HOUSTON (CN) — Houston, a city known for having more brothels than Starbucks, has been unwittingly pushed to the cutting edge of the sex industry. A robot brothel is set to open soon, which the mayor said is “not the kind of business I would like to see in Houston.”
The owner of Toronto-based KinkySdollS told Houston media that a franchise will open late this month or in early October, where lifelike dolls made of silicon and plastic will be available to rent and take to a private room for $80 for 30 minutes, or $120 per hour.
The company also sells the robots, which moan and respond to touch, with prices starting at around $2,000, up to $10,000 for ones programmed to have conversations.
Though two Houston attorneys told local media outlets there are no Texas or federal laws that can block the business from opening, Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city is considering drafting an ordinance that could restrict its operations.
“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,” Turner, a licensed attorney, told the Houston Chronicle.
A Change.org petition titled “Keep Robot Brothels Out of Houston” had 8,356 signatures Thursday morning toward its goal of 10,000.
Houston nonprofit Elijah Rising posted the petition, in which it states the brothel will warp men’s concept of healthy sexual relations, and will not reduce demand for women trafficked by pimps, as some supporters claim.
“As a nonprofit whose mission is to end sex trafficking, we have seen the progression as sex buyers go from pornography to strip clubs to purchasing sex — 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 states.