Sex robots are a critically important tool to support sexuality for elderly persons. While often depicted as a product designed for younger people, this paper is a bid for reimagining sex robots as a product to support older adults with disabilities.

Sex robots are a critically important tool to support sexuality for elderly persons. While often depicted as a product designed for younger people, this paper is a bid for reimagining sex robots as a product to support older adults with disabilities.


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And can you imagine how URGENT the sport requests will be?


Because either it wont start...or wont stop


Why is there mold in here? I want to talk to your manager!


Ma’am, you need to see your gynecologist.


Relax dude. Sex Robots Will be a thing for OUR generation! Although, I'm NOT looking forward to old people posing with their Sex Robots on Tiktok.


"Can you install the Rick Steves voice pack I downloaded?"


My wife's mom bought a cloudpet for my daughter, so they could send messages back and forth. It did not go well. If your business model is based around combining technology with older folks that are less tech savvy, you're going to have a bad time. So I hope companies that try to go this route are smart enough to take the tech out of this technology.


So a blow-up doll?


Yeah. The problem is that the programmers and designers don't know how to do system that is easy to use 98% of the time. They should work on that skill more than anything. I am in my late 30s and sometimes I just think: "Why this is made in such awkward way?". Like Playstation 5 interface is a mess. The most important features are always hidden behind many menu clicks, while systems you don't ever never use are easy to access. I wish tech companies would think more about the user than how people who are designed the product are going to use it.


This is the job of UX designers, a painfully undervalued position by tech companies.


This. Combine that with lack of propper testing and feedback analysis.


It’s cause marketing wants to run the show and UX designers want to tell marketing they need more time and information to create the thing. Marketing always wins in the end and UX Is left with assumptions.


The OG Xbox 360 “blade” UI (after the first major update that sped up the animations) was pretty much the perfect console UI. Everything locally organized and it made it very obvious where to find everything you need. I feel like every update after that had ulterior motives instead of usability in mind. E.g. showing ads, selling avatar items, adopting the same design language across products (Windows “Metro”), and so on.


As someone who didn't have an Xbox 360 til after they changed the UI the first time, changing it to something uniformly grid-based made navigation a lot easier for me. Since I didn't use the blade UI often, only when playing on someone else's console, it wasn't easy to navigate. It was easy to know what direction to move the stick to navigate to the UI element I wanted focused in the new UI. Sure, the blades looked cool but navigating within a blade could have been easier. The UI on the last revision wasn't great though. I think the XMB on the PS3 was the perfect dashboard, they shouldn't have changed it for the PS4, and the PS5 is just the worst.


> Why this is made in such awkward way? They don't eat their own dog food. What that means is a developer needs to use the software they are building. They need to use it on a daily basis. By becoming a user, they experience the user's pain points. Things get fleshed out like having to enter redundant information, having forms erase your input, having to click 10 times to get to commonly used functions, very slow user interface loading, broken rewind and fast forward on videos, etc. And when they finally evolve the software to something everyone can deal with, they get the bright idea of changing it all up for the next big release. They must justify their existence! And then begins the entire painful cycle all over again.


This is true only to a certain extent. Developers are not normal users, they are power users and as such they don't see most of the users' pain points. Source: am a Developer :)


Am also a developer. Part of my concern with also being a user is that I’m biased. I built the thing, I already know how it works, so it can be difficult for me to come at it from the perspective of a new or low information user. At best I could catch issues like entering redundant information or multiple clicks to access stuff, but me zoning out during rote tasks means I might miss those things. Or I don’t stop to wonder if there’s a better way because it’s always worked this way and/or I don’t know of a better implementation. All of that to say, maybe that means I need UX training.


>They don't eat their own dog food. What that means is a developer needs to use the software they are building. I have a feeling there will be no problem dog-fooding the female sex robots. Meanwhile the male sex robots will be a buggy mess.


Well, some developers are gay, so there's that.


Are you suggesting that NONE are women?


It's not like they don't have any feedback either. Tech support deals with the pain points on a daily basis, and I explain exactly what's wrong and offer multiple solutions. The folks making twice my salary scoff, because what could a person who works with customers all day *possibly* know about what the customers want? How could I expect the developers to add a feature as complicated as (god forbid!) a *hyperlink*?


