‘Synthetik Love Lasts Forever’: Sex Dolls and the (Post?)Human Condition

  • Prayag Ray


The sex doll—an artificial representation of the human body for sexual usage—has a long and somewhat secret history. After briefly recounting this history, this paper examines the realistic modern sex doll and the motivations of its users. The doll embodies the complex interplay of the human desires for the fantastic as well as the realistic. It then looks at the sex doll as a product of commodity fetishism, the fear of female sexuality, and the fragmentation of human relationships within the socio-economic reality of late capitalism. It then reads the sex doll as what Baudrillard would call a ‘mythological’ object, reproducing and thereby perpetuating the ideology it is a product of, at the semiotic level. Later sections will outline a genealogy of the taboo surrounding sex dolls, from a historical and psychological perspective, examining the ‘uncanny’ affect it produces. A final section will consider the phenomenon in the light of posthumanism, asking whether its use is ‘cyborgic’, and whether it heralds a post- or transhumanist future.


Inanimate Object Prosthetic Hand Transitional Object Body Dysmorphic Disorder Uncanny Valley 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for English Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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