Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Houston mayor wants to ‘regulate’ robot sex brothel coming to Texas

The mayor says the brothel is 'not the type of business' he wants opening in the city

Chris Riotta
New York
Thursday 27 September 2018 16:57 BST
Will Smith tries 'online dating' with an AI robot

The mayor of Houston has said he is looking at ways to stop a "sex robot brothel" expected to open in the city next month.

Sylvester Turner said the brothel was “not the sort of business that we advertise for, or we seek to attract” after the company KinkySdollS announced it would be opening a second location in Houston in early October. The company has already opened its premiere “love dolls brothel” in Toronto, Canada, which features sex robots designed to interact with clientele.

The brothel was not considered “the sort of business that I want in the city of Houston,” the mayor said, adding that he was looking into existing ordinances that could potentially regulate or prohibit the company.

“Just like with other sexual-oriented businesses, you can't be close to daycares, schools, churches, synagogues, things of that nature,” the mayor told KHOU-TV.

His comments arrived as a petition titled “Keep Robot Brothels Out of Houston” gained over 8,000 signatures, calling for city officials and others to stop KinkySdollS from opening a location in Houston.

“Robot brothels will ultimately harm men, their understanding of healthy sexuality, and increase the demand for the prostitution and sexual exploitation of women and children,” the petition read. “If an artificial substitute reduced the need to buy sex, there would be a reduction in prostitution but no such correlation is found.”

The rumoured opening has drawn nationwide media attention, becoming the topic of conversation on nationwide talkshow The View this week and drawing outcry from Texas conservatives.

However, the company behind the supposed brothel stands by its business, which provides rental dolls for customers that can be purchased and brought to private rooms for up to two hours at its Toronto location.

The dolls, available for purchase with prices starting at $2,500, are able to touch and provide vocal responses to the company’s clients. Several artificial models are also available, which can hold conversations with customers, but are not available for rental purposes.

Still, Mr Turner has remained adamant that the city should seriously consider the brothel’s impact on its residents.

“I am not trying to be the moral police officer, but we do need to be very mindful of what comes into our city and what our children and others may be exposed to,” he said.

He added, “What I have said to legal and to my other departments, move quickly to give me some recommendations on how to address that because again, at the very minimum, let me put it in this case, at the very minimum, I don't want to see these type of businesses being next door to our schools, our day cares, our faith based institutions.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in