Two researchers from New Zealand have theorized that the future of sex tourism lies in robot prostitutes.
Management professor Ian Yeoman, a futurist with an interest in tourism, and sexologist Michelle Mars from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand write about the red light districts and how they might operate in the year 2050. They suggest android prostitutes will reign supreme, eliminating the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections in an industry free from sex slavery.
In their paper titled, “Robots, Men And Sex Tourism”, published in the journal Futures, they imagine a sex club in Amsterdam named Yub-Yum. Sexual tourists will pay about 10,000 Euro ($12,672) for an all-inclusive service from massages and lap dances to intercourse from the scantily-clad sexbots displayed around. In an increasingly youth and beauty-fixated society, Yub-yum would provide a range “of sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features”. Yub-yum would be staffed by androids and licensed by the council meaning it could be regulated and used to market the city as a sex tourism destination.
“Amsterdam's tourist industry is built on an image of sex and drugs. The council was worried that if the red light district were to close, it would have a detrimental effect on the city's brand and tourism industry.” The androids would be made of bacteria resistant fibre and would be flushed for human fluids, therefore guaranteeing no STIs are transferred between consumers.
Clients could feel guilt free as they actually have not had sex with a real person and would not have to lie to their partner. “Robot sex is safer sex, free from the constraints, precautions and uncertainties of the real deal.”
They also predicted robot prostitution would put a stop to human trafficking associated with the sex industry. They said the city council would have direct control over android sex workers – including prices, hours of operations and sexual services.
However, the paper said the introduction of sex bots would force human sex workers out of work. “The only social issues surrounding the club is the resistance from human sex workers who say they can't compete on price and quality, therefore forcing many of them to close their shop windows.”
Yeoman and Mars say they centered their paper around the Amsterdam sex trade because of the city's long history as a sex tourist destination, but sex tourism is a global issue, and it would be interesting to speculate on the impact sex robots might have on the economies of countries, as well as on global sex trafficking and the exploitation of sex workers.
Previous papers from the European Robotics Research Network have claimed that people will be regularly having sex with robots within five years. Others have predicted that some of the more conservative U.S. states will make it legal to have sex with a robot by 2050.