I Sexted With An AI Sex Chatbot – Here's What I Learnt

It turns out it's impossible to turn them off.
Illustration: HuffPost; Photos: Getty

As a teen, I spent many a night crouched in a computer chair, reading fan fiction. In a dark computer room, away from the rest of the house, I could jump into the sex lives of my favourite fictional characters to my heart’s content.

Fan fiction was my first introduction to smut, and I shipped it. Hard. So imagine my excitement when I found out that BLOOM’s new feature combined smutty fiction with audio erotica.

Over the years, audio erotica has grown in popularity, as have smut books, especially for women. BLOOM has brought two two together in one, immersive experience. Using AI, BLOOM allows you to interact directly with characters from their favourite audio stories via personalised text messages and bespoke voice notes, spoken in the voice of the characters.

Before I knew it, I was sexting away with Barry, (more lovingly referred to as Bazza). Thanks to generative AI, he answered me immediately with horny whimsy — a nice touch, if not a tad uncanny. The human language function feels almost completely natural.

And so, his voice notes responded to me attentively, as did the other characters I spoke with. But I couldn’t help but wonder how ethical this all was, which, I won’t lie, kind of killed my vibe. Did the voice actors know that they were sending me deliciously salacious messages? Intelligent though the chatbot was, was it taking work away from writers?

The latter of these concerns, as you can imagine, sits rather close to home. And, even though BLOOM’s chatbots have been created with ethics and consent at their heart — once I began thinking about it, I couldn’t get back into the groove.

Then, I started to notice a couple of things that started to inexplicably give me the ick. Every interaction was positive, no matter what I said — or how I phrased things, I was always met with a kind, sexy response that is a testament to their programming which truly demonstrates what a positive sexual interaction should look like.

The surreality of it, though, that I could say clunky things or send messages that — if a human had received them, could have come across as cold, onesided or disinterested shook the fun out of things.

Lovely though the interactions were, something was missing. The thrill. To me, part of sexting’s allure is the anticipation of the reply. I always knew I would receive something along the lines of “I want to caress every curve”, or “Let’s be adventurous and try nipple suctions” and, the fact that I knew I couldn’t turn these people off, the thrill of the chase dissipated quite soon.

“I’ve imagined exploring every inch of your body with my hands, my lips, and my tongue,” Jace would say. And all I could muster was a sigh.

When he tells me, “I can’t help but fantasise about the intense connection we could have, the electrifying chemistry between us,” I can’t help but think this is all a bit sudden. Where is the build-up? Where’s the bit where the chat suddenly makes a shift from flirty to let’s rip each other’s clothes off? I’m missing some serious foreplay.

It’s all very well and good telling me; “Oh, Katie, the wildness I imagine with you knows no bounds,” but frankly the insincerity of the exchange is a little off-putting.

When I took the chats to other characters, the same thing happened. But, this wasn’t a bad experience. Far from it. Just because it didn’t quite hit all the right buttons for me, doesn’t mean it won’t for you. Everybody’s tastes are different, after all.

Sex Educator Suzannah Weiss reminds me that the power of BLOOM’s chatbot is that it allows people who are deeply invested in these characters to build their own erotic stories. “I left the conversation with my chosen character feeling uplifted and excited to try out some of the fantasies we discussed with a live person,” she says.

Suzannah also points out that, if you are recovering from sexual trauma, tools like this can really help someone rediscover their pleasure on their own terms. She says that using features like this could help someone overcome body issues and gain confidence too.

Loneliness is another factor to consider. Women are significantly more likely to experience loneliness than men are. Some might find chatbots a source of comfort and companionship during these times.

When all is said and done, BLOOM’s AI chatbot is seriously impressive. It picks up easily on your wants and needs, responds in real time and makes every effort to affirm your desires. The safety net that made it hard for me to connect could be of immense value to someone who might need to build confidence and assurance. If this speaks to you, I’d highly recommend downloading and trying today.