The History of Sex Dolls and Sex Robots

The first automatons were created in the 17th century by a father-and-son team of Swiss watchmakers named Jaquet-Droz. In aristocratic salons, for a fee, people would watch a couple of amorous robots exchanging tender gestures. Also used as promotional objects, their mechanism was compared to the desire shown between two potential sexual partners.

By Mélodie Nelson

Jaquet-Droz automatons

In the 17th century, there were dames de voyage who would accompany French and Spanish sailors. Given the superstition that it was bad luck to have women on board a vessel, sailors would construct dolls from fabric and share them, which resulted in the spreading of sexual diseases.

Fabric was replaced by plastic and rubber for early 20th century inflatable dolls. In the 1960s, sex dolls were available in erotic boutiques, or discreetly delivered to the home. Starting in 2000 in Japan, dolls were available to rent by the hour or by the day. Dolls that resemble celebrities became popular.

The first sex robots appeared around 2010.

First seen in Reflet de Société, Vol. 29, no. 4, mai (May) 2021, pages 22 – 23.

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