Future

Welcome To The Brave New World Of Sex Robots -- For Him And Her

Essay: Roxxxy is always hot and bothered - and she can even be programmed to talk about sports. Our writer was pleasantly surprised to find a male version too, Rocky, who comes with blue eyes. Snuggle up, strip down, log on... the age of sex robots is upo

She likes it when you hold her hand (wikipedia)
She likes it when you hold her hand (wikipedia)
Anna Lietti

GENEVA -- Rocky costs a tad more if you want him with hair, an extra $100 for designer stubble, plus another $100 for pubic hair. The blue eyes, however, are included free of charge.

Except for the baby blues, I realized I didn't actually know what Rocky looks like – although I figured it's safe to assume they wouldn't make him fat and bald. To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to call TrueCompanion, the firm that produces Rocky. They promised to send me a picture.

I found out about Rocky, the male sex robot, only after hearing about Roxxxy, his female counterpart. Launched in 2010, Roxxxy is the most sophisticated sex robot on the market -- quite a long way from inflatable dolls!

When you take Roxxxy's hand in yours, she says, "I love it when you take my hand." When you tell her about your day, she actually listens… and answers. And if you feel like talking about sports, she is even programmed to support the same team as you and, thanks to regular updating, she may even comment on the last game.

What else? Oh yeah, right. Roxxxy is always turned on, and incredibly responsive. Unless, of course, you order the "Frigid Farrah" model – the one that's a bit shy. Talking of basic options, you can choose between a straight, bisexual, lesbian or sadomasochist Roxxxy (S&M practices have become so commonplace that they are considered a sexual orientation).

So that's it, sex robots have arrived. They're among us. Frankly, after trench coats for poodles and Second Life, the online virtual reality portal, none of this may come as a big surprise.

The object of my affection

I was about to start bemoaning the loneliness of modern life, but then I thought: What if Roxxxy and her peers are an opportunity to change the debate about women being treated like objects? Treating a woman like an object is obviously wrong. But what harm is there in treating an object like a woman? Who knows, abusive husbands might even get reimbursed by their insurance ($7,000 per sex robot is a pretty tidy sum).

There's something there, I tell you, though object-sexuals might disagree. Never heard of them? They're also known as objectophiles, objectùm-sexuals or OS people. Together, they form a community of people who have developed romantic feelings for an object; they usually deem the hierarchy between people and things as discriminatory, and claim their choice constitutes a legitimate sexual orientation.

We're not talking about robot lovers. This has nothing to do with either Rocky or Roxxxy. Objectophiles are in love with real objects, not mere imitations of human beings. Just to give you an idea: Erika Eiffel, the American founder of the OS (Objectùm-Sexuality) Internationale group, married the Eiffel Tower in 2007.

Call me a backward-thinking defender of mainstream sexuality, but I hope the claims of objectophiles remain unheard. If we can't criticize the fact that women are reduced to objects without someone accusing us of discriminating against said objects… What has this world come to?

Anyway, I'm still waiting for Rocky. When he arrives, I promise I'll show you a picture.

Read more from Le Temps in French

Photo – wikipedia

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Society

"You Ass Tulip!" - What Turkey's Creative Swearing Culture Can Teach Us

Profanity is a kind of national sport in Turkey. But it can also be risky business, sometimes leading to lawsuits or even death. One political scientist researching Turkey’s unique way of conjuring curse words explains what the country's inventive slurs reveal about its fears and prejudices.

Street scene in Istanbul

Marion Sendker

ISTANBUL — “Take your mother and get lost!” That’s the literal translation of what Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the authoritarian Turkish president, once said to a farmer 15 years ago when the man complained about economic problems.

The Turkish people were shocked by his choice of words, but it was the farmer who was led away by police and later forced to make a televised apology. As he recently explained in a newspaper interview, he is still dealing with legal proceedings as a result of the incident because he is accused of insulting the president, not the other way round.

Erdogan’s behavior was certainly unusual for a head of state, but many Turks also saw it as honest and authentic. “In Turkey, working-class people often use rude words, which are seen as more straightforward and sincere,” explains Ahmet Özcan, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, who is currently working on a research project about Turkish slang.

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