Our next object is a 2026 interview with Anna Kasell, a representative of the Sex Workers Union and producer of Désir, the infamous sex game.
Q: My first question has to be: why now?
A: Just because we're the world's oldest profession doesn't mean we'll be here forever. We've read the Innovator's Dilemma, we know what's coming next. So we’ve decided to be on the right side of history and get ahead of the curve.
Q: Before we get onto Désir, I'd like to talk about the protests. Clearly not all sex workers agree with your organisation's move.
A: People will always have differences of opinion. That's fine, and if they disagree, then that's their right. Maybe they think that they can survive on their own for the next five or ten years, but I have a responsibility to take care of all of our members in the long term. And honestly, I think some people are underestimating the capabilities of this new technology.
Q: So, Désir. Does it seem —
A: Have you tried it?
Q: I don't know if —
A: Because if we're going to talk about it, you really should know what it's like.
Q: OK, yes. I have tried it.
A: Wonderful! I'm sure many of your followers have as well, even if they might not be quite as brave as you to admit it.
Q: So. Désir. I understand that while the Sex Workers Union contributed a lot of time towards the design and training of the agents, most of the technology was handled by Moshii. Why did you choose to work with them, instead of Oculus or Samsung, or doing it yourself?
A: Moshii are hands-down the best when it comes to epidermal stimulation, and their olfactory support is just fantastic. We've got an Oculus at home for action games, but it's no good for genuinely sensual experiences. As for doing it ourselves, that's very flattering, but we're not technologists. We're sex workers.
Q: Back in the late teens, were you worried when other companies released sex games? It seems a bit late in the day for you to be joining in.
A: I wasn't too worried about those games because they looked awful, the galvanic nerve stimulation made me feel sick, and the AI was insultingly bad. But I was worried about what they might become. I think the best physical sex is superior to the best Désir agents, but let's face it, it's just not as convenient and it costs more. We know from history who wins and who loses in this kind of competition. I couldn't bear the idea of our profession being cannibalised by a bunch of outsiders, so I decided that if it was going to happen, it'd better be at our own hands.
Q: Désir has a lot of competition, particularly in Europe and China. They're cheaper and they're catching up quickly — Spice alone has a quarter of a million new users joining every single day.
A: Trust me, there's a point at which cost doesn't matter any more. If they want to fight over the teenage market by providing cheap mindless dolls — which is what they are doing — then they're welcome to it. Désir is a premium product and our clients can be sure that every agent and every scenario has been hand-tested to perfection. We've got the best tech, the best writers, the best artists, and all of that costs money. We're the Apple of sex games.
Q: Exactly what involvement does the SWU have in Désir? Did you just provide the capital and help design it, or do you have an ongoing role?
A: We're fully involved and fully committed. We just announced our API yesterday which allows members to puppet Désir agents, and we're looking at opening it up to the public soon. Our agent AI is pretty good as it is, but like I said, there's nothing that beats the intimate connection that only a real human can make. Our members are experts, and they know what to say, how to move, and how to act better than our own AI agents, so I think that any members who choose to get involved in puppeting will supplement their income pretty nicely.
Q: What about the morality of Désir? Do you pay much attention to critics who say you're devaluing and destroying real relationships?
A: What we're doing is healthy. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a sexual appetite, and even in the best mono relationships it's common for one partner to want more or to want something different. Normally that'd lead to an affair or a one-night stand — which is far worse than seeing a sex worker, if you ask me — but now they can just use Désir and there's no harm done. Believe me, we've had messages from thousands of couples who thank us for saving their marriages!
Q: But not everyone agrees with that. Representative Spence just introduced a bill calling for regulation of sex games, saying that they're a danger to society and to young people's minds.
A: He's full of shit, if you'll pardon my French. Thirty years ago, he'd be trying to outlaw gay marriage and 60 years ago he'd be saying television is the devil's work. He won't get the votes, I can guarantee that.
Q: What about the case in Florida, though, about the serial rapist who was found with a copy of Spice and the skins of his victims in the game?
A: Are you serious? That man was sick. He would've been dangerous with or without sex games, and I find it offensive that you'd even make the connection. I'm sure he's on Glass as well, and no-one blames that.
Q: Still, you've got to —
A: No, I don't. We've got study after study that shows the overall rate of sexual assaults has been declining in the US, both before and after the introduction of sex games. UCI just published figures that prove sex games help reduce sexual violence. People like Representative Spence should be directing federal tax dollars towards us, not threatening more regulation.
Q: The US wouldn't be the first country to establish regulations, though.
A: No, they wouldn't. If a democratic country decides to regulate these games after a reasoned debate, that's their choice. But let me tell you, I've got access to our own stats and we're still seeing plenty of demand from countries where we're banned. All it means is that they don't get to tax our revenues. If they really want to stop people using sex games, then they should figure out a way to stop people wanting to have sex. Let's see how that goes down with the voters.
Q: So, can you comment on the allegations that you’re assisting the illegal export of Désir to countries that regulate sex games?
A: Don’t be absurd.
Q: And finally, what's next for Désir?
A: Our number one most-requested feature has been multiplayer, for obvious reasons. It's a tricky one to crack because we need to get the latency way down and launch a rock-solid matchmaking service for people with different fantasies, but we think we've figured it out.
Q: Growth shows no sign of slowing?
A: That's right. Our ambition is to have the majority of the world signed up to Désir. After all, we're fulfilling a very basic human need.