Guys and Dolls
“For some people, finding a partner in life can be difficult. For others, it’s almost impossible.” (“Guys and Dolls”, Channel 5 UK documentary) Connecting with people, dating and relationships are undoubtedly difficult. With all the complex dating games and the growing yet competitive singles market which we have no choice but to play in, finding a love connection is often a contrived and convoluted process that only the strong can survive. So what happens to those who cannot survive or are too afraid to even enter the arena?
As Mother Teresa once said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.” To escape that poverty, some would hitch themselves with the first warm and willing body they find or hang on to whoever they have even if they are unhappy or unsure of their love for that person. Others would escape their loneliness with dogs, cats and other pets, caring for these pets like a parent would care for his or her human child. Then there are those who would go as far as renting a friend, spouse, relative or pet (as the Japanese do in Japan) for a few hours of companionship, love and attention. (“Rent-a-friend in Japan,” BBC News, 12-Jan-2009) As loneliness is an ever-increasing problem in today’s society, people are coming up with creative ways to fill that void. But how far will some people go to do so?
In the documentary, “Guys and Dolls”, we are introduced to four men who filled the loneliness void by finding companionship with “real dolls”. These dolls are life-size and made to look and feel like a real women – the skin, flesh, tongue and all – though they are generally of fantastic proportions that only exists in Barbie dolls. There are over 3,000 of these dolls across the world today providing doll owners with companionship, security, physical intimacy and even love that have eluded them for some reason in the real human world. These dolls are personified by their owners, loved and cared for like a real girlfriend, spouse or lover. In return, the doll owners are provided with a sense of certainty and security that humans are unable to provide. As Davekat from Michigan argues, “[The doll] is an anchor… because I know what to expect. With women, you don’t really get that.” And Gordon from Virginia agrees: “As good as the sex is with [the dolls], the peace of mind with them is even better.”
Most of us would rather remain lonely and single than entertain the idea of a doll. Finding companionship with an inanimate object seems clinically insane; the superb imaginative effort required to interact with a doll seems like some form of schizophrenia. But perhaps it is better than experiencing the loneliness that inevitably comes with living alone. As Everard, the British doll owner, points out, “[A doll] is better than going without any company at all.” Though a strange and unusual concept, to each their own.
- To watch the “Guys and Dolls” documentary, go to http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/guys-and-dolls/.
- To read more on “Rent-A-Friend”, go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7818140.stm.
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