06:46 GMT22 January 2021
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    By the end of the month, Houston, Texas, will be home to the very first known sex robot brothel in the US, if Yuval Gavriel, the owner of Toronto-based company Kinky S Dolls, gets his way.

    Gavriel, who sees his company as more of a try-before-you-buy sex doll and robot shop and not a brothel, first floated the idea in August via the company's Facebook page, revealing that he would be opening the first US location in the Bayou City.

    However, before announcements were made, Gavriel reached out to his lawyer to see whether or not it was even legally possible to open up shop. To his luck, opening the hot bot shop is legal, thanks to a 2008 federal court ruling that deemed a Texas law banning the sale of sex toys as unconstitutional.

    Gavriel told the Washington Examiner in an article published Monday that expanding into the US would prove fruitful for his business. "The States is a bigger market, and a healthier market and God bless Trump," he said.

    ​Steve Shellist, a Houston-area lawyer, doubled down and told McClatchy that to his knowledge there isn't anything that could prevent Gavriel from moving forward with his plans.

    "I don't think there's anything preventing the guy from doing this," Shellist said. "I don't know whether the city or county could step in and deny them a permit to do business, but usually when they do something like that to a business that is sexual in nature, they say, ‘you can't operate within so many feet of a church or a school,' or something like that."

    "Aside from that I think the city or county is open to a lawsuit, if they flat deny the business from coming in, based on the legal framework surrounding the issue as it stands now," he stressed.

    And while Shellist may have a point when it comes to the law, not everyone is willing to bite their tongue and accept the situation. For Elijah Rising, a Houston-based nonprofit whose mission it is to end sex trafficking through prayer and intervention, the situation isn't ideal. In fact, a petition was launched to prevent Gavriel from realizing his slice of the American (wet?) Dream.

    "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, which has received more than 3,700 signatures, states.

    Micah Gamboa, a spokesperson for the nonprofit told local Texas news station KTRK that officials were "absolutely horrified" when they caught wind of Gavriel's intentions.

    "Our biggest concern is that this sex brothel with robots is gonna train men to become rapists," Gamboa told the outlet. "What's next? Is it child robots? Where's the line? Where is the boundary?"

    "We can't allow these kind of public masturbation businesses to operate in our city," Gamboa stressed.

    As for Gamboa's concerns regarding the creation of child sex robots, there has already been a push on Capitol Hill for them to be banned. Rep. Dan Donovan (R- NY)'s resolution, commonly known as the CREEPER act, was passed in the US House of Representatives in June 2018, according to the Examiner. It has not yet made its way through the US Senate.

    But netizens, too, are conflicted, with some cheering on Gavriel's efforts as others damn them.

    ​Should all things go in Gavriel's favor, he is expected to open 10 locations across the US by 2020.


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