Sex robots carry a certain stigma, probably due to their incredibly accurate name. The word sex is front and center, plain as day, and extremely hard to ignore. Still, AI does serve other functions besides the occasional sexual release.
This interview explains how sex robots can fill a void after a companion passes away. The company responsible for the world’s first sex robot, True Companion, revealed that a majority of its customers purchase a robot with the sole purpose of replicating a deceased partner.
Douglas Hines, the engineer behind the dolls, explains that “maybe 50% of clients are people who want a custom robot (to sub) for family members.” It’s one of the most popular options, right up there with requests for celebrity doppelgangers.
“Eighty percent of involvement is social, meaning the interaction which is a bit mundane and conversational. But maybe 10-20% is the actual physical engagement with the robot, from a sexual perspective,” said Hines.
For these reasons, one of the most popular programming options for True Companion’s original robot Roxxxy is displaying a more “mature and matronly” personality. Hines explained this programming mode leaves Roxxxy loving “nothing more than a cuddle, with sex temporarily taking a back seat.”
The official TrueCompanion website lists all of Roxxxy’s features, many of which make her sound more like a spouse and less like a sex object. Just like a wife, Roxxxy is programmed to remember a companion’s name, likes, dislikes, and she can even carry on a discussion. “She can talk to you, listen to you and feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm.” Alright, maybe she’s not exactly like a former wife, but she’s the next best thing for a lonely widower.
The use of sex dolls has become much more mainstream and acceptable to some in the last few years thanks to movies and TV shows like Westworld and Her. They’re even infiltrating brothels across the world—an establishment in Vienna claims that their resident sex robot is more popular than the real working girls under their employment. “Fanny” is such a money-maker, the owner recently purchased a second doll to keep up with the demands.
Sex dolls replicating former spouses may seem odd to most, but the use of animatronic sex partners while the wife is still alive is perfectly cool with some open-minded adults. A recent study out of Britain revealed that 40% of people don’t see sex with a robot as cheating, even though 1 out of every 3 people polled still said they’d be horrified if one of their friends admitted an ongoing relationship with a robot.