The acronym LGBTQIA+ is in need of some new letters. While noted philosopher Slavoj Zizek has rightfully asked if it’s possible to identify as +, it’s time to push the + back, because the new letter cannot be denied. It was a recent Calvin Klein marketing campaign, featuring model Bella Hadid making out with Miquela, a freckle faced, instagram, robot star, that spurred the new letter requirement. But honestly, we should have known after Slutever‘s Karley Sciortino took the world’s first male sex doll to bed that it was a necessary addition. LGBTQIAR+, from now on, if you please. The R, of course, is for robosexual.

Robosexuals have been hiding. Other than the notorious Davecat, who makes no bones about his preference for his two sex dolls, people tend to keep their robosexuality to themselves. But it’s time to add the R so that these people can step out of the closet, hand in hand with their robots, standing proud for the world to see. These people should not be shamed for their desire. If society has accepted that it is perfectly natural to fall for inanimate objects, as evidenced by the Japanese guy who married a pillow, then it’s time to get on board with the sexual preference that drives some to fall for animate objects.

Instagram influencer Bella Hadid was social media-shamed for her kiss with Miquela. While she was not shamed for the affection she showed to a robot, she was shamed for for kissing a girlbot though she herself is not either lesbian or bisexual. This speaks to just how sorely misunderstood the robosexual identity is. The critique was that since Miquela was built to look feminine, and Hadid is not a lesbian, Hadid should not have been the model to kiss the girlbot. The idea was that the pleasure should have gone to a lesbian or bisexual or transwoman lesbian instead. But that’s not what the robosexual identity is about. Again, sexual identifiers are being misunderstood, even by those who subscribe to different letters of the rainbow. When will they get this right?

To desire sexual interaction with a robot is a sexual orientation itself. Robots are not themselves a sexual orientation, for a robot can subscribe to any of the identities of the LGBTQIAR+ rainbow, those humans who are solely sexually attracted to robots, or robot curious, need to have a way to show their robot love pride.

Sex with robots is basically the only kind of sex that makes sense these days. The kids are too triggered to have sex, the mid-life set is too busy gorging themselves on Netflix binges, and the online dating crowd is too afraid of other human beings to actually meet up. Plus no one wants kids. Because either the world is too scary, or apocalyptic, or student debt is too high, or they can’t get any decent maternity leave, or they’re not ready to give up their independence, or they’re on sex strike until they can have more abortions, sex with robots is all the sex, with none of the downsides. No talking, no texting, no miscommunication, no dinner, or drinks, or birth control, and now that we’ve got the R in the acronym, no shame, either.

Loving robots does not have to align with the other intersections of your identity. If you are straight, but you’re into girl presenting robots, that doesn’t make you a lesbian, it makes you a robosexual. Lesbians are human females, and being attracted to lesbians necessitates that you are attracted to humans. Robots are not human. Robots are only capable of presenting as gender, they have no intrinsic gender to be attracted to. To be a robosexual is a non-gender specific sexual attraction. No one can accuse you of transphobia if you’re robosexual.

This is one of the truly intriguing things about the R identity. People who are primarily robots are not attracted to gender identity, they are attracted to simulated flesh, painted on freckles, mutability, fuckability, and agreeableness. That’s why people who are robosexuals believe sex with robots is better than sex with humans. Humans have so many pesky feelings, and often they want them reciprocated. That kind of relationship just doesn’t make any sense to robosexuals. It’s time to stop shaming robosexuals. They don’t need our judgment, but rather, our acceptance.

Eventually, given the rate things are going, with everyone basically terrified of one another, taking offense at every little infraction, inventing new infractions to be terrified and offended by, we may all become robosexuals. It will be the only way to be sure that you’re not being judged harshly, thought badly of, distrusted, ill-used, misunderstood. Being a robosexual is akin to being in a relationship with yourself and yourself alone. Instead of concerning yourself with another’s emotions, you apply your emotions to the other. The robot feels what you feel because you think it feels it and that is enough.

This is the world we are driving toward. One in which each of us is an island unto ourselves, with our artificial companions reflecting back to ourselves that person we wish we were, without any challenge, or conflict, without any reason to try harder, or care more deeply. We can hole up in our homes, Uber Eats our dinners, login to our personal entertainment recommendations, avoid triggers we are warned about, and snuggle up to our own need for love without any hope of return. Perhaps the absence of hope is less depressing than the constant hope, than reaching out again and again with our hearts. Maybe the empty space inside our love robots is more comforting than the uncertainty of looking deep into another’s eyes and just not knowing if your feelings of love are reciprocated.

The elimination of hope is the ultimate terror. It is the giving over of our own humanity to that part of ourselves that fears humanness, that fears true touch because of the cold space left when touch is taken away. Making an identity out of the absence of love may be a joke, but it is exactly what we’re doing over and over in culture today. The fear between us, that we will say, do, touch, feel, the wrong thing is so great as to force us all to keep our hands at our sides, our eyes cast down, and our hearts fully locked in our chests. What is needed is acceptance, but of our humanity, of kindness. It hurts to love, and kindness can make us weep. It is still a better option than having sex with robots.