‘The Cartoon History of Sex Robots’ Is Funny—and Surprisingly Accurate
Watch this animated YouTube video for a great guide to sexbots.
Not often, but every now and again you come across something truly delightful while cruising YouTube.
A perfect example is an animated short called The Cartoon History of Sex Robots.
Oh, sure, the animation is quite nice. The jokes will make you giggle—well, they made me laugh, at least.
But most interesting of all is that the creator obviously put some serious thought not only into being funny but also in offering a remarkably comprehensive and well-researched presentation on the subject.
Sex doll beginnings
The man behind The Cartoon History of Sex Robots is Noah Sterling, who has created equally informative and humorous shorts such as The Secret History of Wonder Woman, The Cartoon History of Sexy [and Evil] Redheads, and even The Cartoon History of Tentacle Porn.
All of these videos are part of his Sexy Nerd Stuff series that, as he puts it in the intros, is all about exploring the “sexy side of science, history, pop-culture, and everything weird.”
Here, Sterling’s narration and animation are backed up by the illustrations of Jon Herzog and extra writing help from Max Dweck and Grace Keller Scotch.
Putting aside his initial judgement that sex robots are weird—though to be fair the history of them can seem a tad unusual at times—his short video begins with a disclaimer that, as his audience is primarily heterosexual, he will be focusing on that aspect of sex robot history—with a plug for getting more women into STEM research.
Right after that, Sterling starts by diving into mythology, both ancient and modern, before delving into what a lot of sex tech experts typically don’t think about covering when they are talking about the origins of sex robots.
Dutch Wives, he correctly explains were dolls created by sailors in the 1700s. The term, he then says, and verified by a bit of Googling on my part, is even in use to this day to refer to sex dolls and bots. Hum, you learn something new every day.
Sterling then reveals the, and yes we will use the term here, weird history of Barbie—being, as it was, inspired by a provocative sexy figure. By the way, he gets bonus points in the next section by bringing up the Nazi sex doll story as nothing but an urban myth.
The dolls arrive
Things began to take off when, as Sterling explains, sex toys began available to purchase by mail in the late 1960s. These so-called dolls, however, were basically just inflatables in a roughly human shape, but with suitable “openings,” of course.
More kudos go to Sterling for introducing artist Matt McMullan as one of the pioneers of sex dolls and guiding light for what would eventually become RealDoll as one of the leading innovators in their creation and design.
The Japanese interpretation of sex doll tech comes next for Sterling. That’s when some developers aimed to make dolls that didn’t just look human but could also act very much like them. Along the way, Sterling introduces viewers to the term “gynoid” and how it became common among doll owners.
Without a doubt, as he explains, the early model of doll, the Eve R-1 back in 2003, was a tad disappointing for those looking for that lifelike behavior as well as appearance.
As a subsequent robot, named Aiko by its creator Le Trung in 2006, was much closer to achieving those gynoid dreams, fitted as it was all kinds of sensors including, as Sterling, puts it, in “her breast and crotch areas.”
Not to be outdone, American’s stepped up their game with Roxxxy built by True Companion, based in New Jersey, with a more sophisticated artificial intelligence system. (Editor’s note: However, the authenticity of Roxxxy’s capabilities have been debated.)
Right to the present
And now The Cartoon History of Sex Robots gets up to the here and now with Sterling’s bringing up an old favorite of ours here at Future of Sex, RealDoll’s Harmony, which we have covered quite a lot over the years of its development.
As any video breakdown of the twists and turns of sexbot design and creation wouldn’t be complete without her, Sterling also brings up the “seduce to proceed” Samantha robot.
Or “The Dark Souls of sex robots,” as Sterling puts it, geeking out with a reference to the notoriously difficult video game.
Naturally, no contemporary discussion about sexbots skips Kathleen Richardson’s Campaign Against Sex Robots.
Now I’ve been pretty forthright in my opinion that Richardson’s attitude toward bots and their owners is misguided, at best. So it was with no small amount of relief that her campaign wasn’t presented as a solution to sexbots, just one side of the argument.
A round of applause
Stumbling across The Cartoon History of Sex Robots was a true delight. The jokes brought me big smiles, certainly. But more than that, it’s exciting to see how the short video wasn’t just another dashed-off, and ultimately disposable and forgettable, YouTube shor.t. Rather, it was something Sterling took a lot of time to research.
With there being much disinformation flying around about sexbots and their owners, it was extra nice to find a short film I would personally refer to someone interested in learning how sex robots came to be and where the industry is right now.
Sure, Sterling’s snark did come off as far from tolerant here and there, but by and large, The Cartoon History of Sex Robots is a recommended watch.
Image sources: Noah Sterling