Though Lars and the Real Girl may be recently turning people onto the idea of love dolls as companions, it has been a topic that I have been interested in for quite some time. While that may be true, this type of postmodern Pygmalion still baffles and depresses me to this day. I find it extremely disheartening that in this world there are people so downtrodden and outcast that they have altogether given up on societal norms and socialization in favor of a silicon friend. There is a certain amount of empathy and understanding that I can share with people like this — of being disconnected or lonely — but I personally cannot imagine the idea of checking out and buying a companion. However foreign of a lifestyle for me, I also have respect for these individuals, for being strong enough to plug along and knowing what it takes to do so. Having depression, I know that learning what gets you through is very difficult and to understand and accept what it takes to do so, regardless of what that may be, in itself is quite remarkable.
[To clarify a bit: not all real dolls are used as companions, a majority of people use them strictly sexual tools.]
For more on this subject:
Guys and Dolls – A fantastic [free] full length documentary on google video. Guys and Dolls puts human faces with the distant names found in articles.
Just Like a Woman [Salon.com] – This was the first place I had read about the real doll phenomenon. Much like the documentary, this article strays from the typical response of flagging real doll owners as freaks and creeps, moving beyond this initial reaction to see the human and emotional motivations to choose such a lifestyle.
Real Dolls: Love in the Age of Silicone – If you have a bit more time on your hands, this is the original unabridged article found above. Thanks to Davecat for tipping me off to it!
Shouting to Hear the Echoes – Real Doll owner Davecat’s personal blog. It’s quite insightful.
Abyss Creations: Creators of the Real Doll – [NSFW] A bit overwhelming. Here you can get a feel for the options and customization available when purchasing a real doll.