Sex Dolls: A Timeline

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This is a story filled with Nazi’s and Sailors and Japanese Sci-Fi and lots of money. Nope, it’s not a George Lucas Film, it’s the history of sex dolls! Throughout time we as a people have always been obsessed with sex. We are either trying to have it as much as possible, wishing we were having it as much as possible, treating it like a dirty little secret while thinking about it as much as possible or we’re just plain doin’ it as much as possible. With all the sex we are either having, wanting to have or pretending we don’t want to have, there isn’t always a partner available to actually, you know, have it. When Plato said, “Necessity, who is the mother of invention,” he was definitely, if not exclusively, talking about sex dolls. Now, you may be thinking to yourself at this point, “Ew! Sex dolls? They’re so creepy and gross and weird!” Well, that’s a little small-minded and also absolutely right. They’re nasty. But so are a lot of things, and that doesn’t mean they’re not part of our history. Herewith, a handy timeline of sex dolls and their pernicious influence.

8 AD. — The First Sex Doll Story Told. In Metamorphoses, Ovid wrote of a myth involving a woman sculpted from ivory by Pygmalion. Her name was Galatea and he became so obsessed with her, bathing her feeding her and of course sleeping with her, eventually Aphrodite (presumably sick of being weirded out) made her into a real woman. Thus, the porno version of Pinocchio was born.

image 11th to 12th Century — Touching of Naked Statues Encouraged. Naked women made of marble, called “Sheela-na-gigs,” were carved into the sides of English and Irish churches to ward off evil spirits. The carvings had exaggerated vulvas and a legend at the time said caressing these sexy busts gave you the power to heal others. Perhaps, sexual healing?

15th Century — The First Sex Dolls at Sea. Called “Dame De Voyage” in French, “Dama De Vinje” in Spanish or, the most hilarious of the three, “Seemannsbraut,” in German, these female dolls made out of sewn cloth were used by sailors aboard their ships to occupy their time (and bodies) on long trips at sea.

image 1941 —- Nazi’s Invent the Modern Sex Doll. That’s right! The world’s first sex-dolls as we know them were created in Nazi Germany at the request of the SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Called the “Borghild Field-Hygiene Project,” Himmler came up with the concept to stop the “unnecessary losses” of Nazi soldiers due to STD’s. The Project was considered ”Geheime Reichssache,” translated: ”More secret than top secret.”

The sculptor on the project, Arthur Rink, created three dolls. Typ A: 168 cm bust. Typ B: 176 and Typ C: 182 cm. According to Rink, The SS wanted the breasts “round and full” and SS Dr. Olen Hannussen insisted on “a rose hip form, that would grip well.” As for the face (Yes, they cared about the face, too.) The team agreed it needed a cheeky and naughty look. They asked to borrow the face of an actress of the time, Käthe von Nagy, for the doll, but she declined. Dr. Hannussen suggested an “artificial face of lust”, which he thought would be more appealing to the soldiers. Technician, Franz Tschakert agreed saying, “The doll has only one purpose and she should never become a substitute for the honorable mother at home… When the soldier makes love to Borghild, it has nothing to do with love. Therefore the face of our anthropomorphic sexmachine should be exactly how Weininger described the common wanton’s face.”

Going along with the Nordish Nazi vision of beauty, a tall leggy blonde rounded out the form. The first model of Borghild, Typ B, was completed in September 1941. Later, this blonde life-sized woman would inspire Ruth Handler to create the Barbie Doll for girls.

1975 — The Stepford Wives Premieres. A film about the quaint town of Stepford, Connecticut where men have beautiful robot wives that are all absolutely perfect…except for the fact that they’re creepy as hell. Trivia: Diane Keaton turned the role of Joanna down the night before signing her contract, because her analyst got “bad vibes” from the script.

Early 80’s — The First Sex Robot is invented. British Company, Sex Objects Ltd. creates a sex robot, named “36C,” for obvious reasons. “She” also had a 16-bit microprocessor and voice synthesizer that allowed primitive responses to speech and push button inputs. People who used this still get turned on when they hear Stephen Hawking speak.

1985 — The Term “Gynoid” Coined. Gross, right? Totally. The term “Gynoid” was a name given to a female robot designed to look like a human female. It was given to us by Gweyneth Jones in her 1985 novel, Divine Endurance. Luckily, in 1997 Mike Myers gave us the much more palatable and fun term, Fembot!

1987 – Britain Lifts Prohibition on Importing Dirty Stuff. In 1982 a blocked attempt to import sex dolls into Britain began a court case about whether or not to lift the import ban on all “Obscene or Indecent” items. The sex companies finally won the case in 1987, lifting all prohibitions. This opened the floodgates to all perversity in England, prompting the famous cry, “The British are cumming! The British are cumming!”

1995 — The Inflatable Sex Sheep Sold. Muttonbone Productions, Inc. creates a life-sized, anatomically correct inflatable sheep called the Love Ewe. It is sold mainly as a gag gift. I hope.

image 1996 – First “Realistic” Sex Doll Created. At 29 years-old, Matt McMullen stops making scary Halloween masks for a living and creates the first female sex doll that is anatomically correct in look and feel. Her name is Leah (above). McMullen goes on to create the company Real Dolls, one of the most popular sex doll companies in the world. The dolls have a poseable PVC skeleton with steel joints and silicone flesh, which is advertised as “the state-of-the-art for life-like human body simulation”. They are now available in 10 customizable body styles, with a choice of 15 faces and five skin tones. Prices begin at around $6500, with some models costing over $10,000. One was also featured in the 1997 film, Lars and the Real Girl, somehow legitimizing the company.

2005 — Japanese Company Begins Renting Out “Dutch Wives.” Dutch Wives is the Japanese term for high quality silicone sex dolls. By the end of 2005 the Japanese company Forest Dolls had over 40 shops nationwide. The hourly rental rate, in 2005 was 13,000 yen an hour, or $146.00. Wigs and costumes were also available to rent.

2007 — Lars and The Real Girl Premieres. A story about a man in relationship with a sex doll, nominated for an Oscar for its screenplay written by Nancy Oliver. That’s right, a woman!

2007 — The “Sexual Audio System” Is Invented. A Japanese company adds an mp3 player attached to a built-in pressure sensor in the chest of its sex dolls. It takes 4 AAA batteries. The dolls also come with real pubic hair and detachable heads. This is really disturbing.

image 2009 — The First Male Sex Doll. Germans make the first make Android-Sex doll, named “Nax.” It has an “automatically soaring penis” and “artificial automatic ejaculation.” It costs $10,000 and the only thing weirder than the name Nax, is what he looks like (above). Yikes! I guess German ladies love bald dudes with ponytails that reek of failed Cirque Du Soleil performer. Sorry American ladies, better luck next time.

image 2010 — The First Sex Doll with a “Customizable Personality.” At the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Doug Hines, owner and designer for TrueCompanion, revealed Roxxy (above). She costs a mere $7,000 and reacts to tactile and verbal stimulation. Personalities range from “Wild Wendy,” an outgoing party girl to “Frigid Farrah,” the shy librarian type. Her interests can be modified according to the owner’s conversation preferences. For example: “No, I don’t think you’re weird at all. You’re cute and hot and totally normal and of course you could get a real woman if you wanted to, you’re just too busy being rich and powerful. Also, you should buy me lots of sexy friends. What’s your credit card number again?” image 2010 — The Sarah Palin Sex Doll is released. Marketed as the “This is NOT Sarah Palin Inflatable Love Doll,” so they don’t get sued, it is The Sarah Palin Sex Doll.