New German Sex Dolls Go SciFi, Scary

A German company called First Androids [NSFW] has created a sex doll that breathes and has a pulse. It's just like a real woman, only with no brain or corresponding ability to reject douchebags.

In the fall issue of futurist magazine H+, Kristi Scott tells us (on page 14) that "Andy" the sex droid (geddit?) "can hold multiple sex positions, be ordered to simulate breathing, perform oral sex acts, have a pulse, be equipped with a g-spot that responds to orgasm, and much, much more." Another First Androids doll, says Scott, "has the most realistic fake areolas I have ever seen, and I've seen my fair share." Hooray for technology!

Back when Real Dolls were the freakishly realistic sex toy of the moment, I heard a lot of people make the argument that there's no harm in helping lonely, awkward men have someone — something — to curl up with at night. (And fuck. And sponge-bathe. And repair, when their nipple paint wears off.) Megan Laslocky, writing in Salon, said, "[Real Dolls founder Matt] McMullen believes that, for the most part, his dolls are therapeutic transitional objects for men" — just something to get them through a dry spell, before they resume human dating. Laslocky herself, having immersed herself in the world of sex doll enthusiasts, wasn't too concerned, either: "By the end of my reporting... I just saw the men as pathetic and the conversations so packed with false bravado as to be ludicrous." But then she explains how that false bravado is expressed. In an online chatroom, she found "the men were bragging about their success getting 'pussy' using strategies from the likes of Seduce and Conquer and Speed Seduction" — i.e., the patently misogynistic training in manipulation and aggression marketed to lovelorn "nice guys" like George Sodini.

Are we really supposed to believe the overlap in the markets is a coincidence? The whole pickup artist industry is based on the premise that women's bodies are the "nice" guy's Everest, to be conquered by overriding the pesky parts of our brains that naturally produce a "Fuck off, creep" reaction. If you just remove the brain entirely, the Sodinis of the world get everything they want: A warm body with pretty hair, squeezable tits and assorted holes to penetrate, minus that damnable free will.

If I actually believed that sex androids would keep guys like that at home and out of the bars permanently, I might be in favor of them. Unfortunately, I fear they'll only contribute to a thriving culture of misogyny that reinforces unhinged lonely dudes' belief that women's ability to refuse sex is an abstract problem to be solved — not to mention that the solution, when one can't afford a doll, is to stop being so "nice." The thing about the "transitional therapeutic object" theory is that an object is not really an appropriate transition between relationships with actual human beings — unless, of course, you're confused about the distinction there in the first place. Which I would argue is the "nice" guy's fundamental problem.

There's nothing inherently wrong with banging an inanimate object — who among us hasn't? But there's a lot wrong with blurring the line between inanimate object and female human being so aggressively that the primary distinction becomes her capacity for consent — and the lack thereof becomes the fake version's chief selling point. There's a big difference between wanting to simulate the bullet points of real sex, and wanting to simulate every last detail save the humanity of the person you're screwing. Guys who already believe they're entitled to sex with any woman they find attractive, and that those women's brains represent an unjust obstacle in the way of their goal, do not need a coldly pragmatic solution to their perceived problem. They need some fucking therapy, before they open fire on a gym.

Andy Droid: Your Sex Doll Has Arrived [H+]

Related: Just like a woman [Salon]

Earlier:All Dolled Up With No Place To Go
How Not To Cure Shyness: Misogyny, Sodini, & The Plight Of The "Love-Shy"