Why Sex Robots Don’t Work for Women
So, I’m on a bit of a sex robot kick right now.
Things that make me a terrible person include, if real dolls hadn’t cost 6k, I might have gotten one. Ideally one that looked exactly like me, but they didn’t produce dolls with my measurements (go figure.) Anyway, I — like most women (and most men, to be fair) — wasn’t willing to plonk down a couple of grand on a life size doll. (The question of would I have slammed down 6k if could make my own clone will forever go unanswered.)
But… I probably wouldn’t have had sex with my real doll. Like, a solid 90% chance I wouldn’t have had sex with it. Maybe 85%.
Thing is, sex dolls don’t really appeal to most feminine sexualities. And if you’re a female reader being like “I want a sex doll so bad” like, you go girl. You do you, and make a feminist statement with your sex doll consumption. However, simple fact is, the vast majority of people who purchase real dolls are men. They make male real dolls, and these are usually purchased by gay men.
Now that sex robots are coming out, these are basically all marketed at men. Because women aren’t going to buy sex robots. But… why?
The body, and emphasis on attraction to the physical self, has taken center stage for male attraction. Multiple men who were attracted to me have cried, literal tears, when I got a new haircut. One of my boyfriends, before I went out for a new cut and dye, told me he was worried he wouldn’t be attracted to me anymore with my new hair.
He could have used a real doll.
But anyway… it is highly socially acceptable for men to be attracted to the physical. It is encouraged, even. And, the evolutionary psychologists will say it’s “genetic” but I think that’s a cop out because it’s a dead end. Evolutionary psychologists just say everything “is genetic” when they get to a part they can’t explain very well. But, that shit is not falsifiable and replicable which means it is not science — it’s just some guy talking out of his ass. But you’re here on my blog, which means I get to be the one talking out of my ass.
So. When we believe our attractions are “natural” or “normal”, we tend not to probe deeper. Many men take it for granted that a woman’s appearance is the primary thing they are attracted to. And, I’m not a man so I have to tread carefully here… but I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten a few “personality” bones over the years. And, I’m pretty sure the guys had a good time.
In The Erotic Mind by man Jack Morin, Morin describes a session with a male client — Fred — who is experiencing shame that he’s not as attracted to his wife’s aging body as he used to be. Fred talks of a highly erotic encounter with a physically attractive waitress from when he was younger, and then gets even more depressed as he sees how “superficial” his attractions are. However, Morin probes deeper to find other influences that might have been turning him on as well:
As he revealed the details of these remarkably passionate encounters it became clear that in each instance his excitement reached its zenith when the waitress unambiguously demonstrated her attraction for him by “losing control” and “going after what she wanted.” Certainly her appearance stimulated his desire, but it was her escalating enthusiasm that transformed simple desire into fiery passion. Fred discovered that when he fantasized about a centerfold-like woman the visual enjoyment of her perfect body was merely a starting point. As his arousal built he imagined her casting caution to the wind and “going crazy with lust.”
Then I asked about peak encounters with his wife, of which their had been many, even some during the previous year. Because he had already recognized how much he valued a highly responsive and eager partner he quickly saw that in every peak encounter with Janette, she too had been unusually expressive and uninhibited.
The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment by Jack Morin
It will sound very obvious when I summarize it, but for Fred, being with a really horny woman turned him on. Yet, it is so societally “normal” for a man to be turned on by a woman’s appearance, he may not be aware of the other factors that he finds arousing. This is especially true if the man is sexually inexperienced. So, a real doll (or possibly a sex robot) is appealing to men because it plays to their societally reinforced belief that fucking physical perfection (even if it’s inanimate) will bring them the height of sexual pleasure. Yet, maybe this is not always so.
Now, a lot of women are superficial as well *right here* but we’re also taught to feel some shame over that. Women aren’t turned on by looks, as the “conventional wisdom” goes. Even I get weird about it (but then, I am kind of uptight.) I was switching halloween costumes with some guy the other day, totally checked out his naked body, and then was unsure if he caught me. So, I owned it. “I totally checked you out. I’m sorry.”
He said, “Don’t be sorry.”
And I responded “But I am sorry.”
