We can relegate this one to the realm of science fiction for the moment, but two researchers from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand suggest that in the near future, we could all be looking at a world where prostitution is largely the work of robotic sex companions.
Their study, published in the May edition of Futures magazine, is called Robots, men and sex tourism. In their paper they imagine Amsterdam's red light district in 2050, and say that it will be "all about android prostitues."
"[They] are clean of sexual transmitted infections (STIs), not smuggled in from Eastern Europe and forced into slavery, the city council will have direct control over android sex workers controlling prices, hours of operations and sexual services," they say.
This future scenario is detailed by Ian Yeoman and sexologist Michelle Mars. They say that "sex tourists" could pay up to 10,000 euros for a one-night package with a sex robot. This would include it all - everything that their mind could dream up. Robot-populated brothels could be diverse, featuring models "'of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features.'' A cornucopia of styles, for all types of fetishes.
The benefits of such a system are obvious. First and foremost, you take the human element out of prostitution. Like the researchers say - human trafficking decreases, as does abuse within the "industry."
Another huge plus would be disease control. Robots could be made with bacteria-resistant materials and thoroughly cleaned between visits. This would no doubt cut down on the transmission of AIDS and other STDs. Also, we have to be honest here - some people that frequent prostitutes get their rocks off with violence. Being rough with a machine is better than being rough with a human being, and we just have to accept that "sex tourism" is not always going to bring in the best of clients.
Plus, it doesn't really count as cheating if it's with a sexbot, right? Right. Try telling that to your significant other...
When the sex robots become sentient, however, they'll have a whole other problem on their hands. We probably wouldn't have to worry about that until 2150, I expect.
Teams of sex robots fulfilling clients' every desire is not as far fetched as you might think. Of course, we've had lifelike "real dolls" for a awhile now - but they are inanimate. Actual "sex robot" technology, while still primitive, exists. Check out this (probably NSFW) video about Roxxxy, the purported "world's first sex robot":
As we mentioned before, a sex bot would take half the human element out of paid sex. And that might be the problem. Past the initial novelty rush of the whole thing, could robot sex really eliminate real humans? Even if the technology becomes incredibly advanced, do you really think that a fleet of android prostitutes can truly impact things like human trafficking?
I'm skeptical, but it is quite the interesting concept. For now, people wanting the tech/sex experience might have to settle for the fleshlight iPad.[Dominion Post via Jezebel]