According to NPR, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics ordered 160,000 condoms to be distributed among the athletes. However, The Tokyo 2020Olympic rulebook asks athletes to avoid physical contact, including hugs and handshakes, as well as keep physical interactions with others "to a minimum." Though over 11,000 athletes from around the world are competing in the Summer Games, the Olympic Village can only lodge a maximum of 6,700.
The Olympics' condom tradition
Condoms have been widely distributed at the Olympics since the 1988 Summer Games, when they were given out to prevent HIV at the height of the AIDS epidemic, according to Time Magazine.
However, Olympians at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro reportedly received the most condoms on record. As many 450,000 condoms were distributed.
How many condoms will Tokyo Olympians receive?
If organizers distribute 160,000 condoms in Tokyo, each Olympian will receive an average of about 14 condoms for the duration of the Games, scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, for 17 days.
The Tokyo organizing committee told AFP that, though the condoms will be distributed to athletes in spite of COVID-19, they shouldn't be used at the Olympic Village — they're intended for athletes to bring back home to help them raise awareness for the Olympics' campaign for safe sex.
Will athletes end up using the condoms?
Olympians are no strangers to dating, particularly when surrounded by the most elite athletes in the world. In a 2014 interview with US Weekly, Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson said that Tinder at the Sochi Olympic Village was "next level."
Anderson said she had to delete Tinder in order to focus on her sport.
In 2012, American swimmer Ryan Lochte said that "70% to 75%" of Olympians had sex during the Games.
"Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do," Lochte told ESPN.
According to Reuters, more than 67 people affiliated with the Olympics have tested positive for COVID-19 since they began arriving in Tokyo on July 1.
Kais Latiri likens himself to a Galileo of immersive sex. "People are afraid of novelty, of innovation, of something new they're not used to," he said. "Take for example Galileo who said the Earth [went around the sun].* He was imprisoned for that."
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
That's why when Le Journal de Montréal said Latiri was running a "brothel" out of a Longueuil home, the accountant-turned-tech entrepreneur took issue.
"It's not a brothel," he said. "That's not the right word at all.
He called it a salle de jeux pour adultes — "playroom for adults."
It's clear to see why. The sex workers aren't humans: they're dolls.
Latiri, the owner and founder of Oh My Doll, has insisted his business is not an outrage, but a triumph of love and science.
After years of developing advanced virtual reality technology, he said his company allows customers to indulge in their wildest fantasies, all from the comfort of a South Shore apartment building.
In an interview with MTL Blog, Latiri opened up about the ins and outs of his business and what all this means for the future of romance.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Virtual reality sex is not cheating, he says
We live in a world where rapid advances in virtual reality and robotics are going to have a profound impact on both human-to-human and human-to-robot relations, said Latiri.
When he started testing virtual reality in 2018, its quality wasn't very good, he continued. But Latiri realized the experience could develop with time and the release of new "hardware."
"I was at the beginning of the wave."
Instead of viewing an adult scene like in old-fashioned pornography, silicone escorts and virtual reality systems — that simulate the senses of sight, touch, hearing, and even smell — allow Latiri's customers to feel like they're having actual sexual encounters, he said.
Can ladies, couples, and LGBTQ2S+ people get in on the action? You betcha, said Latiri, thanks to an array of male sex dolls and "f*ck machines."
"We have experiences for anyone 18 plus, of course," he continued.
Not everyone is happy with the sex dolls
And yes, the dolls are cleaned between uses.
"In terms of hygiene, our escorts are immediately cleaned after a service," states the website.
"You will see for yourself the hygiene measures put in place. The complete maintenance is done by handing it over to our maintenance staff in our appropriately equipped premises. After maintenance, our silicone escorts are left to rest for at least 24 hours."
With packages costing a few hundred dollars, the Oh My Doll experience is far from cheap but a brand-new doll can cost upwards of $2,000, said Latiri.
Not everyone's happy with the sex dolls.
In an online review of the site, one commenter who identified themselves as "Escort the real one" stated, "Never will you replace us, bastards. We're true skin and bones escorts and we give our clients real love."
And with automation already eliminating millions of jobs around the world, are robots poised to eliminate human sex workers?
Latiri doesn't think so.
"If they love their work and if they have passion, I totally respect that," he said. "And in my mind, it's not like we're here to replace them, that's not the point."
As many of his clients are in committed relationships, Latiri said he hopes Oh My Doll will eliminate infidelity.
"My mission is based on people who are in couples because those people, instead of going to see an escort, they have an alternative that's more ethical," he said.
"And at the moral level, they won't be guilty when they return to their partner compared to if they would see an escort."
Then there are Latiri's religious customers looking to overcome crippling sexual shame and as they struggle with their desires.
"You'd be surprised that there are a lot of religious people," he said. "They come to us with their religious dress and I'm happy that they come, I'm happy that they express their desires. It's really touching."
'Dolls will never replace humans, not today, not tomorrow'
According to information obtained by Le Journal de Montréal, Oh My Doll has been running out of a residential building without a proper permit, but Latiri is punching back, claiming the business is primarily for research and development purposes.
"With all the hubbub that's been created, I don't regret anything, not a thing," he said. "Because I know it's helped me develop the experience and the technology."
He hopes to expand his business by opening "in every city where the need is present."
A spokesperson for the Longueuil police stated that "it is not criminal in Canada to own a sex doll representing an adult person," and that they've looked into Latiri's operations "and have not found any criminal-related activities."
Latiri said he has contacted the owner of the building and said he would move his business if asked.
"The second they want me to get out I'm ready," he said. "It's not about pressure, it's about being good neighbours because they got caught up in this circus."
But whether you think the idea is strange, enticing, or off-putting, Latiri acknowledged it's raising some tantalizing questions.
For example, in a world where ever-more-advanced virtual technology provides better visuals, touch feedback and maybe even artificial intelligence, what's going to happen to old-fashioned human romance, relationships, and sex?
"I'm against the fictitious idea that proposes the dolls are going to evolve and that's going to create a societal problem. The dolls for us are just sex toys," he said.
"When I'm looking into the future of the sex dolls with artificial intelligence where she can move by herself, honestly, I'm not in favour of that."
"Dolls will never replace humans, not today, not tomorrow."
The Civil Code of Québec currently requires parents to identify themselves as a "mother" or "father" on their children's birth certificates and prevents them from changing their sex on the documents.
The Civil Code also restricts the age Quebecers can change their name or sex designation to 18 and older.
Quebecers aged 14 to 17 who want to change their name can only do so if their parent does not object. And they can only change their sex with a letter from a health professional who conducts an evaluation and declares the change of designation is "appropriate."
Non-citizens who live in Quebec cannot change their name or sex designation in the province until they become Canadian citizens and live in Quebec for at least one year.
Its legal team argued that sections of the Civil Code violate the rights of transgender and non-binary Quebecers, as laid out in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
the requirement to designate sex on official documentation and identification
non-Canadian and young people’s ability to change their designation of sex and their name to conform with their gender identity
Changing the sex designation of a transgender parent on their child's birth certificate
The plaintiffs argued that these articles lead to the misidentification of transgender and non-binary people, creating confusion about their true identities.
"Other than on the day they are born, we do not examine a person's genitalia to identify whether they are male or female."
They also objected to disclosing sex at birth on drivers' licenses, health insurance cards and students’ permanent codes with the Ministry of Education, but did not challenge the legislation or policy decisions that created those rules.
What did the judge rule in the end?
Quebec news doesn't get wide reporting outside of the province, but it's important that we know: trans people in Qu… https://t.co/Q6BWZs4gA8