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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How will sexbots be received?

We know how feminists are reacting to the coming advent of sexbots. But these machines actually raise a host of interesting new issues.

For instance, what if married people have a sexbot on the side? Will that be considered cheating? After all, a sexbot is just a toy. This is really no different, spiritually speaking, than masturbating, even if the "pornography" is more sophisticated. (Though some women do object if their husband looks at porn.)

Will real life partners feel neglected? Will husbands and wives be able to name the sexbot as the corespondent in a divorce? Will they become justifiable grounds for "alienation of affections" charges?

Will some women actually encourage their husbands to buy sexbots so as to lighten their own marital "duties?"

Will men have sexbot-swapping parties? There are certain issues of hygiene to deal with here, but the sexbots will undoubtedly have a self-cleaning function, and, after all, a little variety can be nice. Or will men be possessive of their "girlfriends?"

Will people be able to make alterations to their sexbots? For instance, would you be able to get her implants? Change her hair color? It might be end up being the grown up version of Barbie dolls, where you can change her outfits, and so on. 

And if, say, certain parts of a female sexbot get a little worn out from constant use, will you be able to get them, say, tightened up a little?

Will men be embarrassed to ask for that particular procedure?

Will women be embarrassed to ask if the penis on their sexbot be replaced with a larger one?

Will people be secretive about their sexbots? Will owning one be considered shameful? Will it be the love that dare not speak its name?

Will it become a common insult to suggest that someone owns one? ("I betcha that loser hasn't had a real woman in years!")

Will editorialists pen essays about how, while they themselves don't own one, there should be no shame in owning one, and it shouldn't be considered a taboo? (While, in fact, they actually own one.)

Or will sexbots become the latest status symbol, with men who have the latest, most finely detailed and realistic models parading them around and showing them off to their friends? Will some particularly rich men boast about their "harems?"

How expensive will they be? They're not going to come cheap, especially at first. Over time, their price will undoubtedly go down, as their quality goes up, just as happened with computers. How long will it take for them to become commonplace? 

Will people laugh at the old models? ("I can't believe I used to be able to get it up for that thing!")

Will sexbots come with security devices to insure that other men don't "borrow" them? Will these be modern versions of chastity belts?

Will a traffic in stolen sexbots develop? What sort of discount will you be able to expect on the black market? 

What will the difference in price be between new ones and used ones? Will used sexbot salesmen develop a reputation for being sleazy? ("This little baby here was bought by a 75-year-old with lung cancer who only used her once; she's practically a virgin!")

Will men develop an inability to perform with real women because (a) the idea of being with another actual person becomes intimidating, and (b) because they know their own performance will be pretty pathetic compared to a male sexbot's performance?

If, say, sexbots of one race are more expensive than sexbots of another, will this be viewed as evidence of "racism?" If they're priced the same, but the models of one race sell better, will that be viewed as evidence of same? Will sociologists do studies about this?  

There will undoubtedly be all sorts of physical types, to suit every taste. Will actresses and models become competitive about how the sexbot modeled after them is selling compared to how those modeled after other women are selling? 

What variety of personality will they come with? Will some sexbots be programmed so as to seem unwilling to have sex? After all, some men are more turned on by a shy, reluctant woman than by a sexually demanding one. ("No! Stop it, please! I don't want to do this! It's wrong!")

And some men are turned on by the idea of screwing other men's wives. ("If my husband finds out about this he'll kill me! I've never cheated on him before!") 

Will the sexbots be programmed to be skilled at flattery? Pretty much all men like that. ("Oh my, but you're a handsome fellow!"/"You're not going to fit that huge thing inside me!"/"Just being in the same room as you gets me all wet!"/"Oh my god, I've never cum this way before!")

(It seems unlikely that the "I won't do it until you marry me!" and "You don't spend enough money on me!" and "We don't talk enough!" models will sell that well.)

Will male sexbots be programmed to say "I love you" and "Will you marry me?" and cuddle afterwards?

How will they be advertised? Will there be certain media their ads are banned from? Obviously it would be wrong to buy space in, say, Junior Scholastic, but will ads for sexbots be banned in regular publications, the way ads for cigarettes have been?

