Sex dolls have been around for centuries. However, they are becoming increasingly more realistic. We’ve gone from blow-up plastic dolls to silicone dolls that feel just like a real person.
Now, technology is allowing these dolls to move and even have conversations. This raises many questions about morality and the possible implications of using these dolls. Like with any technology, it seems to be a double-edged sword, bringing positive and negative consequences.
What’s so Special About Sex Robots?
Sex robots differ from sex dolls because they have artificial intelligence. Sex robots come with many realistic features. It’s thought that they may even replace their real-life counterparts, for better or worse.
They can have intelligent conversations, both sexual and non-sexual. They can even remember your favorite things. They can react to your touch and moan when you pleasure them. Their moans get louder the more pleasure you give them. Some of them can even have orgasms.
They feel extremely real. They are made with a blend of silicone that feels like real skin, and they have heaters to warm their body to human temperature.
In short, they can do nearly everything a real woman can. They can pleasure you, make you feel wanted with conversation and moaning in pleasure, and they will never turn you down or belittle you. What’s not to love?
There are many customization options as well. You can choose the face, body type, skin tone, and hair and eye color you prefer. Many companies will also make custom robots as well, so you can have the exact girl of your fantasies.
Purchasing a Sex Robot
If you would like to own a sex robot of your very own, you have a few options. Emma can chat with you and respond to your touch. She’s also built with heaters, so that she’s warm just like a real woman.
Roxxxy links wirelessly to the internet. She can email her owner and receive software updates. You can alter her personality so that she likes and dislikes the same things that you do. She has a heartbeat and circulatory system, and her vagina even moves when you are having sex, just like a real woman.
Harmony can be customized to fit your desires, and I’m not just referring to the 42 nipple options. You can customize her personality. You can turn up her intelligence and have engaging conversations with her, or you can dumb her down. She also has optional traits including jealous, moody, or frigid.
All of these robots have a wide range of customization options, including face, body type, and skin tone. Some of them include a removable vagina that can be ran through the dishwasher.
Can Sex Robots Replace Real Relationships?
Will sex robots replace relationships with real women? Sex robot manufacturers say yes. Sex robot chief Matt McMullen, CEO of Abyss Creations, claims many customers are men who have made a conscious decision to remove real women from their lives.
Help For Men With E.D.?
Experts claim that these sex robots can also be used to help men with erectile dysfunction. In the future, robots could have biofeedback that would allow them to decrease stimulation when the man is getting close to orgasm.
Men could also learn what causes them to orgasm, and practice gaining self-control. Of course, they could do this with a real partner as well, but there’s not any pressure to perform with a sex robot.
Implications For Society
You’ll find two schools of thought when it comes to sex robots. One school of thought is that they are very beneficial, and provide companionship and sexual intimacy to men.
The other school of thought is that they are setting women back a few hundred years, to when they were nothing more than property. There are also concerns that they could lead to men committing violent acts against women like rape.
Another concern is that if people become enamored with sex robots and replace human companions for mechanical ones, what will happen to the population?
Many population growth models show the population continuing to grow. However, fertility is decreasing. There’s also a 23% chance that the population will start to decline after the year 2100.
Interestingly, most of the growth between 2015 and 2050 will happen in Africa. By 2100, Africa is expected to contain 39% of the population. Could sex robots further decrease the population in developed countries? Particularly as they become more popular and cheaper to manufacture?
Objectification of Women
Sex robots have been compared to prostitution, because they both cast women in the role of an object for sexual pleasure. This objectification is one of the main concerns regarding sex robots.
Kathleen Richardson is a fellow of ethics of robotics at De Montfort University in the U.K. She founded the organization Campaign Against Sex Robots. She says
Their use is just contributing to and elaborating on the idea that you can relate to an object like you can relate to another person, and, in turn, that you can treat a person like an object.
Automizing people’s experiences of sex with robots contributes to that disconnect between sex and humanity, and exacerbates the trend of objectification and abuse.
