Sex Robot Debate: Danger or Harmless Pleasure?

Thanks to the rapid advancement of the adult industry, you no longer need another human to have sex. VR porn provides complete immersion in the virtual porn environment, while special toys and even suits are synched up with the movements in the scene. Masturbating devices are also evolving. In 2018, a UK-resident purchased a  £15,000 state-of-the-art porn doll that can talk and remember his birthday. So are these human inventions a blessing or a curse?

Arguments Against

People opposed to the trend claim that porn robots will destroy human relationships. Since an artificial lover is never asked for consent, men may expect subservience from all females, viewing them as mere sexual receptacles. New York Times contributor Laura Bates labels sex robot  “misogynistic wish fulfillments”. She links them to sexual violence, warning that we are “normalizing rape by giving it a publicly acceptable face”.

There is even an initiative called The Campaign Against Sex Robots.  Launched by Kathleen Richardson, it argues that the spread of artificial lovers will drive up the levels of sexual assault, as men will be more likely to objectify women.

It may seem that porn robot have the potential to bring out the worst in people, especially males. After all, they use robotic female bodies to live out their naughty and violent fantasies. However, should we really fear these inventions so much?  

Arguments in Favor

There may be a more positive future ahead. Like any form of technology, robotic lovers are the product of human imagination. They express our choices and satisfy our desires.  Promotion of sexual assault in not inevitable.

With clever programming, robots could teach their users about consent and female pleasure. If humans design them to be useful, rather than dangerous, the invention will bring more good. Here are some of the potential educational uses highlighted by sex historian Hallie Lieberman.

  • General sex education: given the tactile and verbal feedback delivered by robots, they could be perfect education tools that would not pass judgement;
  • Teaching men about female consent;
  • Improving users’ sexual techniques, enabling them to better please their real-life partners;
  • Helping disabled people who are unable to have normal sex life.

For example, a female robot could teach men about the intricacies of women’s sexual pleasure, responding differently to different types of pressure on the clitoris. Its male counterpart would teach about the right degree of pressure on male genitals and the pleasures of prostate stimulation.

Overall, humans have only started producing robotic sex partners. Like any technology, these inventions could have a positive use unless they fall into the wrong hands. Robots are merely tools. How they change our world will entirely depend on their programming.