Sex doll anyone? The bizarre Christmas purchase that people are snapping up to combat loneliness

Sex doll sales have sky-rocketed as shoppers bag themselves a mannequin to keep them company at Christmas

Sex doll? Two female dolls naked on top hugging each other with beige background.
(Image credit: songyuth unkong / Alamy Stock Photo)

Sex doll sales have spiked more than 112% this month, after news that it will be a lonely Christmas for many who will be separated from loved ones.

Forget the best-reviewed sex toys, adults are snapping up a make-believe companion for themselves to share the festive season safely with—according to new figures from the US and European sex doll retailer, Sex Doll Genie.

The family-run firm, set up by former aerospace engineer Amit Stevenson and his wife Janet, reported the triple-digit increase, as many around the world don't want to face a lonely festive period as a result of widespread restrictions. 

And with a sex doll, there's no arguing over what to watch on TV although they can be a pricy purchase costing on average a couple of thousand dollars or pounds!

Sex Doll Genie co-founder Amit Stevenson said, “The holidays are generally some of the loneliest times of the year for certain groups of people. That, combined with the COVID restrictions we have in place now, is creating a very concerning scenario where those who are vulnerable and feel alone are not able to use what could be their traditional coping mechanisms such as going to a café or taking a stroll to the park."

Sex doll genie

(Image credit: Sex Doll Genie)

What is a sex doll?

Even great sex toys like app-controlled vibrators have their limits, especially when it comes to providing physical company. Sex dolls are a form of adult toys for aiding sexual gratification. They are also referred to as love dolls or blow-up dolls. A real-life sex doll can consist of a whole body, or just a head, pelvis, or other partial body parts. They come equipped with sexual stimulation accessories—artificial vagina, anus, mouth and penis. 

Many modern adult dolls and AI sex robots have vibrating and removable parts. Sex dolls exist in many ways, but they vary from sex robots with artificial intelligence, which are anthropomorphic constructs designed to show more complex interactions.

And what's even better is you don't have to worry about them getting tired out before Christmas Day sex.

Why is there a rise in sex doll sales?

COVID-19 related isolation and anxiety is pushing a record number of people to seek out and invest in a love doll as a form of therapy or companionship. 

Amit explained, “It’s clear that seasonal holiday loneliness is being felt to an even sharper degree this year, coming on the back of what could be many months of isolation thanks to coronavirus and national stay-at-home orders. We have found that a lot of new customers are turning to us and our dolls in order to prepare for this period and alleviate some of the anxiety around these dreaded few weeks by having “someone” accompany them through it.” 

Research suggests anxiety and depression levels have trebled in the USA since the beginning of the pandemic, while around two in five UK adults has previously experienced anxiety or depression during the festive period, according to YouGov data—something that will only be exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions. 

Lumi Dolls

(Image credit: Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy Stock Photo)

The use of sex dolls as companionship figures is nothing new to Sex Doll Genie, in 2020 the company hit the headlines when aerospace engineer Amit called on SpaceX boss Elon Musk to send companion dolls to the International Space Station, with his astronauts, to study the impact of dolls on reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life.

Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. Having spent the start of her career working on local newspapers and online, Selina spent six years as Acting News Editor and Entertainment Reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph where she dug into hard news stories, conducted interviews, covered court reporting, features, and entertainment, whilst going to gigs in her spare time.

Whilst at the paper she was awarded an O2 Media Judges' Special Award for helping a terminally ill cancer sufferer realise his dying wish and marry his childhood sweetheart through a successful newspaper campaign. Things like this are close to her heart when it comes to using journalism to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Selina later branched further into all things celebrity to became a Showbiz Writer at Heat magazine, covering red carpet events, showbiz parties, and various launches before going freelance for two years. One of her biggest celebrity achievements - aside from generating celebrity exclusives - was interviewing Take That (including Robbie Williams) and bumping into Simon Cowell so much at events she told him 'I'm calling you my showbiz dad!'

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a senior reporter on Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, Woman's Weekly celebrity desk before branching online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first.

When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.