Terrifyingly lifelike male sex dolls are now on the market - but surely women won't buy them

These dead-eyed plastic monstrosities must only attract extremely lonely and misguided customers

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The Independent Online

Female sex dolls have been around for years, and they still have a reputation as slightly grubby, dead-eyed ‘vessels’. You think of sex dolls, and the image of some lonely bloke in stained Y-fronts who names his doll Destiny and brushes her hair after simulated sex comes to mind. The whole thing is decidedly seedy – decidedly, well, unsexy - and the industry itself isn’t exactly winning awards for enlightenment when it comes to women’s needs. Providing mute, pneumatic lumps of silicone purely for male pleasure has, surprisingly, done little to further the feminist cause. I know: shocking.

You’d think that one thing the female population really doesn’t need is more men seeing women as sex objects - in this case, literally. But things have been shaken up in the sex doll world this week. Male sex dolls are officially on the market.

Yes, women, it’s time to celebrate with a group chucking-off of your knickers, because they’re here and they’re fully customisable.  An American company named ‘Sinthetics’ (that’s not a spelling mistake, just a truly horrendous pun) has started selling a variety of the delectable dolls, with everything you could ever need from your plastic life partner. Owning a sex doll is basically like having a boyfriend, they seem to say - if your boyfriend looked and behaved like a dead member of One Direction. The dolls have look like they’ve been designed based upon the wistful drawings of teenage girls, with ridiculously fluttery eyelashes and lantern jaws abounding. I find it hard to believe that any grown-up sensible woman - who has a passport, and puts her recycling out on time, and remembers to buy tin foil - would ever find them attractive.

One of the creepiest elements of the dolls is the customising element, from eyebrow rings and stubble, right down to…you know. ‘There’. You can go and do your own research if you wish, but I should warn you that you’re unlikely to ever un-see the veritable smörgåsbord that is Sinthetics’ penis selection. The veins and saggy skin have been burned into my retinas for all eternity.

Their number one male doll is named Gabriel, and they’ve taken pictures of him relaxing on some rocks, wearing a woolly hat. Another photoset reveals Gabriel nonchalantly leaning against a wall with his big plastic hands down his trousers. The whole thing is unbelievably unnerving, like seeing into some sort of dodgy underworld and then realising that it’s actually your house.

I’m not dismissing these dolls outright; I can (grudgingly) see that they may provide comfort and satisfaction to lonely people, and that can never be a bad thing. It’s also great that women (and gay men, who I suspect are the bigger target audience for these dolls) have the chance to own their very own plastic replica human sex toy, as only straight men could in the past. I’m all for equality, and it’s great that women’s and gay men’s sexual needs are being validated and catered for. Plus, these are hardly stag night blow-up dolls bought from a joke shop that end up handcuffed to a lamp-post on a Sunday morning. Prices start from £6,100 and go all the way up to £25,000. Male sex dolls, it turns out, are serious business.

But I do find it hard to take a company seriously when they sell something called a ‘Vajankle’, which is every bit as bad as you’d think it is. You can even order ‘extra’ genitals for your big boy, although I don’t know where the extra one would be attached. That’s for their customers to decide.

So, while I’m pleased that things are becoming a little more equal in the sex doll industry, I’m afraid I won’t be purchasing Gabriel. The only advantage I can see is that the dolls don’t have the ability to talk. Nevertheless, I still think I’d take my boyfriend whingeing about Match of the Day over Gabriel and his two cold, shiny penises. Call me a prude.