It seems now that week after week, the age of the sexbot comes closer to fruition. According to the Daily Star, demand for the mechanical sex companion in the U.K. has "driven into mass production" and is quickly on its way to becoming a global trend, with even "brothels across Europe offering kinky dolls instead of real women."
The skyrocketing demand has put manufacturers into overdrive. What's life like on the production floor of those factories? Harriet SugarCookie, an adult performer, paid a visit to the RealDoll factory in the U.S. earlier this year to provide some insider knowledge as she "witnessed a wide number of cyborgs in the making."
According to Harriet, the "production and demand" for the new sexbots were much larger than she initially thought.
“I always figured it was a niche thing, how many people can spend $5-10k on a sex doll after all?" she opined to the Daily Star. "There were so many being made and the owner told me they couldn’t keep up with the orders sometimes."
“I guess that surprised me, because looking at the production line… there were a lot.”
For people with fetishes, the sexbots can fulfill those fantasies, too, based on custom designs.
“You can get almost anything you want, it’s a fantasy," said Harriet. "A doll with three boobs? No problem. Elf ears? Sure. A cat tail? Why not? And they make them super realistic."
CEO of RealDoll, Matt McMullen, prides himself on creating sexbots that fool the naked eye with such precision that they “force people to take a second glance”.
Harriet sees the sexbot industry as a means to equalize the sex toy trade between men and women, since only a handful of sex toys are marketed to men.
“There are male sex robots, but the sex toy industry is huge for women, you get so many toys," she said. "I think women get more choice in terms of sex toys than men. Maybe it means there’s a higher demand?"
An equalization of the sex toys? Sure. An equalization of the sexes? Not so much. And Harriet understands the revolution could have negative consequences in terms of human companionship, saying that they are becoming more than just brother accessories or a creepy John's bedroom fixture, but as a replacement for the real thing.
“There are also people who like to collect sex dolls," she said. "They love the dolls a lot and they want more than one. Each doll is considered its own person and some clients end up with a harem of them."
The sex robot trade has become the newest frontier on the libertine front with more and more manufacturers producing life-like renditions of the fairer sex year after year. David Levy, author of Love and Sex With Robots, sees no problem with this.
"I see nothing wrong from an ethical point of view of having sexual relationships with robots," he told Time.
Some sexbot manufacturers have even begun to put personalities in place for their machines, and provide artificial intelligence, with the capacity to show jealousy and neediness.
That aside, since sexbots appear poised to become another cultural plague worse than porn, polls are now being conducted to see where the public's sensibilities lie regarding their use. It turns out many people in Britain — roughly 36% — have no trouble with the idea of getting it on with robots. This applies more to men than women, with two-thirds supporting the practice.
According to a report in Metro, a significantly high number of Brits say that sex with a robot would not be cheating.
"The NOW TV survey reveals that 40% of British people would not consider having sex with a robot cheating," reports Metro, and if that's not bad enough, "39% of British people think that by 2050, we’ll regularly be having relationships with robots instead of each other."