Sex robots?

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Sex robots?

Post by Bootlebat on Sat May 26, 2018 11:46 pm

If they made sex robots that look and feel completely real would you get one? I would only if it has no actual feelings or mind of it's own since that would basically be a sex slave.

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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun May 27, 2018 12:01 pm

For my part at least, I think I would be pretty uncomfortable with treating something - or rather someone - sufficiently human-like as if they didn't have any feelings or agency, regardless of whether they actually did. I was thinking of things like that through the first season of Westworld. People acting out their violent fantasies towards someone they believed was mindless - but if the targets had been less human-like, they'd have enjoyed it less? I think there's a line somewhere - I can enjoy blowing pixels up in videogames, for example. But if those pixels acted so much like a person I could hardly tell the difference any more ... isn't that what the Turing test is kind of about?
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Enail on Sun May 27, 2018 2:09 pm

Similar to you, Hirundo. I over-anthromorphize massively (I feel guilty for throwing away a coffee cup if someone's drawn googly eyes on it Lurking/sketchy), so I'd react to something that passed fairly well for sentient as if it was sentient for the most part.

Obviously, having sex with a sentient robot is utterly morally reprehensible (unless of course they have full autonomy to give consent or not, just like people do, in which case the question is more "would you be interested in someone you knew was robotic rather than flesh-based?" Which, yeah, I think I'd be fine with.). And the Turing test issue would trouble me too, because how do we actually know that something isn't sentient if it's sophisticated enough that it seems sentient for all intents and purposes.

But having sex with a robot that appeared to be sentient but I somehow knew for sure wasn't would still feel really not okay, because I'd know that even if they behaved as if they were willing, there'd be no actual feeling or choice behind it, it's just what they were programmed to do - even though theoretically that should mean that, for moral purposes, they're just a very complicated sex toy and consent is irrelevant, I'd still feel really uncomfortable with treating someone that seems like a sentient person as less than a person and blurring lines around autonomy that way.

And I think if it didn't appear sentient enough that it created that kind of moral discomfort, it'd probably fall into the uncanny valley and creep me out.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Datelessman on Mon May 28, 2018 2:58 pm

Bootlebat wrote:If they made sex robots that look and feel completely real would you get one? I would only if it has no actual feelings or mind of it's own since that would basically be a sex slave.

That certainly is an interesting and thought provoking question. I sometimes wonder, from a historical perspective, how persistent the idea of a "sex robot" is. You could argue it goes back at least to ancient Greece, specifically to the myth of Pygmalion - a sculptor who fell in love with his own sculpture, which became a real woman thanks to the goddess Aphrodite. A living statue isn't the same as a robot but it's close. I can't think of too many myths or stories where a woman creates or falls for a sex robot or a statue, or at least nearly as many as from the male perspective.

There are times where I wonder if it persists throughout history because of the longtime taboos around prostitution.  Many societies and/or men within them think lowly of the sex industry, even to the point of considering sex workers themselves as "less valuable" than "ordinary" woman. The notion of exchanging money for sex can feel coldly mechanical to some. It's often the primary reason why crimes against sex workers often go unpunished. But somehow sleeping with a robot is more legitimate?

I digress. I agree with everyone here that if an android did have sentience and intelligence, then any sex which is not consensual is rape, and that is a crime. Judging whether or not a robot had such sentience may be subjective, as an "interested" party might skew the results or even deny them if they were prejudiced against robots. I mean, plenty of societies dismissed real live people as an "other" with no feelings to justify slavery. Plenty of people in America now don't consider people of color human. Who's to say a robot could be judged properly in that circumstance? The notion of, "I made you, you do whatever I say," happens in real life to flesh-and-blood people; I could imagine for a robot "human" enough to have sex this would be amplified.

Besides, what is "sex"? If it's the physical utilization of gonads into orifices then we already have a non-sentient version of that: realistic dolls/blow up dolls. And there have already been films with what happens when someone attaches to them. But if sex is something more than smashing gonads, if it involves emotions and feelings and passions and mutual understanding, even for a moment, then it cannot be done without a robot which was as sentient as a person. Which, again, means that you're dealing with a person, not a "sex robot", who has to consent to sex (and hopefully, enthusiastically). And I never went for sex dolls. If robots capable of having "real" sex existed, then to me they would simply be women whom I would have to pursue the same as others. If they were forced to comply to me, or even programmed to do so, that would be creepy and wrong. And dangerous.

Plus, as a romantically inexperienced man with a lot of confidence and anxiety issues, I am afraid a robotic woman would only feed into them and cause discomfort, beyond the moral paradoxes of robot sentience and will. My immediate reaction to romantic interest from flesh-and-blood human women on the extremely rare occasions it's happened have always been disbelief at best to suspicion at worst. With a robot, it would be even easier to assume she's either been programmed by a fiend or suffering a mechanical glitch that requires immediate fixing ("I see your problem, ma'am, someone's set your attract-o-meter from 'man' to 'scrub'" I can imagine the robot handyman saying). I mean if Amazon's AI can malfunction, who is to say a "sex robot" cannot? A few extra binary codes and she might tear someone apart!

