Sex Pots and Sex Bots

“The number of sexual acts and lovemaking positions commonly practised between humans will be extended, as robots teach us more than is in all of the world’s published sex manuals combined.”

Sexbots, teledildonics, cybersatisfaction…the time has come for customized cyborg sex, something I once dreamed right here on this blog in “Dream of a Mistress Sex Cyborg,” according to an article in the Guardian today entitled, “Sex, Love, and Robots: Is this the end of intimacy?” Sex toys on steroids, it seems, Realldoll team, makers of sex dolls, is on the verge of  producing sex bots, programmable to be responsive to the user’s whims, apparently, and more life like than…well, life, more accommodating, I would think.

The writer of the Guardian article, Eva Wiseman, does a bang up job of pulling in all the strands of the theme, interviewing the key parties, such as David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, with whom she dances around the obvious ethical concerns about replacing the human, addiction and, of course, pedaphilia. Levy is a bit cavalier with his response about pedophiles, in particular: better acting out with a bot than on a child. He also doffs off the intimacy drain or addiction by alluding to vibrator use now. Levy is not the first to ponder the extent of the post-humanist possibilities. Biologist and academic Donna Haraway in her Cyborg Manifesto did so before him and many others, academics and popularists alike.

Just a couple of weeks ago, in a class discussion of Roe v. Wade and the future of abortion in America, I noted the Supreme Court’s critical consideration of a fetus’ viability (survival outside a womb) at some point after 3 months at which time the weighing of a state’s interests in health of the mother and potential beings against the mother’s right to privacy shifts away from the mother. I mentioned not only the medico-technological developments since that 1973 case that have pushed back viability to 3 months or earlier, but also the possibility of synthetic wombs, baby generator/gestators, like test tubes for conception, and how such a cyborg or mechanical device would change the abortion debate.

The practicality of a mechanical womb would alleviate much of the discomfort in the Roe decision, such as the inability to define a fetus as a person at law (though corporations are persons now) and the state’s intrusion into the private health care decisions a woman makes with her physician. Neat idea, which may even exist or be in the works. Then again, I’m still stoked about the remote control vibrator.

Power Tools

Man, myth and vibrators: the Power Tools of the Empowered. Good vibrations: for all your pleasureful needs. And worse. 

I was trying to come up with a title for a blog post I wrote for one of my will-write-for-food sites, a post describing a massager and vibrator section of an online catalog of “romantic toys.” The copy was pretty straight forward: selling sex toys with luscious descriptions of need and success in the bedroom. But the title–a real grabber–is always challenging for subjects I know a lot about and so are enthused about, let alone for topics I know or care too little to whisk up a flavorful title. 

It’s not that I don’t like vibrators. I just have been sort of meh on them. Some have suggested that I may not have found the right one or are too accustomed to “other ways” of achieving the same results, both of which may be true. But I haven’t really thought about it much until I wrote up this blog piece.

Curious whether I could find commiseration in my take-it-or-leave-it attitude about vibes, I went to the internet. Wading past the ads disguised as informationals, I found lots on the topic but only a couple of good reads:  The Secret to Having Mind-Blowing Orgasms with Your Vibrator in and Psychology Today’s Vibrators: Myths vs. Truths.

Beyond the obvious of all obvious recommendations in the one–to experiment and try what feels good (duh, really?) and not to drill your sensitive areas to death–I did take up the solo solution of massaging the rest of your body first as foreplay–sorta.  Imagine that, using a massager as a…well, massager.

And while both tackled some myths about becoming addicted and desensitized to using a vibrator, one confirmed that too much of a good thing could lead to less of a good thing in other areas. In other words, orgasming with a vibrator may make it more difficult to orgasm without one. The psychology writer’s opinion was more a “it depends on the person” comment but clearly denied addiction danger:

Do carpenters become addicted to power tools? No, power tools just get the job done faster. Many women really love their vibrators, but that’s a personal preference, not an addiction

Not sure about the analogy as altogether apt, certainly is cliché, but like most habits, it seems to me it would depend on so many other factors like the person’s relationship(s), mindset, attitude and existing personality traits as to whether vibes are habit-forming. And so what if they are?

Maybe it’s my prejudices. Solo sex is utilitarian, accomplished with or without powertools and a good imagination. Beyond solo, connection with others, well that’s my preference–with or without the tools.


Vibrators and Misinformation Again



The Guardian article, “A vibrator is not a substitute for a partner. But how do you tell men that?” by Tracy Clark-Flory fortuitously appears this relaxing Saturday after a week focusing on the vibrator and women’s orgasm on the blog (here).

The article’s content in large part has been covered on this blog previously, the major take home ideas being as follows: sex toys are still a taboo subject despite 43% of heterosexual men having used one with a partner, men feel intimidated by vibrators while women feel insecure about speaking up in light of men’s insecurity, and the unwillingness of couples to speak honestly about introducting the vibrator into the bedroom is due to culturally-reinforced misconceptions of penetrative sex as the cornerstone of sexual fulfillment.  

In light of that last persistent, patent lie, the most significant reason for repeating material is to disseminate sexual truth and keep the discussion ongoing, so that some day that report–that there exists “the cultural expectation that women orgasm during and as a result of penetrative sex” despite the ample research that “shows that most women simply do not climax from penetrations alone”–will no longer be fact. The “culture” needs to stop expecting that. Such misinformation leads to couple insecurities, which Clark-Flory writes “makes for really terrible sex.”

Get over yourself America (though the article is directed to a wider audience, American attitudes about sex are majorly dysfunctional). Men, stop thinking a penis is all you are, the end all and be all. Women, stop thinking your role in life is to be “pleasers and soothers, above all else.” 

Vibrators are not replacements for men, not necessarily intercourse substitutes, and men who think so need to be disabused of that notion by curative cultural “normalization” of the facts. Women, take the lead on this (except for those women who really do prefer vibrators to men). You are the life bearers, the stronger sex. Be bold. Be honest. Tell him what you need, respectfully. Or else, keep supporting the sex-toy industry. Apparently, the options for bigger, bendier and both-partner accommodating vibrators are abundant. 

Above all, have fun. 


the Gaze