The demand for artificial lovers mounts due to cheaper hourly rates.
Arsenal 51, a Swiss brothel in the district of Lucerne, has reportedly replaced nearly all of its human sex workers with love dolls.
The change in staffing has proven popular among clients largely due to the reduced rates for a visit. An hour with a sex doll begins at just 90 Swiss francs, whereas their human counterparts charge at least 200 Swiss francs.
Birgitte Snefstrup of the LISA association, an advocacy group dedicated to improving the living and working conditions of sex workers in Lucerne, told The Daily Star::
Sex dolls were never something that have come up as a topic of conversation between the sex workers and myself. It is a new phenomenon that a brothel has almost only sex dolls on offer.
Snefstrup believes that while most brothel operators offer sex dolls to stay competitive and also cater to specific fetish requests, most clients still prefer the connection they get from a session with a human sex worker versus a synthetic companion.
Though prostitution is legal in Switzerland, the use of non-human sex workers has allowed brothels like Arsenal 51 to operate relatively freely in countries where sex work is still criminalized.
Future of Sex recently compiled a list of love doll bordellos and mapped them around the world, with the majority existing in European cities, and a handful in North America.
One of the logistical challenges of running a sex doll brothel is the rapid turnover between clients and the need to disinfect each doll after every use.
Marketing Director Claire Lee of Aura Dolls, a love doll brothel located in Ontario, Canada, says that prepping the dolls after each customer is a race against the clock.
In an article with Rolling Stone she explains:
First, the doll is placed underneath a shower and washed with soap and warm water. Then, its orifices are blasted with a pressure cleaner filled with special disinfectant and penetrated with a UVC, germ-killing lamp that’s ‘shaped like a dildo,’ according to Lee. Then, the doll is rushed back into the room to be dressed, have her hair done, and get any makeup touch-ups that might be needed before the next customer shows up.
Arsenal 51 claims all their dolls are washed after use but still provides additional cleaning products in each room should clients feel the need for any additional clean-up before their session begins. —
The company’s website also states that an Arsenal 51 love doll is “always sexy, willing and ready for you and she will do anything you want with her. She can fulfill all your fantasies.”
This “anything goes” attitude towards sex with love dolls and robots has sparked debate among ethicists, with some arguing that it perpetuates a culture that objectifies women.
Last year, Unicole Unicron, a robot ethicist and founder of the self-proclaimed feminist cult Unicult, attempted to raise $155,000 on IndieGoGo to open the world’s first consent-focused robot brothel in California.
While the project didn’t reach its funding goal, the idea that love dolls can be used to potentially educate clients about consent is an idea that has value beyond Unicult’s failed crowdfunding campaign.
Image source: geralt