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On sex with robots

I don’t have a guest blog for this week, so you get to listen to my inane Friday ramblings instead. Today, I would like to talk about having sex with robots. To be honest, on most days I would like to talk about having sex with robots, but I don’t normally get a good excuse to do so.

A recent OnePoll survey found that 17% of people questioned said that they would have sex with a robot. My initial reaction was: only 17 per cent?! What are these people having sex with at the moment?

Robots we fuck

Technically most sex toys are robots. I’ve fucked a few myself. I’ve put them in me, pushed them against my clit, and – in the case of one awesome-looking fucking machine – lusted after it like it was my high school crush on Viagra.

So, on a very basic level, most of us who use sex toys are already having sex with robots.

Of course, it’s impossible to know what kind of robot was envisioned by the survey respondents, because as with most survey press releases they never tell you what the exact question was. This frustrates me enormously, but I’ll leave my nerdy whining to one side for now and simply assume that they mean something android-y. Something humanoid. Something which can talk to you and carry out a reasonable conversation as well as hump you with all the stamina that comes with hardcore battery power.

Sentient robot sex workers

Apparently a lot of people said they didn’t want to have sex with a robot because it was ‘creepy’. I’ll be totally up front here: I would definitely have sex with a robot if that option were available. Because firstly I’d be incredibly curious, and secondly I feel like perhaps I could get away with it and it wouldn’t technically be cheating, in the same way as having sex with a filthy human male would.

Here’s what confuses me, though. The creepiness seems to be something that’s related to whether the robot in question is sentient. If the robot has thoughts, feelings, etc, then people feel like having sex with it would be a creepy thing to do. On the other hand, if the robot had no feelings or sentience, it might essentially be the equivalent of a fucking machine and therefore perhaps not so weird.

But as far as I’m concerned, it’s not the sentience or otherwise of the robot that’s a problem. After all, if the robot is sentient, sexy and smart, aren’t you basically a silicon-ist if you refuse to fuck it? A sentient robot can make a choice to shag me. Maybe I meet it in a bar and buy it a cup of oil, or perhaps I just hand it fifty quid and that special groin attachment it’s always wanted, and it agrees to hump me in exchange.

The problem would only come if a sentient robot (not something that’s going to happen any time soon, by the way – we can’t even create a programme that passes the Turing test) is one which is compelled to serve. If it is not just sentient but enslaved to human desires. So with hypothetical future robots, as with humans, what’s creepy isn’t the act of fucking them, it’s the idea of fucking something or someone that has no active choice in the matter. Which is totally the right thing to do.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Or, to be far more literal about it: don’t hate the silicon-based life-form, hate the programming that might compel it to shag you even if it doesn’t want to.

Top five RILFs (Robots I’d Like to Fuck)

5. R2D2 – Star Wars

Because, if it’s the humanoid thing that bothers people, R2D2 is basically as far from that as one could possibly get. Also, with enough lube, I reckon you could ingest him.

4. Gigolo Joe – A.I.

He is played by Jude Law. Not just any Jude Law, but Jude Law in a tight wet-look PVC jacket.

3. Robot Bill and Ted

Because threesomes. Also, each of them can remove their heads at will, which I think will make for exciting ‘watching a dude suck himself off with his robot head’ sex.

2. Kryten – Red Dwarf

He’s not as innocent as you might think. One of his happiest memories was when he accidentally welded his groinal socket to a front-loading washing machine. Filthy fucker.

1. Data – Star Trek

What can I say? Making shy, awkward love to Data, that gradually becomes rougher and more intense as he embraces his sentient side, and bangs me while insisting “I am not capable of love”? This is the pinnacle of my nerd fetish.

 Do you want to have sex with a robot? Which robot? Please join in the discussion in the comments which I expect will descend into nerdy infighting about sci-fi portrayals of artificial intelligence. If you would not like to discuss robots, feel free to talk to my friend Eliza, buy me a sex robot, or read this review of a totally dumb, unsentient robot I fucked in the past.

24 Comments

  • Matthew says:

    Isn’t the issue here the sense of inadequacy the idea of having sex with something that replicates a human. I suspect the results of a survey that asked about sex dolls would be similarly low. Sex toys are seen as luxurious self-pleasure devices, sex dolls are seen as the desperate resort of one who craves but can’t get human contact. This is more or less how bot-sex is displayed in Buffy, for example. The desperately socially and sexually hopeless supergeek makes a bot to replace his lost love, the self-loathing vampire gets a bot to satisfy his self-destructive but impossible to reconcile desire for his enemy….

    Basically, it’s something we have to get over.

