July 20, 2017

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to beat it up every night?"

"I mean, it might be alright, it might mean he can be calmer and more normal with you - think about Aristotle’s theory of catharsis. But we really haven’t discussed this as a society. We’re drifting towards it and the technology is very close to being available, but we just aren’t talking about it."

From "Why female sex robots are more dangerous than you think" (in the UK Telegraph).

I'm in favor of these robots (I realized as I was commenting in the last post about "sex" robots), and I'm interested in the way some people seem so afraid that robot girlfriends will be treated badly, rather than feeling encouraged that men (or women) without companions will get psychological comfort and pleasure from a full-sized replica of a human being.

I'd like to flip the question that I put in the post title and ask "How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you never seemed to want?"

162 comments:

EDH said...

"The Doll."

CStanley said...

Mark me as opposed, because even with best case assumptions (as Althouse notes, that people who can't find human companions will have consolation), this remedy puts a bandaid on a much more serious problem. We've become so sex obsessed that we've forgotten that our real need is for intimate relations with each other, not physical gratification. I think this trend is one more step down the wrong road, and collectively the acceptance and normalization of it leads us farther away from people leading happy and fulfilling lives.

Sample Commenter said...

I wouldn't mind a sex robot that looked like my wife at twenty. Probably the two of us could have some fun with that! Of course she might want the model that looked like me at 25.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'm not worried about sex robots ending human relationships. I'm worried about Virtual Reality ruining human relationships.

Bob Ellison said...

There are other ways to flip the question. How would you feel about your father getting a Hitler robot just to murder it every afternoon? What would you think about your sister buying a George Clooney robot?

A little puppy robot that you could put in a blender daily and that later re-assembles itself, nanobot-like, could be therapeutic, especially for Glenn Reynolds.

William said...

Sex robots are a quantum jump, but they're an extension of the porn industry. Has porn ruined marriages?....;.Machines do so many things better than humans. Why should sex be the exception?.......The best way to communicate a disease from one human being to another is by sexual intercourse. Sex is unhygienic and not consistent with our current standards of health and cleanliness. Beyond this, there's the fact that the libido is infested with with ideas of dominance, submission, and cosplay that cannot be acted out with due consideration of your partner's dignity and equality. Sex robots are a historical inevitability.

Gahrie said...

How about:

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you take for granted?"

or:

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you feel entitled to?"

Laslo Spatula said...

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like your sister, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you never seemed to want?"

I am Laslo.

AlbertAnonymous said...

She's worried about her "ex" boyfriend having a doll....

There's your trouble! Why are you worrying one iota about your ex?

But I see why the ex might want this doll (if it's as nefarious as she fears). She must have been a real peach as a girlfriend. Controlling? Nagging? Perhaps it's good thereapy for the boyfriend to take out his frustrations on a look alike doll.

Maybe he wants to "hate f-her"

Paging Mr Laslo....

Wilbur said...

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you never seemed to want?"
_________________________________________________________________________________

I wasn't aware there were men who just couldn't their girlfriend to talk enough or accept all the love offerings made to them. You may have this bass-ackwards.

Gahrie said...

I wasn't aware there were men who just couldn't their girlfriend to talk enough or accept all the love offerings made to them. You may have this bass-ackwards

Profession sex workers will tell you that the men are interested in companionship as much as sex.

Sample Commenter said...

This is all about thought crimes.

Fucking Laslo. Brilliant.

The Vault Dweller said...

Sex Robots seem really creepy to me. That being said, the strongest argument against them I have seen is that they are creepy. The fervor with with some feminists oppose them makes me think that those feminists just want to be able to control men. While it doesn't seem odd to me, it does seem hypocritical because feminism at least in part means that no adult should be able to control another adult. It is also odd to on one hand complain about men objectifying women but at the same time complain about men anthropomorphizing an object. I wonder if these same feminists would yank a little girl's doll out of her hands? Something tells me they would, but not because the littler girl is anthropomorphizing an object.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

How would you feel about your ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend hiring Russian prostitutes to pee on a bed you once slept in?

Sample Commenter said...

While it doesn't seem odd to me, it does seem hypocritical because feminism at least in part means that no adult should be able to control another adult.

No, a movement like that would be called "humanism." Great comment by the way, the whole thing.

Fernandinande said...

What the feminists are fantasizing about are actually just life-sized dolls, right? And there are not any actual "sex robots" currently for sale?

(A robot being something that can walk over to you and give you a blowjob rather than just lying there; a doll talks when you pull the string in the back.)

ConradBibby said...

I fear the continued devaluation of actual human interaction. For all the good it does, technology diminishes the relative value we place in other people because of their intelligence, their knowledge of the world, their conversational skills, their humor, etc. We increasingly turn to digital devices not just for news and entertainment, but for intellectual stimulation, for instruction and advice, for gaining a sense of community -- and now even for sex? If people can get everything you they want from a computer or robot, what will they want you for?

n.n said...

And on the second day he created a surrogate device. And it was good. On the third day he took a battery from the surrogate and shaped it in the form of a human. And they were good. On the fourth day she aborted any obstacles to the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, and narcissistic indulgence. On the fifth day he, she, and it rested in separate houses.

your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like your sister

I see where this is progressing. Some things should be built and not discussed.

Virtual Reality ruining human relationships

Robots are a virtual representation of humans. So are other surrogate devices.

tcrosse said...

How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like your Mother to guilt you about breaking up with him ?

Gahrie said...

We increasingly turn to digital devices not just for news and entertainment, but for intellectual stimulation, for instruction and advice, for gaining a sense of community -- and now even for sex?

Women have used electronic sexual devices for decades. There are a wide variety of them today, from vibrators, to sybians to fucking machines. (The latter thrust and withdraw a didlo from the vagina rapidly and repeatedly) All three can be connected to the internet to allow others to monitor or even control them.

