What if we could all witness and emotionally connect to the same thing, at the exact same time, through our brains alone? Imagine the awe and wonder we could all enjoy together. Imagine how united and intertwined we’d all feel. Now imagine if that emotional connection was actually all of us consenting adults busting a nut simultaneously.
Such an experience, often called a “crowd orgasm,” may be possible sooner rather than later.
Obviously, we already exist in a world where many of us could get together and attempt to orgasm at the same time through sex and masturbation. But the crowd orgasm isn’t just about arranging an orgy. Rather, it’s one avenue through which futurists can explore what may be possible with brain-to-brain technology and communication. As futurist Ross Dawson explained in a 2012 keynote on the future of crowds at TheNextWeb conference in Amsterdam, a crowd orgasm could be an expression of collective consciousness and collective intelligence.
“The first step is to help partners to access and stimulate each other’s pleasure centers, which will be a fundamental platform for remote sex as well as engaging together in the one room,” he wrote for the blog Future of Sex shortly after the keynote. “What is possible beyond that is for crowds to interact and engage to stimulate each other on a massive scale. Perhaps we will find that orgasm between a couple will be the richest and most powerful experience. Or possibly it will turn out that orgasms created by crowds will be on a different scale to those between two.”
Since then, Dawson tells me there have been several developments that aid in the possibility of the crowd orgasm. “A while ago, we achieved direct brain-to-brain communication, and since then, we’ve achieved multi-person brain communication,” he says. “These were cognitive communication, which could enable collective intelligence. There has been relatively little specific focus on pleasure stimulation, though.”
In other words, we’ve managed to figure out how to communicate brain-to-brain without vocal or physical forms of communication, but we haven’t yet figured out how to transfer emotions — including horniness — through the same method. More than that, it seems we haven’t really even tried.
That said, advancements in brain-computer interfaces, rather than brain-brain interfaces, have pushed the topic further. There are a handful of companies working essentially to integrate computers and brains as one, or at least working to allow a computer to transmit emotions, thoughts, knowledge and perhaps even sensation directly to the brain. Per Dawson, these include Elon Musk’s Neuralink, which Musk claims could “enable pleasure through the release of brain hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine, that are also associated with orgasms.”
So, hypothetically, we could all have our brains linked up to computers that are programmed to give us all an orgasm at the exact same time.
The reality of being one with a computer may not be quite as enticing for some of us, though. Fortunately, the current state of the crowd orgasm might quell any fears of the singularity. At the moment, Bluetooth sex toys and teledildonics are our strongest practical avenue. Several sex toy companies like Lovense have coordinated group features for their products, allowing numerous toys to operate interconnectedly or be controlled by someone remotely. With them, it’s possible to at least attempt to make a crowd have an orgasm at the same time by giving them all a sex toy and operating them at once. Meanwhile, Future of Sex Edtior-in-Chief Jenna Owsianik has speculated that neural headsets will eventually allow us to align our brainwaves with our partners. In the future, we could potentially align a crowd’s brainwaves, too, hooking them up to Bluetooth sex toys and creating a crowd orgasm this way.
For now, though, our best shot at a crowd orgasm is just to get a big group of people to masturbate at the same time. In April, sex-tech company Hot Octopuss attempted to arrange such an event, calling for one million Australians to masturbate on the same day. It’s unclear whether this actually played out, but it’s a noble concept.
But, considering the implications of what it would take to achieve a crowd orgasm through connections to our brain alone, maybe it’s better to keep things simple. If you really think about it, there’s got to be millions of people masturbating at any given moment. Is that not a type of crowd orgasm itself?