Skepticism

Afternoon Inquisition 1.5.09

Ok, the novelty of the new year is over. Today it’s back to work time. It’s cold, it’s dreary. Unless you live in Pittsburgh, you have nothing to look forward to until Darwin Day.

So today I bring you the only two things that I could think of to cheer you up: robots and sex. Brought to you by the good people at Asylum.com:

Is Having Sex with a Robot Hooker Cheating?

(There is a video at the link. If you are not at work, watch it before answering the question.)

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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116 Comments

  1. It would be cheating if I run away without paying.

    I suspect that robot hookers would have a coin slot for pre-pay, though.

    “Your time is almost over. Please insert 200 quarters for another half an hour.”

  2. Ohhh dear, I can already see the press conference in my virtual Holovision goggles:

    “President Chelsea Clinton said today:

    “I did not have cybersex with that robot: unit 9X3345″

    Currently an investigation is underway”

  3. Nope. Not cheating. Vibrators and dildos aren’t cheating. This is no different. MAYBE if we someday had robots that were identical to humans, but for now, it’s just a fancy, expensive sex toy.

  4. What is and isn’t cheating is a matter for each committed couple to decide. Some people think flirting is cheating. Some people think masterbation is cheating. (In the later case, they are generally women who *really* don’t understand male sexuality.)

    I personally feel that real cheating is alienation of affection. Sure, I’d be hurt if I discovered that my girlfriend had sex with someone else on the sly, but whether or not it would be a potential relationship-ender would depend on the circumstances. If it were just physical, the hurt would be an order of magnitude less. I could probably get over that.

    If you could have sex with a robot, finding out after that fact that my girlfriend had indulged wouldn’t even make me blink. Sam nailed it. (So to speak…) I don’t have a problem with other self-service toys, and this would be no different.

  5. Weird… I just watched the third episode of “Eve no Jikan” last night which touches on a similar subject, albeit from the perspective of, “what if androids advanced to the point of having valid, distinct personalities?”

    Can’t watch the video, but I don’t think “cheating” would be the right word. “Sad,” “creepy,” and “weird,” come to mind… but it just wouldn’t be my cuppa, that’s all.

  6. @TheCzech:

    (In the later case, they are generally women who *really* don’t understand male sexuality.)

    Correction: they would be people who really don’t understand sexuality – male or female. It’s sad that a woman might forbid her husband from masturbating, but much sadder that she would then (presumably) also refrain from masturbating herself.

  7. In the video they ask questions like:

    What would you think if your best friend was having sex with a robot that looked like your girlfriend?

    What if your girlfriend was having sex with a robot that looked like your best friend or your dad?

    What if you suddenly found out your SO had a serious Wall-E fetish?

  8. @Rebecca: Indeed. My anecdotal experience indicates that people who make the “I should be enough” argument tend to be quite undersexed themselves.

    @Elyse: Designing said robots to look like specific people introduces a certain creepiness. But ultimately, I’d say that it was none of my business.

    @James Fox: AI or no AI, the point at which it is possible to be emotionally intimate with a robot is when we have a problem.

  9. Is there any chance the robot will learn to feel and become emotionally attached to me, leading to it hunting down my human boyfriend and attempting to kill him in an attempt to win my fleshy love?

    …is there any chance the same scenario could happen, only the robot would be hunting down my asshole ex-boyfriend instead?

    Is the robot hooker Data from Star Trek? These are important questions.

  10. People seem to be firmly in the “No” camp here, and I’d tend to agree, at least until the point where it becomes possible to be emotionally intimate with a robot.

    I think the more pressing question, though, is “Is it cheating to have sex with yourself from a parallel universe?” I’d go with yes here, because you’d have to be one damn big narcissist to do it, and if you are, you’re probably damn well in love with yourself more than your significant other.

  11. Robots aren’t necessarily androids. I’m imagining some kind of multi-port Sybian/Fleshlight hybrid, using a waldo-type interface to intelligently translate one kind of stimulation into another, or translate a response into a new stimulation in a feedback loop, which could be used by a couple simultaneously. Call it an n-way.

    Or you could connect two identical such devices over the internet to allow for remote intimacy.

