Dolls at Sea: Imagined Histories of Sexual Technologies

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“Sex Dolls at Sea: Imagined Histories of Sexual Technologies” is a book by Bo Ruberg, an Associate Professor at the Department of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Irvine. The book delves into the origin story of the sex doll, challenging the commonly accepted narrative and exploring its cultural implications.

Origin Story

The book investigates the widely held belief that the first sex dolls were “dames de voyage,” primitive figures crafted from cloth and leather scraps by European sailors during long, solitary ocean voyages. However, Ruberg uncovers that the earliest commercial sex dolls were actually “femmes en caoutchouc,” inflatable vulcanized rubber women, which emerged in the late nineteenth century. This revelation challenges the traditional narrative surrounding the history of sex dolls.

Cultural Implications

“Sex Dolls at Sea” delves into the cultural, gender, and colonial implications of the sex doll history. It explores the marginalized groups and the broader societal issues related to gender, sexuality, and race. The book sheds light on the often-overlooked stories and the impact of sexual technology on various aspects of society.

Academic Perspective

Through the investigation of the actual origins of sex dolls, the book uncovers underlying issues concerning academic legitimacy, originality, and gender biases. It challenges myths about the past and highlights the importance of understanding the true history of sexual technologies.In conclusion, “Sex Dolls at Sea: Imagined Histories of Sexual Technologies” offers a thought-provoking exploration of the origin story of sex dolls and its cultural implications, challenging traditional narratives and shedding light on the broader societal and academic aspects of sexual technologies.


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