Since their conception, robot sex dolls, many of which are eerily realistic, have raised concerns about whether they could erode the accepted importance of consent.
Now, a company is attempting to address those concerns by creating the world’s first “consent-focused” sex robot brothel – where customers have to engage in conversation with the robots before having sex with them.
The brothel, which will be named Eve’s Robot Dreams if it opens, is currently in the crowd-funding stage, according to its Indiegogo page – but plans to open in California by 2019.
And the point, according to founder Unicole Unicron, a robot ethicist, is to “build a world where robots are treated with the respect they deserve, thus not contributing to a potential robot rebellion in the future.”
To ensure a harmonious relationship between visitors and their bionic partners, guests are required to get to know their robots before “spending time in a private setting” – either at Eve’s or before they arrive, via an app.
“Guests can begin building a relationship with their new companion by downloading the Realbotix app on their phone,” the site reads. “When they visit Eve’s they can either interact with the companion bot that they have already started to get to know, or with one who they haven’t met yet.”
If a customer prefers to flirt with their robot in person – prior to having sex with it – they can do so in the brothel’s cafe.
Once a “relationship” exists, however, the brothel will function like a typical one – with a private session costing customers $122 (£93) to have sex with a robot, or $10,000 (£7,600) if a customer wishes to be the robot’s “first.”
Dolls which cannot interact are also available for $60 (£45).
Despite the “consensual” aspect of the brothel, there are still concerns – especially with the virginity option, which has been referred to as “creepy” on Twitter.
But according to the campaign, the brothel’s “main concern” at the moment is sanitation and cleaning – as the robots must be properly sanitised prior to each new guest by staff.
To ensure cleanliness and safety, guests can also purchase their own vaginal or anus insert to place in the robots that is “theirs and theirs alone.”
As for the types of robots that guests will be able to have sex with at Eve’s, they represent the “current male-centric desires in the field of sex dolls,” according to Unicole Unicron, with Harmony, the robot face of Eve’s, created based on “the most commonly ordered body and face style at Real Doll.”
However, there will be various female “inert silicone sex dolls with robot heads” to choose from when Eve’s opens, according to the campaign, in addition to robots that have a female form and a penis.
Currently, the campaign for consensual android sex has raised just $2,634 (£2,009) with the help of nine backers – one per cent of the $155,000 (£118,265) goal.