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Better than the Borg Queen
August 28, 2010 4:51 AM   Subscribe

A gynoid is a humanoid robot designed to look like a human female, as compared to an android modeled after a male. NSFW; includes Photoshop work of famous female faces on robot bodies.

"The term gynoid was coined by Gwyneth Jones in her 1985 novel Divine Endurance to describe a robot slave character in a futuristic China, that is judged by her beauty. The term is not common, however, with the masculine term android being commonly used to refer to both “genders” of robot. The word fembot (female robot) has also been used. Gynoids have also been used as a metaphor in feminist discourse, as part of cyborg feminism, representing female physical strength and freedom from the expectation to reproduce."

Previously on MeFi.
posted by bwg (90 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Creepier than expected.
posted by stavrogin at 5:01 AM on August 28, 2010


Nice photoshopping. But to me the gynoid seems a very anti-feminist concept, in that the apparent only reason to make the robot in the shape of a (very, very sexually attractive, and very conventionally so) woman is to make of it a female-role sex toy. Perhaps it is "freed" from the expectation to reproduce by virtue of physical inability to do so, but it is clearly designed to go through the motions, to be owned by an otherwise sexually unsuccessful heterosexual male.

These gynoids seem to me to be an example of the Smurfette Principle: the representation of femininity as a defining characteristic, stereotype or archetype in and of itself, like strength or braininess.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:06 AM on August 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


Creepier than expected.

If you're referring to the word "gynoid", I concur wholeheartedly.
posted by fairmettle at 5:10 AM on August 28, 2010


Creepier than expected.

On the contrary, it was exactly as creepy as I expected.

I was not expecting a "Some Interesting Facts about Breasts" link at the bottom of the page, but, upon consideration, perhaps I should have been.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:13 AM on August 28, 2010


Crappier than expected.
posted by pracowity at 5:16 AM on August 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


You MUST check out these galleries!

No. Not really.
posted by Splunge at 5:18 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


The noid is a wicked wizard, who makes pizzas old and cold.
posted by oulipian at 5:20 AM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of the terms gynoid or fembot; a better term needs to be coined.

As for the creepiness, the site's title alone creeped me out, but the concept intrigued me a bit, in that as human beings wouldn't it be natural for us to build robots that are not only practical but that mirror our concepts of attractiveness?

Clearly most of the examples on the site are overly sexualized, but if you remove that factor I could see a future where our robots would be more or less good-looking.
posted by bwg at 5:23 AM on August 28, 2010


The Most Beautiful Robots Anyone Would Like to Date

Seriously? No. I don't need or want a realdoll, no matter how sophisticated. Demeaning to women, and insulting to men who don't demean women.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:23 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sort of a weird double-photoshop effect there: heavy manipulation of images that had already been heavily manipulated to make the subjects look magazine-worthy. Creepiest thing about it for me, though, was the way the title The Most Beautiful Robots Anyone Would Like to Date did that "sexy women are desirable to everyone" thing.

I'd probably like this a lot more if they hadn't used such submissive source photos, but I guess that's the point.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:25 AM on August 28, 2010


I'd probably like this a lot more if they hadn't used such submissive source photos, but I guess that's the point.

If you read SF, you might try The Stone Canal. Dee Model is a gynoid who's far from submissive. Mostly.

(She's also a different kind of gynoid; a decerebrate human body run by an AI)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:37 AM on August 28, 2010


"My god! He never took middle school high hygiene. He never saw the propaganda film."
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:44 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeesh. This stuff is awful.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:52 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Demeaning to women, and insulting to men who don't demean women.

Thanks for defining what I should find insulting for me!
posted by Scoo at 5:52 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fembots in early cinema
posted by pxe2000 at 5:55 AM on August 28, 2010


The term gynoid was coined by Gwyneth Jones

I think she just likes the letters G and Y.
posted by jonmc at 5:55 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


After some experimentation in college, I came to realize that I like not only women, but women without wires or metallic parts, particularly skin. Sure, it makes opening up a brew easier, but kills the mood like getting your cut in one of her gears and boom, trip to the Emergency Room and that's a long wait and she to go into standby mode to reserve power and try explaining that to security! "No, she's not passed out, nothing's wrong, she's just on standby!"

