A sex doll (also love doll) is a type of sex toy in the size and shape of a sexual partner for aid in masturbation. Typically of human form (nearly always female) but models of animals exist (sheep, dogs, horses, etc.) for humans or animals consumption. The sex doll may consist of an entire body with face, or just a pelvic part, with the orifices (vagina, anus, mouth) for copulation. The openings are sometimes vibrating and may be removable or interchangeable.The use of sex dolls are not restricted to humans, but also for domestic animals for various reasons.
There also has long been a sailor's term, the "dame de voyage", or "dama de viaje" in French
respectively, indicating a female doll made of sewn cloth and used by sailors
aboard ship .
A 1982 attempt to import a consignment of sex dolls into Britain had the unintended consequence of lifting all import prohibitions on "obscene or indecent" items arriving from elsewhere in Europe. Having had the dolls seized by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise officers, Conegate Ltd. took the case all the way to the European Court of Justice, and won in 1987. Britain was forced to lift its stringent import prohibitions dating from 1876, because to do otherwise would have constituted an arbitrary barrier to free trade under the terms of the Treaty of Rome.
Cheaper sex dolls are inflatable, using air. These lower price-range (less than $50) dolls are usually, made of welded vinyl
, and bear only a passing resemblance to women or men, but they have an artificial vagina or penis and their users are willing to overlook their shortcomings. They often burst at the seams after a few uses, although they are commonly given as gag gifts and therefore some may not use them at all.
At the middle market price-range ($100 to $200), dolls are made of heavy latex without welded seams, have plastic mannequin-style heads and styled wigs, plastic or glass eyes, and properly moulded hands and feet. Some contain water-filled body areas such as the breasts or buttocks. The manufacturing process causes most latex dolls to be delivered with a fine coating of zinc oxide covering the skin, which is usually removed by the consumer by placing the doll under the shower. Otherwise, latex is an inert and non-toxic natural material; although a tiny percentage of users may discover a latex allergy. All latex dolls of any quality currently on the market are manufactured in either France or Hungary.
More expensive sex dolls ($600 to $7,000 or more) are made from silicone. They can be very lifelike, with face and body modelled on real women or men, with realistic skin material (similar to that used for movie special effects), with realistic (or real) hair. These dolls usually have an articulate PVC or metal skeleton with flexible joints that allows them to be positioned in a variety of positions for display and for sexual acts. Silicone sex dolls are obviously heavier than inflatable ones (which consist of mostly air), but are about half the weight of a real human of comparable size. They are made in the USA by Abyss Creations (the RealDoll) , Real Solid Sex Doll aka Candy Eighteen 1st-PC, Mimicon and others; and in Japan by Paper Moon, 4Woods, Orient Industries (the CandyGirl) and others.
Silicone dolls are quite popular in Japan, where they are known as "Dutch Wives" ('dattchi waifu'). Their name originates from the term, possibly English, for the thick rattan or bamboo bolster, used to aid sleep in humid countries by keeping one's limbs lifted above sweaty sheets. There is even a business, Doru no Mori in Tokyo, that rents sex dolls and rooms to male customers. In March 2007 the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported that there are also rental businesses that bring the dolls to the customer's home, and that the specialist love-doll magazine Aidroid has a print-run of 10,000 copies per issue.
The middle market and high-end market emerged in the USA around 1995. The market has grown for two main reasons. Firstly, the last twenty years have seen huge improvements over earlier types of sex dolls, and customers come to realize this through using the web. Secondly, the method of retail purchase has also improved, now showing customers what the actual doll, seams, hair, and even orifices look like. There are now sites that do not sell dolls, but just show them so that customers can make informed decisions on the aesthetics prior to purchase - then the customers select online from stores instead of having to take "pot luck" in a sex shop, and a possible purchase can be discussed first in anonymous online forums with existing owners. Extras to customize a doll to one's personal taste (wigs, clothes, perfumes, etc) can also be purchased online.
New materials and technologies
The RealDoll has evolved since 1995, and the latest models are significant improvements over those of just a few years ago. The success of the RealDoll
has led others to enter the market for high-end dolls, often using new proprietary materials.
A company, Eighth Wonder LLC, created the adult version of the "Teddy Bear" called Teddy Babes Built with plush fabric, it has received a large following both as a sex toy and as a work of art.
A company called CybOrgasMatrix uses a new material — a very elastic gel with a strong shape memory, which, they claim, is superior to silicone in quality and also cheaper. Their sex doll product includes additional features, such as pelvic thruster motor and audio capability (using wireless headphones).
The ongoing advances in robotics suggest that sex robots may be eventually manufactured and sold. A stepping stone to the implementation of full robotics would be to embed some of the rapidly developing cybersex technologies in dolls, to enable telepresence sexual activity. Spin offs from new technologies will undoubtedly be introduced into sex dolls — such as miniaturization, voice response, 'smart materials' and 'intelligent textiles'. Science-fiction and post-feminist theorists have already imagined a variety of artificial women, or gynoids. See The Stepford Wives.
In June 2006, Henrik Christensen of the European Robotics Research Network told the UK's Sunday Times that "people are going to be having sex with robots within five years.
In Japan inflatable love pillows
('dakimakura') with a life-size picture of a porn star or anime character and optionally a hole for penetration are also popular.
Some inflatable sex dolls are made in the form of animals, most notably sheep and cows. These dolls are more of a joke gift or party novelty, and are often not suitable for sexual use.
Additional although less popular novelty love dolls include overweight, transvestite, elderly and alien dolls, which are usable for pleasure but tend to be given as gag gifts.
There are also some companies (like Dekunoboo in Japan or Teddy Babes/Eighth Wonder in the USA) that make cloth sex dolls, based on the same technology as plush toys for children. Amateurs have been making their own sex dolls from fabric for some time now, there are even mailing lists for discussing techniques and experiences with MLDs (material love dolls).
The new Japanese dolls have actual pubic hair and detachable heads.
Some inflatable dolls have the form of children. Owners can be pursued for possession of child pornography material.
The 2007 Five documentary film Guys and Dolls
describes four British and American men and their relationships with sex dolls.
- 1991–1992, artist John LeKay in New York exhibited "sex-pieces", consisting of blow up sex dolls wearing cartoonish masks, arranged in "group sex" tableaux.
- The song "Talk Soup" by Weird Al Yankovic mentions a talk-show topic involving a man being attached to his blow-up doll. Coincidentally, there have been episodes of The Jerry Springer Show involving men who are attached to their blow-up dolls.
- Sex dolls appear occasionally in comedy shows and movies. Notably, the Ally McBeal series integrated one into the plot, regularly showing Ally dancing and sleeping with an inflatable male sex doll. Boston Legal, from the same creator as Ally McBeal, shows the character Jerry Espenson in a relationship with a silicone sex doll. Nip/Tuck also had a few episodes involving a sex doll modeled incredibly accurately on a character in the series.
- A sex doll features as a central plot device in Tom Sharpe's satirical crime novel Wilt.
- Sex dolls have been the subject of numerous songs, most notably by Roxy Music, Frank Zappa, Saul Zonana and The Police.
- The American sitcom Married... with Children features a running joke that involves Bud Bundy and his sex doll Isis.
- Howard Stern of radio fame mentioned that a modern doll was "the best sex I've ever had." Stern also purchased a RealDoll, which he posed in his studio as a gag prop, and often referred to during interviews with guests. This might be the same doll mentioned above.
- The Swedish web comic Little Gamers features Marcus, a character who has never had sex with a real girl, only with inflatable dolls. These inflatable dolls are a running joke in the comic.
- Novels centering on sex dolls include Richard Calder's Dead Girls. Cinema-release movies include Monique (France, Valerie Guignabodet, 2002), Love Object (US, Robert Parigi, 2003), Dead Doll (Adam Sherman, 2004), Life Size (Tamaño Natural, 1973), and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Japan, 2004).
