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IEET > Security > Cyber > Rights > Vision > Futurism > Staff > Affiliate Scholar > Hank Pellissier

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Sexbots for Women


Hank Pellissier
Hank Pellissier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Aug 3, 2011

What do females want in a cyborg lover?

Androids that provide erotic pleasure to humans, aka ‘Sexbots’, are destined to end up in our beds in the future. I explored this concept a couple of years ago in my H+ magazine article, “Sexbots Will Give Us Longevity Orgasms.”

Typically, such sexbots are regarded as machines designed for men. But don’t women also desire cyborg stimulation? When will their plastic paramours arrive? What will they look for in a mechanized lover? How will female lust for robotic romance impact relationships and society?

sexbot

To investigate the XX attitude toward sexbots, I interviewed two women: IEET Program Director Kristi Scott, who wrote, “Andy Droid: Your Sex Doll Has Arrived,” and Dominique Mainon, author, screenwriter, and avid transhumanist. Ms. Mainon’s books include The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen, Cinema of Obsession: Erotic Fixation and Love Gone Wrong in the Movies, and Femme Fatale: Cinema’s Most Unforgettable Lethal Ladies. She is currently completing Rise of the Machines: Androids, Robots and Cyborgs Invade Cinema.


Hank: What percentage of sales of sexbots will be for men, in your opinion, and what percentage will be for women?

Kristi: Just a guess off the top of my head would be 90% men, 10% women.

Dominique: Sexbots already have a large following of fetishists and “plastic lovers.” Most surveys agree that fetishists are most often male (from 80% to 95%), and fetishes and paraphilias are often rooted in separations from the mother and a resulting attachment to transitional objects. The percentage of females with fetishes is relatively small. Since the desire for transitional objects could possibly be fulfilled by sexbots, I’d guess that 90% of sales will [at first] be to men, but as time progresses and sexbots become far more advanced, the women’s percentage will increase.


Hank: Why would women want sexbots?

Kristi: When I was doing research for my article, I asked several female friends if they would be interested in a sexbot, and their first response was “Yes!”, but in reality… they wanted a companion. 

Dominique: I think women may be interested in sexbots for therapeutic reasons, rather than just sexual. Qualities such as security and safety can be an erotic stimulant for women. I feel hesitant to also voice the cliché about women being nurturers by nature, but I do think there is often a latent tendency to care for things, from dolls and stuffed animals to men. I’ve read many interviews of women who employ male escorts, and they state that they enjoy being treated in a chivalrous manner for a change, being spoiled, and just having an all-around good time, rather than just the sexual act alone.


Hank: Do you think men will regard sexbots for women as a sexual threat?  

Kristi: They could. Think of the scene in A.I. Artificial Intelligence where the man shoots his female partner because she is a regular customer of Gigolo Joe’s. If real pleasure is brought by someone or thing that looks like you and is better than you are, that is threatening. I think it is possible that both sexes could see sexbots as a sexual threat.

Dominique: Some men are threatened by women who simply use vibrators. Due to the unique issues men face with sexual performance and erectile dysfunction, I can imagine sexbots for women might cause anxiety for some men. Also, sex toys in general are not addictive, but a sex addict may overuse sex toys, pornography, etc, to the point of alienating their partners and damaging themselves. When pathological behaviors come into play, then sexbots may be threatening. But with a healthy self-esteem, sexbots might become a healthy outlet to experiment with for singles or couples.

[In general] I don’t think that sexbots will be any significant threat to men, at least not until they are very highly developed in intelligence. I envision women enjoying a sexbot more as a type of companion, pet, or luxury therapeutic service like a spa treatment.


Hank: Do you think sexbots will be opposed by society, perhaps being made illegal in many nations?

