Robot Sex Will Be Mainstream in 50 Years, Say 49% of US Adults

New survey shows growing acceptance for mechanical lovers.

A woman looks into the eyes of a male cyborg.

In the future, some people (including us here at Future of Sex) think it will become common for people not only to have sex with robots, but legally marry them as well. However, some people fear what a world with robotic lovers will do to human relationships and thus want an outright ban on sex robots.

We’ve heard various opposing views on the topic from experts. But what do people in the general public think about the idea of sex and love with artificial companions?

A new and revealing survey

Recently, international market research company YouGov released poll results regarding Americans’ attitudes toward robot sex—and the outcome is interesting, to say the least.

Polling 1,146 people in the United States, YouGov began its survey by asking the simple question, “If it were possible to have sex with robots, to what extent would you consider having sex with one?”

The results boiled down to one in four men (24%) would be interested in sexual relations with a robot. Women, however, were much more resistant to the idea, with only 9% showing any interest.

This is a step down from our own survey that was conducted this year, where 78% of 382 respondents said they’d be open to dating a robot. Granted, our readers are likely more interested and informed on sexual robotics, so it makes sense the majority would consider a romantic relationship with some form of artificial intelligence.

Robot sex in the next 50 years

Back to the YouGov survey, what’s remarkable are the responses predicting when sexual interaction with robots will become mainstream. Findings show 49% of respondents said that, within the next 50 years, it would be anything from popular to commonplace.

This comes very close to our own Future of Sex Report, in which we project that by 2045 one in ten young adults will have had sex with a humanoid robot.

Is robot sex cheating?

Another question asked by YouGov touches on whether sex with a robot constitutes infidelity. In this case, the responses of men and women were similarly split, with 37% of men saying it is not a form of cheating compared to 29% of women.

On the other hand, looking at the answers by sex, it is clear that those who identified as women would consider it cheating (36%) if their partner had sex with a robot, while only 29% of men feel the same way.

The popularity of celebrity sexbots

Another theme that has come from this survey is how “attractiveness” plays a role in considering sex with robots. We’ve already seen interest in robotic replicas of stars, what with gynoids already created to resemble celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson.

Back to data from our aforementioned Future of Sex poll, we found that 23% of respondents would prefer to have a sex robot that looks like a human being. However, this is actually a lower percentage than the responses from YouGov.

As YouGov puts it: “For Americans who would potentially have sex with a robot, the appearance of the machine is crucial. 52% of those open to the idea of robotic intimacy agree that it is important for the bot to resemble a human.”

Open to new kinds of robot sex

But what’s an eye-opener is that while people seem to prefer humanoid robots, thinking about the concept of sex with robots has opened up ideas on erotic possibilities.

YouGov said about the result: “On the other hand, respondents were not convinced that everything about the sexual acts had to follow normal human conventions of intimate relations.”

The interesting part of this survey, as well as our own informal one, is how for many people the idea of sex with robots has gone from pure speculation to expected reality.

Keep asking questions

Time will tell how popular, and what kind of impact this technology will have on the world. But it could very well be that experts on the subject might be underestimating both the interest as well as the growing acceptance of the idea of robot sex.

Until then, sex robot technology will continue to improve and, hopefully, we will keep asking these kinds of important questions—and pay attention to what people are saying.

Image sources: geralt, Yougov