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I'm curious how much of the decline stems from tribalistic moralization, and the rise of the cultural meme that all beliefs must support one tribe or another, and any belief associated with the other tribe leads inevitably to all the harm that the other tribe is (you believe) responsible for.

Makes sense, the banner was what I was trying to get at with "pinned" (visible when opening LW independent of level of engagement / later posts gaining traction and occupying the top of the front page). Thanks for putting this together!

Did this appear pinned to the LW frontpage when it was first posted and I missed it? I completed it today because it showed up today, but apparently it's been available for a month?

It feels like AI girlfriends will be closer to an extrapolation of streamers whose primary business model is offering a long-term parasocial relationship with a charming/friendly/likable person who is also attractive. There's already some scarcity there, and there's always on some level the awareness that most interactions are public and shared with the rest of the chat. AI girlfriends offer that without the boundaries that human streamers in that genre need to maintain. It's still overall the same long-term trend, but that's probably going to create more of an increase than simply "virtual sex with AI" would.