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Sex with robots could soon be part of everyday life

Not only is our everyday life becoming more digital, but so is our sex life. Right at the forefront is sex with robots – and we are only at the beginning.

Technologies are designed to make life easier for us humans. This already applies to all areas, because technology doesn’t stop at our sex lives either. Already, digitization is playing a big role in terms of our sexuality. “For example, many people view Internet pornography, and a significant number also find sexual partners online and interact sexually via webcams,” Dr. John Danaher tells atechbook. A lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the National University of Ireland in Galway, he is the author of “Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications.”

And sex with machines is on the rise. Sex robots are animated sex dolls that look deceptively similar to humans. Perhaps these high-tech robots will eventually even surpass humans in bed. There are already some signs that sex robots will continue to rise.

One in five Germans would sleep with sex robots

According to the future study by BR, Arte, ORF and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), “Homo Digitalis,” about one in five Germans would sleep with a sex robot at some point. What’s more, more than half would not mind, or only maybe mind, if their own partner decided to have sex with a robot. However, it is not enough for the really big feelings. Only for about six percent would it be conceivable to fall in love with a robot. “This indicates that sex robots are perceived primarily as toys and not as a substitute for humans,” says Kathrin Pollmann of the IAO. In Europe, between ten to 40 percent of men can imagine having sex with a robot, Thomas Beschorner, an ethics professor at the University of St. Gallen, tells SRF. Sex with robots is more than just a fetish, in his opinion.

Digisexual

Meanwhile, some people describe themselves as digisexual. This means that the majority of them are interested in technological forms of sexuality than in other people. This includes sex with robots, but also other digital forms of sex. Experts believe that there will be more and more people with this preference and that in a few years they will even make up the majority of the population. According to some studies, most people will have virtual reality sex by 2030. This does not mean that there will be no more normal sex, but it will be an additional factor, like pornography on the Internet currently.

Already today, some people are no longer able to distinguish between fiction and reality because of pornography, as sex psychologist Christoph Ahlers explained in an interview with Welt. This leads to people being impaired in their interactions with people, to pornography being preferred to real sex. This effect could result in the further spread of digital sexuality as well.

“The reality is that the vast majority of people in the future will at least occasionally use digital technologies to assert their sexuality,” Dr. John Danaher tells atechbook. However, he cautions against calling this a new kind of sexual identity, as it would unnecessarily stigmatize people as different.

“The reality is that the vast majority of people in the future will at least occasionally use digital technologies to assert their sexuality,” Dr. John Danaher tells atechbook. However, he cautions against calling this a new kind of sexual identity, as it would unnecessarily stigmatize people as different.

More money, more robot sex

Currently, sex robots would not play a significant role within human sexuality. “The technology is still relatively primitive and not advanced compared to a sex doll,” Danaher says. Having sex with robots, however, is something you have to be able to afford. That’s why researchers expect sex robots to start moving into higher-income households as early as 2025. This is the assumption of British futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson, for example. In a report, he also assumes that normal households will own a sex robot from 2050. From this time on, robot sex could become more popular than sex with humans.

By 2030, the futurologist is certain, most people will be having some form of virtual sex, which would then be as normal as pornography is today. By 2035, the majority of people are expected to own sex toys that interact in virtual reality. But will we eventually prefer to have sex with robots rather than humans? “It’s possible, but I think it’s highly unlikely. There are deep biological and evolutionary drives that lead many people to prefer human partners,” says John Danaher.

Also of interest: are workers allowed to be replaced by robots?

Advantages of sex robots

Sex robots have some advantages. “They could promote sexual diversity in relationships and help complement the sexual abilities of human partners. They could also provide sexual companionship for people who are otherwise excluded from sexual experience,” says John Danaher, describing the benefits of sex robots.

In addition, prostitution could be combated with sex robots. “I’m pretty sure there will be robot prostitutes,” Thomas Beschorner tells SRF.

But the development of sex robots is also facing headwinds. “These sex robots are a kind of wish fulfillment objects. They perform what they are commanded to do. The sex robot is always a kind of slave,” Martina Mara, a psychologist for robots, tells SRF.

John Danaher also sees the possibility that sex robots can also have negative effects. For example, they could increase the distance to the partner or lead to more anonymity. Likewise, there could be new forms of virtual sexual assault. “Sex robots are a little more complex. The obvious negative effects could include increased isolation and withdrawal from human contact,” Danaher says. He also notes that sex robots could lead to stereotyping of certain groups of people, especially in the portrayal of women.

Can we love robots?

That, too, is said to already exist: People falling in love with robots. At a 2016 conference focused on love and sexuality with robots, some experts felt that marriage between humans and robots could be legalized starting in 2050. “If a robot looks like it loves you, and you feel like it loves you, then you’ll basically feel like it’s almost human love,” said Adrian Cheok , professor of computer science at City University London and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, among others.

Marriage between robots and humans could become possible: “It may seem outrageous because it’s only 35 years away. But 35 years ago, people thought gay marriage was outrageous,” Cheok said. The professor further explained, “In the ’70s, some states didn’t allow white and black people to marry each other. Society is evolving and changing very quickly.”

Japanese Akihiko Kondo has already taken this step. His love alone towards a kind of hologram woman was not enough for him, he wanted to confirm it officially. That’s why he married his great love, as he says, Hatsune Miku. No one from his family was present at this marriage with 40 guests, which was certified with a certificate by the manufacturer of the hologram woman, Gatebox.

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