When I talked to Dr. Michelle Mars about sex robots, one of my many questions (boy, did I have questions) was whether women would get on board with the idea of having sex with a machine. Seeing the rise of Real Dolls, I could conceive of a world where men dabbled in it, of course. But she quickly pointed out that women have been having sex with machines for hundreds of years, utilizing everything from big honker massagers to tiny bullets.
One day soon, robot sex may look like something from A.I., with ever-more realistic looking sexbots that can be used for prostitution or even longer-term relationships, she says. The advantages could be myriad: from reduced risk of STIs to Red Light Districts without fear of sex trafficking. But as with any issue of sexuality (or technology), the situation is more complicated.
Dr. Mars and I discuss the inevitability (and current reality!) of sex robots, the Uncanny Valley, the dangers to regular relationships and the revolution of sex work, among other things.