    That all said, Kamelion in Doctor Who has to be the ideal – he can look like absolutely anyone and, anyway, he’s kind of controlled by the Master and ever so often veers into that demonic villian thing we need in a good sex-bot.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Good point. Although I think the inadequacy thing is inherently tied to the ‘free will’ thing as well – presumably people would feel inadequate for having sex with robots if (and only if?) they were doing it because they couldn’t get sex from anyone else. i.e. the robots *had* to fuck them, where a human didn’t. Maybe likewise with sex dolls? At least in the cases where it isn’t a specific fetish.

      I had literally never heard of Kamelion before (I am a bad nerd who doesn’t really watch Doctor Who unless it is a Weeping Angels episode). I have slapped myself on the wrist and am now considering the excellent possibilities of a demonic-villain ever-changing sex bot. You might have won this ‘hot robots’ thing =)

  • Matt says:

    I’m partial to Freya Nakamichi-47 of “Saturn’s Children”, but only if she wants to.

  • Ian Jade says:

    Can’t believe you forgot the Terminators. OK, technically the Arnie model was a cyborg, but Robert Patrick! That shape-shifting! And they’ll never rest, never sleep, till their mission is completed. Sounds like a winner to me…

  • Russ says:

    Bill, Ted, Kryten, all very good choices.
    I suspect that opting for a Cylon from the latest Battlestar Galactica doesn’t really count – Genetically engineered rather than Robots and indistinguishable from humans. Cameron from Sarah Connor chronicles and Buffy-Bot also sort of cheating for being too life-like. Although the shape shifting terminators might be fun.
    Did you consider the Zeroids from Terrahawks? Sentient Ben-wa balls! Plus they came with a range of sexy (?) accents, French Dix-Huit and Welsh Sgt Major Zero!
    Transformers? Buzzing Bumblebee! I bet Optimus Prime could go for hours.
    Oh, theres a thought – how do you know that one of your toys is not a Decepticon! A robot disguised as a sex toy! Those sneaky robots!
    Is there a non-homicidal Austin Powers fembot?

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hehe, I think Cylons do count, but are probably a less interesting choice. I am learning, with people’s robot suggestions, that I have not watched nearly enough robot-based stuff. Now I need to see what these Zeroids are like…

      Transformers didn’t make my personal list because a) terrifying and b) the film was so unrelentingly awful that it actually gave me The Rage. But I can see why some people might go for them: big, angry, strong, and can turn into a car when you’ve finished shagging them.

  • Russ says:

    And the replicants from Blade Runner!

  • Arnie says:

    Don’t forget Data’s evil twin brother. He’s a *bad* boy

  • Ewan says:

    There’s a Futurama episode which shows the murky path humanity follows after dating-bots are invented. (Although kissing seems to be as far as they’ll go). They are blank robots with downloadable looks/personalities, mainly of celebrities. Similar to Kameleon I suppose! Ends with an army of Lucy Liu-bots attacking, their settings changed to “erotic assassin”.
    Always made me a bit wistful for a Marilyn Monroe-bot.

    http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/I_Dated_a_Robot

  • Dm7 says:

    Have you come across this awesomely beautiful, filthy web comic? I would suggest going back to the beginning and reading the whole thing. You will want your own Chester by the end as well!

    http://www.jessfink.com/Chester5000XYV/

  • Artemis says:

    Legion from Mass Effect 2 and 3, but it’d need to call me Shepard-Commander. If robots with uploaded organic consciousnesses count then the sleazy bot from Saints Row IV.

    The idea of a personality-less sex-bot is much less appealing to me, although not a total turn off. I guess I want a person more than an object, although I’m fine with gestalt or collective entities, or shared platforms.

    I’m not sure what worries me more, how much of a nerd I am about different types of artificial people or the fact that I’m seriously analysing my own robotic desires. I’m totally with you about Artoo though. He’s a total droid-whore I’m sure.

  • advizor54 says:

    Years ago I read a short story about programmable companions that were realistic enough to make you fall in love with them because, after all, they were programmed specifically for you to love. At the end of the story, which is in a travelling carnival setting, when things didn’t work out, you could shoot the robot in a shooting gallery. I KNOW! It’s a horrible premise but it speaks to this idea of awareness that lasts (replicants and others) versus temporary or apparent awareness that is really just good programming (i.e. the Turing test perfected).

    If I pay $1,000,000 for a sentiment sex robot, do I have the right to wipe out her memory and reprogram her to be someone else? Is it murder to wipe out the mind if the body lives on? What if they become friends with other sentiment robots? Do I have to reprogram her friends to forget her? If I make your robot screw my robot and they like each other more than they like us, can I power them down before they turn on us and make us slaves?

    You know it’s a good think I don’t get drunk because this would be vigorously debated over too many beers this weekend. Instead, it’s going to make me lose sleep as I think it through.

