How close are scientists to creating a real sexbot? —R.S., Toms River, New Jersey
If you mean a walking, talking, sex-obsessed fembot à la Austin Powers, not close at all. The sex robot is one of those futurist fantasies that, like the flying car, have captured the imagination but have so far failed to materialize. In the next few decades we could see the convergence of, say, a sexy Siri and an extremely dexterous, ambulatory android, but today’s offerings are a far cry from that reality. True Companion makes a $6,995 silicone-covered product that responds to touch, has motorized private parts and is capable of rudimentary conversation. But if you’re dead set on experiencing sex with minimal emotional attachment, a better use of your $6,995 would be to avail yourself of an elite member of the world’s oldest profession. Better yet, you could spend it on psychotherapy and figure out how to overcome your fear of intimacy.Every time I go to bed my wife of eight years checks my computer and cell phone. She sits there for hours looking through every single action I’ve taken. I’ve tried password protection, but that caused a problem. I’m not doing anything wrong, but I feel like a prisoner in my own home. When I confront her about this, we always start to argue and she wants to know what I’m hiding that she can’t see. What’s going on here? —T.C., Birmingham, Alabama
The fact that you describe your attempts to discuss your wife’s monitoring of your activities as “confronting her” leads us to believe you’re behaving defensively, as does the fact that you tried to lock her out. Soften your approach and open up more. If you truly have nothing to hide, then ask her to tell you specifically what she’s worried about: What are her concrete fears? Was there a past breach of trust, whether actual or perceived? Sometimes a small suspicion or insecurity can grow into something bigger than is warranted. If it’s all in her head, then you should take the focus off you and empathize with her; whatever is in her mind is obviously causing her at least as much mental anguish as it is you. Let your digital life be an open book to her and take steps to figure out what is causing her anxiety. If letting her open up while remaining open to hearing her fears doesn’t help, couples therapy would be a safe place to explore this together.
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