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Is it cheating if you fuck a robot?

If you’re not yet up to date on Channel 4’s uncanny-valley AI drama Humans, then please note that this blog post contains spoilers up to episode 5. 

Never one to shy away from the big questions, this week I had a fairly heated debate with a gentleman about the issue of whether robot sex is cheating. I know, it doesn’t really seem relevant, right? After all, this is far-into-the-future shit that we won’t have to deal with for hundreds of years yet. How close are we really to creating a fuckable robot?

Well, depending on your definition of ‘fuckable robot’, one already exists. Sure, we’re still in the early days, but there are many cool techy pleasure toys on the market (I’m thinking fucking machines or masturbators with some kind of mechanical/buzzy element, toys designed with wifi/bluetooth apps, that kind of thing) but realistically we’re getting pretty inventive. There are toys which you can pair together over long distances (like this Kiiroo masturbator, which twins with an insertable vibrator, and aims to wank you off in time to the vibrator use). We also have fairly realistic-looking sex dolls, which – if twinned with this kind of technology – would create a passably robotic lover.

It is well exciting.

I’ve talked before about robot sex, when a bloody strange opinion poll reported that only 17% of people said they’d have sex with a robot. My answer to this question is ‘hell yes,’ especially if the robot is pretty good at sex. But what prompted the debate the other day wasn’t whether or not either of us would do it, but whether doing it would count – to either of us – as ‘cheating.’