Whether any of this is a big deal depends on who you ask. Roxanne Price, a sex worker at the legal brothel Sheri’s Ranch in Nevada, argues that brothels with submissive sex robots are sending the wrong signals to men because they “get used to having sex with non-consenting, minimally responsive female-looking objects.” Robot partners will only make men “less social and less able to have quality intimacy with a woman,” Price says. More bluntly, she sees sex robot brothels as “rape training facilities” that could even “increase the possibility that men will commit violent crimes against women.”

But LA-based sex therapist Robert Weiss questions whether sex with robots “is automatically a moral quandary. I’m in favor of sex in all its many variations, as long as we are not causing physical, emotional or psychological harm to ourselves or others.” Nikki Goldstein, the Australian sexologist who raised concerns about sex robots that look like children, points out that “a robot is not a human, and as someone who has seen these robots, you cannot mistake a robot for a human,” although anyone who’s watched Westworld knows that can’t last for long if they catch on. She adds that many people “have sexual fantasies that involve aggression. They have rape fantasies. That is a hard thing for people to digest, but it’s why we should be talking about what fantasies are and what they mean. Fantasy is a free space that doesn’t need to be transferred into real life.”