Love & Sex

I Did It for Science: Sex Doll

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I Did It For Science by Grant Stoddard


To have sexual relations with "the world’s finest love doll."


State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.

I’m guessing that, at least once per relationship, your partner will ask you if he or she is being used just for sex. Even if you’re inclined to stop humping their leg for a minute and deny, deny, deny, more often than not, their gut instinct is well founded. If this is a recurring theme in your relationships with people, you might consider investing in a Real Doll, a high-end humanoid love toy that is guaranteed to love you long time or, indeed, any time. A little creepy? Somewhat degrading? Sure, but so is making nice at Thanksgiving with the family of the person you can barely stand to look at anymore.

Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

Real Doll (one)
Lube

Jesse
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In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.

You know that one book, painting, album or play that "speaks" to you in such a profound and personal way that you can only imagine it was created with you in mind? I call this "having a Roberta Flack moment." Everybody has at least one. Many have found their life sung , or pain strummed , in the work of Salinger, Cobain or Kerouac. At fifteen years old, I was being killed softly by Anthony Michael Hall in the film Weird Science.

For those unfamiliar with the piece, here is the plot: unpopular dweebs Gary (Hall) and Wyatt face the very real possibility of dying with their virginities uncompromised. Their solution: harness the power of a 486, the Chicago power grid and a Barbie doll, and create a beautiful woman (Kelly LeBrock) to hook up with.

Although the plight of the characters in Weird Science mirrored my own, our methodologies diverged. Instead of creating a human being out of bedroom bric-a-brac, I consoled myself with compulsive masturbation and the music of Iron Maiden. It was rumored, however, that two resourceful twin brothers from a neighboring town constructed a lo-fi sex surrogate by taping a close-up picture from a girlie magazine to a ratty old cushion with a hole cut in it. Clever.

Somewhere between Ms. LeBrock and the McAlister brothers’ sodden pillow, there are Real Dolls. You’ve probably heard of them via Howard Stern, HBO’s Real Sex or dozens of magazine articles. I hadn’t, and until I visited the company’s website, my impression of a sex doll was an inflatable piece of tarp with a gaping mouth. I couldn’t imagine the depths to which a person would have to sink to hump a glorified Aerobed with a surprised expression. If I think about it too hard, I get terribly sad, even now. But Real Dolls aren’t like that. So insisted my friend David, who said that if I could get a "professional discount" on one, he would split the cost with me on two conditions: a) if he could "use" it on weekends and b) if I got one with "huge tits."

Just looking at the models on realdoll.com, I found myself incredibly aroused. Not surprising, really. At least aesthetically, Real Dolls live up to their name. If you squint a bit, it’s difficult to discern whether they’re flesh and blood. They’re so realistic-looking, in fact, that the company produced a spinoff site showing the dolls getting it on with each other. People are paying to jerk off to inanimate objects that have been posed to look like they’re fucking. If that isn’t brilliant, I don’t know what is.

The first question that springs to my mind is, "Just who the hell is buying these things?" It turns out I’m not the only one who wonders: that’s the first question on the website’s FAQ page. While the company’s answer is "futurists, artists, art collectors, filmmakers, scientists, health professionals, housewives, you name it," I think a better idea can be gleaned from reading the frequently asked questions, which are frequently scary. Here’s what I came up with:

Can you pull on her nipples hard without fear of tearing them? The masochistic

How much weight can the doll support? The big and tall

What if I don’t fit with RealDoll’s sex parts? The wishful thinker

What happens when "the honeymoon is over" and I feel that the doll is not for me and wish to return it? The flake

Do you have any rejects or used models I can buy for cheap? The pennywise

Jesse
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I’m a cross-dresser interested in a full body silicone female skin. Can I buy a REALDOLL skin or can you tell me where I can get a silicone female body suit? What the fuck?

Seriously, what the fuck? I don’t know what’s scarier: chatting to a hot chick in a bar before a hairy-ass dude unzips himself out of a woman pelt or the fact that this question is apparently asked "frequently." I’m no expert on fringe sexuality, but I’ve seen Silence of the Lambs, and I know that men who express an interest in wearing a woman’s skin end up having bodies exhumed from their crawl spaces.

You must be a relatively well-to-do perv to own a Real Doll. Female versions start at $5,999, male versions at $6,999; custom options can cost thousands more. That’s a lot of money, especially when you’re probably the only person who’ll ever know about the purchase. But according to the website, a great many of Real Dolls’ customers don’t even use the doll for sex. I’ve been thinking about it, and I could only come up with one economically viable non-sex use: being able to ride in the carpool lane. In the state of California, the minimum fine for traveling in the HOV lane without a passenger is $271. If your synthetic friend fools Ponch and John more than twenty-five times, he or she is actually saving you money. Score!

