Why sex dolls are becoming more and more popular

In recent years, thanks to new technologies and advancements in the production of human simulacra, individuals have increasingly engaged in intimate and sexual acts with inanimate, humanoid dolls, which is reflected in the rising sales of commercial ‘sex dolls’. Typically weighing between 40–120 lbs, these hyper-realistic sex dolls are often set around an articulated metal or PVC skeleton, with flesh usually made from silicon or a thermoplastic elastomer known as TPE . The popular sex doll retailer Finest Sex Dolls stated that the introduction of silicon to manufacturing and its escalation of realism have had some of the greatest impacts on doll production. Due to developments in flesh simulants, we are told that users of modern sex dolls will have “difficulty distinguishing the material from real skin” as manufacturers are “finally able to mimic the soft but firm feel of supple delicate flesh”. Furthermore, these material advances have also allowed for more customisable products, including a wide variety of facial features and body morphologies. These extend to both primary and secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts and genitalia, and can include specialised items such as pressure-released urination, and detachable hymens.

It is clear that modern sex dolls range in sophistication and quality, which is often reflected in their sale prices, and are frequently designed to be attractive and youthful. Studies of human attraction have previously concluded that men find particular features and characteristics appealing in women. These include: large eyes, a particular waist-to-hip ratio, rounded lips, and soft features that display the archetypal ‘triangle’ of pleasing facial aesthetics. With such characteristics in mind in order to increase their market. Modern doll products place an emphasis on practical realism, which is a response to consumer calls for tactile and visual accuracies, while maintaining fully functioning orifices and bodily components. By using such strategies, sex dolls have been increasingly successful as sales items, and now form the basis of a multimillion-pound global industry.

As sex doll products become more sophisticated and begin to incorporate robotic technologies, some individuals forecast a shift away from human-to-human sexual activity, to relationships that involve not only virtual reality, but also highly interactive sex toys and responsive ‘sexbots’ . In this respect, David Levy theorised that by 2050, humanoid robots will replace humans in numerous ways, including as companions, arguing that this is a positive development that will “transform human notions of love and sexuality”.