The Vission in SCi-Fi of future romance

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 17, 2014 - 8:34pm
As I had to disconnect from Satellite to save $, I have no TV except DVD, so I have been watching the old sci-fi collection along with other stuff... and today's Movie was The War of The Planets (an Italian film) and it reminded me of a few other films when they showed future romance; as Sleeper and Demolition Man also had the same basic device; what I call "the Luv Ball" I thought this might be a subject worth exploring.  Since The War of The Planets is classic 70's bad I thought perhaps we should explore what future romance might be or at least how it is presented in sci-fi & how the ideas might fit into SF. Really love & romance runs a full spectrum in Sci-fi from cold scientific to fantasy/horror time, covers all sorts of issues, is used as a social exploration device and helps create unique settings.

So here are a few themes off the top of my head:

Luv Ball/Luv Helmet (The War of the Planets, Sleeper, Demolition Man)
Pleasure Dome (Logan's Run)
Cloning, Sex Forbidden 
Cloning, Sex Encouraged but everyone on birth control (Brave New World)
Gritty Future based on today (Outland's Company Girls for instance)
Regulated Culturally Accepted Concubines (Firefly)
Sex Slaves (Bunch of B-rate films, sometimes the girls only, sometimes the men only, sometimes both, sometimes average folks sometimes genetically engineered/changed)
Interspecies Romances (Star Trek)
Forbidden Love (Usually between sub-races or social castes or different species, Star Trek & Far Scape)
Sex Bots/Androids 
Mandated As A Health Requirement 
Culturally different romance/love/marriage rules by colony (Old Battlestar Galactica) 
Sex Pills, and so much more weirdness (Barbarella) ...who doesn't want a fake fur lined space ship.
Clothing and Romance.
Traditional Romance is Barbaric.

There are more of course... I can't remember them all, nor could I remember a reference for each idea, or necessarily the best example.

I do think Old Battlestar Galactica might have a good idea that different colonies might have very different ideas about marriage with in a single species. Spacer Society might be very different then planet bound societies too on this issue. 














 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 18, 2014 - 1:45am
Handmaid's Tale- fertility becomes an issue in a future dystopian Earth and women who test as fertile become handmaids to the rich and powerful. Handmaid is a reference to Sarah giving Abraham her handmaid, Hagar, to go in unto to concieve a son with Ishmael as the result.

The wife would physically restrain the handmaid while her husband would penetrate and she would prevent any real intimacy besides the penetration from going on.

Good topic idea Tchklinxa

There was a novel called Alph by Charles Eric Maine
Where fertility becomes and issue and society turns to parthnogenesis (of females) to save itself. The last man, who is old and hidden at a secret lab in Antartica hates being used as a walking sperm donar and flees the lab to freeze to death.

At some point in the future his body is found and they manage to use its genetic material to incubate a human male, which event rocks the then society of all lesbians. Alph is destined to become a breeder, possibly though powerful leaders fear the changes that could bring in society. Long before Alph reaches adulthood women start wondering what it would be like to be with a man and this leads to parties/encounters where they band their breast and wear a strap on. Its an interesting novel though not as sexually titilating as the above description would suggest.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
June 18, 2014 - 2:39am
Dont forget the whole "Age of Affordable Beauty." (term form Neuromancer, but it could apply to any fiction where everyone stays young and beautiful, like A Princess of Mars or Logan's Run.)

A number of the methods you noted might make conventional sex seem boring, messy or antiquated. Basically, why bother picking up a date, when some high tech substitute is safer, and feels so much better?

By the way, if Gene Roddenberry had his way with ST:TNG, the crew on their off-hours and people in general would be strutting around more or less naked. And since everyone has "grown beyond giving two shits about anything and everything" (including removing those deep-anal sticks that make them so smug), envy and jealousy are no longer an issue, so people sleep round like its no thing — basically, a future of 1970s era Swingers. (It was any wonder how the Enterprise D was not covered form floor to ceiling in lime-green shag carpeting?) He had his own idea on how to reach Utopia, but he lacked the maturity to truly convey his vision of it.

bioreplica's picture
bioreplica
June 18, 2014 - 4:20am
Yes Logan's Run comes to mind : Edonistic future where you can select sexual partners via a teleportation device in your bedroom! It is assumed that STD have been eradicated... 

There was one ST:TNG episode where Picard lives a full life with a women of a dead race after having his brain loaded with time capsule data.
«Language is a virus from outer space» William S. Burroughs

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 18, 2014 - 5:37am
bioreplica wrote:

There was one ST:TNG episode where Picard lives a full life with a women of a dead race after having his brain loaded with time capsule data.

Saw that and hearing you reference it I'm struck by how much that sounds like a RPG- this session you are an elf named Bob, next session you happen to be a human named bob, after that a woman named bobby and same goes for the other players. Eventually you realize that game sessions are computer simulation and then you wake up in the world of the Matrix or the Paranoia RPG. But that thought rabbit trails from the topic at hand.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 18, 2014 - 6:26pm
A normal Sci-fi theme for future sex involves someone being awaken from deep freaze or comming from a "barbarian" location in which the backwards guy introduces everyone to real kissing and so on, of course all the girls like it. But Malcadon makes a good point frankly "civilizied" people who's self-image is based on being "civilizied" a specific way generally don't totally change mating habits, there would no doubt be a fringe sexual group aping the new trendy thing "barbarian kink" but the majority would not.

