Sex doll

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A new generation of high-end sex doll or poseable mannequin Sandy sex doll or poseable mannequin.jpeg
A new generation of high-end sex doll or poseable mannequin

A sex doll (also love doll or blowup doll) is a type of anthropomorphic sex toy in the size and shape of a sexual partner. The sex doll may consist of an entire body with face, or just a head, pelvis or other partial body, with the accessories (vagina, anus, mouth, penis) for sexual stimulation. The parts are sometimes vibrating and may be removable or interchangeable. Sex dolls exist in many forms but are distinguished from sex robots, which are anthropomorphic creations designed to be able to engage in more complex interactions.



Some of the first sex dolls were created by French (dame de voyage) and Spanish (dama de viaje) sailors in the sixteenth century who would be isolated during long voyages. [1] These masturbatory dolls were often made of sewn cloth or old clothes and were a direct predecessor to today's sex dolls. [2] [3] Later, the Dutch sold some of these dolls to Japanese people during the Rangaku period, and the term "Dutch wives" is still sometimes used in Japan to refer to sex dolls. [1] [4]

One of the earliest recorded appearances of manufactured sex dolls dates to 1908, in Iwan Bloch's The Sexual Life of Our Time. Bloch wrote:

In this connection we may refer to fornicatory acts effected with artificial imitations of the human body, or of individual parts of that body. There exist true Vaucansons in this province of pornographic technology, clever mechanics who, from rubber and other plastic materials, prepare entire male or female bodies, which, as hommes or dames de voyage, subserve fornicatory purposes. More especially are the genital organs represented in a manner true to nature. Even the secretion of Bartholin's glands is imitated, by means of a "pneumatic tube" filled with oil. Similarly, by means of fluid and suitable apparatus, the ejaculation of the semen is imitated. Such artificial human beings are actually offered for sale in the catalog of certain manufacturers of "Parisian rubber articles." [5]

In 1918, Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka commissioned a life-sized doll of Alma Mahler (whom Kokoschka was in love with) to German puppet maker Hermine Moos, while he was in Dresden. [1] Although intended to simulate Alma and receive his affection, the "Alma doll" did not satisfy Kokoschka and he destroyed it during a party. [6]

German surrealist artist Hans Bellmer has been described as “the father figure of the modern sex doll” for his sex puppets in the 1930s whose more realistic models moved sex dolls further into the future. [2] [1] Bellmer made three dolls, increasingly sophisticated in design, which also made waves in the international art community. [2] [1]

A report that, as part of the Borghild Project, Nazi Germany made sex dolls for soldiers during World War II has not been verified by reliable sources and is now considered to be a hoax. [7] It is however said that the commercial sex doll has its origins in Germany, especially since the creation of the Bild Lilli doll in the 1950s, which was in turn the inspiration for creating the famous Barbie doll. [1] [3]

The production of human simulacra to substitute for human sexual partners took several technological leaps forward in the late twentieth century. By the 1970s, vinyl, latex and silicone had become the materials most frequently used in the manufacture of sex dolls; silicone, in particular, allowed a greater degree of realism. [8]

A 1982 attempt to import a consignment of sex dolls into Britain had the unintended consequence of ending the law against importing "obscene or indecent" items that were not illegal to sell within the UK. Having had the dolls seized by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise officers, David Sullivan's Conegate Ltd. took the case all the way to the European Court of Justice, and won in 1987. [9] Britain was forced to lift its stringent import prohibitions dating from 1876 because for imports from within the European Community they constituted a barrier to free trade under the terms of the Treaty of Rome.

Shin Takagi, founder of the company Trottla, manufactures lifelike child sex dolls in the belief that doing so provides a safe and legal outlet for men expressing pedophilic desires. [10] [11] This has been disputed by paraphilia researcher Dr. Peter J. Fagan, who argues that contact with the products would likely have a reinforcing effect, increasing the risk of pedophilic action being taken. [11] Since 2013, Australian officials have confiscated imported shipments of juvenile sex dolls legally classified as child exploitation material. [12]

Sales of sex dolls increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. [13]

Commercial forms

Simple inflatable vinyl sex doll Brigitte sex doll 2011-04-02 18-09-35 116.jpg
Simple inflatable vinyl sex doll

Cheaper sex dolls are inflatable, using air. These dolls, representing the lowest price-range (less than US$75), are usually made of welded vinyl and bear only a passing resemblance to actual people. They have an artificial and typically crudely designed vagina or penis, but due to their affordability, many 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 many may not be used at all. In Russia, for some years the Bubble Baba Challenge humorously featured participants river rafting on blowup dolls as a matter of entertainment but in 2013 the race was canceled on "health and safety" grounds. [14]

At the middle market price-range ($100 to approximately $1,000), dolls are made of thicker vinyl or heavy latex without welded seams or a polyurethane and silicone mixture, typically surrounding a foam core. Most have plastic mannequin-style heads and styled wigs, plastic or glass eyes, and occasionally properly molded hands and feet. Some vinyl dolls can contain water-filled body areas such as the breasts or buttocks. Latex dolls were made in Hungary, China, and France but only the French manufacturer Domax now remains in production. [ citation needed ]

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 small percentage of users may discover a latex allergy.

The most expensive sex dolls (approximately $1,200 and up) are usually made from silicone (usually above $3,000 at 2016 prices) or thermoplastic elastomer known as TPE (below $3,000). Dolls made of either material can be very lifelike, with faces and bodies modeled on real people in some instances, with realistic skin material (similar to that used for movie special effects), and with realistic (or even real) hair. These dolls usually have an articulated PVC or metal skeleton with flexible joints that allow them to be positioned in a variety of positions for display and for sexual acts. Silicone or TPE dolls are much heavier than vinyl or latex inflatable ones (which consist mostly of air), but are roughly half the weight of a real human being of comparable size.

Because of their ability to be posed in different positions silicone dolls are popular with artists and photographers as models. [15] [16]

In Japan, sex dolls are known as "Dutch wives" ( ダッチワイフ , datchi waifu), which now refers to relatively inexpensive dolls. 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. Orient Industry is considered to be the leading manufacturer of high-end silicone dolls in Japan, [17] which started using another term "love dolls" ( ラブドール , rabu dōru) around 1998 to distinguish their dolls from the image of inflatable dolls associated with the term "Dutch wife". [18] The term has stuck and is now used generally to refer to any high-end product. There is a business, Doru no Mori (Doll Forest) in Tokyo, that rents love dolls and rooms to male customers. [19] [20] 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 i-doloid has a print-run of 10,000 copies per issue. [21]

The middle market and high-end market emerged in the USA around 1992. 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.

In China the market has mushroomed on account of the demographic effects of the one child policy and accordingly numerous new Chinese manufacturers have appeared in recent years. [22]

Non-standard forms

In Japan one can purchase inflatable love pillows or "dakimakura" that are printed with a life-size picture of a porn star or anime character. Other less common novelty love dolls include overweight, intersex, elderly, and alien dolls, which are usable for pleasure but also tend to be given as gag gifts. Some inflatable dolls even have the form of children.

Some companies manufacture cloth sex dolls using the same technology that is used to create plush toys. With widespread cultural use of the internet amongst younger generations, numerous forums exist for amateurs who create their own sex dolls from fabric or other materials. There are even mailing lists for discussing techniques and experiences with MLDs (material love dolls) [ citation needed ].

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[ citation needed ].

New materials and technologies

Silicone dolls were at first made from tin-cure silicone but platinum technology has better longevity, less prone to tears and compression marks. For this reason, the "RealDoll" manufacturer reported switching from the tin to the platinum material in June 2009 [23] and all other manufacturers have followed suit.[ citation needed ]

Since 2012 or so a thermoplastic elastomer alternative known as TPE has come into common use particularly by Chinese manufacturers which have enabled realistic dolls to be made which are cheaper than those composed of the high quality expensive platinum cure silicone. [24]

CybOrgasMatrix dolls used an elastic gel, which they claimed to be superior to silicone in elasticity, shape memory, and durability. Both this company and the company "First Androids" once offered pelvic thruster motor, audio capability, and heated orifices, though these options are no longer available. Several modern doll manufacturers now offer the last option on their silicone dolls, with the addition of an internal heating system.


In 2019, the Israeli media reported on an incident where a European sex dolls company created a sex doll that is based on the Israeli model Yael YC Cohen without her permission. [25] In 2020, the same story was further investigated and reported by Playboy , [26] and was mentioned in relation to Deepfake.

The importation of sex dolls for men has been banned in Botswana according to Section 178 of the Botswana Penal Code. The law further abolishes the right to "possess, lend, trade-in, export, import, and or exhibit obscene objects or any objects tending to corrupt morals in Botswana", which includes sex dolls. [27]


As prostitution is legalized and regulated, there are no legal restrictions concerning sex dolls in Austria and numerous brothels are offering sex dolls for clients. Although sex dolls originally started appearing in Austria around 1980, they gained popularity in 2017 when a brothel started offering sex doll services to clients. [28] This can be contributed to the fact that the dolls have become more realistic in recent years.

In addition to being able to have intercourse with the sex doll, some places allow clients to purchase sex dolls for themselves. One of the biggest laufhauses in Vienna offers sex in the laufhaus with dolls alongside real women.

According to brothel owners who offer sex dolls, the dolls are being properly cleaned after every session. Unprotected sex with sex dolls is also allowed, but it is not advised as there is no guarantee that the dolls are being cleaned after each client. [29]

South Korea

In 2019 the South Korean Supreme Court ruled to legalize the sale of sex dolls. The issue still remains controversial in the country. [30]


In China, selling sex dolls is legal, but only for the personal use of the buyer. The act of sharing one is illegal and is likely to be prosecuted. [31]

United States

Sex dolls that look like children have been banned in Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee. [32]

Sex robots

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." [33]

Reacting to the ongoing development of "sex robots" or "sexbots", [34] in September 2015, Kathleen Richardson of De Montfort University and Erik Billing of the University of Skövde created the Campaign Against Sex Robots, calling for a ban on the creation of anthropomorphic sex robots. [35] [36] [37] [38] They argue that the introduction of such devices would be socially harmful, and demeaning to women and children. [36]

State of research

Compared to pornography for which thousands, and compared to sex robots for which dozens of scientific studies are available, sex dolls, their use and effects have been relatively little researched so far. [39] This is not surprising because sex dolls are a subtype of sex toys, and sex toys as material sexual objects are fairly under-researched in general.

Nevertheless, a systematic review from the year 2020 was able to identify 29 published academic studies on sex dolls. [40] These sex doll studies deal with the following five research questions:

1. What are appropriate theoretical conceptualizations of sex dolls?

2. How are sex dolls represented in art and media?

3. What empirical findings on the use and effect of sex dolls are available through interviews, surveys or analyses of sex doll online forums?

4. What therapeutic uses and effects of sex dolls are documented in clinical case studies?

5. Should there be a legal regulation of child sex dolls, and if yes, why and how?

Overall, the current state of research shows that sex doll owners (so far, the majority are men) and their uses are diverse and that sex dolls can be associated with negative and positive effects. [40] Likewise, the available empirical studies with sex doll owners indicate that they do not only regard and treat their dolls as “sex” dolls, but sometimes also as “love” dolls or social companions. [41] [42] [43] A clinical case study explained how living with a doll helped a divorced man to overcome relationship trauma and get ready to approach real women again. [44] Psychological theories that can explain the human-doll relationship are, among others, [40] the theory of transitional objects [45] or the theory of parasocial interactions and relationships usually applied to media personas. [46]

See also

Related Research Articles

An android is a robot or other artificial being designed to resemble a human, and often made from a flesh-like material. Historically, androids were completely within the domain of science fiction and frequently seen in film and television, but recent advances in robot technology now allow the design of functional and realistic humanoid robots.

Safe sex Ways to reduce the risk of acquiring STDs

Safe sex is sexual activity using methods or devices to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially HIV. "Safe sex" is also sometimes referred to as safer sex or protected sex to indicate that some safe sex practices do not completely eliminate STI risks. It is also sometimes used colloquially to describe methods aimed at preventing pregnancy that may or may not also lower STI risks.

Sex toy Sexual device

A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure, such as a dildo or vibrator. Many popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals, and may be vibrating or non-vibrating. The term sex toy can also include BDSM apparatus and sex furniture such as slings; however, it is not applied to items such as birth control, pornography, or condoms. Alternative expressions include adult toy and the dated euphemism marital aid, although "marital aid" has a broader sense and is applied to drugs and herbs marketed to supposedly enhance or prolong sex. Sex toys are most commonly sold at a sex shop, but they may also be sold in a pharmacy/chemist store, a pornographic DVD store, a head shop, or a department store. Today's sex toys are available in almost all countries for male and females.

Butt plug Sex toy that is designed to be inserted into the rectum

A butt plug is a sex toy that is designed to be inserted into the rectum for sexual pleasure. They are similar to a dildo in some ways but tend to be shorter and have a flanged end to prevent the device from being lost inside the rectum.

Robot fetishism

Robot fetishism is a fetishistic attraction to humanoid robots; also to people acting like robots or people dressed in robot costumes. A less common fantasy involves transformation into a robot. In these ways it is similar to agalmatophilia, which involves attraction to or transformation into statues or mannequins.

The RealDoll is a life-size sex doll manufactured by Abyss Creations, LLC in San Marcos, California, and sold worldwide. It has a poseable PVC skeleton with steel joints and silicone flesh.

A gynoid, or fembot, is a feminine gynomorphic humanoid robot. Gynoids appear widely in science fiction film and art. As more realistic humanoid robot design becomes technologically possible, they are also emerging in real-life robot design.

