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Sex with robots: Therapeutic challenges and Opportunities


Speaker: Markie Louise Christianson Twist

Aim and Content

The use of radical new sexual technologies – digisexualities – are here, and as technologies advance, their adoption is increasing, including engagement with sex dolls and robots. Researchers have found that both lay people, and clinicians, have mixed feelings about digisexualities. Yet, clinicians need to be aware of digisexualities, as well as the opportunities and challenges in engaging with such sexual technologies. Indeed, in order to remain ethical and viable, clinicians need to be prepared to work with clients engaging with digisexualities, including with sex dolls and robots. To address these gaps, tools for clinical assessment around digisexual engagement, as well as a clinical framework—”The Couple and Family Technology Framework”—for addressing digisexual-related concerns, including out-of-control-digibehaviors, will be presented.

Learning Objectives

Attendees will be able to:

  • describe the first and second waves of digisexuality
  • note the opportunities and challenges of engagement with digisexualities
  • detail a clinical assessment tool and model for addressing digisexual-related concerns

Brief Biography

Markie Louise Christianson (L. C.) Twist (she/her/they/them), Ph.D. is an award-winning sexuality educator, sexologist, relationship therapist, author and international speaker. Dr. Twist is the Program Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Sex Therapy Program, and Professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department and Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Dr. Twist is a licensed marriage and family therapist and mental health counselor, as well as a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and certified sexuality educator and supervisor through the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Dr. Twist is co-author of the books, The Internet Family: Technology in Couple and Family Relationships and The Couple and Family Technology Framework: Intimate Relationships in a Digital Age. Dr. Twist also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Sexual and Relationship Therapy: International Perspectives on Theory, Research. In addition, Dr. Twist serves as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as well as a session instructor at the University of Guelph in the Intensive Sex Therapy Training Program. To learn more about Dr. Twist visit:

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