Kristi: Society will take some time to get used to the idea. The TLC show My Strange Addiction with the sexbot relationship is a very interesting first step to bringing sexbots to the consciousness of the mainstream. The guy on the show said he has gotten a lot of support over being in the media with his sexbot partner. Shows like that open up a dialog to work through what society’s fears are. Another good introduction was in the movie Lars and the Real Girl, a great narrative about how the idea of a sexbot might go over in a small town. The culture already exists; it is just a matter of society getting used to it. Illegal? In the U.S., it will depend on how open-minded we are and if it becomes a hot-button moral issue.

bookDominique: I think sexbots will be embraced by society for the most part because they will become so ubiquitous that few will view it as any sudden intrusion into their bedrooms. Advanced sexbots could cut down on a country’s rate of STDs and HIV, as well as prostitution. There is also another valid use that sexbots could have, which follows the origins of modern day vibrators—that is, for medical therapy. A very interesting book titled The Technology of Orgasm outlines the rise of the vibrator in the late 19th century as a cure administered by doctors for female hysteria. Although “hysteria” is no longer an issue, today we have machines like the Sybian™, a saddle-like device with interchangeable attachments, which is so ideally constructed for achieving female orgasm that it has been of great help to women who are disabled, suffering from muscular diseases, and stress.


Hank: Do you think sexbots will impact dating, and marriage?How?

Kristi: Yes, for good and bad reasons. It could help those who are insecure with their sexual performance be able to perfect and improve on it. It could also help people who are unsure of what they want in a sexual relationship to discover what makes them happy. Both of these scenarios could enable a person to discover who they are sexually and allow them to relax with the person they are dating or married to. It could also allow them to play out scenarios that excite them, but that their partner is not willing to participate in. It’s a slippery discretionary slope, however, and ultimately could prove problematic for a relationship.

Dominique: In 2008 a Japanese man married the love of his life, Nene Anegaski, in front of a live audience and webcast. Nene is a character in the Nintendo DS game, Love Plus. Though many people laugh at the idea, the groom claimed that his feelings for NeNe were “real” even if she wasn’t. This is but one example of 2D love that has manifested in Japan over the last fifteen years or so. There is good reason to think that 3D love will become common, as long as people believe their “feelings are real.” Again I believe it comes down to fetishism.


Hank: Will sexbots will replace prostitutes? Is that ethically desirable or not?

Dominique: There are great benefits in having sexbots replace prostitutes from a health standpoint. But in some countries this would upset the economy and displace vast amounts of sex workers, women who are dependent on prostitution to feed their families.

[Also] there may be offshoot businesses that manufacture ethically-questionable sexbots. For example, what if a pedophile orders a child sexbot? Is this a good thing, to allow the pedophile to act out his fantasies in a “safe” method that doesn’t harm any real children? Or does this simply titillate the person and feed the illegal desire so as to make the person even more likely to violate a child?


Hank: Would you ever want a sexbot yourself?

Kristi: Ha-ha, no, I think I am good at this point in my life. My organic-husband model has worked just fine for eleven years. There is a magnet on my fridge with a man washing dishes that says, “I know what women want!” Personally, I fall in that camp, so a sexbot does not really appeal to me, but I can see the other side. I think if you offered to women not just a robot that is willing to do everything for you sexually at your beck and call, but a robot that stays home, looks stunning, does all your housework with a smile, AND is ready for your sexual needs at a moment’s notice…then maybe.

Dominique: Absolutely. But it will be a long time before one could be made that would appeal to me. I am a bit of a pheromone addict, and the other elements that stimulate me tend to be more cerebral. So I would probably want something closer to a cyborg—a mostly organic body with an AI “brain” that could be self-learning, building connections like a child’s brain, and developing advanced algorithms to constantly perfect its responses to me. I would also like to guide it with my mind at times. The latest prosthetic limbs in development are now brain-controlled, sending signals to artificial muscles to make the desired movement. I want that, but utilizing its entire body.

Another caveat is that my body has become paralyzed this year (due to cancer), and I have no sensation below my chest. My days of standard sexual intercourse are over, and most other alternate activities won’t do the trick either. Yet oddly, I still have desire. For people like me who are disabled, sexbots may end up being one of the only ways we can find pleasure, with some sort of a mental orgasm. Although by the time sexbots are developed to that advanced state, paraplegia will also be curable.


Hank: Do you think your lover would like it if you had a sexbot?

Kristi: No, I don’t think so. Wait, I’ll ask him… nope.

Dominique: If it was his idea, yes.


Hank: Would you like it if your lover bought a sexbot?

Kristi: No, but neither my partner’s preferences on sexbots or mine should be a gauge for others. Everyone’s relationships and personal desires are different.

