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Friday, April 15, 2016

Naughty Bebes and Perverse Poppets; The History of Sex Dolls

Naughty Bebes and Perverse Poppets; The History of Sex Dolls

Yes, we are still a family friendly blog; don’t panic.  I am in now way going to get graphic; I’m not old enough, and my mother wouldn’t like it.

However, if we are going to be a museum that explores the history of dolls in every aspect, this topic must be addressed.  Moreover, there really is a book called “The Sex Doll: A History”, available on Kindle.

Outside of modern “Living” companion dolls as parodied on “2 Broke Girls” and as discussed in “Living Dolls”, a film by Maureen Judge,  fertility figures, anatomically correct dolls and “naughty figures” have clearly had their day.  There are even Playboy model dolls, and the famous   Dolls depicting pregnancy are not at all unusual, with several types meant to be play dolls created by Swedish doll makers and by Mattel.
Public Domain Venus of Willlendorf, c. 20,000 B.C.
Bunny himself depicted in doll form.

The fist dolls, the Venus figures from Willendorf and elsewhere in Europe, are indeed graphic representations of women’s bodies, meant to ensure fecundity and property to those who worshiped the Goddess, as she is known by many today.

Some experts now believe these small figures may have been given to children as toys or keepsakes.  Personally, I won’t venture an opinion.

Doctors ladies from China are often described in books on dolls.  I have seen examples of pregnant women that also showed a fetus.  These dolls recline on a couch and are nude, for the most part.  They are meant to aid a doctor in diagnosing a patient.

Public Domain

Ancient figures from Egypt, Greece, Rome, and elsewhere portray nude figures similar to the statues and portraits of the time.  Modesty was defined differently then, and some of the figures represent deities like Osiris or Aphrodite.

Marionettes and puppets, especially from the Orient, are often realistically depicted, down to the last anatomic detail.

Court dolls of the 18th century are anatomically correct; some experts again debate the actual antiquity of these dolls.  They think they may have been 20th c. creations.

Victorian naughty figures and dolls fit the category, as do the bathing beauties made in the 20s.  Also from the 20s comes a led jumping jack representing, how shall we say, a “loving couple.”    Netsuke are often depicted in erotic poses as well, and they appear on books about Japanese dolls.

Of course, there are ritual figures and dolls from Africa and elsewhere that are anatomically correct.  Max von Boehn discusses these in “Dolls.”  Carl Fox depicts several African figures, as well as a fertility figure baked from dough.


Corn dollies and some corn husk and wheat dolls represent fertility and are made to promote a good harvest.  Some gourd dolls also are meant to serve this purpose.

Ashanti Doll, Public Domain

Anatomical models, figures, and mannikins fit this category; take a look at he blog “Morbid Anatomy” for images of the wax Venus’ of Antonia Morandi.

Modern dolls, including Mndani and even the buxom Barbie and her fashion doll sisters boast various anatomical features.  I won’t even go into the controversies surrounding them here.  I need a book, but note that Barbie now has a choice of bodies.

Author's collection
Joe Stivic and other little boy dolls by Dam and by Italian doll makers caused a ripple in the doll world, as did Gay Bobby and his friends in the 70s.  I have also seen anatomically correct mail frozen Charlottes.

Then, of course, there is scholar Erica Rand's book, "Barbie's Gay Accessory", and the film "Barbie Nation" which features an S&M Barbie doll house.  Once again, this post is scholarly in nature.  I personally do not collect sex dolls, but they do play a role in doll history.   Cherchez la poupee!

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