Houston: Mayor Turner Battles the Sex Robots

Do you enjoy watching science fiction flicks like Star Wars and Total Recall? You do?!   Well then pull up a chair and get comfy because this story has all the makings of a great sci-fi film: sex, robots, and a corrupt government politician who uses fear to force his rules and regulations where they probably don't belong.

The mayor of Houston, Sylvester “Don’t ask about my alleged insurance fraud story” Turner, is exploring options to “restrict or regulate” a “robot sex brothel” that is scheduled to open this month in our city.  Apparently he’s really worried about sex robots and he wants to use the government to protect us from them.

Well, that seems a bit odd, but why? Is Turner worried the robots will take away business from the normal brothels?  Seriously, have you driven around this city lately? Houston has weird late night massage parlors all over the place.  When I cruise down Westheimer at 4 in the morning on my way to work, there are only three kinds of businesses open: gas stations, fast food places and massage parlors.... Who's getting a massage at 3am?!  Someone with a really bad back, I guess.

Anyway, Mayor Turner insists he's not happy with sex robot brothels.

“This is not the kind of business I would like to see in Houston and certainly this is not the kind of business the City is seeking to attract,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a recent statement.

Mayor Turner also said it is technically not a "brothel." The business, named KinySdollS, is more of a "showroom" where customers can try out the merchandise. Ok, well that sounds a lot like a sex toy store, no?  Maybe Mayor Turner forget that, in addition to the creepy late night massage parlors & strip clubs that can already be found in every corner of our city, Houston is also chock full of adult novelty stores where anyone who is old enough and has the proper ID to prove their age can purchase lubricant, vibrators and other erotic toys.  In other words, there are already lots of places in Houston where you can buy sex toys - and isn't that technically what this is all about anyway?  

A "robot sex doll" showroom is just a really fancy adult novelty store. At least, that's how it sounds - I don't personally know because, like most people, I've never been to a robot sex doll brothel.

Anyway, Mayor Turner is just acting like a typical Democrat: he's trying to instill fear and concern into the minds of his citizens while simultaneously spoon feeding the city a government solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

This is par for the course with Democrats.  They did the same thing in Houston back in the 90s when the city government said the problem with the Energy Capital of the world is our high number of strip clubs.  That's when the Houston Democrats decided to regulate those businesses to the point where a lot of them folded, and now, the rest are subject to inspections, location restrictions, and regulations on the kind of dancing allowed (the ladies of the night can't be completely nude if alcohol is present).

So why didn't the Dems like strip clubs?  Are they slut shaming young women who want to monetize their sexuality? Well, Houston Democrats claimed the strip clubs gave the city a bad image and contributed to prostitution and exploitation of vulnerable women.

Fast forward 20 years, and now Sylvester Turner is dusting off the old "let's clean up our community" playbook.  Instead of strip clubs, it's sexbot showrooms.  Because,  you know, somehow people getting it on with a silicone-skinned mechanical device is exploiting women (or something).

Frankly, I'd think progressive leaders would welcome a sexbot showroom.  It allows people to act on their sexual agency in a legal way, and might reduce the need for vulnerable people caught up in the sex trade.

But no, Sylvester Turner thinks this whole idea will turn society into another Blade Runner (the original movie, not the crappy remake).

So what will his regulations for the robot sex brothel involve? Hygienic concerns? Age requirements? Racial robot diversity?  Chances are the business already have a system in place to handle the more important issues (because they don’t wanna get sued) so why does the government need to step in? I'm guessing the bottom line to this whole ordeal will be Mayor Turner's favorite two word phrase: new taxes. Seriously, would anyone be surprised?

Pretty soon our town's welcoming committee can proudly proclaim, "Behold, Houston, Texas - the only city in America with robot sex doll regulations and adult novelty taxes!”

Photo by Getty Images

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more

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