It never fails. As soon as someone starts talking about an amazing technology, an angry feminist comes along to shit on it. Dr. Kathleen Richardson and Dr. Erik Billing are the head shitters at the Campaign Against Sex Robots.
According to Richardson, sex robots are “reinforcing patriarchal ideas about how women should look and behave.” That’s especially impressive since they’re not even on the market yet.
They’re also “normalizing the idea that a relationship can be purely physical.” Well, except that there is interest in them precisely because people realize that’s not possible.
As someone who’s tried it, let me tell you something. If sex without emotions were possible, no one would want a sex robot. It’s precisely because people come with their annoying emotional needs and “what are we doing” questions that there is a market for masturbation aids.
Then it gets more sinister. “We live in a society where people can buy sex without taking into account the other person’s thoughts or feelings, we could transfer this type of relationship onto robots.”
You don’t understand sex workers
Sex workers ARE NOT ROBOTS. Sex workers decide who they do business with. Go to a whore and try to buy sex without taking into account his or her thoughts or feelings. Make them feel insulted, unsafe, and see whether they do business with you. Prostitutes are (gasp) people, not robots. They have feelings. If you want to have sex with them, best be pleasant, whether you have a wad or cash or not.
You don’t understand men
Masturbation and sex are different. They have different motivations, different purposes, and are not, in any way, shape, or form, mutually exclusive. Very few people do either exclusively, in fact.
Now I’m sure there are a few men (and women) who would stop having sex to masturbate with robots. What is the sex-having world missing by having them out of the runnings, exactly? The fact is that I’ve never fucked anyone who would readily switch me out for a robot. You probably haven’t either.
But I have been hit on by such people. And I, frankly, cannot wait for them to be too busy fucking their sex robot to send me stupid messages on the internet.
Here’s the real problem
There’s one thing Richardson gets. And it’s important. “We’ve created a society where we think we can live alone, and that it’s shameful to feel lonely.”
This really has nothing to do with sex. Except maybe that it’s more okay in our society to admit you want to fuck than that you want a friend. We have myriad dating apps which people use without shame to find someone to rub genitals with. But admit that you want to find someone to grab a pizza and watch TV with, no sexual agenda, and you’re seen as irredeemably sad.
It’s an issue that’s close to my heart because I’ve spent too much time lonely and unaware of it, then ashamed of it. I know I’m not alone. We all have friends that hop on Tinder instead of going to networking events even though finding friends would be much better for them than another hookup. Because it’s okay to need a date but it’s not okay to need a friend.
Will some people buy sex robots instead of going out and connecting with people? Of course. And that’s a problem. But the solution isn’t to blame the robots. We need to destigmatize loneliness. Turn the Campaign Against Sex Robots into the Campaign for Friendship.