Photo via flanneltron (CC-BY)
Advancements in technology change our lives every year in ways we could never have imagined in the past. It has revolutionized the way we consume music, take photographs, argue with our friends, and play games. So what’s the next frontier? One American research fellow at Kirkwood College thinks it’s sex, and that we should be weary of our new robot sex-god overlords.
That researcher is Joel Snell and, in an interview with the Daily Star, he recently outlined the dangers of the coming golden age of robotic sex. After all, what’s the point of going out and facing rejection trying to find a partner when you can experience every physical desire you’ve ever had in the comfort of your own home, with a robot whose enthusiastic consent is programed in.
“People may become obsessed by their ever-faithful, ever-pleasing sex robot lovers. People will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions," Snell warns.
The impact this could have on marriages is both positive and negative. For some long term couples sex robots could allow for the easing of tension when a romantic relationship that has lost its steam, but it could just as easily become another form of infidelity in many partners' eyes. After all a sex toy with a face is a different emotional experience than a piece of plastic.
It’s also important to consider the ways our modern society is already changing sex drives. Millennials are having less sex than any previous generation in 60 years. Robotic sex relieves the tension of sexual frustration without the risk of rejection. Most of the benefits, none of the risk.
While the world may not offer much long term security, it offers tons of instant gratification. Almost every song, movie, TV show, or book can be instantly beamed into your pocket. Perhaps Joel Snell is correct, and a robotic "Spotify-for-sex" will prove so effective that human beings won’t be able to handle the responsibility
A 2014 study showed that sex addicts had similar brain patterns to those of drug addicts. In cases like this would robotic sex be a way of holding these urges at bay, or would it just be a way to more efficiently get a fix. These are important questions our society needs to ask as we slowly move towards the day when robotic sex stops involving faceless devices and creepy Real Dolls, and instead offers up a more lifelike alternative.
In the meantime, enjoy your bedroom fun while we still can. Skynet is coming.