I have a client for whom I write about robots. And the big topic for robots in the news today was robots as sex workers, the advantages of.
It’s an interesting concept, but I felt it might be too edgy. I asked #1 daughter. “Is that too nasty a topic for their blog?”
“That’s too nasty a topic to talk about out loud,” she assured me.
Clearly, it belongs on my blog instead.
Here’s the thing, according to an essay in The New York Times. We have incels, the involuntarily celibate. We also have people who, for reasons which sound like discrimination, have difficulty finding sexual partners. The NYT’s source proposed trans-gendered people, people with disabilities which make them unattractive within our cultural norms, the overweight, and even “minority groups” which are considered less sexually alluring, and I don’t know what they were drinking over there when they brainstormed that list.
They did take a brief moment to consider whether traditional notions about love, honorable celibacy, monogamy, and suchlike might be worth reexamining.
But let’s just go with the idea that there are people who are not getting the sexual activity to which they are entitled. That’s an odd concept right there, being entitled to sexual activity. But we’re going with it.
In that case, isn’t it better that a robot should be pressed into service as a sex worker than that a human being should be pushed into that kind of degrading activity?
A new report in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health has shown that there are no health benefits to sex play with robots. No one is being amazed by this report, but it has pushed off a round of questions about this point. Because some people worry that while being a prostitute might not be bad for a robot, being a robot prostitute’s customer might be bad for the John.
Because my personal convictions tell me that the prostitute in the equation is being exploited by the John, I don’t really care how he feels. Robots can build hundreds of paper cups per minute without being harmed or even bored, so they might as well be the objects of desire for people who imagine that physical appearance is all there is to sexual relationships. Now that there are robots that can milk cows, there could easily be robots which could provide physically safe sexual simulation for those in need of such a thing.
Would it be bad for those people? Some writers are thinking that robot play could allow pederasts, rapists, and other antisocial people to play out their fantasies, perhaps increasing their desire to harm human beings. I don’t know enough to be able to come up with a sensible opinion on that issue. But I can see that it might be bad for society.
However, I think prostitution of humans is bad for society, so I think I have to vote yes for robot prostitutes. Given that saying, “Pull yourself together!” isn’t a solution to the perceived problems being discussed.