Image from Bernd Helfert

A neogenic clade optimised for a highly diverse and voracious sexual lifestyle, known for how they physically and psychologically adapt themselves to their current partner(s). Most erotic genemods in the galaxy today have some measure of Erotogoni genome. Such mods were extremely popular in the Dionysan Erotocracy, and can still be found widely throughout the galaxy today.

The Origin of Erotogi

The clade Erotogen has often been listed (especially by its more enthusiastic proponents), along with fire, the wheel, the digital computer, and the drexlerian assembler, as one of the greatest inventions of mindkind. Whilst such a claim is excessive, there is no denying the influence Erotogen and related Erogenics has had on galactic civilisation over the last 10,000 years.

The basic organic, bionic, and biocomputronium traits of Erotogen can be traced all the way back to the biodildonic pseudo- and para-lifes of the Interplanetary Age biotech giants like GeneTEK and Bios Holdings. Even the early and impolite name Moldie is a pun on the malleable and transmorphic qualities of such neogens. It is believed the name may also have been partially inspired by the writings of the early Information Age fabulist Rudy Rucker.

GeneTEK, Bios Holdings, Elysium Erotech, Modernbody, and other bio and bodytech corporations of the period skillfully manipulated the public's hunger for new forms of hedonistic entertainment. Simple genemods for increased secondary sexual characteristics, heightened pleasure responses and pheremonal syncronising of libido were all best sellers thoughout the first federation period. Despite many individual modifications being included in new clade templates created during the period clades specifically dedicated to erotic pleasure did not come until, In an effort to outcompete Bios Holdings, GeneTEK not only made each new release of the basic Erotogen genome open source, but also gave away generous selections of experimental variations to all its franchise holders.

The Dionysan Template

Along with virch-tech, terraforming, space assembly, and molecular synthesis, erototech remained an important element of life in the First Federation. But the most profound impact the field was to have was not in the Federation itself, but in the interplanetary dark age colony Dionysos (originally Jerusalem) at Psi 5 Aurigae II.

During the middle and later Federation period, the Dionysan colony developed into an important regional power - the Erotocracy - based on the maximization of individual pleasure. During this period, the Dionysans developed the use of erotogenics to a fine art. Over a period of several decades Dionysan geneticists toiled to create distinct erotogenic clade templates based off of human, tweak and provolve genomes. The standard clade template they created (in its peak adopted by 30% of the Dionysan population) gave rise to an androgynous appearance with hermaphroditic genitalia. While at first this seemed to be a step backwards given the range of extreme modifications that were popular that the time the clade was extremely sophisticated. Augmented with higher empathy, microexpression perception and pheromonal communication (using Dionysan standard Phere-code) Erotogens were designed to steadily become attracted to those that were attracted to them. Morphogenic tissues spread throughout the body would respond to sensory information of the partner and begin changing the appearance and physical traits of the body to optimise for the partner's tastes. Erotogen society, despite starting off appearing like a group of bland clones, quickly diverged into a highly physically diverse group, all constantly shifting forms and behaviour for the enjoyment of each other.

With increasing industrialisation, the Dionysan Erotocracy was able to send out large relativistic and sub-relativistic vessels to nearby star systems, establishing habitats and colonies, or subverting those already established. And everywhere they went they took Erotogen (among their other technologies, techniques, and pharmacologies). In fact it was during this period that Erotogen clade template truly become an interstellar phenomenon.

It was inevitable that a civilization as intense as the Dionysan Erotocracy would eventually burn itself out. After some centuries it had became bogged down in routine, addiction problems, megacorporate subversion, intercolony rivalry, and forced enthusiasm, finally collapsing in the 2300's in the so-called "Big Mess".

The Big Mess meant the end of a single extended and central erotocracy, but not the end of erotocratic and neo-dionysian ideologies. Many of the former colonies of Dionysos went their own way, and most were eventually absorbed into the Communion of Worlds and the Utopia Sphere. However, on a great many of these worlds and habitats the Erotogen template prospered, especially under the empathy science of the Communion of Worlds which improved the template with much more sophisticated empathic responses.

Erotogen during the Empires Era and After

The Empires Era was the high point of Erotogen evolution. Neogenic science had progressed to the stage that a totally new version of the Erotogeni clade was created that, over the preceding centuries, became the norm. Previously there were several versions of the Erotogen clade based off of prexisting species (such as human or provolve). The geneticists of the Utopia Sphere, under transapient guidance, started from scratch to create a completely novel organism. From a superficial perspective an uneducated observer may not notice any difference. The neogenic variety of erotogen still steadily morphed its body to that of its partner, was still capable of some significant changes to physical traits and behaviour. However the scope and sophistication of those changes was huge. The neogenic erotogens were able to change physical forms in ways previously only possible through technological intervention. Their radically altered biochemical basis meant that erotogens could, in time, adapt to nearly any physical condition and find a means of getting pleasure from it and those who lived in those environments. And thanks to ultratech science their minds were free to wander the toposophic landscape, redefining erotic pleasure from the viewpoints of sophonts with significantly different cognitive models.

