The surging availability of robotic sex dolls and virtual reality pornography means it is now easier than ever for people to rely on technology for all their sexual needs.
Experts have warned we will soon see a rise in the number of people whose sexual and emotional appetites are almost entirely satisfied by the virtual world.
For many people, technology will form a key part of their identity, and some will prefer to have loving relationships with sex robots instead of humans, the researchers claim.
Psychotherapists need to be prepared for a growing number of ‘clients participating in digisexualities’, they said.
The warnings came in a report from ethics researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.
‘It is safe to say the era of immersive virtual sex has arrived,’ said Dr Neil Mccarthur, Director of the university’s centre for professional and applied ethics.
‘As these technologies advance, their adoption will grow and many people will come to identify themselves as ‘digisexuals’ – people whose primary sexual identity comes through the use of technology.
‘Many people will find that their experiences with this technology become integral to their sexual identity and some will prefer them to direct sexual interactions with humans.
‘There is no question that sexbots are coming. People will form an intense connection with their robot companions.
‘These robots will be tailor-made to meet people’s desires and will do things that human partners cannot or will not do.
‘For this reason, significant numbers of people will likely come to use robots as their primary mode of sexual experience.’
Though the technology is still in its infancy, engineers can already programme sex robots to have artificial intelligence and be ‘warm to the touch’.
Companies are producing moving and talking sex robots that sell for as much as £15,000 ($20,000) today, but the technology will become cheaper over time.
The Android Love Doll performs 50 ‘automated sexual positions’, while Abyss Creations’ ‘Harmony’ doll connects to an app that learns as the user talks with it.
The US firm is hoping to bring a walking version of its doll to the market within the next ten years.
Samantha, an eerily realistic sex bot, is currently on sale in London, but could soon be available for the masses.
The robot’s designer claimed earlier this month that he is looking to mass produce the head for Samantha in Wales in a bid to keep up with growing demands.
Silicon Samantha is an AI bot with dark brown hair, piercing green eyes, and a fully functional vagina, including a G-spot, according to its inventors, Mr Arran Squire and Dr Sergi Santos.
Samantha went on sale in London this summer, but demand for the bot has become so high that its designers are looking to go into mass production.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Mr Squire said: ‘We are looking to mass produce the head for Samantha.
‘We are having so many orders and are struggling to meet demand.
‘We would very much like a company in North Wales to mass produce the head, including skull electronics.’