Making Pleasure: Let’s Design the Ultimate Sexbot!
Dreaming of an inclusive and flexible artificial companion.
Let’s play a game. Don’t worry, this is will be a fun one: after all, it involves imagination, technology, and best of all sex.
Readers of Future of Sex are no doubt well aware that the development of sexbots has exploded over the last few years.
From DS Dolls’ innovative use of 3D printing to build a fully functional robotic head with artificial intelligence to the growing popularity of sexdoll brothels, its obvious that sexually proficient robots are going to become a fundamental part of the human sexual landscape.
Looking beyond hetero-normalcy
With all these developments there’s also a kind of, to put it mildly, narrow focus. Aside from a few rare examples, such as Henry, most bots have been exclusively designed for heteronormative users.
While it may be true that straight men currently make up the lion’s share of the market, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room to dream of creating a sexbot that could meet a more wide-spread—and sadly underappreciated—demand.
Building the better bot
So, onto our game. Let’s get the fundamentals out of the way first: the basic framework of our bot.
Inspired by DS Doll’s current innovations, let’s begin with a sturdy composite skeleton. After all, we want a bot that can keep up with some pretty vigorous play when desired.
A key part of our framework has to include it being available in a variety of sizes: heights, weights, and such. Not to diss current bot builders or designers, but the available ones far too often look like they hail from Stepford, Connecticut.
Next comes flexibility: the goal being to create a bot that can move realistically. But being posable is not the same as being lifelike, so let’s jump ahead a few years in technological innovation and give our bot a network of motors that will give it human-fluid motions.
Perhaps they’ll be based on soft-robotics or maybe even artificial muscles—but whatever the mechanism should be as lifelike as possible.
The skin should equally be as close to human as well, with textures and skin shades available that mirror the wonderful range of real human bodies as well as many that only lie in our imaginations.
The naughty bits
Now onto the genitals. While a lot of bot designers have put a great deal of work into their own versions, for our game let’s push technology further and aim for more human than human (to borrow a line from Blade Runner).
Sex is more than just propelling matter through tubes. So let’s give our ideal bot genitals that are more than just plastic knock-offs created by, albeit highly skilled engineers. Instead, let’s make them works of appreciative art, again with all the glorious variety of their human inspirations.
The same goes with the head. Repeating yet again: humanity is beautifully diverse, so why not reflect that in the types of faces and expressions available for our bot? This is said not to deny those who want a Playboy playmate but rather to acknowledge there are others who desire more options to choose from.
One sexbot for many
Then there’s the idea that instead of creating hundreds, or even thousands, of different sexbots—or charging a fortune by customizing each and every one—we instead make a single bot that could be infinitely configurable.
Agreed, the technology may still be on the remote horizon but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. The framework could be adjusted to change the bots size and height, the skin could be modified at any time in color as well as texture, the head could be swapped out for others, and the genitals and other physical characteristics like limbs could be exchanged as desired—or even removed all-together.
Besides, think of how human sexuality often works: what you might fight arousing tomorrow may not be what turns you on tomorrow, or ten years from now.
Having a configurable bot will mean being able to alter your artificial playmate as your needs change, or even allow you to expand your erotic horizons by trying out—in the comfort of your own home—sex with new genders/orientations without having to acquire a totally new model.
Stepping even further into imaginary territories, our bot could even act as a healthcare assistant. By monitoring the user’s activity, as well analyzing any—for lack of a better word—samples, it could then work with a chosen physician to help improve the user’s health.
The mind’s the thing
Now we get to the core of human sexuality: the brain. Or, fitting the parameters of our game, the processor and the software running our idealized sexbot.
Programming it for physical pleasure is a given. We will definitely want to pack it with a wide range of activities ranging from slow and steady to fast and energetic.
But it’s equally important to also make it responsive and even aware of what’s occurring. Using a head and body equipped with a broad spectrum of sensors being one part, with it running software capable of reading, understanding, and responding to them the other.
As with our sexbot’s physical form, flexibility is also key. Our bot should be able to perform physically as well as meet the emotional needs of all kinds of users.
In this way, it would be both a lover as well as a therapist. Either through interfacing with a trained expert or by following the user’s own guidelines, our bot would be a patient and understanding mental health assistant.
What’s even better, as the bot would be patient as well as perceptive, these guidances could be so subtle as to be barely noticed by the user—the healing taking place being nearly subliminal.
It could even be programmed to be a submissive or dominant, though always hardwired to maintain the BDSM ground rules of emotional and physical safety, clarity of mind, and consensuality of all those involved—even when one of them is an artificial intelligence inhabiting a robotic body.
A true companion
Many of these fantasies might be a tad controversial, especially connecting as they do with the idea that the perfect sexbot should be much more than just an erotic plaything.
But let’s be real here: while there are many people out there who dream of the perfect sexbot there are far more who are desperately lonely not just for physical intimacy but for real companionship: someone who they can talk to, who can help them through hard times, and who can hold their hand when no one else can or will.
While our game of designing an idealized artificial lover might have been fun, it's important not to look at the coming age of sexbots as a threat.
Instead, it is a possibility for so many more people to have someone who will be there for them, physically as well as emotionally.
And that this other person is a robot is needlessly splitting hairs, especially when the alternative is to have no one at all.
Image sources: Jon Bunting, Dennis Wong, Marco Verch
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