I feel kind of bad about physically finding men attractive, because I feel like I “shouldn’t” be superficial. That this makes me a bad person in some way. This is based in some deeper nastiness (effectively, the internalized belief that men who achieve some degree of societal status or success deserve access to my body even if I am not attracted to them — but I’m not getting into that today.) Just… suffice it to say, I am always trying to repress the physical nature of my attractions. (Also, I am heavily rewarded for repressing it; people always go on about what a “good” and “non-superficial” person I am when I do so.)
It’s also worth noting, I don’t feel as guilty about being physically attracted to women. Fucking internalized patriarchy.
But anyway; I think this is fairly common thing for straight women to repress their physical attractions. It’s “conventional wisdom” that women aren’t “visual” like men are, anyway. So, why the fuck would they get a sex robot? A sex robot is only selling the physical. And, most women can’t admit to themselves that they want the physical, even if they do.
Now, what we’ve sold to women for what they should be attracted to is the experience of being seen. A common female romance-type trope is “being forced to wear nice clothes” (see 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and countless romance novels I will lie about having read.) The primary idea behind this trope is an “intelligent” woman who is “above” frivolities like wearing fancy clothes will somehow be forced to wear something elegant or sexy (usually elegant) and THEN forced to experience attention that is showered upon her against her will. The characters in the books always resent the attention, but clearly it sort of turns the authors on or they wouldn’t keep writing about it.
Anyhow, I’m going to narcissistically quote a facebook response I wrote a little while ago, because I think it demonstrates this. It was in response to this article where Corienne Goldenberg describes how empowering it is to be femme but access a “masculine” side of her sexuality using a strap on. I argued that just because she was using a strap on didn’t mean she was actually accessing a masculine sexuality:
One thing that interesting, that even as she claims to be “reclaiming” a certain private “masculine” kind of sexuality, the language she uses to describe herself sexually is still highly feminized. It is a language that begs objectification, by a) describing her own physical body on many occasions, and b) is somewhat detached from her own sexual pleasure. The only reason, I could see, that she’s turned on by wearing a dildo is as a type of revenge: “after all the pain and trauma I had survived at the hands of straight men, topping him felt beyond empowering.”
She, notably, does not take pleasure in her partner’s body. The men, primarily, are witnesses to her new “empowerment” or — to put another way — they are minds without bodies. Aka, the opposite of how women are typically objectified in bed.
And, all that is totally fine… but it’s not a deeply re-imagined masculinization of the femme. It’s femme with a dildo, and she grants the phallus so much power that she assumes it will shake up the entire gender dynamics of her fucking. But, it won’t.
Me, on facebook.
To repeat: the men are witnesses. They are minds without bodies.
Sex robots are bodies without minds.
What we have here is, essentially, two halves of a complete sexuality. Men are allowed to access desire for the physical, woman are allowed to access desire for the mental.
If we go back to our friend Frank, you’ll recall the missing part of his sexual turn ons was a woman being super horny. Frank was turned on by being witnessed, by having a woman see him the way Goldenberg is witnessed by her male partners. Yet, it is entirely understandable that Frank needed a therapist to help him see this part of his sexuality; that’s the type of attraction we allow women to experience not men.
It seems to me, that the erotic attractions of men and women are not so different as we pretend them to be. The major difference seems to be the self knowledge we allow each gender access to. It would be deeply taboo for a woman to desire a body without a mind, so most women will not admit to themselves if they want this. Which is why they won’t buy sex robots.
For men, the difficulty is in admitting the desire to be desired, or the desire to be seen in their desire. Part of how this is socially enforced is by heavily shaming men for their sexuality. I talk about this in slightly more detail in this post, but it is my understanding, that a lot of men feel a lot of shame about what turns them on. And, when you are ashamed, you don’t want a witness. So, the fear of the witness prevents men from accessing their sexual desire for a witness.
Conversely, for women, the excessive importance placed on female appearance drives a type of self focus on bed. Many women are so concerned about how they look that they will not even take in the appearance of their partner. It’s a type of miserable narcissism, as female shame about their own bodies traps them in a state of hyper-focus.
So — in short — shame is what prevents us from accessing our complete sexualities. Shame shame shame! And, our culture is compounding it. As men start fucking hyper-perfect sex dolls, women will become more ashamed of their bodies as they fail to compare to what their partners are fucking. Then, as women become more self conscious, they will continue to alienate men with their anger and resentment at male attractions and men will become more ashamed of their sexuality.
And, the viscous cycle will continue. Well, until we develop true ai and women can be witnessed by machines. That’ll be a game changer.