Friday, 7 September 2007

Real Dolls and the Men who Love them

Real Dolls, hm; I must admit that this particular video speeds toward being the most shocking thing I have ever seen filmed, concerning the human condition, and that was not created within the limits of CSI scenarios. Getting over the shock value and mustering the willpower and patience to watch it again, I must conclude that this could be a perfect study on aberrant behavior, as illustrated in psychology and – possibly – sociology textbooks. The use of the plastic doll as a substitute for a living being is, of course, not new. It heralded the acceptance of the sex industry as filling fundamental needs of a certain percentage of the populace and, when other popular mediums (such as movies, TV series, even comic strips) started illustrating the uses and correlations of humans with plastic (albeit, usually, in a comical way), the initial shock of someone having sex with the equivalent of a blow-up sea ball, became a trigger of good humor. So far, so good: in effect, one can only masturbate so much by holding a porn magazine or ascending to two-fisted level with the use of the VHS and later, computer and DVDs. I will NOT discuss the creation of blow-up animals for those with particular tastes…

What is shocking is the sentimental involvement of the people illustrated in the video and the potential consequences of them NOT having these dolls as an – so to speak – easy way out. But, let us examine each case individually, since generalization in this case is truly impossible: each of the Real Dolls’ owners is a study case in their own right. Some of them probably merit attention by the law enforcement of their respective areas. Here goes then…


Davecat is probably the one you would be most inclined to feel sorry for and not necessarily in a good way (but that is up to your opinion on whether one ought to grow up or not). Davecat is the poster child for fanboy (or more appropriately, otaku) degradation. It is hardly by chance that the first shot of his room’s interior is a crate of “Hello Kitty” merchandise or that his Doll’s name is Shi-chan. He is an emotionally fetal person who still lives with his parents, though he loathes the cohabitation, but apparently has not done or does not plan to do anything to improve his situation. It’s characteristic of his condition that he “does not mind being alone, but with her”, much like a lost case otaku and his boxes of porn, hentai games and skimpily clad anime figures. In effect, insofar as his toy does not let him become lonely (much like a beloved teddy or action figure for a child), he does not mind being left out of human interaction. As further evidence to this, is the really disturbing scene with interchangeable tongues, which he finds fun, as well he does the fact that these dolls, in contrast to Japanese ones, have open mouths, as well as teeth. The whole way he refers to the doll testifies that he has attributed life and emotions to her, since “she came into his life” (i.e. he bought her) and that now their “relationship” has progressed: “in the beginning it was all sex, sex, sex”, “I like to be in bed with her, not for the sex any more but just lying there and appreciating her”. A final, interesting note is this: “she is my anchor”, as in anchor to reality and possibly, giving him reason not to take his own life, which is obviously devoid of other meaning. His whole reactions to her being sent for repairs and his expressions while he waited for her return are indicative of just such a mindset.


Everard, of Dorset, England, is probably the most normal by the standards of the video and by comparison with the other three individuals. He is a lonely, 50-year-old computer technician, with a model-building mania. Now, scale modeling is hardly a psychological condition but it requires very long stretches of time in complete isolation and concentration, if one desires to achieve a good result (speaking from my own experience in just scale-model painting, let alone building). Such a time-consuming hobby leaves little room for socialization and vice versa, lack thereof, provides ample time. Straight from the top, he is the one to acknowledge that Real Dolls are static and unresponsive and even waking them up requires changing their rubber face-masks yourself; however, for him, even this artificial companionship is better than no female companionship at all. He’s never really had a girlfriend and cannot shake the inexplicable feeling that he is an outsider, for an equally mysterious reason. What is interesting is that, despite his age, Everard has a generic appearance, not too shabby, and also makes and flies in delta-planes, a decidedly adventurous and attractive hobby. However, as the computer savvy and hobby-consumed person, he has the make of a typically socially inept individual, who never figured how to carry himself and use his interests to his advantage. What he obviously most lacked in and it has cost him, is family. Losing his mother at age 39, probably in the harsh way of seeing her deteriorate from long illness (as indicate the wheelchair and the room, interpreted through my own experience with my grandmother), is something he never really got over; his father is never shown or mentioned so any scenario assumed does not improve things. He is a classic case of chronically depressed and low-esteem individual, tied down by his painful past and as he puts it, “the dolls lessen the pain”. True to form, instead of obsessing over the dolls, he acquired a new hobby, photography, themed in a way that gives him the illusion of family. The doll names are normal English names and the settings and photographs strive to be as normal-looking as possible. However, he realizes and acknowledges the plastic reality of it all, by a single sound, right at the end: a sarcastic “huh”.


