When you think you’ve heard it all… I recently saw an article predicting that having sex with robots will be commonplace within the next decade. Tech manufacturers are working feverishly to create robotic sex partners with the ability to program a person’s emotional and sexual history. These “sexbots” already exist but are being refined to be more realistic physically, emotionally, and sexually.
In the near future, money will be able buy you a man or woman with the exact proportions you desire with the programmed ability to talk to you according to your dreams and fantasies. Can I just say… I’m starting to hate the future.
The “advances” in virtual reality and robotics will be used to make pornography even more powerful and realistic. Some might argue that sex with a robot could be a good thing. At least it’s sex that doesn’t exploit another human being. Could we just see it as sophisticated masturbation that keeps people from sleeping around? Maybe it will curb the demand for prostitution and trafficking if men can be satisfied with robots?
In my opinion, sexbots are just a further development on the road to twisting and distorting God’s design for sex. There is no “silver lining” in this “advancement.”
God created sex to be inseparable from love. Sexual intimacy was designed as an expression of covenant, commitment, and devotion. Since the fall of humanity, the powerful gift of sex has been twisted and distorted, becoming something to be bargained for, paid for or forcefully taken.
Whether we are talking about old-fashioned prostitution, pornography or sex with robots, sex is distorted when it feeds our selfishness rather than challenging us toward sacrificial love. Sexbots are just the next evolution of two lies that have infiltrated our cultural thinking about sex:
Why would anyone want to have sex with a robot? Because a robot has no needs and can be programmed to be and do exactly what you desire. A robot can tell you that you are sexy and charming and that you deserve extreme pleasure. A robot gives everything and demands nothing. Utopia? I don’t think so.
God in His wisdom has created us to thrive when we learn to harness our selfishness for the sake of love. It truly is” better to give than to receive.” Research supports the fact that giving to others makes us happy, improves health and makes us more grateful people. Positive hormones like endorphins and dopamine are released in your brain when you are unselfish. Most importantly, giving builds affection and relationship.
By contrast, selfishness (in sex or anywhere else) contributes to isolation and depression. While a great sexual experience with a robot may temporarily boost feelings of pleasure, it will ultimately leave you feeling unsatisfied and searching for more. A selfish person never has enough, which is why a self-centered sexual appetite makes people prone to sexual addiction. Whatever the sexy robot did for you last week will need to amp things up to satisfy you today.
Pornography, no matter the package through which it is delivered, undermines a person’s ability to be content. When it’s all about your needs and your desires, you will find an endless pit of dissatisfaction.
The greatest sexual “high” may be the result of a hedonistic quest to fulfill a selfish desire, but long-term sexual health and fulfillment is found within monogamous, caring relationships with another person.
The second lie “sexbots” reinforce is that a machine can substitute for human intimacy. A designer may be able to craft a robot with a perfect body and even with the ability to listen and respond appropriately. But here’s the truth… no machine (no matter how sophisticated) can ever replace human intimacy. Why? Because we long to be chosen and accepted.
I grew up in a family with five siblings. At times, me and my sibs would sling insults at each other. I remember one of my sisters telling me that she only played with me because our parents paid her to. She even had me believing that my parents paid my friends to be nice to me. For a brief time, I didn’t want any part of her or my friends. A paid friend is no friend at all. Friendship and intimacy are built on the choice to love, to pursue, to accept and embrace even through hard times. My dearest friends are ones who have sacrificed for me and me for them.
Jesus said, “There is no greater friend than he lay down his life for his friends.” Every intimate relationship is only intimate because of what it costs. My husband’s love for me has been demonstrated with small and great sacrifices over the years. When Mike gives up sleep to listen to me, when he lets go of what he wants because of his love for me, when he forgives me… these are all things that create a deeper love and intimacy.
What computer or robot can choose to sit by your deathbed to comfort you? What programmed machine can choose to love you among all the other men and women walking the earth? Love is love because it means we are chosen, we belong and we are worth investing in.
Sexbots and every other form of sex without a relationship (including a movie like 50 Shades Darker) can arouse us sexually, but end up creating isolation, discontentment with our real-life relationships, and a shallow pursuit of a thrill that can never produce intimacy.
So as much as I grieve the future sophistication of pornography, I know that a counterfeit can never compete with the real deal. The man or woman you love with real skin, real feelings, and a real soul is the only one worth giving yourself to.