Dominique: I fear sexbots might make men lazy. There is no need to satisfy a sexbot. It is a very one-way relationship. As it is, I think most pornography already breeds bad habits in men who think a woman will scream and moan like a porn star just because they are thrusting away like a jackhammer. Few women are able to orgasm without some type of clitoral stimulation, but you wouldn’t know that from watching the fake orgasms in most porn movies. With a sexbot, there is chance that the one-way relationship will not improve a man’s skills in that area, and perhaps would make him insensitive to boot. Maybe someone should develop “teaching sexbots” that help men perfect their knowledge of female anatomy.


Hank: Would you like a sexbot that also did chores around the house?

Kristi: Ha! In some fantasy, sure, but, like I said, I’m good with the organic model.

Dominique: Sure, why not?


Hank: Do you think it is ethically desirable for people to fall in love with sexbots, and marry them?

Dominique: Well, it makes one ponder what love really is. You could break it down to just a chemical reaction, and if that same chemical reaction occurs with non-biological humans, who is to say it’s not valid? Must love be reciprocated?

However, sexbots cannot give true consent if programmed without any “self-will.” Personally, I would prefer any companion to have some form of self-will. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want it to do whatever I want to please me. But I’d find it hollow without some level of choice on the part of the machine. I think it is more ethically desirable to marry a synthetic life form if it can truly say “I do” based on a compiled set of experiences that lead it to that decision.


Hank: Will sexbots destroy sex between humans? Or will they improve relations between genders?

Dominique: I don’t think anything will ever destroy sex between humans.

Sexbots could help certain people stay monogamous if couples are comfortable with them. For instance, one female user of the Sybian says her husband bought it for her before going overseas on military deployment. He wanted her to have an outlet for sexual release while he was gone, and no doubt probably felt it might keep her chaste when other men come calling. A sexbot could also assist disabled couples.


Hank: Which nations do you think will develop and accept sexbots first?

Kristi: Japan and the US…although I think there is a model made by a European company.

Dominique: Japan, Germany, and Europe in general. In 1951, Germany already was selling its patented Gymnastikapparat (a device for men), and a device that later would become the modern day vibrator was already in use in Europe in the late 1800s. First Androids™, a German company, currently produces a doll that appears to breathe, has a pulse, and distributes body heat. The doll even has a g-spot that responds to orgasm. The Japanese company Honey Dolls™ promises the “ultimate love doll,” incorporating relatively advanced oral sex skills (for males) and pressure sensors in the breasts that trigger a voice response when squeezed. Of course, these are all mainly intended for men. I fear Americans may not be as open minded about sexbots as Europeans, especially in the Bible Belt. Religion will be the greatest obstacle.


Hank: If you had a sexbot, would you want it to be intelligent, or not?

Kristi: I think this is a huge discussion to have with multiple layers and variables to take into consideration.

Dominique: Yes!


Hank: Are there sexual failings of men that a sexbot would not have?

Kristi: None in particular in comparison to the sexual failings of women.

Dominique: Sure, a sexbot won’t glance at its watch and run off right after the deed is done.


Hank: Would you name your sexbot, and would you take it out in public?

Kristi: Yes, I would name it, and no, I wouldn’t take it out in public.

Dominique: Yes, I would do both, especially if social interaction with others would help develop its intelligence. I would desire it to develop its own personality.

The author wishes to thank Kristi Scott for her assistance in conceiving of and developing this article.


Hank Pellissier was IEET’s Managing Director on January-October in 2012, and an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He’s the author of two e-books, Invent Utopia Now and Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so High? He is currently at BrighterBrains.org
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COMMENTS


I just wanted to inject two things quickly into the conversation:

1 (a minor thing): This is probably uninteresting to most people at this time, but this question caught my attention, “When will their plastic paramours arrive?”, and I just wanted to open people up to consider hydrogels, instead of plastic. Hydrogels look incredibly promising in terms of responsiveness, are ideal for optoelectronics, and can mimic many lifelike properties. Anycase, just a side note.

2 Telepresence. In addition to AI automated Sexaroids, with telepresence we can have the physical advantages of the droid, and still be with our “partner” at the same time.

