Are sex robots the new sex toy, asks John Tynan
“We have been designing your sex robot for many years, making sure that she knows your name, your likes and dislikes, [can] carry on a discussion and express her love to you and be your loving friend. She can talk to listen to you and feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm.”
If you’re the type to desire a sex robot, it’s highly likely that the last bit is more a bonus than top of your requirements.
Roxxxy, from truecompanion.com, is the ninth version of the robot and she is, basically, what was bound to happen to the blow up doll.
The latter might be associated with fetishists and have a sordid aspect, but with the greater acceptance of robots in society, Roxxxy and ilk are set to emerge from the red light district. Cinema and TV, mainstream purveyors of the future, dealt with it in Ex Machina and Channel 4’s Humans , so it’s just a matter of a time.
Dearest Roxxxy comes in three versions: RoxxxySilver (€2,955, talk is limited to sex and she cannot hear); RoxxxyGold (€6,320, she has five personalities, Frigid Farah, Young Yoko, Mature Martha, S&M Susan, and Wild Wendy. She has a ‘circulatory system’ and the body of a “fine arts model”. She is programmed to have a personality like her owner and also “has moods and can be sleepy or conversational or in the mood”. It seems you can share her with your friends, which they claim “is the same as wife or girlfriend swapping without any of the social issues or sexual disease related concerns”.
On a more prosaic note, she “can talk to you about soccer, your stocks in the stock markets, etc”, which is also the same as your wife or girlfriend, but will she know the nuances of the offside rule?
Then there is RoxxxyPillow. Don’t assume you know why she is so-called. Her base price is €900, and her name derives from her portability: She can fit in a pillowcase as she has no arms or legs.
The makers are confident that “having a male or female sex robot at home will become commonplace in the future”. They liken robots as just another sex aid.
But, as we all know, sex has always been divisive, so throw in a robot and sparks fly.
Ana Matronic of Scissors Sisters fame would love a robot in her home… but to do the laundry.
However, the usefulness of sex robots does compute for Matronic, who recently released a book, Robot Takeover: 100 Iconic Robots of Myth, Popular Culture & Real Life.
She believes they can be of benefit to people who have difficulty forming human relationships: “I actually think that robots for sexual gratification for people who may not really be able to properly form human relationships — I think this is a positive thing, if they can improve somebody’s life, why not?
“I think people crave the touch and something that is externally gratifying. I think that’s where robots can certainly help people and the development of robots could be very suitable for people who need the right person and might not be capable to form a, what we would consider, normal relationship.”
However, the Campaign Against Sex Robots, as the name suggests, is at the other end of the spectrum. The group last month called for a ban on sex robots, believing they will lead to the greater objectification of women and see users display reduced empathy towards women and children.
It also “takes issue with those arguments that propose that sex robots could help reduce sexual exploitation and violence towards prostituted persons, pointing to all the evidence that shows how technology and the sex trade coexist and reinforce each other creating more demand for human bodies.”
Meanwhile, on Oct 13, Malaysia banned a symposium set for November, titled Love and Sex with Robots. The gathering, however, was more academic than a love-in with a bunch of humanoids.
“It’s already an offence in Malaysia to have anal sex, never mind intercourse with robots. Don’t try to be ridiculous,” said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar at a press conference.
Turned on, or turned off, Roxxxy and other high-tech female robots are sure to excite and not necessarily in the way intended.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved