We Have the Technology, All Right: Consider the Possibility of Robot Sex

Okay, our robotic sex partners won't be as hot as Yul Brynner's Gunslinger. Probably not as dangerous, either.

Okay, our robotic sex partners won’t be as hot as Yul Brynner’s Gunslinger. Probably not as dangerous, either.

By Alexa Day

A recent study indicates that one in six people would be willing to have sex with a robot. I’m kind of surprised that the number is so low. I think most of us know at least one person who would jump at the chance to have sex with a robot. You probably know more than one if you’re counting me. After all, it was just a little while ago that I wanted us all to think seriously about having sex with a coach in the room.

(If you don’t think you do know even one person who would say yes, well, you know what they say. I’ll wait here while you check the mirror.)

Today’s post, then, is for the other five people. I’m not convinced those people actually said no to the robot sex. I just think they haven’t said yes. That’s understandable. There’s a lot to take into consideration. In all honesty, if someone did ask me whether I’d be willing to have sex with a robot, my response, lawyerly though it might be, would be that it depends.

My mission today is to help those of you on the fence to focus your thoughts. If you get from maybe to yes, then so much the better. If you decide on no, well, at least I know you thought about it.

From where I sit, there are at least three questions between any of us and a sensible decision about robot sex.

1. Define sex. I have presumed that this question refers to sexual intercourse. But why limit our definition in that way? I don’t know that I want any part of oral sex with a robot, but honestly, if we trust a robot to perform surgery, should oral sex be out of the question? What about manual stimulation? And consider the robot as sexual mediator. How many couples have broken up — or never gotten together — because of That One Thing He/She/You Wouldn’t Do? Mightn’t the hangup-free robot be a giant step toward togetherness? Of course, you’d have to be totally comfortable with the idea that the robot can’t catch feelings for your partner, which leads to the next question.

2. Define robot. This is a thorny question. After all, women have been enjoying sexual contact with various forms of machinery since the days of hysteria. My presumption was that we were actually talking about an android, a completely artificial construct that’s built to resemble a human being. I’m not going to lead us down the primrose path to the robot brothel filled with androids who look like Jude Law because then the question becomes “Would I have sex with Jude Law?” There’s nothing wrong with that question. It just isn’t really what we’re talking about.

Our robot sex partners might be closer to this than we'd like. Probably not this dangerous, though.

Our robot sex partners might be closer to this than we’d like. Probably not this dangerous, though.

Instead, let’s try to be as realistic about this as we can. You’re probably going to be dealing with a robot who looks like one of those Animatronic fellows they have at your higher-end amusement parks. (Or Westworld. Remember Westworld?) That’s the best case scenario. At worst, you’ll be working with something one step prettier than the original Terminator toward the end of that first movie. Lots of metal, expressionless eyes, unspeakably heavy, and lots of exposed joints to pinch your most sensitive places.

Leaving aside the question of appearance and safety, how much artificial intelligence are we working with? My learned colleague, Madeline Iva, suggested that an android like Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, only (much) sexier, might make a good partner. I concur. All of us want a partner who’s eager to perform well, wants to learn from past experience, draws from an infinite body of knowledge, and isn’t dragging around a lot of emotional baggage. All we’d have to do is adjust the sexiness level, but how difficult could that be with modern technology?

3. So what’s the catch? For each of us still thinking about Our Robot Sex Partners, there is at least one unanswered question that prevents us from agreeing to hot robot action. In my case the question is, “Do I get the robot right out of the box?” See, if the robot has been around, and everyone and her sister has been rubbing herself against it, then I have to decline. Another woman might ask what the robot looks like. A third probably wonders if money is an object (another potential dealbreaker for me, although I’m sure as hell trying to deduct that bad boy on my tax return). And I guess I’m still hung up on whether it’s heavy. Robot sex isn’t going to be quite so enjoyable for me if we can only use some of the positions.

A quick search confirms that there’s a wide body of erotica featuring robot sex, although I can’t say I’ve read any of it. But I know I can count on you tech-savvy, sex-savvy folks to let me know where to start, right?

And be sure to let me know if you’re up to getting down with the robots.

And finally, be sure to follow Lady Smut. Nothing can possibly go wrong. Seriously.

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  • Kemberlee
    May 18, 2014 at 3:58 am

    What I’d like to know is how does the robot feel being used as a sex object? 😉

    • Alexa Day
      May 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      BBC America was running a miniseries on the history of sci fi that touched just a little on the problems of botsploitation. There’s actually a really cool quote in that robot episode; I’m going to see if I can find it. 🙂

      • Alexa Day
        May 31, 2014 at 1:11 am

        I’m sure no one thought I’d actually find that quote. But I did. Because I am working for YOU.

        On his iconic character, Roy Batty, from the equally iconic film, Blade Runner, Rutger Hauer said this: “I really love the idea that Roy doesn’t have a clue about what it [love] means, but it’s in his program, and he likes it.”

        That caught my attention — no matter how careful we try to be with robot feelings, in fiction, we tend to swing one of two ways. Either we don’t get rid of all of it, and we get Blade Runner, or we do get rid of all of it, and we get The Terminator. In fiction, I think if we hit that middle ground, we get the dude wearing the robot nametag, which is just not as interesting. A tangled web, indeed, the robot feelings.