Hilariously, the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini era of DC cartoons had two episodes within 2 years that touched on this. "Obsession" from SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES focused on Toyman creating a personal "sex robot" (for lack of a better term) who fled from him despite having been programmed to serve him since Toyman was a disgusting creep and she wanted more out of life. I mean, even in this incarnation, Toyman was a villain willing to undress and redress unconscious women. Then in "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" from BATMAN BEYOND, a dorky teenager stumbles upon a factory which makes custom made robots and "orders" himself a robot girlfriend after being ignored by ladies at school. The robot is literally programmed to make his happiness her foremost concern. Very quickly this devolves into the robot verbally and physically threatening anyone who gets close, especially other women. Then, the dork decides he'd rather date human girls now that he's become popular due to seemingly dating a "hottie" and gives the "let's be friends" speech. The robot goes berserk, his house gets blown up, and the ladies at school now have an even worse opinion of him.

So, sex robots just don't work. There are or shouldn't be any shortcuts around good sex. And if someone wants a toy, then it's a non-sentient toy, or it's wrong. That's at least how I see it.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Hielario on Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:16 am

Personally I wouldn't be interested, since i crave the mutual pleasure element in sex. I'd consider the possibility if I had to spend a lot of time in a far-away place like a research station or a cargo boat.

Maybe if they had a training setting, there are a couple physical questions that I would like to figure out in my own time.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Datelessman on Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:13 pm

Hielario wrote:Personally I wouldn't be interested, since i crave the mutual pleasure element in sex. I'd consider the possibility if I had to spend a lot of time in a far-away place like a research station or a cargo boat.

Maybe if they had a training setting, there are a couple physical questions that I would like to figure out in my own time.

Like the Danger Room...Of Sex?

That sounds better than a few X-Men crossovers I could mention. Laughing
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Hielario on Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:20 pm

Yeah, there is stuff that would be nice to have the opportunity to figure out even if you can't get laid regularly (for an example, how hard and for how long can you pound someone before you get tired, practising oral, what gets you off and what doesn't, which positions hurt your knees...).
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Datelessman on Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:26 pm

Hielario wrote:Yeah, there is stuff that would be nice to have the opportunity to figure out even if you can't get laid regularly (for an example, how hard and for how long can you pound someone before you get tired, practising oral, what gets you off and what doesn't, which positions hurt your knees...).

So, it is the Danger Room of Sex. Maybe that should be a spin off, the XXX-Men. It already sounds better than X-Force. Laughing

Jokes aside, I get what you're saying. Especially as an inexperienced guy it would be nice to be able to "train" without having to exploit another person, robot or otherwise, or put someone I liked thru the learning phases. I suppose some might mention that sex work is close, which is among many reasons why it is a shame that it remains such a taboo.

I suppose others might say that there are some toys which aide in this. DNL has suggested "fleshlights" more than once. And by and large it seems like women are far more likely to experiment with sex toys than men, perhaps due to stigma or socially enforced ego issues.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Mara_ on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:09 am

IF it were a non-sentient robot and it felt 100% human then yes, I very very much would.

Same if it were a sentient robot and, them seeming human or not, we were attracted to each other.

Also if they were modeled after particular human beings they would of course have to sign off on it and get paid (like when porn stars sell rights to make dildos/sleeves after their junk). I think that would be really interesting, you could go watch a movie and then go home with the protagonist.

But as we discussed recently in the FB group, I am concerned about the types of personalities and storylines that surround the current prototypes. They're all so passive and subservient that it's just incredibly icky. Like this Harmony bot that basically stays home feeling lonely and buying lingerie, waiting for you to return.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Hielario on Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:07 am

Yeah, I don't get why do they need a personality in the first place.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Enail on Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:35 pm

Presumably, if the sex robots are humanoid as opposed to generic sex toys designed only to maximize enjoyable contact with genitals, it's because people are wanting something that has more of the holistic aspects of sex with another person rather than a pure masturbation aid. It seems natural to me that some level of personality might be a part of that for a lot of people.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Datelessman on Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:31 am

Enail wrote:Presumably, if the sex robots are humanoid as opposed to generic sex toys designed only to maximize enjoyable contact with genitals, it's because people are wanting something that has more of the holistic aspects of sex with another person rather than a pure masturbation aid.  It seems natural to me that some level of personality might be a part of that for a lot of people.

If so, then I wonder why the concept of "sex robots" continues to pop up since robots with humanoid features and programming would essentially still be persons, and therefore the same rules and consent stipulations would apply. Is it because of lazy writers? Because we still like narratives that question how some groups of people are considered an "other" and less than than human and rather than outright confront this, we still have to use sci fi metaphors to tip toe around the issue? Or is it another reason?

It's never been a trope I was fond of.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Hielario on Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:28 am

Do you seriously think a human shape and a bunch of behavioral routines is enough to be considered a person?
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Datelessman on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:09 pm

Hielario wrote:Do you seriously think a human shape and a bunch of behavioral routines is enough to be considered a person?

Depends on who is doing the consideration. I mean, men have been naming and personalizing their tools and vehicles since they've been invented.
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Re: Sex robots?

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:18 pm

Hielario wrote:Do you seriously think a human shape and a bunch of behavioral routines is enough to be considered a person?

I seriously think there's a point where the distinction becomes uncertain. There may or may not be more to people that a bunch of very complex behavioral routines, but those routines are the only thing we can observe directly. And I think the question is important in at least two ways:

1: If certain science fiction scenarios were to occur, like meeting alien civilizations, or creating artificial intelligences that were sufficiently intelligent, I'd like to hope those beings would be included in our concept of human rights.

and more importantly 2: There are still discussions going on today about which actual, living members of Homo Sapiens should be seen as persons. Dehumanizing is a thing people do. I'd rather have the limit on the inclusive side.

(There's also at least a possibility that treating sufficiently human-like beings as objects will help move that boundary in the wrong direction - that simulating transgressions could have a desensitivizing effect.)
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