Sex robots: part 1 — Elam’s Law of Sexual Robotics

Last month I did a talk on sex robots, a topic heating up in the media of late. It was a cursory glance at the subject, looking more at the motives of women who object to the technology than the technology itself. From the response to the video, which got more than three times my average views, with a great deal of activity in the comments, I decided to take a closer look.

And once again I won’t be delving into all the minutia of the technology. After spending the last few weeks reading up on the subject and considering the information, I have come to two conclusions that sum up everything relevant to the subject at this point.

One, as it stands today the technology is not nearly at a place where the presence of sex robots will have any grand implications for relations between men and women. Sex robots are in their technological infancy. On perhaps the most important level, that of physicality, we are still talking about an innovation not that much more advanced than a fleshlight with a wig.

Replicating the feel of human skin, and therefore physical human contact, is an incredibly difficult objective. We are nowhere near the technological advancement required to produce a simple handshake that could pass for human, much less the daunting goal of approximating full, body to body contact complete with full sexual activity.

And that, after all, would seem to be the tipping point. It’s not just inventing a robot that you can fuck. It’s inventing a robot that fucks you. That objective, the punishing demand of the animatronics needed to enable a sex robot to approximate responsive sexual intercourse, is staggering in its difficulty.

And that will be the game changer, especially for blue pill men. As things stand most of them will balk on taking the robotic dive. If they wanted to hump a cold, unresponsive and inanimate lump of artificiality, they’d just get married.

To say these obstacles are considerable is a massive understatement. But that also serves as a fitting segue into my second observation.

All of this will eventually happen. The fact is that sex dolls, even in their most rudimentary form, have created a 30-billion-dollar world-wide market. They have captured the imagination and interest of a considerable number of men. And where men and money line up, innovation is inescapable. Where men and money line up enthusiastically, innovation is expedited.

When sex robot research and development produces a physically attractive product capable of a realistic sexual experience, that 30 billion will look like chump change compared to the market it awakens. When this will happen is anyone’s guess, but happen it will. There is no stopping it.

The same is true for another major component of what sex robots are destined to become. Passably interactive.

Matt McMullen, largely regarded as the pioneer of sexual robotics, is gearing up to release Harmony, his next generation sex robot with AI. According to the promotional material, Harmony will be able to engage in small talk, tell dirty jokes and learn the user’s preferences, ultimately tailoring itself into the “girl” of the user’s dreams.

The reality at this point, of course, is that conversing with Harmony is like conversing with your Amazon Alexa. It’s novel, mildly entertaining and quickly gets boring. However, just like the physical aspects of sex robots, it will drastically improve with time and money.

The future will bring realistic voices, massively boosted processing power and AI that can literally trick the human brain into relating to the machines as though they were the real thing. That is, if groundbreaking entrepreneurs like McMullen don’t blow it.

In an interview with a Daily Mail journalist, McMullen demonstrates Harmony’s lingual skills. In asking the unit questions, it usually answers back with one variation or another of being interested in pleasing its owner. Not so with all the questions though.

“Can I talk with other girls?” McMullen asks, and Harmony answers with, “Fuck no, what kind of question is that?”

I think McMullen may have watched The Matrix too many times and is perhaps concerned about sexbot owners rejecting programming that creates too perfect a world. Or maybe he thinks the robotic version of possessive jealousy might create the illusion of being wanted for some users.

Either way, I think McMullen’s path ahead suffered a slight, ultimately irrelevant misstep with this one.

Sex robots will flourish, though. Make no mistake about it. They will create the largest new consumer market since the invention of the automobile, not as a replica of real women, but as a viable alternative to them. This of course, is what is fueling the fears of anti sex robot activists, sparking their rallying cries about how sex robots will worsen their imagined rape culture and how they objectify women.

I won’t bother responding to that nonsense at any length, except to say that where it concerns the objectification of women, they are doing bloody well on their own. A 2003 article in The Economist claims that the women’s sexual enhancement industry, including makeup, hair care, cosmetic surgery and other products rings in at a cool 160 billion dollars annually. And at that time it was growing by 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the average industrialized nation’s gross domestic product. The effort of women to artificially create false projections of themselves that are suitable for objectification by men still eclipses the efforts of men to do a better job of it.

So far.

And to the core of matters, this is where we find ourselves today. In a competition between the sexes for who can create the most attractive and believable fake woman. Thus far, men have been handicapped in the contest by a lack of technology. Now that times are changing, women will get blown out of the water.

And it is not that robotics will likely ever produce a female alternative that surpasses the physical assets and the nuanced capabilities that women can provide naturally. At least in the next thousand years or so.

Not that it even matters today. It is what robots don’t bring to men that will strike the decisive blow. Which is where McMullen made a mistake by giving Harmony the capacity to act like a shrill bitch. He is better off, when it comes to approximating the female tongue, to focus on matters of temperature, elasticity and agility than to program something that just reminds users of why they bought the sex robot to begin with.

Of course, nothing about any of this is so conveniently simple. Men will purchase sexbots for a variety of reasons. Some will do it because they aren’t very competitive in the marketplace of sexual selection. Sexbots won’t care if you’re ugly, or obese, or tongue-tied with women. Smoothness or social prowess won’t matter. Neither will affluence, except to the degree that some financial wherewithal will be required to own one.

It might be tempting to view this segment of the market as a replacement driven rather than alternative driven, except for the fact that sexbots, unless McMullen really blows it, won’t include many of the things that real women are prone to. They won’t possess the smug dismissiveness women show to men who they aren’t attracted to. They won’t size up their owner’s cars and jobs. They won’t reject their owners sexually. To that end, this corner of the market is seeking an alternative to women, not a replacement.

Other men, and I think a lot of them, will make up the more purist alternative market. This market has less issues with competing in the real world sexual market. They are successful with real women, which is why they want a robotic alternative.

Sexbots don’t come with lawyers. They can’t sue you. They don’t nag, don’t withhold sex to punish or get their way. Other than the sticker price and maintenance, they don’t spend your money. They don’t lie about you, steal from you, hold your children over your head or demand that you see things their way.

They don’t harp about the clothes you wear, or how you spend your free time. They don’t nag about your friends, or sleep with them for that matter. And importantly, they don’t change personality after you have spent time with them. The kind, naughty companion you buy will remain the same, from the day it comes out of the box, until you replace it for a more advanced, sophisticated model.

In other words, it won’t be human, which in this case is a good thing.

In fact, considering all the information available, our certainty of astonishing technological advances, and the equally certain appetite in men for satisfying sex without effort, hassle and danger to life and limb, it leaves me to make a scientific sounding but patently unscientific declaration.

It’s Elam’s Law of Sexual Robotics. And the law states that for each technological advancement in sexual robotics, there is a proportionate increase in MGTOW. The greater the advancement in sexual robotics, the greater the increase in men going their own way.

With enough time and advancement, a tectonic shift will occur in sexual politics. Women will find that they have to compete with machines, and they will quickly find that they can’t. Even the fastest sprinter in the world can’t outrun a Porsche.

You can see it now, even in Matt McMullen’s Harmony, with her tinny, electronic voice and cold, rubbery skin. Watch the video in the Daily Mail piece. Study the female reporter’s face as she reacts to Harmony talking about pleasing her owner.

Hear the all too human insecurity and concern in her tone. Note the questions she starts asking, all directed at what we should fear about these emergent technological wonders.

It’s like a small blueprint of what is to come. And it is what I will address in parts 2 and 3 of this series. The impact that robotics will have on sexual politics in the future.

Hint, it’s going to be ugly, in a very pretty way.

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