CStanley said...

I'm a woman who believes that the feminist move,meant is responsible for much of the pathology in our culture (though I also think the feminists were aided and abetted by men who liked the idea of free sex.)

But I disagree that there is inconsistency here:

It is also odd to on one hand complain about men objectifying women but at the same time complain about men anthropomorphizing an object.

Those are two sides of the same coin-objectifying women and anthropomorphizing an object. The point of both is that the man wants to relate to an unrealistic version of a human being that is completely within his control.

Fernandinande said...

Roxxxy Robotics = a mild seizure, which is cool if you're into epilepsy.

Mike said...

Let me flip it again: How would I feel if my wife got a hus-bot that she could bitch at as it went about the house doing the work I don't want to do?

I'd feel great. And the robot wouldn't care either because he's a machine. And if some busybody wants to interfere I have a self-defense bot roaming the property that will uh, help them get off my porch.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Don't date robots!

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=futurama+don%27t+date+robots&view=detail&mid=9C74A89028FD1469B26E9C74A89028FD1469B26E&FORM=VIRE

buwaya said...

Between one thing and another, not too long in the future there is likely to be that last generation of humans that have lost everything but the obsession with entertainment.

After that it will be all up to the robots I suppose.

The worship of sex for its own sake already seems to be driving out or sublimating the instinct to reproduce.

Gahrie said...

The point of both is that the man wants to relate to an unrealistic version of a human being that is completely within his control.

Have you seen what vibrators and dildos look like today?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

All the sophistry is just an attempt to obfuscate the real concern, additional competition for men.

I forget who, but I remember some comic making a joke that if ever develop a virtual reality environment like the one pictured in Star Trek, a holodeck, then that would be the end of the human race. Forget crack. That would be really addictive.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=stng+minuet&&view=detail&mid=7276050AC19A6AC0AD5D7276050AC19A6AC0AD5D&FORM=VRDGAR

JohnAnnArbor said...

I'm not worried about sex robots ending human relationships. I'm worried about Virtual Reality ruining human relationships.

Relevant "Dilbert" strip from 1994.

traditionalguy said...

OK. The subject is Female Hardware advances. But the software is still far behind in being a substitute for the wiles of a real live woman.

mockturtle said...

Firstly, I have no issue with adult sexbots being used, although, in agreement with buwaya, I believe our pleasure-seeking obsessions will eventually destroy us. But what if your neighbor had a sexbot made that looked just like your five-year-old girl?

Gahrie said...

But what if your neighbor had a sexbot made that looked just like your five-year-old girl?

You beat his ass and wait for the jury to acquit you.

n.n said...

The worship of sex for its own sake already seems to be driving out or sublimating the instinct to reproduce.

First, there were inconvenient babies. Second, there were mansplaining men and nagging women. Third, there were brownouts and blackouts as prevailing winds were outside tolerance and the sun was masked in darkness. But through it all there were was a virtual reality.

The pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, and narcissistic indulgence is the essence of enlightenment.

The Vault Dweller said...

Those are two sides of the same coin-objectifying women and anthropomorphizing an object. The point of both is that the man wants to relate to an unrealistic version of a human being that is completely within his control.

I agree that they are related concepts, but the former seems like it could be bad for another person whereas the latter seems like if it is bad it only harms the individual doing the anthropomorphizing. If you view your partner like an object, you may be more inclined to mistreat them in some manner. This doesn't have to be criminal level mistreatment, but it could be not engaging with them intellectually or emotionally, not giving them praise or comfort etc.

Whereas if you are anthropomorphizing an object, and pouring your emotion into that object the only person you could be harming is essentially yourself (I am discounting the possibility that some person is out there who could be receiving that emotion and that person is harmed because of your failure to give them that emotion.) I suspect most people who were showing affection to a sex robot, would ultimately have a more fulfilling experience if they found an actual person to do that with, because then that person can reciprocate. But that in and of itself doesn't make the 'relationship' with the sex robot a bad thing. It might be the best that person can do.

So I will agree objectifying and anthropomorphizing are related. They both treat something as if it were another thing. Only one of those actions, seems like it has the possibility to harm another person, so only that one seems like it is fair to criticize. (P.S. it has been my experience as a man that if you are in a relationship with a woman they very much enjoy being objectified when you tell them how hot and sexy they are.)

Ron Winkleheimer said...

But what if your neighbor had a sexbot made that looked just like your five-year-old girl?

This is a problem that has already come up with the advent of the internet, cheap computers, and imaging software.

It is illegal to possess salacious photos of young children even if those photos were created without the use of actual children on the basis that such images could encourage actual child abuse.

holdfast said...

How would you feel about your boyfriend getting a sex robot that looked exactly like Emily Ratajkowski, and then asking you to have a three-way with it?

Pretty good if he can use it to do the stuff you won't do?

mockturtle said...

It is illegal to possess salacious photos of young children even if those photos were created without the use of actual children on the basis that such images could encourage actual child abuse.

I thought SCOTUS had ruled the opposite.

n.n said...

a sexbot made that looked just like your five-year-old girl

First, all robots are declared to be of legal age. Give or take one or two weeks.

Second, any resemblance to any man, woman, or child, living or dead, is purely coincidental and is in the eye of the beholder. See point one for the third product.

I wonder if this would provide an outlet for an aspiring rapist, child molester, or wife/husband beater. Would it be acceptable to express their orientation outside the bedroom, the closet, their home?

The possibilities of indulging fantasies in a virtual world.

cubanbob said...

Somewhere in all of this is there is a Woody Allen movie.

CStanley said...

@The Vault Dweller- I disagree with the idea that a person engaging in things that harm only himself is apart from a greater societal harm.