Sometimes they don't even hear tech support complaints. They're buffered from such unpleasantries. When they do get news from tech support, it's filtered through management and bug & feature request tickets.


As a jaded old programmer I can tell you that people in charge are convinced they are in charge because they are brilliant. They decide how they want things to work and they want it exactly as they decided it should work because they are brilliant. On rare occasions you do work for intelligent people and they listen to others and have ux designers. This is incredibly rare.


"People will figure it out. We can fix it later." People don't figure it out, and later never comes, because cluttering the product with more half-assed features is more important than making something good.


Ye, I see this a lot in web design, too. Even big companies like Avast hide their download buttons for paid services. So you can easily purchase a product, but good luck figuring out where the download button is for your other 5 devices.. It's easier just to take the first download and throw it on a jump drive :/ whoever made that is an idiot.


They do think about it. Universe just creates greater fools usually.


Mr. Moneybags over here with a PS5! (Sorry...i have nothing to add. Everything important was said already)


Haha... And complaining about these minor issues like they were end of the world. "Good lord, I have to press THRICE to get to THIS menu?!" I nearly dropped my monocle in my brandy.


Lots of adults keep up to date on technology, so in a few decades most old people are probably going to be OK with operating most consumer electronics.


You’d think and hope so. But I know 40 year olds who are seriously unable to order from an online shop by themselves. You’d think that clicking on the “Checkout” button and entering your address would be self-explanatory. I (29 year old) just hope I won’t end up like that when I’m older. I don’t understand why older people sometimes have so much trouble with technology. I think in many cases it’s just a lack of motivation to try and experiment.


You become more reticent to change as you age. Years ago I tried to teach my grandad how to use Word. He had worked on a lawyer firm using a typewriter all his life. I explained that he could add pictures and other stuff to his documents, he replied that he could add the pictures in a separate paper. I said that he could edit the document in case of mistakes, he said a good writer doesn't make them. I said there's different font types, sizes, italic, bold, titles, etc.; he said his documents were perfectly formatted without those fancy things. The conversation went on until I had to admit that he should stick to his typewriter since he was going to use Word as a typewriter anyway.


That just sounds like stubbornness and refusal to try something new. I hope I never end up like that.


Oh, you will. Trust and believe, you will


Dementia is a motherfucker. My Dad is in his late 80s and has forgotten how to use a remote, a phone, the call button for the nurse, sometimes he can't figure out a spoon... It's not lack of motivation, it's lack of cognitive ability


That’s an actual sickness.


Intellectual laziness. Those that grew up with ever changing technology know that things rarely stay the same for more than a few years and learning the new system is as important as using the old one. I can't imagine using something for over a decade and still not understanding how it works or how to even use it properly.


>I can't imagine using something for over a decade and still not understanding how it works or how to even use it properly. That's just a fundamental difference between you and most people. You made it through grade school without having your spirit of curiosity trampled upon.


You'd be surprised. Lots of old hats that know how to wrangle Unix but can just about operate their smartphone.


I'm in my 50s. Out generation grew up with technology, were the ones that got adept at editing config.sys to get a game to work, had to type in games from magazines. We're fine. I worry more about the younger generation who have been given everything as a prepackaged consumer experience and never learned to fix anything... Figuring stuff out is an important skill.


Perhaps "tech savvy" has a normal distribution within different age groups.


There are tech savvy and those not in every age group for sure. Just like there are people that are good with their hands and doing handy things and there are people who can cook well and some people even after cooking 30 years just suck at a cooking. Its a skill.


As is critical thinking, financial literacy, a moral compass, etc. But, yeah, problem solving is important. I raised my kids to be independent, self reliant and capable - it took in one, missed in the other. They'll figure it out at some point, especially if you change the locks and block their number.


I’m a high school teacher and your worry is correct. My kiddos can barely use Google Docs. It’s bad.


Wow. Feeling slightly grateful for pandemic virtual school now. My 10yo and 12yo's teachers made lessons to teach them how to use Google docs and half their work was submitted that way.


