Sex robots are coming. There is no question about it. We’re not talking about blow up sex dolls or realistic vaginas or dildos nor are we talking about robots with metals and plastics exposed but sex robots modeled after humans. A working sex robot would be a huge technological breakthrough, especially if it has artificial intelligence, but not without backlash, which we’re already seeing plenty of.
One the one hand, sex robots promote the idea of sexual freedom. If someone wants to get off on or get it on with their sex robot, shouldn’t they be able to? But on the other hand, would sex robots be degrading to women? We say this because physically, the robot would probably have shiny long hair and an hourglass figure – perhaps a 25 inch waist, if not smaller, and C-cups, if not larger – and be completely subservient. And if men have access to a ‘woman’ that fulfills their needs more efficiently than the average woman, assuming that future generations are going to value efficiency as much as we do, wouldn’t this threaten real life relationships?
The short answer to all these questions is that is sex robots are a lot more complex than that. Here’s one way to look at it. Almost all of the questions above have an underlying heteronormativity. We are living in an age that is increasingly open to sexual fluidity so we cannot assume, first of all, that men are the only ones who would be interested in sex robots. We also cannot assume that the ones who are would be interested in female bodied sex robots. One last thing. These questions also seem to be lacking any faith in romance and intimacy, you know, the warm blooded kind.
I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. In the meantime, check out what we do know about sex robots so far, mainly those being created by Matt McMullen at Abyss Creations, LLC, including what some experts and netizens think of them.
Before we get into sex robots, let’s take a look at the RealDoll, the ‘first silicone sex doll with a completely accurate, fully articulated skeleton.’ The RealDoll was created by Matt McMullen and is manufactured by Abyss Creations, LLC just outside of San Diego. And yes, you can actually have sex with them.
According to the official RealDoll website, here’s what sex with one feels like:
‘When penetrated, a vacuum is formed inside the doll’s entries which provides a powerful suction effect. This effect is strongest in the RealDoll’s oral entry. Some of RealDoll’s users have reported intense orgasms due to this specific feature. If you are especially interested in oral sex with your doll, we recommend faces with larger mouths such as the faces 12 (Britney) and 16 (Gabrielle).’
They currently cost more than $5,000 each. There are also male and transsexual dolls available.
TAKE A PEEK INSIDE ABYSS CREATIONS’ FACTORY
Here’s Matt McMullen at his factory in San Marcos, California. Most of the dolls are purchased domestically, and for reasons beyond sex, such as photography and forensics. The dolls are also customizable for an added cost, and no, you cannot replicate your bot after an existing human without their permission.
McMullen is planning to enhance the experience with artificial intelligence in a project he calls ‘Realbotix.’
ROBOTICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
McMullen stated that the company wanted to use technology to create an artificial intelligence that is user customizable. The client would be able to find personality traits that appeal to them and the bot would be able to learn from them, eventually developing what many of us would describe as a relationship.
BOT INTERACTION VS HUMAN INTERACTION
In an interview with Fusion, Cara Santa Maria asked McMullen if he had any concerns about whether or not the dolls would replace human interaction for certain people.
‘I don’t think a doll can replace human interaction with AI or without,’ he replied. ‘But I do think there are probably cases of people who either by choice or by circumstance cannot have a real relationship, and so in in that case maybe the doll is going to be that replacement, but I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with that.’
McMullen also believes in crafting the dolls with a slightly unrealistic quality because that would help prevent a case of uncanny valley, when a person responds with unease or revulsion toward a computer generated product, such as a robot, that too closely resembles a human.
HUMAN TO ROBOT SEX BY 2050
According to futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson, people feel strange about sex robots because they are not mainstream. He predicts that this will change as they do become more widely available. More specifically, he foresees that a number of wealthy households will have them by 2025 and that robot sex can actually overtake human sex by 2050.
THE CAMPAIGN TO BAN SEX BOTS
‘Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on – how they will look, what roles they would play – are very disturbing indeed,’ states robot ethicist Dr. Kathleen Richardson.