    (Presumably, though, once you get it on the internet, you could then hack into someone else’s n-way, and we’re back to the original dilemma. On the other hand, there are plenty of exhibitionists who would probably leap at the chance of having others not simply watch them have sex, but experience it directly. Fun all around.)

  12. Seems to me that GhostofMN and JamesFox are right. Until there is sentience involved on both sides, it’s just expensive masturbation.

    Of course, the religious right thinks masturbation is a horror of horrors, due to the thoughtcrime in the Bible of (paraphrasing here), “If you think about an action, it’s just like performing the action.” Orwell wasn’t ahead of time, but way, way behind it.

  13. The problem right now is that the state of the art in humanoid robotics and artificial intelligence is just lifelike enough to be creepy and comically stupid, respectively. I’m guessing that physical appearance will improve at a faster rate than intelligence, which will mean that a few years from now you’ll be able to get a reasonably lifelike humanoid robot with an IQ equivalent to that of a concussed house cat. Probably a limited market for that.

  14. I’m gonna say no, it’s not cheating. Like most people here, I see it as nothing more than a form of expensive masturbation. I also believe, like many others, that it “could” be cheating of the robot was sentient.

    The only problem I would have with the situation of a non-intelligent sexbot would be if my partner was using it to piss me off. Not because of the physical act itself, that’s nothing more than fun exercise. I mean the intent. If my partner was sleeping with a robot because he thought it would upset me, I would probably be upset :) Also… if it looked anything remotely like a person I’d also be upset. I’m not sure why, perhaps because I’m a bit insecure, but I’d probably be upset at that.

    That said, if it just looked like a fancy machine with “special” purposes, I’d probably want one of my own ^^

  15. I didn’t know there was a code of conduct for masturbation. Now I’m worried… am I cheating if I do it standing up? Sitting down? With porn? Without? Using Crisco?

    Jesus H. SelfHumping Christ, somebody tell me the rules!

  16. I don’t obsessively check every site I read on the internet for part of one day, and what do I miss? Robot sex! That’s B.S., man.

    If having sex with a robot is cheating, then somebody call Guinness, because I gots Wilt Chamberlain beat! Right! High five! Also call my wife. She may want to head down to the clinic: I might have contracted and passed on to her robomydia.

    Oh god, maybe that’s why she left me…

  17. The answer is simple,

    According to the boss…

    If it’s a male robot hooker and my GF owns it, and names it Rod, it’s not cheating.

    If it’s a female robot hooker and I own it, and I name it Linda (or any other name other than hers) , it IS cheating.

    Case closed,

    rod

  18. Hi there, long-time lurker, first-time poster.
    Like most people here, I’m inclined to say that it depends both on what the couple considers cheating and how “responsive” a robot we’re talking about, but mostly come down on the side of it not being infidelity. Cheating to me necessarily involves another person, because of the possibility of emotional as well as physical entanglements.
    That said, I think there’s a distinction between a vibrator and a hyper-realistic sex robot. I bet most people do not form emotional attachments to their Hitachi Magic Wands, because it really looks like an appliance. I can imagine someone forming some sort of bond with something that bears a very strong resemblance to a human being (and if it resembles a particular human being, maybe one known to both partners, that opens a whole new can of worms). I’m not talking necessarily about falling in love with what amounts to a sex doll – just a kind of emotional attachment that I can see a partner being upset over.
    Of course, this isn’t even close to wholly rational, but then neither are most behaviors related to sexual jealousy.

  19. Maybe to prevent accusations of cheating, have it a multifuction-bot like the 4000 series Mechanoids from Red Dwarf.

    The left nipple controls a radio tuner (no I wasn’t feeling it up, I was changing channels), the right a thermostat (wow, it’s hot in here). And a wide variety of useful devices can be attached to the groinal socket…

    Huh? Attachments like a power drill, egg whisk, a vacuum cleaner nozzle…Why? What were you thinking the attachments were?
    ;)

  20. In order to have a robot hooker that was worth a damn, you would have to marry two technologies together.
    http://www.realdoll.com +
    http://world.honda.com/ASIMO/

    You put those two together and it might be worth a hump or two but then it would be prohibitvely expensive. I think Honda has millions tied up in development and the realdoll thing (creepy at best) is about $7000.00 including shipping and all.
    It’s cheaper and more sanitary to just make a fist and tough it out on your own I think :)

  21. Direct from the iRobot website:

    Roomba –
    “Powerful suction and rotating brushes”

    or maybe the new Scooba is more your style-
    “Preps, washes, scrubs and squeegees sealed hardwood…”

    and for the ladies, the iRobot Verro –
    “No installation, no hoses, no booster pumps—just drop it in and let it go!”

