history of sex dolls

The History Of Sex Dolls

It’s no secret that adult toys are a booming industry.
And it’s no secret that the technology involved in sex toys becomes more advanced by the day.
The one instance where it’s probably most apparent is in sex dolls.
But where do sex dolls come from? And where are they going?
Let’s dive into the history of sex dolls and find out.

The History Of Sex Dolls

The Beginning (8 AD)

The first recorded instance of sex dolls is actually in a book.
In 8 AD, a Roman poet by the name of Ovid wrote his epic, Metamorphoses, which spanned 15 books, and totalled 11,995 lines.
In the epic, one of Ovid’s characters falls in love with an ivory sculpture. He turns to the goddess Aphrodite to bring the sculpture to life, which she does.
While there is a bit of confusion about the exact starting point for the history of sex dolls from here, the one story with the most evidence backing it up is that of the dames de voyage, or women of travel.

Dames De Voyage (17th Century)

The origin of the dames de voyage begins back in the 1600s. 
As the story goes, European sailors would put together makeshift figures. They were made out of scraps of leather and cloth, sewn up and filled with cotton or straw. 
A hole was cut between the legs, and the doll would pass between everyone until the dried bodily fluids would go nasty.

Dolls Abroad (19th Century)

It wasn’t until the 1800s that dolls would make it internationally known.
The dames de voyage, also known as “dutch wives”, were traded with the Japanese on their trips. These dolls were then sold to local men, or rented out for those who couldn’t afford to buy one.
There have been recent reports of sex doll “brothels” around Japan. People can hire sex dolls for an hour and take them to private rooms, but there’s evidence that claims that this practice dates as far back as the 19th century.

Commercial Dolls (19th - 20th Century)

While this is an instance of sex dolls being sold, the first official proof of them being sold in a large enough amount to constitute commercial sales weren’t dames de voyage.
They were called femmes en caoutchouc, which literally means “rubber women”.
They'd appear in French catalogues, made of rubber to create a more lifelike sensation.

The Current Day (21st Century)

As we said before, the adult toy industry is booming.
That has included sex dolls. 
From rubber women to inflatable dolls, the sex doll industry has become the most advanced in the sphere of sex toys.
However, the recent rise of AI and synthetic skins have shown that the history of sex dolls is a far cry from what you find on the market today.
Custom-made “lifelike” dolls come equipped with automated expressions, voices, and some can even get goosebumps.
In fact, a recent sex doll named “Samantha” has the ability to say no.
These upgrades have meant that sex dolls are moving into a space where some people have entered into romantic relationships with them, instead of human partners.


There’s no way to determine what the future of sex dolls will be.
But the current path they’re on suggests that they may shift from just offering pleasure to also offering companionship, and have the ability to offer all of the emotions, comfort, and possibly even movement of humans.
Whatever the sex doll industry may end up doing, there’s no doubt that it’s going to be something that challenges how society views adult toys forever.