Lars & The Real Girl: Sex Dolls in Pop Culture

Lars & The Real Girl: Sex Dolls in Pop Culture

Mar 23rd 2019

Back in 2007, a little independent film told the story about a socially awkward man – Lars – who falls in love with a life-sized sex doll. Nominated for as Academy Award for Best Screenplay, “ Lars and the Real Girl” engaged critics and moviegoers alike by introducing sex dolls and the complicated world of emotional intimacy to a wider audience.

Lars, played by Ryan Gosling who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor for the film, is an introverted man who has difficulty making conversation with people, including his immediate family including his brother Gus (played by Paul Schneider) and his sister-in-law Karin (played by Emily Mortimer). Uninterested in a co-worker who shows a romantic interest in him, Lars instead orders a life-sized sex doll from the internet named Bianca and introduces her to his family.

Over time, Lars develops feelings for Bianca and even introduces her to people as if she were a real human being. Due to the strong emotional attachment he has for the sex doll, it made it further difficult for him to cultivate any other relationship. Eventually, Lars proclaims that Bianca is unresponsive and plans a real funeral for her with a lot of people in attendance. After the death of Bianca, Lars begins what seems like a budding relationship with his co-worker.

Sex Dolls in Pop Culture

Sex dolls as a whole have seen a lot of representation in pop culture, particularly in the movies. One of such movies is; “Lars and the Real Girl”, in which the protagonist falls in love with a life-sized sex doll. Other movies, such as the series Humans have also depicted the possibility of humans falling in love with robotic sex dolls. One of the main reasons why this happens in movies gives credence to one fact only; that sex dolls can provide the feel and stimulation one would feel while having sex with a human. However, the movie in question; “Lars and the Real Girl”, passes across a message, although a subtle one, which is that –while sex dolls can help humans with their sexual needs they cannot completely replace human relationships.

The earliest forms of the modern sex dolls, which are the super unrealistic plastic blow-up dolls prone to bursting, have evolved over the years due to a number of reason. However, in addition to the development of better materials, the main reason for the evolution of sex dolls is due to the fact that humans are constantly seeking for more realistic sexual stimulation and sex doll manufacturers keep improving on their designs to feed into this desire. This can be seen in the progression of sex dolls over the years, from inflatable blow-up dolls to vinyl, silicone and TPE dolls.

Sex trends over the years show that each version of these sex dolls have evolved and improved from the previous one, allowing a greater degree of realness. Today, dolls are being produced with very human-like features such as having ultra-realistic bodies that are soft to the touch as well as the ability to be warmed and have vocal queues. However, no matter the technological advancement that is achieved with sex dolls, they can serve a need for companionship as well as novelty and safe adventure that many people crave. 

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