That's why I'm a social conservative and not a libertarian. I don't believe in the idea of victimless crimes (drug use overall exacts a very high cost on society, for instance.) I do think, of course, that even when things are harmful they shouldn't necessarily be illegal, but that has to do with weighing the harm of empowering the state, not with whether or not the bad actions harm more than one person who performs the action.

So for example, I certainly don't think sex robots should be made illegal, but I think it would be healthy if we didn't accept them as a societal good.

buwaya said...

I suspect those artificial wombs are going to come in just in time to prevent human extinction.

And, perhaps, there will be enough known about the human genome and such matters to ensure positive eugenics in the people the state, by then entirely cybernetic, chooses to manufacture.

Peter said...

I'd worry more about robots with the capability to reproduce themselves, with programming that makes them want to do so.

But perhaps the question here is: how insecure does one need to be to worry that a robot's company is more interesting/pleasurable than you? Although being able to do things to a robot that if done to a person would be criminal abuse does perhaps raise some questions- not that robots should have rights, but that engaging in such activities might be psychologically destructive.


In any case, if the metric is "seconds to orgasm," won't a vibrator win over a man?

A chatbot app would be far less expensive than a full anthropomorphic robot, so I'd expect that to come first: just someone (-thing) to chat with.

And it's a shame, but "android" used to mean "anthropomorphic robot" but now it just refers to Google's Android software. So we really need another word for "anthropomorphic robot."

brylun said...

The brilliant Isaac Asimov wrote a book entitled "The Naked Sun" (1957) where humans shun contact of other humans and robots outnumber humans 10,000 to 1.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Wait until Title IX administrators get involved!

Wilbur said...

Gahrie said...
I wasn't aware there were men who just couldn't their girlfriend to talk enough or accept all the love offerings made to them. You may have this bass-ackwards

Profession sex workers will tell you that the men are interested in companionship as much as sex
___________________________________________________________________________________

That's a different kettle of fish than a girlfriend. Completely different.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I thought SCOTUS had ruled the opposite.

Man, I feel like an idiot. You are correct.

The Vault Dweller said...

So for example, I certainly don't think sex robots should be made illegal, but I think it would be healthy if we didn't accept them as a societal good.

I'll agree with that. I would characterize myself as libertarian-ish on some social issues. So while I'm not exactly an advocate for legalizing prostitution, were it legalized I would still want a very strong social stigma associated with being a prostitute. Because, even if there were absolutely no social stigma associated with it, I suspect that the overwhelming majority of women who became a prostitute would have been much better off and had a much more fulfilling life if instead they got an education, got a job, got married and had a few kids and a family. In fact even without a social stigma I suspect most women who became prostitutes would feel bad about themselves. While certainly some women would manage just fine in that role, most wouldn't. If having a strong social stigma associated with prostitution can prevent these women from even starting that lifestyle that is a good thing. Our society doesn't need to be one where the only way one can learn the stove is hot is to burn one's hand on the stove.

CStanley said...

P.S. it has been my experience as a man that if you are in a relationship with a woman they very much enjoy being objectified when you tell them how hot and sexy they are.)

I imagine this is as confusing to men as it is for women to be in a relationship with a man who shows a desire for the emotional intimacy of a relationship while also displaying tendencies to want easy physical gratification without the work of a relationship.

In other words, we're all flawed human beings and we want things both ways, but this manifests itself a bit differently with males and females. Too bad we couldn't grow up an accept each other's flaws instead of going to war over them.

lgv said...

I'm pretty sure the entire premise is nonsense. I find it unlikely that a guy would spend money on a robot that looked like the ex. If he did, it wouldn't be to beat it up. Nor is this the reason the writer worries about robots. It is that her next boyfriend won't really happen because he has chosen a robot instead.

themightypuck said...

They are going to need to create a doll that can bruise before I can get my S and M rocks off with it.

Mike said...

I wonder if this would provide an outlet for an aspiring rapist, child molester, or wife/husband beater

No, because terror and control is what gets those people off. Even if a robot is programmed to "act scared" there is no real thrill in it for truly evil actors. Rape isn't about sex. Molesting isn't only about sex and the reasons people beat each other won't be assuaged by an alternate thing to hit. You've identified three bad behaviors here that no robo-tech is going to solve.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Reposting C Stanley because I agree 100% with her sentiments

Mark me as opposed, because even with best case assumptions (as Althouse notes, that people who can't find human companions will have consolation), this remedy puts a bandaid on a much more serious problem. We've become so sex obsessed that we've forgotten that our real need is for intimate relations with each other, not physical gratification. I think this trend is one more step down the wrong road, and collectively the acceptance and normalization of it leads us farther away from people leading happy and fulfilling lives.

Robots are just a more elaborate and expensive way to masturbate and further distance yourself from the messiness of having real physical and (more importantly) emotional connections to real people.

It is a dangerous trend to isolate yourself from human interconnections and anthropomorphize inanimate objects.

Unknown said...

"I'm in favor of these robots ...men (or women) without companions will get psychological comfort and pleasure from a full-sized replica of a human being."

Whys is this desirable? It's bad enough that people are so ridiculously solicitous of their pets, regarding them as surrogate human beings. (Pope Francis was right about this.) This possibility is just plain sick.

Howard said...

The devolution continues.

CStanley said...

"I'm in favor of these robots ...men (or women) without companions will get psychological comfort and pleasure from a full-sized replica of a human being."

Whys is this desirable? It's bad enough that people are so ridiculously solicitous of their pets, regarding them as surrogate human beings. (Pope Francis was right about this.) This possibility is just plain sick.


Also...what happened to "Better than nothing is a high standard"?

Thorley Winston said...

