Re: Member

by Patrick Miller — follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter! Illustration by Irene Koh. Also, you might like MVP — a game dev short story.

Justin had been thinking of getting back into sex recently.

It had been a couple years — since college, really — but it was normal for men in his age/tax bracket to take a break from sex up until their mid-thirties. Sure, you try it out when you’re younger, and your peers aren’t concerned by who or when or how many, but the closer you get to graduation, the more everyone starts thinking about taking their sexual resume seriously.

So you wait. Get a stable career, a condo somewhere, a little spending money — you can afford to spend a few grand on something nice for yourself — and see how it goes. Maybe it’s just a hobby, maybe you start up your own sexual media channel, give your personal brand a bit of a workout. These days, it seemed like no one in the Bay was fucking you if you didn’t have at least a thousand YouPorn followers.

He had been idly toying with the idea for a few weeks — reactivated his old Tinder account, untouched since college, and started swiping to see what the local market was like. Every conversation went from the initial coy flirtation phase to the same dead end:

Soooo… What you packin ;)

Justin left the message unanswered, just as he had ten other similar messages. The Groucho Marx problem, some thinkpiece had called it; he probably didn’t have a chance with her, and anyone who would fuck a no-name like him became, definitionally, someone he didn’t want to fuck. His mind briefly flashed back to the last person he had sex with, six — wait, no, seven? years ago. Settled down with a VC a few years ago. He hadn’t been able to bring himself to check out her channel since.

He made up his mind. As luck would have it, he had just run into a minor windfall — cashed in some stock options from an old job — and didn’t mind putting that future condo on hold for another year or two. Besides, he thought, it’ll be good for the personal brand. Making waves in the amateur streams would be good small talk for his next senior leadership schmooze.

— — — — — — -

Hours of Internet research over the previous few weeks, starting with a CrossFit forum thread and ending in r/mensadvice, had led Justin to an overpriced courtyard cafe with Roman columns, where he was nervously sipping on an eight dollar freeze-brewed iced coffee. Across the street was a shiny, modern storefront (formerly an Apple Store, Justin had heard) that Yelp had determined was the best place to get back in the game.

“Great salespeople! Kevin was super well-informed, low pressure, and perfectly fine working within my price limit.”

“I came here with my husband to see if we could find a model that served our new family’s needs. Claire was sooooo helpful! We’ll definitely be back when our contract is up and we want an upgrade :)”

“Came out from the East Bay. East Bay prices are definitely lower, but that’s because their selection is usually older (and often used — yuck!). You can’t beat the price/performance without going DIY.”

He skimmed the same reviews while sucking on his coffee until he was just inhaling his own coffee breath. He knew that some guys brought their bros along for this kind of thing — a weird male bonding ritual — but he didn’t have anyone who would be good for this.

Time to man up, he thought to himself as he crossed the street and pushed through the double glass doors that sat underneath a sign:

RPM Personal Augmentation Clinic

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Justin stepped onto a brightly-lit show floor that looked like any other boutique tech store; light wooden display tables with clean glass countertops, young affluent men (and a few women) talking to hip salespeople in purple polos, and a small checkout counter near a small consulting office by the back. The room murmured with a respectfully excited buzz — excitement for the life-changing decisions being made, respect for the amount of money those decisions would cost.

He walked into a display aisle to the side of the entrance and pretended to look at the display while sizing up the sales staff. He counted three on the floor: a well-built white guy guffawing and backslapping another well-built white guy; a gorgeous black girl closing out a customer; and a slim Asian man with hair from a Korean music video somewhere tidying up one of the counters.

All the posts on r/mensadvice concurred: Consulting with a woman salesperson was a money pit for men on a budget. You’ll get upsold, they said, you’ll think she might fuck you if you pick out something really nice. One poster’s cousin, a manager at a PAC in New York, boasted that he saw a 40% increase in profit month over month after hiring an all-woman sales staff. Justin wondered if the poster’s cousin was just paying them less.

That left the two men. Justin ran through a cost-benefit analysis based on a gut characterization of each man’s sales personality; the white guy seemed alright b-

“Hold on, sir, I’ll be right with you!”

The Asian man walked over to Justin and shook his hand. “Welcome to RPM! My name is Kevin, and I’ll be helping you today. Was there a particular product you were looking for, or did you want a quick consultation?”

It took Justin a second to catch up. “Oh, uh, I’m Justin, I’d like a consultation, please.”

“Great! Let me just give you this real quick, and I’ll run you through our options.”

