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This Is What Porn Will Look Like 25 Years From Now

The Way Forward Machine has put together a simulation of what porn will look like in 2046, and it seems as though a simple fap may necessitate a CIA-level background check

The year is 2046. You’ve been catapulted suddenly into the future, and you’re horny as fuck. You’ve got one lubed-up hand nestled inside your pants, the other on your laptop keyboard ready to surf the web for porn. You’re breathless with anticipation — surely by now there’s kinky cyborg porn, or at least a hot interactive hologram ready to be summoned for your pleasure?

Well, not quite. 

According to The Way Forward Machine, a website that mocks up “the internet of the future” to show how current censorship could escalate, the online porn landscape 25 years from now could be pretty dystopian.

Per their predictions, your porn-viewing experience will go something like this: Instead of sweaty, naked bodies, you’ll be greeted by endless pop-ups that demand a string of verification documents, like driver’s licenses, birth certificates and voting records. Some sites — including social media across the board, not just porn — will even demand scans of your thumbprint and retina to proceed.

Worse yet, Mike Stabile, a spokesperson of adult industry non-profit organization Free Speech Coalition, says none of this is a stretch. “I’m not a futurist, so it’s hard to make those calls,” he says. “But what we’re already seeing across the globe is that countries are instituting stricter and stricter verification rules for access to adult content.”

What little porn you’re able to access in 2046 might be light-years more vanilla than what you’re used to, too. Mistress Snow, a U.S.-based academic and pro-domme, explains that platforms will rely heavily on A.I. (artificial intelligence) for content moderation, a field that’s currently defined largely by its ingrained bias. Notoriously, A.I. disproportionately flags bodies that aren’t skinny, white or cis as “inappropriate,” heavily limiting the type of content that makes the cut. Snow thinks this will improve — “algorithmic censorship or content moderation might turn toward the arc of equality” — but as a result, “platforms will get more nitpicky with content.”

Again, this is already happening. There’s a labyrinth of banned kink keywords across different sites that come with ever-changing rules — from adult babies to period blood, there’s a whole list of fetishes you can’t even discuss on some porn sites. Of course, there are workarounds — many sex workers have branded their “erotic hypnosis” videos as “mesmerizing” instead — but you can’t reword kinks forever. At some point, A.I. will be able to snuff out workarounds. 

This is probably why the Way Forward Machine predicts that subscription sites and fan sites are more likely to still be around than tube sites for your 2046 jerk-off session. On the one hand, that’s good as it means more performers will be getting paid for their work, but there are also downsides. “All of these websites are fucking garbage, including OnlyFans,” says Snow with a laugh. “I have so many friends who have been dicked over by that site. It might not be anti-sex work, but it’s definitely anti-sex worker.”

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Sex worker and blogger Adora Bautista has two predictions for the future of online porn: “The rise of decentralized tech, and the rise of resources built and made by sex workers.”

This might not mean sex workers creating their own large-scale platforms, but it could mean jerking off to your favorite independent creators and paying them in crypto, or some other new-fangled, not-yet-invented tech. “Crypto has been a game-changer,” Bautista continues. “As people slowly come to realize the technology itself isn’t a scam — although some ‘coins’ are — sex workers may start relying on it more. If you want to get off in the future, you’ll need to know your way around a blockchain.”

As for users, there’s a lot to consider. The recent crackdown on tube sites indicates your future wank will cost you — more regulation often leads to more paywalls, so dust off your credit card before you unscrew the Vaseline.

Stabile says the biggest change is that users will be vetted by the same rigorous A.I. platforms as porn creators themselves. “With cam models, for example, A.I. already flags if there’s someone else in the room or if your cat wanders into the frame,” he explains. “I don’t think people are aware of the extent to which A.I. is already used for models and content creators, so it’s not a real leap to think that it could start extending to consumers.”

Obviously, algorithms aren’t fail-safe. For this reason, Snow says content moderators — the flesh-and-blood humans who adjudicate the cases flagged by A.I. — need better pay and conditions now, or the dystopian world The Way Forward Machine envisions could become a reality.

All that said, fetish performer Lauren Kiley remains hopeful that sex workers can “band together to make the future industry model at least less shitty than the last model.” Given the ongoing war on porn, which has resulted in tight new regulations and sanctions from payment processors, she predicts “financial decimation” in the short-term future. The long-term is still up for grabs, though. “In 25 years, we’ll be relying on platforms run by assholes we haven’t met yet,” she jokes, but she’s hopeful that sex work activists will at least help lessen the sting. 

As for your future, horny self, if there’s a will, there will most likely still be a way — the kinkiest among us just might be forced to survive the predicted porn apocalypse like randy little cockroaches, getting our retinas scanned every time we want to watch a bisexual orgy. And if that’s not your thing, I’m sure there will continue to be Mommy GFs on Reddit to keep you company. 

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