Greetings from a hiding place under my bed! I’m huddled here waiting for a witch with bloody fingernails and stained glass teeth to burst through my window and force me to sign my name in Lucifer’s book with a pen fashioned from a baby’s leg bone.
“Why are you waiting for that horror instead of say, a 'Shahs of Sunset' marathon or a delivery order of sashimi and three Diet Cokes?” you might ask. Oh, just because all of my nightmares are coming true and I’m sure this one is next. Pulled directly from Alana’s “Do Not Want” Files (The Prude Collection) comes Glance, the app that lets you watch yourself have sex during the act, from a variety of angles, while wearing Google Glass. You direct the app verbally to let you watch the deed from multiple angles by saying, "OK glass, it's time." To turn it off you say, “OK glass, pull out.”
First of all, this will be extremely confusing when and if I ever get the opportunity to bed "This American Life" host Ira Glass. Secondly, what happens if one person wants it on and one wants it off? Does it turn into a showdown like the dance scene in "Sleeping Beauty" when Merryweather and Flora are turning Aurora’s dress pink then blue over and over again? To make matters worse, some sort of nano-troll with Final Cut Pro skills does you the favor of compiling the footage so you can have your own little porn at the end! Allegedly, it doesn’t get stored anywhere and you only have it for a few hours. If you don’t save it, it’s gone. In the time it will take you to read this sentence, a million horny and/or vengeful people will have figured out a remarkably simple workaround for that whole “We don’t save it!” thing. I can barely operate my iPad, but I’ve learned to use it to send full-body Snapchats where I’m not holding the camera. You know, to show how I’m so … tall. Whatever, people will get wise quickly. I interrupt this puritanical rant to take you on a journey to 2003. As an NYU freshman wearing a lot of clothes with cherry patterns and aspiring to marry Pete Yorn, I’m about to get my smooch on with a fellow frosh with a healthy beard and a heart of gold. He turns on that Neutral Milk Hotel song, “The King of Carrot Flowers Part I” where it says, “and we would lay and learn what each other’s bodies were for.” I was like, “That line is kinda sexy, but I don’t know why.” I didn’t know it at the time as no one had yet swiped the V-card, but each other’s bodies are for having sex with! So that we don’t have to have sex by ourselves! So that it’s snugglier and doesn’t waste batteries!Well, bodies are also earthly vessels for the soul and conscience of a person to dwell in and for us to experience a variety of other sensory pleasures and pains through. But you know, they’re also sometimes available for giving us a 7-30 minute reprieve from the crippling neurosis that our bodies are undesirable, because when you’re getting it on and your partner is clearly like, “Hell yeah, look at you!” and is LOOKING AT YOU. (Yes, I know that sex is about much more than the affirmation of your own desirability, but golly, is it helpful in that regard.)Putting aside my squeamishness about seeing myself have sex, I have serious concerns that this kind of technology will make sex more about performing at your most attractive self than at your most sexually gratified self. Sex is often an experience of every inch of the body, including the parts of it that you may not like but are integral to the enjoyment of you and your partner during the act. Disliking your legs shouldn’t stop you from wrapping them around someone all hot-like. Just cause you don’t like your ass doesn’t mean that someone grabbing it shouldn’t feel great while you’re getting it on. I’ve personally been working very hard to realize that thinking about what my body looks like during sex rather than what it’s capable of doing for myself and my partner is doing no one any favors. I also wonder what kind of message it sends to your partner if they want to use the app when you don’t. If it is a shared experiment and experience and both parties are comfortable using it, then there’s obviously no harm. But if I was sleeping with someone that wanted to use it consistently, I think the message I would get is, “Babe, your body is a wonderland and everything, but I’d really like to see my torso in action again.” Narcissism detection devices are something I hope comes to the market soon, but I’d prefer they work far in advance of me allowing someone into my chambers. Though the app isn’t available yet -- and only rich nerds will probably buy Google Glass when it becomes commercially available, at least for a while -- I feel like this sort of technology that requires and encourages self-scrutiny is a growth industry. Remember, there was once a time when you had to take selfies without seeing yourself and hope for the best! For some people, it may be a huge confidence booster or an opportunity to look at your technique and be like, “Needs more gyration."
For others, it will be yet another reason to think about whether our physical selves are up to some impossible standards we’ve set for ourselves, in terms of both our form and function. Needless to say, when the technology does hit critical mass, I will be opting out. Unless of course, Ira Glass wants to use it with me. In that case, we’ll make a film called "Glass in Glass" and I’ll Snapchat screenshots to every last one of you. You’re welcome in advance.