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"The best fuzzy rules, the best knowledge, deal with the turning points of the system. If a race-car driver teaches you how to drive, you don't need him to show you how to drive on the straightaway. It's how he handles the curves that matters."
- Bart Kosko

Sherman  
  A sex robot.  

Sherman is one of the earlier explicit descriptions of a sex robot, or sexbot.

He's the only machine I've ever had any use for. At one time I scorned robots like Sherman. I thought they were only good for jaded femmedrones looking for a thrill. I used the pronoun "it" when referring to them, called them walking vibrators or humanoid dildos.

I stopped doing that after I got Sherman. He is definitely a male robot. One glance between his legs could leave no possible doubt of that...

I could no longer handle the idea of a real human man. I hadn't been with one for years...

Sherman's attentions grew more meaningful. I didn't think I wanted to fuck, but he would know that better than I. His fingertips are lie detectors. He can read my feelings as though they were punched on my skin in Braille. Presently he pushed me onto my back and entered me...

(Made love? Don't make me laugh. I know when the merely ludicrous turns into the psychotic. I am well aware that, technically, what I did that afternoon was masturbate with the world's smartest solid-state life-size inflatable rubber novelty. I had very little to do with it. That's my custom with Sherman, the Lord of Latex; I just lie there and he ravishes me.

What the hell else should I do? He can't feel a thing. He's an extremely complex series of programmed responses. He feeds off my responses and always does the right thing at the right time. He's a machine. I might as well worry about satisfying a pop-up toaster.

From Millenium, by John Varley.
Published by Berkley Books in 1983
Additional resources -

Compare to the mechanical bride from The Mechanical Bride (1954) by Fritz Lieber or the teleoperated robot surrogate from The Robot and the Lady (1938) by Manly Wade Wellman.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Millenium
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