In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pygmalion was so passionately enamored of a statue he’d made that Aphrodite herself brought it to life so they might, with me clumsily mixing Greek mythology with European folklore, “live happily ever after.”
730,000 or so days later, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that soon we won’t need a Goddess’s intervention to give life to the lifeless, grant a distinctive “humanness” to our own versions of Pygmalion’s sculpture.
BJ Formento took all these photographs and handled the lighting, while Richeille Formento acted as stylist and art director, for their "Rubber Soul'' exhibition—one of many Formento + Formento has shown all over Europe and the United States.
Sensual? Assuredly. Provocative? Definitely. Alluring? Without a doubt. Beautiful? Absolutely.
But there’s something else about these images: a striking uniqueness made all the more poignant because we may not be able to immediately identify it.
Because while these models are sensual, provocative, alluring, beautiful, they’re also completely artificial.
Even after tipping my hand with that reference to Pygmalion, I doubt you or anyone else would recognize the people in these photographs as sex dolls: a glowing testament to Formento + