In the words of Mike, a RealDoll  owner, some people have Harley Davidson motorcycles, windsurfing, and sailboats as a hobby. Others date and sleep with life-size dolls. In 2007, the BBC aired the documentary Guys and Dolls to showcase the obsessions, motivations, and passions of RealDoll owners. While some use the dolls as an elixir to loneliness, others purely use the dolls for sex, which sparks a bit of curiosity from onlookers. What does a RealDoll provide that a real woman cannot? And why do men settle for rubber objects instead of finding a real female companion?

Everard, a British RealDoll owner, says, “When I’m in a place where there’s some attractive-looking women around, they’re all unattainable as far as I can tell. But having my RealDolls at home makes it, you know, it’s not so bad if I get back home and I’ve got my women there.” RealDolls provide comfort for men with low self-confidence and those that struggle with dating. The company manufactures approximately 400 dolls every year, selling at $6,500 per doll. Each doll is fully customizable from looking as if it’s pregnant with pubic hair to appearing as if it’s 80 years old. Like many of the owners featured in the BBC’s documentary, Everard is socially awkward and uncomfortable with approaching real women. Thus, the dolls provide an easy alternative to real-life dating.

Matt, the Creator of RealDoll, explains, “Everybody doesn’t have social interaction problems, but some people do. Some guys cannot talk to a girl. And I certainly think that having sex with a piece of rubber that’s exactly shaped like and feels like a woman is better than never having sex. And for them, it’s enough. They’re happy. They go to work and they come home and they’re excited to see their doll.”

But not every RealDoll owner comes home from work for sex. Some use RealDolls as substitutions for real-life girlfriends. Davecat, a RealDoll owner from Michigan, shares, “It’s the difference between being alone and lonely. Being alone is one thing. I don’t mind being alone at all. However, I cannot stand being lonely, and it’s just that something that more people I would hope would understand that that’s why idolaters have their dolls.” Davecat shares a room in his parents’ house with his doll, Shi-Chan, to whom he applies makeup and dresses every day. In the documentary, you’ll find him kissing and rubbing her feet, providing the same level of affection that many men give their real-life girlfriends.

And he’s not alone. Gordon, a Real Doll owner from Virginia finds more value in his relationship with his two dolls than real women. He states, “I’ve found that relationships with humans are almost temporary. And a lot of people think I’m cold, insensitive saying it. But everybody that’s listening to this, think about when you was a 5-year-old or 6-year-old kid, think about the friends you got, how many of them are still friends today?…I guess I’m different than most people. I can bond with inanimate objects.”

Indeed, Gordon is different, and also claims that sex with dolls trumps sex with real women. He conveys, “I’d say for me the sex is better because in the back of my mind when I’m having sex with a real woman, it’s like ‘damn I hope I don’t get her pregnant’ or ‘I hope she ain’t got no disease.’” It’s true that sex with dolls offer limited opportunities for contracting sexually transmitted diseases, but their rubber vaginas do require cleaning to prevent the festering of bacteria.

Nevertheless, Gordon’s two dolls, Ginger and Kelly, do provide him with a boost of self-esteem and an inanimate polyamorous relationship. Calling out real women, he says, “From what I’ve seen…all the ones (women) I’ve met, they just want to use somebody. You know, I’m convenient. I used to be easy before I got Ginger and Kelly…I used to be everybody’s doormat, but I’m not anymore. It’s all about what I want, what I want to do now.”

Addressing the same increase in self-worth, Debra, the Office Manager of RealDolls, shares, “I’ve had customers say to me ‘You know, I’m 50 years old and I’m losing my hair and I’d never be able to get a real woman that would look like [the dolls]. But the RealDoll can give me that and she will love me no matter what’.”

These men have managed to make RealDolls everything from their fantasy life partners to glorified masturbation tools. Despite the unlikelihood, some hope for future real-life girlfriends to accept their life-size doll collection as an ordinary hobby. Perhaps, there are girls that dismiss an obsession with a life-size doll as a red flag or feel limited discomfort. But regardless, there’s always another doll to buy and thus, unconditional acceptance left to the imagination.

Would you ever date a man that enjoys sex with life-size dolls? Or a man that imagines a relationship with an inanimate object? Speak on it.

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