New technology replacing human workers in industry has always been a common motif in history. Whether or not this will prove true for the sex industry seems like the stuff of science fiction.
However, two Victoria University researchers certainly seem to think that sex robots are a possibility for the future. In their paper Robots, Men, and Sex Tourism, published in the scientific journal Futures, Management professor Ian Yeoman and sexologist Michelle Mars paint a picture of how sex tourism could work in 2050 through a hypothetical sex club in Amsterdam called Yub-Yum.
At Yub-yum, patrons would around 10,000 Euros for essentially an all-access pass with a robotic escort. All costs aside, Yeoman and Mars believe that sex robots would appeal to the current culture, which they claim is becoming increasingly more fixated on the superficial. Sex tourists would be able to live out their sexual fantasies since these robots can be made to fit “different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features.''
The pleasure aspects of Yub-yum aside, sex robots could benefit red light district patrons’ health, since the robots could be made with bacteria-resistant fibers and could be cleaned out from patron fluids, preventing the spread of STDs.
While sex robots provide the benefit of preventing STDs, there might be a few drawbacks Yeoman and Mars didn’t factor into their research. Besides the possible aversion that some people may have to the concept of sex robots, some hire escorts not just for intercourse, but for human interaction - something that a robot could never provide.