Johannesburg - Don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day? Embrace the fourth industrial revolution with some unexpected features at the Love Sex Expo.
The four-day event, which is making its debut in Cape Town this weekend before it travels to Joburg in April, will feature an array of trailblazing sex toys and gadgets.
Expect to see a life-sized robot that can be customised for ethnicity, body shape, eye colour, hair colour and facial features.
Expo organiser Linda Guldemond told The Saturday Star this week that the lifelike features of these humanoids was what made them so effective in offering companionship and intimacy without some of the fears people experience in the dating world.
“The (artificial intelligent) doll talks, she warms to standard human body temperature, has movement capabilities of the head and even blinks her eyes,” Guldemond explained.
With their delicate silicone texture that seeks to replicate a women’s skin, these robots are not your typical blow-up doll.
They attempt to duplicate human features, functions and interaction capabilities.
“She is capable of learning her partners likes and dislikes and over time will learn to steer conversation in this direction and ask meaningful questions,” said Guldemond.
While there are also male humanoids available in the country, there will only be a female one at the Love Sex Expo at the GrandWest Casino in the Mother City.
Guldemond believes the humanoids, created by South African-based technological firm Futuristico, can also aid those who have faced trauma or are suffering from mental health problems.
“They have been used as therapy tools and even in brothels as replacements as an additional offering to human sex workers.
“If properly cared for, the AI dolls can be kept for a lifetime with a basic software update and the use of a custom-made cleaning kit,” the organiser said.
She reckons that the success of AI dolls is all due to an increasing amount of people willing to embrace technology, even in the controversial and somewhat taboo environment of the sex industry.
“Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we interact with one another, and how we use it to pleasure ourselves,” she explained.
“The digital revolution can also play a huge part in bridging the gap in long distance relations, with some technology allowing lovers to control devices connected to their partners from across the world.”
The Love Sex expo organiser understands that the AI dolls might be too much for some to handle, but she believes that their technological sexual appetites can still be satisfied at the event.
“We will also have the ever-popular virtual reality porn experience available for visitors to immerse themselves in an array of erotic settings.
“Once you have the virtual reality glasses on you will forget you’re at the expo and you will be transported to the sensual world presented before your eyes.”
If sex toys are not your scene, you may enjoy live performances by the likes of world renowned drag queen Kitty de la Renza, internationally acclaimed penis artist Pricasso and the Pulse Boys, Africa’s best choreographed male revue.
Guldemond added that there would also be audience participation shows and in an attempt to dispel perceptions that the Love Sex Expo will be a glorified bridal shower outing, there is also an educational aspect, with workshops and talks set to be held.
“There will be experts available to impart their knowledge on various sexual topics so visitors can also learn something new and broaden their horizons.
“It’s important for us to have initiate discussions, particularly those considered to be a little taboo in order to open up the forum for sharing.”
Guldemond believes that the event has something for all kinds of people.
“It’s a fun fact that South Africans love sex and they are liberated and ready to embrace sexuality and all the fun aspects that go along with it,” she said.