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Inside the Uk’s Largest Sex Doll Supermarket

The strangest requests Graham Tempest says he gets are the ones where customers come armed with pictures.

He is the owner of the UK’s largest sex doll supermarket. “They ask if we can make a doll that looks like the woman in their picture,” he tells LADbible. “I’ll ask who it is and they’ll say it’s a colleague or a neighbor.”

Graham thinks for a moment. “Technically, we could do that but … it’s a little scary, isn’t it? It wouldn’t be healthy. We always gently suggest other options,” he says.

Sex dolls are a growing phenomenon. More are being bought in the U.K. than ever before. Lovedoll, the store Graham operates in Gateshead, has gone from selling a couple a month when it started three years ago to now, he says, moving more than 1,000 a year.

Where these toys once resembled inflatable pool elements – albeit inflatable pool elements with big old pairs of breasts – today’s generation comes with good looks, the ability to stand unaided and, for the discerning gentleman perhaps, a double-L trunk. They cost about £2,000 (US$2,757).

“Physically, having sex with them is very similar to the real thing,” says Graham. “The only difference is that you don’t get as much interaction. It’s the middle ground between masturbation and sex.”

The 40-year-old is talking to LADbible because he wants to normalize the whole awkward thing. LADbible, on the other hand, is here because we’re curious; just who and why are more and more men splashing out money to get down and dirty with an inanimate object.

“They’re all kinds of men,” Graham explains. “Mostly middle-aged and middle-class. They’ve worked hard all their lives and want to enjoy themselves. But we’re getting younger too, and older. We had one guy who was 75. He was happily married but wanted more sex than his wife. That was their solution. “

Guys in their 20s regularly express interest. The company has an Instagram account with many Gen Y followers – but many can’t afford what they want. “We’re in talks with a financial company so they can buy now and pay later,” Graham adds.

Some clients have social problems, he admits. “For whatever reason, they find it particularly difficult to interact with members of the opposite sex – there may have been issues in their childhood, serious issues, I mean – but these men still have desires. In this way, we help them. We provide a life-changing facility,” he says.

It seems that other men are connoisseurs. “We have a customer who bought nine or 10 of them. Some men collect them like others might collect antique cars,” Graham says.

Each silicone doll is made in China from a mixture of plastic and rubber. Kim Kardashian figures are particularly popular with customers right now. But Lovedoll is no stranger to unusual inquiries either.

“We get a lot of people asking for three breasts,” Graham explains in a neutral tone. “It’s not something we’re doing right now, but in the future, maybe why not? There’s also a big thing for blue skin – because of the Avatar movies.”

People who want celebrity look-alikes aren’t as popular as you might imagine. But the company is, by all accounts, in discussions with two reality TV stars about modeling a doll on them. “It’s just the beginning, we’re talking to agents, but the feedback has been positive,” Graham reveals.

But a word of caution for anyone thinking of saving and buying. Cleaning is super important. If you don’t follow the instructions provided to keep them well maintained and get rid of any, uh, spills, bacteria will grow in the holes. This bacteria could then move to any part of the body that comes in contact with it.

In this case, Graham is speaking just days after his latest service – in which potential customers could “try on” a doll before buying it – was shut down following concerns expressed by the building’s owners. The practice had seen the store labeled “Britain’s premier sex doll brothel” – which “is not the image we’re going for,” he says. “So we’ve stopped that for now.”