Unreal Doll

For about $6,000, you can own an almost totally customized, state-of-the-art love doll

McMullen is a man of the people. He spends a lot of time on research and development to accommodate customer feedback and requests. Possible modifications include facial animatronics, a contracting vagina, and stimuli receptors in key locations in conjunction with a voice box that spits out appropriate responses like an X-rated Furby. There are plans to produce a male counterpart as well as the "she-male" RealDoll.

But McMullen will only go so far.

"Every so often, I'll get an e-mail that makes my jaw drop," he admits. "There are certain things that I, as an artist, am not interested in doing. As a person, there are certain lines I will not cross, no matter how much money is involved."

He mentions an offer of $50,000 to produce a 10-year-old doll.

Some of the less troubling requests have been for RealDolls with dog parts, an extremely hirsute (read: werewolf-furry) doll and a plea from one patron to fashion a doll identical to the gentleman's mother. McMullen described the portfolio of dear-old-Mom photos that accompanied the last request. I don't ask whether he accepted the commission.


McMullen invites me to take a RealDoll out for a test spin. Despite my initial enthusiasm and vigor, I find myself a little hesitant to take him up on the offer. McMullen's uncanny artistry aside, these dolls just . . . aren't . . . right.

But I do it anyway, going into a makeshift break room/reception area where six dolls sit in a row. In such a mundane office setting—furnished with cheap chairs, small vending machines and harsh fluorescent lighting—one might imagine these were six job-interview candidates all vying for the same, um, position. Resplendent in ho finery (fuck-me platforms, thigh-high stockings, sheer little nylon gowns through which fake nipples protrude), with mouths slightly agape, there is no question about their job duties.

From a distance of three or four yards, you might actually mistake them for live women. They have pretty faces with pouty mouths and the same dead stare you'd see on a blasť stripper. They all have porn-star hair. McMullen is definitely a master crafter with an affinity for detail. Even so, up close, you'd never mistake them for the real thing. Soft molding lines with an accompanying dimple run up the legs, and the skin—while very realistic in hue and almost perfect to the touch—is just a little too cool and clammy. McMullen observes that you can soak the RealDoll in scalding bathwater to give it "lifelike body heat."

Under McMullen's watchful gaze, I proceed with clinical groping. As I run my fingers through the hair (a wig attached to the skull with Velcro) and caress the skin of the face and neck, I feel slightly self-conscious—as if this man who fields requests to make manimal hybrids might think me peculiar.

I consider giving her a smooch but balk. Someone else might already have given her mouth a test run. And I wonder: Is the RealDoll customer all that interested in kissing or any other form of affection or foreplay?

I stuff my fingers into a partially closed mouth. There is a soft tongue and great dental work. Reportedly, due to the unique, trade-secret construction of the doll, the mouth can create a vacuum that induces some pretty intense pleasure. McMullen reports that some clients say it's the best they've ever had. The joints are rock-solid—steel-solid, actually, strong enough to support 500 pounds of manflesh, flexible enough at the joints to bend a sideshow 180 degrees.

Perhaps I am short on imagination, but after a minute, it's impossible for me to convince myself that I am playing with anything but a 110-pound lump of inert material—Silly Putty, India rubber, a shapely garden hose or Firestone tire. Unfettered by any notions of false modesty, I go for the good stuff. While a thousand horny bastards—including a few ex-boyfriends—would have paid money to see me fondle the perky, gargantuan bosoms, for ever-stoic McMullen, it is just so much quality control or, ahem, focus groping. The breasts feel pretty real, I guess—I've never felt a real set of 34Es, so I can't be definitive—and the nipples are artfully painted and sculpted; not surprisingly, they're a big selling point. The hands trouble me greatly. They are the deadest part of the doll; it almost feels like holding the hands of a corpse. They can be posed and even made to grip, but there is no actual strength in the hold. It's unlikely the dolls do hand jobs.

I do a quick visual check of the pelvic region: pretty authentic, save for a gimpy clitoris that seems an anatomical afterthought. But then, why would a fuck doll have any need for a pleasure center of her own when it's all about his pleasure? I can't bring myself to give her a full gynecological probe, though I do nonchalantly stick a thumb up her butt, which feels pretty authentic, providing there's no difference between male and female butt-feel.

Through no fault of McMullen's, the whole experience is coursing with the kind of molten sensuality you'd experience in the waiting room of a Jiffy Lube. In a bedroom—soft lighting, fine sheets, no vending machines—it might be different. I ponder what transpires between doll and owner before relations commence: Does he go through the motions of foreplay and romance? Or does he simply drop trou and sink the pink? This thought is visceral enough to jolt me. My work here is done.

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