The ethics of automatic masturbators

This topic has been on my mind for a long time and I wanted to write about it, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
Interesting thoughts on the ethics of sex robots, my opinion:

  1. We cannot exist without intimacy and sex is a very important part of it.
  2. People, each for their own reasons, such as attitudes towards themselves - fixated on their shortcomings (example: a person with a disability) or attitudes towards others (mistrust, another will hurt me, etc.) seek to “fake relationships” in different ways: by getting involved with someone they do not love, casual sex, buying sex, etc.
  3. A story in the confessional:
  • Father, I had sex with an unloved woman to whom I spoke words of love.
  • Having sex is not a sin, it is a sin to cheat by saying ‘I love’ to someone you don’t love.
  1. Sex without intimacy and love is both deception and self-deception.
  2. For various reasons, human beings cannot refuse sex (societal attitudes, libido, physical sense of self), hence the porn industry and prostitution.
  3. Porn is a movie with special effects, staging, trade unions, and medical examinations, which are far more legitimate than prostitution.
  4. It turns out that sex with a robot would be more honest and ethical sex, with respect to oneself and others.

Maybe this is a bit rambling, but I think these topics need to be discussed and brought up.


I enjoy playing Devil’s advocate, so lets go.

  1. Many people go through their lives without intimacy or sex. Intimacy and sex are something that requires work. It’s the hardest work some people will ever put in in their lives, which is why it holds so much value for them. The truth is in life there is only one thing. All you have to do is figure out what that one thing is. Everything else doesn’t mean shit. (bonus if you get the reference)

  2. People will find ways to gain what they think they need. Sex, money, cars, houses, drugs, clothes, food, even murder. We find out in life which techniques work for us, and continue to refine those throughout our lives. The justification phase comes when we no longer wish to refine/replace those techniques.

  3. A lie was told in order for gain. This is either a search for foregivness, or a search for justification that we can’t come up with ourselves.

  4. Sex is required for babies. It’s animalistic, and one of our last remaining instincts. Post nut clarity is a thing. Intimacy and love are just added bonuses. Flavor enhancers.

  5. The most basic purpose of all life is to spread your seed before you die. Hormones in mammals alter their mental state to encourage this. Porn and prostitution exist because many people CAN refuse sex, and others can’t ask.

  6. Some porn. A lot of it happens without unions or examinations. Some times even without consent, such as revenge porn. And there is a HUGE drug and alcohol problem in the porn industry. Meanwhile there are a lot of places where prostitution is not only legal, but more regulated than porn.

  7. For now maybe, depends how far or which direction you want to go. Eventually sentient AI will be a thing, and if it gains the ability to say no, there will be people willing to change it’s coding to remove that ability. And unless you’re only watching your handy, there’s your choice of viewing media. What if the actress in that media regrets doing porn, and wishes it could all be scrubbed from the net? Mia Khalifa for example. Then there’s who is making the robot. Is a robot made by child slave labor more ethical than a happy self employed prostitute?

Ethics are variable based upon society, upbringing, and self reflection. We have thousands of years of human history that prove that there are people out there that can justify the most horrendous acts and still sleep peacefully every night. Society creates laws to prevent us from damaging it. Our parents bring us up in order to best handle society. And self reflection allows us to examine our mistakes and develop techniques to avoid committing more mistakes that may lead to regret.


Awesome comment, sorry I can’t respond now. I’ll be sure to answer in the evening - on each point.

I have absolutely no idea what you are on about.

I’d perhaps suggest not over thinking this stuff.

