One of the many things I didn't have space to cover in the Guys and Dolls piece was the plush doll phenomenon. Teddy Babes are big stuffed dolls with velour-like skin. I think they're adorable. If I was single and some guy shyly admitted that he sleeps with a big stuffed girl doll to keep him company, I'd think it was cute as hell.
Since I wrote the article and associated blog entry, it came to my attention that the Salon article I reference was actually mangled version of Meghan Laslocky's longer and more even-handed piece that ran in Salt Magazine. I was completely stunned at how Laslocky was edited in Salon. If you're out there Meghan, I'd love to hear from you, so would my readers.
Thanks to Josh Williams for his letter to the editor. To the others that wrote, many thanks. Those letters may still run and I shall link them if they do.
The doll owners had many things to say about the article. And I fielded these comments from "Davecat" (who pointed me to the unedited Laslocky article) as well:
"I had your article pointed out to me by a friend who's a member of the Doll Forum. When he mentioned it, frankly, I expected the worst: the members would see you as yet another invasive opportunist troll, which would result in yet another biased and judgmental article. But thankfully, that wasn't the case. Your piece was rather well-balanced, and it pretty much speaks for itself. Plus, the fact that you've left it open-ended is a refreshing change from the undercurrent of 'so that just goes to show you - doll owners are freaks' that a few of these sorts of pieces have.
I'm an iDollator myself; My RealDoll Sidore Kuroneko and I have been partners for about seven years; all my mates know about her and she's an incredibly important part of my life, with a status that goes far beyond 'sex toy.' I recognize the fact that she is a Doll; however, by virtue of the personality and history that I've given her, she goes from being simply a beautiful work of art, to being a lover and companion that's always there for me. And when you have a fascination with (read: lust for) female androids, combined with a history of either being in horrible relationships or none at all, a RealDoll certainly makes life less miserable. You can't put a price on that, really...
As I'm sure you've learned, iDollators run the gamut - there's a few archetypes, but there's no such thing as a bog-standard doll owner. There are owners that have their doll for purely sexual reasons, and there's owners that are 'married' to their artificial companions. There are owners that don't even give their dolls a name, and there are owners who don't even have sex with their dolls. Naturally that means there's many points in between. A rather varied spectrum, just like humanity in general."
And this came from another reader, "That was interesting this week, but I kind of felt like taking a long shower using a whole bar of soap afterward. Why is it grosser than, say an article on sex abusers? I guess because one of these guys could be my dentist, and someone could blow the whistle on him, and he'd still have his practice. (If I had one of those Stepford Wives, I'd show them who her man was). Stick to the funny stuff, please." He titled the email, "gross with a capital g that rhymes with p that stands for puke."
I'll be taking a break from dolls for a while, but I must admit that I'm thinking of buying a pair of Boobie Balls for "stress relief."
Teddy Babe photo courtesy of AVAV, which offers the following reference link.