‘Future Sex’ Review: Why the Series Is Far More Than an Erotic ‘Black Mirror’

Sure, the techno-sexual show has problems, but also potential.

Here at Future of Sex, we explore how technology may transform human sexuality in the years ahead—and what we can do to create the best possible outcomes.

So when I discovered the web series Future Sex, I had to dive in and watch all five episodes. Since, on average, each was less than 15 minutes long, time was certainly not a deterrent.

Produced by French studio blackpills, Future Sex is an anthology series written by Hank Woon and directed by Tomas Moya. The studio’s description reeled me in:

‘Future Sex’ is a forward-looking anthology with stories that tap into the collective unknown about sex in the future. Each story features its own cast of unique characters exploring what’s to become of mankind’s most favorite ritual.

Yet despite my initial excitement, after finishing the series I found that it misses the mark more often than it hits it. But when it does reach that sweet spot, it effectively explores some incredible speculations on what human sexuality will be like in the future.

It nailed future sex tech

One of the biggest positives about the show is how it depicts futuristic technologies with a refreshing understanding of their potential and drawbacks.

For example, the episode “Gazzers” features the use of neurostimulation and virtual reality gear to stimulate orgasms while “BAE” explores male sex robots.

Meanwhile, “The VR Shine” and “Looking for Love” focus on augmented and virtual reality technologies, and “Kobe” explores the impact of full-body cyberization.

Not a Black Mirror clone

Story-wise, it would be easy, and incorrect, to dismiss Future Sex as an erotic Black Mirror.

While it’s true that both speculate on the impact of technology on human society, Charlie Brooker’s show is predominantly dystopian. Future Sex, on the other hand, has quite a few episodes with a much more nuanced, and even optimistic, view of the future.

That isn’t to say the show doesn’t have its share of problems. Personally, the biggest negative has to be its lack of sexual diversity. With the exception of one notable episode, Future Sex universally skews toward straight couples.

Similarly, the actresses—who show the most skin—are all slender. It’s troubling that the production didn’t think of including characters with disabilities or show a greater range of body types.

The show, however, does get some kudos for being at least partially racially inclusive. Though there are still some glaring omissions that, again, could have been easily fixed.

A mixed bag of episodes

In regards to the episodes themselves, when they are bad they are very bad: ranging to being some an idiotic joke to one that actually is heavy-handed Black Mirror clone.

The worst has to be “Gazzers, which falls into the first category. Being the last episode makes it even the worse; it’s puerile attempt at humor left a sour taste in my mouth after I finished binge-watching the series.

Similarly, “Looking for Love,” tries way too hard to be a Charlie Brooker doppelganger— with the heavy-handed dystopian world and everything. As with “Gazzers” its positioning is also really unfortunate. Like the first, it gives the illusion that the rest of the episodes will be similarly dark

“BAE” does a much better job—especially as it doesn’t resort to heavy-handed moralizing or try for humor—but it still suffers from a lackadaisical and profoundly meh plot.

But when it’s good, it’s very good

Warning: This section contains some spoilers.

The best of the bunch are clearly the episodes“The VR Shine” and “Kobe.” Without revealing too much, the first poignantly deals with a woman’s self-esteem issues, which drives her to use AR instead of her husband ever seeing her real body.

If “The VR Shrine” has a flaw, it’s that it doesn’t explore enough of the husband’s culpability for what happens. But this could be excusable considering the shortness of the episodes.

“Kobe” though raises the entire series from being a missed opportunity to having some real potential—and even stokes excitement for another season.

In a future where people can have their bodies completely replaced with cybernetic hardware, a private detective is hired to find a couple’s missing child who had undergone the procedure.

Eventually, he tracks her down to the seedier parts of the city, where cyborgs are treated like an oppressed sexual minority, only to discover that she’d been murdered and her body sold for scrap.

All this is painfully typical, right down to the hard-boiled detective, but the ending when he plays back her recorded memories and reveals to her parents the killer’s identity—and the transphobia at its heart—is profoundly touching.

Looking forward to another season

It may be odd to pin the hopes of an entire series on one stand-out episode, especially from a series that has more misses than hits. Yet “Kobe,” and to a lesser extent “The VR Shrine,” shows that Future Sex has the possibility of becoming something truly special.

Let’s just hope that the people involved get the opportunity to continue. Even if the series doesn’t make a second season, it’s still worth a watch to see an often thought-provoking depiction of what sex could be like in the decades to come.

Image sources: blackpills, moviemanicsDE