For New York Magazine’s May 14 to 27, 2018, issue cover story, the Cut’s senior writer Allison P. Davis met Henry (pictured), the first male sex robot to become reality, whose creators believe he is the future. Their goal is to create robots that are entertaining and conversational enough to be companions rather than just elaborate sex toys. Based on the fact that humans have an astonishing ability to feel empathy and love for inanimate objects and nonhuman entities (think: cats, plants, cars, and the like), Matthias Scheutz, who runs the Human Robot Interaction Lab at Tufts University, tells Davis that it would be “basically impossible” to prevent people from forming emotional bonds with robots.
Though Davis says she went into the story expecting to learn how technology and robotics need to develop in order for people to actually want to have sex with robots, she came out of the experience with a completely different understanding of what will happen. “Let’s just say after meeting Henry, I will never think about falling asleep with my computer on my bed in the same way,” says Davis.