Sex with robots: what’s love got to do with it?

Female robot adopts a frankly provocative pose.
Date:24 June 2014 Author: Alan Duggan Tags:, , , , , , ,

About five years ago, PM aroused (if you’ll pardon the expression) mild consternation in some quarters by publishing a cover story titled “Sex with machines”. It was an utterly harmless extract from a book by David Levy titled Love and Sex with Robots, and I recall speculating that it was probably the first time in over a century that the word “sex” had appeared on our cover.

Fielding a few critical letters in the following weeks, I was at pains to point out that we had at no stage urged our readers to become intimate with their domestic appliances. Nor was the word “sex” offensive in itself, I said, even when it was linked to robots. I thoroughly enjoyed the correspondence that followed – in particular an e-mail pointing out that the offending article had appeared in the same issue as an advertisement for our Father’s Day competition.

Anyway, we now learn that the celebrated “robot companion” known as Roxxxy (all those exes are undoubtedly significant) – purportedly the world’s only true sexbot – has been joined by a trio of sisters, including one with the slightly counterintuitive name of Rocky. Apparently RoxxxyGold is the only sister equipped with a “personality”, being able to take on pre-programmed personas that include Mature Martha, Young Yoko and Frigid Farrah. Rocky, on the other hand, is er… very basic.

If this sounds borderline dodgy (and frankly, I’m starting to feel the urge for a strong drink), you should know that some rather clever people have been taking an interest other than prurient. Among them is John Danaher, who holds a PhD from University College Cork and has spent a while exploring the less obvious aspects of the sex-with-robots concept. Check out this fascinating blog.

* Full disclaimer: The image accompanying this post does not reflect a true likeness of Roxxxy. In fact, it’s just a tin robot. The real Roxxxy is too rude to show here.

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