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Clinical use of sex robots as therapy to be explored in June 4 event

An online event that looks at ‘digisexualities’, focusing specifically on sex with robots in clinical use, is set to take place on Friday (June 4).

Dr Markie Twist, coordinator of the graduate certificate in sex therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, will give the Sex with Robots: Therapeutic Challenges and Opportunities lecture, hosted by the International Online Sexology Supervisors organization. It will take place at 4pm (UTC) on June 4, with tickets priced at €50.

The event will promote clinical acceptance of what researchers call digitsexualities: the use of “radical new sexual technologies”, including sex robots and sex dolls.

Some academics have used the recently-emerged term to incorporate use of technology that’s arguably less radical than a sex robot. In 2019, Neil McArthur, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Manitoba, suggested a wide-ranging definition including dating app use.

“Digisexuality is just anytime you’re using technology in sex or relationships,” he told CBS. “Whether it’s through Snapchat or Skype, or meeting people online through Tinder or Bumble. Everybody’s more or less a digisexual in this first wave sense.”

Dr Twist’s webinar will focus more on clinical use of sex robots than smartphone swiping. The event summary of the lecture states: “In order to remain ethical and viable, clinicians need to be prepared to work with clients engaging with digisexualities, including with sex dolls and robots.”

“To address these gaps, tools for clinical assessment around digisexual engagement, as well as a clinical framework – ‘The Couple and Family Technology Framework’ – for addressing digisexual-related concerns, including out-of-control-digibehaviors, will be presented.

Dr Twist, co-author of the 2019 book The Internet Family: Technology in Couple and Family Relationships, is also set to speak at the online Love and Sex With Robots International Convention in August.

Read next: Love and Sex with Robots 2021 event tickets now on sale

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Jamie F
Jamie F

Jamie is a freelance writer, contributing to outlets such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, CNN and Vice, among others. He is also the creative force behind the Audible podcast Beast Master.

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