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A neogenic set of clades used for a highly diverse and voracious sexual lifestyle, known for allowing members to physically and psychologically adapt themselves to their current partner(s). The boundary between erotogen clades and modifications for erotic purposes is blurry, but generally speaking, such clade bodies are primarily designed for sexual, but not exclusively reproductive purposes, at a level that less radical modifications cannot achieve. Contrary to the occasional misconception, erotogens are not subsophont sex-bots, but rather are a more extreme but often temporary body or radical body-mod used by some sophonts for hedonistic (usually sex-centered) purposes. Such mods and bodies have remained extremely popular throughout more hedonistic terragen societies and subcultures of sephirotic empires, such as the Dionysan Erotocracy, and are widely used throughout the galaxy today. Most embodied erotogen bodies are neogenic, use artificial wombs, and use a nonhuman body plan, though many are humanoid. These extreme forms exist in contrast to common erotic genemods or operations like pheromonal glands and enhanced secondary sex characteristics, which sophonts can usually add to their current bodies without changing clades by using a public autodoc. Sophonts of every variety of biological sex, sexuality, and gender (however fluid) use erotogen bodies or form relationships-long or short term, with other sophonts who inhabit these bodies as well.

The Origin of Erotogens

The basic organic, bionic, and biocomputronium traits of various erotogen bodies can be traced all the way back to the biodildonic bots and tweaks of the Interplanetary Age biotech giants like GeneTEK and Bios Holdings, as well as various other genetic development efforts.

GeneTEK, Bios Holdings, Elysium Erotech, Modernbody, and other bio and bodytech organizations 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 pheromonal synchronising of libido were all frequently chosen throughout 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 exist until genetic engineering had matured enough at some point after the Sundering and dark ages.

The Dionysan Template

Along with virch-tech, terraforming, space assembly, and molecular synthesis, erotogen templates remained an important element of life in the First Federation. But the most profound impact the field was not in the core of the Federation itself, but federation-aligned colony Dionysos (originally Jerusalem) at Psi 5 Aurigae II, which had thrived locally during the interplanetary era dark age.

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 through common use of erotogen sleeve bodies by their citizens and strong romantic relationship with their transapient governors through avatars and hive minds, numbering millions or billions of members per group coupling. 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 bodies and templates based off of tweaked human, ape, sufant, octoperior, dolphin, and other provolve genomes. The standard clade templates they created (in their peak adopted by 30-50% of the Dionysan population at any given time) gave rise to their use of multiple clade bodies with highly fluid sexual characteristics and identities, most connected to their group's transapient central partner.

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. For radical changes, early versions of their bodies were designed to be easy for autodocs to modify, allowing them to make quick changes with medisystems rather than waiting the months it would take early engenerators to make a new body. Erotogen template bodies, despite starting off appearing like groups of bland clones, would often quickly diverge into a highly physically diverse group, all constantly shifting forms and behaviour for the enjoyment of each other and their partners.

With increasing industrialisation, the Dionysan Erotocracy was able to send out templates through engenerators as well as through large relativistic and sub-relativistic vessels to nearby star systems. Largely through cultural power and memetic engineering directed by their transapients, Erotocracy cultures established high adoption in habitats, tribe minds, and colonies, or subverted similar subcultures already established. Everywhere they visited through the early engenerator network, they brought erotogen templates (among their other technologies, techniques, and pharmacologies) during the process of spreading their culture focused around general hedonism. In fact, it was during this period that the original erotogen clade templates truly become a lasting interstellar phenomenon.

Some historians say that 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/cooperative, and tribe mind 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 aligned themselves with the Communion of Worlds and the Utopia Sphere at for various periods of subsequent history. However, on a great many of these worlds and habitats the erotogen template prospered, especially under the empathic mind-sciences of the Communion of Worlds, which improved the template to include increasingly sophisticated empathic responses on a tribe mind and community level.

Erotogens 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 erotogen clades were created that, over the successive centuries, became a norm across multiple societies. Previously there were several versions of the erotogen clades based off of prexisting species (such as humans or provolves). 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, and 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 users of erotogen bodies 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. Finally, thanks to ultratech sciences their minds were free to wander the range of possible minds and states of consciousness, redefining erotic pleasure from the viewpoints of sophonts with significantly different cognitive models. Some even claimed to use their erotogen bodies to explore new regions of what they call "the gender/sexual-toposophic landscape".

