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Realistic Love Dolls – How to Choose a Sex Doll

If the phrase ‘sex doll’ has you picturing the plastic blow up doll you ended up carrying around last time you attended a stag night then you might be one of the many men who is still unaware of a whole world of real life sex dolls. They are much, much more that the jokey gag gift which makes an appearance at the beginning of a boys’ night out (and mysteriously vanishes before the end of the evening, along with one of the more drunken participants).

The design of high quality, realistic sex dolls has come a long way in the past few years and the choice ranges from the simple blow-up doll to realistic and robotic human substitutes which look and feel so real that it’s almost frightening. They can be found in all imaginable shape and color combinations, and a few barely imaginable alternatives.

With such a massive variety of sex dolls on the market, the act of choosing one can become mind-bogglingly complicated. Eye, hair and skin color can all be customized and shape and size will be very much a matter of personal preference. Your sex doll can range all the way from a simple sex toy to a detailed representation of your ultimate fantasy sex partner.

​Interactive sex robots can be even more immersive than love dolls. Learn more about sex robots in ​Sex with Robots: 32 Advanced Sex Toys Designed to Fulfill Your Fantasies.

Who Buys Sex Dolls?

Contrary to popular belief, sex doll enthusiasts come from all walks of life and across a wide range of people. Love dolls are not the exclusive domain of drunken stag parties and desperately lonely, socially inept men who cannot find a ‘real’ partner. The sophisticated and surprisingly popular sex toys are enjoyed by many thousands of people, all over the world.

Some people do buy dolls for companionship; they make silent, wiling partners who do not require the ‘maintenance’ of a human relationship. They can be used to fill a temporary or permanent role that, for whatever reason, is not suitably filled by a human partner. Alternatively, you might buy a sex doll because you are curious and looking for a new sexual adventure. You might buy one to fulfill a particular fantasy. You might buy one to use with a partner, or to bridge the gap between two very different sex drives in an otherwise fulfilling relationship.

"A poll conducted on The Doll Forum showed that 50 percent of dolls were bought for non-sexual reasons." VICE

What to Consider When Choosing a Sex Doll

Hopefully, you already know why you want a love doll, and this will be a huge factor in making your choice. If you are buying a sex doll because you are curious and want to find out what all the fuss is about, then you might be wary about spending a lot of money on your first doll. On the other hand, if you are convinced by the idea and determined to have the best, then you might consider it worth the investment to experience one of the better dolls on offer.

Who is the doll for?​ The most obvious answer is yourself, but you might be buying your sex doll as part of a couple.

fck a duck blow up doll

Buy this doll only as a joke!

Price

Blow up dolls are cheap to buy, but one of the main concerns for first-time buyers of silicone sex dolls is the price. With Real Dolls starting at $5499, they can be a significant investment. The good news is that many suppliers offer love dolls made from silicone alternative TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer), which is a lower cost alternative.

Smaller dolls are also cheaper to purchase and can be found for less than half the price of full-sized dolls. There is also the option of bypassing the extras and opting for just the torso as a simpler masturbatory aid.

A realistic masturbation sleeve can be a good option for sex dolls. They are much cheaper but can still feel like the real thing. Learn more about realistic Fleshlights in the Fleshlight Guide.

Blow-up Sex Dolls

At the bottom end of the sex doll market are the cheap blow-up dolls so often seen on stag nights and comedy TV shows. These are usually made of vinyl or latex and their inflatable nature means that they are easy to pack away and store in a small space.

While often bought as gag gifts, they do feature the necessary orifices - rather crudely shaped sometimes – for use as a sex toy. They might feature a vagina and a mouth and their light weight means that they are easy to maneuver and position. They are easily available, cheap to buy and come in different colors and shapes.

Modifications for Blow Up Dolls

While inflatable sex dolls are not as customizable as their more expensive counterparts there are some modifications that can be made.

Some users stuff their dolls with poly-pellets or other stuffing materials to make them sturdier and more ‘realistic’. This is done by making small cuts in the surface of the doll, inserting the stuffing, and sealing it with tape.

The holes in blow-up dolls can be improved with the addition of a Fleshlight or other masturbation sleeve; some are made specifically for this purpose. Imagine popping in a Fleshlight Girls masturbator that has an exact replica of you favorite porn star's vulva.


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Other customizations can be made by adding clothes and/or a wig but, when the doll is made of cheap plastic and features a round gaping hole in a fixed, featureless face, the beautifying effects of these extra touches are limited!

Pros and Cons of Blow Up Dolls

One of the best things about choosing to buy an inflatable doll is the amount of variety you can choose from.

Many are themed and come with specific outfits or uniforms. There are dolls modeled on celebrities and well-known porn stars. They have one, two or three holes to choose from and some have an internal vibrating action. And they are by far the cheapest option so there is no reason to stick to just one.

The biggest shortcoming of blow up dolls, especially with the cheaper ones, is the lack of realism. They don't look, feel and weigh like a real human being.

Another major drawback is the fact that they can be punctured. When the price is very low this might not bother you but when you are spending $50-$200 it is still a blow to find that your doll has started to deflate after just a few uses.

