Elena Dorfman's monograph Still Lovers is published by Channel Photographics.

Guys and dolls

Rebecca, from the series 'Still Lovers' 2001 by Elena Dorfman

In southern California there is a factory where workers craft hyper-realistic women that may be purchased exclusively on the internet for $6,000.

Customers may choose from among nine face and body types, ranging from petite to voluptuous. They also choose eye colour, skin tone, nail length and tint, even the style and cut of pubic hair. Each doll has genitals and an anus – both perfectly realistic.

Elena Dorfman explains her fascination with these dolls: "What began for me as playful curiosity – how to photograph men having sex with 125 pounds of perfectly-formed, synthetic female – rapidly turned into a serious exploration of the emotional ties that exist between men and women and their dolls. As I became more familiar with the importance the dolls held for their owners, I began to see connections that exist both historically and in contemporary culture."

In the Bible and in Greek myth, the human female starts out as a creature of perfection made by the gods for the pleasure of men. But as soon as she comes alive and exhibits her thirst for knowledge, she becomes a source of suffering and death. Woman is the seductress – both irresistible and vile – and man despises himself for being unable to resist the sexual attraction woman inspires in him.

For some, it would appear, synthetic women can be more satisfying both sexually and moreover psychologically than their flesh-and-bone counterparts.

Ginger Brook




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