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‘Guys and Dolls’

by on October 23, 2012

The following links to the previous blog written by Michael. I too have spent some time research ‘sex-bots’. However this research led me to find the documentary named ‘Guys and Dolls’, which as the title suggests is about guys who own dolls. These are not robots but dolls. And needless to say their appearance put me in the ‘Uncanny Valley’. 

Before watching the documentary I had assumed the only reason a man would purchase a £5,000, 100lb woman was for sex (and agreed with, as quoted in the documentary, that it was a ‘posh form of masturbation’). I expected the men to be shallow, lonely, and perverse; and intended on writing a blog about the male perception of women as objects. 

Although I do agree that these dolls are in ways trying to give men the ‘ideal woman’, for example some of the dolls have abnormally large breasts and almost cartoon-like body shapes; there was more to their adoration of the objects than I first thought. These men have formed relationships with the dolls; for example they share beds, meals and the ‘guys’ all agree they look forward to seeing their doll waiting for them when they return home at the end of the day.

We discussed in the lecture that robots cannot feel emotions, and obviously neither can objects. These dolls are lifeless and the men who adore them are more than aware of this. However what became apparent to me in this programme was that the men project their emotions onto the dolls. This made me question how this affects the performance of the dolls. By creating an emotional attachment to an object, does that make it perform or enhance its performance? Do these dolls become more ‘real’ if the men are in love with them or are they still objects which represent a man’s desire to control a woman sexually?

What really interested me was that one of the men featured had an interest in fashion and dressing his dolls. He would dress his dolls and take ‘family portrait’ style pictures. This confuses things further, as he was creating a representation of a representation; simulacra. Is he trying to make the dolls, the original representation, look real or represent something else entirely; like real women? These photos in themselves are a performance, as they convey a scene with characters and a plot which can be interpreted. Does the simulacra (photos) , which replaces the initial representation (dolls), create a new object which is real, unlike the women? 

In all, I believe these objects can perform for their owners due to the love of their owners. And we can enhance an objects performance by increasing its sentimental value (naming it) and projecting our own emotions on it. Do you think there is more to these Dolls than an elaborate sex toy which gives men the ‘ideal woman’? Is their more to this simulacrum? Or is it just a fetish?

Nora 🙂 


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