Young People are already Having Less Sex. Will AI compound this Issue?

By Evelyn Trainor-Fogleman

Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly become a part of our daily lives, from virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa to self-driving cars. However, AI is also making its way into our intimate lives, raising questions about its impact on human relationships and sexual behavior. This article will explore the connection between AI and sex, including the rise of AI porn, how AI is changing our approach to intimacy, and the ethical implications of using AI for sexual purposes.

Are young people having less sex? 

In a world where hookup apps are multiplying while taboos around sexual behavior and content are dropping, the expectation is that the younger generations will be ushering in a new boom in sexual activity and expression. 

However, research is showing the opposite. For example, a pre-pandemic study conducted from 2009 to 2018 found that participation in all forms of partnered sexual activity was dropping. The study revealed that “the proportion of adolescents reporting no sexual activity, either alone or with partners, rose from 28.8 percent to 44.2 percent among young men and from 49.5 percent in 2009 to 74 percent among young women.”

So why are young people having less sex with each other? The answer likely lies in many factors. However, many researchers are looking more closely at the rise of technology, the availability of digital sexual content, and advancements like AI and their role in creating the sexual content we consume. 

The role of technology in shaping sexual preferences and behaviors

Technology has always played a role in shaping sexual preferences and behaviors. From the invention of the printing press to the rise of the internet, technology has provided new ways for people to explore their desires and connect with others.

The rise of AI is no different. AI sex toys and virtual reality porn provide new ways for people to experience sexual pleasure and explore their desires. However, it is important to consider the potential impact of these technologies on our sexual preferences and behaviors.

Understanding the connection between AI and sex

AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we experience pleasure and intimacy. With the development of realistic AI sex dolls and virtual reality porn, people can now explore their sexual fantasies in previously impossible ways. In addition, this technology allows for a level of customization and control that traditional sexual experiences cannot provide. However, the question remains: is this technology enhancing our sex lives or detracting from them?

Some argue that AI sex toys and virtual reality porn can benefit people who struggle with intimacy or have difficulty achieving sexual pleasure. These technologies can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for people to explore their desires and learn about their bodies. However, others worry that these technologies could lead to a further disconnection between partners and contribute to a decline in physical intimacy.

For example, some marriage experts have come out against AI-powered sex robots because they emulate a human relationship without the mental and emotional challenges of interacting with a real person. The concern is that sexual experiences with these dolls would slowly replace intimacy between spouses as they provide an “easier” way to fulfill a desire. 

Ultimately, the impact of AI on intimacy and sex is still being explored. While there are potential benefits to integrating AI into our sex lives, there are also concerns about the ethical implications of using technology for sexual purposes.

AI porn and its ethics 

One of the most controversial aspects of AI and sex is the rise of AI porn. AI porn uses machine learning algorithms to create realistic images and videos of people engaging in sexual acts. This technology allows for the creation of pornographic content without the need for human actors, which raises questions about the ethics of using AI for sexual purposes.

First in the lineup of issues is that AI porn has the potential to perpetuate known harmful stereotypes. With the ability to create any sexual scenario, there is concern that AI porn could further perpetuate unrealistic expectations and contribute to a culture of toxic masculinity.

The more significant ethical issue is one of consent. Deepfake technology is already a massive problem for celebrities and other known figures who can now have their likenesses applied to bodies engaging in sexual acts without their knowledge or consent. As deep fake technology has become more accessible, it’s not just celebrities that are getting “deep faked”; anyone whose image exists online. 

A recent high-profile story about deep fakes and their increasing prominence online popped up when a large Twitch streamer was caught on a live stream viewing some non-consensual deep faked sexual content of other female streamers. 

This story caused a number of women to come forward with their experiences of having deep faked images of themselves sent to them as a form of harassment, and shared how difficult these images are to remove once they’re generated.

Even if deep-faked content is removed, more can be created as long as the technology exists. Unfortunately, we live in a world where most people’s image is online. Without better protections that limit how these deep fakes can be created or distributed, more and more everyday people may fall victim to this technology.  

Finding a balance between technology and intimacy

The rise of AI is changing the way we approach intimacy and sex. While there are potential benefits to integrating AI into our sex lives, there are also concerns about the impact on our relationships and sexual behaviors. Therefore, it is essential to have open and honest conversations about how we want to use AI in our intimate lives and to find a balance between technology and intimacy.

More extensive conversations about consent and ethics are also essential when creating and consuming sexual content. First, the technology to produce sexual content must be developed to prevent non-consensual use. Second, algorithms should be evaluated for unintentional bias and harmful stereotypes. Finally, consumers should be encouraged to seek out content they know was created with the full consent of all people involved. 

As we move forward in the age of AI, it is important to continue exploring the potential benefits and drawbacks of integrating technology into our sex lives. By having these conversations and staying informed, we can make informed decisions about how we want to use technology to enhance our sexual experiences.