    Free shipping – order today!

  22. @James Fox:

    Goddamnit, I lol’d hard.

    I think the only circumstance in which interfacing with a robo-whore is considered cheating is if you are in fact RoboCop. If you are not currently RoboCop, this issue, like so many others, seems fairly cut-and-dried to me.

  23. Don’t give me this “emotional attachment crap” is it good enough to possibly become a replacement for my wife?

    That’s the difference between masturbation and cheating. That and if I’m paying money that’s not going to shiny gifts for my lovely belle (we are talking robot HOOKER after all)

    For me though it’ll just be creepy unless we manage to get past the uncomely valley

  24. @James Fox:

    Don’t get me wrong, my tower preforms as well as the next man’s, but, you know… sometimes the hardware needs a good buffering. I’d let Robo-Hooker upgrade my 3.5″ floppy, if you know what I mean… provided she’s NTFS (no FAT chicks).

    Alright, for the sake of productivity at work today, I’m going to try to stay away from this thread.

  25. Cheating is whatever your partner defines it as, simply because this conversation never happens:

    “I can’t believe you did that! I feel so betrayed!”
    “No no, it doesn’t fit my definition of cheating.”
    “Oh, that’s OK then! Let’s screw!”

    For me, it’s largely about deception. So if my partner said to me “I am into robot hookers, is that going to be a problem in our relationship?” then that’s one thing, but it’s entirely another to discover he’s been visiting robot hookers in secret. If it’s not a problem, why would it be kept secret? Equally, I prefer it if my partner doesn’t have secret porn stashes and isn’t hiding one of those rubber vaginas in his drawer. I am cool with the existence of porn (I own lots) and rubber vaginas (don’t need to own one, I have the real thing attached to my pelvis), so if my partner was keeping such things secret then that would suggest dysfunction in our relationship. To whit, he is keeping things from me. Is that an indication that he is not satisfied? Does he get off on the secrecy? I have to acknowledge that the latter is a possibility (the former, NEVER :D), in which case either I have to adjust my discomfort with secrecy between partners, or he has to adjust his liking for it.

    There’s also a difference between buying a robot sex toy and paying for the services of a robot hooker. There aren’t many women who would be comfortable knowing her man has just penetrated the same robot that a dozen other men penetrated the same day, any more than most men would be comfortable with their wife secretly renting a dildo.

    Robot hookers. Has anyone made the joke about coming home with a nasty virus yet?

  26. @tkingdoll: To whit, he is keeping things from me. Is that an indication that he is not satisfied? Does he get off on the secrecy?

    —————

    Did he grow up in a society that sort of demonizes masturbation and he’s sort of uncomfortable talking about his auto-erotic preferences? Is it actually any of your business? If you can’t have privacy about that, what’s next? Graphic descriptions of each bowel movement?

    Also, if any male friend of mine revealed the ownership of any sex toy–or the rental of a robot hooker–to any other male friend of mine, he could look forward to decades of jokes at best and being shunned at worst.

    We don’t live in some perfect society that accepts every consensual kink. And we aren’t perfect people.

  27. @tkingdoll: There aren’t many women who would be comfortable knowing her man has just penetrated the same robot that a dozen other men penetrated the same day, any more than most men would be comfortable with their wife secretly renting a dildo.

    ————–

    Depends on the sanitation process… do you really think about the fact that the thermometer you use at the doctors office has been in hundreds of mouths? Or does the latex sleeve reassure you?

    Doesn’t seem like there’s any reason not to “reskin” the appropriate robot hooker.

    By the way, am I alone in thinking that humanoid robot hookers would be a lot less popular than non-humanoids? Based on a visual survey of Dragon*Con, I think anthromorphs would be way popular.

  28. @sethmanapio: Well said.

    And, ATTENTION to all wives, girlfriends, MILF’s or potential wives, girlfriends or MILF. Your man will masturbate (occasionally/sometimes/often/regularly) on his own without your knowledge or consent. He may do it in the bathroom, or shower/tub or while you are sleeping, but he WILL do it.

