Southern Treasures is a professional Australian importer and distributor of high-end life-like love dolls. We spoke with the company’s creator, Ryan James, about who his customers are, stigma and the future of robotics in love dolls.
How did you get into this line of work?
I was selling bits and pieces online, all sorts of different things. Then I started selling adult novelties. From there I found the world of love dolls and it really interested me on a personal level. To me, it was like an artform. I really appreciated the sculpting, the beauty in the detail and the variety of body types and options available.
How much can the dolls be customised?
Every aspect of the doll is specified by the customer. They can buy the doll as they see it on screen, or they can make as many changes as they like. For example, there’s nine different eye colours they can choose from. There’s 15 different types of wigs in the standard range, plus over 20 of the more realistic, premium wigs. There are multiple skin tones, races, body shapes and breast sizes to choose from. Buying a sex doll is a very personal thing and we take the creation and selling process to the customer very seriously.
What are the dolls made of?
The dolls are manufactured by injection moulding over a stainless steel skeleton, using Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE). The technology is at the forefront of modern-day sculpting and is a newer method of manufacturing than silicone. TPE is a superior material as it’s highly flexible and has the ability to retain warmth. It’s also hypoallergenic and doesn’t contain irritants, such as latex of phthalates. The stainless steel skeleton means the joints of the dolls can be manipulated and extended freely to pose any different positions.
What does the material feel like to touch?
The dolls feel very soft and supple to touch… very much like human skin. The butt and breasts react with a “wobble” when they pat. The closest thing I can liken the feel to is a masturbator, but the experience is more realistic with a doll, as you don’t have to move it back and forward with your hand.
What’s the feedback been like from your customers?
We made a point to check in with every customer to ensure they’re satisfied, and we are finding that the customers are extremely happy with the realism of the doll. We constantly get told that the dolls look exactly like the pictures, and that the sex feels realistic.
What are the misconceptions surrounding people who buy love dolls?
The main misconception is that the dolls are purely a sex thing, and that the people who buy them must be creepy and dirty. That’s not the case though. From the customers I’ve spoken to over the phone, the feedback is more about how the doll has helped them become happier people. Another misconception is that people who use love dolls are objectifying women. The simple fact is that we’ve had realistic dildos since the dark ages and no one has batted an eyelid about that! It’s not about objectifying. We also make male dolls as well.
When you say that the dolls have made customers “happier people”, in what way?
The dolls provide a lot of benefits emotionally for some customers. Some men buy a doll because they genuinely want companionship over sex. I had a phone call recently from a guy who basically said to me, “I’m an old man who lives in the countryside in Queensland. I’m single and just want something to put my arms around.” And if I can help someone’s happiness by providing them with a doll, then that’s great.
Is there a particular type of customer who buys a love doll?
I would say our market is single men between the age of 40 to 60 years old, but there’s no real stereotype. I recently personally delivered a doll to a customer on the central coast and saw and met him. He was a tall, good looking young guy. It’s not just a thing for unattractive men. It’s for anyone and everyone.
Do people ever buy more than one doll?
Definitely. I’ve got a customer whose bought two dolls within the last year and is in the market for a third. The one he’s thinking of is more advanced and features robotics to make it more realistic. Also, some people buy more than one doll because it becomes a hobby. We’ve even created an online forum to try and build a bit of a community where customers can show off their dolls and share their stories and photos.
Would you say the love doll industry moving towards AI and robotics?
Yes. It’s all still in the early stages and is quite basic in functionality though, but it’s exciting and we will be able to offer them soon. The technology will mean we’ll be able to provide dolls who can move their eyes, lips and neck. It makes the experience that bit more realistic. Our current dolls range from around under $2000 to $3000, and these more advanced dolls will start at $5000.
Is there a most popular doll on the site?
Yes. Danae is our most popular doll [pictured above]. I recently just sold three of her in a row. I’m pretty sure it’s the pose. There are photos of her on the site in a boxing position – it’s a very sexy pose. People love it.
Use code PENTHOUSE to receive $200 off any doll at Southern Treasures until 31 December 2019.