If you're a man with extra scratch and a distaste for commitment, you've probably already considered meeting certain…”needs” with professional help. In Los Angeles, there's certainly no shortage of women of the night or women of the Internet, depending on your preference.

Still, a sex worker comes with a lot of strings attached. Right or wrong, it's hard not to wonder what other cocks have been in her that day and what strange new diseases busted through the latex.

For those with a religious upbringing or bleeding heart political leanings, the guilt of paying a woman for sex can be too much to bear. So you'll be happy to hear that researchers at he Victoria Management School in Wellington, New Zealand, are prediction the best innovation this side of Internet porn: robot hookers.

Don't lie: You know you've considered this before. Maybe it was when you watched “Blade Runner” or perhaps you're a fan of Anton LaVey, who saw robots as both an end to human labor and human sexual frustration. But whether your fantasy is about having your own private pleasure droid or just a woman incapable of saying no, you're about to get it — and probably just about anything else you can think of.

According to the report, such android brothels will be for those of means. An all-inclusive package has an estimated price of $9,500. These robots would offer no-strings-attached, disease-free sex to anyone who can pony up 10 grand. Another report from a Dutch university student predicts that human beings will be marrying robots by 2050.

One place where the robophiles are probably wrong is the price tag. One can't help but be reminded of people in the 1960s who thought that computers were too costly and cumbersome to become a feature in every home. Your cell phone now has more computer power than NASA had when it sent a man to the moon and at a significantly discounted price point.

We're more seeing a world where everyone can have his or her own private robotic sex slave at home. But why stop at androids? Some people will undoubtedly prefer their sexbots to be more “Metropolis” than “Blade Runner.” Anyone who has ever been on Second Life knows that the range of human attraction extends far beyond human…and we're only talking about anthropomorphic creatures like elves, demons and furries.

But the prospect of robotic lovers doesn't eliminate the need for sexual ethics. Indeed, it merely creates a new set of ethical considerations. Don't think that you're not going to dramatically increase the chance of a “rise of the machines” scenario, either.

What happens when your robot's high-powered sexual AI decides that it's had quite enough of the same old, same old and stakes out for another human, or another robot for that matter? What happens when a bunch of them get together and decide they want a union? These are the things the sex robot manufacturers of the future will have to consider.

These questions don't have answers and they won't until we live in a world of sex robots and marriages between carbon and non-carbon-based life forms. One thing is certain, however: The Rick Santorum of 2050 definitely won't approve.

LA Weekly