Valley of the creeps

Jackie Mantey

There’s a man who goes by the name of Davecat in Michigan who lives with his parents and his girlfriend. He dresses the love of his life every morning. Does her make up, brushes her hair, cleans her teeth. Davecat spends as much time as he can with his girlfriend and makes love to her, but his parents do not approve. Why?

She’s not alive.

Davecat is one of several men featured in a documentary released this summer about Real Dolls. Produced in California, the dolls are tailor made for customers with very realistic features, if you know what I mean. There are about 3,000 Real Dolls currently circulating throughout the world.

The documentary, aptly titled “Guys and Dolls,” also tells the story of Everard, an older English fellow who has several Real Dolls; however, the vibe you get from this man who often uses his plastic lady friends to take family photos, is that he sees them as emotional companions in a world that has truly shunned him. As he puts it, Real Dolls have given him reason to live again.

Defenders of Real Dolls also argue that women are doing the same thing when using dildos or vibrators. While some women I’ve met do refer to such “toys” as battery-operated-boyfriends, it should be noted that they are most likely being facetious. You certainly can’t compare the two. There’s something scary in building a relationship with a life-sized female doll that doesn’t talk and can be “used” at any time.

Perhaps you’ve heard of these disturbing dolls in recent days thanks to the notorious pervert Charlie Sheen. Recent reports say the actor had an “anatomically correct” cheerleader plastic beauty whom he chopped up with an axe after some women laughed at him for proposing a foursome with his latex friend.

Once you get past how bizarre such stories are, you can see how questions about how weird such a choice of sexual partner is can turn into questions of whether these dolls could lead to danger for living, breathing women.

The problem with Real Dolls is that they blur the lines for those who encourage freedom of sexual choice but discourage misogynistic attitudes toward women. “Guys and Dolls” is important in its objectivity of the fetish. It shows that many of these men are often facing serious mental illness or intense loneliness. But does that make the insane idealization of perfectly molded, subordinate women all right?

I fear that how deeply invested the men in the documentary are in their Real Dolls creates an imaginative world of dominance that could translate to violence against women with real flesh on real bones. Even more troubling? The fact that this business is huge and those others who should have the mental capacity of a conscience are banking on this disturbing fetish.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out the documentary at

Jackie Mantey is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].