Gordon is the most disturbing of the four individuals, in every aspect and probably worth being scrutinized by local authorities every now and then (though he isn’t). He is 39 years old and works at a factory and once a month gets supplies for his house; and those are the only times he ever steps out. Now, to be fair, let us review some facts: his father left him when he was 6 years old and that caused him to consider human relationships as ephemeral and instilled in him the fear of betrayal. It is also common for a deserted mother to project her unfulfilled needs and insecurity to her (male) child, thus becoming possessive and overprotective; at the simplest level, she spoils the child immensely, at the most complex, well, hell is the limit. However, in Gordon’s case it is safe to assume we are at the “immensely spoiled” tier. He has bad skin, granted, his teeth are not amazing either and he is quite skinny. However, none of these things is irreparable for someone who can afford to spend 4000 pounds (roughly 6000 euro or 7000 dollars) for each of his two Real Dolls. I mean, if you wanted to stretch it, even plastic surgery was an option. I believe the key lies with his mother’s influence and its consequences. Besides being spoiled, having an overprotective mother can also make you pretty mild, especially if you are not heavyset and “bodily strength-conscious”. As a result, Gordon lacked in confidence and he implies repeatedly that he was trodden over and taken advantage of when he was younger. The context of this rant, revolving around this one woman whom he had met and she called him to watch her son, so she could go on a date, clearly indicates this. As a result, he has probably felt a victim of every living person he has ever come closer to than casual acquaintance. His condition is confirmed by what he says of his ex-girlfriend: “the best thing she did for me was leave, because it was before the holidays and she saved me a bunch of money in gifts, which I spent on myself instead; which was pretty cool”. He definitely suffers from a standard case of regression: though he is 39 years old, his psychology is that of a 14-year-old, who “can do what he wants without anyone saying otherwise”. In there “it’s his way, his thing”. Like an even younger child, he lives in his own world, where he connects with only lifeless objects, “which gives him peace of mind”. I.e. objects cannot betray you or point out your faults. In this way, he can eschew any adult responsibility and hide from his fear of reality. What makes him really dangerous is that he lives in a country where his age allows him to own a Glock, a TEC-9 and a MAC-90, with all the maturity of a spoiled juvenile. The Real Dolls probably keep him in this retarded lull, preventing him from escalating to a raving, trigger-happy, paranoid and murderous lunatic.


Mike… Well… It is really odd how the one using the dolls pretty much in the standard way, as masturbation prop, is the most disgusting of the four. Apart from having money enough to project a lifestyle appealing to any woman, instead of spending, oh, around 50000 dollars on 8 Real Dolls, it is obvious that this guy is interested only in having somewhere to relieve his hard-ons, WHENEVER they might occur. There is a dimension of homosexuality to a guy who spends so much time checking out lingerie, clothes and wigs to dress his dolls, like a life-size Barbie fan but there really is not enough material to substantiate this so we’re moving on. “Better wigs, more realism, better sex”. Let us get something straight: however realistic, sticking it to a bit of rubber, no matter how realistic or how – yugh! – adorned with contributed pubic hair, is NOT sex. Sex requires, even at its worst, some minimal interaction. This is elaborate masturbation with ribbons on it. However, this, coupled with another thing he says a bit later on, indicates his derangement. Mike has Real Dolls because “when you wake up with a hard-on, you cannot expect the woman sleeping next to be readily available. She is a human being, she has her own personality and you have to convince her”. So instead, rubber fast-food for the horny Texan. This is indicative of a person unable to bother with human interaction and whose ideal woman is the slavish archetype projected by porn stars. He is a man socially deficit and borderline misanthropic, since he found a girlfriend through the internet and could not be even bothered to put aside his fixation, in order, not to be with her, but just test their compatibility: yes, the average (and in this case, ugly) woman, would be freaked out to celebrate her new boyfriend’s birthday, whom she visits at home for the first time, with a couple of his rubber Kelly Madison imitations. Of course, he is able to cover-up his condition quite sufficiently (or at least, he thinks he is) and factually speaking, he is probably the least deranged of the four. However, he remains a disgusting, porn-fixated and slimy individual.

Bottom line; are Real Dolls good or bad? Though the video reveals a very shocking reality, moving past the shock, Real Dolls are just that: a reality. A reality even, which improves the quality of life of social fringe people. Does it perpetuate their problem? Yes. Does it socially neuter them? Yes. However, as discussed above, the alternatives are evidently worse. Another slimy individual in the video is Matt, the creator of Real Dolls, who either naturally assumes or hypocritically states that “most people who say they would not have sex with a rubber doll, probably would”; based on… nothing. Sex with rubber better than no sex at all? Reality check: this is not sex, brainiac. The really disturbing thing is that already 3000 dolls have been sold worldwide (at the time the video was made) and the company gets around 400 orders a year, which is 1 more declared socially inept individual each day; which is a really sad thing for the world in its entirety. For, if more and more people accept their inability to be in the company of other people, it won’t be long before we are reduced to uttering cutting edge technological grunts.


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