On the showroom section of the site, each model is named, and both her face and torso are assigned a number based on type. Sonya has face type 1 and body type 2. David would definitely push for a girl with a type 6 body.

With curiosity eating me like Ruben Studdard at a breakfast buffet, I got the Real Doll people on the phone, hoping to score a date with one of their girls. Although they were hesitant to let me get freaky with one of their creations, they did say I could "see how I got along" with one of their prototypes that had "been around the block a few times."

"You know what I want to do with her, right?" I asked the women on the phone.

"Well," she replied, "just be nice to her, and we’ll see how it goes."

And here I thought the advantage of a Real Doll was that she’d always be up for it. I talked my photographer friend Aaron into taking pictures of me and hightailed it deep into Orange County. Aaron agreed to take pictures so long as he didn’t have to see my unit.

Quantify the effects of the experiment.

Aaron and I arrived at Real Dolls’ San Marcos "facility" at one in the afternoon. We drove past the abandoned-looking premises a couple of times, certain I had the wrong address. After triple checking, we parked out front and walked up to the entrance. A young guy got up from the reception desk, opened the door and returned to his desk without a word.

"Hey," I said, cutting the leaden silence of the waiting room. "I’m Grant Stoddard from Nerve? I’m here to see Matt McMullen?"

Jesse
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"I’ll be with you in a second," the receptionist drawled in a SoCal monotone, staring intently at the screen. He seemed both frustrated and determined. Aaron and I were motioned in the general direction of some pink leather sofas. We sat down. The reception wasn’t the only thing that was chilly: the room was dim and freezing. It was ringed with silicon miniatures of naked women, each about sixteen inches tall. In the distance, the phone rang and a female voice answered. While Aaron loaded a roll of film, I listened in on the conversation.

"No, sir, there is a twelve- to sixteen-week waiting list . . . well, every doll is handcrafted, sir. . . well, you can pay a fee to expedite, but you can’t jump to the top of the list . . . You can cut the wait time to eight weeks . . . that fee is an extra fifteen hundred dollars . . . you wanna go ahead and do that? . . . alrighty then, it’s a Mastercard?" This was certainly a testament to the product. People were parting with twice my rent to get their grubby mitts on a fuckdoll a little sooner.

I asked the receptionist for the bathroom, and he pointed me down a long, dark corridor. Halfway there, I noticed a door was ajar and poked my head in. What I saw gave me a jolt. Dozens of Real Dolls were hanging from the walls by metal hooks in the back of their necks. They stared blankly at each other and at me, their mouths agape. It looked like a mass lynching at the Playboy Mansion.

I wandered around the room, mindful of the prominent "Do Not Touch" signage. This was my first face-to-face encounter with Real Dolls, and I was taken aback by how realistic they seemed. All the major races and pubic hair options were represented. I walked back to the reception area. We’d been waiting for about fifteen minutes when the guy at reception introduced himself as Matt McMullen, Real Dolls’ founder and president. "Sorry about the wait," he sighed. "Computer issues." I was expecting him to be much older and said so. "Yeah, I get that a lot. Let me get you your date." He ushered us into a room containing a sofa, TV, coffee table and "Karen," who was coyly sitting on the sofa. Karen had a type 3 body, a type 2 face and a type-A personality.

"Here she is," Matt said, straightening her sheer blue dress, fussing with her hair and taking an admiring step back. "Go nuts. I’ll be back in a half hour." He turned to leave, but I suddenly felt a little ridiculous and decided to stall. "Um, Matt? Can I ask you a few questions about the dolls first? I asked. "Sure," Matt said after checking his watch, fiddling with one of his face piercings and perching himself on the arm of the sofa.

Then I remembered where I’d seen Matt before. He bore a striking resemblance to the male Real Doll featured on the website. I asked him if the doll was created in his likeness. "Actually, a friend made the face for that doll," he explained. "The original version was a total replica of my face. I thought having this fabricated version of me was just too fucked up and made him change it."

"Well, it still looks like you a bit, don’t you think?" I probed.

"Matt?" A woman’s voice in the background.

"Okay, have fun, guys. If you want to change her position, come get me and I’ll do it. Because if you damage her it’s like . . . y’know?"

We did. Sort of. Aaron looked at me sheepishly. "Maybe you could leave me and the lady alone for five minutes?" I said. Relieved, he bolted from the room. Karen and I were alone at last. I touched her bare thigh and looked up at her for approval. Even though she was inanimate, I thought it terribly gauche to grab for the rude parts with no attempt at conversation.

