Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sex With Robots: Whaddya Think?

Last week I read the first chapter of Sherry Turkle's 'Alone Together', a study of the societal sea changes that may be causing us to devalue human relationships in favour of artificial ones.

Just shortly beforehand, I watched the 'Proposition Infinity' episode of Futurama, featuring protests in the year 3010 to legalize human-robot (robosexual) marriage.

They got me thinking WAY too much about this...

Did I ever think robot girls were sexy?

After a day, I could only come up with three, and there were problems.

3. Andrea from 'What Are Little Girls Made Of?', original Star Trek episode. Sure, she's a snappy dresser, but I'd be more worried about snappy necks. (Screw loose!)

2. Andromeda Ascendant 'The Ship Made Flesh' from 'Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda' is the bodiless brain of a spaceship, an intangible hologram, or an android gal pal. The android Rommie, like poor insane Andrea, might be capable of love but quickly became 'The Flesh Made Super-Ninja'. I like tough chicks, but there's limits.

1. Finally, Roberta from 'Not Quite Human II' (before WALL-E it was my favourite robot romance) was safe, sweet, innocent- perfect for safe, sweet robot boyfriend Chip. And VERY high maintenance: get too far from a wall socket and her whole memory would erase. That's not as good as it sounds!

For every three fictional robots I remember with limited sex appeal, there are 100 like the Crushinator, and 'a lady that fine, you gotta ROMANCE first'.

So I fully admit: some lady androids have a pleasing shape. They own the capacity to arouse, like a doll or a statue or a painting. But, ultimately, I was surprised an uber-nerd like me just doesn't think of robots THAT WAY.

No Spark Plugs in my Spank Bank, if you will.

Alien girls... you bet. Bring on the groobies! But robots...

Is it the emotionless, glassy stare?

Maybe it's because robots in fiction tend to have traditionally MALE qualities: they're strong, fast, hard, etc. Often with extra loyalty and obedience, sure, but...

As Howard Wolowitz can attest, there's no expression 'Pleasant as a Robot's Handjob'.

Suck it, robots! (That was not a command! You stay away from my junk, robots.)

So, it's not for me. That said, I'm all for tolerance, especially for things I don't understand.
This link has an elaborate report I skimmed on Technosexuality. (Sorry, I'm both timid about this and kind of lazy.) Dildonics, gynoids, sexual gymnastics equipment, whatever the term: they're here. They've been around since Pygmalion and they're not going anywhere.

And so what? As noted perverts Barnes and Barnes sang: "If you hurt no one, you've done nothing wrong."

Sex requires consent. Everything else has its own word.

I don't want to stand in the way of anyone's right to love.
But until real world robots can consent (meaning, they'd be just as likely to TURN YOU DOWN as anyone else) then no matter how sophisticated the experience we're still talking about a device, not a partner.

And for my money, the finest, most readily available device for the alleviation of loneliness is still the Mark One Hand.
So try a little harder, stretch a little farther, if you want the big rewards reach beyond devices, take the bigger risks and remember what the Eleventh Doctor told Jeff: "Get a girlfriend."

Or (thank the seven pillars of VooLoo!) a wife. Tempting as a totally compliant appliance might SOUND, I believe, for myself, it will NEVER compare with the rush and the ride that is the give and take of a true relationship. Show me a robot that offers that... I'll still choose my wife.

(Because last night was AMAZING, batteries not included.)

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