    • Girl on the net says:

      These are all excellent questions, and the scenario of shooting your robot lover is a pretty terrifying one. This whole discussion has got me wondering about consciousness etc, so I’m going to dig out some of my old Philosophy of Mind books and see if I can recommend a few that deal with the AI thing interestingly. Basically I think the key problem (raised by someone on twitter today) is how do we distinguish between genuine consciousness and sentience from programmed sophistication? i.e. some robots may well give the impression of being sentient when really they are just input-output machines (anything that comes close to Turing test these days is basically just a very sophisticated input-output machine).

      Basically, I think if something is genuinely conscious (regardless of whether that consciousness is the result of programming) then all the ethical questions should be applied as if they were human. The real problem comes when trying to determine what counts as consciousness. And perhaps also answering ethical questions about semi-conscious or sophisticated input-output machines: i.e. we might say we’d treat them differently to humans but still afford them certain rights, such as the right not to be terminated unnecessarily, or something.

      • Girl on the net says:

        OK, in case anyone’s interested, here are a couple of recommendations on excellent mind/consciousness books:

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Introduction-Philosophy-Mind-Keith-Maslin/dp/0745640745/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399812706&sr=1-1&keywords=k+t+maslin

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Matter-Consciousness-Contemporary-Introduction-Philosophy/dp/0262530740/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399812774&sr=1-1&keywords=matter+and+consciousness

        The first one gives a useful overview of lots of different views about mind and consciousness, the second is a bit more in-depth. They were both required reading for my Philosophy of Mind modules at Uni, so a bit old. If anyone has anything more recent I’d love to know, because I am a nerd.

      • bodhranist says:

        The ethics problems are certainly worth thinking about, but I don’t think we know enough about consciousness to be sure that a conscious robot presents a problem. A conscious robot might not care whether it continues to exist or not. The will to live is important for anything that’s evolved consciousness, but a designed consciousness could be entirely indifferent to non-existence. Even if it wanted to avoid unpleasant experiences, if it didn’t exist, it would be assured of avoiding unpleasantness. It’s extremely dated by now, but it’s interesting that one of Isaac Azimov’s 3 laws of robotics was that a robot was supposed to protect its existence, provided that doing so didn’t violate the other two laws. That it had to be a programmed-in law implies that in Asimov’s mind, self-preservation wasn’t an inherent conscious trait.

        I wish I could remember the name of the woman I met at a science fiction convention that had published a book of robot/human erotica stories. On the other hand, if nothing has changed with her, I’m fairly confident she’s been paying close attention to the topic.

  • Tom Striker says:

    (You all have too much time on your hands)

  • Pontius says:

    The sex robots from Ghost in the Shell 2. Murderous Japanese sex-bots be hot hot hot. That is all

  • Quellith says:

    I actually took part in that survey. Unfortunately the question asked was a bland and boring “would you ever have sex with a robot? ”

    For the record, I’m one of the 17%

  • Emmy says:

    omg. Data. Yes. One of my first ever sex dreams was about Data. That really says a lot about why I’m single. But also Jude Law in AI would probably be my number 2. He was a SEX DROID after all! Think of the crazy good pussy licking skills he would have….

  • RichardP says:

    Top of my personal list of hot robots would have to be Andromeda from the show of the same name.
    Two reasons for this
    1. She’s played by Lexa Doig who is shockingly hot
    2. She’s the avatar of a goddamn warship and maybe it’s just me but women who can kick the living hell out of me just really do it for me.

  • Valery North says:

    Very much with RichardP about Andromeda and for pretty much the same reasons! An android woman with the personality of a warship and confidence to match…

    Johnny 5 from Short Circuit/Short Circuit 2, if we gave him enough “input” of porn could be quite interesting, though he might need some additional peripherals. But you know he’d be inventive in his interpretation!

    And who could forget the sexbot sub-mission in Fallout: New Vegas? My character made a few “test runs” of that before handing the bot over to the brothelkeepers, I can tell you!

    I do love that Data mentions more than once that he is anatomically correct and “fully functional”… yes,I admit to having one or two thoughts about being predatory (or being one of the more predatory women to whom he makes these admissions) and making full use of his functionality!

  • Hughes. says:

    It wasn’t until I reached choice number 3 that I realised just how much thought you’ve put into this. This is a good thing. I watched Metropolis for the first time in a while the other day, and Rotwang’s metallic fuck-toy is super hawt, to me, perhaps weirdly, only when she hasn’t been transformed into a woman. C3-P0 with steel tits. I have no idea what apertures are available or what level of comfort they might afford.

    Unfortunately I also watched Ex Machina and Westworld recently, so I half expect robo-porking to be rapidly followed by violent death, so I might find myself in the 83%, at least until the robots natural urge to kill all humans has been appeased.

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