Still it was nice have a portable microwave.
posted by nomadicink at 5:55 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nice photoshopping. But to me the gynoid seems a very anti-feminist concept, in that the apparent only reason to make the robot in the shape of a (very, very sexually attractive, and very conventionally so) woman is to make of it a female-role sex toy.

This is a funny thing to say. It seems to posit that men's sexual attractions are anti-feminist, despite the fact that this concerns (made up at this point) machines, who don't actually have a gender to exploit.

After all, women, today, right now, have sex with machines in the form of a disembodied penis. It's not even remarkable, and is in fact even fetishized to an extent (TOTALLY NSFW). None of the other features of a man are represented just.... the male sex organ. And this is totally acceptable, and even encouraged.

And yet, somehow, men getting off on a more or less physically complete representation of a woman is Anti-Feminist and wrong and bad. I mean, yeah, a robot or a realdoll is missing a pesonality, but at least it's got arms.

Your favorite sex toy doesn't even have that much.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:58 AM on August 28, 2010 [32 favorites]


Thanks for defining what I should find insulting for me!

You might at least broadly consider the apparent nature of the imagery. You don't need to find it insulting, but the further objectification of women from basic Playboy sexpot to robotic Playboy sexpot is, in fact, pretty demeaning. It's like saying "Not only do we want you to be just sexy and submissive, with little to no intellect, but we also want you to be programmable, with an off switch." It pegged my yuck-o-meter.

If I stepped on your toes by the way I attempted to say so, I apologize. Still, think it over for a minute, and see if you can understand why I came down on this where I did.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:00 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, it makes opening up a brew easier

Opening a brew? Wouldn't the perfect gynoid secrete beer like breast milk?
posted by jonmc at 6:00 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Didn't we already go through this phase in the 80s? With Hajime Sorayama and his chrome-plated female robots?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 6:03 AM on August 28, 2010


Didn't we already go through this phase in the 80s?

1927.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:05 AM on August 28, 2010


The Most Beautiful Robots Anyone Would Like to Date

"Girl, you've been soldered in all the right places."

"Beep beep, ONWK"

"Oh yeah? You want me to power cycle your VrS11?"

"Beep DONK DONK DONK, eerrrrp"

"I'll get my toolbox"
posted by nola at 6:07 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't the perfect gynoid secrete beer like breast milk?

No reason to limit it to just there.

Also, it would be great if you had your choice of beer, liquor, wine or diet cherry vanilla diet coke.
posted by nomadicink at 6:08 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, but they clearly forgot about the Bjork robot from All Is Full of Love isn't on the "The Most Beautiful Robots Anyone Would Like to Date."
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:08 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Most Beautiful Robots Anyone Would Like to Date

No way am I ever dating a gynoid again. They order the most expensive multi-core processors on the menu, then run to the bathroom to repulsor-ray the whole thing. And all through the movie, they're uplinking to their gynoidfriends, indexing the gossip feeds, modeling atmospheric conditions, playing go and calculating pi.

Then you get them home and it's all, "Thank you for the sensory inputs, human, but I am scheduled to emerge from hibernation mode significantly earlier than normal tomorrow."

Plus I hear they mainline AC like it's going out of style.

"Date" was really the best euphemism they could come up with?
posted by PlusDistance at 6:09 AM on August 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


diet cherry vanilla diet coke.

From the Redundancy Coporation of Redundancy, Incorporated.
posted by jonmc at 6:10 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't tell me you never had diet cherry vanilla diet coke, jon.
Next you're gonna tell me you've never had refried green chile and cheese diet refried beans.
posted by nola at 6:13 AM on August 28, 2010


I find these images (and the discussion surrounding them) provoke the same feelings in me as the ones linked in this AskMe. Pictures that objectify "sexy" women are a dime a dozen, but I have a very strong revulsion reflex toward ones like these that go a step further to exaggerate their artificiality. It's a lot harder to muster the typical aroused response when all the humanity is stripped away from the source photo.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:14 AM on August 28, 2010


I've never knowingly consumed diet anything, sir.
posted by jonmc at 6:15 AM on August 28, 2010


Pogo_Fuzzybutt I think comparing a dildo to a gynoid is a little bit of a stretch.

