Changing Gears on Sex Dolls

There’s an interesting scene in the 1987 movie Mannequin. It’s a romantic comedy about a stylish young artist who makes a mannequin so beautiful that he falls in love with it. It’s another irreverent, comedic take on the ‘quirky’ subject of doll ownership. So you’ll be unsurprised to hear that it flirts with the same old stigmas we’re used to seeing attached, in obvious or slightly more subtle ways, to doll owners. But the scene that I’m talking about is one you can find in the trailer. The artist rolls by on his motorbike in the evening city lights. He’s got a beautiful mannequin stationed on the seat behind him. He looks, objectively, cool. An old couple take notice of him. The lady cries out, “Look at him, with the dummy!” Her husband responds, “Who are you to criticise?”

I’ve been thinking about that scene and how even in the tongue-in-cheek manner of Mannequin it kind of casually defies some latent aesthetic ideas that has been tied into the stigma around doll ownership and relationships. On one hand, we might simply say that the husband’s line is reminiscent of scenes in Lars and the Real Girl. (Which was reviewed previously here by yours truly!) You may recall that I discussed the way that the sweet little small-town community in the movie allows Lars’ partner, Bianca, to participate in in town life.

I said in that review that the narrative still maintains the latent outsider status of doll owners, while simply trying not to demean the crazy doll owners in question. It’s not that Lars isn’t the picture-perfect portrayal of the stereotypical doll owner, because he is – it’s just that the town, and the movie, decides to be nice about it.
But on the other hand – look at the scene from Mannequin! That’s not Lars material. We’ve got the bright city lights, shot in moody, urban cinematic tones. Cool motorbike. Fashionable couple on the bike – one doll, one human, but you wouldn’t know it for all their style. It’s… not exactly your conventional portrayal in media of someone in love with a doll!

Do socioeconomic factors play into the way we see doll ownership? If we free the aesthetic of the owner from stereotype – if we see them as rich or cool or stylish or independent – would the world change the way it sees them?

If you’ve read my articles on the blog so far, you’ll know I like to discuss these ideas at length, but let’s recap. The social acceptability of owning dolls is entwined with the stereotypical attitudes towards their owners. So what is the reigning stereotype? Society paints a picture of a lonely, bored, isolated worker or stay-at-home type. A single man. Someone of low to average income with no social circle around them. Now, if you’re paying attention, you’ll know that Sex Doll Australia knows better than anybody that this isn’t an accurate picture and we’re not afraid to tell it! The reality is that an ever diversifying community of people are taking up relationships with a doll. For a wild array of reasons. Sex. Love. Relationships. Couples. Compansionship. The sale of fantasy-fuelled and male love dolls, diversifying the kind of relationship you can enter into with a doll, moving beyond mere hyperrealism or the ideas of yesteryear. It’s truly a community of all sorts, and it grows every year.

What happens if we change our thinking caps, and shift gears on perceptions and attitudes about dolls? It’s easy to revise our mental image of who owns a doll, even just as a thinking exercise, and to see where it gets us. We can do it with style, for example – as Mannequin did in the above scene. What about wealth, and social status? If we portray our budding doll owner as wealthy, have we left Lars territory?

Imagine, say, a wealthy CEO type purchasing a sex doll. An Elon Musk type. (Trust us – this is not unheard of.) When I imagine this, I find that the mental image of the owner begins to change. We start imagining someone who’s independent, capable of making their own financial and life decisions… capable of amassing the toys, products and accoutrements that fit their lifestyle. Suddenly I’m not envisioning the tired old trope of a sad, lonely type at home, hiding from the world at large. I’m imagining an elite playboy! Shaping their own lifestyle! Living the way they want!

“So what, Dollph?”

I know, I know. I hear you mumble it. “What’s the importance of messing around with the way we imagine some made-up doll owner?”

Here’s the thing. I am, by now, many articles and thought pieces deep into asking hard questions about what it means in 2020 to enter into a relationship with a love doll. That’s because Sex Doll Australia wants to make the time and space for us to ask these questions. This subject is actually really, really important to me, and to all of us here at Sex Doll Australia.
I ask you, as a new or existing member of the doll community, to think about these things because we I am excited about reframing the way we think about our relationships. That’s what they are, and we know it better than anyone. We’re not contemplating buying or maintaining a product. We’re looking at relationships. Or a life together. Andrew, the founder of Sex doll Australia, is often invited to look at incredible, talented and beautifully artistic photographic shoots from excited owners who are in love with their dolls. (Keep ‘em coming! We love it!)
But sometimes people do so with hesitation. They might ask us if it’s cool, or normal, to trade these memories. And we understand this feeling so, so well as members of the doll community. What are the rules of engagement with each other? What’s our etiquette? I it okay to show our friends the photo shoots we’re proud of? What’s cool, what’s right, what’s ‘normal’? We’re all feeling out our relationships with our dolls – and let’s face it, we’re doing it with little assistance from society at large, which usually has little more than a few reductive or mocking stereotypes to offer us in the way of guidance.

It’s something we’re passionate about changing.

And let’s face it As our dolls have become as incredibly realistic as they are – even allowing for the stylised and fantasy trends in dolls we can now offer – the naysayers are beginning to fall by the wayside, particularly in 2020, where many of us are eager for new forms of companionship in a very isolated time. Critics of doll owners are finding less and less excuses to honestly contemplate buying their own! The realism and craft in the dolls is turning people.

That’s what we’re finding among our new customers, whose reservations, hopes and questions we’re always excited to receive and to respond to.
The truth is, I didn’t know about the scene from Mannequin myself! Andrew sent it through to me. He’s always ready to have those conversations, and I think you can see that, the way it bleeds into these articles. It affected me in the same way it affected him, yes, but he’s constantly thinking about this stuff and I think it’s important that you all know. He wants to break the mould, and he wants you to know it’s okay for you to do it too. Why, as he asked me, can’t this be the way we see ourselves as people in relationships with love dolls?
We don’t have to be Lars. We can be Elon, right? We – and our relationships with these incredible dolls – can be anything we want them to be.

Doll-ph

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