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Are Sex Robot Brothels Becoming the Next Fad?

Apr 27, 2017 03:00 PM EDT

It may be illegal to run a traditional brothel in the U.K., but sex dolls are fair game.

According to a report from the Daily Star Online, the company LumiDolls -- known to be behind Europe's very first sex robot brothel -- is eyeing the U.K. for a potential future site.

"We are currently in the process of expanding and looking for more franchisees in other countries," a spokesperson for LumiDolls said in a statement. "If anyone is interested in the brand, you can contact us."

Last February, the sex doll agency opened its first robot brothel in Barcelona, Spain. Here, clients can get intimate with life-like robots. However, backlash from prostitutes forced the company to shut down its first den, officially citing infrastructure problems as the reason for their change in location. Their current venue is only disclosed to paying customers.

"With LumiDolls, customers can perform any of their sexual fantasies they do not dare to do with a woman," the spokesperson explained. "This allows them to fulfil their wildest fantasies that maybe with other people they can not, maybe they have some physical complex that does not allow them to be comfortable with a person, and with a doll it makes them much easier this problem."

Rates in the brothel are about £67 ($86) for half an hour with one of the four sex dolls in the den. Each one has its own distinct personality and qualities. While the dolls are disinfected and cleaned thoroughly before and after each "shift," the company still encourages the use of condoms.

The rise of robots in the sex industry worries some scientists who aren't just concerned that human sex workers will be replaced by robots who can give men and women their every whim, but also that technology will also affect people's need -- or interest -- on human relationships.

In a report from The Guardian, De Montfort University fellow in the ethics of robotics and Campaign Against Sex Robots founder Kathleen Richardson warned that masturbation could become the dominant form of sexual experience as early as 2050. She added that this is brought about by consumer capitalism urged by "techno-utopians who commercialize our relationships."

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