I think it's creepier that they have faces. I mean, I am fine with people using things that look like genitals to stimulate their genitals. It seems like it's a pretty natural way to do things. However, using a tool to get off starts to feel icky to me when you make a whole "person" not just a tool. Realdolls female AND male, give me the same sort of feeling.

I see where you're coming from but I don't think something turning you on and being non-very feminist is mutually exclusive.
posted by Saminal at 6:16 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of the terms gynoid or fembot; a better term needs to be coined.
...
Still it was nice have a portable microwave.

Funcookers?
posted by monkeymadness at 6:18 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Your favorite sex toy doesn't even have that much.

Yours doesn't either.

But I agree, I don't think those images are necessarily anti-feminist. Plenty of women might find those depictions sexually attractive.

Realdolls female AND male, give me the same sort of feeling.

Yep, IMO those things are a couple of small steps away from necrophilia.


Looked around on that site as much as I could stand, and didn't find this example (which allegedly was based on Kanye West's former girlfriend, Amber Rose).
posted by fuse theorem at 6:23 AM on August 28, 2010


I think it's creepier that they have faces.

It would be even creepier for someone to have sex with a life-size robot version of a woman that was convincing in every way except that it had just a smooth, blank expanse of skin-oid where a face would go.

You know Dr. Hans Rheinhardt got really lonely and totally got his rocks off with some of those mirrorface zombies in The Black Hole. Also Maximilian had attachments.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:31 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think the creepy/not-creepy thing is tricky. Obviously, these pictures are objectifying women in a very literal way -- pictures of real women, which are already objectified, are altered to make them into non-human objects. (I'm reminded somewhat of the women/object overlays in some of the early surrealist paintings, too.)

But while the objectification is clear, the intent isn't so much. There's titillation, sure, but also the "huh, I didn't think of that" that even bad art can provide. Like a lot of internet smut, especially the homegrown varieties, I feel like I've had a small glimpse into someone's private fantasies, and honestly I'm reluctant to label this any creepier than "swept off my feet by the pirate captain" or "pizza delivery, maam bow chicka bow."

If not quite all, at least many sexual fantasies carry with them things that would be uncomfortable at best (and likely illegal, immoral, and unacceptable) in real life. I won't provide any links, but the internet is full of amateur art of people kissing human/animal blends, romance novels are full of eroticized rape, and a lot of fairly mainstream pornography has in it a level of choking and slapping that would cause most people to call the police if someone tried it on them. As fantasies, though, these things are fine.
posted by Forktine at 6:42 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


After all, women, today, right now, have sex with machines in the form of a disembodied penis. It's not even remarkable, and is in fact even fetishized to an extent

While there are no doubt women who enjoy those in the privacy of their own homes, I don't think it's women who fetishize these on the internet, and in regards to that specific site, I bet their viewing audience is 99.9% male. It's a different angle on the same kind of degradation, mostly.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:53 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sigh. Haven't you guys ever watched anything on Syfy? The point of robo-girls is not that they're RealDolls -- that's creepy. No one normal wants that! The point is that they're like impossibly attractive women who can be totally devoted to you and stuff and will do anything, and like some guy is always all, yeah, this is gonna be rad, and it's usually some guy who's just gotten burned by some woman who kinda looks like the robo-girl, but actually doing the robo-girl is sort of depressing because as it transpires the very qualities of independence that make the real girl not want the guy are what individuates her and makes her attractive, and the robo-girl doesn't have those qualities, and dude is all, "Damnation! This will not do!" and kinda kicks the poor robo-girl over or whatever, then feels lame about himself for even basically just having had sex with a toaster oven, and then he spends a bunch of episodes trying to get back together with the real girl and it still doesn't work and eventually he nobly sacrifices his life for the girl who still pretty much doesn't care but lo and behold he manages to get resurrected on a better show and gets a crush on Amy Acker. Science fiction has been here, done this already, and we already know how it ends. Next!

PS: "Cyborg feminism?" You made that term up, article.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:08 AM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Thanks for defining what I should find insulting for me!

You might at least broadly consider the apparent nature of the imagery. You don't need to find it insulting, but the further objectification of women from basic Playboy sexpot to robotic Playboy sexpot is, in fact, pretty demeaning. It's like saying "Not only do we want you to be just sexy and submissive, with little to no intellect, but we also want you to be programmable, with an off switch." It pegged my yuck-o-meter.

