Lars and Bianca have a complex relationship in Lars and the Real Girl 2007. This film is quite outdated now, but still applies to this conversation. A doll is easier to anthropomorphise than Nathan’s Ava, as a doll is incapable of communication. Bianca is clearly a sex doll, without Lars’ knowledge or intention. Let me introduce her:
Lars gives Bianca a background (Brazilian and Danish), a personality, and speaks for her during dinner. As a form of anthropomorphism, Lars gives human attributes to a [sex]doll as a form of realism. For Lars, Bianca is more of a care ‘robot’ than [sex]doll . He makes an effort to change Bianca’s appearance, going from mesh black to wool jumpers.
Are positive implications possible for sexbots?
Brooks (2018) argues for the potential, but aware of the male-centric uses. The main “therapeutic” uses include premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. In this particular film, Bianca aids Lars through his social anxieties. This is due to Bianca lack of humanity and robotics.
Illes & Udwadia (2019) understand the concern for anthropomorphising sexbots. Ironically, giving sexbots human traits allows their user to reinforce negative notions of gender and sexuality. Another major factor – sexbots are frequently marketed for heterosexual men (ibid.). Harmony was created in 2017 by Matt McMullen, attempting to show the possibility for technology to evoke genuine emotion (Nyholm & Frank, 2019). Robots exist to profit humans, to be a companion, caretaker, colleague or sexual partner. However, technology fails us when it demoralises our humanity.