"Sex Robot Battle" sounds like the name of a B-movie one might stumble on during late-night channel-surfing, but that's actually how KTRK depicts a war brewing between the mayor of a Texas city and the owner of a "sexbot business" out of Canada. The owner of KinkySDollS, which already has a location in Toronto—where patrons can pay for a private room and sex doll for anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours—tells the station he's bringing his sex shop to Houston, and KHOU reports that Mayor Sylvester Turner is definitely not in a welcoming mood. "It's not the sort of business that we advertise for, or we seek to attract," Turner says. "Or quite frankly, from my point of view, the sort of business that I want in the city of Houston."
A petition that so far has more than 9,000 signatures lays out the underlying issues—namely, that bot brothels will "ultimately harm men, their understanding of healthy sexuality, and increase the demand for the prostitution and sexual exploitation of women and children." It also notes health risks, as there's "no proven safe way to handle the disinfection of the humanoids." But there may not be much the city can do to stop KinkySDollS from setting down roots. "There's a difference between human prostitution and artificial prostitution," a KHOU analyst says. "And therefore, there's no law, that I'm aware of, that prohibits this." Lawyers who talked to KTRK agree, though Turner says he'll at least try to update local ordinances and make sure the business isn't located near schools, day cares, or "faith-based institutions." (Read more robots stories.)