September 1997
s m u g
target audience
by Leslie Harpold


I've Been Replaced

Not getting any? Got four grand?
load this image, baby
trust me, you want to see this

My replacement is less diagreeable than I, comes in a range of designer colors and hairstyles and definitely has a better ass, as a matter of fact, she's a Real Doll. I am almost obsolete. I say almost because the Real Doll still can't do laundry, or write SMUG articles, but I can't imagine that will take long to work out. As we speak, robotics experts are working hard to teach her to talk and move on her own.

The temptation to write about the product is too great to resist fully, but I'm going to try and stick with looking at the pitch. What a pitch it is, indeed.

Real Doll, is indeed, an all too real product. A silicon life-like female, the same "size, weight and feel" of a real woman. Essentially Real Doll is a very expensive, fancy sex toy, designed to take her users to the next level of auto eroticism, when the hand isn't working anymore. Initially I thought it was a hoax, or someone's senior thesis art project, but as I researched it, it became abundantly clear that this was, indeed an actual artifact of consumerism. Manufactured by Abyss Creations and distributed by Reactor, the same nice people who brought you Virtual Valerie, the interactive sex cd-rom game.

The selling point is the lifelike appearance and that she is virtually odorless, if slightly fruity smelling. Real dolls are sold on the basis of their lifelike look and feel. That, however, is tertiary in importance, according to the information presented, to the fact that this is a sexual partner who will not make demands and requires none of that pesky foreplay or conversation. As the teaser states, her sole purpose is to be your plaything.

My plaything? Someone to shop for shoes and smoke cigarettes with, who'll brush my hair for me, read chapters of my novel and tell me I'm a genius and never ever steal my boyfriends? Someone who will agree to go to see Speed McQueen shows, and make me go see Sea Monster for revenge? Oops, I don't think they're talking to me.

Although I have a hard time isolating what makes me feel most uneasy, I would have to say what presents the greatest discomfort is the looping animated gif that allegedly demonstrates how real her breasts are to touch. We see two perfect looking male hands repeatedly squeezing her silicon hooters in a fashion that - were those hands doing that to me - would cause me to throw the owner clear across the room. That's not how you touch a woman. And I know that's the point. The last time I came close to being fondled in such a fashion, I was well under the age of consent as was my fondler. That and the supreme anxiety I am still having because my genitals so not seem to have "the lifelike appearance" of either body style 1 or 2. I am concerned this will require extensive therapy.

From the FAQ: "REALDOLL's skeletal system is too flexible and collapsible to allow her to stand upright. The doll has the poise and relaxed state of a sleeping girl.". At least they know how to market, they have managed to simultaneously appeal to the necrophiliacs and the - whatever philiac it is that prefers to have sex with sleeping people.

The manufacturers claim that this is really helping the handicapped and deformed, and those with low social skills. By playing the hanicapper card first, what's left for us to say? Gimp bashing is a mighty unpopular sport these days. That's clearly not their target audience though. With a special shout out to the foot fetishists, extensive notes on buying special outfits for the real doll, precautions regarding sunbathing with your doll, as well as details about what kind of cosmetics will and won't stick to her face, it's clear they're going for freaks. For people who can't get a real woman - the flesh model, to play their reindeer games. As for helping those with low social skills, it's not helping them do anything but get off. Which is exactly what the site promises, that you will get off, without argument, without any consideration for "her needs".

Okay, the Real Doll does have one need. She needs to be bathed, and you have to clean out those soft, supple lifelike orifices once you spill your seed. Luckily, you can just throw her in "a scalding bath", which, by the way is also a great way to heat her up for an even closer approximation of that feminine feeling.

If I am supposed to believe this is any way helps those with "low social skills" I'll need a four page letter detailing exactly how that works. Are we supposed to think that this will help in the same way my Dapper Dan Doll helped me overcome my difficulty with zippers and shoelaces? If anything, I consider this is more of an aid to those of us with moderate to high level social skills, because that's a set of inept losers we don't have to deal with anymore, since all their free time will now be devoted to mating with their always-in-the-mood 115 punds of silicon simulacra.

Hey, if you have four grand, you can have the standard, two opening model. You get to build the perfect hosebeast, to your exacting specifications right down to the length and texture of public hair and nail polish color. For a mere extra $250, you an have all three "openings" for even more tireless naughty fun with your new best friend. Sure, the cash outlay is big, but think of all the money you'll save on things like dates, condoms, books and newspapers - why keep up with the times just to make conversation? The Real Doll won't need to hear your tirade on poor Princess Diana's abuse by the media to get all heated up for you, you already took care of that when you threw in in the scalding bath, remember? And you never have to meet her parents.

At least they have a no return policy. The only thing creepier than having sex with a big silicon doll is having sex with someone else's big silicon doll.

And if you can't swing the four G for the whole doll, there's always the BoobyBall, the latest in executive stress relief.



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