Hashtag #SexRobotGripes Makes Sexbots Go Viral on Twiter
Social media trend draws attention to how our society perceives sex bots
Ah, the trending hashtag: that elusive Holy Grail sought so fervently sought by social media mavens. It has the power to propel an issue, or a product, from obscurity to popularity.
This made the somewhat recent appearance of the hashtag #SexRobotGripes Twitter so interesting.
In particular, we’re fascinated by what this social media phenomenon said about the changing attitudes toward technology and sex.
Is this trend really an attack on sex tech?
#SexRobotGripes gained enough popularity to be featured on the Huffington Post in August, where the author called the trend a fight against sex robots and those who enjoy them.
But is this really the case? Certainly, many of the tweets made fun of the idea of mixing sex and androids.
For example, here’s a tweet that put robots in a human situation:
Then there’s this one, that could best be described as “classic”:
Laughs aside—the hashtag definitely was used to create a few good tweets—there’s something else #SexRobotGripes brings up, and it’s a surprisingly positive development for sex tech and its users.
Sex robots are here and in the news
Go back a few years, and even the very idea of using something like a sexbot was practically nonexistent. They were around, but they were crude at best, and those that enjoyed them were delegated to outermost edges of sexual exploration.
Jump to the present, and sex dolls have practically exploded in technological sophistication as well as popularity.
Here at Future of Sex, we even have an ongoing project tracking the openings of sex doll brothels around the world. Articles about developments in their technology and manufacture have become regular subjects for us as well.
Most importantly, the topic of sex robots has become mainstream, with coverage of the dolls and their owners appearing on a huge spread of media outlets. Today, there’s a growing trend to treat the subject as serious and even positive.
In this recent video from the BBC, the reporters explore with striking sensitivity the use of a telerobotic proxy as a way for a paralyzed man to get out into the world again.
It may not be a sex robot, but the way the topic has been handled shows that attitudes toward this kind of technology are clearly changing.
Not quite convinced? Then look at the following clip, also from the BBC, that stars Samantha, a sexbot designed to have a more human-like interaction with its users. We’ve also covered her previously here on Future of Sex. Once again, the BBC video doesn’t contain hyperbole, hysteria or negativity—it ends, after all, with the touching “love is love.”
What #SexRobotGripes means for the future of sex tech
Here’s the truth about the previously-trending hashtag, one that the author of the Huffington Post missed in his article: it’s actually a positive spin for sexbots and their owners.
As said, sexbots used to be on the fringe. It was something no one talked about, at least not openly. On the rare occasions when they appeared in the media, it was in a largely negative light. Something like: “People want to have sex with robots? Ewwwww.”
However, this doesn’t happen anymore. The BBC, and a huge number of other media outlets, now address the subject with great sensitivity.
#SexRobotGripes is funny and sometimes off-base, but it’s also playful: the tweets very rarely attacked sexbots or their owners. Instead, they have fun mixing robots with human sexual antics.
They aren’t jokes about something “weird,” but about the reality of the world we all live in today.
Instead of looking at #SexRobotGripes as a “Backlash Against Robot-Human Love,” as the Huffington Post article put it, we should consider it as evidence that finding pleasure in a sexbot has become a part of our world—one that we can even make silly jokes about.