A bit of background. During my time at Nerve, I’ve been sent many products intended to feel "just like real skin." Almost all of them don’t, unless they’re trying to replicate the mealy flesh of an Ebola sufferer. I got so many of these products, I almost came to expect prosthetic buttocks to be waiting on my desk every morning. The packaging usually said something like, "Molded from Chasey Laine’s pussy and ass & feels just like the real thing!" As I scarfed down a bagel and coffee, I’d give the cheap toys a quick feel, then spend the next hour worrying about the state of the porn starlet’s health.

Real Dolls are certainly more natural. The skin responds to a squeeze like a healthy nineteen-year-old Midwestern girl’s might. The shocking difference — something I hadn’t really anticipated — was that my date was stone cold to the touch. (Matt later told me that Real Doll owners put the dolls under electric blankets or in the tub to heat them up; apparently, silicone retains warmth.) Undeterred, I popped a boob out of her chiffon dress. This would be the true test of anatomic accuracy. I breathed on Karen’s perky orbs like a grandmother cleaning her spectacles, attempting to take the chill off. I took one in each hand, and it felt good. Really good. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine I was feeling a real woman’s C-cup boobs. Oddly enough, aside from the slightly tacky feel of the silicone, these boobs felt more natural than the fake sets that reside on real people. I was so zenned out that I didn’t notice Aaron sneak back into the room. "Looks like you’ve made friends," he said, jolting me out of my daydream.

Think removing a real girl’s clothes can be tricky? Karen was not only uncooperative but insanely heavy. I never really understood the term "dead weight" before. With Aaron’s help, I eventually got her naked and positioned her head in my direction. Grabbing her hand, I shrieked. Karen’s skeleton was discernable through her flesh, just like a real person’s. Regaining my composure, I moved my hand between her legs.

I figured a Real Doll’s vagina would probably take the brunt of the consumer’s attention, and thus would be the key to its ultimate realness. Slowly, I slipped a finger in. The cavity was super-snug and, aside from being cold, certainly felt real. I squeezed out a dollop of Astroglide from the tube I’d brought along and applied it. Probably from friction alone, the area started to warm slightly. Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I got a little excited at the thought of having sex with it . . . I mean her.

Aaron left the room while I put on a condom and got between her legs. The initial pleasure of Karen’s tightness was tempered by the feeling that I was humping a cadaver and was about to experience my first morgueasm. The sound of her wig rubbing against the back of the sofa was chilling.

Aaron, understandably reticent to be in the same room while I used the world’s most luxurious masturbatory device, returned to take a few posed shots. "Um . . . what’s it feel like?" he said, using his camera primarily to avoid making eye contact. I gave Karen a few hard pumps to illustrate. "Y’know what?" he said, taking shots as he backed toward the door. "You can tell me later."

 

 

Quantify the effects of the experiment.

First, I have to say that Real Dolls are amazing and totally eerie. I’ve never seen or felt anything so human that clearly isn’t.

Part of the reason Real Dolls are so amazingly lifelike is that McMullen didn’t originally conceive of them as sex toys, but rather as high-end fashion mannequins with articulated skeletons. It was only when the dolls started to cause a stir among a certain demographic that he and his wife decided to reposition the dolls as something one can shag.

So what are the advantages to having a prosthetic lover? You can be completely selfish and not worry about anyone else’s fun. Of course, none of us — myself included — are strangers to being self-centered in the sack, but it’s quite liberating to know there’s absolutely no chance your partner du jour will resent you.

A definite disadvantage: certain acts that seem naughty and transgressive — anal sex, for example — are less so when they’re trumped by the transgressiveness of fucking a lump of latex. Speaking of transgression, Matt told me about a couple of potential customers who requested some seriously whacked-out customizations: one wanted a facsimile of his own mother and offered thousands of pictures from which to work. Another wanted a woman covered in apelike body hair. One chap even wanted a replica of a canine. "He offered me $50,000 to do it," Matt confided, "but y’know . . . I just couldn’t."

To each his own. This is where I’m supposed to say that Real Doll sex doesn’t come close to sex with a human, and all you need is love, etc. etc. Of course. That sort of misses the point. The Real Doll is a sex toy, and a fine one at that. It’s light years away from screwing an Aerobed, and sometimes, that’s all you need. According to Matt, for his customers, one of joys of the product is that it’s just an approximation of a fantasy. It’s one of the rare sexual situations in which close does count.

Photography by Aaron Schmidt.