Rape and Pedophilia
Does Feminism Play a Role?
Does feminism play a role in the popularity of sex bots? Women are becoming more opinionated. They are no longer happy just catering to a man’s needs with little or no regard for their own. Sex robots, on the other hand, have no will of their own. They can even be programmed with whatever “personality” the man chooses for them.
Is this simply the rise of technology? The product of a society that continues to devalue real human interaction? Choosing Facebook and Instagram over a real life conversation with their friends, text over a phone call, and even sex cyber style instead of a real human connection. Are sex robots the next logical step in this progression?
Or is there something deeper going on? A desire to have a subservient female that is ready and willing (or unwilling) whenever the man desires? That can chat and entertain, but will never have an opinion contrary to the man?
Or is it simply a desire for convenience? Not having to risk being hurt. Never having to hear her complain that they aren’t receiving enough attention or that the toilet seat was left up? Are sex bots simply bringing a more convenient option for today’s busy men, the way that microwaves bring convenience to kitchen duties?
Where are the Male Sex Robots?
For a society that claims equality, male sex robots are noticeably lacking. There are male sex dolls on the market, but none of them are currently able to hold a conversation like the latest female sex robots.
Perhaps it’s because women appear less interested. I find it hard to believe that there’s not a large market for male sex robots, however, given the current market for vibrators.
One study revealed vibrators as the number two seller for sex toy retailers, right below lube and essentials. Male sex toys came in at number 6.
Perhaps it’s simply easier from a mechanical point of view to make a female sex robot. A male robot may be expected to move his hips in and out of his own accord. Perhaps its simply because it’s believed women need a sort of foreplay that robots aren’t currently capable of giving them.
Sex Robots and Marriage: Good or Evil?
Infidelity in marriage is a big problem. 17% of divorces occur because of the infidelity of one or both partners. It’s thought that around 50% of men and women will have an affair at some point in their lives. Could sex robots keep men from straying, or is it just another form of cheating?
25% of men in a recent survey said they would have sex with a robot. When it came to cheating, opinions were equally divided, with 32% saying that it should be considered cheating and 33% saying it shouldn’t.
According to most experts, it’s up to individual couples to decide what’s cheating and what isn’t, particularly in today’s complicated society. Pornography, cyber sex, phone sex chat lines, and emotional intimacy are all in a gray area that could be considered cheating depending on how the couple defines it.
Most women would likely rather their husband to have sex with a robot than another woman. However, there is an emotional component to consider as well. With these ultra lifelike sex bots, you can hold conversations. They can remember what you tell them, they can give you compliments. This can certainly make it possible to develop an emotional attachment to it, which could decrease emotional intimacy in your relationship.
Many couples have mismatched sex drives, and may want things their partner isn’t willing to do. Sex robots could help with this problem, giving the partner with a high sex drive the opportunity to orgasm whenever they want.
It could also be beneficial to couples who would like to try a threesome. There’s much less risk when the third partner is a robot, physically and emotionally.
Some experts think that sex with robots will become commonplace within the next decade, and sex with your partner will be saved for “special occasions”. Would this be healthy for relationships?
Sexual intimacy is important in a relationship. It involves deeper communication, and releases oxytocin, which is the brain’s bonding chemical. How often it needs to occur for a couple differ based on their needs.
Given the effects of regular pornography use in relationships, sex with robots instead of partners could be damaging. It could also make you realize just how much you love the special intimacy that you share with your partner.
The real impact of robot sex on relationships won’t be known until it becomes a mainstream practice. Unfortunately, by then it will be too late to go back if there are significant problems.
The Tamagotchi Effect
If you were a child or an adult in the 90s, you will remember the Tamagotchi. Tamagotchi is a small egg shaped virtual pet. As you can see, the Tamagotchi doesn’t visually resemble a real living thing.
Yet, enough people became emotionally attached to them that forming an emotional attachment to technology or machines is not known as “the Tamagotchi effect”.