I tutor high school kids and get so frustrated that they don’t seem to know how to use a keyboard. I don’t even mean typing, just like, you know you don’t need to hit caps lock just to capitalize one letter, right? No, don’t delete the entire sentence just because you misspelled one word!


Can't wait to visit my grandpa in a care home and see his jack-off 5000 sitting in the corner


For the last time Edward, her name is Jacqueline!


Jacqueline Off 5000


"Jackie O"


Seeing my grandfather’s porn collection when I was 12 can’t be unseen


Did you actually watch any of it?


You can watch magazines?


Don’t be so vulgar, it’s called the orgasmatron.


Ummm. That's your grandma...


This article wanted permission to use geolocation cookies


The Sex Robots are coming!


And when they do, you'll all be coming!


And honestly, good for them. If they're helping people come, they should be able to come too.


SEX ROBOT - SEX ROBOT What does he want?


What DO you want?


It wants seeeeex.


~slicks hair back~


How else will the sex robots find you? Have some appreciation for the work they do.


I wanted to see a picture


Ok, Sex bot! Say something sexy. Sex bot: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die". /Unzips pants


I mean, by the time they get developed the young will be the old, sooooooooo


There's already functioning models coming out of Korea and the US. Also there have been fleshlights that sync their "movements" with the visuals of VR porn since 2017.


Anything to stop them from using the nurse station call button


Man if they can add a defibrillator and CPR capabilities, it’ll be like printing your own money. “Let’s take this moment to thank Jeebus for Grandpa’s Anal Blaster 2000 for saving his life again while having a heart attack on the crapper.”


I can see how you could perform CPR through the asshole, but don't think you can defibrillate.


What the sex robot market needs is robots that move remotely based on your actual movements. Suppose it's you and some other person. You have sex with a robot remotely controlled by the other person. The other person has sex with a robot remotely controlled by you. A guy's actual joy stick would be his joy stick for controlling robocock on the other end of the connection. That opens up all sorts of possibilities. But I'm also wondering whether they could arrange a tie-in with each monthly batch of romance novels. Imagine you're grandma, snuggled in the arms of your sex robot/rocking chair, just casually reading along in an ebook. When you get close to a racy part, a warning pops up to tell you that Duke Alphonso is about to embrace you from behind. Press A to eagerly accept his advances and take his proud manhood. Press B to struggle and rebuff him, but then, unless you gasp [safeword], surrender to his unbridled passions.




This would help a lot of people, not just the elderly.


Yep... those of us with mental health issue that simply cannot form a connection with other people without ruining the other persons life


Hi are you me?


And if you tell people you own a sex doll you'll also never have to worry about them wanting to form connections with you.


Which just goes to show how puerile some people really are when any mention of the scary words "sex" and "self enjoyment" cause them to run for the hills


Women freely talk about owning and using sex toys, but men can't do the same. It's about time that changes. There should not be any stigma to masturbation and using sex toys. A sex robot is nothing more than a very technologically advanced sex toy.


If you're a woman who owns a life sized sex robot you're also not getting invited to the party But yeah its creepier with men because they're the ones who are serial sex killer types and having a slave sex doll corpse-like-object is adjacent to necrophilia. And don't equate this to normal masturbation. There is no stigma to masturbation.


E.g. the disabled.


Not just the disabled. There is a plethora of people this would benefit.


That's why dude said eg instead of ie.


E.g the elderly




Please grow up, stop being so puerile and realise that self satisfaction or masturbation has been going on for centuries.


Nobody cares about masturbation and stop comparing normal masturbators to creeps who want sex slave corpse dolls.


They're not corpses if they're robots.


It would also help reduce the population size. I'm saying this as a good thing. There are too many humans and we are destroying this planet. We need to reduce our numbers and do it in a humane and ethical way, which requires voluntary abstinence from reproduction.


That is actually an angle I hadn't considered...but you are right.


Its super creepy. Its some flavor of necrophilia. I don't want people who own sex dolls coming over to my house.


You don't sound like the kind of chap who has a challenge with anybody coming to your house


On this day a new type of discrimination was born...and thr objects of discrimination aren't even widely available yet. You kinda sound like those folks who don't like white people and black people being together.


