#IfYouAreBehind — RIP, YSL / AI meets Gaydar / Gay Sexbots
Art: “Could these inanimate objects have a soul? I don’t believe in the soul, neither in my own, nor in that of these objects. And so I am going to oversee the destiny of this collection. I shall attend our collections funeral, rather than the funeral of the painting and objects since they will be knowing a new life.” -Pierre Bergé
Pierre Bergé (1930–2017) was and is synonymous with Yves Saint Laurent, both his life partner and the YSL fashion house they built together. Pierre’s death was announced this past week and his legacy, not known by many, should be remembered; the role of the man behind the man is always a difficult one to play. His life story has resonated with me for quite some time, and was an inspiration for me when I founded Bespoke Surgical.
My first glimpse into their relationship was in a documentary: L’amour fou (Insane Love). It was filmed shortly after the death of Yves Saint Laurent (1936–2008), where Pierre Bergé documents and discusses “their life together, moving chronologically from their meeting when 21-year-old Saint Laurent became creative director at Christian Dior, through twice-annual unveilings of new collections, life in Marrakesh, Saint Laurent’s depression and drug use, sobriety, and retirement. The boxing and auctioning of their vast collection of art brings the story to a close”; yet this is the essential and pivotal closure to one’s life work and the centerpiece to this masterpiece. Pierre recognized it, lived it, and lastly, documented it.
Can you imagine your lover taking over a major fashion house, like Dior, at the age of 21 years young? Yves’ accomplishment is beyond words and his success should be applauded. Yet where there is a man, there is another man behind him. The collaborative, synergistic approach between these two individuals, both at Dior and followed by their own couture YSL, with Yves heading the design and Pierre the execution, speaks volumes to the depth of their relationship. Pierre had an incredible business acumen, not only creating the vision of an elite brand, but also breaking down barriers for how this was executed — the unconventional street fashion. Access to the masses way before the Zara’s and H&M’s. It is no small feat — and definitely a roller coaster ride — to recognize one’s role and reach such heightened success seems unattainable, but not for Pierre and Yves. And beyond the fashion house and art narratives was philanthropy for LGBT causes, being instrumental in the fight for AIDS.
This film, narrated by Pierre, defines a life among two gay individuals, being essential to the understanding of personal and professional partnerships. Both Pierre and Yves lived an unbelievable tale and during the years together, managed to acquire the most amazing collection of art. But the collection was a collaborative process of which, regardless of its financial rewards, was about the acquisition or, shall I say, the hunt.
The central narrative of the documentary is the auctioning of all their accumulated goods and what it means to Pierre, relinquishing his life’s work. The purity and the beauty is tangible and emanates from soulless pieces. The clarity he has about his relationship and his stage in life is not a force to be reckoned with. And he was so clear on his vision that he was able to recognize his own demise.
This visionary recognition highlights the fluidity of art and its ever lasting value.
“I know all of this will be leaving tomorrow. I know that the undertakers of art will come here and take away these furnishings, painting, sculptures, and objects d’art. Meaning what? A part of my soul. A part of my life. That they will then deliver up to the fire of the auction house. But you know losing someone, with whom you lived, with ups and downs along the way, for fifty years, whose eyes I’ve closed, that is another thing entirely than seeing one’s objects d’art leave.”
Spoken like a true gentleman. Two individuals defining a relationship centered around L’amour fou. The art was with them, but did not define them — insane love did. RIP, Pierre Bergé.
Science: A new, not-yet published study by Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang out of Stanford used “deep neural networks to extract features” from more than 35,000 facial images that appeared to determine a person’s sexuality with remarkable accuracy. How accurate you ask? When presented with a pair of participants, one gay and one straight, the algorithm could correctly distinguish between them 91% of the time for men and 83% of the time for women.
The digital AI algorithm was derived from using a dating website sample of only openly white gay and straight individuals and, although this tactic was called a limitation in its analysis, it was cross-referenced with other images available outside the sometimes over-exposing world of online dating.
This assumed causal relationship was taken to be derived from the prenatal hormone theory (PHT) of sexual orientation, stemming from the underexposure of male fetuses and overexposure of female fetuses to androgens — all seeming to be responsible for sexual differentiation. The authors highlight: “PHT predicts that gay people will tend to have gender-atypical facial morphology”.
