by Michael Lane
June 15, 1999
THE ULTIMATE PLEASURE DOLL
She's buxom. She has a perfectly shaped body. And, Jesus, she's
Welcome to the wacky world of the Real Doll, Matt McMullen's
create a mannequin shapely, sexy and real enough for real dudes
To get a picture on what drives Matthew McMullen, take a
standard sex doll. They are usually plastic blow-up affairs that
make for something to kick around on the beach, but not
something to cuddle
up with on the couch.
Matt sought to remedy that. A mannequin builder by trade, he
with various substances until he hit upon the idea of silicone
(how Dow Chemical). From there, various other experiments led to
and from there to Stacey, the very first Real Doll sold to the public.
The response has been beautiful.
While we found the doll a little oily (the silicone emits a kind of
there is no denying she is infinitely superior to anything you can
buy in a store. Evidently, guys and dolls agree. Abyss Creations
three hundred real dolls a year, mostly through their web site,
At $5,000 a doll that's enough to keep Matt and seven others fully
We wouldn't have even visited real doll headquarters were it not
persistence of our West Coast photographer, Aaron Lauer, whose
photograph the silicone wonder has been going on for three years.
can see from the accompanying photos, Aaron greatly relished
these young subjects, giving you enough imagery to inspire your
with the Real Doll, virtually, or in "the flesh."
Real Doll creator, Matt McMullen, fills us in on the secrets of his
as he escorts around his San Marcos doll factory.
How did you get into this? What started your interest in creating a
MCMULLEN: Well, I started sculpting on a small scale. I would build
sculptures of women under a foot tall. At one point they grew to
two feet tall. It was then that I decided to sculpt life-size, but I didn't
want to have a rigid sculpture. I wanted it to be articulated like a
person, so that it could be endlessly re-sculpted in a way that you
change positions. So when I started this new project I realized
sculptures would make a great mannequin. People could use them
displays because they're not limited to one pose. I had a small web
showing my work and started getting a lot of e-mail. People were
"this is incredible, can you have sex with it?" Even my
had suggested I should make a love doll. I said, "nobody would
as much as it would cost to make."
MONK: Can you have sex with them?
MCMULLEN: Of course. They're very functional. That's the whole
When I had made the conscious decision to make it a love doll
numerous issues that I had to tackle. If this was going to be a love
the boobs had to be soft. They had to jiggle and feel real. So at
point it went beyond just looking real. I wanted it to feel real. I tried
a number of different approaches and what we've ended up with
to a breast implant. It's a pocket of silicone, almost like Jell-O inside.
Then I had to figure out sexual functions. I had to sit down and
how to make the insides feel and function like a real person.
I was just mimicking nature, trying to duplicate it with rubber.
MONK: Did you take an anatomy class?
MCMULLEN: No, I'm mostly self-taught. I took a lot of art classes, a
of drawing, and basic clay and molding. It initially took a year to get
the doll to that point where it was functional. There was a lot of
and error. At the time I was working for a Halloween mask
I had access to a lot of materials. I was able to rule out ninety
of what was not going to work. It was then that I realized silicone
the way to go. Due to costs I had to be careful with what I tried.
MONK: Who was testing the dolls?
MCMULLEN: I did all of the initial testing just to make sure it was a
pleasurable sensation, that it wasn't going to hurt anyone.
got it to a point where it seemed to work then I would incorporate
into the design.
Who was the first Real Doll?
MCMULLEN: The first Real Doll was actually Nina, which was in
was a learning process. We came to realize certain things that
MONK: Like what didn't work?
MCMULLEN: For one thing, the skeleton had to be extremely
we had ball and socket joints made out of a nylon type plastic. It
wouldn't hold up under the weight and conditions. So then I went to
ball and sockets, but it was kind of loose. Now we're using
for all the joint parts, and that retains the shape. From there we
up with a basic body and head mold. After Nina we made Stacey,
basically just another head type. By the time Stacey was finished I
MONK: Is it a machine process or do you have to hand make all of
MCMULLEN: Everything is hand made. It takes about eighty hours.
a very special process. That's why we're so different from your
doll-making company. Your typical love doll fits into a small box and
sells for five hundred bucks. They don't care about the quality
they know a guy's not going to return it. It's a sex device. He can't
take it back. The Real Doll is an art piece. I do every last step
to make sure it's perfect. That's why it's around $5,000 for a basic
If you want all three sexual entries, it's an extra $250, and that's
it's tricky to get everything working down there. Everything has to
in a certain space and that takes time to install.
What was the response of your first few customers?
MCMULLEN: They were just incredibly overwhelmed. Even when I
first couple of dolls, I was just in awe. It was shocking to see how
it really was, and customers had the same reaction.
MONK: Howard Stern is quoted as saying it's "the best
MCMULLEN: Well, that's probably exaggerated. Some people might
fetish for having sex with an inanimate doll and it may in fact for
be a superior experience to having sex with a woman. I tested the
physical parts of these dolls and if you were to close your eyes,
sensations that you get from the silicone are actually better than
real thing. The physical feeling of it. I mean it's just a whole different
thing. When you put something into this silicone entry it forms a
seal so it's got this suction that a real woman couldn't have. And
is more intense than the real thing. Others may like the Real Doll
it's totally silent and basically submissive. It does whatever you want
it to do. Some guys really get off on that, the fact that they can tell
this doll to get in a position and hear no complaints. The other thing
to consider is that these dolls are physically beautiful and how
guys out there really get to be with a women who looks that good.
many. The doll makes things possible that otherwise wouldn't
MONK: Do you think the doll helps men with their sexuality and
to relate with real women?
MCMULLEN: I think it depends on the person. I know for a fact
that a lot
of people that have ordered dolls might have sexual performance
where they pre-ejaculate or whatever. They get too exited when
with a woman and then it's all over before it starts. I've had men
to say the doll helped them overcome that anxiety and start dating.
think it's a good thing if it's used in the right way.
What is the future of the doll? I mean are we getting into
talking dolls and interactive dolls?
MCMULLEN: Yeah, we are. Basically I want to bring computers and
together. We do have numerous things in development that will
to happen. There will be very sensitive touch sensors in different
of dolls bodies and when you stimulate those areas there will be an
audio response based on where you're touching and what you're
literally going to be thousands of responses and they will randomly
together to form almost limitless combinations.
MONK: You mean conversation?
MCMULLEN: Not conversation but audio sexual response based on
of the body you're in contact with.
MONK: Like for example?
MCMULLEN: Like for example if you were squeezing her breasts
respond with audio based on the breasts. It's going to be very
to the point where there is an intelligence there.
MONK: The natural extension of what you're doing is to create the
MCMULLEN: Well, the dolls have taken on a life of their own. The
of the dolls is companionship and having a sex partner. Given that
you don't need a bionic woman. What you do need is a doll that
from your preferences. What we will have at some point is the
to pick a personality to go with your doll. We're starting first with
the audio response. Then there will be motion response. With
things working on the same system you can not only custom build
of your doll but how she will respond sexually.
Some might argue that the Real Doll reinforces the perception of
as nothing more than a physical object.
MCMULLEN: I don't think that's necessarily the case. These dolls
never be a replacement for the real thing. I take great pride in my
but it is still a rubber doll. There beautiful and they're great and in
some ways, yeah, they can be better than the real thing. But I think
and large, there are so many things about a real woman. I think
the fact that women argue with them and they like the fact that
they don't want to have sex because that gives the relationship
So I don't think that these dolls are a replacement for the real
They are an alternative.
MONK: Is there a spirit in the doll?
MCMULLEN: No. It's just a doll.
photos by Aaron Lauer