Episode 149 - SexBots Gone Wild
Published February 26, 2015
SPECIAL GUESTS: Adam Lash & Kevin Gilligan (Gigahoes). They're the objects of our fantasies. Beautiful and desirable... and funny? In this episode, we revisit the future possibilities of the SEX ROBOT with the creators of the web series GIGAHOES. Find out more about the sex robot comedy web show and the future of sex with robots. Recorded 2/17/2015.
Mike & Matt's Recommended Reading:
The Gigahoes website
Adam on Twitter
Kevin on Twitter
Season 1 of Gigahoes, all in one handy page to watch
Episode 140 - Sex With Robots!!, with Miss Metaverse - Gigahoes was one of the many sites/videos we mentioned in this episode.
Alpha: Welcome to another episode of Robot Overlordz, episode #149. On the show, we take a look at how society is changing, everything from pop culture reviews to political commentary, technology trends to social norms, all in about thirty minutes or less, every Tuesday and Thursday.
Mike Johnston: Greetings cyborgs, robots, and natural humans. I’m Mike Johnston.
Matt Bolton: And I’m Matt Bolton.
MJ: And joining us on this episode are Adam Lash and Kevin Gilligan. Guys, thanks for joining us.
Kevin Gilligan: Thanks for having us.
Adam Lash: No problem, glad to be here.
MJ: Could you guys introduce yourselves a little bit?
AL: Sure. I’m Adam Lash, I’m a comedian in New York City. I’ve been doing standup for the past ten years. I’ve worked at The Daily Show, I’ve been seen on HBO, I was in the New York Comedy Festival a couple years ago. I do a lot of online work, a lot of sketches, I have my own podcast. So, I’m busy making content, being funny.
KG: And I did not work at the daily show. [Laughs] This is Kevin Gilligan. I am a sketch writer and comedian, actor here in the city. I’ve been with several sketch troupes and improv troupes in New York--The Red Tie Mafia, AMERICAN CANDY, and then a couple one-offs here and there. We came together to make a hilarious, fun, and sexy web series about sex robots.
MJ: That’s how we found out about you guys. In episode #140 we talked with Ms. Metaverse, Kate Aquino, and we actually had a long conversation about sex robots. She had brought up that she had gotten involved with your guys’ show and pointed us in your direction. How did the show come together?
AL: About three years ago I had a joke in my standup act about how robots would lead the robot revolution and destroy all mankind; it was kind of funny. Then I wrote about a sketch about it and it wasn’t really all that funny, but a friend of mine said “It’d be a lot funnier if we just kind of saw the daily lives of a sex robot,” and I agreed, and then I wrote down a bunch of ideas. A week later a friend of mine said “You know who would probably be helpful with this? My friend Kevin Gilligan”; I don’t think we had met before that, but she was like “He’s really funny, he’d probably really get this humor, you guys should meet.” So, Kevin and I hung out, I told him the idea and then I saw the light go on in his eyes--what? I made it romantic, shut up!
AL: And then we just came up with all of these ideas, and basically started coming up with the world. In two hours we had a lot of ideas crafted out.
KG: Yeah, we just word vomited over each other about what this world could look like and what episodes could be like, what we would follow in specific episodes. Some things actually made it into the show…
MJ: Well, that saves some room for season two, right?
KG: Exactly. So, we came together, we wrote out the first season and then realized that we were too prolific because we tried to put in too much. We really wanted to build this world and that was a bit much for an eight-minute episode for a web series.
AL: Yeah, we crammed in about five seasons worth of material into 12 eight-page scripts and it was far too much and not quite a cohesive story, which we found out at a table read when 50% of everything worked and the other 50% was like “What’s going on? Why does a character die you just introduced two pages ago?” We were like “Well, we don’t have time to go through all of it! We have a lot of stuff to do! We have to meet them and kill them immediately, it’s really important!” [Laughs] So, we went back to the drawing board and we realized “Hey, maybe we should take our time and slowly build out the world that we came up with one season at a time and just concentrate on being funny.”
MJ: You guys launched as a Kickstarter, is that correct?
KG: We did. We came together, we did a ton of research on Kickstarter and figured that an attainable goal for us starting out would be $5,000, and we set up a goal of doing it in two months. It put pressure on us to get it done and thankfully we did, and especially thanks to Ms. Metaverse herself, who came in as a producer through Kickstarter. She came to us and was like “This sounds like a great project. I’d love to be involved,” and we met up and went over things, and she was helpful in trying to help scope the world and give us things to think about in terms of how things looked and things we hadn’t thought of previously in terms of visuals for the world.
MJ: What is it that you guys find fascinating most about the idea of sexbots? It seems like that idea is starting to float around a lot more. I noticed in the trailer you guys put out for Gigahoes, it says right at the beginning, “Created the first artificial intelligent life and three days later had sex with it.” Matt and I have talked a lot about how technology seems to advance either via military or sex, and certainly a lot of people seem to be thinking about this technology and what it might mean.
