Social psychologist and prominent "sexpert" author, Dr. Justin J. Lehmiller, a Research Fellow at Indiana University's The Kinsey Institute, has actually compiled the data. He posed the question as part of his research:
I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about sex robots and how they’re supposedly going to revolutionize our sex lives. A lot of these articles make the assumption that there’s a lot of demand and desire for sex robots, but is that really the case?
His inquiry sought to find out: How many people are into the idea of getting it on with a bot anyway? And also, are robots likely to replace a lot of human-on-human sex?
Lehmiller wrote: "I collected data from more than 4,000 Americans about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want, and the results can speak to these questions."
Dr. Lehmiller documented, among other things, whether participants ever fantasized about sex with a robot, especially in a time when the world's first "sex doll brothels" are popping up in cities across the globe. Stories about the latest trends from the robot sex doll industry have proven sensationally popular, often going viral, including increasing reports of brothels being shut down soon after they open.
Despite the media popularity and hype over the bizarre trend which took off in 2018, Dr. Lehmiller found that only 14.3% of the 4,000 men and women surveyed had fantasized about sex with a robot. The numbers varied by gender.
Here's what he found out, per the report:
- Just 10.7% of women reported having had a fantasy about sex with a robot
- Males were more likely to fantasize about sex with a robot, at 17% (anyone surprised?)
- 22.8% of people who identified as "non-binary" gender (about 5% of the sample) were most likely to fantasize about this
- Dr. Lehmiller concluded that "the vast majority of people who had robot fantasies had them infrequently, which suggests that they’re not necessarily big on the idea."
- In terms of frequency, a mere 1.2% of women, 1.4% of men, and 4.3% identifying as non-binary fantasize "often" about sex with robots.
- Indeed, just 1.2% of women, 1.4% of men, and 4.3% of non-binary folks said they fantasize about sex with robots often. This constitutes "a pretty small group" showing "a strong interest" in robot sex.
Ultimately, the data suggests that about 1 in 7 people have thought about having sex with a robot at least once in their lives. Dr. Lehmiller connected the results with the desire for most people to meet emotional needs through sex.
So despite the titillating media buzz, it's unlikely that the sex robot industry will take off anytime soon, as people's interest appears to stop only at checking out the lurid headlines.
Dr. Lehmiller's report noted:
In other words, our fantasies usually aren’t just about some mechanical sex act—and mechanical sex is literally what robots provide. Of course, it may be possible for robots to offer some emotional connection with the right programming and appearance. To the extent that robots can eventually be created where you can have what feels like a human interaction (you know, like the robots in Westworld and Ex Machina), people may start to warm up to the idea.
He concludes that "the sex robot revolution we’ve been hearing so much about may be a bit overhyped."
It could also be due to the rising number of reports noting poor sanitation and failure to "properly clean" the silicone seductresses for repeat masturbatory purposes. We can't imagine too many people's fantasies incorporating that deeply unpleasant little detail.