Juli Slattery

by Juli Slattery


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What is Really Behind the Sex Robot Trend

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:

Lie #1 - Great sex is all about me

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.

Lie #2 - An impersonal sexual experience is better than intimacy

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.

Comments

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  • AuntDeidra Cox

    AuntDeidra Cox

    AMEN! Juli, thank you for this article.
  • Tom Hillson

    Tom Hillson

    I understand the points of this article, and I agree with much of it. But I'd still like to offer an opposing viewpoint. That viewpoint is from a guy's perspective. A sex robot (sexbot) built to be a beautiful woman who would adore the male owner is something that many men desperately long for. Women, in general, don't understand how difficult men have it. Men, in general, get NO unsolicited attention from women. They don't get hit on. They don't get asked out. They don't even get noticed! They have to hit on women, they have to ask out women, they have to notice women. Do you women understand the incredible appeal of a beautiful woman sexbot that NOTICES the man, that HITS ON the man? I don't think you can really understand, but maybe you can still appreciate it.
  • Juli Slattery

    Juli Slattery

    Hey, Tom. Thanks for your comment. You are right that most women don't understand a man's needs related to sexuality. However, I would disagree with your position that a sexbot can meet that need. A sexbot can't "notice" a man. It does whatever it is programmed to do. It offers manufactured attention, affection and admiration that can't possibly create intimacy. Our mission at Authentic Intimacy is to help people build true intimacy. I hope you will look around our website and be encouraged!
  • Tom Hillson

    Tom Hillson

    Juli, thanks for your response, but you come from a position of privilege - the privilege of being a woman. You don't know what it's like to wake up each day, go through your entire day and not get approached or hit on by anyone of the opposite sex. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I am an average-looking guy, and this is what happens to most guys - NO attention from the opposite sex! ONLY when we hit on women do we get noticed. I agree that a sexbot, or even just a female robotic companion, can't provide true intimacy, but it's a WHOLE lot better than reality for most men.
  • Ulofine

    Ulofine

    @Tom Hills. My husband pointed out this position to me many years back and I kind of do initiate intimacy sometimes. I understand how you feel but if you walk with God in choosing your partner, you make your feelings known to her and by God's grace she will learn to appreciate you the way you want. Juli is pointing out that instead of programming a robot, tell your partner your needs and prayerfully you both will have amazing intimacy that will wow you. Life is give and take, not take, take, take. God bless
  • Tom Hillson

    Tom Hillson

    Uloma, I wasn't lamenting my marriage or anything, because I'm not married. I just feel that God was terribly unfair in creating the world the way He did - where He didn't give women much of a desire to notice men. You wouldn't understand this as a woman (unless you're in the tiny percentage of women who get no attention), but I've always felt awful to be ignored - to be invisible. Like I said, women don't notice most men. I mean, they may notice them internally, but generally they don't express this. So the idea of a beautiful female robot to fawn over me, even though it's programmed, sounds like nothing less than heaven on earth! I notice Juli didn't respond - I know she knows how good she has it and couldn't say anything in response. But at least I know she will remember this in the future and be grateful for the privilege she enjoys as a member of the fairer sex.
  • AuntDeidra Cox

    AuntDeidra Cox

    Hi, Tom. I've just recently joined Authentic Intimacy. I am 69 years old divorcee (since I was 25), so let me start off with one of my longing/desires: Psalm 71:18 "Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come." With that, I'd like to challenge you to do a study of your words "adore" and "beauty" and "longing". Believe me, I understand very well, that men are visual. Since Genesis 3, we've all been longing for that special someone to fill our empty lives. You were formed in your Mother's womb by God. God knows you. Do you understand the incredible authentic appeal of GOD? He can not bring you the woman He has for you (THE AUTHENTIC INTIMACY of 1 man - 1 woman marriage covenant) until you understand the reason for "her" is to bring you into a closer relationship with Him. No man-made "thing" can do that. As God told Abram "I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." (Gen 15:1)
  • Tom Hillson

    Tom Hillson

    Deidra, thanks for your post. My response here might get deleted. If it does, I'll message you privately. I used to believe God existed, but now I find it very unlikely that He does. I used to believe in Santa Claus when I was young, but I don't anymore. (I am not trying to make fun of belief in God here - just making a point about believing in someone I can't see, hear, touch, etc.) Why did I hold on to my belief in God so long? Because Santa Claus doesn't talk about burning people in hell for not believing in him. You seem like a sweet lady - how is it that you believe that a good God would allow the Holocaust, the rape of little children, horrible diseases, etc.? Please don't give me a free-will response. I'm asking you, Deidra, how do YOU believe that a good God would create a world where things like the Holocaust would happen? In what world would that possibly be justified?
  • AuntDeidra Cox

    AuntDeidra Cox

    Tom: Me, sweet lady? Read Isaiah 64:6, I am nothing but filthy rags. (also Read Luke 7:37-38) My wilderness journey on earth is based on daily reading/discerning the Bible that I may walk worthy of the Lord, so others can see Him through my brokenness. (Colossians 1:9-11) My life is not about me: Galatians 2:20. You have to search for answers to your questions, just as I do mine. I can only pray for you, and ask you to read: Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John. For the purest expression of the gospel, read the book of Romans; also, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Epistle to the Ephesians (written by Paul, who was Saul of Tarsus and had persecuted the Christians until his conversion on the road to Damascus [see Acts 9]; he wrote this book from prison to Christians). I believe the Bible is the Word of God, and it has the answers to all my questions: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God reveled from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17); and 2 Corinthians 5, particularly verses 14-21.
  • Tom Hillson

    Tom Hillson

    Deidra, I asked you a direct question about your faith. Does not common courtesy dictate that you give an answer? Does not the Bible even say as much, in one of the books of Timothy?

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