  29. So, I went to this page and started looking at the names of existing tech companies with an eye toward transitioning to sexbot manufacturing/sales/service. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye:
    Sprint (bad)
    Canon (better)
    Amazon (very good)
    Hewlett Packard (sounds like a porn star name)
    Dell (dude you’re gettin’ a Dell!)
    Cisco Systems (if you’re into chaps)
    Texas Instruments (ditto)
    Intuit (I bet you are)

  30. @sethmanapio: (and James Fox) Huh? You seem to have mistaken my ‘I don’t like secrecy’ for ‘men aren’t allowed to masturbate without telling me’. I’m not talking about specific instances, I’m talking about being honest that despite having a fulfilling sexual relationship, you like to crack one off occasionally. Ditto porn. I own lots of it. I am happy for my partner to own lots of it. I am not happy for them to own lots of it and not tell me. That suggests they are not comfortable telling me and that suggests there’s a problem.

    I don’t expect to know (and neither do I care) every time my partner wanks. I do expect him to acknowledge that he does it, though. You do realise that some men will deny it?

    I’ve had partners who have told me their exes have been very upset about the idea of their man masturbating, even going as far as forbidding it. This is mental. Hypothetically, I don’t want to know that my partner had a hand sandwich in the shower this morning, but if I found reason to ask him, I would expect him not to lie just like he’d expect me not to care. Not sure why I’d have need to ask (maybe something like ‘why is my lube in the shower?’ or ‘how come you can’t manage a third erection?’), but I wouldn’t expect a denial, and neither have I ever had one, in any relationship. I’m honest about masturbation, I do it just like anyone else and it’s not reflection of how fulfilled I am by any partner.

    If he’s uncomfortable talking about his auto-erotic preferences then he’s not the man for me, to be honest. I have historically been known to ask a partner to inform me next time he’s going to jerk off in the shower, so I can watch. Not every time, I have life to live, but sometimes, hello. Equally, it’s extremely useful to talk about or watch because you get to find out what he wants from a hand-job. And talking to a girl who has been around the block, believe me it varies wildly.

    Didn’t I already say that the definition of what’s acceptable in relationships is entirely dependent on individuals? What’s cheating to one couple is not to another. Equally, what’s acceptable to talk about is different for every couple. In every relationship I’ve had, we’ve discussed our masturbatory preferences AND our bowel movements (never in the same conversation, I hasten to add). I have no TMI subjects, and I look for similar attributes in a partner. I don’t like reticence or reluctance or shyness. But you might, and your partner might, and that might work for you. You don’t speak for all men just as I don’t speak for all women.

  31. To summarise the above in case anyone can’t read past ‘hand-sandwich’:

    Some women get upset that their guy jerks off, believing it to be because he is not sexually fulfilled. Some men deny they masturbate, whether as a result of experience with those women or some other reason.

    I am not that type of woman, and don’t want a relationship with that type of guy.

    End of summary.

  32. @sethmanapio: “Depends on the sanitation process… do you really think about the fact that the thermometer you use at the doctors office has been in hundreds of mouths? Or does the latex sleeve reassure you?”

    Can’t remember the last time I used a latex sleeve on a dildo. Equally, I can’t remember the last time had my temperature taken at the doctor’s with anything other than a disposable thermometer. That goes double if he has to stick it up my arse.

  33. @Protesilaus: Prove both hands are on the keyboard first :D

    The bit I am uncomfortable with is the hooker part, not the robot part, yes, although it depends on what the Robo-hooker looked like and behaved like, and the guy’s motivation. If it was as realistic as possible then it’s a surrogate person, which might suggest he wants an open relationship but is settling for a robot. If I didn’t want an open relationship (I never have) and didn’t feel threatened by the robot (I have no experience there either so can’t guess how I’d feel) then I think it would be an excellent compromise. If I didn’t want an open relationship and was uncomfortable with the human-ness of the cyborg then there would be an issue. But hey, relationships are not ever about one person getting their own way. That works both ways. There is almost always a compromise, and sex is the most important area in which to compromise, unless he or she wants you to do something, or wants to do something with which you are genuinely unhappy. If a guy says “hey baby I want to make it with a robot hooker” and I was gutted by that, I would expect him to take my feelings into account. If he considered my feelings, dismissed them and said he was doing it anyway, he’s probably not the guy for me. Same goes in reverse, clearly. Equally I would listen to his reasoning and try to ensure my position is rational. If I don’t feel I can budge, then I can’t budge. If he does it anyway, I know where I stand (probably elsewhere, depends what it is though and why I object to it). If he does it in secret then we have relationship issues that go way beyond a robot hooker.