How the hell is an inanimate object, that was never in any way shape or form alive to begin with, a “flavor of necrophilia”? Do you think this way about all sex toys? What is your exact objection to this?


How do you know people using those things aren't fantasizing about women/men that are alive?


I’ll be interested to see what level of humanization is required for “user acceptance” so to speak. I don’t think anyone imagines a sex doll looks lifelike, even their owners. But they’re close enough. Will robots be required to meet a higher threshold of verisimilitude? Lower?




Can already imagine the hydraulic arm awkwardly patting you on the back.


“It’s still leaking water from its eyes… it’s been like 20 minutes. Is this typical for a human? I have things to do…”


I think people will eventually get over the uncanny valley effect. Those Real Doll sex dolls look realistic, but fall into that uncanny valley territory. Its users just get used to it. It happened once before in human history when video was invented. People were astounded looking at moving pictures. It had a strange effect on them, but as you know we got over it.


Well some people are using flesh lights, and they don't look very human so...


Those are distinctly unhuman though, so there isn't the uncanny valley issue in the first place.


Men were diddling sheep millennia ago; sexy robots seems easier to swallow


Usually higher verisimilitude in the models on the market. However there are companies that offer a lot of customization and/or "behavior" modes available (Pretty creepy tbh). But the bigger struggle is avoiding the uncanny valley where it's to close to human but not dissimilar enough to be uncomfortable


I give you a second thing to think off: Size: A full sized will be more expensive than a smaller one.


There’s already debate about whether it’s ethical to make them lifelike to begin with.


Why wouldn't it be?


I’d imagine it’s similar to the debate over computer-rendered child porn, but even more so


When I say ‘lifelike’ in this context I mean approaching the look and feel of a real human. Some people are of the opinion that this is unethical because it promotes misogynistic rape fantasies and such.


Well, I'd prefer the people with those misogynistic rape fantasies did it with robots as opposed to actual humans.


Some people are worried it could “normalize” these fantasies and actually lead to more of it, as the robots eventually become “not enough”. Again, this is just people’s opinions and not my own. Just bringing up that sex robots are not uncontroversial.






Who is going to inherit grandma's sex robot? I can't imagine what the disposal/resale/ whatever market will look like


Sell it to another elderly lady, pay for a service that completely cleans and sanitizes it for the buyer, receive a code you can send the person for them to confirm it has been cleaned. I mean, you can buy and sell used sex toys on reddit already. And not like you're thinking. Legitimate resale of sometimes very expensive high-end products made of medical-grade silicone and/or ABS plastic.


Lots of the pieces are replaceable anyway. The contact sections could be swapped out while keeping the primary frame (the majority of the cost) intact.


Contrary to common stereotypes of older adults as asexual, the landmark study showed that more than half (53%) of older adults aged 65–74 years were sexually active, and more than a quarter (26%) of older adults aged 75–85 years were.3 One explanation for the near absence of inquiry prior to 2007 is ageism. The WHO defines ‘ageism’ as ‘stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination towards people on the basis of age’, which ‘cuts across the life-course and stems from the perception that a person might be too old or too young to be or to do something’ (Officer, p299).4 the term, ‘sex robots’ is used to refer to ‘life-size machine entities with human-like appearance, movement, and behaviour, designed to interact with people in erotic and romantic ways... with capabilities ranging from simple verbal responses, to physical movements, to more advanced artificial intelligence’ (Gersen, p1794–95).10 Personal view- who the fuck am I to judge my parents or grand parents. I will support what ever suits them and makes their life convenient.


This is one of the reasons why I loved Golden Girls. It had very positive sex messaging and informed us that seniors have sex too. It made you feel okay about using protection or being around discussions of sex. It was also a very funny show.


I foresee a lot of deleted threads in here. But it is an interesting idea. Like when I found out that there were std issues in senior living areas.


Or just anyone who for whatever reason can’t or won’t find a mate. It would get so much negative energy out of them if they weren’t constantly craving something they can’t have.


