I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our robots in 2018 aren’t quite at ‘Westworld’ standard yet. A couple of articles recently about sex robots and consent have led me to wonder if some people genuinely think our tech is advanced enough to create sentient humanoids, capable of a full range of emotions and thoughts. But even though sex robots can’t actually feel anything, should they be programmed to pretend? Specifically: can – and should – sex robots withdraw consent?
In any society, there’ll be things to which you cannot legally consent. Most UK-based kinksters will be probably be aware of the Spanner case, in which a group of men were prosecuted for various crimes including assault, despite the fact that the participants had consented to the activity. It’s a really interesting discussion this, because it tackles a whole range of things that are interesting to think about including consent, power, and personal freedom. To what, exactly, are we allowed to consent?
Two things I believe to be true in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Firstly, that many men have been put in positions of power over women, which they have abused to varying degrees. Secondly, that this is at least partly a result of the way our society teaches men to behave. The former statement is accusatory: there are men who have done bad things. The second is explanatory: here is a reason why they do those things. The former sounds like a blanket condemnation, while the latter feels uncomfortably like an excuse. But if I believe both these things to be true, how do I go about having a conversation with men I love about sexual violence and consent?
This post will naturally discuss consent, sexual assault and other similar things. I’ve tried to avoid going into gruesome detail and simply linked out to full accounts/reporting where possible.
Point-missing app developers SaSie have come up with a new ‘affirmative consent app’ – one of many sexual consent apps that fundamentally misunderstand the nature of consent, or the ways in which humans work. That fills the ‘bad news’ column in this week’s ‘Two things‘, but if you’re after some much better news, scroll down to the bottom for some hardcore panda sex.
What do you think of when you hear the words ‘orgasm equality’? I think of much nicer things than the weird t-shirts I stumbled across this week. That story, as well as an update on a really awesome anal toy, in this week’s ‘two things’ below.