The Atlantic

A (Straight, Male) History of Sex Dolls

Since ancient times, men have been getting it on with synthetic women. Is this just fancy masturbation, or something more troubling?
Source: Reuters

The story of Pygmalion goes like this: A sculptor carves a statue in the shape of a beautiful woman. It’s so beautiful that he falls in love with her, prays that she could become real, has his wish granted, and lives happily ever after. The tale has been reimagined countless times since its initial publication as part of Ovid’s epic poem Metamorphoses in 8 A.D. Pinocchio, Frankenstein, My Fair Lady, and 90s makeover movie She’s All That all have their origins in that myth.

But Pygmalion’s true modern heir might be Davecat, a man who lives in southeastern Michigan with three high-end sex dolls. His first purchase, which he named Sidore Kuroneko, he considers his wife; the other two—named Elena and Muriel—are just intimate friends. Though he didn’t sculpt them, they are his creations. He designed their bodies before they were manufactured and their personalities after they arrived. “There was never a moment when [Sidore]—or any doll, for that matter—was merely an object to me,” he told me when we spoke last year.

Though Davecat may be one of the most visible modern sex doll owners—with an active blog and appearances in articles, documentaries, and TV spots—he’s part of a community called iDollators. These owners of high-end, anatomically correct dolls use them for sex, love, art, and companionship.

If Pygmalion lived in today’s world, none of this would be too foreign to him. In Ovid’s original story, there is some implication that the sculptor was not only in love with the statue but that he had sex with it before it came to life, according to , a book by Dr. Marquard Smith, the head of doctoral studies and the research leader at the Royal College of Art’s School of Humanities Other talesin 1877.

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