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Give your money to women, not sex dolls

UPDATE: The “Sex Doll Brothel” has apparently closed…. 

Europe’s first ever sex doll brothel is opening right here in Barcelona

A company called LumiDolls claims to offer you a pleasurable and discreet experience with the doll of your choice, for the small price of €80 per hour. All the dolls are different, hygienic and the most lifelike of their kind. Although brothels like this have existed in Asia for some time, this is the first thing like this we’ve welcomed (or maybe not!) to our home continent. So, as someone who works in the sex industry and solely promotes sex positivity and ethical practices, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

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It has often been shown that sex workers can actively help and heal their clients and I firmly believe that sex work is not something that can be considered completely negative. However, these instances can be rare and this kind of work can often be dangerous for women. So, it’s important to consider the idea that sex dolls can have positive effects on their users, without the risk of putting anyone else in danger or handing over someones control. Using a sex doll can be a simple and possibly easier alternative for those who don’t want or aren’t able to maintain a real relationship, those who are in long-distance relationships, or those who simply don’t enjoy dating and find it too much of a hassle. According to the owner of LumiDolls, the dolls serve as an “alternative” to human relationships. “Many customers write to us expressing the positive changes that having a RealDoll has brought to their lives, alleviating loneliness and aiding in social anxiety,” . These issues in particular ring true for many women, which is brilliantly discussed in this video for VICE by Slutever, in which Karley Sciortino explores the reasons why so many women are now ordering their own personal male dolls and adult performers like Jessica Ryan are even starting to involve them in their work!

Unfortunately, we’re a long way away from male sex doll brothels, and I have to wonder if the results can be as positive when patriarchal gender roles take the lead! Men have had a firm hold over women’s sexuality throughout history. Since the invention of currency, it’s been used by men to pay for sex, and the industry has been fraught, dangerous and unpredictable for women. In patriarchal systems, women are expected to offer their services to men, yet haven’t been allowed to control their own livelihoods or their own sexuality. Nowadays, it’s gone as far as taking the control completely away from women, by creating silicon, doll versions of them to have sex with instead. Is this really a healing, safe alternative for men? Or is it just stripping sex workers of the money they so rightly deserve?

If sex work was legalised, women would have the right to their own business, their own money and the ability to work in safe, secure, protected spaces!  #GiveYourMoneyToWomen is a recent trending topic on Twitter. Brought to life by analyst and dominatrix Bardot Smith; private consultant and dominatrix Yeoshin Lourdes; and domestic violence educator and prison abolitionist Lauren Chief Elk-Young Bear, the organisation aims to ensure equal pay, violence prevention, wealth redistribution, and health within the sex industry by giving money to women directly! They spoke in this amazing interview about how the majority of money in the porn and sex industry goes to large corporations, rather than the women doing the work, and that mainstream feminism can often be closed minded and damaging by stigmatising sex work.

It’s time for sex work to change, for the better. It’s time for women to have control over their work! Are sex dolls aiding some of the individuals who use them, or is the industry in general going to do more harm to actual sex workers? I’m super interested in exploring this topic further and changing perceptions! Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

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