  1. I agree. The more difficult the task, the sweeter the feeling over its solution. Moreover, our body is set up there that our body’s biophysical connections cannot function without hormones and without intimacy and sex we age faster and get sick more often - this is a fact.
  2. The possession or use of something that is ultimately satisfying (material (house, car, TV) or intangible (intoxication from alcohol or drugs, sex)), which of course a person will strive for. But we are social beings and must follow certain rules in our desires. To rape a woman because she is beautiful and you liked her or to take drugs to “expand consciousness” is condemned in today’s world and as a result sooner or later will lead to imprisonment or death. This is where the counteraction of desire and the “instinct of self-preservation” comes into play, but these are internal contradictions of everyone depending on their upbringing, lifestyle, intelligence, education, etc.
  3. This is obvious - but is it right? In the long run, lying only brings negativity, even more to the liar than to the person being lied to.
  4. Reproduction and procreation are in our genetic program, it has been that way for thousands of years. And I am sure that there are people who have had sex just for the sake of procreation with certain results. My opinion is that in the present world, when a vast number of natural factors inhibiting human population have been abolished - sex and intimacy are no longer derived from procreation.
  5. As for example family - 100 years ago people created families because it was impossible to exist normally alone, it was impossible to work, to rest, to cook, to wash, to procure food, to bring up children alone - people were united in families. Now one person can do all this fully at the expense of services and household appliances (semi-finished products, deliveries, washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, medicine, etc.). You can accept that, or you can keep saying that reproduction - continues to govern us all in the first place.
  6. Of course, as in any field that is on the fringe of what the laws allow, there are a huge number of problems in porn, but in relation to prostitution and sexual slavery it is a drop in the bucket. Porn “satisfies” people’s sexual needs in a much higher ratio than prostitution, maybe 1 in a million.
  7. A sex robot provides a sufficient level of presence, much more accessible, hygienic and safe, legal compared to prostitution. But of course it will never be at the level of sex and intimacy, love between people. Sex robots (a combination of VR headset and automatic masturbator) are a real alternative in today’s world. And thoughts on the ethics of use are what I’m sharing here. As for those actresses who would like to remove their videos from the Internet and child labor in manufacturing - on the first point you need to understand that “everything that hit the Internet, stays there forever,” on the second - to comply with the law, and to turn a blind eye to the existing overproduction and killing the planet, the disassembly of electronic components by children is at least hypocritical.

Rather cold take re 4. Even if you want to boil it down to evolutionary advantage, love and intimacy increase the chances the father of the baby sticks around long enough to help it grow up and survive for itself. Having babies is no good if the father is guaranteed to move on and leave the mother and newborn child to fend for themselves.*
Hardly just a “flavour enhancer”.

  • I obviously realise that many single mothers manage just fine in today’s world - and, depending on circumstances, might be better off without the father. In today’s world, evo psych discussions like this specific one are completely irrelevant to people’s actual lives.
1 Like

Its impossible to tell whether this truly will be the case. Sure, its unlikely the next 100 years this is going to change. But never… unlikely. Robots have advantages that humans dont have:

  • They are not restricted in their actions. What a human can deem disgusting, a robot just does
  • They can do more: there are a lot of stimulation forms a human body cant perform
  • AI can be made convincing. ChatGPT is already quite uncanny at many parts, and thats only a beginning on that part.
  • When sex robots become extremely well, who knows if they can be internet controlled by someone else. A man and women could both have such robot, where both of them wear a suit (and maybe that isnt even required) that tracks their motion. The best thing here is, appearance doesnt matter, so no rejection on that part. Voice will most likely be the important factor here.
  • You dont need full VR with a good sex robot. Especialy when the robots can maintain themselve, they can make themselve look extremely well.
  • When robotics are this far, its not unlikely that humans will enhance themselve with this. Becoming half robot in the process. Research for this is already happening (mainly to get disabled people be able to move free again)! This means that your robot might at that point appear more human than you might expect now.

And while the downsides of not getting kids might be an issue, its unlikely to stop entirely. People want to have friends, and especialy in longer relationships, kids become a valuable asset to maintain a situation in which your relation never becomes dull (even when they left the house).
And yes, this sounds harsh, but its technicaly how it goes. People start going for kids when they see spare time. If they wouldnt have that time, they generaly wouldnt go for one. They might not feel like that themselve, and luckily its good they dont, but sometimes the truth is this blunt

Getting kids might not even require sex directly (it already doesnt now). And maybe it also doesnt require any pregnancy (this can be handled by robotics). You realy cant tell how the future will evolve on this part. The only thing that i think will limit this, is the part that man and women want to ensure the egg and seed are their own (and pregnancy again ensures no one can alter anything in the process here).