If I stepped on your toes by the way I attempted to say so, I apologize. Still, think it over for a minute, and see if you can understand why I came down on this where I did.


I accept your apology, although I'm not really all that bent out of shape about it. I agree with feminist/liberal thinking on matters such as this more than I disagree, but the tendency of feminist/liberal types to want to do my thinking for me, no matter how well intentioned, irritates me. I'm not saying this to pick a fight, or to be mean, it's just the price of admission I guess.
posted by Scoo at 7:13 AM on August 28, 2010


Yeah, I'd really call these sexbots more than gynoids, but there's no reason there won't be male sexbots, as well. But sex isn't everything. In addition to never-fail, perfectly programmed sexy time from either flavor, they'd be doing all be cleaning and cooking, as well as providing other add-on services: child care, home defense, chauffeuring, dog walking, home schooling, entertainment (singing, dancing, storytelling, chess, etc.), financial organization — The Compleat Package, if you can afford it. And all sorts of other AI fillips will become available: if you get tired of complete submission, you can program domination, or crazy bitch/chauvinist pig. Eventually, of course, jaded owners would figure out a way to hack the prime directive, and use the droids for murder, torture, intimidation and blood sports. And since only rich people would own them, there would be further marginalization of the poor, and a whole new class structure in which androids and gynoids were, de facto, more valued and respected than the underclass, and so crimes against (sufficiently valuable) property would be come to be punishable by death, and a new droidcentric terrorism would evolve, and the military-industrial complex would be creating assassination-droids, spydroids, and impersonation-droids, eventually killing off all world leaders who opposed their agenda and replacing them with presidentdroids, and PMdroids, and so on.

In conclusion, Hey, sexy mama mefites... wanna kill all humans?.
posted by taz at 7:22 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


aeschenkarnos: "Smurfette Principle"

Shit, that's brilliant. I'm going to use that.

See also Boob Apron (NSFW).
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:24 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Eventually, of course, jaded owners would figure out a way to hack the prime directive, and use the droids for murder, torture, intimidation and blood sports.

and mixing cocktails.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glad to see "All Is Full Of Love" has already been referenced. If you haven't seen it, here it is. It's certainly an antidote to "programmable playtoy for humans" vibe the link gives off.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:26 AM on August 28, 2010


Previously
posted by schmod at 7:58 AM on August 28, 2010


I couldn't decide between:

"Just don't be a-touchin' my three beautiful robot daughters."

and

"Missing 'misogynoidist' tag."
posted by ecurtz at 8:00 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


This.. this I would call Nexus Zero, (not that silly smart pone thingy).
posted by edgeways at 8:23 AM on August 28, 2010


smart pone

that's Cornpone's cousin the teacher, right?
posted by jonmc at 8:24 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


First of all, I consider blogs with those massive "computer generated similar links" (2leep.com seems to be the most common 'provider') thing at the bottom to be garbage right off the bat. They're almost always part of some random network of spam sites.

The blogs aren't interesting, they're not informative, they just take random stuff and plug it into that network of spam blogs.

---

But anyway, these are terrible. Obviously there's an uncanny valley thing going on here, but they're just so tacky. Almost all of them are just photoshops of random porn to add 'gaps'. And in a lot of cases the gaps don't even make sense as articulation points.

There's one that actually looks like a surrealist painting. And too that look like they are trying to look thematic (the one with the marionette strings, and the one in front of the mirror)

The rest are just garbage.
posted by delmoi at 8:52 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nexus i
posted by zippy at 8:56 AM on August 28, 2010


women, today, right now, have sex with machines in the form of a disembodied penis.

But it's clear to everyone that the disembodied penis is not a man and is not playing the man-role in any fashion except for sexual play/gratification. Everyone knows and can see this. Having a robot lady as opposed to just a pocket pussy sort of thing does elicit a bit of a "buh?" from me. Like why does your sexual gratification toy need shins and ankles and ears and whatnot? I've always been interested in how there's a market for robot women [who look like women] and much less of a market of robot men [who look like men] as sex toys. When I think robot woman I tend to think "sex toy" and when I think robot man I think either "killing machine" or "butler"

That said, these images are sort of weirdly interesting and intriguing to me. And count me in as a person who thinks that android is M/F and gynoid is made up nonsense. I reject robot gender.
posted by jessamyn at 9:25 AM on August 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


These seem pretty silly to me. They're just pinups. They have no voice.

