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Sex Dolls In Mainstream Media

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

No matter what subject we are discussing, no matter what industry or news topic is in the spotlight, how it is handled by mainstream media can vary. I am talking about both the content they create, and the content that they react to. This is not just in regards to the area of media in question that is releasing the material but also the period, as attitudes naturally change in general over time. This is no different if we look at the sex industry and in particular sex dolls.


Now, lifelike love dolls are an interesting one to consider in terms of how the media represents them. In fairness, it is only in more recent years where they have begun to take off, and a booming industry has developed. This has been largely due to advancements in the technology available to allow the creation of a realistic adult love doll and therefore an increase in the number of people using them. Before this, adult dolls looked so much less realistic and before that the closest things would be the much more simplified blow-up dolls!

Naturally, when media gets wind of a sales increase, or realise interest is increasing or some form of action within an industry is occurring, they soon like to have their say and make their opinions known (most of the media tends not to be completely unbiased). This is not just regarding opinion pieces but also how they choose to write on a story about, in this instance, sex dolls.


In 2019, in general, we are a somewhat more accepting nation as a whole and an open-minded one too, and this extends to the adult industry and a certain extent the media. If the media wants to be on an even keel with the public at least, it’ll need to be in tune with our typical stances. But of course, all individuals and organisations are different and still have their particular way of looking at things. Case in point, let us look at how various media outlets have treated the subject of a sex doll.


Earlier this year Dateline published an article called ‘Sex robots are here, but laws are not keeping up with them’. This article explores the current concerns held by some as to if we have sufficient enough laws in place to monitor and censor the use of sex robots. Once again, this article does not seek to side with one part of the argument and is not sensationalist with its reporting style, the writer gives a measured response to the topic in hand. Points are backed up where facts are present, and where points featured are purely speculation that is noted too.

Only a few months ago, ABC gave us the report ‘ Sex, love and robots’ which features the latest episode of their regular podcast. This episode features an expert in artificial intelligence who has written a book that revolves around the topic of science, sex and robots. This media also provides a balanced look at several expert opinions and does aim for biased viewpoints. Like the previous three examples, there are no sensationalism, misleading or click-bait titles to lure the reader in. This is a positive point, as it enhances the fact that the media is not trying to use the subject of sex dolls as ‘trashy headline fodder’.


Another recent article I came across online was from the UK newspaper The Mirror who was reporting on a sex doll manufacturer who was adding male dolls to their line-up. The article was based around a guy who works for said company, and his comments about this development. The language used within the narrative of the article was all general and not at all negative.

Even the UK’s The Sun online when offering an article with a title ‘ Sex robots could suddenly malfunction and attack their randy masters, expert warns’ revolves its article around the expert mentioned and does not engage in any ‘mickey-taking’ tones, something which could be seen as a vast improvement over how the media often treated niche markets and its consumers.

So, in 2019 the newspaper media is looking more on the positive side with its sex doll reports. Of course, I have only commented on a small number of articles, but in doing my research I struggled to find anything negative. But what about elsewhere from newspapers?


The Sydney Morning Herald has run stories on sex robots including an article late last year. This article takes a look at how the advancements in sex robots raise interesting questions of a moral nature but provide balance from both sides the argument. The narration of the piece does not appear biased for or against the use of sex robots and quotes are taken from sources that support both sides of the debate in equal measures.


Earlier this year, Channel 5 UK aired a documentary called "Me and My Sex Doll". I’m sure there would have been plenty who enjoyed the programme but of course, websites will want to lead with the headline that will result in the most clicks and interestingly it's back to The Sun’s website for this point. They went with the headline ‘So Disturbing’ ‘Channel 5 viewers horrified as ‘graphic’ Me and My Sex Doll shows men having SEX with plastic girlfriends’. The report then goes on to describe various people’s reactions (on twitter) around the show. Now after the restraint shown on other articles, this is more a typical shouty tabloid piece, which is based around some peoples tweets and chose not to offer any positive comments on the documentary. Having said this, it is worth noting the comments featured are against what the document shows and how graphic it was, not necessarily against sex dolls themselves.


One thing I have noticed is that when I used to see reports about realistic love dolls, say ten years ago, they were often described as being creepy in the media, and not given a fair context of their purposes and potential positiveness. As I say, when researching articles written in the last couple of years it was a struggle to find biased negative angles, it has been a far more natural take in general. Furthermore, over recent years there has been an increase in sex dolls and the people who use them being featured often on not just documentaries all about the subject of love dolls, but on general magazine shows where they are featured in a fair and non-judgemental manner. You can also find plenty more articles in various magazines, especially of the ‘true-life’ variety featuring articles about people’s use of sex dolls, sometimes quite sensitive, interesting and even moving, for example, stories where a sex doll user has had a doll made to resemble a loved one that they have lost.

You also have plenty of blogs that report on all sorts of interesting sex doll related topics, as well as the likes of what people feature on their social media pages to take into consideration. The former opens up a further chance for dialogue on the sites comments section and the latter, whilst not counting as mainstream media it is becoming a regular source of which the mainstream media like to source their article topics from and use quotes based on social reactions.


A big part of mainstream media, that can have a heavy effect on what consumers view is the world of film. Now, films featuring sex dolls, either for a particular scene or for the basis of a whole movie, going back a decade or so would be assigned more to just the independent filmmakers. But now Hollywood has shown an interest and you can expect to see plenty more mainstream films featuring sex dolls and even a whole plot-line that revolves around an adult doll.


Even the world of video games has made some steps to embracing sex dolls. One video game company, for instance, has begun working with a sex doll company to create dolls based on popular video game characters. A recent study found that sales of sex dolls based on celebrity likeness had fallen, whilst dolls based on video characters (Tekken seems to be a particularly popular choice) has increased. There have also been books both fiction and non-fiction centering around sex dolls in some form, however, these are not a common occurrence and still a pretty niche market, but I do expect it will be another area of mainstream media that will increase.


Going forward, it is my personal belief that the representation of sex dolls in media, will as a whole change again. And I am thinking that it is a topic that will begin to be much more widely reported on then it is today, and coverage will continue to increase. This would make sense because as something becomes ‘hot topic’ naturally the media will want to create more content around it. I also think that the coverage will explore a wider range of viewpoints and situations looking at the impact of sex dolls in modern society and the reporting style will be of an unbiased or positive kind, and not just relying on tired clichés.

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Article By Ben Stuart

Writer and blogger for Southern Treasures

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