ROBOT BROTHELS & THE FUTURE OF SEX: ACHIEVING SEXUAL GRATIFICATION THROUGH ROBOTIC STIMULATION – (University Assignment News Feature Article – 4th June 2018) – BJ Connolly.
Have you ever been in a situation with a sexual partner where you’ve had to restraint yourself from acting out your most perverted and kinkiest desires due to a fear of being judged? Thanks to sex robots that fear can now vanish. Just hop on a plane to Paris and hit up Xdolls, France’s first ever robot brothel.
Xdolls opened to the public in January 2018 and is home to five lifelike dolls made of silicon. The dolls physical features are lustfully dazzling as they closely imitate what pornography and Western society portrays as being sexually attractive. The dolls available at Xdolls range from being large breasted, model thin, curvy or athletic. The robots are disinfected with strong cleaning products before and after every use.
Joaquim Lousquy owner of Xdolls says “my customers for the 80% are male aged between 35 and 65 years old. They are smart, educated and wear clean clothes. Good work and they have money”.
Prior to acting out their sexual urges on the robot, customers are forced to make an upfront deposit of 100 Euros in cash to cover any costs that might be needed if they end up damaging or breaking any of the robots parts if their frisky encounter turns a little volatile. If nothing is broken at the end of their session the deposit is returned.
The venues location is anonymous and not listed on the businesses website, it is only emailed to clients after making an online purchase of either 89 Euros for 60 minutes or 149 Euros for 120 minutes of automated pleasure.
Despite being visited by predominately male patrons, Mr. Lousquy reveals that “I receive 5% of couples” whom are often married and looking for new ways to spice up their marriage. They either engage in a threesome with the robot or live out a fantasy of watching their spouse have sex with another entity.
In the foreseeable future Joaquim Lousquy is hoping to fulfil a burning desire to open more Xdolls venues in other French based cities. He aspires to soon introduce male dolls to his brothel to satisfy a prevalent request from patrons after receiving a rise in female visitors. “I will open a lot more Xdolls around France, with male dolls and others kind of dolls, black, elf and more”. Yes you read that correctly for those of you who have a fetish for Dobby from the Harry Potter movies, Xdolls will soon allow you to have sex with an elf looking robot.
As a result of prostitution being illegal in France there have been several requests from French politicians and members of the public calling for the closure of Xdolls. The public debate surrounding the legality of Xdolls as to whether or not the venue should be classified as an operator of prostitution is not the only criticism thrusted upon the establishment which cunningly brands itself as a ‘gaming centre’.
In March 2018, the Paris City Council sent a team of police officers on a surprise visit to Xdolls. This was arranged to determine whether or not Xdolls promotes the rape of women. The venue survived its biggest test to date and remains open. However, members of The French Communist Party have continued to label Xdolls “the pinnacle of the dehumanisation of the relationship between women and men”. They furthermore assert that Xdolls is insensitive to the fact that approximately 86,000 women are victims of rape in France each year.
Feminists around the world have joined forces to establish ‘The Campaign Against Sex Robots’. The organisation was founded by British academic and women rights activist Kathleen Richardson. Ms. Richardson is a Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and Artificial Intelligence at the De Montfort University, Leicester.
A key policy of ‘The Campaign Against Sex Robots’ is to push for a complete ban on selling sexbots across the United Kingdom and Europe. Members of the advocacy group are concerned that the aesthetics of sex robots promote the “widespread misogyny and objectification of women and girls” which is frequently depicted in pornography.
The belief that a robot can be used successfully as a substitute to a romantic relationship between two humans is a falsehood in Richardson’s viewpoint. She contends that the growth in robot brothels and use of personal sexbots in households will lead to a loss of empathy amongst their male users whom are in many cases already socially isolated. She suggests that the popular argument “since robots are not human they can therefore not be harmed” is irrelevant as they can have harmful effects on their male users and hinder their ability to connect with real life females on an intimate level, in a similar fashion to men who are addicted to watching pornography.
Another popular argument surrounding the ethics of this technological dilemma is that sex robots can be therapeutic. Some academics have even gone as far as arguing that robots designed to look like children could be helpful in rehabilitating paedophiles. They believe the sex dolls may even prevent some paedophiles from acting out their impulses to commit sex crimes on children.
Professor Marc Behrendt from ULB University in Belgium, who specialises in the ethics of robotics contends that “It could be one way or another. Robots could help or harm. No one really knows for sure. That is why I have called for some serious research on the subject, before making them available or banning them. Nevertheless I’m not, at this stage at least, in favour of selling them freely on the market, but rather using them strictly as a therapeutic tool, under medical supervision”.
In 2017, a 33 year old Essex man named Simon Glerum was arrested and eventually handed down a 12 month suspended jail sentence after purchasing a child sexdoll online which was imported from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom. The sexdoll, which stands at a miniature 90cm tall has subsequently been destroyed. Upon the arrest of Mr. Glerum police seized a laptop which disturbingly contained images of child abuse. This incident highlights the only so far undisputable benefit of ‘child sex robots’ that being their ability to make a police officer’s job easier when trying to locate and capture paedophiles.
In 2016, Ricky Ma a graphic designer from Hong Kong fulfilled a childhood fantasy to have sex with Scarlett Johannsson after creating a robot that looks like the Hollywood superstar. Looking forward to the future, this illustrates a huge opportunity in the market for celebrities to make money if they are daring enough to license their image to companies who manufacture and distribute sexbots.
Evelyn Schwarz is the owner of Germany’s first ever robot brothel which trades under the name ‘Bordoll – The New Generation of Sex’. Regardless of how popular sexbots become in the foreseeable future he declares that “what I can say for sure is that robots will never be able to replace sex with real people because there will always be people who are very close to intimacy and emotional feedback”.
Another reason why the German businessman believes robots could never fully replace a relationship between two humans is because the dolls are not made to last forever.
“They have a ‘durchgmittliche’ which in your language translates into life expectancy. Use on average lasts only about half a year, since wear and tear such as cracks and discoloration in the silicone or intimate area or breaks in the metal skeleton are unstoppable”, says Evelyn Schwarz.
He goes onto reveal that “the worst injury I’ve seen was a broken back on a doll. When the back is broken you cannot use them much because you can no longer bring them into many of the most desired positions”.
Mr. Schwarz highlights that there are many overlooked social benefits of having sexbots available to the public. “Many men who visit Bordoll are married and do not want to cheat on their wife and since the doll is just a big sex toy without any emotions, it does not pose a danger to a relationship”. He furthermore explains that sexbots are highly therapeutic for “people with social deficits and disabilities who are afraid of having physical contact with real people”.
He believes that there’s a huge misconception surrounding how the public predominately view robot brothels at this point in time. “Most of my clients actually practice normal sex with the dolls” and only on the rare occasion does he get a client who has “a more extreme fantasy like tying up or flogging the doll”.
In an attempt to silence the criticism of feminists who testify that robot brothels fuel “toxic masculinity” Mr. Schwarz has introduced both male and transgender robots into his brothel. He says that the transgender sexbots have proven to be extremely popular with patrons who identify as members of the LGBTQI community. “The clientele are colourful, from 18-80 years ranging from the student to the pensioner. There are also couples and single women – but we would like to welcome more from this category to be with us. Everyone is welcome at Bordoll”.
When evaluating the arguments put forward by both those in favour of robot brothels as well as the criticism raised by groups who want to ban them, socio-demographic inclusion is the key if they are to stay open in the long run. If a noteworthy percentage of the female population and LGBTQI individuals continue to develop a yearning urge to participate in sexual activity with these advanced love machines than you can expect to see robot brothels becoming the norm in the not too distant future.