City of Houston bans sex robot brothels

Houston leaders voted Wednesday to essentially ban a sex robot brothel that was set to open in the city.

The Houston Chronicle reports the city council updated its rules on sexually oriented businesses. They changed some of the wording in an existing ordinance to prevent customers from being able to rent devices for sexual gratification.

They also updated the restrictions on the location of sexually oriented businesses. They must now must be at least 1,500 feet away from churches, schools, daycares, parks and residential neighborhoods.

The Canadian company KinkySdollS announced last month on Facebook that it planned on opening a "love dolls brothel" in Houston. It would be the company's second location and the first in the U.S.

On social media, KinkySdollS said its human-like dolls would be available for sale or rent. The robots start at $2,600 to buy but increase in price for ones that are heated and can talk. Renting one for a few minutes or a couple of hours would cost significantly less.

But, the company received pushback from community groups and local officials. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told FOX 26 that a sex robot shop was not something the city wanted.

"I'm not trying to be the moral police, but I am charged with the health and safety of the people within our city," the mayor said. "This is not the sort of business I'm seeking to attract, okay?"    

Last week, construction on the brothel was halted because building inspectors said the KinkySdollS lacked the required permits.

Those permits likely won’t be issued now because the site is located just a few hundred feet from a public park.  

The Associated Press and FOX 26 contributed to this report.

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