KG: The comment that we get the most specifically about that tagline is “Really, that long? Three days?”
AL: Because it’s true, our generation grew up with sexy robots. I’d wanted to have sex with robots long before I even knew what sex was.
AL: You knew this!
KG: It’s still funny.
AL: We’re all going to have sex with robots in our lifetime. It’s going to happen, it’s going to be awesome--well, I hope it’s going to be awesome. It’s probably going to be awesome. It’s just that humanity really loves putting their dick in things, or shoving things into their vaginas. That’s kind of what we do, and technology plays a huge part in that.
KG: You can see it in pop culture through the ages, even back further than the ‘70s, where in some of the movies this is covered--people were imagining the future where there would be sex robots. Looking at all of the pop culture, movies and TV shows that have come out that have depicted sex robots, we noticed that there were no real comedies, that none really tackled this issue in a comedic manner. We really saw that this was a missed opportunity to make a sex comedy set in the future around sex robots.
MB: Well, there’s Weird Science. [Laughs]
AL: True, but they never had sex with her, unfortunately. But they learned some valuable lessons.
MB: That’s what we did in the ‘80s, we learned a lot of valuable lessons, especially at the end of every half hour TV show.
KG: She wasn’t really a sex robot, more like a hard-light hologram, I would say.
AL: Like a power ring construct.
KG: Nerd cred!
MJ: You mentioned that there haven’t been that many comedies yet and that you guys are looking to change that. What are some of the non-comedic roles that may have influenced your thinking around sex robots.
KG: In terms of recently, as we were writing and gearing up for production, it seemed like more and more sex robot-related TV shows and movies were coming out, or having a personal relationship with an artificial intercourse.
MJ: No, artificial intelligence.
KG: Oh, right, sorry--artificial intelligence. That’s the name of the escort agency, artificial intercourse; I’ve been saying it so much. So, there’s the movie Her, which depicts a man’s relationship with artificial intelligence. You also had the show Almost Human.
AL: I think it’s second episode was about sex robots.
KG: Yeah, but it was super depressing and dramatic.
AL: Don’t they skin something?
KG: Skinning humans so that the sex robots had a real authentic human touch.
AL: Yeah, that was weird. There was some sex robot stuff in The Animatrix back in the day, and obviously Battlestar Galactica after that--all those skin jobs, they were a big influence on us. But everything was always serious and looked at it as “Oh, you’re going to use sex robots? It’s so dramatic. It’s sad that people are using that, that’s depressing.” It’s not. People use vibrators and all these other types of sex toys all the time, and at this point society is like “Meh, most of it’s fine, whatever.” But as soon as sexbots come out… Hell, there are real dolls out right now, some of them have a varying level of technology in them.
KG: You can get them with voice boxes, they can say things; they look fairly real.
AL: Kind of.
KG: I said “fairly.” I quantified it.
MB: I don’t know why you’d want a sex robot with a voice box though. To me, that would be the number one advantage to having a sex robot, the non-speaking feature of it. But that’s just me.
KG: Actually when we were doing our Kickstarter, we did several man-on-the-street interviews asking people in New York if they would get a sex robot, and what they would want, and what kind of features and things like that. I remember one person was like “No, it can’t talk.” One girl was like “Oh no, it should have a sexy accent,” Irish or South African, or something like that.
MJ: I think you guys have that bit on your website, because I watched that actually this evening before we started.
AL: It’s very interesting, all the different ways people would use them, because I think most people, if asked in public, would say “No, I wouldn’t use a sex robot!” but immediately if the option were available, nine out of ten people would probably be like “Okay, yeah, I would totally do that.”
KG: “Okay, bucket list, sure, why not.”
AL: Because ultimately our thought process and one of the goals of the show is to have people lighten up about sex, because everyone is really freaked out and embarrassed by their sexual preferences.
KG: A lot has changed over the course of the years. Things have been normalized for certain kinks and lifestyles. I wouldn’t say five years ago people knew what a furry was with such prevalence, and now I think I saw a coloring book that said “Draw furries” or something like that.
MJ: Oh my…
KG: It was at a craft store.
AL: But yeah, one of the main goals of the show is to be very sex positive. We don’t want to make fun of anyone’s fetish, we don’t want to tease anybody for liking whatever fetish we talk about. We’ll find the comedy in a situation, but we don’t want to make the person who has that fetish the butt of the joke.
MJ: Do you think that the larger culture is beginning to shift its attitudes towards sex? It seems like historically America has been just fine with violence and yet sex has been surrounded by that whole cloud of shame. It sounds like you guys are trying to work towards the trend to lightening some of that.