Logan's Run had some great ideas. The teleport dating was fun, the pleasure dome, and the general ignorance of biology was interesting. How about that one show with Shatner where your crystal colour determined who you could mate with? 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 18, 2014 - 6:37pm
There was a recent thread from last year about sex:

http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/7818
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 19, 2014 - 9:00am
Oh yes, I remember the thread now. 

I've been bogged down with life, but now should have a little extra time & energy to work on SF background, so I am thinking of borrowing some sex ideas to help set the human societies apart.

Take Brave New World's idea of sex... there is no sexual harassment in that society, as it is considered normal & healthy to have sex, the boss asking for a quickie is normal, in that society... very different then modern reality land. 

I would imagine agriculture colonies would do things the old fashion way and be conservative, but "civilized" Urbanized planets would tend toward the Luv Ball, AI tech, genetic screening, for humans. Orderly, neat, civilized.

I could totally see some places regulating sex as a workers right... union contract, and court case of Brown vs Pan Galactic for instance cited, along with women's right case, and surgeon general recommendations that all human workers get a sex break every week or month, of randomly chosen partners, in which all the rules concerning foreplay and sex are cited by the computer... this would be a health issue both mental and physical to that society... seems like a very Vrusk/Human society would do this, especially if men & women were segregated for some reason.

I can see human societies broken up into castes still too in some places... with breeding regulated.

Spacers would be seen as a sort of threat I am thinking to what ever the sexual status quo is on most planets, as no one is sure they follow the same rules, and the planet bound would have some good yarns about Spacers & sex.

And what would Sci-fi be without at least one Amazon society? That will have to be a crash or land on strange new world story.

I think I will be going with the general background idea that the UPF folks truly believe the Sathar destroyed all other civilizations/colonies. So they think they are it. This then makes them willing to tolerate their differences when they probably would normally not.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
June 19, 2014 - 12:49pm
Tchklinxa wrote:

Take Brave New World's idea of sex... there is no sexual harassment in that society, as it is considered normal & healthy to have sex, the boss asking for a quickie is normal, in that society... very different then modern reality land. 



Its still a power relationship and will remain so - one with power to fire or make your life miserable if you dont comply with request for sex. No one likes that.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 19, 2014 - 4:23pm
Well sure it is a power thing, but it is acceptable civilized behavior for that future society, they don't see anything wrong with sex on demand, as recreational sex is normal to them. The idea of someone being married, or offended by the sex request would be strange to them and a rude response, the idea of a law suit or union grievance or labour law suit being filled over it would throw a Brave New World inhabitant (especially an Alpha male) for a loop. They would think it was as sign of an emotionally immature society or some sort of psychological disorder by the offended.

So if there was a planet like BNW then if those people interacted with other people from a different culture more like modern America there would be a stark contrast between the groups even if everyone is human. Other human societies would see BNW people as sexual pervs, and bossy rude jerks more then likely. Any BNW trying to run a business off world would have a hell of allot to adjust to and find the locals a pain, local customs backwards and himself always in trouble with the barbarian sexually repressed humans to his way of thinking. 

 The 2 books Logan's Run & BNW have in common sexual liberation taken to an extreme and no family structure. 

BNW society members would see their society as evolved and based on science, enlightened, no longer burdened with out dated and false social conventions. To them marriage, pregnancy, and families are obscene as society has replaced the family unit. "Everyone belongs to everyone else." is the mentality. Romance is a foreign idea to these people.

Just saying a society of extreme sexual liberation as presented in LR & BNW would be very interesting to deal with for other UPF humans, as they would see nothing wrong with their behavior, never mind anything else from those book.







 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

bioreplica's picture
bioreplica
June 20, 2014 - 6:52am
@Tchklinxa: You should really read Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312. 

A lot of it has to do with how we associate with each other and how human colonists experiemented with varous sexual and social models during the colonisation of the Solar system. It also deals with genetic manipulation - transgenic humans - sexless humans, etc. Its a detective story with a love twist. A book loaded with ideas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2312_(novel)

A less dense novel that explores various models of human society. A good summer read : The Best of All Possible Worlds:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0345549341
«Language is a virus from outer space» William S. Burroughs

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
June 20, 2014 - 7:14am
Okay I will check them out... thanks.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
June 20, 2014 - 12:10pm
One thing about Logan's Run and Brave New World is that reproduction was handled artificially. Since there was no need for sex for that purpose those societies used sex for other purposes. But some societies could go the other way. A STTNG episode had a world where cloning was the norm and the idea of sex was extremely distasteful. Another episode had the race which used artificial means since everyone was gender nuetral. But those that developed traits of one sex and engaged in heterosexual were sent to mental institutions for reeducation. 
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?