Anal beads

Anal beads are a sex toy consisting of multiple spheres or balls attached together in series which are continuously inserted through the anus into the rectum and then removed with varying speeds depending on the desired effect. Anal bead users enjoy the pleasurable feeling of the ball passing through the narrow sphincter of the anus.


Animatronics refers to mechatronic puppets. They are a modern variant of the automaton and are often used for the portrayal of characters in films and in theme park attractions.

Vaginal lubrication

Vaginal lubrication is a naturally produced fluid that lubricates a woman's vagina. Vaginal lubrication is always present, but production increases significantly near ovulation and during sexual arousal in anticipation of sexual intercourse. Vaginal dryness is the condition in which this lubrication is insufficient, and sometimes artificial lubricants are used to augment it. Without sufficient lubrication, sexual intercourse can be painful. The vaginal lining has no glands, and therefore the vagina must rely on other methods of lubrication. Plasma from vaginal walls due to vascular engorgement is considered to be the chief lubrication source, and the Bartholin's glands, located slightly below and to the left and right of the introitus, also secrete mucus to augment vaginal-wall secretions. Near ovulation, cervical mucus provides additional lubrication.

Agalmatophilia is a paraphilia involving sexual attraction to a statue, doll, mannequin or other similar figurative object. The attraction may include a desire for actual sexual contact with the object, a fantasy of having sexual encounters with an animate or inanimate instance of the preferred object, the act of watching encounters between such objects, or sexual pleasure gained from thoughts of being transformed or transforming another into the preferred object. Agalmatophilia may also encompass Pygmalionism, which denotes love for an object of one's own creation. Agalmatophilia is a form of Object sexuality.

Personal lubricant

Personal lubricants are specialized lubricants used during human sexual acts such as intercourse and masturbation to reduce friction to or between the penis and vagina, anus or other body parts or applied to sex toys to reduce friction or to ease penetration. Surgical or medical lubricants or gels, which are similar to personal lubricants but not usually referred to or labelled as "personal" lubricants, may be used for medical purposes such as speculum insertion or introduction of a catheter. The primary difference between personal and surgical lubricants is that surgical lubricants are thicker, sterile gels, typically containing a bacteriostatic agent. As of 2015 the personal lubricant market was estimated to be worth at least $400 million.

Vibrator (sex toy)

A vibrator, sometimes described as a massager, is a sex toy that is used on the body to produce pleasurable sexual stimulation. There are many different shapes and models of vibrators. Most 2010-era vibrators contain an electric-powered device which pulsates or throbs. Vibrators can be used for both solo play and partnered play by one or more people. Devices exist to be used by couples to stimulate the genitals of both partners. They can be applied to erogenous zones, such as the clitoris, the vulva or vagina, penis, scrotum or anus, for sexual stimulation, for the release of sexual frustration and to achieve orgasm. Vibrators may be recommended by sex therapists for women who have difficulty reaching orgasm through masturbation or intercourse.

Rabbit vibrator Vibrating and rotating phallic sex toy with a clitoral stimulator attached to the shaft

A rabbit vibrator is a vibrating sex toy, usually made in the shape of a phallic shaft for vaginal stimulation with a clitoral stimulator attached to the shaft. The name of the device is derived from the fact that the clitoral stimulator looks like a pair of rabbit ears. The first rabbit vibrator appeared on the market in 1984 and, along with the magic wand vibrator, is considered by Cosmopolitan magazine to be one of the classic sex toys.

A double penetration dildo or double dildo is a sex toy that allows for the simultaneous penetration of two bodily orifices at the same time. It is designed in the form of two penetrative stimulators that come separately or fixed on the single shaft. Some of them include a vibrating motor that turns them into double penetration vibrators.

Dildo Sexual device

A dildo is a sex toy, often explicitly phallic in appearance, intended for sexual penetration or other sexual activity during masturbation or with sex partners. Dildos can be made from a number of materials and shaped like an erect human penis. They are typically 4–6-inch (10–15 cm) in length, about the average length of an erect penis, but some may be longer, and circumference is typically 4–5-inch (10–13 cm).

Artificial vagina Device designed to imitate the female sex organ

An artificial vagina is a device designed to imitate the female sex organ. To achieve this, it will generally be made of a soft material, lubricated, and sometimes heated.

Sex robot Hypothetical anthropomorphic robot sex doll

Sex robots or sexbots are anthropomorphic robot sex dolls. As of 2018, although elaborately instrumented sex dolls have been created by a number of inventors, no fully animated sex robots yet exist, although simple devices have been created which can speak and make facial expressions.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to human sexuality:

Virtual reality sex is a technology that allows the user to receive tactile sensations from remote participants, or fictional characters through the use of computer-controlled sex toys. Usually the user also wears a virtual reality headset so they can see and interact with the partner.



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Further reading