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Dutch Wives: The Origin of Sex Dolls


In the Far East, especially in Japan, sex dolls are often referred to as “Dutch wives.” This nickname originated in the 17th century, allegedly because Dutch sailors had leather masturbation puppets that could keep them warm on cold nights at sea. This claim does not seem as far-fetched as it sounds – in the 1600s, the Dutch were the main trading partners of the Japanese, and the Dutch East India Company had stores in Nagasaki and Hirado. The Dutch traded spices, silks and other goods. Although there is currently no specific news about whether handmade leather dolls were actually traded, they obviously left a deep impression, otherwise this nickname would not have been used to refer to sex dolls until today.


The Origin and Spread of “Dutch Wives”

The term “Dutch wives” originated in the 17th century to refer to masturbatory leather puppets used by sailors. With the commercial activities of the Dutch East India Company, this term became widely known in Japan, eventually becoming synonymous with silicone sex doll. It can be understood that early “Dutch wives” were primitive sex dolls made of leather and other materials by hand, used by sailors to release sexual desire and loneliness during long voyages.


These sex dolls subsequently influenced and inspired the development of Japanese sex doll. By the 19th century, Japan had “body pillows” and various sex dolls, becoming part of the sexual culture. The term “Dutch wives” gradually evolved into a general term for sex dolls, and has been in use ever since. To some extent, Dutch sailors and their leather puppets promoted the birth and development of Japan’s sex doll industry. The exquisite craftsmanship of Japanese sex dolls also makes the term “Dutch wives” proud.

“Dutch wives” is an alias for sex dolls originating from the leather sex dolls used by Dutch sailors in the 17th century. They not only influenced the emergence of Japanese sex dolls, but also made “Dutch wives” a synonym for sex dolls in Japanese. Today, in a globalized world, “Dutch wives” have transcended Japan and become a cultural symbol in the field of sex dolls. It represents the origin of the sex doll industry, and also witnesses the vigorous development of this industry in Japan and globally.

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