As the development of self-driving cars continues to build, drivers will suddenly have a lot more down-time. Will sex be there to fill the void?
Planes are judgment-free zones. It doesn’t matter who you are; if you’re on a flight you can consume all the trash movies and TV you desire. In between the clouds and timezones, dead time spent up in the air isn’t subject to the same pressures or productivity concerns as the other 24 hours in the day are. No matter what you do, you’re already traveling.
Soon planes won’t be the only place where your ‘me time’ will be in abundance. They’re still a fair way off, but autonomous cars, freeing us from the need to keep our eyes on the road, will become our own personal bubbles, encapsulated in aluminum and closed off to the world. Driving time will no longer be about checking your mirrors. It’ll be about how you fill the minutes or hours it takes to get from one destination to another. It’ll be a guilt-free zone. Whatever you do in the confines of your autonomous ride will be between you and the algorithms stopping you from colliding head-on with whatever else is hurtling down the freeway. Depending on how the legislation around autonomous or connected vehicles pans out, taking control of the wheel might even be illegal.
One of the things we’ll most likely fill that time with is with sex. Imagine owning a portable couch with the ennui of a long-haul flight and the privacy of a hotel room—it’s the perfect place for carnal pleasures. In 2016, Journal of Sex Research found that of the 706 undergraduates polled, 61 percent of men and 58.5 percent of women reported engaging in some kind of sexual behavior in a vehicle.
Now, two social scientists from the UK have dived into the prospect that, in the near future, we’ll all be having sex in cars, to see what impact it’ll have on the sex industry. They’ve deduced that it’s set to disrupt the entire business from the ground up.
In a paper titled “Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism,” the authors predict pay-by-the-hour hotels giving way to driverless cars cruising the roads, changing the face of some of the world’s most famous sex tourism spots, like the red-light district in Amsterdam.
Looking at how sex tourism will totally transform the face of cities, the authors predict more disparate layout, with nooks and crannies to fill. “Drunk-driving will no longer be an issue when riding in an [autonomous vehicle],” the report says. “City visitors might also therefore drink more at bars and restaurants, but additionally may spread drinking out more geographically. Stag and hen dos may become spread out, as opposed to concentrated in particular bar districts, and reliant on [autonomous cars] to move drunken revelers across greater distances between drinks in the urban night, perhaps even crossing multiple cities.”
But all of that depends on what driverless cars end up looking like. Open and spacious bodes well for the academics’ predictions, but if compact cities increasingly implement measures to accommodate mushrooming numbers of urban dwellers, we could all find ourselves trying to bang in a closet on wheels just because there’s not a lot else to do during the morning commute.