When I was five, I suffered from nightmares. I don’t remember of what, but I remember fearing sleep. My mother did not allow her children into her bed at night unless warranting such special treatment or need for vigilance over illness, such as a high fever. I may have had the privilege to sleep with Mom once or twice since I was, unfortunately, a very healthy child. But that may have been the cause of the nightmares or at least the desperation I felt, not having a ready fix for them.
Perhaps I got the idea to pray to God as a solution from school. Back then prayer in school was unquestioned. After the pledge of allegiance, the announcer over the loudspeaker (yes the pledge of allegiance and morning prayer were an electro-communal experience) concluded, “And now for our morning prayer,” which was later re-worded to “And now for a moment of silent reflection,” the signal to pray quietly for a minute. I knew God, a word not frequently heard in my household other than in profane epithets my father would toss about on the infrequent occasion of his being awake the same time as the rest of his family. He worked nights. I understood the word, though ours was not a religious family; holidays were eating occasions, just like for my kids now, only holidays to them are gift-receiving occasions. My parents were practicing appetites. Food was their religion. Still is for my living-with-me father, at least, as he has no question more asked than “What are we eating?”
But when I was five and nightmare-filled, I resolved to pray nightly before sleep, begging God with a one-sentence “Please don’t let me have bad dreams” incantation repeated in quick succession enough times to knock me into dreamland. So, when the ritual removed the nightmares, I pondered the remedy and asked my mother in some randomly fallen into my lap opportunity to chat with my mom, who was always busy with too many kids (4 then, 5 later), “Do you believe in God?” She hesitated. It was long enough for me to slide into a little anxiety before she finally said, “I don’t know.” I cannot remember the explanation after that because those three words were the only ones that mattered to me and affected me long afterward.
I didn’t become an atheist or an agnostic or an adherent of any religion as a result of that encounter. In fact, I tried on many religions over the years: Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as agnosticism, atheism and a touch of the wiccan. Today I am still theologically ambiguous, often ambivalent, but a steady incursion of yoga into my life starting at 15 and flexing strenuously or ambivalently throughout my four decades since has led me to a commitment to certain constants such as life in balance (koyaanisqatsi is the Hopi word for its opposite, a word on a button I wore on an old army-navy supply backpack I have sported since the same age) and a dedication to the mystery. I have matured enough to have acquired a healthy respect, understanding, and awe of science: method, premise, discovery and temperament. Though I still cannot commit to any one ordering principle of the universe or multiverse or kingdom.
I have thought about reincarnation and the afterlife in general. In my musings, I have wondered about the human condition as walking, breathing, pulsing meat but also as anima, what I imagined I witnessed depart from my beloved Copper when he was put to sleep, the light and animation immediately stilled, or imagined while staring at a corpse. I have read enough in my lifetime of philosophy, theosophy, literature and science to conclude: I don’t know. Thanks Mom.
So, I have decided that when or if I do come back, I will come back as a sex cyborg, not purely utilitarian machinery like Woody Allen’s Sleeper orgasmatron or orgasmic orb, nor sex kitten destructo agent and object like Vanessa the fembot in Austin Powers’ The Spy Who Shagged Me but more like Star Trek’s Data from The Next Generation, who is a participant and observer of human behavior, learning to emote human style. He is a scientist of human behavior and emotion, both distant and involved, objective and subjective. His capability is not merely a marvel of advanced robotics but of his own capability to learn and grow. I want to come back as Data-fied sex cyborg (not of the Borg race, mind you, more generically cyborg). Probably not the first to imagine this. Think: Donna Haraway’s Cyborgs.
The sex cyborg or sex-bot I imagine is an automaton that charges not from battery or electricity or kryptonite, but from sexual energy, that which is produced in the mutual sexual act–the one most electric–from foreplay (for those willing) to final orgasm or beyond, wherever the sexual activity of a particular session ceases. To keep alive and charged, this sexual agent must connect to its energy source at least once a day for minimally an hour, which means she/it is a once a day every day gal-bot. It also means she must be a multiply-relationshipped, mistress-type bot to obtain quality and quantity of sex and thus charge; long time committed relationships generally contain floods and droughts. Masturbation with imagined mutuality is a weak source so provides little life and would take longer charging time.
The intake of sexual energy is a logical source for a sex-borg because sex seems to be where much of human energy is spent: thinking, chasing, scheming, doing, cheating, excavating, mining, imagining and experiencing. So, the sex machine never fails to find a charge and lives indefinitely, especially if she is styled after the computed universal consensus of what is called “beauty” for a given culture, whether that is symmetry of features, youth, voluptuousness, waif-like body and demeanor, wherever the society is in terms of its constant flux of aesthetics.
Why a sex-bot? Well, besides the obvious, a constant life source and well, fun, I think the mistress-as-robot position is one most amenable to great and constant learning about human nature, what makes people really tick, the underside and bowels of the deepest, darkest (in the sense of not coming into light) guts and mystery that is human. In its many carnations, sex is experienced by and connected to all that humans started out to be, became and ended up to be. I don’t mean gender. I mean the genetics we are born with accented by environmental influences–loving father, mother, absent, cruel, war-torn world, whatever life brings–forms who we are consciously and unconsciously.
Why do some need more sex than others? Why do some not need it at all? How does one get off on eating shit while another doesn’t even find Johnny Depp sexy enough to “do”? It is thus with humans that we experience sex as a repository for all that we are and all we decide in life, our tastes and life choices and everything else. What we get off on is directly correlative to something we were born with or were shaped by in my non-scientific, non-professional home grown logic culled in my experience as a lifetime mistress and story collector.
As a distant observer and participant with a beyond human memory capability, I could do a lot of data collecting and pleasuring. I could potentially be pleasured myself, but I don’t think in the same way as a human experiences pleasure, more like mind-fucking empathy, not voyeurism, empathy. That’s why the cyborg as mistress is effective and intriguing. She is interested in the human species as a wannabe but dispassionate enough to be effective. With the right programming, she could be multi-skilled, adaptive, flexible and if not genuinely at least convincingly compassionate enough to perfect, satisfy and effectuate a wide range of scenarios and partners. She is far more gifted, less cynical and more professional than the human professional of the oldest arts. She is able to collect and provide gem-fuls of information about human nature, desire and need. She is Mistress Hum-bot, potentially something for everyone, who cares, in her fashion, to the extent of her capability, a post-human humanist. Wait, I think my mom already produced one of those. Okay, not really but fun to imagine.