Why Sex Dolls Are So Damn Creepy


Julie Beck explains what especially troubles her about men having sex with synthetic women:

We may not be able to extrapolate much from one person’s motives for buying a sex doll. But the phenomenon as a whole is like a funhouse mirror – it may show a skewed reflection of male-female relationships, but it emphasizes some aspects we’d rather not see. These woman-shaped things, which can be whatever their owners want them to be, represent the far end of a spectrum of social attitudes. Plenty of men would like real women to be a little more like dolls. … This is the doll-lover’s frequent lament: Women are unpredictable and dolls are steadfast; women will leave you and dolls are loyal; women demand things and dolls accept you for who you are. Women are human and dolls are not. …

Owning a sex doll is not a violent act. But as these creations come to look more and more realistic, their lifeless, prone silicone bodies are reminders of unequal gender power dynamics that play out in the real world. And as human women become more empowered, sex dolls offer a way for men to retreat into relationships where they are still in control.

(Photo of Ring a Ring of Roses by John LeKay, 1990-91, with sexual surrogate dolls and masks, via Wikimedia Commons)