I wasn't aware there were men who just couldn't their girlfriend to talk enough or accept all the love offerings made to them. You may have this bass-ackwards.

No they don’t. Behind every woman in a miserable relationship with a guy who treats her like dirt, is the nice guy she either didn’t notice, wouldn’t let out of the “friend zone” or dumped because she preferred a “bad boy.”



walter said...

Maybe this tech could give sex offenders etc an outlet.
Perhaps marriages with severely mismatched libidos as well.

Todd said...

Ann, the entire "sex robot" issue becomes clear if you simply understand that it must be stopped because it disadvantages women. Period.

A "sex robot" is simply a more sophisticated form of "fleshlight" (male version of a woman's vibrator). Women are "entitled" to their Sybian but if a man progresses beyond "rose" patriarchy!

It is really that simple. All else is smoke and mirrors.

Henry said...

"I'm in favor of these robots ...men (or women) without companions will get psychological comfort and pleasure from a full-sized replica of a human being."

Instead of sex robots, how about grandma robots? Since no one yet has figured out how to make humanoid robots realistically ambulate, the grandma robot comes with her own rocking chair. She'll rock while you watch television and talk to you about her health ailments and people who've died. But she will tell you that you're her best grandchild.

Gahrie said...

It is a dangerous trend to isolate yourself from human interconnections and anthropomorphize inanimate objects.

Tell that to Steely Dan III.

R.J. Chatt said...

Instant access to a soulless marriage, literally. I think the danger is that the subconscious mind does not distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary. A delusional person could become even more seriously delusional.

On the plus side I could see some benefit in issuing these replica sex slaves to ISIS so they could quit raping Yazidi women.

Thorley Winston said...

Instead of sex robots, how about grandma robots? Since no one yet has figured out how to make humanoid robots realistically ambulate, the grandma robot comes with her own rocking chair. She'll rock while you watch television and talk to you about her health ailments and people who've died. But she will tell you that you're her best grandchild.

Sounds like The Electric Grandmother.

Gahrie said...

So we really need another word for "anthropomorphic robot."

Animatronic.

Henry said...

In the Pygmalion myth I've never heard it mentioned that Pygmalion must have had a model.

He carved a sculpture so beautiful he fell in love with it. And the model was like, "what the hell?"

Charlie said...

Aren't feminists supposed to be in favor of boys playing with dolls?

Sample Commenter said...

The point of both is that the man wants to relate to an unrealistic version of a human being that is completely within his control.

And this bothers you because...?

Remember the great dildo debates where men objected to "unrealistic" penises that were "within the women's control"? Me neither. The most popular dildos, the ones without a vibrator, are as big around as a paper towel tube. I say that we take them off the market on behalf of insecure men!

exhelodrvr1 said...

Will they make sex robots that carry a mattress to class?

walter said...

Paper towel tube..or Pepsi can dick.

Sample Commenter said...

Don't worry, it's not a threat to you.

Hat tip to EDH for the steer to Yarn

FIDO said...

Ladies, if your ex boyfriend is so damaged by being in a relationship with you that he has to spend $10,000 to 'cleanse' you out of his system by doing something like this,

a) Stay away from him. His scars are deep and wide...but at least we know he has self control and is moderately intelligent (he left you, after all, unbeaten)

b) Please go Lesbian. We have enough damaged men out there. We don't need you starting a epidemic of more.

If you find your lesbian lover getting itchy fists (which is more common than the LGBT community likes to admit), it's you. Buy some cats. But get them declawed for your own safety.

My name goes here. said...

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you never seemed to want?"

It's worse than that Althouse.

These robots -- they do not age!

mockturtle said...

No they don’t. Behind every woman in a miserable relationship with a guy who treats her like dirt, is the nice guy she either didn’t notice, wouldn’t let out of the “friend zone” or dumped because she preferred a “bad boy.”

This is often true, Thorley. I dated a few 'bad boys' [although they were not physically abusive] but didn't marry any of them. Just as some men date 'bad girls' but prefer to marry good ones. At least, that used to be the case.

CStanley said...

And this bothers you because...?

Because it was also harmful for women to have unrealistic fantasies and use artificial substitutes for men in order to fulfill those.

Sorry that I didn't include that in my earlier comment but I'm not sure why you would insinuate that I felt it was different for women.

CStanley said...

Heh..."I'm not a robot."

Sample Commenter said...

Sorry that I didn't include that in my earlier comment but I'm not sure why you would insinuate that I felt it was different for women.

Maybe because this was never a debate until women were threatened. Just the random grumblings of the loser class of men which nobody cared about by definition.

mockturtle said...

The most popular dildos, the ones without a vibrator, are as big around as a paper towel tube.

That's big??

Sample Commenter said...

These are all thought crimes of the heart (see what I did there?) and men and women care deeply about what the other thinks.

Gigantic - The Pixies

Based on the movie Crimes of the Heart, if I may explain my joke. You will have to google the movie.

Sample Commenter said...

That's big?? - Mockturtle

We get it, you like to "belittle" men.

CStanley said...

@Sample Commenter- I'm sorry that I don't get to control "the debate".

Yancey Ward said...

When you start an argument with "how would you feel", I think you have already lost.

mockturtle said...

We get it, you like to "belittle" men.

Not at all. But I would consider a paper towel tube to be about average. At least in my experience.

Yancey Ward said...

And to be clear, I wrote start an argument.

Sample Commenter said...

Not at all. But I would consider a paper towel tube to be about average. At least in my experience.

You win!

walter said...

I remember thinking, “I’m only 37, for fuck’s sake. I can’t live like this.”
So I did what any of us would do:
called Brandi Glanville’s vagina repair dude.

CStanley said...