This has applications for porn, prostitution, and couples who are separated by distance (such as the man who was deployed to a warzone above^)





Sexbots for prisoners immediately came to mind, unfortunately the idea is a nonstarter: the entire prison system has to be converted to rehabilitation; today it is not only not a corrections system, it is by and large sadistic.
Since real technoprogressives are willing to discuss anything, one more application comes to mind: naturally parents don’t want the underage to have sex with adults or even other underage persons, but wouldn’t sexbots for the underage spare them unwanted teen pregnancy and STDs? this is not a nonstarter. Some squeamish parents might be repelled by the idea however they have to get over it. The underage do have to be protected from predators, but not treated as if as if they are miniature celi-bots. I hear radio talk show ‘conservatives’ say “children aren’t people”—but that, like almost all they say, is half-truth. Besides, adolescents are not exactly children even if their parents do treat them as such.





1. I would not agree with adolescents using sexbots, I think it would cause them psychological difficulties, they have to learn how to communicate with their own species before engaging in ‘3D’ relations, it would be more healthful for humans to first learn human relations, & then later incorporate sexbot relations as an informed free choice if wished. Sex bot relations for young adults would only increase narrcasisim and instant sexual gratification, which of course would result in 2 humans both expecting to be pleased without knowing or wanting to please the other.
- The mention of sexbots as possible ‘cures’ for the shy would not be helpful to them at all, I would fear that if someone had difficulties with human relations & became comfortable with a sex bot, I doubt they would ever be able to start human relations.

2. The issue of sharing has not been investigated?. The issues explored has not taken into consideration the 2-way relationship. The use of a sex bot seems very annihilism to me & I believe it could cause major problems to society. Having instant directed & ordered pleasure from a being you have created and programmed, it is selfish? what would happen to regular human relationships? where you must offer happiness to your partner & then receive happiness back, with a sex bot, you are simply receiving happiness. Happiness on tap. This could be majorly disruptive to the human race. And btw would it be cheating if you were in a human relation and had a bot?
Last point, concerning the male & female ratio of sex industry custom. Yes it is mainly directed at the male customer, & yes, technology too is male dominated, but there are more females in the world than males, so why wouldnt the female market be the source of the sex bot industry? surly there is more money to be made from the female customers? oh yes i forgot, males somtimes just need some instant sexual gratification! lol

3. The issue of the sex bot industry being





@ iPan—you’re right—hydrogel is a good material for a sexbot and it might well be used as such.  I found a good link here: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/liquid-terminator-robot-closer-to-reality.php

@ post-post - yes!  Prisons seem like the ideal place for sexbots, they would perhaps reduce prison rape and maybe even over-all violence? Also military outposts?  thanks

@ Mariam - thank you for expressing your concerns.  I am, in rebuttal, thinking that many sexbots could be programed to “share” - to ask for sexual favors in return for providing them.  These “teaching” sexbots could be the ones that are (if society chooses) made available to adolescents.





@ Hank - but how could a sex bot ‘enjoy’ and ‘orgasm’? - by programming? it wouldnt be a real orgasim or real enjoyment. Real being organic enjoyment without the need for you to programme it first. Adolescents would not be able to learn from a teaching sexbot, they could certainly give physical guidance on the basics of physical movements & actions, but no way would a sex bot teach a adolescent a whole experience, the experience of thrill, excitement, sweating, goosebumps, mental exileration, attraction, rejection, dissapointment, causing a real orgasim, communication and realtions, jealousy, attachment, missing, longing, love… even if somone was satisfied by a bot, they would always know that it is not real, and this will cause issues. Would a sex bot also be programmed to say, not be able to perform, & refuse sex, and fight and be angry, and prehaps insult you? these all make up the varied real organic human relations cycle, and these are extremely important to the developing & learning adult.





@Hank
If you’re interested in the future materials of our androids and cybernetic bodies, I have collected a bunch of material, mostly in the form of links, at kurzweilai.net
There are no essays, just a few comments, and a deposit of links.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/forums/topic/gellato-sapiens

http://www.kurzweilai.net/forums/topic/biophotonic-akashic-record

@Mariam
I think I mostly disagree with point #1. The majority of human children begin to explore their sexuality when they feel ready to, regardless of whether their culture/parents attempt to suppress it or not. There is a lot of evidence of proto-sexual behavior long before puberty even.
As far as the danger of narcissism, I feel that someone who has learned to please themselves first is more likely to want to share that with others. The people who have difficulty doing this, I feel, are the one’s more likely to have intimacy issues.
For example, why don’t all teens who interact with dildonics suffer these same problems? It might not be a robot, proper, but principally it’s the same. Or, we could level the same argument against masturbation. Nearly all humans begin masturbating long before they have sex with another human, and using the same line of reasoning, we’d expect them to continue to do this exclusively and ignore other humans.
But for some reason, they don’t. I think this is because we seek more than just the stimulation.
In part, this comes from an idea I read about Tantric sex, where the participants (apparently, in some formulations of Tantra - I’m not a practitioner myself, only read about it), will masturbate together, or reach orgasm manually with each other, before engaging in intercourse. Supposedly, this is to satisfy those impulses for instant gratification, and once gratified, they then focus on the more serious business of pleasing each other.
I imagine a sexbot would be much the same, at least in principle.

