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Real Dolls: Love in the Age of Silicone

Meghan Laslocky -- 10/17/2005


A shorter version of this article was first published by Salon.com under the title Just like a Woman on October 11, 2005.

Click here for a printable PDF.

Davecat keeps a picture of his girlfriend in his wallet. She’s pretty, with long black hair, an alluring mole under her left eye, and glossy red lipstick. Her sheer tank top shows off her full breasts and the hoop through her left nipple. But her eyes don’t quite meet the camera’s gaze.

Ask Davecat about Sidore – pronounced She-doh-ray -- and he’ll tell you she’s everything that turns him on: beautiful, loyal, and a great listener. Si-chan, as he affectionately calls her, is half British, half Japanese, which works out nicely because he’s always had a thing for both British and Japanese culture. Even their clothing style and taste in music is simpatico – she’s a Goth, and he’s a Bohemian Industro-Goth.


Like many born in the sun sign Cancer, Sidore is a homebody, but then, she couldn’t leave the comfort of the bed she shares with Davecat even if she wanted to: Sidore is a 100-pound solid silicone love doll, conceived in a factory in July 2000. She is just one of thousands of a particular brand of high-end love doll, Real Doll, out there in the world, tucked into beds and hanging in closets.

In cyberspace, Real Dolls are goddesses of a blossoming subculture where the cusps between art and pornography, the ludicrous and the tender, and fantasy and fetishism blur like watercolors.

Barbie All Grown Up

Imagine Barbie dosed with growth hormones and plumbed with three “standard” orifices -- nostrils and ears not included. Choose among nine body types, 14 heads, five skin tones, six eye colors, a palette of makeup colors, ten wigs, and three different pubic hair styles (shaved, trimmed or natural), shell out $6,499 plus shipping, and you can have your very own Real Doll -- “the most realistic love doll in the world,” according to the manufacturer’s web site -- delivered to your doorstep. Among the ten or so brands of high-end love dolls manufactured today, Real Dolls are considered by most to stand head and breasts above their competitors in terms of quality and realism.

At www.realdoll.com, a web site that gets about a million hits per month, Leah, Head 4/Body 2 (H4/B2), stripteases photo by photo: First she pulls her pink polka dot bikini top from her right breast as her hair Rapunzels over a high-peaking nipple. Then she peels the fabric from between her legs. Then she turns over to kneel on a chair, offering her bare behind. Two clicks away, Stephanie, a H8/B5, sports a white bustier, black patent leather shoes, and pornish melon breasts. In one shot, her mouth is open and her hair is splayed against the pillow behind her: It’s a freeze frame of shock, as if the camera has caught her just as her face is headed through a windshield.

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