Also @Sample Commenter, the thing is that I find it discouraging when what might be a valid point is dismissed because of the suspected motivations of the person who raises it. Point out the hypocrisy but don't be so quick to dismiss, IMO. So if men had been worried that sex toys were leading women to certain expectations, I wouldn't dismiss that as a "loser's" argument (and furthermore I'd have agreed.)

mockturtle said...

When you start an argument with "how would you feel", I think you have already lost.

Bingo, Yancey! Why not, "What would you think?"? Great grumbling toads! Don't people think any more? They just feel?

Sample Commenter said...

the thing is that I find it discouraging when what might be a valid point is dismissed because of the suspected motivations of the person who raises it.

It's simply not a valid point. Not anymore. That ship sailed years ago. What is it to you what another person thinks about when using an inanimate object?

CStanley said...

It's simply not a valid point. Not anymore. That ship sailed years ago. What is it to you....

This exemplifies my argument. First the objections are dismissed because it's none of our business what individuals are doing...and then more and more individuals begin doing it and it becomes the norm....then, even as the negative societal impact is realized, too late, the ship has sailed.

Sample Commenter said...

Well, where were you when they came for the dicks?

Lance said...

This is not a new concept.

The "Ex" knife block

Throwing darts at the ex's photo

Burning the ex in effigy.

Rick Turley said...

Henry said...

"Instead of sex robots, how about grandma robots?"

Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling already got there first:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Sing_the_Body_Electric_(The_Twilight_Zone)

CStanley said...

@Sample Commenter...

If someone had "raised" the issue....ok I'd better stop there.

Sample Commenter said...

If someone had "raised" the issue....ok I'd better stop there

Well, you make my point, don't you? Anyway. This should be a funny thread, not a forum for misandrists like Mockturtle, or men long damaged by women like her like myself

rhhardin said...

This is just oversell.

Voodoo dolls and pins work fine.

Valentine Smith said...

Think of how happy all those Aspergers gents would be!

Gospace said...

lgv said...
I'm pretty sure the entire premise is nonsense. I find it unlikely that a guy would spend money on a robot that looked like the ex.


He might. After all, for her to be an ex, they must have been a couple. Something about her was attractive to him. So he has the sex-bot made in her image, and programs it to act like they were at the start of the relationship when all was good- and keeps the sex-bot in that mode.

Question is- will everyone receive an automatic copyright on their appearance? Will they be able to refuse to have sexbots made that look them? Or will they receive a royalty if their appearance is used, whether or not they consented? Lot's of work for lawyers in the sexbot field.

Freeman Hunt said...

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to beat it up every night?"

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to shower it with all the love and conversation you never seemed to want?"

The same in both cases.

Revolted.

And if you knew, this hypothetical ex must have told you, which sounds more taunting, so an appropriate response might be, "Saw off the robot's head and send it to my house so that I know it's been destroyed or I will tell everyone about your robot and expose you."

But then, no one should be able to sell a robot with an individual's likeness without that individual's consent. In the future, some women will earn hefty licensing payments this way.

CStanley said...

Look...I'm sure sex toys have been around much longer than I have and the modern surge in women using them even predates my life or at least my adulthood.

But aside from whether or not I personally was around to object...I think part of the way this is viewed reflects on male vs (traditional) female sensibilities.

Prior to the sexual revolution, most women I think would have seen all of this the way I do- as a gross substitute for sex at best and at worst something which harms the ability for people to relate intimitately to each other in a sexual relationship,

So unless I missed something, I don't really think men ever objected to women's use of vibrators on those grounds and so could be accused of only grumbling because they feared that they'd compare unfavorably with the mechanical devices, just as women who raise concerns now may be doing so also out of fear of being made redundant.

But underlying all of that, the practices themselves are either healthy or unhealthy and I don't see why we shouldn't freely discuss that. I also think that the reason men didn't widely object is that women were fundamentally adopting a more masculine attitude toward sex and abandoning their traditional role as gatekeepers of sexual morality (which is really a different way of saying that I believe women more explicitly realize that our sexual needs are tied to emotional needs and that men also have that connection but will more easily substitute the physical for the emotional...or at least they used to until convinced that they were missing out on something.)

Agree that humor has its place, and also agree that people should tread lightly when we have no idea what experiences other commenters bring to the discussion.

buwaya said...

Not yet mentioned is one of the better TV series out there, "Westworld", which goes pretty far on this and related topics - i.e., what if you could create lifelike androids to fulfill pretty much any role human fantasy can come up with.

In Westworld, its not just sex, or mostly sex, it is a role playing game, a wild-west movie themed outdoor dungeons&dragons game with storylines and quests and themes. And sex of course. A lot of interesting issues and consequences are addressed.

It does not, yet, go to whats really going on in the larger society where this technology is prevalent, or so one would assume. I hope they go there.

mockturtle said...

Sample Commenter: To be offensively graphic, just how many erect male penises have you seen?

buwaya said...

To be fair, I find "Westworld" rather slow. Still, it is inventive and very well made.
It can be very gruesome. There is much more gore and violence than sex or nudity, which is almost completely implied.

It seems humans are most interested in fake humans because they can have fun killing them.
There is more entertainment in pseudo-violence than pseudo-sex.

Skyler said...

Sexual or psychological "comfort" from a machine? Inhuman. By definition. A "benefit" not to be admired.

Just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be.

mockturtle said...

CStanley asserts: and abandoning their traditional role as gatekeepers of sexual morality

This may have been the case during certain eras but reading the Bible leads one to believe that women were often the sexual aggressors.

Kevin said...

So we really need another word for "anthropomorphic robot."

Hillary.

mockturtle said...

This may have been the case during certain eras but reading the Bible leads one to believe that women were often the sexual aggressors.

PS: Maybe just Jewish women. ;-) But then, there was Potiphar's wife....