If it’s possible to form such a strong attachment to a virtual pet that you care for and feed, it’s much more likely to form an attachment to a sex robot that acts and appears much like a real person.
You may be surprised to find that a recent survey revealed that over 25% of people surveyed said that they had fantasies about their virtual assistant. 1/3 of people said that they wished their virtual assistant was a real person.
Another survey found that 40% said that they could imagine falling in love with their virtual assistant, and another 25% said “maybe”.
Will It Replace Real Relationships?
There is a concern that these robots could replace real relationships. Considering that we have a tendency to develop emotional attachments to technology, it’s certainly possible to fall in love with a robot.
Even if men still desired a relationship with a real woman, sex robots could create unrealistic expectations. We’ve seen this to an extent with pornography.
One long-term study followed men for 6 years. It measured men’s pornography habits in 2006 and 2012. It found that men who viewed more pornography in 2006 were less happy in their relationship in 2012.
It’s believed that this is because pornography creates unrealistic expectations of what sex and interactions between men and women should look like. If porn creates unrealistic relationship expectations, what effect will a completely submissive bot who is up for anything have?
Robots and Sex Addiction
Could robots cause more cases of sex addiction? Sex addiction is defined as compulsive sexual acts or thoughts along with problems with intimacy.
Sex addicts can be addicted to physical sex, masturbation, phone sex, cyber sex, and voyeurism, just to name a few. It’s estimated that 6% to 8% of Americans have some form of sex addiction.
There’s a possibility of developing an addiction anytime we use a substance or engage in an activity that makes us feel good. Generally speaking, the better the feeling, the greater the chance of addiction.
Some experts are concerned that many people could become addicted to sex robots in the future. They may be better at sex than humans, and they are available for sex whenever you want it. In fact, some experts even expect robot sex to replace sex between humans by the year 2050.
Robots aren’t just for sex. There’s a growing trend in Japan of Androids being used for companionship for the elderly. Japan’s population is quickly aging, and the newer generation isn’t having children nearly as quickly as previous generations.
This leaves lots of aging parents with empty nest syndrome and no grandchildren to brighten their life. Many are turning to robots like Pepper, who are designed for companionship instead of sex.
It brings to mind the A.I. nanny in the Twilight Zone episode “Sing the Body Electric“, which may have more bearing on our future than we realized. The episode centered around an android nanny who helped a widower raise his three children.
Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has developed robotic seals that function as robotic pets for the elderly.
They are created with sensors so that they can react to being petted. It also responds to simple words, and it can modify its responses based on the person’s touch or tone of voice.
There are also many socially awkward, unattractive, or otherwise undesirable men out there that live very lonely lives. Being lonely has an impact on your physical and emotional health.
Could sex robots give them the companionship that they aren’t likely to find in a real-life partner? Could widespread use of these robots decrease instances of suicide and depression? Or will it be like Facebook, giving us just enough social interaction to remind us how alone we really are?
Will it stop people who aren’t socially inclined from stepping out f their comfort zone and meeting real people? Will these people be the first to replace human relationships with A.I., and is this a bad thing?
Should Robots Have Rights?
At what point does the robot become more than property, and gain rights of their own? Animals are legally considered property, yet there are still laws regarding their ethical treatment.
While this may seem like a concern that we won’t have to deal with for many years, until robots and humans are nearly indistinguishable, one robot has gained citizenship in Saudi Arabia.
While this is more of a publicity stunt than a legitimate argument that the robot, Sophia, should have rights, these arguments may not be far behind.
We all have a love-hate relationship with technology. As much as it excites us, it scares us as well. The fact is that we’ll never know all of the impacts of a specific technology until the general public has access to it for a period of time.
Humans are scared of the unknown. We love progress, but we don’t like change. The fact that once a technology takes hold, it can’t be taken back makes it scarier. For better or worse, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle.
Whether sex robots will ultimately improve our lives or be the end of love and relationships as we know it remains to be seen. They are coming, however, whether we like it or not.