Along the lines you are thinking though, you might be more worried about something called “Wire-heads”. Beyond sexbots, we will soon have the ability to directly influence the reward system of the brain.
Think heroin magnified 1000 times, and probably without the side effects.
Wire-heads, or so it goes, would be in danger of “blissing out”, and completely ignoring the world around them.
Far more dangerous than a sexbot.

On a personal note, though, I also have the same reservations about sexbots when it comes to intimacy.
Reciprocity is 51% of sex, to me, which is why I’m looking forward to the addition of telepresence. ‘Surrogates’.
I’ve even considered becoming a virtual/‘Surrogate’ prostitute/sex therapist in the future when this becomes available.





In fact, I think there is enormous potential for increasing intimacy.

How many people fantasize about threesomes, but won’t experience it due to fears of disrupting intimacy with their partner?

With a robot, this fantasy can be explored safely precisely because the robot doesn’t share intimacy. In this case, the lack of intimacy with the bot itself makes it a safe avenue for exploring fantasy situations with your partner that might not otherwise be possible.

Having a threesome with your partner and a bot is a lot less threatening.





I find the heterocentrism here overwhelming and the whole notion of sex toys that mimic humans troubling.





Good point, Summer, hetercentrism on a blog is predictable in a Man’s world.
You and Mariam being troubled is only right, doubts are needed—but in the case of adolescent sexbot use the advantages of reducing STDs and unwanted pregnancies would vastly eclipse any drawbacks, IMO; to me it is an absolute no-brainer (no jokes please). Plus I always keep one eye on trying to outflank the GOP; they don’t like teen sex, pregnancy, abortion?, sexbots is a solution.
Hold a plebiscite on adolescent sexbot use tomorrow morning and I’ll vote ‘aye’.





@ Summerspeaker: on the bright side, please notice that today (August 5)—out of 13 articles on the IEET site, six are written by women! We’ve successfully moved away from male centrism, and we’ll be working on the “heterocentrism” as well.





Naturally, there would be negatives related to adolescent sexbot use; going further there are negatives in adolescent sex itself—as of course most adolescents lack the proper experience/wisdom. However, choices always have to be made and IMO there is no doubt attempting to prevent adolescents from getting pregnant or infected with STDs is paramount. Having teens own sexbots would also help keep them off the mean streets, help keep them indoors with their ‘bots and other gadgets so they don’t cause as much mischief on the outside.
Only way I would change my mind is if it were discovered that adolescents were committing violence on their sexbots and perhaps even transferring the violence to real humans—which might happen; when it comes to male violence & power (both connected) it is hard at this time to be optimistic.
So we will see.





@ post-post—yes, I think I agree with you on this as well—
sexbots for adolescents does seem very safe, educational and practical—





@Hank
Would you buy one for your daughters, and if so, at what age (just checking up on your commitment to your statements)???





Unfortunately, ‘conservatives’ will (it is an idea that has traction) oppose it for ideological reasons. So we would have to explain to them that their own children/grandkids would benefit by not being exposed to herpes, which as you know infects a sizable fraction of teens at one time or other. Unwanted teen pregancy, again, is another risk to be diminished by sexbots. We’d first have to convince the more liberal religious, starting with—say—Unitarians and then ask the more moderate religious to consider the overriding benefits.
Perhaps by the end of this decade we might persuade them to our point of view. They are like Tareyton—they’d rather fight than switch.





“So we would have to explain to them that their own children/grandkids would benefit by not being exposed to herpes, “

This assumes, of course, that the kids will be content with these robots and will not venture into human sex. The question becomes, how many cases of unsafe sex will in fact be avoided by the use of these sexbots?





