One of my favorite topics to cover is sex robots and robot companions. The ways humans develop and use technologies reveals our deepest needs and desires, some of which may be hidden even from ourselves.
Sexual robotics converges with several fields, including machine learning, virtual reality, and Bluetooth sex toys. Although today’s animatronic sex dolls are a far cry from what we see in sci-fi fantasies, that hasn’t stopped humans in our quest to improve our sex lives with technology.
As part of our ongoing Future of Sex Expert Series, we reached out to educators and academics on what to expect from intimate robotics in 2022. Their answers are below.
Kenneth Play is an International Educator and Sex Hacker
“I think that the sex tech is headed towards some big breakthroughs in the next few years. For instance, I think that technology that uses machine learning to ID someone’s sexual preference, patterns, and frequency will become more common.
“Just like any other wearable fitness device, sex will enter the domain of personal tracking and personalized functioning. Your sex tech will probably eventually integrate with your smart home devices, so that it can set the temperature in your room, turn on just the right lighting and music, and maybe even give you aftercare by running your bath for you.”
Dr. Markie L. C. Twist, Ph.D., LMFT., LMHC., CSE., Teaching Faculty, Antioch University New England, Applied Psychology Program
“I think we will see more people engage with virtual reality-based digisexuality and pornography as the affordability of this hardware may become more accessible for a greater number of people.
“However, both of these future year predictions rest upon global supply chains working smoothly, which might not be a reality given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and if that impacts the hardware development and transportation than neither of these growing areas of digisexuality will experience much growth.
“Regardless, I do think we will see a growing number of people identifying as digisexuals and/or robosexuals as identities are commonly more complicated and bigger than just behavioral engagement (which could be impacted by supply chain issues).”
Tina Horn, writer of SfSx: Terms of Service
“After studying sex robots for my sci-fi graphic novel SfSx: Terms of Service, I can say we’re a long way off from artificially intelligent companions, but I know we’ll continue to think outside the futuretech box in terms of ethics and desire.”
Bobbi Bidochka, Co-Chair, Academic Congress on Love and Sex with Robots
“There has been a proliferation in sex research within academia, with researchers that are studying all aspects of sex that include sexual health, sex robots, pornography, sex education, hook-up culture, sex work, space sexology and so much more!
“At the Academic Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, we are seeing huge advances, bravery in covering sexual related topics, and more granting agencies taking the topic seriously. The excellence and innovation in sex research around the world are consistently increasing and with the recent focus on sextech, we can expect the outcomes from academia to be pervasive in 2022 and beyond.”
Natasha Marie Head of Content at MysteryVibe
“2022 will see a new frontier in applying A.I. towards elevating overall health and wellness will be explored. For instance, people seeking mental health help might be more comfortable talking to A.I. than a human being. Currently, A.I. cannot replace a professional; however, if programmed with the proper parameters, A.I. can become more intuitive and resourceful in terms of problem-solving.
A.I. will become the first line of defense in getting people counsel and directing them to the appropriate human channels. Either way, there are many opportunities for A.I. to streamline the process of connecting people to professional help.