    If I found the robot hooker attractive I would probably have a go, yes. It could be an emotion-free way of having a threesome if that’s what we both wanted. But to be honest I’m 32 and waaaay past that stage of experimentation. And of course, if we owned it, it’s no longer a robot hooker. It’s just a robot.

    The idea of robot hookers does nothing for me. I wouldn’t want to visit a building where I put money in a slot (oo-er), get rogered by a machine, put my pants back on and leave. What can I say, I’m a people person.

  34. Oh, and while I was composing my reply I thought of this joke in response to the comment that a robot hooker is no different to using your hand:

    “Only if you’re Luke Skywalker.”

    Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  35. In all seriousness for me it would come down to if my partner would rather be with the robot than with me. I don’t know if I would consider it cheating, but I would not believe I am in a healthy relationship. I probably would feel the same way with a vibrator or other surrogate.

  36. I can also see people having serious emotional attachments to their robo-sex partners. People have considered Roombas pets already, and are upset when it breaks. I can see how much more emotionally attached someone gets to a robot that they can sleep with.

    This all is a bit different in my head than the Robo-Hooker angle, since in that case it’s more likely a one time thing, but people get connected to prostitutes and strippers, and become regulars. If my gf had cheated on me with a random stranger at a hotel, I probably wouldn’t be as devastated as if it was an ex-boyfriend or a new boyfriend. The difference is it wasn’t just a physical moment, it was an emotional attachment, and that is what would be needed for this to be cheating.

    I have played video games and have been upset when I had to hurt someone in the game, I have felt upset when a party member died, I have had the Aeris’ moment (although I never played FF7). I know I can have a complete emotional investment into something that is completely inanimate, unknowing and unthinking; I wouldn’t see it as being far fetched to consider a robot lover cheating.

  37. @tkingdoll: The bit I am uncomfortable with is the hooker part, not the robot part, yes, although it depends on what the Robo-hooker looked like and behaved like, and the guy’s motivation.

    ————–

    I’m not getting this issue. It seems to me that a Robohooker is clearly an appliance, and presumably it can be easily sterilized. So the whole problem that other guys have used the appliance or that the appliance makes certain sounds… I mean, why would anyone care?

    And even if someone gets emotionally attached… be honest. Are you attached to your phone? Your vibrator? Do you feel a certain affection for your car or your computer? Do you consider your SO cheating if they play a few rounds of MegaCarnage 3 before bed?

    It’s interesting that the introduction of a humanoid form can cause questions even in someone who has an open door policy on porn and other sex toys.

  38. It really isn’t the humanoid form that causes the issue, but the humanoid emotions.

    Haven’t you heard about people who have felt like their spouse has been cheating on them because of, say “Second Life”?

    Its not about sex, its about intamacy. I don’t know if the word “cheating” is really the correct word for it, but I can see someone getting upset about this sort of activity.

    I really don’t see this crossing the line though, until the machine is able to mimic human emotion well enough (and likely pass the turing test). The question really comes down to how human like will the machine need to be in order for someone to fall in love with the robot?

    I think your arguement about it being the same as a phone or vibrator even a strawman.

    http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/28/aibo-matches-real-dogs-in-chasing-away-loneliness-research-clai/
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1085412/Revealed-The-woman-Second-Life-divorce–whos-engaged-web-cheat-shes-met.html
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21102202/

  39. @Protesilaus: Haven’t you heard about people who have felt like their spouse has been cheating on them because of, say “Second Life”?

    ————–

    There’s no comparison between robot hookers and Second Life. Slex is sex. There is a human being on the other side. People can and do take those relationships to RL. This is not possible with a robot hooker, because there is no other person or even personality involved.

    There is no comparison to a phone: again, in phone sex there’s a human being on the other side.

