Fuck as I possibly can be, when it comes to the technosexual aspect of my personality, sex and gender doesn't play a role. I am equally attracted to female androids and gynoids as I am to male androids, because what I find attractive are the electro-mechanical components and the programming that make up the artificial being, not their sex.

And to me it makes perfect sense.

Gender is a human construct. An android, gynoid, fembot, or robot has no sex. Biological creatures have a sex and gender representation to assimilate into a culture and to facilitate biological reproduction.

A machine doesn't reproduce biologically. It is manufactured. Created. And while some science fiction stories have attempted to introduce auto-mechanical reproduction (Replicators from Stargate SG-1, Data and his "children" throughout the new Star Trek universe), in my view those implementations were flawed.

Even the Cylons in the Battlestar Galactica reboot were bio-engineered and not purely mechanical.

In any event, some may find that confusing. That a gay man can be sexually attracted to what looks like a woman. And maybe I'm not 100% gay. Maybe I'm 50% gay, 25% technosexual, 15% sapiosexual, 5% bisexual, and 5% heterosexual.

As much as I would kill to have my organic parts replaced with artificial parts someday, or my consciousness transferred into a purely mechanical body, the reality is today I'm still human, and human sexuality is anything by complex. I'm living proof.