By Riverboat Sam, The Pacific’s technical specialist/digital skeptic
In my quite distant prime, if a man wanted to buy a woman for a while or longer there were cultural institutions he could avail himself of. Or if he was wealthy and not a total beast, a marriage proposal might do the trick. But soon, all a man (or a woman so inclined) has to do to buy some love is scrape up about $40,000 to get himself/herself a female robot lover.
Given our history, I suppose robotic sex dolls are a kind of moral improvement, technically speaking, if a man wants a physical relationship without all the baggage that comes with having to get to know and relate to an actual female person. Men have been treating women like robots for a long time, so maybe it’s better to treat the robots like robots while pretending they’re women.
But $40 grand is a lot to pay for sex, or even love. Speaking as a husband and extremely old man, I think a virtual wife would leave a lot to be desired, even if she lacked the hardware for argument and weariness and other unpleasant human traits while happily doing all the domestic work. For all their faults, real women have a bodily charm and individuality and intellectual suppleness that no man, I’m confident in saying, can recreate or even really buy.
So save your money. There’s no such thing, my fellow Americans, as satisfying automated love, no matter how much you’re willing to pay.