I remember watching Love Me, Love My Doll around this time last year when I interned at Vice. I’m not sure why I was told to watch it, but I remember it being interesting and I randomly felt the urge to watch it again. It’s a documentary about men who share their lives with Real Dolls, which are life-sized dolls that look and feel similar to actual women. Everything about them is customizable, including cup size and pubic hair. They cost several thousands of dollars. They’re anatomically correct in the way that no doubt matters most – they have vaginas. That you can fuck. They’re sex dolls, basically. But to the owners featured in this movie, they’re more than that – they’re companions who are often treated with the utmost love and care. A strange yet seemingly genuine emotional bond ties these men to their dolls, kind of like the one depicted in Lars and the Real Girl, although, big surprise, these men are no Ryan Gosling.
Many of them believe they are incapable of meeting human women (for whatever reason, be it their looks or their social awkwardness) and have settled for synthetic versions. As crazy as that seems, this might seem a little crazier – I think I understand these men. I refuse to judge them. Yes, it’s bizarre to watch them shop for skimpy outfits for their dolls, it’s off-putting to view them delicately apply makeup to inanimate eyelids and lips and it’s certainly uncommon to see a grown man admiringly looking into a doll’s eyes and whispering, “I love you.” You will see all that and more in this movie. It’s kind of fascinating.
This is the closest thing to ‘love’ these men have ever experienced. It’s not socially acceptable, but somehow, it’s real. Some of the men realize that a doll could never provide the companionship and affection that a real woman could; others simply don’t care. They communicate with their dolls in their own way and appear to believe it to be reciprocal. They seem to realize that deep down, this is totally weird – but they’re still happy. And more importantly, they aren’t as lonely. One could probably argue that for some, spending a lifetime alone may be more psychologically damaging than having a relationship with a doll that looks exactly like a woman (well, a woman with a perfect, unattainable body).
Here’s a screen grab of a doll’s vagina. It’s OK, I was curious too.
P.S. If I didn’t embed the video properly, which is possible because I’m an idiot, click here. It really is interesting.