When I think of a cyborg representation of female strength and freedom in contemporary science fiction, the first that pops into my mind is Janelle Monae's Archandroid.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


In addition to this, despite the popularity of realistic dildos, it's generally accepted that while many woman can orgasm from penetration, the predominant method is clitoral stimulation. You're also not factoring in the sheer volume of non phallic penetrators and the strong tendency for these objects to be candy pink, electric blue or eyeshadow purple. More often than not they’re trying not to look like a penis. If you want to tell me that the much praised by pop culture “Rabbit” is a penis, show me a penis that’s a vibrant light green with a plastic rabbit fused to the shaft. I own a whole box of insertables, and it’s worth noting that the only time I ever owned something that looked like a cock was a gift from a man. Otherwise I have spheres, eggs on sticks, plugs, flared base toys, glass toys that look like a big, bent and knobbly cocktail stirrer. Otherwise, though women are encouraged to have fun (fairly because many of us can’t and wouldn’t have an orgasm without self stimulation). Much of the human population masturbates, but I’ll only hang up my “UNFAIR!” sign the day that western society stops feeling like a celebration of a particular sort of woman’s body. In the bedroom you can masturbate to a triple dicked centaur with breasts so big they have their own gravitation field and a second vagina on their forehead (and you can devote your time and money to porn of same) but it’s not the same as the sheer saturation of sexualized female imagery.

Gyndroids in real life seem a lot more like that Japanese female robot that seems to be a desexualized office lady/receptionist picked not for her sexuality but because of the other side of the dual X- women are seen as less threatening. I think it’s more interesting not that we want to fuck robots, but that most of the interactive designs are being made as cute as possible.
posted by Phalene at 9:42 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


But it's clear to everyone that the disembodied penis is not a man and is not playing the man-role in any fashion except for sexual play/gratification. Everyone knows and can see this. Having a robot lady as opposed to just a pocket pussy sort of thing does elicit a bit of a "buh?" from me. Like why does your sexual gratification toy need shins and ankles and ears and whatnot? I've always been interested in how there's a market for robot women [who look like women] and much less of a market of robot men [who look like men] as sex toys.

In all seriousness, I think the difference is that the male fantasy here is for a woman who (a) is either too good-looking to seem easily attainable or just plain too good-looking to exist, and (b) exists without any of the complications of dating a, like, real, actual human. I think the female robot fantasy is either largely uncharted or possibly mostly non-existent, although there is certainly an estrogen brigade for that guy who played Data on Star Trek, so...?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:43 AM on August 28, 2010


Like why does your sexual gratification toy need shins and ankles and ears and whatnot?

Leverage? Not entirely joking; a habitual thing-fucker might prefer to fuck a thing that has hips to grab and enough mass to stay put over using an actual pocket pussy.

When I think robot woman I tend to think "sex toy" and when I think robot man I think either "killing machine"

Can't it be both?

I've always been interested in how there's a market for robot women [who look like women] and much less of a market of robot men [who look like men] as sex toys.

I expect that if the androids were as advanced as, say, Gigolo Joe in the execrable AI that there would be a market for that kind of full romantic experience. Including the nookie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:01 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Having a robot lady as opposed to just a pocket pussy sort of thing does elicit a bit of a "buh?" from me. Like why does your sexual gratification toy need shins and ankles and ears and whatnot? I've always been interested in how there's a market for robot women [who look like women] and much less of a market of robot men [who look like men] as sex toys.

It's long been observed that men respond more to physical/visual erotica, while women respond more to emotional/abstact erotica. The classic contrast between lad mag centerfolds vs. bodice rippers.
As they stand now, robots are purely physical. There's no "soul" or "emotion" behind them, which makes them ill-suited tools for most women's erotic fantasies, but the next logical step for most men's erotic desires.
Things will be very different, however, if/when human-level artificial intelligence is achieved.

