Dirty Talk: Sex Robots

Automation is likely going to threaten thousands of jobs, and shake up society as we know it. Turns out, the bedroom is no exception. With T.V. shows like Westworld and the advent of sex robots, we’re already seeing the impact of artificial sex partners on humanity.

The issue hit headlines last week when a sex robot, named Samantha, was molested at an Electronics Festival in Austria. According to the creator of the robot, Sergi Santos, Samantha was damaged by attendees. “The people mounted Samantha’s breasts, her legs and arms. Two fingers were broken. She was heavily soiled,” he told Britain’s Metro news.

With a widespread problem of sexual assault on campus and deeply ingrained rape culture, one has to wonder what could be the consequences of further dehumanizing women by replacing them with artificial models entirely. The porn industry already pushes unrealistic body standards, and sex robots could make it that much worse.

As Jenny Kleeman writes for The Guardian, “sex robots are different from sex dolls and sex toys because they have AI (artificial intelligence). More than just a mechanism for giving you an orgasm, a sex robot is designed to be a substitute partner: a vibrator doesn’t laugh at your jokes and remember your birthday.”

In other words, your toy drawer can provide you with a lot of pleasure, but can’t completely take the place of a sexual or emotional partner.

Introducing a technology that has the potential of giving one partner the utmost pleasure, without any concern for the consent or comfort of the other partner, could have serious impacts for real world couples.

“Perhaps the most important question to ask is why there is a market for sex robots in the first place,” continues Kleeman. “Why do some people find the idea of a partner without autonomy so attractive?”

The obsession with powerless partners is a natural progression of rape culture. In a society that normalizes sexual assault, is it really that much of a jump to transition to completely robotic sex partners? Now we don’t have to worry about consent, and get rid of that pesky extra step.

With any new technologies there can be a wide variety of uses for sex robots, including some positive ones. Sexual AI can be useful in helping those suffering from sexual dysfunction overcome their problems. In addition, sex robots could become an asset to couples wanting to add a little spice to their relationship.

The thing is, with new technologies we don’t know their full impact until they’ve fully revolutionized society. The crux of the issue is making sure sexual AI isn’t abused to the detriment of humans everywhere.

Dishing with Di: You thought your teenage years were hard

A small community in the Dominican Republic has a significant proportion of individuals suffering from 5-alpha-reductase deficiency. These individuals are raised as girls but at puberty grow a penis and testes because of the deficiency. Guevedoces actually translates to “penis at 12.” Interestingly enough, interviews with these boys have found they identified as male even before they hit puberty.