So there's this new movie out called LARS AND THE REAL GIRL that's about a guy with severe social disorders who orders a lifelike "Real Girl" doll to be his companion. In case you don't know, this comedic idea was inspired by the real life phenomenon of the Real Doll, a life-size, eerily lifelike series of female dolls that can be used as hyper-realistic window display manikins, oddball decorations, sculpture for display, and, thanks to them being, er, "anatomically correct," they're also perhaps the ultimate in male masturbation toys.
I first heard of the Real Doll a little over ten years ago when they were described on THE HOWARD STERN SHOW by one of the manufacturers, and I was rather creeped out at the idea. But the concept was nothing new; men have theorized about some sort of fuck toy since time immemorial, coming up with alternatives to real women such as hollowing out various fresh fruits, wanking off with a raw piece of room-temperature liver to approximate a "realistic" texture (as made infamous in Phillip Roth's 1969 novel PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT), and of course the classic inflatable doll that's been around in one form or another, with varying levels of manufacturing finesse, since around the early 1900's.
The classic inflatable love doll: I hope to the gods that I never get that hard up for some pussy.
There was even an initially interesting underground comic book called DOLL by Guy Colwell that launched in 1989, and chronicled the "adventures" of a startlingly realistic sex doll commissioned from a genius artist by a hideously deformed man for use as a companion and an outlet for his sexual needs.
The doll was crafted with "flesh" made from a suitably yielding substance, equipped with a heating unit that gave it a body temperature of 98.6 degrees, and it even included a modular vaginal cylinder that could be removed for variable levels of intimate tightness and the concerns of cleaning and maintenance. Eventually the doll is stolen from its buyer and sent on an unwitting odyssey in which it is passed around and used by many horny characters, each encounter as characteristically graphic as one would expect from underground comics territory while also examining the motivations of each user.
I read about three issues of DOLL before losing interest. I mean, how long can you read what is essentially the same story for issue after issue when the main "character" is an inanimate, posable manikin with a blank stare whose sole purpose is to be plugged with the greasy Johnsons of assorted unsavory types?
The late comedian Sam Kinison — my choice for the funniest comedian of all time after Richard Pryor — even postulated how somewhere there were scientists working on the "elastic bush," a marvel of science and technology that would render its creators millionaires overnight since "it never has a period" and is "never tired and never talks back." Such an invention takes reducing a woman to just a hole to new lows, but that goal had been achieved long before Kinison's onstage ranting, as anyone who's ever been in a Times Square porno emporium and seen one of those wide-open foam latex pussies can tell you. It's a soft-plastic female crotch that offers both below-the-belt orifices for the eager masturbator, and when seen disembodied and packaged behind plastic in a colorful gift box it's indeed disturbing and resembles either an amorphous, unnamable thing as envisioned by H.P. Lovecraft or some slavering space alien. And to top it off, some of them are equipped with wraparound vibrators and even squeeze bulbs and hoses to create a sucking effect. Ladies, don't get me wrong. I'm mesmerized by your Good Stuff, but one of these things only looks like what you’ve got if it were portrayed by a not-very-good Muppet, and is really just plain crude and best reserved for use as a novelty pencil-holder.
And besides, what the fuck happened to just plain old simple jerking off?
Anyway, after mulling over the concept of the Real Doll, I couldn’t help but picture a life-size, life-weight contraption that may have looked realistic but was rather corpselike in aspect, bringing to mind sweaty loners and social retards in wife-beater t-shirts, securely ensconced in a dank basement, enacting their necrophile fantasies with a tube of Astroglide in hand. I wondered how anyone could get turned on by something that was a little over five feet of dead weight that just lay there, its unliving eyes staring like a road-killed deer, and after “use” would need to be hauled bodily over to the sink and have its lady parts hosed out with the nozzle used for spraying crud off of dirty dishes. I also wondered about what you’d do with a Real Doll when not having sex with one of them; would you continually buy them new sexy outfits? Would you name them? Would you come to think of them in the same way that sailors anthropomorphize their ships and refer to them as “her” or “she?”
And what about the physical logistics? Do their vaginas stretch and distend like the real thing does, depending on how their legs are positioned? What do they feel and taste like? Does their plastic skin smell like PVC or rubber? Also, the garden variety Real Doll costs exactly one cent less than $7000, including postage and handling, so there’s also the price to consider. If I were going to shell out that kind of scratch, I’d go on a lavish trip to the UK or buy some serious stereo equipment or a big-assed plasma screen TV!
With all of this in mind I went to the official Real Doll website and checked it all out, and I have to admit I was amazed, intrigued, a bit creeped out, and reminded of the possible prototypes for the replicants in BLADE RUNNER.
The FAQ section answered most of my questions, so I moved on to the galleries of available types. Most of them seemed a bit stiff, but they were impressive as pieces of manufactured product, so I perused each one. Then I found two items that put me into the mindset of the hypthetical creepy basement boinker, namely the editions that were monikered “Britney” and Kaori.”
Upon first Glance of the Britney version I did a double take and said to myself, "That's GOT to be a real model!" But no, it was an incredibly convincing toy.
Is it just me, or is this really amazing? It's a goddamned work of art! Then there was a fully nude example of the same doll that only betrayed its artificiality by the rubbery bend of the "flesh" around its knee.
The knee gives it away, as well as a certain stillness of the figure, but it's still quite impressive.
The Kaori doll was featured in the obligatory schoolgirl uniform, but then they decked it out in this getup and posed it provocatively.
I swear to the gods that this looks like a shot of a real eighteen-to-early-twenty-something Japanese chick. And when I was done looking at the site I couldn't get the images of those two dolls out of my head, leading me to the disturbing realization that if given the opportunity to "test drive" either or both of them I would probably do it, just as long as it was a one time thing and nobody ever found out. I'm not denying my occasional need to "take matters into my own hands," but owning a Real Doll would be taking it to levels that are way too extreme and frought with unwelcome psychological underpinnings for me.
I also considered that there probably are perfectly decent people out there, both male and female, who are too shy or socially awkward to be comfortable enough to ever have a physical relationship with a real live person, so for all I know the Real Doll may be doing more good than I initially thought. I may not get lucky as often as I'd like, but at least fate has kindly thrown me that option while some others will never know the pleasure of that all-too-human connection. And if the Real Doll can help to ease the pain of the lonely, either as something to talk to or as a means to approximate intimate contact, then who the hell am I to pass judgement?