Kevin handled Justin a perfectly average-looking silicone penis, complete with a similarly average-looking scrotum, and ushered him towards one of the product display tables.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Kevin, by Irene Koh.

Kevin started with the basics. “If this is your first time trying out intimate personal augmentation,” he said, “We typically recommend starting with a wearable membrane.”

Kevin picked up a light translucent mesh and placed it on Justin’s test penis. “Wearable membranes are a great way to get started — they’re easily installed and removed by a specialist at no extra charge, and you can select from a variety of models with different features based on your needs. This is our entry-level model, which has all the standard features: on-demand erection with a five minute warmup period, automatic lubrication with an optional scent diffuser add-on — cartridges sold separately, of course — and four timer presets.”

Justin nodded. “This particular model actually has a new timer preset called L2 Mode 20, which guarantees you’ll last at least 20 minutes or your money back,” Kevin continued. “Basically, it works by using mild electrical stimulus to mimic the effect of a topical anesthetic if your arousal levels escalate too quickly.”

“I’m interested in something on the higher end.”

“In that case, take a look at the premium membrane over here,” Kevin said as he changed the membrane out for another one. “The Extralite 200 brings the warmup time down to two minutes, includes a smart girth membrane that can add up to half an inch to your diameter based on your arousal levels, and gives you L2 Mode Premium, which uses a fuzzy logic timer and syncs with your smartphone to develop a personal climax profile, so you’ll always finish at just the right time.”

Justin felt his nervousness receding. Penises were weird and personal, but feature comparison was easy. “How’s the feel on these models? Does it feel natural?”

“Not quite,” Kevin admitted, “But it’s not bad. They’ve brought the thickness down to the point where it’s basically it’s like wearing a sheer condom.”

Justin grimaced. “You get used to it pretty quickly,” Kevin assured him, “We rarely see any returns due to unsatisfactory skinfeel.”

“Hm. Hold on.” Justin whipped out his phone and took a picture for his Tinder lead from earlier. Maybe that’d get him somewhere.

“Actually, Kevin, I was kind of thinking about a surgical augmentation,” Justin said. “Gonna post a few videos on my YouPorn and see if I could build up my sexual media profile a little bit for the amateur scene.”

“Jumping straight into the deep end, huh,” Kevin chuckled, “Well, let’s see what we can set you up with. Just stand still for a second.”

Kevin pulled out his own phone, brought it to about six inches from Justin’s crotch, and tapped a few buttons. An outline of Justin’s penis showed up, slowly animating a transition from flaccid to erect. “Five inches long, an inch and a half diameter — excellent,” Kevin said as he took Justin to a different product counter.

“Five and a half.”

“Oh, yes,” Kevin said, “For the purposes of determining augmentation capacity, we round down. For safety, of course.”

“Of course.”

Kevin brought out a sales pamphlet and laid it out on the table. “Here’s the deal with surgical augmentation: Compared to membranes, the installation and removal process are a lot more complicated, so you’ll have to pay for them as well as the equipment itself. If you don’t want to pay for them up front, we have the RPM Gold service plan you can enroll in — but more on that later. Let’s talk about your loadout choices.”

He set down his phone and pointed at the outline of Justin’s penis. “Looks like based on your size and blood bandwidth, you can support six feature modules at once. That’s enough gear to look good for YouPorn, though some of those dudes are rockin’, like, ten modules or more,” Kevin said, “especially the DIY guys.”

According to the DIY guys, going to a personal augmentation clinic was for people with more money than time. Plenty of YouTube playlists out there covered the entire process end-to-end — ordering parts from Canadian vendors, basic guides to localized anesthetics and fleshware installation, and self-diagnostic routines for “safely” exceeding your recommended upgrade capacity with aftermarket cooling kits and iliac crest reinforcement harnesses. Justin was intrigued right up until he saw a montage of botched DIY jobs and decided that he’d draw the line for self-augmentation at right around the belly button.

Kevin pointed to a chart on the pamphlet. “Now, you can cover the same features as the Extralite 200 membrane over there with these two modules — that’s the best bang for your buck, and you still have four slots left to play with. Have you thought at all about what you’d want to load up?”

Vibromatic 3

Integrated vibration module enhances the experience for you and your partners! Features four different vibration patterns tailored to Hitachi’s industry-standard pleasure profiles.

SmartSize

Too big? Too small? With SmartSize, you’re Just Right! Automatically adjust your length and diameter to your partner’s needs! The SmartSize Personal Augmentation Module (SSPAM) is built on Elasticompression Technology™ that reads your partner’s arousal levels and adapts your length and diameter within a range of up to one inch in response — twice the range of a comparable membrane implant.

