The Sexual Revolution
By 2050, more people will have sex with robots than with humans, Dr. Ian Pearson writes in “The Future of Sex: The Rise of the Robosexuals.” He predicts that by 2035, most people will have virtual reality sex toys. And humanlike sexbots “covered in soft materials, agile enough to do anything a human can” will be commonplace not long after.
But just as robosexuals start to gain mainstream exposure, opposition rises up with a loud and moralizing voice. Dr. Kathleen Richardson states, “Sex robots seem to be a growing focus in the robotics industry and the models that they draw on—how they will look, what roles they could play—are very disturbing indeed.” But is the prospect of disease-free sex with an automaton from the safety of your own home really a threat to human relationships? And how different are sexbots from the vibrator you have in your nightstand?
Before you come to an informed decision, we’re here to look at how robosexual revolution will take shape…
1. Virtual Fantasy Turned Reality
Oculus Rift provides an immersive virtual reality experience for video games, movies and virtual travel. As Sony and Samsung enter the market, the virtual reality headset will become increasingly affordable and widespread. The Veesovr virtual reality headset, pictured above, is capable of capturing user’s facial expressions as they are immersed in another world.
Adult performer Ella Darling is the co-owner of VR2, one of the first companies to produce virtual reality porn. She strips and has sex in front of a pair of cameras that stream live virtual reality into Oculus Rift headsets of a growing number of subscribers. “It feels like you’re in the room with the performers,” Ella explains. She stands at the doorway of porn of unprecedented verisimilitude.
This is just the dawn of a virtual reality sex industry, Dr. Pearson foresees. He predicts the development of active contact lenses that will provide immersive virtual reality experiences without the clunky burden of the first wave of VR headsets. As virtual reality improves, so to will coordinated tactile stimulation (of fleshlights and vibrators) that already exists and is in early testing. As VR improves and becomes more available to consumers, so too will the virtual sex industry expand. For now, however, VR sex is relatively primitive and expensive.
In 2012, British artist Giles Walker built stripper “robots” that gyrate their hips around a stripper pole. While he consider them more art than entertainment, this project inevitably raises the possibility of robots working in the sex industry.
Likewise, graphic designer Ricky Ma built a basic robot that closely resembles Scarlett Johansson in his own home. He primarily used 3D-printing. The robot has opposable fingers and can respond to simple commands and compliments. It seems natural that a sexy celebrity would be the model for more realistic robots, and reveals an underlying desire to form a more intimate, romantic relationship with the developing technologies.
Matt McMullen is the artist and entrepreneur who created RealDolls. A RealDoll is a life-sized, anatomically-correct, completely-posable sex doll. McMullen has focused his most recent efforts on incorporating emerging technologies, such as primitive AI, into the dolls in order to create something arousing on “an emotional, intellectual level.”
While the thought of having sex with a docile, non-sentient machine could lack appeal for some, a basic desire to connect with emerging technologies as evidenced by the juggernaut that is social media and dating apps.