Throughout the Empires Era adopters of the erotogen clade migrated outwards and throughout the civilised galaxy, establishing numerous hedonistic free zone colonies. Although frequently small in size and non-existent in military clout, they attracted tremendous prestige, fame, and often infamy as centers of pleasure, perpetuating and further evolving the original dionysian ethos. Among the most famous of these centers were Hefner, Endorphin, Satyrcon, Redlyte, and New Vegas. Many of these settlements aroused the ire of their neighbours, and in some cases, such as the Geminga attack on Faforean II with the consequent local genocide ("spiritual cleansing") of the population, and the Nuikrusadist destruction of Matria, this had fatal consequences. Such atrocities, fortunately, were the exception. Erotogen free zones were often voluntarily gave up their neutrality in exchange for the protection that accrued from being a part of an archailect empire.

Many Erotogen clades were far from defenceless, even without hyperturing allies. The Neodolphin-Erotogen hybrid culture on Kudrimoti successfully defended itself against Cygexba forces during the Version War. During the bitter fighting on Rej-II the Erotogens used their abilities in personal combat with deadly results. Their innate skills with empathy and pleasure often allowed them to turn even the most stoic of individuals to their cause. Annexed enemy habs didn't usually maintain their enmity for long while the occupying erotogens moulded into the most attractive of social roles

Isolated Erotogen colonies and clades, turning in upon themselves and exploring their own sentience and sensuality frequently self-modify to superbright grade. Some have even made the transition to transapience, such as the Lutia bioreplicators in the inner Perseus Arm, the group-mind Kamosis in the Serpens Region, and Zaemos E in the Crucis Corridor (nominally Negentropic Alliance), which even to this date remains an important center of erotosophy, visited by Hedonians from all over the galaxy. Experts disagree whether these highly derived entities can even be still called "Erotogen" (just as posthuman intelligences are generally not considered "human", even though they evolved from hu and still retain elements of hu genome).

Virch Erotogen

There are at least as many Erotogen in virchspace as there are in the physical world, descended from entities from various of the vast number of erotic and pornographic virches generated over the years and millennia. As far as is known, these Virtual Erotogen are far more widespread and varied as the physical members of the superclade.

In terms of the EZ classification system, these virches will tend to have physics which is quite hard, although less so than the physical world, to be little different from the physical world, and slightly more abstract than the physical world. They tend to have a very low resolution, being interested in the surfaces of things only, not detailed internal functions (that, as long as the 'visible' parts look and act as real as is required, any 'customer' of the virch is, in general, not going to be too bothered about the fact that the virch doesn't simulate anything more detailed than macroscopic physics; of course, if accurate physics simulation is the customer's thing, then that can probably be arranged, but in general this is not a concern).

Erotogens Today

Erotogens remain an important minority, or even majority, in many regional centers throughout the Hinterworlds and Outer Volumes. Unfortunately, only a few of the original Inner Sphere Erotogen settlements remain. Most of the interstellar empires age settlements eventually went the way of Dionysos Prime itself, and became respectable tourist destinations, with indigenous Erotogen a minority in their own demapolity. Nevertheless, descendants of the original Erotogen, and those that have adopted the Erotogenome, form a distinctive clade that can be found throughout the civilized galaxy and beyond, setting up new polities and micropolities, plying their trade, or simply making the Grand Tour. It is also almost certain that the number of self-contained Erotogen and part-Erotogen habitats and biospheres in the Inner Sphere Kuiper belts and Oort halos, among the Hiders, and in the less explored hinterworlds, and the Outer Volumes, has been greatly underestimated.

Many modern Erotogens have not just retained their biological abilities, but expanded them with medisystems to speed up their physical changes while digitally liaising with their partners exoself available for maximum compatibility. Some Erotogen-descended clades have merged with various biont cultures to form various symbiotic systems. The Bibbig of NoCoZo consist of a human clade (mainly mental and linguistic enhancements) that have entered symbiosis with the Fumee Erotogens so that the Erotogens act as the largely non-motile providers of net access, social control, food, cleaning, medicine as well as incubators for the young. The Ulm-Loka of the Solar Dominion have been genetically integrated with the Ulm inhabitants, acting as a multipurpose clothing/tool/protection. The Weiu of outer MPA instead live as parasites inside baseline bodies, gradually replacing their brains with their own syn-neurons.


Mena Duncan, Love from the Lab - the influence of bio-erototech on human sexuality, 2192 [Old Earth chronology], Cambridge University Press

Simoris Els, The Rise and Fall of the Dionysan Erotocracy, 4256, Corona Virchbooks, Corona

Peer Osip Mays, Erotogini since the Erotocracy, in Ihlen, Ada, and Haxtun-5 (eds) The Dionysan Erotocracy, Perspectives and Conundrums, 8312, Eden Memory Nodes

Peer Osip Mays, Erotogini Through the Ages, 8547, New Media History Interactives, Alexandria

Hyannah Fyee, Life among the Erotogini, 9825, Eros Matrixbooks, Clienta Johannis

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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev with additions by Anders Sandberg and Tony Jones
Initially published on 12 February 2001.