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August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Last year, I was invited onto my friend Andrew Lawton’s radio show to discuss one of the strangest subjects I’ve ever been asked to address: The rise of so-called “sex robots.” 

In some countries—most notably Japan—these robots have been perfected to the point of apparently becoming very human-like, and aside from being the next technological step in a hyper-pornified culture, they have been heralded by some as an “outlet” for those with deviant sexual desires. In fact, one of Lawton’s other guests actually stated that she had no problem with pedophiles having child sex dolls (something that has already happened)—better that, she said, then having them act out on their desires by hurting real people.

I disagreed strongly with this perspective, pointing out that many people initially thought that violent pornography, too, could be a way of distracting people with violent tendencies from acting out their desires with real people—that pornography could instead serve as an “outlet” for those desires. What we have unfortunately discovered over the last decade or so is that the opposite is the case: Pornography creates these desires in people who did not initially experience them, strengthens the desires in those who already had violent tendencies, and inflames these perverse lusts in a way that encourages people to act out on them. Pornography, in other words, does not serve as an “outlet”—it serves to strengthen or even trigger violent sexual tendencies.

With dolls, of course, it would become even more dangerous. People with deviant sexual desires could, possibly for the first time, experience those desires fulfilled in a physical and sensory way, albeit with a non-human “outlet.” The result of this, I pointed out, could be that we encourage and strengthen these desires even further. With later research, I found that I was not the only one making that point: One professor has even called on the British government to ban the importation of these dolls, highlighting the fact that one doll was even programmed to “resist advances”—essentially allowing the customer to engage in simulated rape. This sort of thing, he noted, could encourage sexually violent behavior.

I revisit that radio interview only because the Toronto Star has just reported that Toronto will soon have North America’s first “sex doll brothel,” offering a range of silicone-made sex dolls to the public for rent. They plan to open up in a shopping plaza on Yonge Street, and are promising dolls of various ethnicities and “every single standard of beauty,” with prices starting at eighty bucks for a half hour, and $160 for two dolls. Comfortingly, the brothel promises that the dolls look and feel real, and that there is a three-step sanitization process that takes place after each customer. There will be staff at the brothel, but apparently, they will not say a word to any of the customers to ensure that their sexual experience does not force them to encounter an actual human being at any point. 

In the Star story, this line, in particular, stood out to me: “According to the website for Aura Dolls, the company behind the brothel, the vision is to bring a new way to achieve sexual needs ‘without the many restrictions and limitations that a real partner may come with.’” Got that? What they are saying is that the “restrictions and limitations” of a real—as in, human—partner are gone with a doll, and that all of the dark, ugly, and violent fantasies that should not be taken out on a real person do not need to be restrained—they can be indulged with a human-like doll. The message is that these desires do not need to be suppressed—for eighty bucks, they can be experienced. After all, who is to say that any sexual desire is truly wrong in our relativist, sexually liberated culture?

We’ve seen this before. For example, one of the reasons prostitutes are on the receiving end of so much violence from their customers is, as one john so succinctly put it in a report submitted to the Canadian House of Commons during the debate on prostitution, because you could do things to a prostitute that you wouldn’t do to a “real woman.” He didn’t even realize what he had said, because pornography objectifies and dehumanizes women while inflaming ugly desires that may have been previously dormant or even non-existent. 

The sex doll phenomenon is simply one more step—and a more dangerous one. At least one city councilor, John Fillion, says he and his staff will be pushing back against these plans as hard as they can. I wish them luck. 

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.