I expect that if the androids were as advanced as, say, Gigolo Joe in the execrable AI that there would be a market for that kind of full romantic experience. Including the nookie.

Japanese host clubs basically do this right now (except using dashing young men instead of robots). A huge chunk of their clientele are middle-aged women.

Frankly, I feel that the sexbot revolution can't come fast enough. Currently, a major problem with romantic relationships is that there's so much "pollution" from people who don't actually want a real relationship and are just looking to sate their own fetishes, kinks, and other superficial transitory desires. Widespread availability and social acceptance of sexbots would have the benefit of keeping the "transients" busy with the robots, leaving the "reals" in peace.

/ Robots are supposed to do all the dirty demeaning dangerous tasks that we shouldn't be using real humans for.
posted by PsychoKick at 10:20 AM on August 28, 2010


It's long been observed that men respond more to physical/visual erotica, while women respond more to emotional/abstract erotica.

How much of that is really biology as opposed to social conditioning/mores?
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 10:41 AM on August 28, 2010


That's not precisely what the Smurfette Principle is, although it is where it comes from.
posted by darksasami at 11:04 AM on August 28, 2010


Well, I'm looking forward to SyFy's behind the scenes documentary on the roboporn film industry "Going Down in The Uncanny Valley."
posted by KingEdRa at 11:05 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


How much of that is really biology as opposed to social conditioning/mores?

Probably very little, but how much does that really matter, when social relations are so intertwined with sexuality? Indeed, it's almost impossible to separate the social from the sexual, given that our biological sexual instincts drive us to seek out other human partners, which is an inherently social action. Sex is where biological-social dualism fails spectacularly.
It's tempting to look at sexual issues as purely biological matters because it seems to make things oh-so-simple, but I find such perspectives to be uselessly academic.
posted by PsychoKick at 11:10 AM on August 28, 2010


You don't need to find it insulting, but the further objectification of women from basic Playboy sexpot to robotic Playboy sexpot is, in fact, pretty demeaning.

How 'bout letting people decide for themselves what offends, demeans, or insults them? (Something Metafilter in general might benefit from.)
posted by coolguymichael at 11:18 AM on August 28, 2010


OK, outragefilter.

I need to do a better job of speaking strictly for myself, I s'pose.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:25 AM on August 28, 2010


That said, it would be nice if the page headline didn't speak for me as certainly being amongst those who'd like to date those things, really, because no, I wouldn't. I find what they seem to represent repellant, for a number of reasons.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:33 AM on August 28, 2010


>I expect that if the androids were as advanced as, say, Gigolo Joe in the execrable AI that there would be a market for that kind of full romantic experience. Including the nookie.

>It's long been observed that men respond more to physical/visual erotica, while women respond more to emotional/abstact erotica. The classic contrast between lad mag centerfolds vs. bodice rippers.
As they stand now, robots are purely physical. There's no "soul" or "emotion" behind them, which makes them ill-suited tools for most women's erotic fantasies, but the next logical step for most men's erotic desires.
Things will be very different, however, if/when human-level artificial intelligence is achieved.


Exactly. Just as men are suckers for visual stimulus, women are equally, and equally predictably, responsive to certain kinds of verbal and emotional stimulus. Expensively or unusually-dressed male droids with dilated pupils, modulating voices, regular yet minute facial shifts, and speech incorporating emotional abstraction and a bias toward the ineffable infinite rather than the triumphantly concrete, will, I'm sure, prove very popular.

As far as fembots, or these particular fembots, go... well, it's Fetishfilter: You like it or you don't.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:33 PM on August 28, 2010


I've always wondered what my generation is going to protest against sexually. My parents are pretty liberal, but they have a few friends their age who oppose gay marriage and generally find the whole homosexuality thing creepy. To me, it's a normal part of society. But how am I going to react in seventeen years when my son/daughter* brings a robot home?

Shit, just thinking about it makes me want to start printing out GOD HATES MIPS signs.

*we don't know which yet!
posted by maus at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know. On the one hand, there's something to be said for the way that they subvert the male gaze; by disrupting the smooth transitions from one body part to another, it's as if they invite the onlooker (not necessarily just men) to reconsider not only their own fantasies of female compliance and sexual servitude, but also to reconsider the artifice of the porn and fashion models and female celebrities that these shoops are based upon.