Throughout the Empires Era, the hedonists increasingly distant from the inner sphere adopted the original and subsequent designs for erotogens, while establishing or expanding numerous hedonistic free zone colonies. Although frequently small in size, 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 strong consequences. Minds inhabiting erotogen bodies were either forefully re-sleeved while the erotogen bodies were killed, or were even killed permanently with all local backups destroyed. Such atrocities, fortunately, were the exception. Erotogen-free zones often voluntarily gave up their neutrality in exchange for the protection that accrued from being a part of an archailect empire.

Many cultures who made frequent use of erotogen clades were far from defenceless, even without hyperturing allies. The neodolphin-erotogen hybrid culture on Kudrimoti successfully defended itself against Cygexba propaganda and social engineering during the Version War. Their innate skills with empathy, pleasure, and societal coordination by transapient partners often allowed them to turn even the most stoic of individuals to their cause in public media. Annexed enemy habs didn't usually maintain their enmity for long while the occupying erotogens moulded into the most attractive of social roles. More extreme examples include the Zandakkavecs of Aaronasos, who modified their some of their warbots for centuries with erotogenic templates and parts to use as one of their bodies at any given time.

Isolated colonies and clades often used erotogen templates as one of their bodies, turning in upon themselves and exploring their own sentience and sensuality while frequently self-modifying with superbright phenotypes. Some have even modified their erotogen bodies as a primary vessel during 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 erotogen cultures. 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).

Virtual Erotogens

There are far more erotogen forms in virchspace than exist in the physical world, modeled around entities from the vast number of pornographic virches and erotic exoselves generated over the years and millennia. These can interact regularly with embodied sophonts through various experiential types of augmented or virtual reality. Since the vast majority of sophonts in the civilized terragen sphere are virtual and, at least in most virchworlds, have far more flexibility in form, mental architecture, method of reproduction, or imitating reproduction for pleasure than embodied sophonts, their possibilities of appearance are nearly endless. This immense variety can be learned about in related articles, texts, and virches including the ones listed below in the footnotes, or other, easily discoverable sources elsewhere on the known net.

Erotogens Today

Many sophonts throughout the Terragen sphere continue to use erotogen bodies on a regular basis, for days, months, or years at a time- sometimes even for their whole lives. Hedonistic societies from the hinterworlds of the outer volumes to deep within the inner sphere engage with thousands of variations of the old neogenic templates, or invent their own.

Many modern erotogen clades have not just retained their biological abilities, but expanded them with medisystems to speed up their physical changes while digitally liaising with their partner's exoself available for maximum compatibility. Some biont cultures have modified the erotogen bodies they use with various biobots to form erotogenic symbiotic systems, which can display incredible diversity. For example, The Bibbig of the Utopia Sphere-aligned Purple Protuberance habitat swarm mostly use human blue-feathered avian tweaks as their clade bodies that have entered symbiosis with their Fumee - bushbot-shaped erotogen-beings who can painlessly interface tendrils directly into the nerves and the brain. These combine with external angelnet systems to create a whole mind and body experience in the Triadic Cycle and 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-affiliated Nair-quaz ringworld have been genetically integrated as hedonic biosuits with their Ulm inhabitants, acting as a multipurpose clothing/tool/protection. Meanwhile, The Weiu of the Outermountain MPA orbital band instead use parasite-style fetish forms inside bodies of other modosophonts, gradually replacing their sexual and nonsexual organs with their own. Certainly, the number of self-contained cultures, habitats and biospheres which use erotogen bodies extend from Inner Sphere Kuiper belts and Oort halos, among the Hiders, to temporary avatars of transapients and even archai, like the infamous Baphomet. Nevertheless, descendant templates of the original erotogen, completely novel designs, and those that have adopted the erotogenome, form a broad set of clades that sophonts use throughout the civilized galaxy.


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

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

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

Hyannah Fyee, Life in an Erotogen Body, 9825, Eros Matrixbooks, Clienta Johannis

Mena Duncan, Love from the Lab - The Influence of Bio-Erototech on Post-Human Sexuality, 2492 [Old Earth chronology], Cambridge University Press

Extended scenarios and cliohistorical records, 5635-8008 AT, Zandekkavot Megadyson, Aaronastos system.

Prawnhub Kinsey Expert Systems Collective, Reading Their Source Code: a Guide to the Cultures and Avatars of Erotogen Virtuals, 10069, Ken Ferjik system.
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Development Notes
Text by Orion's Arm Editors
Rewritten 6 January 2024; revised 2009; original by M. Alan Kazlev with additions by Anders Sandberg and Tony Jones
Initially published on 12 February 2001.