Men who have sex with robot dolls: a Foucauldian discourse analysis

Yalcinkaya, Ecem, Banbury, Samantha, Visick, Amanda, Chandler, Chris and Lusher, Joanne (2023) Men who have sex with robot dolls: a Foucauldian discourse analysis. World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 17 (3). pp. 195-205. ISSN 2581-9615


Sextech involves technology aimed at enhancing sexual experience and human sexuality. Part of this technology includes digisexuality which concerns sexual and emotional engagement with a sex robot. Research investigating both the positive and negative roles sex that robots may play in emotional and physical well-being remains limited. The present study therefore examined the motivation for men having intimate relationships with lifelike sex robots and revealed an in-depth understanding of the role that sex robots play in that motivation. Existing content was gathered through online platforms including documentaries and video interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of the aspects that lead individuals to develop sexual relationships with sex robots. A summative content analysis and Foucauldian discourse was conducted via an inductive and exploratory analysis based on the reports of eight men on their emotional and sexual relationship with sex robots. As a result, four major discourses emerged from the data that encapsulated differing drives of human-robotic sexual relationships. These were 1) the male power fantasy 2) powerlessness 3) cognitive dissonance and 4) power dynamics. It was found that all elements were co-related and interconnected whereby powerover and power-to constructs were identified throughout the discourse. The rationalizations attributed to engaging in robot sex are discussed using a critical discursive stance.

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