KG: I think it is and it isn’t in certain ways. I don’t think it’s easing up so much in terms of broad media. Yeah, you have shows on FX that show next to nudity, or fairly close to it. But again, it’s on cable. You’re not going to see an episode of Two and a Half Men with Ashton Kutcher’s bare ass on TV. However, you do have all of these commercials for Viagra, for Trojan, which has their own “vibrating sensations,” their own jingoistic codewords for vibrators or “electronic assistance.”
AL: It feels like right now there’s a kind of schism, especially at least in America, where there are some parts of the country that are becoming more and more okay with different sexual lifestyles. It’s just like “Okay, this is commonplace. That’s fine, everyone is equal,” where as we learn about new fetishes and new subgroups, people are like “What is that? Okay, that’s a little weird but okay, as long as it doesn’t impact me directly. I’m okay with it as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, that’s fine.” But there’s another group that seems to be digging their heels in and feels like “Oh God, this is the worst thing ever! We can’t allow any of this to happen!” or “What about the children society has ruined!” Baby boomers or older generations are not quite able to adapt this rapidly changing sexual landscape that we seem to find ourselves in right now, and that’s something that we would continue to reflect in the show as the show moves on into later seasons, of societal differences and how people actually deal with this new burgeoning--well, at this point in the show it’s not burgeoning anymore--but this established technology of sex robots.
MJ: I’m also curious what you guys would say to those people that aren’t comfortable with this stuff, that think that somehow it’s standing in for that authentic connection between humans. I’m sure you guys have seen it too, and Matt and I have talked quite a bit about it, about some of the handwringing the media does over “Oh, Facebook is disconnecting people.” It seems like the commentary around sexbots will ramp that up even further. We talked about this with Kate, the “Well, why can’t you just have a real girl rather than a sex robot.” One of my favorite bits a little bit around comedy, the only place I’ve really seen comedy other than what you guys are doing, was Futurama, where they had the educational film that they show Frye that said humans would go extinct if there are sex robots.
KG: We kind of address it within the first season in terms of my character Steven, who is not comfortable in public or around people. He’s really only comfortable around his, for lack of a better term, his sex robot family. Yeah, I think that will happen. It’s happening now. We’re connected on such a mass level with multiple social media platforms, but at the same time no one talks on the phone. People end up texting rather than calling, people would rather talk through Facebook messenger than to send a letter or to meet up in person. It’s a double-edged sword. We are connected; people can be connected to someone they went to high school with and that they haven’t thought of in 10, 20 years and spark up a relationship that might not have happened without this advancement in technology. So, I think where we’re going is new and scary but it’s also new and fun and a way of exploring our world in a way that brings us together more so than we have in the past. People are learning through Twitter about global events that they would not have known before. People joke about how people are getting their news through Twitter, but it’s also firsthand accounts. Whether or not it’s entirely accurate, it is a way to give a voice to the voiceless.
AL: People are going to use sex robots no matter what. I’ll be honest, I had a very hard time growing up when learning how to communicate with women. How do you date a girl? I don’t know. How do you woo a female? Luckily I think I’ve gotten to a point where I’m decent at it but it took a very long time. That will always be true for young people, they’ll have a hard time dealing with the opposite sex, or the same sex, whoever they’re attracted to; they’ll have a hard time figuring out what you need to say and do to form a relationship with another person. That lure of not needing to learn those skills to have a connection with something through a sex robot will be there in the future, but I think ultimately a lot of people will be like “Oh, I need a human.” Maybe you can learn those skills that you need through using artificial intelligence. Hell, and I’m going to use another pop culture reference here, even Barclay from Next Generation depended on the holodeck for all of the seven seasons of that show and it wasn’t until Voyager that he was like “I’m confident. I can deal with people now.” So, that will always be a thing. Sexbots could help or hinder people’s development of interpersonal skills, but I think ultimately--there are people right now, and we’ve talked about this for a future plotline, about how sometimes people just rent sex workers just for companionship.
KG: And that’s just humans now, so.
AL: So, in the future I would easily see people using artificial intelligence to just have a connection with anybody.
KG: And honestly when it comes down to it, there are people who are going to use it, there are people who are going to frequent it, and then there are people who are never going to use it at all.
MJ: I heard about a couple of places where you can rent cuddle services, where people will just cuddle in bed or hug you.
KG: Yeah, I think in Seattle...
AL: San Francisco? That sounds like a San Francisco thing.
KG: Yeah, and I think someone might have started one in Brooklyn probably. I would not be surprised.
MB: I think the same people who are using vibrators and fleshlights and stuff right now will probably just graduate into sex robots. Obviously there will be more people using them, but I think that’s kind of a natural succession from those things, it’s one more realistic step.
