In what some have called an “age of narcissism,” you have to be bigger than the universe. You have to be most important. And you have no time for other people.
We have already moved away from traditional “meet-cute” love, i.e. we’ve digitalized love through apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, etc. And with the advent of “sex robots” (soon to be without such a clumsy description – “sex robot” seems how we might have thought of android love in the 1950’s), it will only be a matter of time before the accessibility and readily-available nature of artificially-intelligent partners will supersede the time and effort it takes to impress a real one.
Watch the trailer for “The Sex Robots are Coming” below for an illustrative example.
Humans, for being such social creatures, have been struggling to meet and maintain romantic partners, and maintain especially in the long-term. Why, then, wouldn’t we just buy the copy? Why wouldn’t you just go to the store to get the latest model which takes no work on your part (besides spending a set dollar amount, and probably dignity amount as well) to woo?
And then, consequently, having a real, warm-to-the-touch partner would become an “artisan” experience; the organic alternative to those made in a factory.
The future of sex
Let’s back up for a moment; this relationship is already moving too fast.
When we talk about the future of love, we’re really talking about the future of sex. One precedes the other; the idea that people will come to prefer the company of artificially-intelligent humans over the real thing, like has already begun (as will be discussed in a moment), still begins and/or ends with a physical interaction.
So, when you fall in love, you can remember that love is actually quantifiable. It might be a far leap from Tinder, where “love” is quantified by a bullet-point list of interests and life goals, and how attractive you can make yourself look on a phone screen, to sexbots, which takes away the need for even that and skips straight to the “perfect” mate with a price tag hanging from it.
We will be living in a world where “love” is bought and paid for as a commonplace occurrence – similar to buying a toaster.
So, this is what happens:
But, as was briefly touched upon in the “The Sex Robots are Coming” trailer above, the idea that men can simply mold a robot to be the woman a real woman can’t be for [him], is perpetuating the patriarchy, and perpetuating, as well as absolving, misogyny – robots aren’t “real” and therefore the need to treat a female partner with respect goes out the window.
As exemplified on the discussion boards for “MGTOW” which stands for “Men Going Their Own Way” made up of a group of straight guys choosing, very aggressively, a lifestyle that “avoids legal and romantic entanglements with women at all costs.” Here is how it goes down, as taken from the MEL Magazine article The Men Committed to Replacing Women With A.I. Sex Dolls:
In it, numbCruncher argued that one way in which to Go His Own Way was to replace women with sex dolls and robots such as the life-like(ish) RealDoll. He began by crunching some numbs [sic throughout]:
The average cost of a marriage in the US is 26,444 dollars. The average cost of a divorce in the US ranges from 15,000–20,000. Add up miscellaneous expenses and a conservative estimate of a failed marriage begins at 50,000 dollars. [RealDoll CEO] Matt McMullen produces incredibly lifelike dolls from 5,000 to 7,000 dollars that are waaaay hotter than anything you’ll get from “real” women for that price. The doll will never get old and saggy. She’ll never bitch about you to her friends. She’ll never trick you into having kids or go psycho on you. This is our future gentlemen.
The responses were near unanimous in their approval. [Again, sic throughout.]
Christov: If you want to see men “go their own way,” develop sex robots. Women will sing a different tune when men can go out and fuck a robot that is better than said women in every way.
Martyg: I can foresee a time — not too far off — where it is assumed that everyone will have one of these. If you don’t, it’ll be unusual like not owning a tv.
Oasid: I get more excited looking at images of these dolls than I do any woman I meet. I even started searching Amazon for outfits for her: like Slave Princess Leai outfits, Cave Girl outfits and Jasmine from Aladdin outfits.
The main dissenter:
Collateral: have fun with your robots and techshit while i bang hookers / escorts / prostitutes and order whatever i want from the menu without saying a single word. Aint nobody got time for robots!
Which seems to undo every positive thought we’ve ever had about the direction society is headed when it comes to relationships.
This notion of “be nice to your boyfriend or he’ll replace you with a sex robot” as they won’t be “programmed to whine about the wage gap,” as professional whiner Milo Yiannopoulos tweeted around the same time,
describes the terrifyingly realistic world where men/boys upset with their inability to get a girlfriend are running things; specifically in a world where having a sexbot, as was said above, will be as commonplace as “…owning a tv.”
The TV comment is incredibly hyperbolic, given the function of a television versus the function of a sexbot. But we’ll bite (byte). And we have to swoop back around in order to justify a statement like that. We would have to recognize that a television serves a mostly innocent purpose, a companion, perhaps it could be considered to some, but only used for sex (porn, etc. specifically) alone in the cloak of night comparatively sparingly (unless we count the corruption of advertisements and its use for propaganda… but that’s another discussion entirely).
If sexbots are going to be as commonplace as a TV in the average home, by that rationale, they would have to exist for so much more than simple sex. This brings in the need for personality and conversational abilities; they will have to show-and-tell much more than the pocket pussy these boys most likely already have more than one of. And, ultimately, it would create a need for both women and men robots that operate as such (not just women-for-sex bots).
(Further reading: You and A.I.)
Which undermines their simplistic and silly premise of a woman-free future.
If something looks like us, and talks like us, and fucks like us, it is then obviously much more than a television. These androids, what once might have been conceived solely for mindless pleasure by sad and lonely men, will then become our companions, our friends, our neighbors, etc.
And we will then have to discuss their rights and abilities…
Wait. Sorry. We already have:
The future of love (a story):
Gogo stands facing the wall. Her arms are over her head, her forehead pressed against the brick that will leave an impression like the beaches of Normandy after the invasion. Her mom took her to Normandy when she was still a little girl on vacation, but she doesn’t care about that now. She presses her skin hard into the brick. Her chest heaves, up, breath, down, breath… She tries to hide it. There are passing cars on the street behind her but she doesn’t notice them, and, if they notice her there is no indication: They do not slow down to stop and ask a girl if she is all right. The drivers are faceless in their seats. Their headlights blink on in the fading sunlight that moves dusk into night and lets the darkness turn streetlights only into guides. Gogo feels the warmth of teardrops, just one and then a second and then a third rolling only halfway down her cheek.
And the cold dinners at La Strada restaurant nearby. A man sitting across from a silicon lover who nods and agrees with what he says. Her face changes expression appropriately and on cue. She doesn’t argue. She chews, swallows, mechanic, mechanism, programmed and without discernment for what it is she eats.
He comments on the filet mignon while the android (Melissa; he named her Melissa; the name of his 1st grade teacher) sits upright and feels nothing.
But his insecurities, his fading hairline and his widening waistline, his less-than-interesting job and obscure existence, tell him that someday even his artificial, manufactured and designed-just-for-him companion will too be too good for him. He had bought her, obviously, so as to not worry about these things, and never worry about them again.
But she (it?) cannot save him from himself, even if she can save him from other humans.
We are here, but apart. Gogo is crying warm and salty tears from the pain she feels inside. We, as humans, are both inward and outward creatures, bringing our inner turmoils into the world in order to understand them. We have egos. We are sensitive. We have wants and needs. But, and this is the point, Gogo knows too that there is no more room for this (not anymore) and that the world does not/would not/will not care, and why should it?
Why should those cars stop on the street to see if she perhaps could use a friend?
She knows she will never smile again, and that is by design: Because if she can smile on her own, she can also frown.