Sex Dolls and the Law

Posted by Anna Bergeron on

A very often overlooked element of sex dolls is the legality of them. Alongside the general legality of which countries allow sex dolls and other sex toys and which ones don’t, there are a whole host of legal challenges which can make both developing and owning sex dolls more challenging than you might have first thought.

As development moves forwards, and we get closer and closer to the future where fully-fledged sex robots are more likely to be a reality, even more legal challenges arise. For most customers, many of these things won’t even be a consideration, but just in case you were wondering how legal your favourite doll is let’s take an in depth look at sex dolls and the law.

Are Sex Dolls Legal?

This will be the first and most important question to the vast majority of customers thinking about buying a sex doll. Is it legal for me to buy and own this possession?

In most cases, this is a simple yes. There are several countries around the world which have outlawed all kinds of sex toys, so if you live in one of these you won’t be able to buy a sex doll or import one from abroad. If you’re ever unsure, then do some research on the rules of your own country to see exactly where you stand.

There are exceptions to these rules though, and they usually appear when we begin to talk about smaller sized sex dolls. It’s a very grey area, so it’s difficult to get comprehensive and complete information on. Laws and regulations can also be vastly different from country to country, so you should always make sure that you have specific and up to date information on your own circumstances.

Now you might be wondering what the problem is. There can be smaller people you see out and about every day, so what’s the problem with smaller sex dolls? Well, it’s children.

Although the age of consent is different in individual countries, it’s still generally illegal to have sex with minors. There may be some countries where things differ, and I’m not a legal expert, but for the most part doing this will land you in some serious trouble.

With humans it’s easy to distinguish whether or not someone is an adult or a child. If they are above the age of consent then they are an adult, and sexual activities are legal. If they are below the age of consent, then sexual activities are illegal. Whether or not you agree with the age of consent (what’s the difference between someone the day before and day after their 21st birthday for example) it does provide us with a clear line between wrong and right.

With sex dolls, we have no such system to work from. A four-foot, flat chested sex doll could be modelled after a smaller 26-year-old woman just as easily as a 12-year-old girl. Now at the end of the day, these dolls are still just objects that are made for sexual gratification, but people might have a problem with the potential psychological effects they have. If we accept that it’s okay for a 32-year-old to have sex with a doll that looks like a 13-year-old, then will people start to think it’s okay for the same thing to happen in real life?

Obviously, we aren’t advocating for this kind of behaviour, but where do we draw the line? As it stands currently, many countries have no laws at all regarding sex dolls that look younger. Despite the psychological worries, at the end of the day nothing inherently bad is happening here. On top of that, many people believe that fetishes such as paedophilia cannot be cured and are just something that some people are born with. Having dolls and other objects that allow people to fulfil these desires without causing harm to real children could be very good for society overall.

There’s quite simply a lot to debate. Everyone has their own opinions and at some point, we’re probably going to have to decide just what is okay and what isn’t. Until then though, aside from a few outlying countries, in most places you will have no problems with buying and owning any kind of sex doll. If you do own a particularly small one though, we’d advise caution when discussing or displaying these. While they aren’t explicitly illegal by themselves they could easily be used when building a case up to prove that something worse was going on, even if it wasn’t.

Sex Dolls Can’t Give Consent

Another complicated aspect of the use of sex dolls is the legality of having sex with them without consent. Now it should be fairly obvious to everyone that no means no and forcing yourself upon a person who doesn’t want you to is a crime. Equally obvious, is that sex dolls are simply objects, so aren’t able to and shouldn’t need to give you consent to use them. None of us ask our toaster for permission to toast bread!

Problems start to arise once these sex dolls become more advanced though. The most advanced models currently available are being fitted with artificial intelligence to allow them to begin to mimic some facets of human behaviour. Each AI can have different personalities, and they can be programmed to react in different ways to your sexual advances.

Some companies have begun to incorporate different levels of willingness into these dolls personalities. You can choose to have a more “slutty” doll that gets excited whenever you touch them and are always up for having sex with you. Others might be a little more “prudish” and might reject your advances sometimes.

These personalities bring up interesting complications. An object can never normally give consent to any actions. A sex doll, even if it does have some level of personality, is still an object. So even if said object is rebuking your advances, in some senses you still have permission from it because you own the object. It’s a little confusing, and there aren’t really any clear rules on the subject.

When having sex with other people, there are often situations where one person might resist more than normal or play out the role of a less willing partner. When this sort of arrangement is between two people, it can be controlled and neither person takes it further than they are both comfortable with. In similar situations with a sex doll, there’s not really anything to stop you from taking it too far.

This can be viewed as both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, someone can act out deeper and darker fantasies without needing to reveal them to others and find someone else willing to try the same things. On the other hand, being able to explore these darker fantasies without any kind of restraint or restrictions can desensitise you to it over time and normalise the actions in your mind.

It’s another situation where society will have to think and decide in the next few years exactly what is acceptable and what isn’t. Some people wouldn’t want to encourage any kind of rape or abusive behaviour no matter the situation. Just like the smaller sex dolls though, some would argue that being able to explore these things in the privacy of your own home without harming others is probably a good thing overall for society.

Legality of Sex Dolls in Brothels

Another area where the laws of the individual country might come into play are when people try to add sex dolls into brothels. In various countries around the world brothels are completely legal, and people can freely solicit the services of prostitutes whenever they want. Some brothels have decided to try some new things and have bought a sex doll for their clients to use. Surprisingly, these dolls tend to prove extremely popular, and the brothel can often find themselves with a booked-out doll for weeks at a time.

It’s not plain sailing for these brothels though, and several have been forced to close. Allowing sex dolls (which are inanimate objects) to work alongside human prostitutes raises many questions and concerns for the parties involved. If a doll can satisfy just as many clients as a prostitute, but just has a one-off cost, then why would brothels continue to hire prostitutes. This could lead to a situation where many get paid much less in order to compete.

Some prostitutes might also feel forced to do far more than they were ever comfortable with. When someone can hire a doll and do whatever things come to mind, why would they go to a real prostitute and have to only do things they are comfortable with. Over time, the working conditions for these prostitutes could greatly degrade, something that any government would want to avoid.

As it stands right now, there aren’t many legal considerations when it comes to owning sex dolls. We’re heading into a time of great uncertainty though, with many moral questions that will need to be answered as sex dolls improve. How we answer these questions could greatly change our laws, making many of the things we enjoy today illegal to some degree. It’s an important thing to bear in mind, and if you own a sex doll you should try to keep yourself up to date with any changes that happen.

Sex Dolls

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