Blow up dolls are a great introduction to the world of sex dolls and perfect for those with a limited budget but, ultimately, you get what you pay for.

Dakimakura Pillows

Dakimakuras or ‘hug pillows’ are large, body length pillows which often feature a picture of an anime character or model in a pornographic or suggestive pose. These basic Japanese sex dolls (also known as Dutch Wives) really are the simplest form of sex ‘doll’ available.

While Dakimakura are not as popular outside of Japan they are easily available to buy online. Check out in Amazon or Anime Dakimakura Shop.

Silicone Sex Dolls

At the other end of the scale are the incredibly realistic, and much more expensive, silicone love dolls.

At the top end, these are fully customizable and look and feel extremely realistic; so much so that new users have been known to experience ‘uncanny valley’ (a term which refers to the instinctive revulsion we feel when confronted with something close but not-quite human). Despite this unnerving first impression, users of realistic sex dolls can be very enthusiastic and even passionate about their dolls.

The best dolls are made with a skeleton framework that allows them a range of movement comparable to a real person. They can be bent into different poses and will hold their shape while in use.

Customization of Silicone Love Dolls

With the correct budget, you can customize every detail of your silicone doll. Common options that can be selected for even the more basic dolls include hair, eye and skin color. More advanced models come with a lot more options and you can specify everything from labia and pubic hair (style and color) to eyebrows and ear shapes.

While ‘realism’ is one of the selling features of high-quality sex dolls, ‘fantasy’ is another popular option. Sex dolls have been made to look like anime characters, animals and even aliens. Real Doll offers elf ears, vampire fangs and custom skin tones as options on their website. If you are willing to splash the big bucks on a customized doll then your imagination really is the limit.

Pros and Cons of Silicone Dolls

Silicone is a tough, flexible material that can feel a lot like human skin when warmed to the correct temperature. You will find that the better silicone dolls are long lasting, hardwearing and waterproof.

The nature of the material and the way the entry holes are constructed means that they will accommodate any size and they can stand up to some rough handling.

Care of silicone dolls is easy; they can be washed down with warm water and soap and they usually come with a cleaning kit and instructions. As long as you treat your doll well, used the correct water based lube and store it correctly it should last for many, many fun-filled years.

If you can afford one then there are very few disadvantages to buying one of the better silicone dolls; they are the Rolls Royce of love dolls and can be customized to be almost anything you need. But there are limits.

One major drawback for some users is the lack of a larger doll. Silicone is heavy and very large dolls would be unwieldy and difficult to handle. The largest doll offered by RealDoll is a US dress size 10-12.

Once a week I comb through two dozen sex toy companies and sex shops to find the best deals on male sex toys.

Top Brands for Realistic Sex Dolls

One of the biggest and best-known brands of realistic love dolls is RealDoll, but their competitors are swiftly catching up.

Orient Industry, a Japanese company, offers dolls with such realistic skin and eyes that they are “hardly distinguishable from the real thing”. They offer a wide range of customization, including specialized clothing and lingerie, and prices are in the same range as RealDoll.

The cost of a high-quality silicone sex doll starts at around $5000, though fully customized dolls can cost significantly more.

Cheaper High Quality Sex Doll Options

TPE Dolls

A cheaper alternative to silicone, TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) have many of the same benefits of the pricier alternatives. They can be a great choice for those who don’t want to spend too much money.

Life size TPE sex dolls can be found starting from around $2000.

Mini Sex Dolls

Mini dolls are smaller versions of the lifelike sex dolls described above. Much of the cost of silicone and TPE dolls is in the material, so it makes sense that a smaller version will be cheaper to buy.

Torso-only Sex Dolls

If you are looking for a sex toy and don’t need the detailed face, hair and extremities that make a sex doll seem human you can just buy a basic torso with holes as required.

Many sex shops sell torso sex dolls. Following are a few examples:

Male Sex Dolls

The majority of sex dolls that are sold are female, and most of the buyers are male.

But there are some male style dolls on the market and many of the better sex doll brands also offer transsexual and hermaphrodite dolls. Male dolls offer many of the same features as female dolls and typically come with two entry points (mouth and ass) and a penis (customizable).

Fleshlight makes also Fleshjacks which are based on male anatomy. Learn more on the Fleshjack Guide.

Which is The Best Sex Doll?

As you can see, there really is no one best sex doll that will suit everyone’s needs. You can choose from white, Asian and black sex dolls. You can order alien and elf dolls with green, blue or red skin. You can buy a vinyl or rubber sex doll for fast and furious masturbation or choose from a range of fantasy celebrity sex dolls or perfectly realistic companion love dolls.

Whether you are a first-timer to the world of love dolls or a sex doll fanatic, you can see that there really is something for everyone.

Alternative to sex dolls? The Fleshlight Launch is an automated stroker that ​takes the masturbation ​one step further. It really feels like someone else ​is involved in the action. Read my Fleshlight Launch review to learn more about ​the Launch​.

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, you help support this website. Please note that: 1) I do not and will not recommend a product just because I’m an affiliate. 2) I do not recommend products just for the sake of making money. 3) I recommend products because I think they are valuable to my readers. 4) I respect and value my readers too much to write anything other than my own genuine and objective opinions and advice.

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