Is having sex with a sex doll cheating? Experts weigh in

21 February 2018 - 12:46 By BATLILE PHALADI
France's first brothel featuring sex dolls opened on January 29 2018 in Paris. The brothel has several rooms where customers can purchase the services of a silicone sex doll instead of a prostitute.
France's first brothel featuring sex dolls opened on January 29 2018 in Paris. The brothel has several rooms where customers can purchase the services of a silicone sex doll instead of a prostitute.
Image: Christophe Bertolin/IP3/Getty Images

Businessman Pieter Steenkamp* of Bedfordview in Johannesburg has forked out thousands of rands to buy a sex doll to satisfy himself sexually — and peacefully.

"I call her Madre. She's perfect and I keep her in my office."

He says she helps him relieve stress. "I grab my whisky and tell Madre about my bad day. She never says anything negative."

Steenkamp has developed a relationship with the doll and says he takes great care of her. "I respect her. I clean her and make sure she's happy at all times."

"I have had her for four weeks now. She has been amazing so far. My wife is a nag. I get tired of her nagging. I still have sex with her but not as much because she normally complains about fatigue. Madre doesn't," he says.

The 42-year-old says he would rather sleep with Madre than cheat and get attached. "I'm married in community of property, if I cheat and get caught, I have a lot to lose."

But could sex dolls, or high-tech sexbots, really help to curb infidelity? And, is having intercourse with a doll harmless fun, or should it be considered the same as cheating on your partner with a real woman?

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve says the creation of sexbots is artificial technology taken to a new level that terrifies her.

"Though they were created to enhance fantasy, I'm terrified by the idea. Here you are with someone so perfect, someone you can programme and make them have intimacy with you in the shape that you want, it is terrifying," she says.

"You have sex with them when you want; they don't have a say. We are currently facing problems on consent in marriages and relationships and these dolls are also going to programme men and women to think that in real life you can subject someone to such abuse."

When asked if sex dolls may be able to curb cheating, Dr Eve says absolutely not.

"I think finding out that your partner is having sex with a doll more than he or she does with you may even hurt many [people].

I think finding out that your partner is having sex with a doll more than he or she does with you may even hurt many [people]
Clinical sexologist Dr Eve

"Remember, this man has total control of a woman - where he can even make her bits tighter. It will also bring a host of insecurities."

She says on the positive side, the dolls may be a good idea for those living with disabilities or who are incredibly shy.

"I'm not saying that they should not have sexual interaction with human beings; you have some people who are extremely shy and others whose physical challenges makes it difficult for them to have sexual relationships," she explains.

Another clinical sexologist Doctor Elna Rudolph says sex dolls are novelty items.

"I guess people had similar concerns when the first vibrators came out," she says. "Initially very few people used [them], now it is common practice. Sex dolls are of course not for everybody, but I do think they will become more and more popular."

She says the dolls and robots would never curb cheating, but they can enhance the sexual experience.

"The more senses a person can incorporate into a sexual act, the more intense the experience. A guy masturbating in the toilet using just his imagination is likely to have a much less intense experience than somebody having sex with a doll with a vagina that feels like a real one, where he can touch her boobs, smell her perfume and where she can even talk back to him."

* Not his real name.

• This article is adapted from one originally published on the Sunday World website. Read the full article here.


X