Of dolls and men: Anticipating sexual intimacy with robots

Norman Makoto Su, Amanda Lazar, Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Sex and intimate technologies are important in people's everyday lives. A class of technologies that is becoming increasingly more prominent in discussions of the future are sex robots. In this article, we present a qualitative analysis of posts from a forum where people describe their interactions with sex dolls and their motivations for using them through text and photographs. Forum users use dolls as a content authoring interface, imbue them with agency, and construct meaningful sexual relationships with them. Implications for the design of future robots and autonomous agents in humans' everyday lives are discussed. We highlight that sex dolls are used for more than just sex; they provide fertile ground for embodied fictions and care of the self. Future, customizable technologies for sexual intimacy and wellness should account for this use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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