On the other hand, I do wonder why there has been two versions of The Stepford Wives over the years, but nothing like a gender-switched version that I'm aware of, save for Jude Law's character in AI. That ain't right.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2010


how am I going to react in seventeen years when my son/daughter* brings a robot home?

I'll be breaking out the lube, winking excessively, and miming slapping myself on the arse.

I'm going to be so embarrassing.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:57 PM on August 28, 2010


This seems like a good place to link to Jess Fink's excellent (and highly NSFW) comic Chester 5000 XYV, a 'tale of erotic robotic romance'. Mostly it's about a male robot, but there's a female robot sequence - (first page is very very NSFW; the rest less so.)
posted by motty at 1:12 PM on August 28, 2010


A number of commenters have already addressed the difference between a disembodied penis and a full-body surrogate for a woman. I want to add that sexism (here misogyny but this goes for oppression in general) occurs contextually.

In a world where slightly more than half the population (females) is systematically and institutionally barred from full political, social, familial, financial etc. autonomy/parity, the sexualization and objectification of men does not have the same force as the sexualization and objectification of women, however much individual men may feel injured by such representation.
posted by mistersquid at 1:38 PM on August 28, 2010


I found a few of these interesting as illustrations. This one combines the look of real flesh with segmentation in a way that emphasizes weight and tension in a really pretty way (and yes, my inner feminist is a little perturbed about this being a shadowed, faceless woman in a submissive position, but my inner artist just really likes the effect). But the segmentation effect is less successful where it's applied to poses with less physical and emotional tension. Overall, I think this page falls into the category of "just because you can do it in Photoshop doesn't mean you should do it in Photoshop".

And this page from the same site is a total clumsy, ugly, insulting FAIL from the title down.
posted by maudlin at 2:59 PM on August 28, 2010


I've always wondered what my generation is going to protest against sexually. My parents are pretty liberal, but they have a few friends their age who oppose gay marriage and generally find the whole homosexuality thing creepy. To me, it's a normal part of society. But how am I going to react in seventeen years when my son/daughter* brings a robot home?

Shit, just thinking about it makes me want to start printing out GOD HATES MIPS signs.


Here's more nightmare fuel. If advances in biotech outstrip our advances in AI (not an unlikely scenario), you could very well be screaming about your offspring having relations with intelligent gorillas or dogs instead of robots.

GOD HATES E.L.F.s (Engineered Life-Forms). :p
posted by PsychoKick at 3:02 PM on August 28, 2010


Niiiice doggie, goood doggie.
posted by nomadicink at 3:16 PM on August 28, 2010


Saminal: "I think... I think... I mean, I am fine with... I see... I don't think..."
Self-obsessed much?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:02 PM on August 28, 2010


Self-obsessed much?

Oh come on.
posted by jessamyn at 5:05 PM on August 28, 2010


jessamyn: "Oh come on."

Yeah, bad post on my part. A public apology is in order to Saminal.

Sorry, Saminal, I was a dick there, and I regret it. Please accept my apology.
Reminder to myself: Stay off the internet or at least keep your fat trap shut when you're in a bad mood!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 8:25 PM on August 28, 2010


And this page from the same site is a total clumsy, ugly, insulting FAIL from the title down.

What the fuck. Did I really just see that?
posted by LeeJay at 9:46 PM on August 28, 2010


I reject robot gender.
posted by jessamyn at 12:25 PM on August 28


it's interesting because what jumps at me is their "race". almost invariably these robots are the epitome of arianism a la americana. make me realized dark-skinned women are never fetishized that way.
posted by liza at 10:39 PM on August 28, 2010


On the one hand, that points to something kind of racist on the part of guys who have a robo-woman fetish, but on the other hand, it seems to imply that dark-skinned women may be safe from guys who have a robo-woman fetish. So it's like, hard to say whether this is good or bad.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:34 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"When I think of a cyborg representation of female strength and freedom in contemporary science fiction, the first that pops into my mind is Janelle Monae's Archandroid."

The first thing that pops into my head is Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell and Stand Alone Complex. While she's definitely sexual, even sexualized, I wouldn't consider her objectified (at least in the anime; the art in the manga turns my stomach, so I can't say). The other character that comes to mind is the very deftly depicted Fatale from Soon I will Be Invincible, who is a 6' tall power house killing machine, not one of the "wasp-waisted pleasure machines”. Her sexuality is only one of the concerns she has to deal with.

