Welcome to “Weekend Stream,” where every Friday, Darian Lusk — comedian and writer living large in Brooklyn — will gently recommend something new and exciting to stream, listen to or play over the weekend. Follow him on Twitter @eatpraylusk to send suggestions for future installments.
Is technology progressing too fast? Will humans be able to marry robots by 2050? Am I going to have to wear Google Glass over my regular glasses? How will that work?
If any of these prescient questions keep you up at night, or if you just want to be highly entertained, the 2010 documentary My Sex Robot is exactly what you should consume this weekend.
My Sex Robot — now streaming for the first time on Netflix U.S. — is a bonkers 45-minute NSFW glimpse into the world sex robot fetishists; men who are sexually attracted to robots or androids that take human female form. Otherwise known as gynoids. Sadly for these fellows, but hilariously for us, this technology has not caught up to their desires. That disparity is the crux of this wonderful documentary.
You must be thinking, “Darian, you ‘made it.’ Your very own column — that’s huge for you. What can we expect?” Well, I know starting with such an “out there” choice may be bold, but documentaries like this are definitely the sort of fun weird stuff I would like to cover every week. Also you don’t need me to tell you “Blackfish” will change the way you think about Seaworld.
My Sex Robot introduces us to three unique men, all patiently waiting for their ideal female robot for different reasons. For one, it’s to overcome a breakup. For another, to literally fight his bullies alongside him. For the third, who appears on screen in a straw hat looking like something between Mark Corrigan and Mark Twain, waiting is no longer an option. So he turns to his supportive human girlfriend for some unconventional hypnotherapy.
Two inventors are in a race against time to make these men’s fetishes a reality. The first is sweaty visionary Doug Hines, who unveils his creation, Roxxy True Companion, in a “Carrie”-esque spectacle at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. As he wheelchairs Roxxy in, you can hear someone off-screen exclaim “she does not look good.” Sad but true. Also, Roxxy is going for $6,000 per model, but it becomes clear that she is essentially a glorified RealDoll — the gold standard for life-sized sex dolls — with a tape recorder attached.
Our robot-hopefuls are not impressed. In fact, they’re disgusted. As one of the them tells us, “I would not have sex with it with somebody else’s penis.” Wow. Now I’m disgusted. Anyway, back to the drawing board for Roxxy.
Meanwhile the competition is heating up. Another inventor, Scott McClain, is building his own sex robots in his garage. He introduces us to Suzy Software and the world’s first male sex bot, Harry Hardrive. Bandana-clad Harry is clearly a “bad boy” and he knows it. In fact, he kind of looks like Sexy Mugshot Guy. Unlike Roxxy, Susy and Harry can actually move. No — thrust. As we watch Suzy and Harry go at it on a picnic blanket, we can’t help but reflect on the life choices that lead us here.
So which inventor is going to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality first? Which will forever change the adult entertainment industry — and the world — as we know it? It’s kind of like “The Prestige,” except terrible. But also good.
Sure, this is the kind of movie you stumble upon 17 rows deep on Netflix. But then you’re glad you did. As long as you can forgive the inherent sexism. The subject matter, production quality and people in this film are so far from cutting edge that it plays more as a farce than a documentary. Like Waiting For Guffman if Guffman was a fuckable robot. In that sense, “My Sex Robot” is a success. But also, it does succeed in posing interesting questions about love and human companionship as our technology only gets more advanced. Why do we still laugh or get creeped out when our idea of love is challenged? Questions that may better posed by, say, Blade Runner, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. As these men wait for a love that hasn’t even been invented yet, you can’t help but feel…something.
How much closer are we to these robots becoming a reality since this documentary premiered? Well, visiting Truecompanion.com, that first inventor’s website, is not reassuring. It does allow people to purchase a Roxxy for themselves, but she essentially looks the same as in the film and she’ll set you back a sweet $10,000. For that price, I’d rather have sex with a car.
But these fembots may not be as far off as it seems. RealDoll is developing a new model that has artificial intelligence capabilities. The dolls’ AI systems can apparently learn about their owners overtime and mold their personalities around them. The initial rollout on this isn’t until 2018. But maybe Delosian, Keiso and the thousands of lonely sex robot fetishists across the nation will be able to find love after all. Hopefully there’s a sequel soon.
Other great things to stream this weekend:
Contact, Jodie Foster’s fierce alien movie that’s sort of like “Arrival.”
Paris Is Burning, the essential gay documentary about 1980s drag balls in New York. Which is basically where Madonna got her, um, everything!?
On Amazon Prime:
Into The Wild, the movie based on the Jon Krakauer book about leaving your worldly belongings and setting off into the great unknown. Complete with an Eddie Vedder soundtrack and Emilio Hirsch at the helm. Where did that guy go?
Across The Universe, the Beatles musical that we loved in eighth grade and aren’t sure if it would hope up now. But let’s assume it would.