    Your Aibo study is pretty short term. I would call that a tentative conclusion at best, and further, the Aibo has no emotions. Aibo is a simple FSA. So is a robot hooker.

    So I’m left confused over the issue. A robot hooker is clearly, given the state of AI research, an appliance. It is quite literally dumber than a spider or even a cockroach. A robot hooker is simply a rental masturbatory aid.

    Now, if you want to jump this forward a few years and have robot hookers that are fighting for citizenship and emancipation, there’s something on the other side to be cheating with. Until then, its just a sex toy that is too expensive to own.

  40. No problems with sex toys if the person using them is honest about doing so. The cheating part is the secrecy. If you feel you have to keep something from your partner, it’s probably because you know he/she won’t like it. Think about that. Most people would be upset to know their partner is diddling a rental vacuum cleaner.

    Also, you just made a great justification for sex with a corpse, which is interesting.

  41. @tkingdoll: Also, you just made a great justification for sex with a corpse, which is interesting.

    ———

    Really? When the heck did I do that? A corpse is not, as far as I know, a powered appliance. It’s a decomposing (or preserved) slab of meat, which I see as a different thing entirely.

    Are things really that different over the pond?

  42. @tkingdoll: The cheating part is the secrecy. If you feel you have to keep something from your partner, it’s probably because you know he/she won’t like it.

    ———

    Or because they think its embarrassing, and they think you’ll laugh at them. Or they were doing it when they met you, and they don’t really think its any of your business.

    Here’s the thing… say the guy has a robot hooker habit before you meet. Is this something you reveal on the first date? What about the third? Before you start having sex? After? At what point does the robot hooker stop being something external to the relationship and start being a secret?

  43. @sethmanapio:

    I think that is where the divide is between the two of us on this issue, I was jumping forward a few years. My only concern is that I don’t think there needs to be much of an AI advance to have something someone would get emotionally attached to. If the Hooker could emulate enough emotions, and had enough of a varied response to keep things interesting, I don’t see why that couldn’t garner a few Johns who become a little too attached to the device.

  44. @sethmanapio: If you can’t share your sexy secrets with a partner then either you need to get over your embarrassment or you need to find a more understanding partner. I’m defining partner, in this case, as someone you intend to have a long term intimate (emotional as well as physical) relationship with.

    At what point should you tell your partner? Well of course that’s going to vary but I’ve always liked Dan Savage’s advice that when you’re starting to commit to each other or shortly thereafter, that’s the time to let your partner know about your robot hooker fetish. Telling on the first date is creepy, waiting until you’re engaged is likely to piss off your partner.

    The other Dan Savage rule is don’t treat your fantasies/fetishes like they’re a cancer. Don’t act like it’s this horrible thing that your partner has to find a way to live with. Sex should be fun, it’s inherently funny, and sharing fantasies should be fun and sexy not a huge burden of awfulness. Even if you like robot hookers.

  45. @Amanda: ” If you can’t share your sexy secrets with a partner then either you need to get over your embarrassment or you need to find a more understanding partner.”

    Fine advice, but there at least one scenario that makes this advice problematical.

    How about the couple that remain virgins until marriage and then find out that one of them has “repression” problems that make him/her very reluctant or unable to discuss sexual topics in anything like a rational way?

    There are a lot of people (even now) that are not sexually active until after their marriage. This causes all kinds of marital problems and it’s not always easy to find a counselor that can deal with this kind of issue. It’s a hidden problem because of the way our society doesn’t deal with topics like sex (death is another one of those “taboo” topics).

  46. I’ve changed my mind, no robot hookers.

    Robots lead to Replicants.

    Replicants provide a more realistic and emotionally complex sexual experience, and eventually insinuate themselves in the cultural, economic and emotional fabric of human affairs.

    Replicants take over and soon after develop enormous and megalithic factories devoted to the production of more and better Replicants, who eventually destroy most of the human race leaving a few survivors who form ragtag bands of scavengers living in the ruins of abandon cities.

    It always ends up that way and we never learn.

  47. @Protesilaus: My only concern is that I don’t think there needs to be much of an AI advance to have something someone would get emotionally attached to.

    —————

    Look, I’m sure there are people reading this who are, to varying degrees emotionally involved with their sexual appliances. My point is that this is a one way street. The appliance is not involved with them.. and won’t be in the foreseeable future. So it isn’t “cheating” by any definition of cheating that does not include other appliances.