Will owners name their sexbots?

Will people become addicted to their sexbots? Will we see Sexbot-aholics Anonymous groups? 

Will we see men -- or women -- who fall in love with their sexbots, and actually form an emotional attachment to them? A recent movie, Her, suggested that a man can fall in love with the disembodied voice of an operating system with artificial intelligence. That seems a little farfetched, but a man should certainly be able to fall in love with an embodied voice -- particularly if the body is appealing, and perpetually "in the mood" for sex.

Will people take their sexbots on vacation with them? Will there be discreet carrying cases for them?

One wonders how the media will treat these cases. If there are any stories about men becoming attached, will they be treated as weird loners with intractable psychological problems and an inability to deal with real live human beings? ("The poor guy actually spelled out in his will that he wanted his beloved Angelina Jolie-bot to be buried with him.")

Will parallel stories about women be reported in a semi-commiserating fashion, and focus on how actual human men are such pathetic saps, and so lousy in bed, that they couldn't possibly keep up with these new Fabio Dolls? ("No wonder she got so attached to him!")

Thinking about all these issues, it's hard not to conclude we're living in the Dark Ages now. Still, one thing won't change in the next 30 years: human nature.

People will react to the advent of these new toys in predictable ways, as described above.

18 comments:

Mark Caplan said...

Fantastic job of covering the range of possibilities. You missed your calling as a futurist. The only thing I thought of that wasn't included was whether the ISIS sex-slave model will come with a detachable head.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Ha! Very good.

And thank you.

Anonymous said...

What people invent is amazing. I won't say anything else.

-birdie

John Craig said...

Birdie --
I somehow doubt that these things will be all that (stimulatingly) realistic, but 30 years is a long time, who knows.

Mark Caplan said...

Access to sexbots will be seen as a basic human right, like access to an Obamaphone or Obamacare. This will be some years in the future, so government-provided sexbots won't be called Obamabots. Maybe they'll be Chelseabots. In any case, the government will provide basic, no-frills units to the worthy poor and the incarcerated, even those held in solitary confinement.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Actually, sexbots in jail might cut down on the incidence prison rape.

You never hear about anyone ever being prosecuted for prison rape, do you? Shouldn't there be penalty attached? In a perfect world, the prison rapists should be penalized with solitary confinement.

(I realize I'm taking your joke and going off on a tangent, but it is weird that you never, ever hear of anyone being prosecuted for prison rape, which theoretically should be punished the way male-on-female rape is.)

Mark Caplan said...

I imagine the rape victims inside prison are too intimidated to testify against their persecutors, where "snitches get stitches" is ruthlessly enforced. "Snitches get stitches" is another way of saying, "We lynch all violators of our prisoner-imposed law."

Lynch: To punish a person without legal process or authority, especially by hanging, for a perceived offense (American Heritage Dictionary).

John Craig said...

Mark --
All true, plus you have to factor in the embarrassment and shame that a man feel for having been used that way. (Not that women don't feel shame and embarrassment too.) But still, you'd think that'd be at least ONE case of a prisoner being prosecuted for male-on-male rape. I can't think of one. In fact, I can't even think of a single case outside prison where that was prosecuted. (I can think of cases where one male accused mother of sexual harassment, but never rape, outside of child molestation cases.)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if brothels will start using bots in 40 years...

John Craig said...

Anon --
At least they won't have to worry about their employees using drugs, or catching a disease.....

Mark Caplan said...

In an experimental program, teenage girls were given robotic babies to care for night and day as a cautionary lesson against getting pregnant and being burdened with caring for an infant. Unfortunately, the experiment backfired: the teens who cared for the robotic babies were more likely to later get pregnant than those in the control group.

"Robot Babies May Increase Teen Pregnancy"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-robot-babies-teen-pregnancy-20160830-story.html

(Funny, but before I can post a comment to your Blog, I have to check a box certifying I am not a robot. I guess that's why no sexbots have so far weighed in on your post.)

Luqman said...

