I heard someone else mention that this year would be remembered for all of the dolls, and I had been thinking that same thing myself. Everywhere you looked it seemed there were clusters of inanimate women starring at you with glassy eyes that will soon see unspeakable horrors once their new owner takes possession of them. Stripped of free will, they are forced to relive over and over again the… You know, I might just be getting this confused with the plot of HBO’s Westworld. It certainly looked like I had plunged into, perhaps not Westworld, but Sexworld.
The one doll maker that was not at the show was the one who really helped start it all- Real Doll. He was at CES showing off the mechanical head he has been working on (but do we really want mechanical head?) What he is doing is interesting, but just a tiny step forward towards Westworld. His animated headed doll is still a quadraplegic. You can read more about her in our Sex at CES. Did I mention that the movie Lars and the Real Doll is really quite funny and charming?
There are similarities between the different dolls. They are pretty much all made of silicone or TPE. They all have metal skeletons that allow you to pose them. Most are made in China (not surprisingly since they have a significant imbalance with too many men and not enough women). None are sentient.
The dolls we saw at the show pretty much just lay there, or sit there, but we all know what the future brings. While we may be at the beginning of a revolution, there will be fully animated sex dolls. They will probably be quite expensive, high maintenance, and you’ll pay by the hour. This is better than high class prostitutes how? You might be surprised that there already is a sex doll brothel. It is called LumiDolls, and is based in Barcelona. I have heard rumors of others.
We are actually further away than most people think from the kind of AI that you can have wide-ranging conversations with. As amazing as the various voice controlled assistants are, they still have difficulty with nuance, and can’t really carry on any kind of lengthy conversation. I don’t expect a sex doll to pass the Turing test anytime soon.
Anyway, however things work out, the non-animated sex dolls are here, now. They are quite expensive, and with all of this competition, I wonder just how low the prices can or will go? The main ingredients (silicone or less expensive TPS) tend to have a fixed cost and are quite expensive. How big a market is there? I don’t know, but at the price point we are now seeing, I am not sure there is a big enough market to support all of the players who just entered it. I suspect there will be a shakeup.
First up is the doll modeled after Reya Sunshine. She considers herself a dancer, not a porn star, although her site does have some explicit content with enough free clips to satisfy your curiosity. In the photo below she poses with her silicon doppelganger. The doll itself comes from Crafty Fantasy, at a cost of around $3,000 (the site has a special for $2500). She has implanted hair and eyebrows. At 5″ 3″, she weights 80 lbs. Their ad copy is a little hyperbolic and maybe is actually a dire warning: “With just a look, she can make you her little slave which will do everything for her and that’s a tested fact!” So, are they hinting that they do plan to give her AI and use these dolls to enslave mankind?
Reya Sunshine and her Doll from Crafty Fantasy
Shenzhen Sheng Yi Adult Products Co., Ltd specializes in silicone sex dolls. Can you spot the actual person in the photo below? Hint: her name is Penny Fu, she has an actual personality (a rather pleasant one actually), and she is the only one not wearing lingerie or is not a head detached from a body. Their dolls are under the brand name SyDolls, and they offer 35 bodies and 175 adaptive heads that can be customized into 6,000 combinations. They even offer elf ears (or you can call them Vulcan ears, depending upon your kink). You can catch a video on their site that shows you the production process for making their dolls. The video also explains that they have “diversified unique coatings so that each doll will have a soul,” which again seems to be an ominous hint that they plan to eventually make these dolls self-aware. They gave out calendars with pictures of the different dolls. The one for my birthday was named 165-92. “A girl, I just met a girl named 165-92, and suddenly that name, will never seem the same…”
Rifrano offers over 400 faces and around 15 body styles. I have spent a bit of time modeling human bodies in 3D software, and one of their bodies was a bit less than, well, human. She’s the one in the stars and stripes bikini with breasts the size of her head and a waist the size of her thigh. Maybe they think this is what American girls look like. Measurement of 34x16x31 do look a little over the top, but most of the bodies are more human looking (even the elf eared one- although the ears are huge and should satisfy those for whom size is important). They come in a variety of ethnicities with matching heads. On some dolls you can attach a dildo. They are the first I have seen with a section on their site devoted to male sex dolls for women, which is some progress, even if that section is completely empty. Their site is in English and lists prices without weird symbols in front of them (just the good old dollar sign). Their dolls are all $1200.
The dolls made by the Dongguan Junying Plastic Product Factory go under the name JY Doll. The site is in Chinese, but you might want to check out the video from their factory that really does look like a Westworld storage area. They also have lots of doll pictures. I did the currency conversion and these dolls seem to be selling for under $1,000, some of the cheapest I have seen, although what you would have to pay for them to be shipped here I don’t know. Their brochure had three pages on cleaning and caring for your doll. This is why I have cats. So much easier. And no, sickos, I am not talking about for sex. As you can see below, you can also dress your dolls like cats.