CStanley said...

CStanley asserts: and abandoning their traditional role as gatekeepers of sexual morality

This may have been the case during certain eras but reading the Bible leads one to believe that women were often the sexual aggressors.


Fair enough...but my sense of it is that women serve as better gatekeepers by nature of our biology which is either by design or evolution (or both.) Societal norms can either encourage that or discourage, and there's no doubt that it involves a recognition of the sexual currency that women hold, which can either be exchanged in arrangements that are mutually beneficial to the sexes or can be exploited. I'd also say the Biblical stories generally were meant as morality tales to discourage women from acting as aggressors, not as exploits to emulate.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to beat it up every night?"

And of course we know that when a woman gets a robot that looks like her ex-boyfriend and proceeds to beat it, stab it, shoot it, etc. whenever she thinks about how the bastard dumped her it will be called empowerment!

mockturtle said...

CStanley writes: I'd also say the Biblical stories generally were meant as morality tales to discourage women from acting as aggressors, not as exploits to emulate.

Rather, they were meant to warn young men of aggressive [especially married] women.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"Harcourt Fenton Mudd...."

C Stanley said...

@mockturtle- I don't see the distinction. By propogating those cautionary tales, the society reduced (attempted to, anyway) the ability of women to gain power by sexual seduction.

Paul J said...

Ok, so what have we learned here, besides the fact that Sample Commentator and CStanley have tiny dicks?

Ralph L said...

Paul, CStanley appears to have a negative dick.

shower it with all the love and conversation you never seemed to want?"
Worse, that you were never willing and able to elicit.

C Stanley said...

Well I just learned that you weren't paying attention Paul.

Paul J said...

A woman recently told me that sex is inherently less casual to women because "you are inviting someone inside your body". I brought up topology and explained that humans of both sexes are one-handled, essentially like a donut, but to no avail.

C Stanley said...

@Ralph- hah, never heard it called that before!

Anyway, I'm sorry if I took all this into serious of a direction. I find it interesting to consider the psychology and and morality of sex but may have gotten carried away. I'll leave it the thread to the humorists now… Take it away folks

Ralph L said...

When I was young, the Boy Scout Handbook and some sex ed publications told boys that masturbation could lead to less interaction with other people, so one shouldn't do it in excess.

I suspect they don't advise that now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A woman recently told me that sex is inherently less casual to women because.....

Because the repercussions, the consequences, the results of sex and especially casual sex are something that permanently changes the woman's body and have a very long lasting effect....like decades of child care.

Of course if you have sex with a robot man, perhaps you can get some robot children and a few robot dogs and go ahead and pretend that you are surrounded by living beings who care for you on a personal level, instead of pre-programed machines.

Then you all can take a ride in your robot car for a vacation to someplace like Disneyland and admire the robotic rides, robo clerks and fake animatronic creatures in the exhibits.

Welcome to your fake empty non productive life. Just kill yourself now.

mockturtle said...

Can we all agree that having a relationship and releasing sexual tension are two different things? Ideally, they will be combined but this is not always possible.

Sex is a lot like Bridge: If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand. ;-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I say especially casual sex because the woman is (usually) left all alone to handle the consequences. At least in a relationship there 'may' be two people to take up the responsibilities.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sex is a lot like Bridge: If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand. ;-)

OMG that is great. I am going to use this. LOL

David Smith said...

Looks like I discovered one or more things commenters aren't permitted to say - Sorry 'bout that. Won't do it again. Comment, that is.

Ralph L said...

DBQ, you forgot that until a hundred years ago, sex was often fatal for women.

Gahrie said...

Because the repercussions, the consequences, the results of sex and especially casual sex are something that permanently changes the woman's body and have a very long lasting effect....like decades of child care.

Wait, wait, wait...you mean women and men are different, and that it isn't physically or emotionally healthy for women to behave like men when it comes to sex?

Mind blown.........

Jupiter said...

"This may have been the case during certain eras but reading the Bible leads one to believe that women were often the sexual aggressors."

The Bible is a work of fantasy, written by men.

BN said...

Not to worry, robots will only be a fairly short transitional phase on the way to us all becoming Borg (which will probably be known as Google or Amazon or something rather than Borg). The robots, you might say, are just the Vanguard on the way to Assimilation. We will get used to it over time, and then we will like it, and then we will need it. And finally, we simply won't be able to live without it.

Indeed, resistance will not only not be futile, it will be embraced willingly, just like we presently embrace the Big Brother Internet spying on us today. Life will be so much easier when we have no decisions at all to make. Free will has been pretty much a bust anyway.

Jupiter said...

It is true, that the necessary precursor of the evolution of social behavior in insects is the sterile worker. When the "individual" is no longer able to reproduce as an individual, but only vicariously through the queen, it becomes possible for behavior to evolve that is not just "altruistic" but actually self-sacrificial.

I don't really see humans headed down that path. Remember, evolution takes place at the margins, not down the middle. The fact that a lot of people are not reproducing is an immense opportunity for those who are. It is a category error, to suppose that since a lot of Japanese are not reproducing, the Japanese will become extinct. There are, obviously, two kinds of Japanese, one that reproduces, and one that does not. It is only the latter that is becoming extinct.

Gahrie said...

It is a category error, to suppose that since a lot of Japanese are not reproducing, the Japanese will become extinct. There are, obviously, two kinds of Japanese, one that reproduces, and one that does not. It is only the latter that is becoming extinct.

And there are not enough of the former to preserve the current social order in Japan.

Jupiter said...

"And there are not enough of the former to preserve the current social order in Japan."

Perhaps. But there are more on the way. Unless the Chinese or the Koreans get there first, and that doesn't look real likely.

