Samantha-bot Is a Sex Doll That Needs to Be Seduced: Step Forward or Step Back?

A gynoid designed to simulate female arousal receieves mixed response.

Sergi Santos’s Samantha-bot offers a lot of what other love dolls do—but it’s what the synthetic needs that sets it apart.

Superficially, Samantha certainly looks like other synthetic love dolls on the market, but it’s her inner workings and programming that make her particularly unique: the Barcelona-based engineer has created an elaborate mechanism that requires Samantha be, to put it simply, pleasured before she reciprocates.

Speaking to Ruptly TV, and reported by the Huffington Post, Santos says of his creation: “Basically she likes to be touched. She has different modes of interaction―she has romantic, she has family and she has also sexy modes.”

The game of Samantha

Triggered by physical contact, Samantha first begins by asking that the user take it easy, by saying phrases such as “nice and gentle” and, when things are more to her liking, “I love this.”

In addition to touch, Samantha also responds to direct sexual, and sensual, contact. “Normally she likes to be kissed always and also she responds to, basically, the G-spot and also the breasts,” Santos added.

Like playing a kind of anthropomorphized video game, the end goal is to arouse and stimulate the bot until it achieves a simulated orgasm.

While some see Samantha’s creation as a positive advancement—an attempt to create a sexbot that appears to feel and shifts the focus the sexual pleasure away from the user alone—others find the synthetic’s programming problematic.

Women as bots

Sinziana Gutiu, a human rights lawyer, spoke to Tech.Mic saying that Samantha “sends the message that women are always sexually or ‘romantically’ available, and that ‘consent’ is just a matter of persistence and touching them in the right place.”

It’s this idea of turning female sexual interaction into a game that can be won with the right set of touches, like an erotic cheat-code, that many have found troubling, especially if mistakenly come to believe flesh-and-blood women can be turned on the same way.

Santos himself seems to be at least aware of the criticism Samantha has garnered: “I think that men should understand that a woman is not an object. It’s not that you stick a penis in vagina and that’s all. I said no, it’s … about having a companion as well.”

Some positive possibilities

In the end, though, Samantha is still a female-appearing plaything created by a man for the sole purpose of pleasing men. Sure, Santos’s sexbot may superficially seem to be experiencing excitement, but even that is to make the male user feel good.

So is Samantha part of a coming way of potentially beneficial sexbots or another sign that this kind of technology is yet another way to turn women into nothing but pleasure objects?

It’s hard to say at this point but at least people are talking about it. Perhaps all this will inspire some engineer to build and create an android companion that will have the ability to consent. It could even be a powerful educational tool to help some men relate to women not as objects but as human beings.

Better yet, what we need is a female engineer: someone to add an invaluable, and much needed, perspective to a new type of gynoid companion.

Image Sources: Daily Mail, torbakhopper