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IDG: Robophilia: What’s the psychological impact of sex tech? #sexo #robot

“It is likely that social norms about sex and relationships will change [in future],” says Dr Helen Driscoll an expert on the psychology of sex and sexuality from Sunderland University Psychology Department when we ask her about the wider social implications of sex tech.

“We tend to think about issues such as virtual reality and robot sex within the context of current social norms,” she adds. “But if we think back to social norms about sex just a hundred years ago, it is obvious that they have changed rapidly and radically. Robophilia may be alien now, but could be normal in the near future as attitudes evolve with technology.”

It is certainly true that people’s views and expectations about sex and relationships have changed dramatically even in the last decade. Today people have way more choice – based both on what is socially acceptable and what is available ­­­ – this must in turn lead to higher expectations. Just 10 years ago internet dating was regarded to be a bit odd and desperate, now quick-flicking through hundreds of online profiles is seen as the absolute norm, whatever people are searching for.

Sex tech itself is a huge sprawling growth industry. As Dr Karen Moloney explained in an article – “Euphoric, Harmless, and Affordable: A Trend Analysis of Sex” published in the Futurist last summer – this covers everything from enhanced porn, remote sex, tech enabled sex to mind sex. While in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported that in Japanese men were already taking their virtual- girlfriend-apps away on holiday with them to the ‘socially inclusive’ island of Atami.

All this is having an impact on the tech industry itself. iDisrupted author John Straw suggested recently that, like the ascendency of VHS over Betamax in the 1980s, the rise of virtual reality will ultimately come down to buy-in from the porn industry. In fact, the Daily Mail reported in January that adult streaming platform SugarDVDm is already building an app for Oculus Rift that will ‘put viewers into the action’.

“What will drive standard adoption [of VR] again is porn,” said Straw in a statement. “The prospect of making porn that immersive and interactive for the porn industry is simply huge”.

Source: http://www.idgconnect.com/blog-abstract/10224/robophilia-what-psychological-impact-sex-tech

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