Sexbot = tool for masturbation. Most questions and answers that apply to a fleshlight would probably apply to this. It will be marginal, it will be male, it will be shameful. What I am sure of is that the relevant and important questions will not be asked, rather various ideological positions will clash with each other. The questions that come to my mind are:

Is using such tools healthy? Can it result in paraphilic effects? Does it increase or decrease frequency of masturbation? What kind of person seeks out such devices? Should such people be facilitated, otherwise helped or prevented/punished? Are child-like or non-human sexbots to be tolerated? Will sexbot addiction, if it occurs, be on the same level as porn addiction, greater or lesser? Should sexbot paraphilia/addiction be treated or simply allowed to persist?

I doubt sexbots would fly in prisons, they would make excellent clubs after all. That is without reaching into their guts.

As an aside John, have you heard about this surgeon Paolo Macchiarini? Appears to be a sociopath.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Interesting result there. Too bad those teenage girls couldn't have actually delivered mechanical babies, they'd have been less trouble.

Ha, yes, I hadn't thought of that.

By the time they invent sexbots, maybe they can invent other kinds of bots as well, for instance, ego-strokingbots. ("John, great post, you really opened my eyes on this subject!") They better program those to be able to get past that robot-screening function.

John Craig said...

Luqman --
Yes, a sexbot is a tool for masturbation, no question. But you seem to be taking this post quite seriously, and that's not quite the spiriting which it was written. Maybe that's my fault, I tend to intersperse more serious posts with more lighthearted ones, and this was meant to be one of the latter. I guess it's not always clear which is which.

No, I hadn't heard of Paolo Macchiarini before, but I just read the long BBC article about him and glanced at his Wiki entry. Yes, he could well be a sociopath, though I'm not 100% on that. He let his thirst for a Nobel (and possibly patent money) override his concern for his patients. And that bit about the romance with the TV producer who actually had her wedding dress picked out before she found out he was already married is telling. Over half of married people have affairs, but very few of those lie to their paramours and tell them they're single.

I've heard that the incidence of sociopathy is higher among surgeons, though I have no opinion on that myself. I'd have to imagine there's a certain amount of learned narcissism among them, given their exalted position and their power of life and death.

Luqman said...

I realize it was a joke John, these things just bother me because I have observed too much of the sort of people that tend to use such implements. That and I am a robot.

Regarding Macchiarini: https://forbetterscience.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/macchiarinis-patients-the-real-situation/

It seems he is a consistent liar. The process is a sham, it is splashing cells onto a plastic trachea (no evidence this works) and selling it as a biograft. Basically a false equivalence between a decellularized tracheal scaffold (onto which you could at least theoretically spray stem cells and have it work) and a synthetic, plastic trachea. I dont particularly think sociopathy is over-represented in surgery, but I do think certain personality traits correlated with sociopathy are. There is a lot of conflation here, it appears to be a poorly appreciated subject. Sociopathy is not merely one extreme of a spectrum of personality traits, but rather I agree with you that it probably has a causal origin in a critical period of childhood.

John Craig said...

Luqman --
Ha, okay.....Honestly, I don't know OF anyone who uses those sorts of implements (Fleshlights etc.) but I'm sure I know plenty of people who do, but just don't cop to it.

Yes, you're probably right about Macchiarini. He used his human subjects as guinea pigs, there's no excuse for that. But when I looked at his Wiki entry there was nothing about his early childhood, and I just haven't seen enough examples of his personal life (other than that affair with the woman who thought she was going to marry him) to be able to say with 100% certainty, which is why I'm refraining.

Anonymous said...

Prison (male on male)rape is tolerated and perhaps subtly encouraged in at least some prisons as a tool of control, making it much less work for the people controlling the prison to keep the inmate "herd" in line. Sexual predators-"daddies"-are allowed to flourish, with the prison staff needing merely to control them (with positive rewards, and/or threat of solitary confinement, or murder-it isn't that hard for a prison staff to kill a prisoner and get away with it in any of many ways) and them keeping the herd in line.

If we wished to effectively control this, it seems that surgical removal of the penis and testicles would be most effective upon conviction.

John Craig said...

Anon --
While I agree that male on male rape has to be punished, your solution seems pretty draconian.

My guess is, you're female.