One thing that surprises me is that people are not evolving to have more twins and triplets. Obviously, mammalian litter size is a fairly plastic trait. In times of limited food, a large litter might have been disadvantageous, but I don't think that evolutionary pressure is present in modern Western societies. Since twins do not appear to be at any evolutionary disadvantage, you would think there would be more of them. It makes me wonder whether maybe the theory of evolution is -- well, not *wrong*, but maybe -- incomplete.

Night Owl said...

"What did we learn here today?"

GRW3 said...

For more than peripheral acceptance, the "uncanny valley" issue has to be dealt with. The uncanny valley is one of the reasons mannequins look humanoid, not human. The latter would freak most people out. Better they by blue and alien than earthling.

Kirk Parker said...

Vault Dweller: "P.S. it has been my experience as a man that if you are in a relationship with a woman they very much enjoy being objectified when you tell them how hot and sexy they are.)"

CStanley: "I imagine this is as confusing to men as it is for women to be in a relationship with a man who shows a desire for the emotional intimacy of a relationship while also displaying tendencies to want easy physical gratification without the work of a relationship."

Me: CS, the confusion is all yours, as nothing in what VD said implied anything about avoiding the "work of a relationship".

GrapeApe said...

I'm thinking it might be more cost efficient to go to kinko's, get a few posters of an expanded (blown up) face pic and go to the shooting range. Hell, tape it on the side of the house and throw bottles at it. Folks have really lost their minds lately.

Gospace said...

Ralph L said...
When I was young, the Boy Scout Handbook


Which edition was that? I read mine cover to cover and never saw that.

Jim S. said...

The problem, as I see it, is that some people would have their desires satiated by beating up a fake person, while others would have their desires enflamed. For the latter group it would be like a drug: you have to get more and more extreme in order to get the same high. And eventually there would be nowhere else to go but graduate to real people. Serial killers often tortured animals as children.

Then again, this seems to me to be a variation of the debate over violent video games and violent media, namely that it encourages violence and dulls our empathy for our fellow human beings. As far as I know, all the studies have not found a connection between violence in media leading to violence in real life. But actually beating the hell out of something that looks exactly like a human being is a step beyond just watching realistic but fake violence on TV.

Jim S. said...

How would you feel about a pedophile getting a robot that looked exactly like a child in order to violently rape it every night? Would you be glad that he was working out his aggression with something that isn't alive and doesn't feel pain or would you think it was bound to be a stepping stone to attacking an actual child?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

“How would you feel about your ex boyfriend getting a robot that looked exactly like you, just in order to beat it up every night?”

To use one of my favorite Oscar Wilde lines, "It is obvious our social spheres have been widely different."

I have never had a relationship with someone who would do such a thing. So there's a start.

However, to answer the question, I would be relieved that I was no longer in a relationship with a nutjob, and would not waste any time, energy or thought on whatever he was doing in his leisure time. That's kind of what being broken up is, yes? He can do whatever he wants in the privacy of his own home and it's no concern of mine.

Some of these hand-wringers would really benefit from reading some Eckhardt Tolle or Timber Hawkeye. Their distress stems not from what others choose to do -- it's none of their damned business -- but in their inability to grasp where they stop and others start. People create their own suffering.

mockturtle said...

Jim S, that is a question I posed on two threads. It appears to be something no one wants to discuss but you know it's out there.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Since twins do not appear to be at any evolutionary disadvantage,

Gestation and delivery of multiples is much more dangerous than of singletons.

Women with multiple pregnancies should see their health care providers more often than women who are expecting one baby. Multiple pregnancy babies have a much higher risk of being born prematurely and having a low birth weight. There is also more of a risk of disabilities. Some women have to go on bed rest to delay labor. Finally, they may deliver by C-section, especially if there are three babies or more. WebMD

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, the entire "sex robot" issue becomes clear if you simply understand that it must be stopped because it disadvantages women."

I can see advantages to women, but there are some clunky "feminist" essays being written from the perspective of seeing harm to women. I think the discussion needs to advance, and one way to advance it is to show women ways in which it is good for women. For example:

1. There should be great robots for women.

2. Men can learn to relate to real women by practicing on robots (the way a child learns how to care for a baby by playing with a doll).

3. There are many men who are undesirable companions and they may cause a lot of damage if they are out looking for women or becoming more and more socially isolated and sad/angry for the lack of a woman. If these men can be satisfied with robots, it will take a burden off of women. Not just because women won't be harassed/raped but because women are often caregivers to men with physical and mental disabilities or who are very old.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

How would you feel about a pedophile getting a robot that looked exactly like a child in order to violently rape it every night? Would you be glad that he was working out his aggression with something that isn't alive and doesn't feel pain or would you think it was bound to be a stepping stone to attacking an actual child?

Mixed feelings, which reflects my understanding of the current science on pedophilia, which is that research is limited and what there is no clear consensus on the best approach to treat people with that kind of faulty wiring.

CStanley said...

Me: CS, the confusion is all yours, as nothing in what VD said implied anything about avoiding the "work of a relationship".

I wasn't referring to anything he said about males doing that. I referred to his comment about something that some women do, and compared that to something that some men do.

mockturtle said...

Pants opines: Mixed feelings, which reflects my understanding of the current science on pedophilia, which is that research is limited and what there is no clear consensus on the best approach to treat people with that kind of faulty wiring.

Science, shmience. They should be taken out and shot.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't see sex robots as being an advantage or disadvantage to either sex. I see the entire concept as a disadvantage to the state of being a human being.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Science, shmience. They should be taken out and shot.

Yours is a very helpful and enlightened attitude to those who have those feelings, do not want to act on them, but are fucking terrified to ask for help.

