Houston is roiled in controversy as the nation’s first sex robot brothel prepares to open. An Ontario-based business, where customers can rent realistic sex robots for a half hour or an hour at a time, recently announced plans to expand to cities including Houston.
One man whose company is currently in Toronto has told media outlets there’s a big market for his sex robots, and he’s planning to bring his robot brothel to the Bayou City.
“As disgusting as some people may find it, I think under the law, it’s legal,” said attorney Steve Shellist.
“As we sit here today those types of products being sold, used or rented is legal,” he said.
Shellist said there’s a statute in the Texas penal code that would make this business illegal, but that law banning those types of businesses was ruled unconstitutional 10 years ago.
“So right now, the behavior that is listed in the statute is constitutionally permissible. So, yes, he can come here and set up shop,” Shellist said.
Not so fast, though. One local organization who caught wind of it is quickly trying to press the brakes. There’s already a petition online.
“We were absolutely horrified,” said Micah Gamboa, with Elijah Rising. The organization works to free sex slaves.
Leaders of Elijah Rising have been cracking down on human trafficking and feel that this type of “robot brothel” will only set them back.
“Our biggest concern is that this sex brothel with robots is gonna train men to become rapists,” Gamboa said. “What’s next? Is it child robots? Where’s the line? Where is the boundary?”
Each “doll” has a name, a look and price tag in the thousands of dollars, if you want to buy one. But customers can also “rent before they buy,” getting a room and a doll of their choice where they can “play and have fun” …”fulfilling fantasies without limitations,” according to the website.
“Robot brothels will ultimately harm men, their understanding of healthy sexuality, and increase the demand for the prostitution and sexual exploitation of women and children,” the petition on Change.org argues.
“Robot brothels will ultimately harm men, their understanding of healthy sexuality, and increase the demand for the prostitution and sexual exploitation of women and children,” the petition argues.
“We can’t allow these kinds of public masturbation businesses to operate in our city,” Gamboa said.
The petition on Change.org is titled, “Keep Robot Brothels Out Of Houston.” The petition, which will be presented to City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office, has more than 6,500 signatures as of Tuesday morning.