Samantha, the famous sex robot from creator Dr. Sergi Santos, has been given a major upgrade. She is now able to refuse sex from her human partner if she’s not in the mood or is feeling disrespected.
The latest upgrades were demonstrated to a panel of “sexperts” at the Life Science Center in Newcastle, England.
The upgrade will allow Samantha to enter “dummy mode”, an unresponsive state, due to a variety of reasons including an overly aggressive partner. She can also enter this mode if she feels bored with her partner’s attentions.
Samantha is meant to be a realistic partner. She has motorized hands, hips, and a motorized face which can whisper endearments to her partner if properly stimulated. In addition to her “sex” mode, she also has modes for “family” and “romantic” as well as settings for an “extra naughty” level.
This new “dummy” mode might offer an opportunity for male users to learn a thing or two about consent and respecting one’s partners, but there remains one glaring difference between Samantha and real-life women: while she possesses the ability to shut down when she’s feeling disrespected, she does not possess the ability to fight back and there are no repercussions for partners who ignore her protests.
In fact, realistic sex robots or sex dolls could actually increase problems already rampant in modern dating culture. While some believe that sex with a synthetic surrogate could reduce the number of victims of toxic masculinity, there is a very real possibility that they could further blur the lines between sexual objects that look like women, and women being used as sexual objects, something which our own Ana Marie Cox has already discussed at length.
According to a study from Forktip, 71% of men and 50% of women would replace their partners with robotic sexual surrogates. Dr. Santos himself claims that the use of Samantha has saved his own 16-year marriage, as she has provided an opportunity for him to satisfy his sexual urges even when his wife isn’t in the mood.
The actual ramifications of realistic sex dolls are yet to be seen, but they could very well be on the horizon. Samantha is on her way to the open market and will be priced at about $4,700. The actual release date has not been named.