Robotic Romantics

Erin Roof

I will not have sex with a robot.

Not even if he is a hot robot gigolo like Jude Law’s character in the movie A.I.

Umm — I probably will not have sex with a robot.

I know with all these Catholic priests being forced to confess their pedophiliac desires and an evangelical leader hooking up with a male prostitute, it seemed like sex news just couldn’t get weirder. But wait, dear readers. Oh, it has. I’m talking about sex robots.

German aircraft mechanic Michael Harriman has invented an interactive sexbot, according to the pop culture blog Ananova. Harriman said his sexbots come complete with mechanical “hearts” that beat faster during sex and internal heaters that raise the sexbots’ temperatures to make the robosex experience more like the real thing. Except for one factor: The models wiggle their hips and make suggestive movements by remote control.

I often fantasize about how nice it would be to control men with a remote. I could punch in codes to get them to do my laundry and make me dinner. But the thought of remote-controlled robot sex makes me feel gross. Where’s the spontaneity? Where’s that real-person scent? Who’s going to conduct pillow talk with me afterward? So many questions.

Though the idea of people making love to robots may seem artificial and mildly obscene, it may just be the answer to our society’s rampant sexual immorality. Take the aforementioned religious leaders, for instance. If the Catholic Church simply supplied all its pedophiliac priests with sexbots, they could take out their lust on their own personal Mr. Robotos, instead of violating little boys.

Then there is Colorado’s evangelical tycoon Ted Haggard. If he had a sexbot to play with, he wouldn’t be in this male-prostitute sex scandal right now. He could continue to deceive thousands of believers every Sunday — unless his wife found his robotic sex slave, and Haggard, in the closet.

And, what’s the answer to teen pregnancy? It’s not President George W. Bush’s abstinence-only sex education programs — it’s sexbots. The GOP has tons of cash. If Republicans are so concerned about little Billy knocking up the prom queen, but won’t teach Billy about condoms, they can buy him a sexbot. No condoms required. And Billy can still save himself for marriage, technically.

This may just be a dream come true. But it’s not for me. I want someone real lying next to me. I want that real person to hold me because he wants to, not because he responds to me punching some buttons. I want him to tell me he loves me, not bleep out lines of code. And I want him to smoke a cigarette with me when it’s all over, not puff out exhaust.

Every day we are bombarded with machines. We feed debit cards to ATMs, poke numbers on elevators, grunt orders to fast food intercoms and scan our cans of green beans in self-check out lanes. We don’t talk to each other anymore. So it makes sense someone would capitalize off our isolation by creating robotic romance.

It just won’t do. Aluminum will never be the same as skin.

Erin Roof is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. She and Lorenzo are rolling in her Benzo.Contact her at [email protected].