- Australian composer and multimedia artist David Worrall created the multimedia work "The Twins" (1999) in which a pair of semi-naked sex-dolls play "naughty-word" Scrabble on their day off. Embedded in their facial orifices are small loudspeakers, through which they communicate, both with each other and to their exhibition audience. They speak a phonetic language composed by the artist.
- British composer and audio/visual artist Troy Banarzi created the "performance art" work "Euphonika" (2006) which explores peoples' relationships with dolls. Live automated music is combined with animation and interviews with people who have "living" relationships with sex dolls as well as other dolls and statues.
- Photographers such as Helmut Newton, Elena Dorfman and Anoush Abrar have chosen sex dolls and sexualized mannikins as subjects in their art photography.
- In 2003 Jake and Dinos Chapman exhibited a sculpture, Death, in the Turner Prize at Tate Britain, England. The sculpture looked like two plastic sex dolls, but was in fact painted bronze. It provoked a demonstration by the Stuckist art group. displaying two plastic sex dolls.
- Two feature-length documentaries about sex dolls and their owners are set to premiere at U.S. film festivals in 2006.
- Some Japanese Anime and Manga have included Sex Dolls, such as Bubblegum Crisis (referenced as 33-S Sexaroids in the episode Moonlight Rambler), Dominion Tank Police (In the form of the Puma Twins), and both in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (in the episode "SA: A Modest Rebellion – ANDROID AND I") and in movie Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, (Public Security Section 9 investigates a cyborg corporation making androids in the form of young women and used as sex dolls).
- In the 1st Jackass: The Movie, Johnny Knoxville has two in a car when he does a demolition derby
- In the Family Guy episode The Perfect Castaway, Quagmire packs a lot of sex dolls later used as a raft after Peter's fishing boat is destroyed by a tsunami.
- The cult film Love Object is a 2003 film written and directed by Robert Parig, concerns a socially awkward technical writer who develops an obsessive relationship with Nikki, a rubber sex doll he orders.
- The Australian comedian Tim Minchin composed the song Inflatable You as a tribute to sex dolls. The song in question was performed during his appearance at the 2007 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
- The opening credits of the First Leisure Suit Larry Game feature Larry Laffer chasing after a flying Love Doll.
- The short story "Exodus" from Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Haunted, centers around a sex doll. Sex dolls are also discussed in his later novel, Snuff, in which one character claims that the concept was invented by Adolf Hitler.
- The film, Lars and the Real Girl has a plot where a sweet but delusional man purchases a high end sex doll for a completely platonic relationship while his community cooperates in order for him to work his personal issues.
- The television series Pushing Daisies has an episode wherein a man's persistent delusion that his sex doll is a living girlfriend leads to murder.
- In the movie "Old School" actor Will Ferrel can be seen with a blow up and a difficult choice of clothing.
- Finnish punk rock band Klamydia has a song Pumpattava Barbara (Inflatable Barbara) about a man who is rejected by his girlfriend, buys a sex doll, and is more comfortable with it than with his old human girlfriend.
- In an episode of The Office, Michael Scott brings a blow up doll to a sexual harrasment meeting.
It is also possible to wear a sex doll as a full-body "doll suit". There are no known commercial manufacturers, so these are customized from commercial latex dolls. Usually the doll becomes a suit with zippers in the back, and is then worn with a female face mask. Sometimes wearers insert the sheaths
of the doll into their own body, thus making penetrative sex possible. Customized "doll suits" are used by transgendered
people who want to become a "perfect woman", and also by natural females who like the idea of becoming a 'love object
- Elena Dorfman. Still Lovers (2005). ISBN 0-9766708-1-X. (Female art/fashion photographer photographs men and their dolls).
- Elisabeth Alexandre. Des Poupées et des hommes — enquete sur l'amour Artif. (2005). ISBN 2-84271-252-8 (Book is in French - 'Dolls and Men — Investigation into Artificial Love').
- Guys and Dolls: Art, Science, Fashion and relationships. Royal Pavilion, Libraries and Museums. (2005). (102-page catalogue of a major exhibition at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, England).
External links and sources