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Sex Toys, Sex Dolls, Sex Robots: Our Under-Researched Bed-Fellows

19 February 2019

Publication date
May 2018

Original abstract
In the 21st century, sexual products such as sex toys, sex dolls and sex robots are openly marketed on the Internet. The online retailer Amazon alone provides literally thousands of sexual wellness products. The Internet has done with sexual products what it has already achieved with pornography: it has expanded and diversified the market, made sexual products more accessible and affordable, and thus normalized their use. Research, though, is lagging behind: in comparison to the large body of pornography studies, research on sexual products, their users, uses and outcomes is scarce.

The present paper therefore reviews both the state of technological development and the state of research regarding sex toys, sex dolls and sex robots marketed on the Internet. For each of these three groups of sexual product, we first present the range of products available and then provide data on their users and use. Finally, outcomes of sexual product use are discussed based on theoretical assumptions, available data and selected user experiences.

Operating within a Positive Sexuality Framework (Williams et al., 2015) and a Positive Technology Framework (Riva et al., 2012), both rooted in the Positive Psychology Approach (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), the paper argues that sexual products have the potential to improve sexual well-being in various populations. Health professionals working in the field of sexuality need to be well-informed about the ever-evolving market of more and more technologically advanced sexual products. It is their call to foster both, the health-related use of existing sexual products and health-related development of future sexual products.

Döring, N. and Pöschl, S. (2018). Sex toys, sex dolls, sex robots: Our under-research bed fellows. Sexologies, 27(3), 133-138.

To request the entire article to the authors 

sexual robot, technology, sexual toys, sexuality, sex, Internet, sexual dolls, science, sexual products, sexual wellbeing, sexual market


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