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The introduction of lifelike robots and silicon sex dolls is set to change the way we view sex. It may even bring relief to married couples looking for an alternatives to marital affairs. But does having sex with a child-looking sex doll amount to paedophilia?
For sex expert Marlene Wasserman, aka Dr Eve, it does. She argues child sex robots should be outlawed.
Speaking on Tuesday evening at an event held by Heavy Chef at Workshop 17 in the Waterfront in Cape Town, Wasserman argued that any sexual representation of children — even in the form of a robot or doll — would be harmful to society.
She was responding to an audience member who argued that having a sex robot or doll that looked like a child is “not an offence on anyone”.
Marlene Wasserman, aka Dr Eve, says child sex robots should be outlawed
“By giving it (a sex robot or doll that looks like a child), by selling it you are in a way endorsing this kind of behaviour. So, I would really clampdown (on this), just as we clampdown on those who create or keep kiddie porn. Anyone who is going to be selling you a doll that looks like that should be banned,” she said.
Earlier in the same event, tech marketing consultant Heidi Patmore pointed out what she called a “disturbing” observation — that about 50% of dolls on manufacturer Lumidolls website look like girls under the age of 18, while some even look like they are under 12. The dolls sell for between $1750 and $2000 each, online.
“This raises questions like if you were to give a paedophile a sex robot, would that encourage paedophilia or does that save a real person from a predator,” she said.
For Patmore customisable sex robots are only the latest in a growing number of sextech applications. These include app-controlled dildos, dildos that increase in intensity with the bitcoin price and smart condoms that work like Fitbits to measure the number of thrusts and collect other data.
She points out that one company, realbotix, sells about 600 of such life-like robots a year, at about $20 000 each. In addition, a number of UK brothels have begun offering life-size sex robots to clients for £100 an hour — with Friday evenings often fully booked out.
“It isn’t just a niche. It will get bigger,” concluded Patmore.
But despite this Wasserman said the introduction of sex robots — at least the adult kind — might actually be a good idea, as they could help tackle marital problems, by removing sex out of the relationship so that committed couples can focus on what she calls practical issues like co-parenting.
Said Wasserman: “Wouldn’t it be just fabulous if we had someone there where you could just press a button and he or she would be available to just be sexual”.
Feature image: Marlene Wasserman (Dr Eve) at Tuesday’s Heavy Chef event at Workshop 17 in Cape Town (Supplied), Stephen Timm/Memeburn