From Geography lessons, we all learnt that the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. That causes night and day and the seasons we have respectively, correct? So does the earth evolve over time? Yes, I tend to think so. The world as it was in 1769 is not what it is today. The differential depends on a lot of factors; global warming, carbon emissions, isotope imbalance, magnetic field adjustments and all that scientific jargon.
As part of this world, humans have never stopped evolving. Whether you believe at some point we were Neanderthals who performed mating dances like randy orangutans and had foreheads shaped like the Titanic, fact is we have changed. We’ve invented some incredible things that Newton could never have dreamed of. Evolution of human intelligence.
Rise of the planet of the dolls
Sex dolls/robots loosely dubbed as Samantha have caused quite the stir for the last couple of months. Fueled by social media and blogs, some innocent persons who had no idea what these objects were are now thinking of the possibilities that could be. What are sex dolls/bots some might ask? Wikipedia gives this as the definition. A sex doll is a type of sex toy in the size and shape of a sexual partner for aid in masturbation. The sex doll may consist of an entire body with a face, or just a head, pelvis or other partial body, with the accessories (genitalia) for sexual stimulation … A sex robot however is capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically.
Wonders never cease. Google and porn-site search hits were hitting the roof with curious minds lured by Samantha, possibly to kill the curiosity, for visual gratification, or otherwise.
The noticeable sparks flying all over were mostly gender based. Most females were appalled and disgusted by the thought of having a life-size life-less object that seemingly looked like it would be replacing their role in the bedroom (or bathroom or kitchen counter). Majority of the males seemed (overly) excited; throwing darts of banter at their opposites because somehow, this ‘new’ wave looked like it was a win for them. Some of those jokes were hilarious I must confess.
Fact: sex dolls have been around for quite a while, they actually date back to the 1800s! But I won’t dwell much on the etymology and specifics, I don’t think I’ll need to do a thesis for my Masters on this. Their evolution like any other scientific invention is what keeps improving. If you watched those rated R college/teen movies (American Pie etc.) and you were keen, blow-up dolls have actually been floating on our screens for a while now (or maybe you just didn’t know their purpose). So why the sudden interest in these robots now? Have you met Harmony?
It goes without saying that these sex bots are here and you can’t ignore them. Based on the depiction via movies like Ex Machina and the HBO TV show Westworld, I kinda see where humans want to go as far as creating these bots is concerned. The ache for humans to play (G)od is somewhat evident. Also due to the plethora of the modern kinky lifestyle, humans are undeniably finding new ways to satisfy themselves and others (There are sex doll brothels that exist in some countries). So really, there’s no one to blame for this but ourselves. As far as I’m concerned, the introduction and use of sex toys was the genesis of all this. We have turned into a society of accepting things by rejecting them a little less each day, by having the ‘as long as it doesn’t affect me’ attitude. We also have a lot of double standards. For me, it doesn’t make sense that someone who has castigated Samantha supports the use of lifeless male appendages in the bedroom. You can see why the males started to feel like the world is finally doing them a solid.
So as women, should you be worried?
In computer science, Artificial Intelligence or AI is regarded as intelligence demonstrated by machines when compared to humans. There’s a way to test this that’s referred to as a Turing test; a method of inquiry for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human being.
The thing with these modern bots is that they have AI chips inserted(no pun) into them onto electronic boards like a computer. That’s supposed to make them ‘feel’, respond and behave in a more ‘real’ manner just like how Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant work. Are they as real as you fear? The answer is no, well at least not yet. When the sex robots can tell when you’re tired, when they can voluntarily take off your shoes and offer to give you a neck massage, have sex with you and then make you eggs for breakfast, if they become ‘aware’ (you should really watch Westworld if you haven’t) then humans in general should be worried. Because movies that visualize robotic apocalypses (I Robot, Terminator) would come into actuality pretty soon.
An article by Bustle.com neatly summarizes interesting topics regarding physical and psychological impacts that these dolls may have, the huge one here being whether a doll can replace a (wo)man. You can read it here.
It’s important to note, that female sex toys’ sales have been soaring through the roof throughout the years. Insecurity and criticism has been shown here and there. Some said that some women who use toys may eventually not find the need for a man. Have men been replaced by dildos yet? Ironically the SAME puns that were going round about Samantha can be said about vibrators, dildos and male sex dolls; they are always ready, they’ll never get tired or sleep after the first round, they’ll never come first(or at all), they’ll never cheat, they’ll never … that list goes on and on. A digressing question, when you found out that people decide(d) to turn to the same sex for intimacy, were you worried? I’m sure there are people advocating for anti-lesbian activity for fear of being replaced by women. I’m sure there are people campaigning that gays were ‘taking’ all the men from them. I want to know why people think that this lifeless rubber tube will eventually assume their place but they are not afraid of same-sex relationships. Whether you like it or not, humans have free will; they will eventually do what they want. With all things put into consideration, it really depends on an individual’s choice. We have little control of what people do and that’s the reality of society today, we’ve developed a culture of “let people enjoy things”, whether it might be morally upright or not.
In countries like Zambia, there are strict laws governing the sale and circulation of sex toys. Here in Kenya, the law is not quite clear on where the country stands. Personally, I don’t like our double-standard nature. If you want to rise up and push lawmakers to ban the importation and sale of these dolls or include heavy taxation on them, then advocate for the ban of all the sex toys altogether, and good luck with that because the backlash would be tremendous. I also want to remind guys that as Kenyans, despite the fact that we love to adopt western practices, we still live in a 3rd world country, subjected to abject poverty, corruption and nasty vices. I personally don’t think a dude in his right mind should spend his whole year’s rent or otherwise to purchase Harmony, Samantha, Akello, Mwende, Wanjiku or whatever you decide to call yours. Depending on your interests and specifics, these ‘babes’ average a cost of around $2000-$30000, approximately Ksh. 202000 – Ksh. 3.03 million (non-inclusive of tax and shipping levies to Kenya). But hey, if people here can get boob and ass augmentation and lighten their skin for roughly the same amounts, I can’t really control your budget now, can I? I can only aid in informing the men on where I think we’re failing, hoping they can prioritize and make more informed decisions.