As stated in the publication, “The fact that algorithms can predict sexual orientation from human faces has serious privacy implications. The ability to control when and to whom to reveal one’s sexual orientation is crucial not only for one’s well-being, but also for one’s safety”.
Various LGBTQ advocacy groups have condemned this research, specifically Ashland Johnson, who is the HRC’s Director of Public Education and Research. He is quoted as saying, “Imagine for a moment the potential consequences if this flawed research were used to support a brutal regime’s efforts to identify and/or persecute people they believed to be gay…”
If one reads all the comments — both from experts in the field and every day people — the sentiments are clearly all similar and of disgust. Though the research is quite disturbing, you do get a sense from the study’s authors their intent with the data to raise awareness of the growing digitalization of our lives and how harmful it is to us.
Rapid progress in AI continues to erode our privacy and how we choose to effectively evaluate one’s access, change policy, and/or police these actions is quite limited.
Whenever I read such negative findings on research and the responses to it, I always try and think of one positive that can be deduced from the study. In our community of so many confused individuals, does a simulated, self-authorized program, with amazing accuracy on detection, allow for access to assistance on whatever results are obtained? Say, a teenager in bumble fuck Idaho decides to use AI analysis on his perpetual hard-on for other guys, yet he exists in an unsupportive environment in which outing himself would be problematic. What if instead, this positive homo-confirmation was followed by resources and advocacy to allow for a safe haven of information, as well as immediate support for cause? Maybe it could prevent some of the ridiculously elevated suicidal rate in the gay community. It’s a long shot, but I do believe there could be a rainbow lining here.
But what do I know — I’m just sayin’! Regardless of where this specific research ends up, this is kooky crazy!
Sex: Everybody wants to fuck a robot. Shit, I would and someday I will! What would I choose? How much body hair or, more how I like it, how little hair? Freckles or no freckles? Twink, muscle jock, swimmer, or bear? For me, 🏊 all the way, but must be shorter than me (I can’t help it — I always have to be in control). The list goes on and on and it’s truly remarkable. Submissive or dominant? Top, bottom, or vers? Talkative or silent? Regardless of which plastic friend you create, the process of analyzing one’s wants and desires allows one to examine their own psyche in a way that has never been assessed. It’s what you do with this information that is the key or just forget the information and get down to bang 💥 bots.
The robots are here to stay. Need more evidence? At this year’s second International Congress of Love and Sex with Robots, speakers predicted “sex with robots will become more popular than sex with humans within the next 30 years. And by 2050, sexbots will be marriage material”.
The interesting thing when analyzing this current trend, (besides my stock tip to invest in these companies now or maybe it’s already too late) is that the creators are following the same useless class system we have instituted globally, with women and gays as the minority shareholder and a huge disparity in the allocation of business resources. It’s a shame because, in my mind, the use of robots and AI should be my game to choose and my game to play. So, to you robot makers: open the doors to a world in which the clients hold the key; where there is no racism, judgement, or bias allowed, providing the same resources to all individuals who purchase your products.
Unfortunately, this is not gonna happen - the “🍑 line” is the bottom line. Heterosexual guys are the majority and that majority has always demanded control of their sexual experiences. The toy makers have created sex robots like Roxxxy, who can talk about current events, and Harmony AI, who responds to questions about her sexual preferences. But one development has been noticeably missing: male sex robots for any gender wanting this type of experience.
As per a new article in Glamour magazine, “RealDoll, one of the most well-known manufacturers of sex robots, has only one page dedicated to male RealDolls, compared to 33 pages of female dolls. They’re not just female but also stereotypically feminine. They’re conventionally beautiful, sexually available, and programmed to serve men. They speak only when they’re spoken to, and they don’t demand anything from their users”.
The issue in our community goes way beyond the manufactures and their naiveté in the field, to the popular press that fails to mention anything as it relates to gay sex. It’s not even on the radar (or should we say, gaydar). Regardless of the lack of male robots in the sex toy industry, the heterosexual norms are not only still present, they have taken it upon themselves to shed light on the subject raising awareness on the disparity.
So, I have taken it on as another personal mission: gay needs, gay wants, and gay sex are no different or inferior to any other human being.
In due time, the rights of robots will not only be discussed, but also editorialized as well. Long live the gaybot!