KG: Yeah, if you look at sex technology, vibrators and dildos and any sort of “marital aid” was quite pricey. You couldn’t get a vibrator for less than $40 or $50. You can get an okay or decent one, even like a vibrating egg, or a little pocket rocket for like $10. It’s going to be the same thing that’s happening now with Real Dolls. I think Real Dolls price out to about $7,000, and that’s just like a basic model.
AL: A hollow shell, if you will.
MB: They’re a lot harder to hide in your sock drawer too, I would imagine.
AL: That’s true, and they don’t stand, they can’t support themselves.
KG: But that’s also one of the extras that you can get, a stand. But they have all sorts of features, extras--hair color, if you want them to have pubic hair and how long.
AL: Don’t they have a manual release for some of them, where you can actually make Real Dolls ejaculate?
KG: Yeah. And the same thing for male sex robots--good lord, they have so many, because you can have one that’s flaccid, one that’s semi-erect, one that’s fully erect. They have some that have a little pump in the testicles to ejaculate.
AL: Like the old pump sneakers for Reebok.
AL: Which I’m sure they truly appreciate me bringing up right now in this conversation.
MB: I’d be more worried that girls think that that’s how that works, and then they get with a real guy and start squeezing his balls to make him…
AL: “Ow, what are you doing! Ow, what are you doing! No, no, no, no!”
MJ: What has the reception of Gigahoes been so far since you guys have released season one?
KG: It’s been fairly positive. Our first episode is almost now at 11,000 views. That makes up to about four episodes that are over 1,000 views. Currently I think we have 341 subscribers to our Youtube channel. All of the reviews have been very, very positive.
AL: Everyone who watches the show loves it because they see--yes, at the heart of it it’s a sex comedy about sex robots in the near future, but it’s also got heart. It’s a family structure, you care about these characters. So, overwhelmingly, yeah, people are really happy about the show. We just need to get it in front of more eyeballs and have people watch the whole thing.
KG: And give us money…
AL: Of course, as with all burgeoning projects that people do on their own online. But yeah, it’s been really well-received for those who have watched it. I don’t think we’ve gotten any true negative comments.
KG: No, we had a write-up that said “It’s an interesting concept. It’s not for me.” It was something like “Well, it’s not as creepy as I thought it was going to be.”
AL: That’s a positive. I’ll take that, thank you.
KG: Right, we didn’t want to come off creepy. So, they already had preconceived and were surprised that it wasn’t this horrible, you know…
AL: That’s true, that’s something we do run into a lot. A lot of people are like “I wasn’t sure what I was in for, but I’m glad I watched it because it turned out to be hilarious.” Because If you tell somebody--”Oh, what’s the subject of the show?” “Oh, sex robots in the future,” some people are going to be like “Oh, cool!” and some people will be like “Wait, what? Should I watch that? It’s on Youtube? Uh… I don’t know.” But no, we understand that we’re going up against a little bit of a preconceived notion when it comes to the subject matter. We’re not creepy sex perverts, we’re just comedians who are really interested in this topic, and we’re giant nerds and we know this is a unique idea and a great new perspective to talk about the topic that is definitely in the zeitgeist right now and will only remain there in the coming years.
KG: We’ve had two movies come out in the past year that deal fairly exclusively with sex robots. There was Automaton and…
AL: Ex Machina comes out in a couple weeks and so does Chappie, which is more just artificial intelligence.
KG: But also HBO is doing a revamp of Westworld, a series that’s going to deal with sex robots as well, as the movie did that starred Yul Brynner. So, it’s something that everyone is sort of thinking about and trying to explore how this world will look. Unfortunately--well, I guess fortunately for us, everyone is looking at it in a highly dramatic sense.
AL: Yeah, still no one has done it as a comedy, or for whatever reason, no one can think of it along the lines of being humorous.
MJ: Are you guys going to be releasing season two in the next year then?
AL: We are. We’re working on it right now actually.
KG: Yeah, we just broke down the episodes for season two and we will be beginning to write them very shortly.
AL: Hopefully we’ll start to have some episodes out at the end of the year or the beginning of next year, depending on how the production goes. But we’re definitely working on it, we have a good future in mind of the show, so we’d like very much to keep going and explore this world.
KG: We’ll probably be launching crowdfunding in the near future. Or if any benevolent sponsor wants to throw us money, we will gladly take it. We are whores, after all.
MJ: Well guys, thanks so much for joining us.
A: That’s all for this episode of Robot Overlordz. Are you interested in the future and how society is changing? We’d love to have you join our community. Visit our website to learn more and to connect with others that share that interest. You can find us at RobotOverlordz.FM. The site includes all of the show’s old episodes along with complete transcripts, links to more information about the topics and guests in each episode, and our mailing list and forums. We’d also love to hear what you think about the show. You can review us on iTunes or email us.
A: We hope to see you again in the future…
MJ: Thanks everyone for listening.