Italian sculptor Donatello Genovese designed the iDoll. There are currently 8 models to choose from, selling for $1590.
Zhongshan Jinsan Mannequin Company makes the WM Dolls brand. These are TPE dolls that sell in the $2000 to $3000 range. There are 34 customizable dolls to choose from, and some even have sculpted expressions.
Dongguan AF Silicone Products factory has a website under the name Rose Sex Doll. My favorite part is the first picture with stickers over the nipples but a fully exposed vulva. They sell dolls at some of the lowest prices I have seen – around $800. They may not have a category for a male sex doll, but they actually sell a male sex doll. He’s the one with the six pack and the erection towards the back.
Rose Sex Doll
Doll 4 Ever is the merging of two doll companies- Dollhouse 168 (from Taiwan) and Doll 4 Ever. Their site is quite good in that they give you many pictures of each doll in different positions. These dolls are also very customizable, including the popular elf head option. They show you the range of motion for the doll and how all the joints move, which all the doll sites should do. Their dolls are very poseable. They seem to be in around the $1700 range and are made from TPE. That material is cheaper, but makes it more affordable to do more full sized dolls that are curvier. More curves and larger bodies requires more material to make them and increases the costs. Some prefer the TPE for what to some is its softer and more realistic feel, but it is easier to stain, more porous and harder to clean, and does not hold heat as well as silicone.
Doll 4 Ever
When walking past so many dolls, one of the things that hits you is that the skin is not quite right. I actually know the reason why. It is the same problem we have when rendering skin in 3D software. If you do not do it correctly, you get a very plastic look. There are two reasons for this. The first is that skin is not a consistent color- it has a lot of subtle variability. The second and even more important is the way that light interacts with skin. Skin is slightly transparent, allowing light to pass through and into it and scatter about a bit, giving a warmer glow to the skin. In 3D programs, we create this effect with something known as subsurface scattering. The great Renaissance masters used a coating of a semi-clear varnish over skin tones that allowed light to enter it and scatter a bit, creating a warm and more realistic looking flesh tone in their paintings. Unfortunately, all of that is really difficult to do in a molded doll.
Keeping that in mind, as well as how difficult it is to judge skin tones in convention hall lighting, I thought some of the best skin tones on dolls that I saw were from Sino. They have a web site, Z-Onedoll. I really would have had to place the dolls from different companies side by side to know for sure, and I knew that if I did that I would get scowled at, which I really hate. This is just a judgment call and I am not sure exactly why I liked them better.
The dolls caught my attention right away as they had an electric cord running out of them. These were the most technologically sophisticated of the dolls I looked at. That is not saying a whole lot, as most had no tech at all. Still, the internal heater warms the skin up to about normal body temperature, which is cool. That does move you a ways from that fresh from the cold grave sensation. They also claim she can handle up to almost 400 degrees- although I would still not stick her in the oven to dry her hair after washing it. There are touch sensors that trigger moaning sounds based on your touch frequency and intensity. Sizes range from the elfin but large breasted 3 1/2 feet to around 5 1/2 feet tall, with a total of 12 different bodies. They are very customizable, with over 50 heads to choose from in many ethnicities. They even had a Sailor Moon head. You can get a fixed or removable vagina- “Not tonight honey- I just sent my vagina to the cleaners.” The skin colors are normal (Chinese), white, tan, brown, and black. There are lots of eye colors, including red and purple. You can also get an implanted eyebrow for an extra $200, or the ability to stand for an extra $50. You can even get a tattoo for $80. There were so many options that it would be quite difficult to figure out how much these things are. You have to go through the extensive list of options and send it to them for a quote. I am guessing not cheap.
What I did not see was their Android controlled doll with blinking eyes, a moving mouth, and temperature and sound. I did see a video of the blinking eyes, which looked more like a squint. I did see sound coming from the doll, but did not see synchronized lip movements so I have no idea how well that works. There was somewhat of a language barrier when trying to talk to these different companies, and not all of the answers to my questions were particularly clear (as in I had absolutely no idea what they were saying.) Sino is an interesting company, though, and I wish I had spent more time with them.
Maybe you don’t happen to have $700 to $3000 for a sex doll. Tamatoys did have a lower cost alternative. Okay, it is just a pillow, but it still looks pretty cuddly. Generically, pillows with pictures of women on them are called Hug Pillows in Japan, but this has an orifice, so it can hug you back – or part of you anyway (I am talking to guys, here- I don’t think women are their target market).
So we finally say good-bye to all the lovely women and the guy sex dolls, and bid you off with a lady with a rose in her mouth hanging around by the Lovetoy booth.