1. We have recently been asked to participate in a symposium for the American Psychological Association about love dolls and the people who own them. The study was initiated by a graduate student and her professor who saw “Lars and the Real Girl” and were intrigued by the psychological implications discussed in the story. Since then, they have been working on building a study of doll owners and have discovered that there is no “average” owner and that everyone has different stories and intentions. In an effort to assist with breaking doll ownership stigma and hopefully to improve the experience of doll ownership, Matt and I are giving our insights to the study developers. At this stage, the study is in its infancy – the questions being asked are necessarily broad but the goal is for future studies to be more specific and able to open awareness about doll owners to the mainstream. As you know, the media often horribly misrepresents and even sometimes vilifies doll ownership. We hope that you will participate with us in trying to remedy such misunderstandings.

    We are assured that the research studies are completely anonymous so you have no need to fear being revealed or “outed” in any way. There is an online survey available that will take about 15 minutes to answer. At the end you can choose to be entered to win an Amazon.com gift card, or you can choose not to enter the sweepstakes. The survey has been approved for human study which means it had to go through several rounds of approval and revision. We, and the distributors of the study, greatly appreciate your participation. We hope you’ll step in and help demystify this excellent hobby.

    Here is the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/dollsurvey1 This survey will close on December 16th, 2011. Thanks for getting involved!

  2. In my opinion “Lars and the Real Girl” is the worst movie dealing with the subject of doll ownership. The main character is really pathetic and the whole story is sad and negative.

    I highly recommend instead the french movie "Monique (always happy)" which is totally different, very clever, funny and positive. I just don't know if the translation in english is faithful ; I hope so because original dialogs are often subtle in this movie.

    I've read all the questions of this survey. That's really superficial !
    What's the purpose of the researchers ? To just "prove" doll owners are sane and enjoying an average sexuality ?
    Much too superficial unfortunately... Typically what I would call the “Lars and the Real Girl” syndrome...

  3. The first round study is always superficial - because this is an area that has never been scientifically explored, they have to start with things on the surface and gradually scratch away to find all the layers. Since it is actually going through medical standards, it's going to be a very long, slow process. They have to meet all kinds of legal requirements to even be able to ask basic questions of human subjects. The purpose of the study is to see if psychologists should proscribe or defend having dolls for people who come to them with issues. As I said, this is very much the infant stages of a long and hopefully ongoing series of research. It's necessary for people to try to participate without being so quick to judge because if everyone is busy hiding or being easily offended, the true nature of doll ownership will never come to light and the stigmas that we all deal with will never be pushed away.

  4. Yep. But the stigma comes from all those people seeing only what they want to see. If one looks through a prism things will not appear as they are in reality. Stating more or less obviously from the beginning of the research that doll ownership has something to do with pathological behaviours and people unable to have a "normal" life with "normal" relationships is not very smart and instructive. This is why I am talking about the "Lars and the Real Girl" syndrome. This character is not representative at all of our community I think.


    Some dolls owners have psychological problems and are not able to have a girlfriend/wife or a boyfriend/husband, that's right. Some are in the field of perversion too, it's okay. But most of the people are not so different than the average of the population. I mean, owning a doll doesn't involve you are a looser, unable to succeed in your job or in your social life. In the movie called "Monique" this fact is intelligently highlighted since Alex is a successful photographer, with good incomes, he's got a beautiful wife, a son, many friends etc... He's not unfit to our social standards, he's just fed up with his life, with that routine so many couples know soon or late. He never forgets Monique is just a doll, not a living human being, so he doesn't loose the sense of reality. He's not mentally deranged, he is rational but also imaginative and audacious.

    A serious research about doll ownership requires lots of various (and open) questions and shouldn't be focused on sex because many dolls are for their owners much more than just a sextoy. Starting from what is general to finally come to what is specific, it's surely better than to reduce things to what is "sensational". That's the same problem with journalists, and this is why doll owners dislike them so much : "If you don't tell all the truth, you lie".

    There are tons of questions those researchers should ask to really understand the topic...

  5. Kroff, they ARE asking those questions. Just because the study started years ago with Lars doesn't mean that's where their perceptions have stopped. Remember I am dealing with these people and I know that they are becoming increasingly aware of the variety of doll owners. You must understand that medical reviews do not change overnight. They have been preparing the base questionnaire for a long time, and it's been through committees and reviews and approvals to even get to this point. From responses to the first survey, they will come up with future surveys which will also have to be reviewed and approved. By assuming they cannot see past Lars you are doing precisely what you say they are doing - applying the stigma.

    You can be certain that we would never have agreed to assist in getting the word out about this study, or being involved in the symposium by giving talks on this subject, if we felt for a minute that they were trying to pathologize doll owners!

  6. I have taken the survey and I would suggest that others do the same. As we know, there are many reasons for owning dolls. The more people that respond to the survey, the better the chances of this fact being reflected in the research.  Or do you trust my personal view of doll ownership to be reflective of us all?
    Unfortunately, the one thing that is becoming obvious is that we as a group are a cagey lot. Not without good reason I'll admit but perhaps not constructive.
    I personally see nothing wrong with doll ownership. In fact, I believe that there are many possible benefits of doll ownership for many people. On the other hand, due to the current public perception and opinion of "sex dolls", being "outed" as a doll owner can have diasaterous consequences for the owner. It could result in friction with friends or family, failure of a relationship or even loss of employment. Ironically, many of these outcomes may result from a lack a trust and honesty rather than from owning the dolls. (i.e. someone finding your doll because you chose to hide it rather than discussing it openly.)
          The obvious questions for researchers are, what are people getting out of doll ownership that makes it worth the possible risk and is what they are getting actually good for them? This is a daunting task because of the plethora of reasons for owning dolls and the different ways they are used.
     

  7. Great insights Roust! Thanks!

  8. That's my Roust!!!! I took the survey, even though I did not like the way the questions were worded. I thought, wow, they really don't know anything about doll
    ownership. All the more reason to participate and set them straight. 

  9. The survey is now closed, so I can't judge it by the questions being asked. It would be interesting to know though if, as a group, we tend towards Asperger's.

  10. I am interested in seeing the results as well. Will you be posting a link when they become available?

  11. We may not receive the results of the study but we'll let you know what we do hear.

  12. On the other hand we could make up our own study!


    How do these psychologists know where to start looking?

  13. In this instance they started with a movie and some per-conceived ideas about the doll owner... Then they started looking deeper and changed their ideas and opinions. The study is intended to challenge the current understanding and see who doll owners really are and what this hobby is about. In this instance findings are specifically relevant to Psychology: should dolls be therapeutic aids, something to help people move on from or additions to a normal, healthy life. We know what we think - we'll see where the research goes.

  14. Russia Today (RT) did a news piece on full sized dolls that ties into this.It was of course biased, but interesting.A link on YouTube.   It's titled: "Loving a Sex Robot: Insanity or reality?"

    I don't know if it had any of yours in the piece, as none looked half as good as what you produce but I thought you might find it interesting.

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