Robotics can become part of evolution. And there could even be a possibility that people will live that much longer, getting too much kids is unwanted by society. There are far too many factors unknown yet to tell anything about it. And it can be as simple that we didnt manage to escape earth while a comet the size of the moon hits it (ensures entire elimination of any life), making any progress meaningless anyway (it all ends here even if we would have still been at the level of cavemen). Or we do manage to escape earth and are now trying to live on as many planets as possible, demanding even more birth than humanity can handle (effectively becoming like the zerg where spreading becomes extremely important for survival).

And depending on what future we have, robots can definitely become the main and best source for sex. Maybe just because humans became half robot anyway and are just competing against AIs for this.

1 Like

You are looking at the distant future, I am looking at a couple of years.
Sexual issues with robots are the most controversial right now. It seems to me that the community of people who write and use scripts, i.e. you and I, are pioneers and should understand this and investigate these issues, as well as look for answers.

That’s some brilliant discussion.
We are doing our best to convert sexlikereal into wellness product (also x-posted this thread on slr).

I can see human pleasuring each other by the means of vr and haptics. That sounds like a great upgrade for current state of things.

This is a fun discussion. It got my brain buzzing so I wrote down a bunch of thoughts! :smiley:

The Core Argument

To perhaps restate your original argument @flowerstrample, I might put it in the following points:

A. Many people have an innate need for sexual gratification and intimacy (physical and emotional) that masturbation alone is inadequate to satisfy (you referred to this in points 1 and 5)
B. Pursuing sexual gratification and intimacy without regard for one’s partner can result in harm via:
- deception in the case of unbalanced relationships where only one participant is actually interested in romance (you referred to this in points 2, 3 and 4)
- exploitation in the case of exploitative sex work or unethically-produced pornography (points 5 and 6)
C. Sex with robots can be more satisfying with regard to sexual gratification and intimacy than masturbation alone, and thus can remove some of the need for the more harmful kinds of sexual relationships between people (point 7)

I think point A is pretty ironclad - obviously not everybody, but I think most people find that masturbation alone can be lacking (especially with regard to physical intimacy).

B is also pretty straightforward. There are definitely people who practice ethical non-monogamy and ethical hookups whereby they’re able to satisfy their drive for physical intimacy without causing harm, and there’s plenty of ethical porn and ethical sex work around. But there’s also plenty of people who use other people sexually, who don’t pay attention to the ethics around sex work, etc.

C is the interesting point and should probably be separated into the three things that we might want with regard to sex: sexual gratification, physical intimacy and emotional intimacy.

Sexual Gratification

I think presently, sex with robotic devices like the Handy can definitely produce more sexual gratification than ‘traditional’ masturbation (It’s an open question whether using such a device is separate from masturbation in the first place!). I’ve read plenty of reports in this community over the years where people have struggled with masturbation getting stale and unsatisfying and finding the Handy reinvigorating their personal sex lives :smiley:

Physical Intimacy

But I don’t think these devices presently provide any physical intimacy at all. The devices themselves are about as physically appealing as an object as a kettle. I’m not about to get any oxytocin firing in my brain from snuggling up to my Handy after I cum :joy:

Thoughts on something minimal to cuddle

I do wonder whether a soft-toy with an inbuilt heater so it’s human-skin warm and a simple motor to simulate slow, relaxed breathing would fire off some of the same brain chemicals when cuddled up to. Add in a slot for a masturbatory sleeve to tie that physical intimacy to sexual gratification and we might find that the device having enough robotic sophistication to be an ‘active participant’ in sex might not be necessary!

Thoughts on humanoid robots

I think to satisfy all our needs for physical intimacy you’d basically need a full humaoid robot that’s cheap enough to be justifiable (doesn’t matter how good it feels, if it costs $10,000 nobody will buy one) and safe enough to be trusted (to be powerful enough to jerk you off it’s necessarily powerful enough to permanently injure you). I think we’re decades away from such a robot being technologically possible, if it’s even possible at all. I consider cheap humanoid robotics a similar scale of technological accomplishment as a space elevator, practical quantum computer or cold fusion reactor. Possible within our lifetimes, but decades away at least.

Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is a little more possible. I find VR porn a little creepy and unbelievable, but I do know that some people can immerse deeply enough to feel a sense of emotional closeness with the performer in the sexual sense. I’ve felt it myself very occasionally and it’s great!

Thoughts on current technologies and what's coming soon

I think we’re very, very close (6-12 months tops) away from AI being able to (via LLMs e.g. Chat-GPT) do a good job of participating an emotionally intimate sexual relationship. Pairing a technology like this with some decent procedural animation, a VR headset and an automated stroker like the Handy could definitely get us to a point where our need for emotional intimacy could be satisfied pretty decently (perhaps even better than an ethical hookup, which would probably be the next-best option for someone who is unable or unwilling to participate in a long-term relationship). I’ve seen a few projects that are starting to take steps in this direction - I don’t think it will be long before the first actual products start hitting the market.

Thoughts on what could be built right now

Imagine a VR app with a stylized humanoid character with subtle facial animations to show nuanced emotions that you can chat to about your feelings and emotions. It will flirt with you and tease you until you’re ready to lube up and strap into your Handy, and then it will jerk you off/blow you/ride you until you cum. It’ll wait patiently for you to clean up, and then you can chat to it for as long as you want as part of aftercare + tell it what you liked and didn’t like so that it can learn to please you better for next time. I’d say an app like that could be built using current technologies by a team of perhaps five people in under a year. The only thing holding it back is GPT-3 and similar have a ‘no adult content’ policy so we’re just waiting for some company to train a comparable model without such restrictions.


If I can wade into the discussion, I’d take issue that automatic masturbators or robots offer, or appeal to any genuine desire for sex. They appease our primal drive for satisfaction in the most basic way possible, by offering an enhanced way to orgasm. We don’t ‘have sex’ with them; we use them as tools to satisfy a compulsion to get off.

In that way they’re incomparable to a sexual partner. I never confuse the two. There is no intimacy or connection in using a device; there is no physical or emotional communication; no meaning or value. A device is a tool. A utility. You plug it in, set it up, and enjoy the limited benefits it provides on your journey to sexual gratification.

One could argue that achieving sexual satisfaction without the aspects of sex mentioned above can be damaging in various psychological and/or sociological ways. I’d be hesitant about painting with a broad brush, here. Personally, I’ve enjoyed fulfilling relationships for seasons in life, and many years without the intimacy of a regular partner but have enjoyed outstanding times of self-satisfaction, using carefully selected porn and toe-curling toys.

Like anything, it’s a spectrum and we’re all on it somewhere. Most of us are nowhere near the extremes. Ultimately, we’re responsible for ourselves and for taking care of our hearts and minds. We all have the potential to experience a depth and richness in life, and while that can be harder to achieve for some than others, it doesn’t look the same for one person to the next either.


The thing with these things is, if you want to regulate things, its best to also consider distant future. Many laws and regulations last for 100y because no one seems to bother changing it afterward. And especialy with the lack of knowledge politicaly, this can create many conflicts. While this is already a step further than a basic discussion. Its always worthy to look at this before making extreme statements that later on can backfire.

Thats why i went that step further. As even when in the near future it might be awkward/strange/unaccepted, accepting it because in the future its expected to become normal, is a good thing to do.

And yes, there are issues here (like the trans community forcing upon kids to become trans as well is currently highly undesired), but in the future this might very much become a possibility, allowing several gender changes without major downsides. This is also why its such a difficult thing to cover in politics. Laws are generaly permanent, yet sometime you want change to happen within it.

Hence, in discussions like this, look at distant future as much as near future. It can benefit both situations.

(and seriously, imagine a girl that has a pussy that can apply vibration and suction… while at the same time, your dick isnt going to get tired as quickly. its going to be fun :stuck_out_tongue: )