There is an article in Foreign Affairs about how femininism and democracy go hand-in-hand. Grassroots movements with lots of women in them are more likely to be peaceful, more likely to overthrow their oppressors and more likely to produce free societies when they do overthrow their oppressors. Femininism is intimately connected to sexual liberation. Thus, sexual liberation is one of the foundational freedoms supporting free societies.

Oppressive societies aren't just oppressive in one dimension. Oppression bleeds. Freedom leaks too. If, on the Solstace, you observe women and men ride bicycles naked for fun you're probably living in a prosperous liberal democracy and not an dystopian authoritarian dictatorship.

The above photo was taken in Seattle where sexual liberation has skyrocketed over the last 30 years—and not just for LGBTQ+. Talking about sex is becoming normalized. Gigguk, a YouTuber so popular his podcast regularly hits /r/all, published a 12-minute video about his love of hentai. It has 3,213,137 views.

The Lindy Effect suggests that sex will continue to become even less stigmatized for at least another 30 years. It's hard for me to imagine what such a future would look like, but I got a peek at it when I watched the anime Ishuzoku Reviewers.

Ishuzoku Reviewers is a cartoon about interspecies prostitution. It has catgirls, CNC, gender-swapping, bugs, necrophilia, mimics—that sort of thing. I discovered Ishuzoku Reviewers because I was looking for porn. By the time I realized Ishuzoku Reviewers was just boundary-pushing ecchi I had become invested in the characters (especially the hermaphroditic angel). The story had hooked me with its clever dialogue, heartwarming themes and thoughtful worldbuilding.

Ishuzoku Reviewers begins with an argument between Stunk (a human) and Zel (an elf). It is an established trope in the fantasy genre that elves are magical humanoids who remain physically beautiful despite living for hundreds of years. Stunk-the-Human has a thing for female elves. His favorite succu-girl is a 500-year-old elf named Elma.

Zel-the-Elf's favorite succu-girl is a 50-year-old woman named Mitsue.

Ishuzoku Reviewers targets a straight male human audience. The viewer is expected to prefer Elma to Mitsue. But in the world of Ishuzoku Reviewers, humans are oddballs for being attracted to elderly elves whose souls have withered away and whose mana was exhausted long ago. Fiction's greatest power is cultivating empathy and Ishuzoku Reviewers really tugged at my heartstrings. In Chapter 38, the viewer gets to see Mitsue through Zel's eyes. It blew me away.

Different people are attracted to different things. Sometimes the most important ingredient of foreplay is is a fake head made out of cake because that's how demi-human succu-girl praying mantis arousal works.

I love thoughtful worldbuilding so much. The world of Ishuzoku Reviewers is a fun utopia I would actually want to live in. There are no villains in Ishuzoku Reviewers. Instead, the conflict comes from diversity. Different demi-human species have different preferences and different priorities. The dishomogeneity fuels friction, misunderstanding and arbitrage. But never hatred.

This is what coherent extrapolated volition looks like.

Abundant food has already bought us world peace. I wonder what abundant sex would buy us on top of that.


Alas, our sinful world was not yet ready for the arete that is Ishuzoku Reviewers. The anime was (understandably) cancelled after just 12 episodes. The complete manga is 50-chapters. If you watch only the anime you'll miss the scene with the bondage-loving spider-girls, the chapter about protogynous merfolk and the scene where the entrepreneurial witch and the loli demon politician discuss what kind of electoral campaign would be necessary to secure public funding for scientific research.

Also, there's an entire subplot about what religion looks like from the perspective of a fallen angel.

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Technologically undeveloped societies will have strong gender roles because (a) physical strength is important for doing many things, such as hard work or defending yourself from interpersonal violence, and men are stronger than women on average, and (b) if most children die young, the society survives only if women spend a lot of time being pregnant and taking care of babies, which puts a limit on which activities they can specialize in.

Therefore, we should expect developed societies to have weaker gender roles, on average, simply because they have the option to do so. Even in absence of pressure to weaken the gender roles, at least the pressure to strengthen them is absent. They are free to optimize for things that conflict with gender roles, such as having more people at work. -- Also, non-pregnant women are objectively more similar to men than pregnant women, and the women in developed countries spend more time being non-pregnant.