@ iPan - deciding what to purchase one’s children as a birthday or Christmas present depends primarily on what they want.
Wanting or not wanting a sexbot is, at this moment in our present society, a very personal, perhaps highly secretive decision, for anyone of any age group.
But perhaps that would change.
I wrote about this in my H+magazine article, entitled, “Sexbots Will Give Us Longevity Orgasm”
one of my ideas was that sexbots might be located at health clubs, like in massage rooms, but sound-proofed.  So that clients could be serviced “for their mental and physical” health, in a semi-private setting.





Since this piece is on ‘bots for women, let’s for argument’s sake start by saying that if the advantages of ‘bots were explained by those elders they admire, a substantial number of adolescent girls might well be inclined to forgo real sex for that with ‘bots.
If I were a statistician I would guesstimate at least 20 percent of teenagers would be satisfied with a really good ‘bot. So it might depend on the ‘bot. It certainly does depend on sympathetic parents/guardians, and other elders.

Prisons? come to think of it, American prisons are so bad the prisoners might even damage the ‘bots out of anger; here it isn’t comparable to certain relatively civilized nations in N. Europe. The prison system in America would have to be transformed from a penal system to a genuine corrections system; and—in the context of this blog—for male prisoners, it would have to go from penal to penile!





Or, we flood the market to the point where the conservatives simply have no hope of doing anything about it.

They weren’t very successful at stopping internet porn, or more primitive dildonics, were they?

I’m pretty sure sexbots, while perhaps needing one or two more regulations (for fire safety, pathological murderous AI safety, carcinogen safety, etc), will be able to be sold just as any other sex toy is sold now.

What are they going to do to stop it? I can imagine the Supreme Court case looking a lot like the recent case of video games vs. the State of CA. Video games won.

Sexbots are more complicated dildos at the end of the day. There may (or may not) be safety issues with the electronics (fire hazards), and possibly some people may become concerned about the AI, and then the materials themselves (hydrogels) will have to be tested to see if they cause cancer. But, after that’s all done, it’s still just a big dildo. And those are already legal.





Sex toys might mimic certain human organs, but they don’t mimic whole people. That’s a meaningful difference. Y’all are already talking about employing sexbots to replace the supposedly necessary sexual relationships between humans. I find the entire framework problematic and a little baffling. The substitution of robots for people dangerously equates the two and further extends the logic of objectification.

As far as violence goes, I’ve already read that some users mutilate Real Dolls.





The clincher is: abortion is disliked by many*
No unwanted pregnancies or abortions have ever, or (as far as we know) will ever result from the use of ‘bots.

*“Jan 28, 2010 – Fifty-six percent of all Americans and 58 percent of those ages 18-29 say abortion is “morally wrong,” a U.S. survey indicates.”





@ iPan - deciding what to purchase one’s children as a birthday or Christmas present depends primarily on what they want.
Wanting or not wanting a sexbot is, at this moment in our present society, a very personal, perhaps highly secretive decision, for anyone of any age group.

Ok, Hank, I wasn’t even sure if Mike would publish that comment, as I was trying to figure out how to word it in a completely neutral way, not to invade anyone’s privacy.

Perhaps making the question open to everyone (although there are reasons why I would point it towards either you or myself - as most of respondents so far don’t quite fit the criteria for the question).

But, basically, I am really curious about the “it’s ok for others, but not for me/mine/in my backyard” effect that often happens.

In other words, I am quite aware of the paternal over protection of fathers with their daughters, and while it’s quite well and good to advocate this for society, I am curious how many fathers can put their money where there mouth is - and would knowingly and voluntarily purchase such a device for their minor child.

It’s a tough question to word just right so it doesn’t step on anyone’s toes, but as your the only father in this conversation (with girls) I couldn’t find any more tactful way of putting it. Sorry bout that.





“The substitution of robots for people dangerously equates the two and further extends the logic of objectification.”

IMO it’s a trade-off.
Wouldn’t you rather have ‘bots objectified than humans?





Sexbots would be particularly helpful with shy personalities perhaps if programmed the right way, helping them to gradually learn to be intimate with real humans. I say this because it’s not just a question of individuals but of cultures (yes, such as the one I’m living in right now) where the social constraints lead to a sometimes unbelievable level of social awkwardness throughout much of society.

