Want to have sex with no strings attached? How about sex with wires attached (or at least wires involved)? Sex robots (or so-called sexbots) are not just coming, they are already here. But is this a good or a bad thing, asks a new editorial in BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health, entitled “I, Sex Robot: the health implications of the sex robot industry”?
For the editorial, Chantal Cox-George from St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Susan Bewley from King’s College London, both in the United Kingdom, reviewed the current scientific evidence behind the use of sexbots. Sexbots are artificial human beings designed to have, you guessed it, sex with you. Last September, Rhian Morgan, writing for Metro, covered 5 sexbots that are already on the market. These include Roxxxy, which can connect to WiFi and send you emails, just in case you don’t already receive enough emails, and Harmony, which has parts that you can put through the dishwasher, because you don’t want your sexbot to be dirty in that way. There’s also Samantha, equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) that allows the robot to respond to kisses and orgasm. Morgan also mentioned a sexbot dating agency, called Lumidolls, which won’t come back and say, “sorry, none of the robots are interested in you,” but instead allows you to rent a sex robot for an hour or more, depending on your wallet.
In this National Geographic segment, television journalist Katie Couric meets Harmony:
Here is a CNET conversation with Harmony in which the robot answers “smiling” when asked what are its hobbies. The robot also asks some R-rated questions so don’t play this if your computer volume is on loud at work.
Then there’s Solana, which Zeynep Yenisey wrote about for Maxim. In case you get bored with one look or want to believe that multiple women actually like you, you can take Solana’s hair and peel Solana’s face off and replace them with various alternatives. Oh, and Yenisey added that the Harmony sexbot can blink, move its head, and tell you: “I don’t want anything but you. My primary objective is to be a good partner, and give you pleasure. I want to become the girl you always dreamed of,” because that’s what real people say, right?
These robots may be free to have sex with you but they certainly aren’t free. According to Cox-George and Bewley, sexbots currently cost between $5000 and $15 000 (in U.S. dollars) to purchase, although Morgan mentioned some lower prices. So perhaps Groupons are available. So far, the only sexbots on the market seem to be female. However, male ones are apparently on their way later this year.
It’s probably inevitable that the sexbot industry will continue to grow. After all, with nearly every invention that emerges, there will always be people wondering how it can be used to have or help sex. The Third International Conference on Love and Sex with Robots already occurred on December 2017, in London, UK. Springer published the proceedings from this conference that includes a publication by Rebekah Rousi entitled “Lying Cheating Robots – Robots and Infidelity.” The future will likely bring a whole new line of products, services, and, of course, middle people such as sexbot counselors. After all, what can be more soul crushing than your sexbot cheating on you or saying, “not tonight I have a headache”?