Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep (Who Need Treatment For STDs)?

In “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep”, Calico has just never been able to convince herself to worry much about the kind of sex other people have. Outside of a few things which are already illegal, she’s happy to leave others alone to pursue sexual pleasure as they see fit. So long as she doesn’t have to hear about, see it, or be involved in it, her general attitude is “fuck and let fuck.”

android robot

Academics and medical professionals who research sex don’t have that luxury, of course, so it should come as no surprise that some researchers are asking a question which would have sounded like something out of a sci-fi novel, not so long ago: Are there any health benefits (or detriments) to getting it on with a sex-robot?

This question raises lots of other questions, of course — and, speaking of sci-fi, Calico has a few questions of her own, like the one which serves as the title to her latest post: “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep (Who Need Treatment For STDs)?”

by Calico Rudasill, porn for women

When it comes to the sex lives and sexual habits of other people, outside of a few things which are (and should be) illegal, my general disposition is “live and let live” – or maybe “fuck and let fuck” would be the more apt phrase in this context.

While I may not want to hear about certain sex acts, masturbation techniques or bizarre fantasies harbored by my fellow humans, I also have no interest in prohibiting them, or telling others they ought not to engage in them, so long as all involved are consenting adults and nobody is going to ejaculate on my furniture in the process.

In other words, to paraphrase an old Pretender’s song, I got a smile for everyone I meet, as long as you don’t try banging my butt, or dropping a load on my feet.

Is Being “Healthy” A Bar Sex Must Clear?

While I’ve joked many times about wanting to replace my husband with one, the truth is I have no interest in owning, operating or being pleasured by a sex robot, no matter how “realistic” it may be in terms of simulating the look, feel and attitude of a real human male.

sex androidsThis doesn’t mean I’m going to look down my nose at those who do want to have sex with Androids – unless of course they’re doing so at my feet, in which case I will look down my nose at them in the literal sense, while vigorously encouraging them to get a room, or otherwise cease fornicating beneath my coffee table.

Admittedly, I probably haven’t put as much thought into the full implications of sex Androids as Chantal Cox-George and Susan Bewley, who recently authored an editorial for the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health called “I, Sex Robot: the health implications of the sex robot industry.”

“The medical profession needs to be prepared for inevitable questions about the impact of sex Androids on health,” the authors assert in the article’s introduction – a sentence I’m guessing medical researchers of my mother’s generation never had occasion to write, unless Arthur C. Clarke was a medical researcher back then.

The problem with trying to answer the question of whether there could be health benefits to using sex robots, it turns out, is there’s simply no information to go on.

“What characterises all discussions of this issue is the paucity of an evidence base,” the authors add. “This might falsely reassure clinicians not to concern themselves with changing their current clinical practice. However, an absence of evidence does not excuse the medical profession from discussing and debating the issues, as there will inevitably be consequences for physical, mental and social well-being.”

You hear that, my so-called “primary care physician”? I told you talking to me about sex robots is part of your sacred duty to provide good, responsible care to your patients – and I’m sure Cox-George and Bewley would agree wholeheartedly, despite the fact I was there to get treatment for an inner ear infection.

Reminder: Having Sex With A Person Often Isn’t “Healthy” Either

While they don’t come right out and declare having sex with Androids to be bad for people, it’s clear from their article that Cox-George and Bewley are skeptical of the potential health benefits and concerned about the possibility of psychological harms coming to sex robot users and their human ‘competition’ alike.

“It is at least plausible that sex robots will be helpful for patients who would benefit from sexual practice without pressure, although this might move some further away from human intimacy,” Cox-George and Bewley write. “Sexual activity with robots has been described as a masturbatory practice, so someone with sexual dysfunction, which may already lead to isolation, ‘might become even more isolated by the illusion of having a substitute satisfaction.’ Psychosexual therapists might use sexbots to assist couples with mismatched libido or to help treat erectile dysfunction, but potential adverse consequences, such as rejection of the non-interacting partner or threats to the integrity of the relationship, are underplayed.”

While I get the concern, we need to remind ourselves that sexual relationships with other humans are filled with risk and uncertainty, as well.

Theoretically, human sex partners should have a greater capacity for empathy than their sex robot equivalents – but I strongly suspect I’m not the only one to have found myself involved with a man who couldn’t possibly care less about the emotional wellbeing of his partner.

I’m also going to go out on a limb and suggest it’s not exactly “healthy” to have sex with someone who is carrying herpes, or syphilis, or any number of other sexually-transmitted disease – diseases which reportedly are on the rise of late in England, the country both Cox-George and Bewley currently call home.

None of this is to say I think people should immediately run out and get their hands (and other body parts) on a sex robot. All I’m saying is I’ve never troubled myself with the question of whether the couple up the street is getting “healthier” by way of whatever sort of sex they’re choosing to have, so why should I worry much about whether the bachelor down at the other end of the street is fucking a robot, healthily or otherwise?

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