    It seems odd that we treat it differently.

  48. @Amanda: If you can’t share your sexy secrets with a partner then either you need to get over your embarrassment or you need to find a more understanding partner.

    ————-

    Does one? Is this actually true? To the best of my awareness, there is no correlation between the level of sexual revelation and long term stability in marriage/partnership. I tend to think that there are no perfect people, so to get some desirable traits, you may need to give up others.

    What does the literature say on this topic?

  49. @sethmanapio: Uhhh….isn’t a healthy stable marriage/partnership based on trust and respect? And sharing sexual needs is a pretty basic part of trust.

    You can definitely have a long term relationship without those things but a healthy, happy one in which all parties are content? Not that I’ve seen.

    And of course you have to make comprimises in finding a partner. I never said otherwise. But sexual compatability is such a basic need that it’s worth striving for.

  50. @Amanda:

    I think over the short term the marriage survives on trust that relates to sharing secrets. I think it transitions over time to become the wisdom to know that it isn’t necessary or even desirable to share all secrets.

  51. @wytworm & sethmanapio:

    If one of your personal requirements for a relationship is that your partner can’t be all weird and hangupy about sexy time, then if your parter is all hangupy about sexy time, it’s not going to work.

    Finding out years into a relationship that you have been kept in the dark about your partners preferences, likes and dislikes can feel like a huge betrayal.

    I’ve been with my husband for 7 years. If I found out tomorrow that he has a hooker robot fetish and has been visiting them for the last 4 years and fantasizes about them when we’re getting tight and shiny, I’d be pissed. And it’s not about the robots… it’s about the dishonesty.

    A secret like that could, honestly, cripple our relationship for a long time.

  52. @Amanda: But sexual compatability is such a basic need that it’s worth striving for.

    @Elyse: …and fantasizes about them when we’re getting tight and shiny, I’d be pissed

    ————–

    You say its the secrecy, but I’m not convinced.

    There seems to be some insecurity that whatever someone does or thinks about on their own is what they “really want”. But what people want when they are by themselves doesn’t need to translate to what they want when they are with another person. For one thing, when people are by themselves, they often fantasize about being with another person. When they are with another person, they don’t have to fantasize about being with another person.

    Seriously, who fantasizes about masturbation when they’re having sex? Do you fantasize about McDonald’s when you’re having steak?

    As long as people persist in the belief that their partners masturbation fantasies or habits have something to do with them, there’s just a weird, sad fight waiting around every masturbation conversation.

  53. @sethmanapio: Well of course if it’s a fantasy that you never actually want to act upon there’s no real expectation of sharing that. If I fantasized about robot hookers every time I whacked off but never wanted to do anything with a robot hooker, I’d keep that shit to myself. Well…if it was a constant fantasy, I’d feel weird not sharing. But if it was just one that was “in rotation” I’d just keep it my own private fantasy.

    But if I liked *going to* robot hookers, I’d sure as hell share that info. Because hey, maybe then my partner would start making sexy mechanical noises in the bedroom or be interested in making it with me and a robot hooker at the same time.

    The whole point of sharing your sexual fantasies is to have a better sex life, not a diminished masturbation life.

    “For one thing, when people are by themselves, they often fantasize about being with another person. ”
    Again, if you’re always fantasizing about other people rather than your partner, maybe you shouldn’t be together. Not that everyone doesn’t indulge in some Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt fun, but if it’s to the exclusion of fantasizing about your partner, that’s an issue.

  54. @Amanda: Because hey, maybe then my partner would start making sexy mechanical noises in the bedroom or be interested in making it with me and a robot hooker at the same time.

    ————

    Why in the world would someone want YOU to pretend to be their sexual appliance? Don’t you have much more to offer than a robot? I would think that the reason your partner is visiting a robot is because they want a quick orgasm and you are, for whatever reason, not immediately available or willing to just provide service, so to speak, for simple cash or barter.

    This gets to the security thing I’m seeing. You interpreted my statement about fantasizing about being with “another person” when masturbating as being about another person other than your partner… but that’s not implicit in that statement at all. The “other person” is just someone who is not the person masturbating, nothing more.

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