Cerebral Sex / Philip K. Dick

I settled in one of those bars that had blossomed in the City after the fall of democracy. You know, these bars a little special, where we did not drink beer or whiskey, but electricity. In front of me, there were five guys, each sitting on an armchair comparable to that where hipsters sit with tickled beard for hours trying to recover by their shiny hair a little of their lost virility. A chrome armchair, a little tilted back, velvet armrests (a little worn), their dirty shoes on a footrest. Around them, a music comparable to that which would diffuse in the most obscene of porn cinemas. On their head, an electrode slightly embedded in the parietal zone (for single use: no joking with infectious diseases! HIV 2.0 has done too much damage since the new mutation). How do we recognize the regulars? They have a small tonsure, 2 or 3 centimeters-lentgh, on the skull, by being given a stimulating electrode, by dint of frequenting Bachman bars, the name of the Indian billionaire who holds the global monopoly of this trade, a little bit weird, but so lucrative.
The system was so simple, how not to have thought it before? No need for sex, no more risk of getting a venereal disease or to make one’s partner pregnant: now, it was enough to go to one of these bars, to put the buttocks in one of these comfortable armchairs, and to sink an electrode in the skull, towards the limbic system; and there, for some dollars, one can buy minutes of orgasm. Quite simply. It had been 15$ a minute, the time to create demand, to arouse desire, almost addiction, like a real drug. Then the price had increased slightly: 20$. Three years later, it now stands at 30$ a minute, but how far will the “clean sex” rate go?
The first experiments were conducted on mice, shortly after the year 2020. They had the choice between self-stimulating by pressing with their right paw on a metal support, or feeding by pressing with their left paw on another metal support. Result? 100% of rodents had chosen permanent orgasm, and had died of hunger and thirst in less than 24 hours… Probably an omen of what would happen to humanity soon.
Already, humans (many men, finally few women having been conquered by this new technology of “small death”) were falling into the madness of the lack syndrome. What was happening to those who could no longer afford a new session? To those who succumbed to the lack of cerebral sex? They began to steal, to plunder, to live on the small scale in order to be able to afford these precious minutes, to have the pleasure of sinking this divine electrode into their neuronal mass, and to unload the saving electricity until this unprecedented explosion in deeper of their body. Anarchy was waiting. Chaos. Alcohol was out of fashion. Cigarettes were hardly sold anymore. Exit all other drugs: cocaine, heroin, cannabis. Even poppers. Nothing. Nothing would replace cerebral sex anymore. Except perhaps death, when humans will have no other choice between virtual fucking and dying.

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