One social program which might develop would be if sexbots (and if technically possible will come about because of market forces) can be programmed to have humanlike personalities, many individuals decide they do not want to bother with the ‘wetware’ and stay in a relationship only with their machine. In that case I put it to you that sexbots would be more than just glorified dildos with unforeseen consequences in the future.

One further thought that occurs is if people gradually become cyborgs over time they may develop into what to us would be rather strange relationships with sexbots and well ... maybe other machines. The Omega point may be an Omega g spot smile.





post-post writes: “If I were a statistician I would guesstimate at least 20 percent of teenagers would be satisfied with a really good ‘bot. “

And of the other 80%, how many would desire to graduate from bot to boy?





I think it is complicated to comment on this subject when we are all envisioning different levels of advancement in sexbots, starting from simply an upgraded dildo. My own personal fantasy is to connect with a far more advanced form, with an intellect so vast that it can combine all the greatest minds in the world and include instantaneous network updates. All of that, encased in a human form with a reasonable level of self-will (i.e. without harming me). What could such an android teach me? And what could it learn from me? THAT idea turns me on very much, and would even sway me to explore a real relationship with it/him/her.

A more simple sexbot that is only programmed to advance in the physical areas of sex would bore me pretty quickly - I know I was bored with a Sybian after about two weeks when I purchased one to write a review, despite the fact that some of the movements were so advanced that they could not possibly be duplicated by a real man. I think that early sexbots will not please for extended amounts of time and serve better as temporary or transitional objects.

As far as adolescents, I don’t believe we should be pushing them into use of sexual objects of any sort. They get sex pushed upon them enough by their environment anyway. We don’t buy dildos for our daughters now, or “pocket devices” for our boys to avoid teenage sex and unwanted pregnancies, STDs, etc—because we know it would be useless. They need time to learn how to get to know the opposite sex without jumping into bed with them anyway. I think it is a bit backwards to do it the other way around. However, masturbation is not outlawed for adolescents, and sexbots are masturbatory devices. I believe that it should be up to the individual’s parents to come to a decision with the adolescent as to whether they are ready to own a sexbot and if they are mature enough.





The fear that people might focus their lust on sexbots instead of on people is valid.  Sexbots will be extremely physically attractive, and intelligent enough so that eventually there could be a “game” involved in seducing them. Plus, they will be programmed so that they challenge and interest people intellectually.  I’m not saying anything original here; I’ve just watched “Battlestar Galactica” like everyone else.

Humans once had a more general and intense relationship with horses, when equines were depended upon for transportation. 
Horses were replaced by machine cars, though, and human fascination largely transferred to the automobile…

Will people completely lose sexual interest in each other?  I don’t think so, because we’ll always be emotionally curious about how other people feel about us?  we’ll want to know if they love us and regard us as attractive, and sex proves that they do? sex will remain as “emotional sharing” even if we’re far uglier than sexbots?  I’m adding quotation marks because I’m not 100% convinced.

 

 





Whoops. Because it could lead to quite a misunderstanding - correction - the word ‘program’ in my post above should read ‘problem’. Aubrey de Grey hurry up and stop aging, I need your help!

And IEET could we possibly have an edit button? Lots of forums have them now.





Fair enough Mike though I have to say it depresses me that people would stoop to that. However, it doesn’t surprise me at all.





It’s not objectification or dehumanization that would turn me against ‘bots, it is the violence very possibly to be inflicted on them in a ‘society’ which is not civilized. America is not civilized, the prisons are not civilized, ‘bots at this time wouldn’t be suitable in America’s hate factorie…,
er, I mean, that is to say—prisons. Inner cities are too violent, so ‘bots would be damaged & destroyed there too.
Veronica and the rest of you nay-sayers concerning this topic: perhaps you just don’t know how right you are.





@Mike: good point, but there is a simple solution: some CMS permit editing one’s comment, but only within a fixed time (say 15 min) after posting it.





The fear that people might focus their lust on sexbots instead of on people is valid. Sexbots will be extremely physically attractive, and intelligent enough so that eventually there could be a “game” involved in seducing them. Plus, they will be programmed so that they challenge and interest people intellectually. I’m not saying anything original here; I’ve just watched “Battlestar Galactica” like everyone else.

We’re now entering the realm of rights for robots too. At which point we need to address issues of sex-slavery, which could be an even bigger issue than whether people diddle themselves endlessly.





