It’s Friday, so let’s do something light and weird, shall we? Like robot prostitutes. According to some New Zealand researchers, brothels of the future will feature robot prostitutes, “a range of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicity, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features” which could help stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections and human sex trafficking.
Is it cheating if it’s with a robot? In Robots, Men And Sex Tourism, the researchers—Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars of New Zealand’s Victoria Management School—stress the “guilt-free” aspect of robot sex. I can’t be the only one who would rather my significant other cheat with a real girl (or boy) than a bunch of creepy sex dolls “parading around in exotic G-strings and lingerie.” But perhaps it’s supposed to be ‘guilt-free’ in the sense that clients wouldn’t have to worry about catching an STI (at least that’s what the researchers say; apparently sex robots are bacteria resistant).
Yeoman and Mars predict what the robot sex industry will take off by 2050—a comparatively conservative estimate, according to io9. Robotics researcher David Levy predicts that Massachusetts will legalize human-robot marriage by 2050. And Henrik Christensen, chairman of the European Robotics Research Network, says folks will be diddling robots within 5 years.
The paper itself is paid-customers only, but (via io9) here’s an excerpt where the researchers imagine a theoretical 2050 sex club in Amsterdam:
The Yub-Yum is Amsterdam’s top sex club for business travellers located beside a 17th century canal house on the Singel. … Entry costs s10,000 for an all inclusive service. The club offers a full range of sexual services from massages, lap dancing and intercourse in plush surroundings. The Yub-Yum is a unique bordello licensed by the city council, staffed not by humans but by androids.
They go on to describe how an unsustainable amount of human sex trafficking in the 2040s combined with an increase in incurable STI’s brought about the ‘current’ robot bordello situation. Now, sex tourists can meet the likes of robots like Irena, “a tall, blonde, Russian exotic species who is popular with Middle Eastern businessmen.”
It’s not all good news in sex robot future, though. While the Yub-Yum club and similar establishments may have alleviated “all health and human trafficking problems” in the city (a bit optimistic, no?), “human sex workers say they can’t compete on price and quality.” [How much are Amsterdam's prostitutes charging that they couldn't compete on price with a $10,000 robot experience?] Prices, by the way—along with android sex workers hours of operations and sexual services—would be directly controlled by the city council.
The city council would have direct control over android sex workers, including prices, hours of operations and types of sexual services offered.
The Daily Mail points out that “robot sex workers have been a feature of science fiction for decades.”
In 1982’s ‘Blade Runner,’ pleasure robots were high prized in the hierarchy of androids. And the less said about the ‘Fembots’ in ‘Austin Powers,’ the better.”
The Mail also cites “the 1973 dystopian thriller ‘Westworld,’” where “wealthy tourists indulge themselves at a theme park staffed by robots who cater to their every desire.” While I guess that description is true in part, I don’t think ‘Westworld’—a film written and directed by ‘Jurassic Park’ creator Michael Crichton—presents the most inspiring vision for our robot sex future. Let’s just say things in Westworld do not end well four our wealthy tourists.