theatlantic:

Married to a Doll: Why One Man Advocates Synthetic Love

Davecat met his future wife, Sidore Kuroneko at a goth club in 2000, so the story goes. The less romantic but perhaps more true version is that he saved up for a year and a half to buy her online. She cost about $6,000.

Sidore is a RealDoll, manufactured by Abyss Creations in the shape of a human woman. She is covered in artificial skin made of silicone, so she’s soft. These high-end, anatomically correct—even equipped with fake tongues—love dolls (or capital-D Dolls) are ostensibly made for sex. But 40-year-old Davecat (a nickname acquired from videogames that he now prefers to go by) and others who call themselves iDollators see their dolls as life partners, not sex toys. Davecat and Sidore (or, as he sometimes calls her, Shi-chan) obviously aren’t legally married, but they do have matching wedding bands that say “Synthetik [sic] love lasts forever,” and he says they’re considering some sort of ceremony for their 15th anniversary.

Davecat considers himself an activist for synthetic love, and the rights of synthetic humans, such as Shi-chan. He’s active online, with an iDollator blog, “Shouting to hear the echoes,” that he updates regularly, and has appeared on TLC’s show My Strange Addiction, as well as in a BBC documentary called Guys and Dolls.

Read more. [Image: Renato Velarde]

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