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Was this Chinese ‘sperm extractor’ the first sex robot for men?

man in robot costume with chinese flag

Introducing the SW-3701 sperm extractor, which is basically a fancy name for “crazy Chinese sex robot.”

This article contains graphic content that may be NSFW.

From automated fellatio machine Autoblow 2 to this oscillating “guybrator,” there’s no shortage of high-tech sex toys targeted at men. But few of them actually serve a medical purpose, save for the SW-3701 sperm extractor, a robotic device that does—well, exactly what you’d think.

Invented by a Chinese medical science and technology firm back in 2011, the machine is basically a high-powered sex robot that extracts and collects semen from men hoping to conceive a child in the near future. It’s a tall, white, rectangular box with a pulsating, cylindrical device that’s intended to simulate a vagina, according to the description on its website, via “massage, twitching, sucking, vibration, etc. upon the human penis [sic].” Curiously, its Alibaba listing also says it’s for “urine collecting.” 

Because the device is made of plastic, it doesn’t perfectly replicate the experience of having sex with a human vagina, but you can modify the speed, frequency, and even temperature of the device to your liking. If you need a little, say, artistic inspiration, you can also use the headphones and a small video screen attached to the device at eye-level to get some “visual auditory stimulation,” which I guess is the People’s Republic of China’s censorship bureau’s term for “pornos.”

The SW-3701 sperm extractor looks about as sexy as it sounds: The best way to describe it is if the original desktop Macintosh had a threesome with HAL 9000 and a really angry Fleshlight. But even though the SW-3701 is only slightly more aesthetically appealing than, say, the Autoblow 2 (which has been compared to a slutty version of R2D2), its form is far less important than its function, which is to collect sperm from men hoping to conceive a child who may be too performance-shy to produce a semen sample for doctors on demand.

For most hospitals and fertility clinics, the conventional method of testing sperm is to ask patients to produce a semen sample on demand, “without providing a venue or equipment,” the chairman of the Jiangu Sanwe Medical Science and Technology Center told Reuters last month. Because many men might be too anxious or embarrassed to perform in such stressful circumstances, this “makes collecting sperm on the spot very difficult.” But the automatic sperm extraction machine essentially does all the work for them.

Although the SW-3701 is intended for a clinical setting, provided you’re not put off by the idea of sticking your member inside a giant vibrating computer vagina, you might be wondering if there’s any chance you can get one of these babies for the privacy of your own home. If so, you better have a little more than 10 grand burning a hole in your pocket: Jiangu Sanwe sells the devices for about $13,000 each. So far, they’ve sold about 10,000 of the devices annually, distributing them in England, Germany, Russia, and the United States. 

Of course, the market for male-targeted toys and, ahem, sperm collectors is a growing one. Women have long been the focus of the stimulation industry, but the tides are quickly turning, as evidenced by an ever-growing catalog of options for dudes. And sure, the SW-3701 might have more clinical uses than other items, but it’s certainly doing the same thing and sporting a similar design. I guess you can consider it one of the earliest pioneers of this modern age of male sex gadgetry. 

H/T Future of Sex | Photo via Ben Husmann (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.