Don’t worry, fellas: If ever catch yourself staring at an ad for the iPhone 8 for just a second too long or feel like your relationship with your dishwasher is something… special, a recent report by the Foundation for Responsible Robotics shows that you might not be alone.
In fact, you might be ahead of the curve.
According to the report, surveys have shown that up to 66% of male participants are “in favour of using sex robots,” while only 33% of women polled found themselves similarly enticed.
This number might seem high, given the fact that solo sex toy usage by males still carries a certain amount of stigma. Research has shown, however, that these hang-ups are unfounded.
Men who use vibrators with their partners, for instance, scored higher on measures of orgasm function and sexual satisfaction in a study by Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Promotion. It follows that the sex toy market would expand accordingly.
In one study covered in the report by the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, 40% of the 229 heterosexual men surveyed said they could imagine themselves buying a sex robot now or within the next five years.
The reaction time of the participants indicated that they evaluation the attractiveness of scantily-clad robots with “salient mechanical body parts” and women on the same level.
Though the robots were rated as less attractive, the only factor in the study that predicted this reaction in the men surveyed was a “negative attitude towards robots,” a weird attitude to hold if you’re participating in the robot-fucking survey.
The gap between male and female willingness to get down and dirty with our mechanical brethren is noted throughout the report, but there is no concrete explanation as to the cause of this divide.
Robot ethics researcher Kathleen Richardson, who is quoted in the report as anti-sex robot, claims that the use of sexbots would reinforce gender stereotypes and further commodify the objectification of women, which could be part of the turn-off.
Men may also feel more comfortable putting the aaaaye in AI because of the cultural representations of male/robot relationships available: Ex Machina, Blade Runner, Her, and Westworld are all cited by the authors, as is Lars and the Real Girl, Ryan Gosling’s 2007 sex doll romance.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that the market for horny robots is here to stay. Though most models are not currently available mass-market, if this report is any indication, we might soon be balls-deep in the uncanny valley.