I don’t believe a sex robot will ever fulfill the need for human connection. It may fulfill the desire to orgasm, but so does regular masturbation. The only thing it’s going to do is make people even more isolated and socially incapable. At the first romantic rejection people are going to give up on humanity altogether and shut themselves in with their sex robot.


Yep, if masturbation adequately replaced human connection our race would be long extinct.


Why is it bad If they decide to lock themselves in with their sex bot? It's a far better alternative than constant rejection and the emotional pain that comes with that.


Because they may effectively cheat themselves out of a more fulfilling future. Rejection is a normal experience. Finding a companion to share life with is a reward some may be denied if given the option to not manage being rejected.


Tell that to the 20+ million men in china who literally cannot get partners due to demographics. And who's to say being in a relationship is fufilling anyway, over half of marriages in the U.S end in divorce. The whole anti sexbot stigma is so bizarre to me.


I think on a societal level antisocial behavior like that is much more corrosive to the social fabric than people meeting one another and communicating their desires. Not everything has to be about sex.


> I don’t believe... > > ... > > ... The only thing it’s going to do is make people even more isolated and socially incapable. ... Have we forgotten this is /r/science instead of /r/UnsupportedOpinions ?


If you've got a study discussing the viability of a sexbot to hold a relationship with a human, by all means post it...


If you have a sex doll you probably reduce your chances of finding a mate to something close to zero, it cuts both ways


Why the obsession with repeatedly posting your immature crap in here


What happened to buying grandpa a prostitute like in the good old days.


You don't have to feed these ones ;)


Put your d*>% in the box young Atreides!


What is in the box?


It was pain.


Well, if this is the movie "Seven" or the [Autoblow A.I.](https://autoblow.com/?a_id=5) \- there's head in the box ...


Maybe we should invent sex robots before we worry about who they should be marketed to.


Imagine how good sex robots will be by the time we’re old. Really, really good.


I've said over and over that you will know when we have developed a true AI when it treats us like its lovers. Real AI would seduce us not put us into a state of fear. In other words, real AI won't murder you, it would care for you intimately as a lover. This is because violence and destruction are not really intelligent behaviors. Love and tenderness are the truly intelligent behaviors.


I fully support whatever the hell this is, I just want the sex robot to be honest.


The sex robot doesn't have feelings... It can't be honest, it just says what it's programed to say.




I'd invest in such companies, for.... reasons


Great! Now 93yo bedridden grandma can squirt in her depends


Good. Probably the only moment in the whole day where she can ignore her back and knee pain. Let grannie bust a nut.


While not elderly myself, I know a lot of elderly people, and I think it's unanimous that they don't want robots putting people out of work.


We're beginning to approach what heretofore most humans thought unimaginable. Ethical concerns will be raised, but cast aside by some. Interesting times. [In light of the bottlenecks that robotic engineers face, increasing interest in biological solutions is a definite possibility. However, this time it would be looking for not just a biological paragon, but also a complete biological alternative. Instead of engineers creating a robot that behaves like a human, biologists can artificially create a human being that behaves like a robot. We can call such a being a robomimetic human. In some way, such a human would be programmable and specialized in particular tasks, to be a worker, housekeeper, soldier, or the like. Such a solution sounds very radical, but it can be considered a logical and expected next step after work on biological actuators opened “Pandora’s Box”.](https://www.mdpi.com/2218-6581/9/3/57/htm)


That 'solution' sounds like a dystopian nightmare inspired by A Brave New World. The thought of creating programmable human slaves en masse makes me want to vomit.


Do you want Westworld? Because that's how you get Westworld.


They're just robots with different operational hardware. I don't think this solves the most important issues with the concept, but there's nothing particularly unethical about it.


"critically important"? I seriously doubt it. No one NEEDS a blow up doll.


J can 100% see the need for sexbots. Regardless of age, gender, race, creed, etc. Just don't give them AI.


I wonder what the "sex work is work" crowd thinks of this stuff.


Seems like a desperate attempt to normalise something that we may all collectively regret as a civilisation in 60 years. Has there ever been a time where masturbation was more (rightly) acceptable and porn (often of an abnormal nature) been so widely available, so why still we have to push further than that? But I guess if a person is unable to do that, then maybe there would be a case. EDIT, I'm not attacking masturbation, I simply think that masturbation makes the need for sex robots minimal - my concern is normalisation of relationships with robots.


