We’ve known for quite some time now that this day was coming. The day when the sex robot was no longer just a figment of our dirty imaginations, but completely available for purchase and fully customizable like choosing the options on a brand new car.
You can choose from 19 different facial options, 11 different styles of labia and you can even select what personality traits your robot will have. And being that it’s a sex robot, you can have it perform up to 50 different sexual positions. What’s more, they’re made of silicone and have a warm, lifelike feel to them.
But the notion of such a true to life rendering of another human being obviously comes with its criticisms. A report compiled by experts at the Foundation for Responsible Robotics delves into some of the issues that could arise in the future of the sex robot.
One of the topics explored was how many people would actually consider having sex with a robot. And while a lot of this may sound eerie, it didn’t seem to have much effect on the numbers. In a study of 100 people conducted by Tufts University, two-thirds of men and 37 percent of women said they would have sex with a robot.
And a poll conducted by Men’s Health last year seemed to support those findings. They surveyed nearly 3,000 men on Twitter and 20 percent of them said sex robots could eventually make sex with real women obsolete.
The question of whether intimacy with robots could lead to greater social isolation was also probed. There are experts who contend that solely interacting with robots will only promote isolation and make it difficult to develop human friendships.
However, sex educator Sonya JF Barnett says among people who are uncomfortable with human contact (i.e. people with disabilities or severe social anxiety) sex with robots could be a plus.
“There’s nothing wrong with satisfying sexual pleasure if no one is getting hurt,” she said. “There’s an unfortunate prevailing attitude that humans having no sex is more palatable than humans having sex with robots.”
The topic in the report that holds the most societal significance is whether sex robots could help to reduce sex crimes. While experts’ views varied widely on the matter in general, when it came to pedophilia most were in agreement that sex robots were not the answer.
“There have been controversial suggestions about the use of sex robots in sex therapy for the prevention of sex crimes such as
violent assault, rape and pedophilia,” the authors wrote. “For most of us, who are not sex criminals or trained therapists, there is an immediate visceral response and revulsion to the notion of child sex robots. But there are a few who believe that they could help in therapeutic prevention to stop pedophiles offending or reoffending.”