The RealDoll is a life-size sex doll (also considered a mannequin) manufactured by Abyss Creations in San Marcos, California, and sold worldwide. It has a poseable PVC skeleton with steel joints and silicone flesh, which is arguably the state-of-the-art for lifelike human body simulation. Prices begin at around US$6,500, with some models costing over US$10,000.
RealDoll by Abyss CreationsEdit
The RealDoll is designed to recreate the appearance, texture and weight of the human male and female form. Their primary function is to serve as sex partners. This activity can be accompanied by certain preparations such as dressing them up in different types of clothing, changing wigs or makeup, and even adjusting body temperature by use of electric blankets or baths.
Early prototypes were made from solid latex with an interior skeleton, but construction of the outer material was later switched to more realistic silicone. Recent innovations in silicone formulae, skeletal elements and storage methods now allow for a doll that is somewhat less prone to tears and compression marks than older Realdolls. However Realdolls still have a well earned reputation for lack of durability and falling apart.
The current incarnation of the female RealDoll product was introduced in the mid-1990s. It is now available in 10 customizable body styles, with a choice of 15 faces and five skin tones. Unusually colored skin—blue for example—is also available as an option, as are tan lines. In 2003, Abyss introduced the "Face-X" system, allowing any face to be interchangeable with any body. Multiple faces can then be attached one at a time to a single doll by the owner.
"Charlie", a male RealDoll, is also available. "Shemale" dolls may also be purchased from the company, although these must be custom ordered. Abyss also sells silicone body parts, such as partial torsos, breasts and male genitalia.
For a time, the company also offered customizations such as robotic hip actuators and computer controlled speech feedback. These expensive options appear to be no longer available, but RealDoll creator Matt McMullen has stated a desire to keep working in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence. Use of RealDolls is not exclusively sexual. Some owners use the dolls merely as stand-ins for human models in photography or other visual art. Some owners also use the dolls as non-sexual companion substitutes, rarely—if ever—having intercourse with them. Still other owners buy the dolls simply because they consider them to be beautiful works of art.
Most RealDoll owners are men but some women own them too, and they are shared by couples as well. The perceived stigma of owning a "sex doll", along with the realistic weight of the product have been cited as reasons why ownership by women is not more widespread.
RealDolls in popular cultureEdit
- The mainstream movie Lars and the Real Girl stars a RealDoll as a second main character. There is an extensive scene showing the RealDoll.com website.
- Talk-radio host Howard Stern has given a personal endorsement of the product after an on-air test.
- The doll was featured on HBO's Real Sex show where a couple was filmed having a ménage à trois with one of the mannequins.
- Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil showed off his RealDoll in an April 2005 episode of MTV Cribs.
- Glamour and high fashion photographer Helmut Newton also photographed RealDolls. A sample can be found in his autobiography. Playboy magazine reportedly refused to publish Newton's RealDoll photo shoot, considering it too weird, according to his account.
- In a June 2003 article, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Kenneth Baker described a photograph of the RealDoll "Rebecca" by Bay Area photographer Elena Dorfman as "an image of eerie, Vermeer-like stillness that brings us almost cheek to cheek with a silicone beauty. Freckles of imperfection or wear in her synthetic skin induce an improbable refracted sympathy for her unseen owner." The owner of "Rebecca" and a handful of other RealDolls uses photographs of his dolls to construct visual narratives.
- A RealDoll played the central role in the 2002 French sex farce Monique, featured a RealDoll as Monique, for whom a husband undergoing a mid-life crisis develops an overwhelming passion.
- A film entitled Love Object starring Desmond Harrington was released in 2003 that deals with a lonely man's purchase of a RealDoll that may be more real than he thinks.
- Nick Holt's Guys and Dolls television documentary for North One Television (renamed "Love Me, Love My Doll" for broadcast on BBC America) follows the lives of four men who live with RealDolls.
- In an episode of Nip/Tuck, Sean has sex with a RealDoll made in the image of Kimber Henry.
- Several Japanese companies produce life-size dolls similar in price and quality. Among them are Orient Industries' DandyGirl and the A.I. series by 4Woods. Although manufactured for the Japanese market, they may be exported on a retail basis. Honey Dolls, manufactured by Axis Japan, have tactile sensors embedded in each breast, which trigger lifelike sounds that play from an MP3 player in the Doll's head.
- The Mechadoll company is currently offering models Sophie, Leeloo and Brigitte. These are considered by some to be at least as good as a RealDoll in reproducing the female anatomical shape and feel.
- SuperBabe, by N/C Dimensioning, was at one time the closest competitor in the U.S. to the RealDoll. However, the company has temporarily ceased doll manufacture. In comparison to RealDoll, SuperBabe did not offer extensive customization of its doll, but it was slightly less expensive.
- The CybOrgasMatrix doll, created from a lifecasting of the body of Pandora Peaks, is made of an elastomeric gel. This material has significant advantages over silicone in softness, elasticity, tear resistance, and shape memory.
- Silicone Doll Works is another manufacturer of dolls based in the U.S. Similar to Abyss Creations, they offer torsos and the option of exchangeable heads. Their Sexy 18 doll uses a Fleshlight as the receptacle for the user's penis.
- Artificial vagina
- Galatea (mythology)
- A Mom for Christmas
- Pygmalion (mythology)
- Robot fetishism
- Sex doll
- Uncanny Valley
- Weird Science (film)
- "Just Like a Woman", Meghan Laslocky, Salon.com, 11 October 2005 (web page) longer version (web page).
- "Flexible friendship", Lisa Scott, Metro.co.uk 22 February 2006 (web page).
- Abyss Creations website, product news (web page).
- "ASFR", documentary short by Allison de Fren (streaming video).
- Internet Archive page cache of Realdoll website offering robotics and interactivity features, 21 September 2003 (web page).
- "Real Doll", Michael Lane, Monk Magazine, 15 June 1999 (web page).
- 706velmont, High-end artistic photography of silicone dolls started 6 June 2007 (web page).
- RealDoll—Abyss Creations' official site
- Feature story on Real Dolls by writer Peter Hossli
- GlobalSecurityReport.com—"BioErotica Turns Corner", June 1, 2006
- The Dollforum—International discussion about all kind of Realdolls and other
- Guys and Dolls—UK documentary about RealDoll owners
- "Guys and Dolls", Erin O'Brien, Cleveland Free Times, May 30, 2007
- "Real Dolls: Love in the Age of Silicone" By Meghan Laslocky
- "Deconstructing RealDoll", Meghan Laslosky, On The Page Magazine, Issue 11, Summer 2004
- 3D Sex Dolls -Realistic Japanese Sex Dolls
- Article on Japanese sex dollsfr:Poupée moulée