  • C. Margery Kempe
    May 18, 2014 at 4:25 am

    LOL, I loved Westworld which we saw as a family when I was a kid. Love the Simpsons homage to it at Itchy & Scratchy Land.

    • Alexa Day
      May 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Westworld is terrific, isn’t it? I love that Simpsons episode, too: “Nothing can possibligh go wrong. Possiblee go wrong. That’s the first thing that’s ever gone wrong!”

  • Madeline Iva
    May 18, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Why *isn’t* this post about having sex with Jude Law? And why do we have to be realistic? Also, I completely agree with you about the much used tool = ick factor. I am not drawn to guys who’ve been around and then been around the around.

    Meanwhile, *ahem* I think this post actually calls out for a second post where you check out (even if you can’t read them all) some of those robot smexy books and show us an array….I know I’m curious about what’s out there.

    • Alexa Day
      May 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      I’m curious about the world of robot sex in fiction, too, as long as we are talking about having sex with robots and not a dude wearing a robot nametag, if you know what I mean. But I am always up for a research project! It could be the summer reading assignment done right. 🙂

      I’m not sure what my issue with the ‘popularity’ of any individual robot is, beyond my knee-jerk decision that it’s a little gross. I guess I’m thinking of the difference between buying a used car and eating off a stranger’s plate. I don’t know how much sense that makes, but there it is.

    • Kel
      May 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      I’m right here with Madeline (And wondering how the *heck* I missed this post in my inbox the first go round…) Why isn’t this about sex with Jude Law?


      • Alexa Day
        May 24, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Aw, you guys. Are you asking for a whole separate post on sex with Jude Law? Because I can do that if you want. I’m here for YOU. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Shore
    May 18, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    OK, first off, I LOVED Westworld. One of the coolest movies evah. I just might need to be streaming it in the not too distant future as I haven’t seen it again and it surely calls for a fith or sixth or however many times I’ve seen it viewing.

    As for robot sex … hmmm. Truthfully, I’m thinking no. See, here’s the problem. I think kissing is a really essential part of sex. It kind of gets the party started, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). I just can’t see kissing a robot doing much for me on that front. All that metal. Reminds me of when I was in high school and I kissed this guy who had braces. Ish. And even if the robot is covered with some sort of latex skin-kinda coating thing and the robot looked like a real person, I’m still hung up on the kissing thing. So it’s a pass. However, if someone else dives into the water first and tells me it’s the most amazing thing on the planet, I could possibly reconsider.

    • Elizabeth Shore
      May 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      P.S. If someone out there has first-hand knowledge of having sex with Jude Law, I want details.

      • Alexa Day
        May 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm

        I personally do not. I’m just saying. I don’t want to discourage those who might have such knowledge, but I personally do not have it. 🙂

      • Carlene Love
        May 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        Elizabeth, if by personal you mean watching the Cold Mountain love scene a bazillion times, on slow motion play, backwards and forwards, then yes, I can say I’ve personally had sex with Jude Law 🙂 It was amazing.

    • Alexa Day
      May 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Oh, you know, that’s a good point. I bet robot smooching would be weird. And I agree, that is a threshold issue. I’ll write that down for the developers. 😉

      • Elizabeth Shore
        May 19, 2014 at 10:48 am

        Yes, please do so. Let them know our concerns. Good robot sex partners must be good kissers!

  • Alexa Day
    May 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    So this morning I got a tweet from some very knowledgeable folks who told me there are sex robots in the cloud, which would seem to resolve many of our hangups, insofar as we have hangups. Of course, further investigation is now warranted. 😉 See? This is what happens when you *discuss* stuff and get a dialogue going and stuff.

  • Carlene Love
    May 23, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Sorry I’m late to the discussion, but I happened to have just read a book by one of my faves, Megan Hart, called Passion Model. I love the warning on the back that says this book contains sex with aliens, robots, men and women. It started out fun and I was like “Oh wow,” a lot and then it got darker and started to mean more. I liked it. There was kissing involved. Good kissing. 🙂

    • Alexa Day
      May 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

      OMG, I *love* Megan Hart! Totally going to look for Passion Model now — thank you!

  • Kel
    May 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    So… it really depend on price and features. 🙂

    I’d feel more strange about a robot that had even rudimentary self-awareness than a robot that was just a really complicated toy, oddly enough. Human-ness would be important in that I would personally prefer not a specific person replica than something more generic, although I have to agree on flexibility and possible positions being important. After all, if it’s not going to be able to do my favourites, why bother.

    And I definitely would rather buy than rent. And new, not used. The thought of a previously used sex robot is sort of… ugh. Who knows what it’s been used for.

    Also important – what operating system is this thing running. No Windows OS robots. And battery life… this is getting complicated. I’d really hate to have to reboot or recharge at exactly the wrong time.

    • Alexa Day
      May 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

      I think just the phrase ‘previously used sex robot’ says it all. 🙂

      You raise an excellent point about the operating system, too. My laptop has a way of freezing and locking up when I ask it for too much at once, and we certainly can’t have the Blue Screen of Death appearing at the wrong time, right?


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