I think people misread your comment as somehow anti-sex or puritanical. Sex is a major driver of civilization itself. It means having to form relationships with other humans. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that breaking that connection on a large scale might have unintended consequences. It would be one thing if this technology was used in a quasi medical way for people who really can’t be in a position to find a partner due to disability, be it physical or psychological. But it wouldn’t. Or won’t- it’s not like we don’t already have Real Dolls, this is just the next step. Maybe the robots would stay niche like the dolls, we can hope.


Yeah, they have misread it definitely. I'm urging caution because not all progress is actually progress, when all the effects and consequences are taken into account. An example of introducing something that activates human pleasure centres going bad could include, nicotine, opium, alcohol, with effects that seem negative, maybe (but debatably) for alcohol as well. Once the capability to do this well is there, its an industry, and the industry wont just focus on the ethical cases, they will push and lobby and at some point down the line, it could be unhealthy. Its like in the case of alcohol, being socially acceptable and then a huge industry lead towards marketing tactics that took the rates of drinking up to unhealthy levels - in the UK advertisers learned techniques in the 1970's just like with the tobacco industry that promoted higher rates of alcohol consumption. By the time we got to the 1990's binge drinking and town centers looking like warzones with sick incapacitated people and fights everywhere in a friday night, had become the norm.


What evidence do you have that pushing in the direction of acceptance of masturbation has negative consequences? While this may "seem like" something we'll regret, this is /r/science, not /r/seems_like. We have more civil rights for marginalized groups than ever in many countries, does that mean this is the time we least need better civil rights? While this is correlation, correlation can be used to challenge speculation: Is there not more sexual violence in cultures that demonize masturbation? Is abnormality of pornography a bad thing in itself? If by "abnormal" you mean "harmful," wouldn't the creation and distribution of robust sex robots, if anything, reduce the demand for pornography which harms people?


Its not masturbation that I think is bad, I edited it for clarity on this. Its relationships with sex robots, which will eventually have things like A.I., conversational skills etc, that I think is potentially dangerous to society. Sex has a bonding component to it, so its a powerful effect on people that can render us effected in unexpected ways.


I think you are stretching it too far. It's a sex robot, not a love robot or marriage robot. It's a masturbation device, not a substitute for a real relationship. Of course there will be weirdos falling in love with their robot but we already have that. People loving their anime pillows, fictional characters, sex dolls, etc.


Since you brought up the AI component and relationship with a machine as a surrogate for real bonding I somewhat agree that it is concerning, thanks for clarifying. Slavoj Zizek has actually written about this and made some interesting points about the fact most people that buy real dolls are actually couples and what that may say about the commodification of our relationships and the loneliness of our current state of affairs. Personally, I do hope for a society in which people can be happy and healthy in relationships with realistic expectations and fulfilling real connections. However, that's currently a pipe dream and it might be good to focus on how sex robots can help disabled people instead of trying to shift culture to make us more like bonobos.. at least until an economic and social framework for fulfilling and de-commodified sex is in any way impending.


Why is the normalisation of relationships with robot bad?


I mean, it’s only a problem if you think those things are bad. Who cares if people jerk off, honestly? What’s the issue?


I didn't say it was bad, I think normalising relationships with robots is bad, and since masturbation works and is acceptable, surely the need for sex robots is minimal at best.


Then it sounds like you won’t be one of their customers. But what does it matter if other people are? The full panoply of human wants and needs is a vaster thing than either of us could alone imagine.


Well, perhaps the defining characteristic of humans, is that we are social species and our identities are forged through interaction with other humans. Relationships of an intimate nature with programmed robots for sure might excite some corporations as a future multi-billion dollar industry, but I think it is wise to be at least critical of whether this sort of development is really a healthy one, in the long run. Of course, we don't know, and it might turn out to be a good effect, or more like a mixed bag.


"What's the issue?" Ask all those jealous religious people who can't do it and you'll have your answer.


I bet nearly all of them masturbate.


There shouldn't be sex robots at all