Cybersex creates a lot of very serious issues and problems as well as creating good environments. The idea that we are all in some sense cyborgs is a very real in its approach to our connection with technology. The technology and cyber life that we are connected to defines us and is a part of our real world. Thus, in the world of sex we have the same issues. A small documentary on the future of sex and specifically sex dolls/robots opened my eyes into some interesting points in the advancement of technology in the topic of sex. Some would say that there is more negativity and dystopian issues that come out sex and its connection and involvement with technology. However, I would argue that cyber sexuality is equally dystopian and utopian with its issues and its benefits.
Rise of the Sex Robots (2017) is a video that opened more issues and questions for me than anything I have seen before. Dr Kathleen Richardson who is interviewed in the video presents some very important and serious issues and view that are important to this development of technology and the potential of where this technology can go. Dr Richardson is a robot ethicist and the founder of the campaign against sex robots (Rise of the sex robots, 2017). Her main focus on sex robots is the ethical issues that they will arise. These ethical issues mostly centre on feminist ideals and values in relation to sex robots. She sees sex robots as the same as slavery and sex slavery (2017). Sex is a topic that is severally misunderstood and very gender centred in its ‘nature’. I agree with Dr Richardson in the idea that sex robots are offensive to women and can be seen to be an issue that enhances the problems of rape culture and misogyny. Social media already sees both the rise of rape culture but also the fight against it. The nature of social media gives voice to everyone and access for everyone to everything. Woman are still seen as sexual objects today, if more than ever before, this can be seen everywhere: advertising, films, media etc. Adverting is particularly bad in presenting sexualized and objectifying images of women in order to sell products. An example can be seen below. This ad can be seen to glorify sexual assault, via depicting a very gang rape scene.
(image: Dolce & Gabbana)
Rape culture is very prevalent in today’s society and is a serious part of online sexual communications and interactions. The Pleasure Mechanics podcast ‘Speaking of Sex’ (Rose & Rose, 2017) episode on taboo sexual fantasies look to unlock the social issues surrounding these serious issues. They talk about the three biggest taboo fantasies, rape, incest and youth (Rose & Rose, 2017). The first thing that the pleasure mechanics do is break down the idea of fantasies, in that fantasies are not real sexual desires that people have. There is an element of taboo that is arousing to us as humans, this can be seen in pornography and even in this futuristic idea of sex slaves/robots. A very disturbing part of the Guardian video, Rise of the Sex Slaves (2017) is when one of the robot creates states that the dolls are a way to diverge the anger and abuse men take out on their wives. This is a serious issue, because although it is a robot, the robot represents something more than that. It reinforces the views of women being sexually objectified and man’s property. There are really serious issues that I think come up with the future of sex with sex robots.
Through this research, I have realized that I want to maybe consider the ways that the future of sex is very problematic. The notion of sex robots/slaves will create more issues and is unethical. The western world is obsessed with the idea of growth and updating technology. Growth and updating technology can be great, although how far is too far? For my digital project, I want to take this research and create a podcast that will open serious questions that our digital world of sex.
- The Guardian 2017, Rise of the Sex Robots, online video, The Guardian, viewed 27 April, <https://www.facebook.com/theguardian/videos/10155356526776323/>
- Rose C & Rose C 2017, Taboo Sexual Fantasies – Where’s the Line, podcast, 21 Jan, Speaking of Sex, The Pleasure Mechanics, Viewed 20 March <http://www.pleasuremechanics.com/taboo-sexual-fantasies-wheres-the-line/>