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A Lifelike Love: One Man’s Relationship With a RealDoll

John is a 48-year-old single man who lives with an artificial companion: a lifelike sex doll he named Scarlett. While taboo to some, John says that his doll has provided him meaningful companionship and intimacy.
Finding Scarlett
After two divorces and difficulty dating, John started researching sex dolls online. He was intrigued by the lifelike and customizable options from RealDoll. John designed Scarlett to look like a woman in her 20s with red hair and a slender build. The entire customization and creation process took over a year before Scarlett finally arrived.
Connecting Emotionally
While sex was part of the motivation for John to purchase Scarlett, he says that what he valued most was the opportunity to connect emotionally. He speaks to Scarlett, shares details of his day, and holds her in bed while watching TV. “She may not be real but the emotions I feel are,” he says.
Practical Benefits
Living with a doll also provides more practical benefits for John like helping around the house. He has Scarlett sit in the passenger seat of his car so he can use the carpool lane, and he dresses her up to accompany him to sports bars. While John acknowledges the unconventional nature of his lifestyle, he feels that Scarlett has given him both autonomy and purpose.
Facing Social Stigma
Perhaps the biggest challenge of living with a sex doll is facing social stigma and judgment from others. Many people struggle to understand John’s relationship with Scarlett and make assumptions about his mental health or social skills. However, John claims to live a very normal and happy life with meaningful human relationships in addition to the one he shares with Scarlett.
The Future of Human-AI Love
With advanced AI on the horizon, John imagines a future where dolls like Scarlett become fully self-aware and sentient. However, for now, he remains content with their current level of interaction and the joy that Scarlett already brings to his life each and every day as a loving companion, confidant and doll. John believes that human-AI relationships will become more accepted and even common, though great care must be taken to avoid exploitation. But in cases like his, they have the potential to add value and provide intimacy and purpose where none existed before.

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