Looking for Love in Digital Places

Considering the rise of the internet in tandem with online porn, it should come as no surprise that sex is a driving force in the rise of AI and robotics. As new materials, programmed responses and AI’s ability to record customer preferences have all advanced, sex robots have become a “digisexual” reality.

The blow-up dolls of yesterday are going the way of the horse and buggy. The new robots can carry on a conversation, are warm to the touch, and soon the technology will enable the robots to walk alongside human partners to go out for a movie or dinner.

Customers can order customized sex robots, choosing hair and eye colors. They can order a pleasure bot with an accent or with the ability to speak on any language. The more human-like these sex toys become, the more likely a percentage of  people will become digisexual. In other words, they will prefer sex with a sexbot rather than human partners.

“In a new report published in the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy, ethics researchers from the University of Manitoba, Canada, argue that psychotherapists need to be prepared for a rise in ‘clients participating in digisexualities.’ “

Today’s sexbots can be customized with all-over body sensors that respond to customers’ input. They can even be built to look exactly like an ex-wife or ex-boyfriend, if that’s requested. The idea of a sex partner that will become a perfectly matched lover may be appealing to lonely buyers. Some creators imagine a drop in sexual assaults because sexbots will be available to satisfy certain sexual tastes or fetishes, without bringing harm to a real person⎯however, that’s arguable, since power over another human tends to drive assaults. But they may help bring an end to the kind of loneliness that occasionally leads to suicide by those unable to deal with a lack of companionship. An engineer in China was so lonely, he actually “married” one of his creations.

Programming these partners to respond to their owner’s particular needs or desires will personalize the experience, but it will not take over the general population’s drive to mate with humans. Only a limited number of people will choose this digisexual lifestyle. There are definite disadvantages to robot love.

“The authors of the new report also warn that digisexuality could harm relationships, possibly causing divorce, and bringing feelings of shame and guilt, as well leaving users in debt…However, they conclude that the overall impact of ‘digissexuality’ will be positive, allowing people to experience more sexual pleasure and have new experiences, particularly for people who struggle to find human partners or who have experienced sexual trauma in the past.”


scene from the film Ex-Machina