@{i}Pan~ Yes, we are. There are a lot of layers of exploration that need to be addressed regarding robot rights, particularly as they pertain to this notion of sexbots. At what point will they cross-over from just sexual machines to something more…and will we allow that or suppress it for our own sexual satisfaction…





This might get censored out but, do straight men just want something to plow?  I’m asking because, well, isn’t sexuality really just another form of communication?  No, not on HBO.  Not in romance novels or Justin Timberlake romantic comedies, but in real life.  Don’t we all just really want to shine some love into the darkness of our lonely souls?  Is that too romantic?  If not (big if), then what right are we violating by making robots to love?  The right to be lonely?  If these bots are rape machines then we should call them that because it’s less confusing (and then the question of whether to design them is hopefully not entertained).  I guess, when did sex become a singular act?  Or aren’t we talking about sex after-all.  P.S. Hank- you always pick the best topics.





You bring up some good points Andrew. Last night I was wondering if calling them, or at least lumping everything under the category of, “robot” is an appropriate label when we are considering these interactions.

To address the “rape machines”, which I can see where you are coming from on that, I suggest taking a look at TLC’s “My Strange Addiction” the Davecat episode & follow-up http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/my-strange-addiction-doll-love-lasts-forever.html

It’s a nice real-life, albeit edited for reality TV, glimpse into what else these dolls can be to people outside of just sex. I found the follow-up episode particularly interesting because he talks about the public response he got from the show.

Sex is different for different people, as I mentioned before, there are many variables to take into consideration.





@ Andrew - thanks for the comments.  Sex - as Kristi notes - is many things to different people.  One thing it is… is physically healthy - providing endorphins and oxytocin to the body.  I know this is a very mechanical analysis (pun intended) but perhaps sexbots can be viewed as a way to help us release these positive chemicals into our bloodstream?  Or is this idea just silly?





Sorry I missed this one Hank, was on vacation.

I would begin by questioning the need to address this article to women’s concerns only.  Did the ieet declare itself to be a feminist organisation when it applied for charitable status?

Actually, as somebody who is particularly interested in this topic, I know that there are very few discussions to be found within the Transhumanist movement on the impact of sexbots (for and on men and/or women).

Will governments ban sexbots?  Feminists in Canada, under the guidance of a University of Ottawa philosophy professor, are already discussing plans to restrict or even ban sexbots - http://theantifeminist.com/feminists-seek-legislation-over-sex-bots/

The opening paragraph by ‘Dominique’ is absurd, I won’t even comment on that.  Men loving sexbots is a sign of transitional paraphenelia fetish, a symptom of maternal seperation, yet women will love sexbots because of their angelic nurturing natures?  Please, stop crossing over from feminist bias to outright offensive misandristic feminazism.

Regarding the point about child sexbots for paedophiles.  Please acknowledge that feminists have absurdly defined a child to be anyone under the age of 18 (or for the purposes of relevant legislation - anyone who looks under 18).  This clearly crosses over into normal male sexuality.  Secondly, the question as to whether or not ‘paedo’ sexbots should be allowed can only be answered by an in-depth study as to whether such sexbots will increase or decrease the likelihood of paedophiles harming real children.  Common sense suggests that a realistic sex bot would serve as a substitute for such men’s sexual desires, a conclusion re-inforced by the recent study which found that virtual child pornography helps to reduce real offending in paedophiles who view it.

Of course, such scientific findings are likely to cut no ice with feminists, who have already and will no doubt continue to restrict or ban sexbots on the basis that a realistic and affordable Miley Cyrus sexbot would leave the majority of women as unwanted as a Betamax video recorder.





“the question as to whether or not ‘paedo’ sexbots should be allowed can only be answered by an in-depth study as to whether such sexbots will increase or decrease the likelihood of paedophiles harming real children.”

Don’t remember anyone on that topic.
But I did bring up the likelihood that adolescents might obtain bots to lessen the odds they will get knocked up or get herpes, etc.





@ antifeminist - ??!Miley Cyrus??! Really??! 
  Thanks for sharing, I guess…

I will try to get Dominique and/or Kristi to respond to your comments.
I was just “the messenger” on this article.





One positive of bots is how the dating scene is insincere, those at dating sites for example will say anything to get what they want; at least the men will—all the time.
So bots appear as a real alternative to ‘daters’ shamelessly conning each other. One might say “all is fair in sex and war.”





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