New real life sex robots are terrible for women.

On the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud Jessie, 26, Holly, 45, and Mia, 45, spoke about the rise of the robot sex doll. And what it means for women and the future of sex. Here is what they had to say…

Holly: Is this problematic. You can now buy a fifteen thousand dollar life sized eerily realistic silicone sex doll named harmony. She can blink. Smile talk to you about your day and perhaps most importantly have sex with you. Now apparently sex robots, as they’re called, are about to play a mainstream role in sex and there’s nothing we can do about it.

In coming decades it is thought that these dolls won’t be used just as a fetish but for sexual therapy, particularly for people who are lonely disabled or have concerns about their own sexual performance. And so to many other people they’ll probably just become a really expensive form of masturbation. Some commentators argue that female sex robots are far more dangerous than we ever imagined. What do we think. Jessie do you think the female sex dolls are just contributing to objectification?

Listen to the full conversation on the latest episode of Out Loud here:

Jessie: I think so. At first,  I didn’t  really see what the issue is. I thought isn’t it sort of like pornography or any type of sex toy? Can you really distinguish the two? And then I read some really interesting philosophical analysis on the sex robot and how it contributes to the objectification of women and this philosophy because it is dehumanizing women. Like it’s a plucky little silicon woman who is made up of breasts and a mouth hole and a vagina hole.

Mia: So when I when I was reading a little bit about this I learned a couple of things that I found slightly disturbing because I had the same reaction as you, Hol. But the issue is, people are saying eventually sex with another person might be something that’s saved for special occasions or for procreation.

But this is going to be a more efficient way of deriving sexual pleasure. So for example here’s something that might make you concerned. One of the companies that manufacture these sex dolls have a setting called frigid, which means that the doll resists you. Like a rape fantasy. That doesn’t necessarily mean that someone’s going to rape a real woman but it does start to become troubling. Like what if you have a sex doll and a man is raping it or is abusing it somehow. And then what happens when he has sex with a regular person? How comfortable are we with the dehumanization of the sex act?

Holly: I just bring it back to the same thing, that whether they are using a sex doll or a blow up doll or their hand or whatever they’re going to be thinking what they’re thinking. So if people do have fantasies about controlling another person then they have fantasies about that…

Mia:  It does so because this isn’t a fantasy. You can rape an adult. You can do all kinds of things to it which are demeaning and degrading that a human woman would probably say no to. And then you become accustomed to doing that during sex. So I’m saying you can’t change how people think but you can change what they do. So for example, the manufacture of child sex dolls has been banned. I’m sure there’s a big black market for this but it’s been banned for that reason. Surely this is not a good thing and we don’t understand the effect that this is going to have on human behaviour long term…

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Jessie: I think that it could absolutely redefine the sex act. I think it's like less than 5 percent of women have shown any interest in a sex doll. So it's 95 percent men. And they don't make them for women. So they are fetishizing submission, and these are women who aren't able to say yes or no or show any desires or show any actual response to how they're feeling or ask for anything...So it's just a man performing an act on to this doll...for his own gratification.

Holly: Again - their hand. A blow up doll. Any other thing they could do that with...

Jessie: But how would you feel, hypothetically, if your husband had a sex doll that looked exactly like you that he could perform all his weird, fetishes on. How would you feel if your partner or ex boyfriend had a doll that looked exactly like you that he beat up every night?

Holly: To be honest Jessie, I think that I would have a hard line on dating any guy who had a sex doll... Any man who is prepared to spend fifteen thousand dollars on what is basically a very sophisticated masturbatory tool, his priorities are out of whack and I'm dating him. No pun intended...But I genuinely think that this is a very specific market and the kind of guys who want to pay that kind of money for a doll that has a frigid setting so they can do this awful stuff to it...They're going to find a way to work those fantasies out somehow some way. I don't think that the sex doll is the problem.

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A realistic sex doll for sale via a Chinese online retailer. Image: Aliexpress.

Mia: But I think that there's a lot of ground between “let's ban it” and “hang on..have we thought this through...Let's talk about it.”  

I mean I'm not suggesting we ban it either, but I just think and also in terms of the price I mean that's what it is now as technology develops. It's like anything flat screen TV is used to be expensive phones use expensive soon. You know you imagine in 10 years the technology will develop. We're buying a sex doll will not be a big investment. So the mainstreaming of this technology will mean that so many more men can use them. And what effect does that have on the changing human behaviour? In the same way that we don't know the effect that watching a lifetime of porn has on this new generation of boys who are only starting to have sex now. It's like a red flag. We don't know where this is going to lead.

You can't put the genie back in the bottle. People are going to do this, they're going to create these things, people are going to buy them and they can use them, but I don't know, I think that we have a right to be concerned…

Listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud here: 

Subscribe to the show in iTunes here.

Do you think a robot sex doll is problematic? What score would you give it on the problematic scale - with 10 being the highest?

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