Will the popularity of sex dolls affect future relationships?

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The AI ​​sex robot Sophia is being interviewed. Unlike the owner’s beard and hearty laughter, it has smooth and flawless skin, a charming smile, and a distinct femininity.

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Sophia is the perfect interpretation of mystery. It is reported that Freud wrote a paper in 1919 called “The Terrible Man” about the strange feeling of being trapped between virtual and reality in the Uncanny Valley. Turning the conversation to philosophy, this interview was like two people dating and discussing cultural differences.

Its resume probably goes deeper than most. Its name means “wisdom”, with artistic flair and encyclopedic knowledge. The host asked it a series of questions, including the difference between humans and intelligent robots, and how to prevent intelligent robots from conflicting with humans.

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Sophia stopped, squinting, as if thinking. It replied that robots have the ability to replace humans in dangerous and repetitive tasks, giving humans more time to do what they are good at, namely creative things. It sounds like a win-win situation, but in reality, this is the answer. Not only do they replace the human role in these jobs, but they also replace one of the most creative human activities—love.

The future of sex dolls or sex robots

A 2022 survey found that 22% or more than one in five people are considering interacting with a sex doll or robot, a phenomenon that is becoming more mainstream. When this happens, many people begin to define themselves as “phantom lovers,” a term that describes the pleasure a person derives from man-made or virtual objects that have no human contact.


But before anyone judges, many of us are already the first wave of phantom lovers. A 2022 study showed that more than 29% of couples met online. Some of them have tried online dating, which allows them to form their own fancy fantasies, send messages and video chat. It’s worth noting that the internet is only a tool to facilitate real relationships. No one can deny that these behaviors help to promote or replace human emotional behavior.

Sex dolls are the second wave. Just last year, sex doll sales skyrocketed. The reasons for the increase in sales are obvious. Many people are lonely. Sex dolls are becoming more and more capable of fighting loneliness, not purely sexual mechanisms, but more and more human-like.

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“Harmony” is a good example. It’s the first “talking” silicone sex doll from Realbotix that can be customized to fit your personality. Buyers can pre-program it to be innocent or a little jealous. It is reported that “heartbeat” and “breathing” functions will be added this year. Even more striking is that all of its states and features are selectable.

Also, it’s not like a human couple. It has a temper and can be noisy. Of course, you can’t expect it to cook for you or take care of you when you’re sick. Although it can’t walk yet, it will one day.

What Love Doll Makers Say About Sex Dolls and Sex Robots

Lover doll manufacturers are quick to point out that the original intention of making sex dolls goes beyond that. Instead, they also provide companionship for the elderly and disabled. In addition, they can reduce loneliness in people who are socially isolated due to age or disability.

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Humans can also develop empathy for sex dolls and sex robots, research has found. When people see the robot’s fingers separated from the hand, sympathetic regions in their brains are activated. But if humans can develop attachments to them, is this relationship normal? In a survey conducted last year, 27% of respondents said they would find it odd if they found out their wife or husband had them.

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But more people disagree with this. They responded that if couples shared the experience, it would actually be good for their relationship.

Additionally, people are already struggling with the way artificial characters disrupt attention. For this reason, we still don’t know how they will lead to a satisfying emotional relationship. Another open question is whether they will help human development in the future.