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Samantha-bot Is a Sex Doll That Needs to Be Seduced: Step Forward or Step Back?

A gynoid designed to simulate female arousal receieves mixed response.

Sergi Santos’s Samantha-bot offers a lot of what other love dolls do—but it’s what the synthetic needs that sets it apart.

Superficially, Samantha certainly looks like other synthetic love dolls on the market, but it’s her inner workings and programming that make her particularly unique: the Barcelona-based engineer has created an elaborate mechanism that requires Samantha be, to put it simply, pleasured before she reciprocates.

Speaking to Ruptly TV, and reported by the Huffington Post, Santos says of his creation: “Basically she likes to be touched. She has different modes of interaction―she has romantic, she has family and she has also sexy modes.”

The game of Samantha

Triggered by physical contact, Samantha first begins by asking that the user take it easy, by saying phrases such as “nice and gentle” and, when things are more to her liking, “I love this.”

In addition to touch, Samantha also responds to direct sexual, and sensual, contact. “Normally she likes to be kissed always and also she responds to, basically, the G-spot and also the breasts,” Santos added.

Like playing a kind of anthropomorphized video game, the end goal is to arouse and stimulate the bot until it achieves a simulated orgasm.

While some see Samantha’s creation as a positive advancement—an attempt to create a sexbot that appears to feel and shifts the focus the sexual pleasure away from the user alone—others find the synthetic’s programming problematic.

Women as bots

Sinziana Gutiu, a human rights lawyer, spoke to Tech.Mic saying that Samantha “sends the message that women are always sexually or ‘romantically’ available, and that ‘consent’ is just a matter of persistence and touching them in the right place.”

It’s this idea of turning female sexual interaction into a game that can be won with the right set of touches, like an erotic cheat-code, that many have found troubling, especially if mistakenly come to believe flesh-and-blood women can be turned on the same way.

Santos himself seems to be at least aware of the criticism Samantha has garnered: “I think that men should understand that a woman is not an object. It’s not that you stick a penis in vagina and that’s all. I said no, it’s … about having a companion as well.”

Some positive possibilities

In the end, though, Samantha is still a female-appearing plaything created by a man for the sole purpose of pleasing men. Sure, Santos’s sexbot may superficially seem to be experiencing excitement, but even that is to make the male user feel good.

So is Samantha part of a coming way of potentially beneficial sexbots or another sign that this kind of technology is yet another way to turn women into nothing but pleasure objects?

It’s hard to say at this point but at least people are talking about it. Perhaps all this will inspire some engineer to build and create an android companion that will have the ability to consent. It could even be a powerful educational tool to help some men relate to women not as objects but as human beings.

Better yet, what we need is a female engineer: someone to add an invaluable, and much needed, perspective to a new type of gynoid companion.

Image Sources: Daily Mailtorbakhopper

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  • Sergio Santos

    At the time the interview at MIC took place, 2 females in my team were present and giving opinions on decisions we made and why we have done what we have done. I believe it was easy to say, made by men for men. It inst. In my team there are more females than males. My wife to start with and others that maybe are scared to say their names because of the bad publicity people might give them.

    When I started the project, only 5 people knew. 4 females one male plus me. So the origins are more influenced by female.

    In the end, if someone wants to know the truth, ask me, or my colleagues that work with me.

    Best regards and thank you for the article anyway. It’s just that this lady at MIC took it too far.

    Sergi

    • Jenna Owsianik

      Hi Sergio,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the time it’s taken me to respond. At Future of Sex, we’re certainly one of the groups who believe in the opportunity that sexual robotics will be able to offer people in the future and commend you and other developers for sharing your progress with the public.

      As you insinuated, there’s a lot of negative press out there against developers in sex tech. We do aim to cover a range of perspectives happening in the mainstream media in order to push discussion forward in a positive way, and of course speaking to developers themselves is an important part of that.

      I’d really like to speak to you to learn more about your progress with Samantha firsthand and to publish an article with this focus. If you are interested, please let me know the best way to contact you. My email is [email protected]

      -Jenna
      Editor of FutureofSex.net

      • Sergio Santos

        Dear Jenna, I emailed you. It’s fine. I just don’t like the way you give publicity to such a woman in this text. I still find ridiculous the comments of that woman and extremely insulting. She definitely seems to not be able to solve differences via simple dialogue. I removed her from my skype account until she either apologizes directly, or gives a good explanation to ignore, both my wife and my other female partner, to the point of pretending they were not there. My female friend felt extremely insulted to have spent her time in the skype interview and not to even be mentioned, to the extent of claiming she wasn’t there.