Talking sex dolls, a remedy to loneliness in China

China –

The “new generation” sex dolls talk, play music or start a dishwasher if asked. In China – with many more men than women – a company proposes silicone ladies for singles and seniors who suffer from loneliness.

The naked bodies of the dolls are aligned in the workshop of the specialized company Exdoll, located in the port city of Dalian (northeast).

“What’s your name?” The white-coat programmer asks a blonde in a transparent nightgown.

“My name is Xiaodie, but you can call me baby,” she answers in Mandarin with a robot voice.

The engineer asks him to play music. Said and done. The doll spreads a traditional ballad.

The sex doll is based on the progress of artificial intelligence to create dolls capable of expressing themselves. Its objective is to combat the loneliness of singles, the elderly and the disabled.

In China, the imbalance between men and women is enormous: 33.6 million more men than women over a total population of 1.4 billion.

This is due to the political call of the only child who, between the years 1970 and 2015, forbade most marriages to have more than one descendant.

– Mini skirt and silicone –

The preference for males – who transmit the surname and adults contribute labor to the family – led some couples to resort to selective abortions.

Currently, 114 children per 100 girls are born in the country, a gap much higher than the world average. The rapid aging of the population also entails a large number of elderly widowers.

“China has a shortage of women, it is a factor that feeds the demand for our products, but our dolls are not limited to proposing sex,” Exxoll marketing director Wu Xingliang told AFP.

Sitting between two dolls – one with a miniskirt and another with a Japanese school uniform – Wu is convinced that the company he works for can solve some social problems.

Smart dolls “can have deep conversations and help with household chores, and in the future, they can even provide medical assistance,” he says.

Xiaodie is equipped with a Wi-Fi function similar to the Siri system of iPhones. You can surf the internet, be controlled via a smartphone and respond to vocal commands.

The virtual lady, who costs 25,000 yuan (3,200 euros, 4,000 dollars), also turns on and off connected appliances, such as dishwashers.

– ‘The most exciting’ –

The company, which employs 120 people, began to develop the robot dolls in 2016 and will go on sale in the coming months.

The group also makes about 400 custom-made “traditional” Sex dolls each month; Customers can choose the height, the size of the breasts, the amount of pubic hair or the color of the skin, eyes or hair.

Exdoll hopes to improve their models in the future, adding vocal recognition, complex facial expressions or the ability to follow the user’s eyesight.

“We want a robot with the most beautiful face possible and the most exciting body possible,” sums up Qiao Wu, development director of the firm.

According to him, the first dolls with ultra-realistic artificial intelligence will be available within 10 years.

China manufactures more than 80% of the sex toys produced in the world. The sector employs one million people in the country and represents 6.6 billion dollars in business volume. The funny thing is that these robot dolls do not displease the Chinese defenders of women’s rights.

“A large number of men expect the same from women: sex, domestic chores, children … They do not consider them as individuals,” the feminist militant Xiao Meili told AFP. “If all these unfortunates buy a doll, a certain number of women of these types will be spared.” (I)

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