Davecat and his synthetic ladies Shi-chan, Lenka, and Miss Snow.

Love Doll Buyer’s Guide: How to Find Your Ideal Synthetic Lover

Veteran doll owner shares tips that could save you time, money, and a headache.

(NSFW: Click here to visit the Bizarre Bazaar: List of Sex Robot and Love Doll Vendors)


So you want to buy a lifelike love or sex doll? But with several online vendors to choose from, selling many different types at a range of prices, starting your search can be a daunting task.

Fortunately, our friend Davecat has a wealth of advice to share since getting his first doll in 2000. Today he lives with three synthetic companions: Shi-chan, a RealDoll from Abyss Creations, Lenka from Anatomical Doll, and Miss Winter from Doll Sweet.

To make finding your ideal doll easier, we spoke to Davecat about tips and important factors to consider before hitting the “buy” button.

Buying from a manufacturer vs. a distributor

“If at all possible, to make absolutely sure you are getting the doll that you want from the company that you want, buy direct,” says Davecat.

A quick online search for love or sex dolls will bring up a slew of results. Many of them will be distributors, not the manufacturing company. However, if a doll you like is made outside your country, a distributor might be your only option.

To protect yourself from scams or disappointment, you can contact manufacturers to confirm licensed distributors. Some manufacturers may also list known scammers on their website. Davecat suggests speaking with doll owners, sometimes called iDollators, at the online forum Our Doll Community [NSFW], if you want to check a seller’s reputation.

Davecat and Shi-chan pose for a picture.

Silicone vs. TPE love dolls

Love dolls are generally made from one of two main materials: silicone or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). Each has its own pros or cons.


Silicone love dolls are more expensive than TPE, ranging from about $5,000 to $8,000—and can cost even more if you add a lot of custom features. On the other hand, TPE dolls cost closer to $2,000.

One reason for the price difference is TPE doll molds are hot poured and take less time to cure than cold-poured silicone dolls. This means they are easily mass produced. According to Davecat, its Asian companies that generally create mass-produced TPE dolls, while the U.S. companies build more artisan and unique silicone dolls.


Since silicone doll molds are cold poured, says Davecat, manufacturers can use more foam in construction, lowering the weight. A synthetic lover can’t move on her own, obviously, and carrying that dead weight can be a lot to manage. So whatever material you pick, make sure you consider how heavy a doll is before buying.

The lower weight has benefits in itself. Since 2003, many companies began putting neck bolts into dolls so you can suspend them from hooks. Get over any Frankenstein allusions and listen to Davecat who calls them “godsend.” They make dressing his companions much easier.

However, TPE dolls are too heavy for neck bolts and don’t try inserting your own. Davecat told us he has heard of someone trying to install a neck bolt into a TPE doll with disastrous consequences: it nearly tore off the skeleton because of the load.

Customization options

You can create your perfect partner by choosing several unique features. To name a few, you can pick eye color, eyebrow color, makeup, body size, nail color and type, as well as nipple color and size. OK, that’s several options, but there are even more.

One to consider is whether, if buying a female doll, you want one with a built-in vagina or not—referred to as cored or uncored. The upside of a removable vagina is it’s much easier to clean and replace if worn out.

You can also select skin color. Davecat’s tip is to request a sample from a company to check if it looks and feels how you’d like. You may also be able to buy genitals on their own, which could be a good idea of you want a cored doll. That was you can make sure they’re what you want before putting down several grand for the full doll.

Davecat and his synthetic ladies Shi-chan, Lenka, and Miss Snow.

Poseable vs non-poesable joints

You can buy a doll with two different types of joints: poseable or non-poseable. Knowing how you’d like to enjoy your love doll can help you decide which is right for you.

Poseable is the basic factory stock, says Davecat, which means a doll can be put into and hold various positions. If you’re buying a doll for photography, this is certainly the way to go.

But these stiff joints can be awkward in the bedroom, Davecat warns. “If you’ve got her arms in a certain position, you’ve got to manoeuver yourself to move her.”

Your other option is a doll with loose joints, which some people may prefer for lovemaking.


Before you make any purchases, you’ll want to understand a company’s shipping practices.

First off, Davecat advises budgeting $1,000 extra than what you think you’re paying for your doll. As many online shoppers know, unexpected fees can pop up—especially when buying from a foreign country.

Sellers should let you know about important shipping costs in advance, but don’t take it for granted. Tell a company where you live, even if it’s in the same country, and ask about any fees you’ll need to be aware of, including custom and import fees.

Also, love dolls don’t necessarily just show up at your door after ordering them. While a foreign company might ship to your country, it might not ship to your state. So you may have to drive several hours to pick her up from the airport, or arrange for another delivery service.

As for insurance, Davecat says most companies insure dolls before shipping, but double check. Be sure also to inspect dolls for damage or other issues as soon as they arrive. That way you can inform the company right away and get problems resolved more easily.

On your way…

We hope our love doll buyer’s guide helps you choose your ideal synthetic lover. And thanks again to Davecat for sharing his views so we can all learn from his experience.

If you don’t know where to start your search, check out our page listing vendors for sex robots and love dolls here [NSFW].

Is there anything else you want to know about? Or do you have some tips we should know about? Please share your questions or comments below.

Image sources: Davecat