Many readers will recall with mirth the fembot scene from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Lewd lothario Austin Powers is confronted by a room of attractive robot ladies, the fembots. They attempt to seduce him to the sounds of the Divinyls hit ‘I touch myself’. Mr. Powers ultimately fights off the fembots charms with his own brand of seduction as the fembots literally fall to pieces in his presence.
Aura Dolls, a robotics company is on the cusp of launching what may be the worlds first robot brothel. Sadly it does not refer to its products as fembots but rather as ‘our dolls’. A marketing opportunity missed perhaps. According to their website the vision is to bring a new way to achieve sexual needs “without the many restrictions and limitations that a real partner may come with.” This feels clumsy in the me-too era but the engineering is impressive. There are six different female sex dolls advertised. “Exotic girls to cater to everyone’s choice of beauty,” the website reads.
The dolls are made of silicone, which is designed to give them a realistic look and feel, she said. In order to sanitize the dolls, Lee said a three-step routine is used after each booking. However, staff still “highly recommend” the use of condoms, according to the website. Spending half an hour with one doll costs $80, with two dolls running $160. For an hour, the cost is $120 with one doll. The maximum listed time is four hours for $480 per doll.
The idea of sex dolls is a contentious one and not universally popular. The idea has some support, intimacy coach and sex educator Kim Switnicki said integrating sex robots into the bedroom can be valuable to society, especially for those who need more education or have trouble maintaining “in-real-life” relationships. Switnicki says these “mediated relationships,” are a relatively new field of research. “Virtually all couples have mismatched sex drives, so it seems an obvious solution, but it does depend on how the partner chooses to use or interact or view the robot,” she said. “It really depends on how you value sex in the marriage context.” Researchers are looking at how to address gender issues that may arise from the appearance of sex robots.
Aura Dolls also seem to hold the belief that there are health benefits to their offering! “We see sexual gratification as a basic life necessity; orgasming can provide many health benefits such as boosting immune system, longer life span and increasing overall happiness thus lowering the chances of depression.” For those interested in paying a visit the company are going out of their way to respect privacy. The entrance and exits are located separately to ensure privacy for clients. And they offer free parking!
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