Robots in the sex trade?

In the United Kingdom, a robot sex brothel is said to be opening just around the corner. The new business works just like a brothel or any kind of sex business, but instead of humans its robots. (Comic by Evan Burns/The Daily Campus)

So when the question pops up in a lunchtime conversation: has science going too far? Here’s an answer which could be the most honest and shuddering answer yet: “Well, sex robots are going to become a thing.”

And it’s true. In the United Kingdom, a robot sex brothel is said to be opening just around the corner. The new business works just like a brothel or any kind of sex business, but instead of humans its robots. And it’s legal. Law professor, John Danaher, stated in an article by Rachel Bishop that, “these cyborgs can cater for desire for sexual variety, freedom from constraint and complication and fear of lack of sexual success.” John Danaher also claimed that these robots could even defeat sex slavery and trafficking, since the robots would be cheaper than human beings.

Farther east, a Spanish scientist from Barcelona, Sergi Santos, claimed the same statement as Danaher. In an article by Lin Taylor, Sergi Santos has conducted a business that he said while earning him money will also combat human sex trafficking. These robots consist of silicone flesh, a curvaceous appearance, and even artificial intelligence (AI). Sergi anticipates to revolutionize the market with his own robot sex brothel. He plans on selling his realistic and intelligent dolls at $2,000 each. Other trademark companies, eager to be the first to revolutionize the sex trade for the better, aim to sell theirs at $10,000.

Santos pointed out that these artificial sex robots would throw prostitution out the window, and satisfy those lonely, unsuccessful men and women in the dating game. But really, would this even work? As much as I’d like to see human trafficking demolished (and I really do) would these robots be a good idea? On the other side of the fence, Kathleen Richardson makes a good point about the mindset these dolls could be encouraging. Think about it (well, actually don’t really). These dolls, in the shape of whatever suited the buyer’s fancy for them to purchase in the first place, cannot move. It can be placed in whatever submissive and objective position the buyer chooses. For the bad people in the world, this could just be another option for them to release their sick sexual frustration. At the same time, promoting their abusive mindset. Only building up horrible fantasies instead of discouraging them.

And what about the rest of civilization? Would romance between two actual human beings ever be the same, with these robot brothels and robot take-home dolls? Santos claimed that these robots could help those unsuccessful men and women. But in my mind I see only companies providing them with robots that they won’t have to be polite to, or throw up courtesies before engaging in an important, intimate moment that bonds couples together. Would people even try to date anymore? With that kind of attraction gone, replaced by synthetic moans and cold silicone, would people need it?


Joseph Frare is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joseph.frare@uconn.edu