Some reasons for gender roles remain even in the developed societies, namely:

  • it may be a stable equilibrium, e.g. if the society punishes any man or woman who deviates from the gender roles (or even argues against the gender roles), the roles may persist for a long time;
  • women are actually not identical to men, and most of them still get pregnant at least sometimes, which has some impact e.g. on their careers;
  • following the gender roles can make you more attractive in eyes of potential partners, i.e. the gender role is no longer a necessity, but a signal.

This alone does not explain why some societies -- developed, but oppressive -- actively promote strong gender roles. In theory, you could have a society that completely ignores gender, but is e.g. a totalitarian bureaucracy with extreme differences in wealth and power depending on your position in the bureaucracy, but uncorrelated with gender. Why do we see the macho dictatorships rather than this?

One guess is that we are not developed enough to completely overcome the need for physical strength; especially in dictatorships which probably need more soldiers and policemen than liberal societies. Guns make a difference, but they are not perfectly reliable (you may miss, you may get surprised, the opponent may keep fighting for a while despite being shot), you still want the gun + physical strength. Dictatorships of the future may fill the streets with battle drones that would automatically kill any subject in conflict with a cop, and this can make the physical strength finally irrelevant; the cops will simply observe whether the subjects follow the rules, and kill any troublemaker by pointing a finger at them.

Or maybe it is about psychology, that we still instinctively perceive men as more threatening, regardless of who has the gun, so the dictatorships prefer to employ men as soldiers and policemen, because image matters.

Another guess is that even in the hypothetical totalitarian bureaucracy with zero physical conflict, people would make coalitions that compete for power, and gender is simply a Schelling point to organize the coalitions around. Where your gender (whether male or female) has a majority, it is convenient to promote sexism, because it automatically puts you on the stronger side. Unless you have something better to organize around; which you sometimes do, and sometimes don't.

Femininism is intimately connected to sexual liberation.

I think there is a motte and bailey of feminism; officially all feminists oppose gender roles, but in practice some of them seem to want to replace them with different gender roles. Women are encouraged to express their sexuality more freely, but the same does not necessarily apply to men. The overall effect is mixed; it seems to be "more sex talk, less actual sex". (Correlation does not imply causation though; maybe people have less sex simply because they spend most of their free time scrolling Facebook on smartphones.) Sometimes you get more nudity; sometimes the Playboy magazine decides that actually nudity is problematic and there should be less of it.

I agree that weakening of gender roles leads to sexual liberation. The role of feminism seems a bit more complicated; in most cases, breaking a sexual taboo feels like a weapon against patriarchy, but if the "cishet while males" seem to enjoy some change too much, it creates a little cognitive dissonance.

Also, is Japan some avantgarde of feminism? Why isn't more ecchi anime produced in Sweden? :P

Also, is Japan some avantgarde of feminism?

I don't think so. Judging by my personal experience of Taiwan, China, Japan and the USA, it's Japan that has the most stifling womens' gender roles. However, I don't speak Japanese and that strongly biasing the sample of the women I interact with away from conservatives.

I think Japan produces more ecchi than Sweden mostly because Japan dominates the world at comics and animation.

I wonder what abundant sex would buy us on top of that.

Spoilered because killjoy perspective:

Stagnation. Well, maybe not from saturated sex alone. And there are ways around super stimulus. 

Also spoilered because killjoy perspective:

Maybe we're becoming more sexually open, but we're having less sex, so clearly either we're not becoming more sexually open or one unfortunately does not imply the other.

The world of Ishuzoku Reviewers is a fun utopia I would actually want to live in. There are no villains in Ishuzoku Reviewers. Instead, the conflict comes from diversity. Different demi-human species have different preferences and different priorities. The dishomogeneity fuels friction, misunderstanding and arbitrage. But never hatred.

This is what coherent extrapolated volition looks like.

How ironic, if at all, is that final statement?

What comes to mind is that that sounds like tossing out a lot of what people care about today, and so my gut reaction here is leery. Even though today people's more conflictual values are shaped by the resource constraints in our environment, those values might ultimately survive reflection in some post-instrumental form, the way that many of our other human values have. Is that world impoverished, value-wise, in the way the

is?

typo: "Gugguk" should be "Gigguk" 

Fixed. Thank you.