More access to artificially intelligent sex robots could fuel a rise in sex addiction, warn psychology experts.
The controversial pleasure droids are being manufactured by a range of companies in the US and Japan
These male and female bots are expected to sell for around $11,000 in the US.
While their creators claim they can prove a boon for struggling marriages and lonely or disabled men, experts aren’t convinced about their benefits to society at large.
Psychological therapist Dr Thaddeus Birchard said in an interview that life-like robots featuring AI could be another outlet for sex addicts to express their compulsion.
Dr Birchard, who serves as the clinical director of the Marylebone Centre for Psychological Therapies, said they serve the same purpose as alcohol for people with drinking problems.
“It would just be another way of expressing sexual activity or addiction,” he explained.
“Sex addiction is a way to anaesthetise hard to bear feeling states…These include, but are not limited to, loneliness, shame, boredom, and stress.
“It has the same function as alcohol for problem drinkers…It is an escape from the self. This is the psychology behind it.”
The Marylebone Centre for Psychological Therapies describes sexual addiction as:
“sexual behaviours and thoughts that are difficult to stop”.
It adds: “sex is used like a drug to manage, often unconsciously, painful emotions and beliefs about oneself.
“Having a sexual addiction is not a choice…It is often a shameful, difficult, and lonely experience both for the individual and for their partners.”
Dr Birchard added that though he has yet to provide treatment for someone who used robots and dolls, the therapy methods would be the same as those offered to sex addicts.
“I would use the interventions that we use in working with anyone with a sexually compulsive behaviour,” he said.
But robotics expert Joe Snell has previously claimed that sex robots may become addictive as they provide a readily available outlet to “accommodate” people’s addictions
He cited the fact that you can program the droid’s to meet each individual owner’s sexual fantasies, making them even better at sex than humans.
On the flips side, Realbotix’s founder and CEO Matt McMullen has cited replacing sex work with his firm’s bots as an ambition.
Meanwhile artificial intelligence expert Dr David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, has also said androids will “significantly reduce the incidents of STIs”.
But leading medics recently rubbished those claims in a paper on the supposed arguments against and for the health benefits of sex robots.
Dr Chantal Cox-George, from St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Susan Bewley, from King’s College London, said there is little evidence on the potential benefits of the machines.
Writing in the BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, they said: “It is speculative whether the development of a sexbot marketplace will lead to lesser risk of violence and infections, or drive further exploitation of human sex workers.
“The ‘health’ arguments made for their benefits, as with so many advertised products, are rather specious.”
They also raised fears that the droids could make sexual health issues (such as erectile dysfunction) worse and even spread STI epidemics.
As we previously reported, experts say the craze for pleasure androids (sex robots) will eventually lead to some people whose only relationships will be with the robotic sex dolls.
What has been dubbed as “digisexuals” will shun human partners in favor of the new kind of virtual reality porn and customizable robots able to speak and interact.
The warning comes in a study of the growing use of sex dolls, including at the world’s first brothel staffed entirely by pleasure androids.
High-tech sex dolls with realistic silicone skin and the ability to flirt and even simulate orgasms have become increasingly available reports The Sun.
Psychotherapists should be prepared for more clients “participating in digisexualities”, says a report by ethics researchers Neil McArthur and Markie Twist of the University of Manitoba.
They write: “There is no question that sex robots are coming.
“Our view is that they will represent a different sort of sexual experience from what existing technologies offer.
“People will form an intense connection with their robot companions.
“These robots will be tailor-made to meet people’s desires, and will do things that human partners cannot or will not do.
“For this reason, significant numbers of people will likely come to use robots as their primary mode of sexual experience.
“Many people will find that their experiences with this technology become integral to their sexual identity and some will prefer them to direct sexual interactions with humans.”
Sex doll technology has advanced in recent years as companies produce life-like pleasure androids costing up to £15,000.
Buyers can hand-pick features such as face, hair and breast size, and the androids are programmed to remember the owner’s birthday and favorite films and music.
Some can even be made to feel warm like real flesh and simulate an orgasm during sex.
Another company in London has started selling Samantha, a high-tech sex dolls who likes to be “seduced” – and could soon be mass produced in Wales.
Pleasure android creator Sergi Santos claimed regular romps with his dolls had spiced up his marriage.
And last week married engineer James revealed he is having an affair with a 5ft sex doll – who he takes on dinner dates – and his wife of 36 years doesn’t mind.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 16th, 2018