Sex robots! They're probably not a thing you think of a lot unless you have some kind of fetish, watch a lot of weird documentaries, or spend a lot of time in online spaces for Men's Rights Activists, bitterly dreaming about how women will be all "No, please! We don't want equal rights! We're so sorry! Please don't replace us with sex robots! Can we pleeeeeaaaase make you a sandwich?" once the sexbot revolution comes.
However, some people are thinking about them a lot! Specifically a group called the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, which published a report today titled "Our Sexual Future With Robots," which discusses the possible benefits and drawbacks to a society in which people have sex with robots.
The report was mostly positive, suggesting that they might be a good idea for people who are disabled, those who are dealing with sexual trauma, the elderly, as well as men who suffer from various forms of sexual dysfunction. They could also provide an outlet for those with particular fetishes that their partner doesn't want to participate in, or even allow for a jealousy-free threesome.
There were, however, concerns about ethics, The Guardian reports. For instance, what if people make child sex robots for pedophiles?
There are already child sex dolls made by a Japanese company owned by a self-confessed paedophile, who claims they prevent him and other paedophiles abusing real children. However, [report co-author Noel] Sharkey is sceptical of the argument that robots can help people get over rape or child sex fantasies, suggesting it is more likely to “encourage paedophilia and make it acceptable to assault children”.
There has also already been some controversy about indulging rape fantasies with robots, Sharkey notes:
‘Well, it’s better they rape robots than rape real people.’ That’s one of the arguments … you can have enjoyable [sex] with your wife - all nice - but when it comes to rape, you have a rape fantasy, you go off and rape a robot. But there’s other people saying this will just encourage rapists more.”
Also at issue is the idea that sex robots could hamper a persons ability to interact with real life human beings, which could be detrimental to their own well-being and understanding of consent when it comes to real-life people.
“Sex robots are an interesting case study, if you will, to look at the main issues we face with robotics, writ large,” [Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe, assistant professor in ethics and technology at the Technical University of Delft and FRR co-director] said. “So this idea of moral de-skilling ... we’re interacting with the robots in these companionship, personalised ways and what kind of consequences does that have on the human users? Does that mean we won’t want to interact with humans any more because it’s just easier to talk to the robot or easier to engage in sexual gratification with the robot?”
Given the fact that RoxxxyGold, one of the more advanced sex robots on the market today, costs $9,995.00, I'm gonna guess that this is not a concern for people who are out there buying sex robots. Seriously -- if you're spending 10 grand on a damn sex robot, I'm going to assume that either you've got a fetish that a real human person cannot satisfy (like being an actual sex robot, because there are people who are into that) or that you have exhausted all other available options for sexual interaction with humans. Go and be well!
As I mentioned earlier, sex robots -- and the supposed feminist campaign to prevent men from having them -- is a very hot topic over in the manosphere, particularly among those who call themselves MGTOWs, or "Men Going Their Own Way." I want to be very clear here that I could not possibly be more in favor of internet misogynists having their very own sexbots. Really and truly. In fact, I say we limit their interactions with human women as much as is
humanly robotically possible. I mean, it's not possible for them to get any worse, is it?
If you're curious about what a sex robot is even... like, and think this may be an option for you, here's a demonstration -- just make sure no one else is around before you watch it.