An article in the May 2015 publication of Vanity Fair, entitled “Dawn of the Sexbot”, discusses the rapid growth of the company, Realdolls and predicts that men having sex with dolls and robots will increase in our future. Realdoll makes the world’s best sex dolls. They are so realistic that David Mills, who purchased the company in the early 2000’s, thought that the website was created with pictures of actual models made up to look like dolls. He was right. To research this article I perused the website and it felt like I was watching porn. Gone are the days of the novelty blow ups, thrown around like beach balls at bachelor parties and the price tag is no joke, they start at $6,000. Vince Neil, of Motley Crue, is reported to have spent 15k on his deluxe edition. Howard Stern had sex on air, with a Realdoll, and said it was the best sex he has ever had.
The dolls average100lbs/ 5 feet. They are made from molded silicon said to feel like real human skin. They have arms and legs that can be manipulated into a myriad of positions. You can buy a standard model or make your own- customizing everything from eyeliner to pubic hair. Many predict a future that goes beyond this. Realdoll is designing models that have robotics- Massaging genitals, vocal responses and simulated orgasms in response to manipulation. So how far out are sex-robots? In 2006 DR. Henrik Christensen, the chairman of the European Robotics Network at the Royal Institute of Technology, at the University if Stockholm, predicted that humans would be having sex with robots in the next five years. In his Book, Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human- Robot Relationships, David Levy professed that by 2050 robots will have the capacity make themselves romantically attractive, desirable, and able to fall in love with humans. Right in line with these predictions are two films that have protagonists navigating relationships with AI (artificial intelligence) females. In last year’s film HER (Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams) our hero falls in love with a program (voiced by Scarlett Johansen) that is designed to interpret his emotional needs. Although they have only a vocal relationship, Phoenix’s character falls in love This month the film Ex Machina (a play on the Latin phrase: deus ex machina, “a god from the machine”) tells the story of a misanthropic internet genuis who hires a research assistant to administer a Turing test to a female robot. The test subject is an attractive, emotionally intelligent android named Ava, (played by Alicia Vikander). “She” actualizes humanity by –Spoiler Alert– using her femininity to manipulate her examiners into getting what she wants; freedom. Hmmm…A female using her guile to get what she wants from men…?? I could have written that movie about my time in Hollywood, but I digress.
Is this technological progress or an abrogation of our sexual mores? Are we living in a time of de-humanization? We have to admit that we are more disconnected than ever. Half of the communication of people under the age of 25 is texted. We are programmed to get exactly what we want when we want, with-out human interaction. ubiquitous free pornography is a key swipe away. Our experiences are validated by “selfies” and how many “likes” we get. How do we actually meet each other anymore? People at Starbucks, glued to phone screens, look away only to grab their double, non fat,carmel, Frappuccinos. It’s no wonder our grandparents stayed married. They didn’t meet on-line and they never logged on to Ashley Madison to have an affair because they met on a street in Paris, in person, and fell in love while fighting WW2. In this age of digital immediacy it begs the question- Are we falling out of human connectedness or are we reverting back to our biological inheritance? Perhaps men long for the origins of emotionless sex. Our genetics dictate that we inseminate as many females as possible. When we were nomadic hunters we took females by force and got laid without having to go to Chevy’s and a Nicholas Sparks film. I wonder, If you got men to be REALLY honest and asked them if they could have sexual gratification without the hassles of emotional entanglements- what would they say?