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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Phone-Grid Transex Network  
  Addictive network-enhanced sexuality.  

The phone-grid, an addictive pleasure.

"Have you ever made it by phone?" she demanded, bright-eyed and eager.

"Made what?"

"The grid," Alys said. "Don't you know about the phone grid?"

"No," he admitted. But he had heard of it.

"Your-everybody's-sexual aspects are linked electronically, and amplified, to as much as you can endure. It's addictive, because it's electronically enhanced. People, some of them, get so deep into it they can't pullout; their whole lives revolve around the weekly - or, hell. even daily! - set-ting up of the network of phone lines. It's regular picture-phones, which you activate by credit card. so it's free at the time you do it; the sponsors bill you once a month and if you don't pay they cut your phone out of the grid."

"How many people," he asked, "are involved in this?"

"Thousands."

"At one time?"

Alys nodded. "Most of them have been doing it two, three years. And they've deteriorated physically - and mentally - from it. Because the part of the brain where the orgasm is experienced is gradually burned out...

From Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Doubleday in 1974
Additional resources -

Compare to Mercerism implemented in an empathy box in DIck's 1964 story The Little Black Box.

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