Rob Brooks in Psyche:
I recently encountered a man who goes by the rather unusual name of Davecat, and who describes himself using the even more unusual labels of ‘robosexual’ and ‘iDollator’. He prefers the company of life-size dolls over human partners. He’s done plenty of media, alongside his RealDoll ‘wife’ Sidore Kuroneko and their silicone-skinned live-in companions, serving as an open and articulate example of people who buy and use sex dolls.
Robosexuals eagerly await the promised arrival of sophisticated sex robots: talking, walking dolls that can carry a conversation, discern what a user wants, and give it to them. Realbotix, the Californian company that makes RealDolls such as Sidore, is a frontrunner in the nascent sex robot market. Today’s models exhibit some robotic movement and chatbot-style conversation. Within a few short years, we are promised, more life-like skin, more fluid movement and artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced personalities will pull robots out of their closets and thrust them into the mainstream.
My recent book, Artificial Intimacy (2021), considers the new ecosystem of digital lovers, virtual friends and algorithmic matchmakers that cater to deep human needs for social contact, friendship, intimacy, love and sex.