FlexiFit 180

Having problems holding a new position? FlexiFit 180 sensors monitor your blood bandwidth for position-induced drops. Once detected, FlexiFit 180 stimulates a localized blood thinner to boost your endurance in tricky positions for up to three times your un-augmented duration! (If you have a history of heart problems in your family, we recommend consulting your physician before installing Flexifit 180.)

CDR 40%

No, don’t stop! Say goodbye to that 30-minute refractory period with CDR 40%, a brand-new personal augmentation module that uses best-in-class synthetic hormones to cut your time between sessions to under ten minutes*.

McAfee Anti-Virus (Recommended!)

Protect your investment with the newest version of McAfee AV. Includes 12 months of FREE virus definition updates (further coverage available at a discounted rate to qualifying users). Compatible with InstaTest companion app (iOS/Android) for instant, shareable updates on infection status.

POV

Make your sexual media shine with POV, the world’s first integrated camera personal augmentation module. Zeiss lenses paired with patented Variable Field-of-View technology give you premium image quality; over 50 post-processing filters give you a hallmark look that sets your content apart from the others. Get the money shot with POV!

CoCleaner

Enjoy the moment and ensure peace of mind for you and your partner(s) with CoCleaner, the best all-purpose local hygiene personal augmentation module on the market! Improved SaniSterile functions clean up to 40% more quickly than competing modules.

*Results may vary based on several factors, including pre-existing hormone profile, physiological response to synthetic hormones, physical activity level, and diet.

“Well, I was thinking of SmartSize, FlexiFit 180, CDR 40% and POV.”

Kevin nodded. “Yeah, if you’re focusing on sexual media, that’s a solid loadout,” he said as he grabbed a few small skinstic chips and slotted them into Justin’s test penis.

“But, you know, I wanted to ask — I’ve got a phone and a computer and all that. I know there’s always newer and better stuff coming out all the time. What about with this kind of thing? With, you know, uh, personal augmentation?”

“Great question!” Kevin beamed — clearly this was one he was prepared for. “Yeah, you’ll always read about the latest and greatest coming out at CES, but, you know, it usually takes a few years before any of that stuff is widely available on the market, so it’s not like you’ll be trying to replace or upgrade every year. And, if you’re really trying to stay current, you can pay for RPM Gold, which covers your installation and removal costs for a monthly fee, and covers module upgrades every two years.”

“And, uh, what about birth control?”

Kevin’s smile faded into a rueful grin. “Don’t see that happening anytime soon. The tech is still a long way off.” He grabbed Justin’s test penis and pointed it at the doors in the back of the store. “It’s all loaded up! I’ll get the paperwork started, so you just take it to the back for your complimentary performance evaluation.”

— — — — — — — — — — —

The performance evaluation was performed by a nice white lady who, Justin guessed, was just a few years younger than his mother. “Hi, Justin,” she said. “I’m Claire, nice to meet you.” She shook his hand. “I’m RPM’s sexual media specialist. Kevin tells me you’re looking for a loadout that’ll make you famous.”

It sounded a little silly when she said it. Justin nodded anyway. She handed him a small printout with the results of her evaluation; Justin’s test penis showed significantly enhanced function when it came to Convenience and Versatility, while Pleasure (Partner), Pleasure (Self), and Health remained largely unchanged. Justin stared at the test penis. This, he thought, this is my next big step.

“We get a lot of young men like you asking for similar configurations, and, well…”

“Yeah, this loadout seems popular.”

“Personally, I’d recommend swapping out the POV or the CDR 40% for the Vibromatic 3. It’ll be a lot more fun — for both of you,” Claire said. “Heck, you can lose them both and add AV coverage. You’ll still look great for videos, and it’s much safer.”

“Oh,” Justin said, “I’ll stick with this. For now, anyway.”

“Take your time. Think about it,” Claire said, “It’ll be a few weeks before your installation.”

Justin nodded politely and walked away.

“Great! You’re all set,” Kevin said as Justin walked over. “We’ll be in touch as soon as possible about scheduling a time for you to come back in.”

“Okay, great, thanks.”

“My pleasure! Oh, and -” Kevin lowered his voice and passed him a business card. “Here’s my channel, if you want to check it out. Maybe once you get all wired up we can work out a collaboration or something.”

Justin thanked Kevin and exited through the double glass doors feeling like a new man. Tinder lady had sent him a response; maybe he’d read it later. Maybe he wouldn’t.

patrick miller