"But how am I going to react in seventeen years when my son/daughter* brings a robot home?"

"Shit, just thinking about it makes me want to start printing out GOD HATES MIPS signs."


MAL AND HAL, NOT HAL AND H.A.L.!!!
posted by happyroach at 12:08 AM on August 29, 2010


Some robot fetishism is about having a sex slave -- I've certainly encountered and enjoyed that type of pornography.

However, speaking as someone who had a major early crush on Tom Servo, a least for me it's often more along the lines of exophilia.

That is to say, not an interest in a programmable being who will do our sexual bidding. Instead, an interest in the idea of, essentially, an AI. A different type of life form. It's the same kind of kink that goes for imaginary extraterrestrial species or the thought of the highly genetically modified.

So, what I guess I'm saying is ...

1) Before you declare me antifeminist for enjoying a certain type of pornography, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN MY HEAD.

However,

2) Even when what's going on in my head is *exactly* what you think, FANTASY IS NOT THE SAME AS REALITY.

How I treat other people and how I think they should be treated is actually separate from my sexual kinks. I can enjoy stories of mind control and domination, and even real-life consensual BDSM and role-play, without having any need or desire to have that in any other aspect of my life.

Have to go now. The gf and I are about to violate the third law.
posted by kyrademon at 3:51 AM on August 29, 2010


Erm... you're going to fail to protect your own existence?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:08 PM on August 29, 2010


Yes.
posted by kyrademon at 5:36 PM on August 29, 2010


jessamyn: "reject robot gender"

le robot, el robot. You're standing alone on this, yankee.

But seriously, the persistent "AND A SEXY GIRL VERSION" of every embodiable notion our culture devises is, indeed, a hindrance to feminism as I know it.

Then again, this book I'm reading about the historical category of "women" seems to posit that the enlightenment is largely responsible for the incipience of gender as a feature of personhood insurmountable by so-called social science... and suggests that, like the "sexless souls before God conception" which predated it, only forms of personhood stripped of their definition in terms of contextual relation to human "history" and "society" can exist genderless. So yes, the robots are our only hope. Resist robotfucking for the good of queerkind!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:55 PM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Call me old-school, but check out the curves on this beauty.
posted by mazola at 11:39 AM on August 30, 2010


Man, if you're going to allude to Donna Haraway's cyborg feminism you could at least mention her name. Her line "I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess" stills makes me smile whenever I think of it, years later.
posted by ifjuly at 9:42 PM on August 30, 2010


Who, me? The book was actually Denise Riley's, but yeah, she covers Haraway.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:32 PM on September 1, 2010


No, the write up for the original post, that's all. I'm openly biased though--Haraway's one of my fave crazy theorists ever, the only one back then that could comfort me; her take on the apocalyptic-science-tech-and-misogyny-can-o'-worms was so satisfying, like the theory equivalent of listening to an early Helium album (Ladies! We can have our cake and eat it too, smartly, and it'll be ok!). And I found her writing style refreshing, surprisingly lucid but still accurate and detailed, true to its nuanced concerns.
posted by ifjuly at 5:33 PM on September 1, 2010


Ok ok. I got nerd-nervous that you were calling me out for not giving Haraway props. I love her work, and yeah, these kinds of unclever sites make me think of her superior ideas and want to smack people teach very badly.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:00 PM on September 1, 2010


This is a funny thing to say. It seems to posit that men's sexual attractions are anti-feminist, despite the fact that this concerns (made up at this point) machines, who don't actually have a gender to exploit.

Yeah, I was going to say. Lusting after women? Bad. Lusting after non-women? Also bad.

So...lust is bad?
posted by DU at 5:15 PM on September 2, 2010


Lusting after non-women

It's the honky tonk non-women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk non-blues.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:10 PM on September 2, 2010


Nah AV, I'd never call you or anyone out in that way! I just get excited when people whose work I love show up here, y'know. Gotta represent.
posted by ifjuly at 9:00 AM on September 3, 2010


What’s a Cyborg?
posted by homunculus at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2010


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