Sexual adventures a person can embark on all by themselves have evolved a lot over the decades. In the age of fleshlights, virtual reality porn, and other sexy gadgets available just a few clicks away, going at it solo has gotten really advanced. Especially considering the fact that not too long ago, all you had at your disposal was your right (or left) hand!

Out of all the niches in the sex toy industry, few are more controversial than sex dolls. Although their roots reach back to the 17th century, it hasn’t been until the recent years that these *elaborate* toys have fully grabbed the attention of the mainstream. Up until now, society has treated them as freaky, yet innocent novelties, used by lonely guys to fill that gaping hole (pun very much intended) in their lives with something that at least resembles a woman.

Serious scientific research on this topic has blown up only recently, with the advent of hyper realistic models. Questions have arisen as to whether or not these synthetic women could have a real impact on actual human relationships, as well as the toys’ detrimental effects on their users’ mental health. With an ever-increasing sex dolls for sale online and in physical stores, these questions are not unwarranted.

How likely is it for a doll to affect a person’s psyche so deeply that their social skills end up worsened? Could they be used positively, for example, as a sexual therapy aid? The jury is still out on these questions, and it might be possible that we’ll never get any satisfying, universal answers.

The Question of Artificial Intelligence

One of the most fascinating and frightening aspects of the rapid development and improvement of sex dolls is the possible implementation of AI in the process of their creation. It has already been done, albeit with mixed results. However, with the breakneck pace of today’s technological progress, these robots’ behavior patterns and conversational skills might soon become indistinguishable from real humans especially when you consider that the scope of the most in-demand abilities is limited to dirty talk and believable moans.

The porn and sex industry have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the use of advanced tech. It might sound bizarre when put like this, but facts don’t lie. Can you imagine life without online transactions? Well, you better thank porn for that — Electronic Card Systems, one of the pioneers of paying through the internet, has made it big thanks to people wanting to buy premium smut videos anonymously.

This is just one of the many examples in which this industry has paved the way for new technologies. It should come as no surprise that sex robots are some of the earliest adopters of advanced AI. How does it affect our psyche, though? If you buy an intelligent sex doll and play with it for long enough, could it make you disinterested in pursuing a relationship with a living, breathing human being?

Into a Loner’s Psyche

The research on the impact of sex dolls on the human mind is still in its early stages; however, there are quite a few examples from which certain conclusions can be drawn. You may have already heard of the Japanese guys who swear by their dolls being better life companions than their wives. It is easy to assume that these men are merely immature children who’d rather play with toys for immediate gratification, rather than put in the shift and develop a meaningful relationship with their spouses.

When you dig into their cases, however, things start to get a little more complicated. The best example is Masayuki Ozaki, who has fallen head over heels in love with his life-like doll. For him, it all started after he and his wife had children, and she became completely disinterested in sex. The lack of physical intimacy, combined with the inability to communicate with his wife properly, has led him to develop feelings towards a (really expensive) sex toy.

If you dig into this subject further, you’ll find that most people with seemingly pathological relations with their sex dolls are victims of emotional neglect or failed relationships. Another group with a tendency to use dolls as a replacement for a human connection are widowers and the disabled. When looked at it from this perspective, these “toys” are an important sexual therapy tool that helps lonely men deal with loss and toxic relationships.

Of course, these kinds of relationships could inevitably turn very unhealthy in the long run. However, until the issue is adequately addressed and those men don’t get the help they need in reestablishing their social capabilities, artificial sex toys are one of the few tools that can help them retain a semblance of happiness.

Sex Toys, or Something More?

It is easy to consider people attached to plastic women perverted or immature. On the surface, they really are guys who play out their sexual fantasies with the use of artificial companions. It is not all about sex, though. Society tends to overlook men’s intimacy issues, which opens up the window for doll manufacturers and the porn industry to provide an outlet for their frustration. Most of these guys would opt for a loving, compassionate, living partner if given a choice. Instead of blaming these people for failing to integrate with society better, it might be time to hold society accountable for conditioning them to become outcasts by shaming their coping mechanisms.