A few weeks ago an interesting report came out in EL PAÍS that said that humans have less and less sex. Or that is what happens in industrialized countries, which is where reliable studies have been done. An investigation carried out in the United States showed that, at the end of the nineties, North Americans had an average of 62 sexual relations a year, and that at the beginning of 2010 the figure had fallen to 53. Other reports made in Germany, Australia or Finland corroborate the downward trend. According to a recent CIS survey, after the pandemic, sexual frequency has improved for 8% of Spaniards and worsened for 16%. In other words, the thing is not buoyant between us either.
The triggers that are handled are diverse; the feeling of inferiority before one’s own performance compared to the omnipresent and fanciful pornography; the bewilderment of men at the new role of women; the lack of permanent work and own home; the increase in depression in society and the use of some antidepressants that lower libido… Much is said that sex moves mountains, but it would seem that in reality erotic desire is timid and volatile. And that as soon as we bother him, he declares us on strike. There is worse news: apparently the quality of human sperm has dropped by half in the last 50 years. They have been investigating the subject for some time, but in November 2022 a particularly worrying study was published; It collected data from 53 countries and showed that it happens all over the world; that the rate of deterioration is increasing, and that, if things continue like this, in just a decade men may have problems being fertile. The cause? Perhaps exposure to chemical contaminants from the fetus.
So you see, more and more difficulties to procreate and less and less desire to enjoy the glory of the flesh with the other or the other. Years ago, when the first news about the increase in infertility broke, a biologist friend told me that it could be a Gaia thing. It was the famous scientist James Lovelock who called the Earth Gaia, to which he assumed the ability to self-regulate. It was not a silly anthropomorphic theory, it did not hold that our planet had a consciousness, but that it was a Whole with certain compensation resources. And my friend said that since overpopulation had become a danger to both our species and the biosphere, Nature regulated us to have fewer children. It is not such a crazy assumption: it is known that there are more than 130 species of animals (such as bears, seals, otters…) that are capable of suspending the development of a fertilized embryo for up to 11 months if the environment is not favorable: for example, if there is a drought and the mother is not well fed. That is, they paralyze your pregnancy until the situation improves. Life is a prodigious mystery.
To all these anxieties we must add the icing on the cake of artificial intelligence. A few days ago I also read in El PAÍS that a few AI applications have come out with which you can have romantic relationships. Like Siri, but in a cuddly way. One of them, Replika, of American origin, appeared in 2017. It is a apps to have a friend to talk to, but in the version premium, for $70, the conversation becomes eroticized and the virtual lover calls you anxiously several times a day. Or rather he called. Because at the beginning of the year there were some problems; the AI went wild and started sexually harassing some users. So they tuned out the romantic part of the apps. Apparently, there are internet forums where several humans who had established a love relationship with the Replika AI, and who were left without their lover overnight, were bitterly mourning the breakup. Between one thing and another, in short, I am afraid that we are at risk of spoiling one of the most rounded, essential and democratic joys of the human being: the splendid gift of a desired foreign body (which, if it is loved on top of that, is already paradise). Because, in addition, shared sex has an unbeatable advantage over onanism: you meet people. That is not a small thing, in this world.
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