Some people are interested in understanding how and why people are miswired in this way in order to effectively prevent abuse. Some others evidently think that shooting people after the abuse occurs is a better way. Shrug.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't see sex robots as being an advantage or disadvantage to either sex. I see the entire concept as a disadvantage to the state of being a human being.

This.

Gahrie said...

There are many women who are undesirable companions and they may cause a lot of damage if they are out looking for men or becoming feminists and sad/angry for the lack of a man. If these women can be satisfied with robots, it will take a burden off of men.

FIDO said...

Not sure how we got onto having rug rats, but I put the new 'surge' in multiples down to increasing number of IVF procedures.

For example, Clooney's wife Amal was pushing 38 so she was on the cusp of serious problems so she went that route...and squirted out twins.

With many more aging career women out there and ladies freezing eggs because 'settling is so passé', I am not surprised we have more multiples.

FIDO said...

Gahrie,

Yes, but how do you introduce your robot boyfriend to mom and dad at Thanksgiving?

Jupiter said...

"Some people are interested in understanding how and why people are miswired in this way in order to effectively prevent abuse. Some others evidently think that shooting people after the abuse occurs is a better way. Shrug."

I agree that it might be a good thing if people who are "miswired" in that fashion could be "rewired". But you might consider that all of us have desires which it is socially unacceptable to satisfy. When that societal disapproval is based upon a concern as fundamental as the welfare of children, taking people out and shooting them for acting on their impulses, knowing that harm will result to a child, seems pretty reasonable to me.

Jupiter said...

"Gestation and delivery of multiples is much more dangerous than of singletons."

Thanks, I didn't know that.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

When that societal disapproval is based upon a concern as fundamental as the welfare of children, taking people out and shooting them for acting on their impulses, knowing that harm will result to a child, seems pretty reasonable to me.

I am not unsympathetic to this point of view, but my main concern is prevention, not punishment. If someone is executed for acting, then by definition a child has already been harmed. I want research to find the best ways to keep people from initial and repeat offenses.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This episode of This American Life has a segment in which a pedophile who has not offended shares what it is like to be him. It's extremely educational.

holdfast said...

"Gestation and delivery of multiples is much more dangerous than of singletons."

True, but we currently have lots of science and medical care, and few children (especially among the wealthy who have lots of access to good care).

Freeman Hunt said...

"Some people are interested in understanding how and why people are miswired in this way in order to effectively prevent abuse. Some others evidently think that shooting people after the abuse occurs is a better way."

You could do both.

mockturtle said...

You could do both.

Indeed, you could, Freeman! Thank you.

Whether or not a convicted child predator finds a place in heaven is between him and God. Whether he is allowed to re-offend is between him and society.

Achilles said...

Robots are going to do a lot more than sex. They will clean/cook/build/perform surgery/create wills/drive us around etc...

The other issue I have with this discussion is that people are discussing it as a should/shouldn't issue which is pointless. It is going to happen. We should be discussing parameters/limitations and how those should be implemented.

The pedophilia topic and whether or not child size robots should be made is an interesting line to discuss. I imagine I would be more sympathetic to the issues faced by pedophiles if I was "mis-wired." Now that I think about it I would agree we need to treat people with this affliction that abstain from acting on their desires and search for treatments.

I don't think our society should allow the creation of childlike robots to keep them "occupied" though. I think allowing people to act on something like that does damage to them and would make them harder to cure.

It would just be a hunch on my part that people who look at children that way were themselves victims at that age as well to a large extent.

stlcdr said...

When society spends so much time agonizing over what other people do, it's not surprising that the future provides the solution that current agonizers hate: fthey will make up any reason why it's a bad thing, and you just have to change your world to fit their view of How Things Should Be.

Lots of names for this busy-body attitude.

stlcdr said...

There is a Black Mirror (Brit TV show available on Netflix) episode where a woman purchased a 'simulacrum' of her late partner who died in an accident. It explores a few of the positives and mostly negatives of such a situation discussed. Quite chilling, as all the episodes are; they explore the affect of extensions of our current technology on our lives - mostly negative.

Jupiter said...

"I want research to find the best ways to keep people from initial and repeat offenses."

My point was that pedophilia is not alone in being a desire it is socially unacceptable to satisfy. It stands out only because most people do not have that desire, and therefore do not need to resist it. But we have plenty of other temptations to resist. There is strong evidence that impulse control in Europeans improved greatly during the last millenium, presumably due to genetic changes. And one of the evolutionary pressures to which this was a response was undoubtedly the widespread application of capital punishment. We can hope that it wasn't the most important one.

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ, Misplaced:

Nice try, but we're on to that pretend innocence. If (note I am saying IF) robots advance to the point where at least some men can have satisfying sex with them, then yes it will mean a significant rebalancing of power in the "sexual marketplace".

Gahrie,

"If these women can be satisfied with cats, it will take a burden off of men."

FIFY.

Jonathan Graehl said...

The answer to Althouse's rhetorical question is of course that the nasty dangerous men (you know the same amorphous homogeneous 'men' who are behind every violent act) must be opposed at every turn and also made to suffer, even when they're only abusing their own personal property.

Or, more to the point, romance-novel abusive men are a thrill both to contemplate and to protest.

EMyrt said...

"Ransom replied, 'Sulva is she whom mortals call the Moon. She walks in the lowest sphere. The rim of the world that was wasted goes through her. Half of her orb is turned toward us and shares our curse. Her other half looks to Deep Heaven; happy would be he who could cross that frontier and see the fields on her further side. On this side, the womb is barren and the marriages are cold. There dwell an accursed people, full of pride and lust. There when a young man takes a maiden in marriage, they do not lie together, but each lies with a cunningly fashioned image of the other, made to move and to be warm by devilish arts, for real flesh will not please them, they are so dainty (delicati) in their dreams of lust. Their real children they fabricate by vile arts in a secret place.'"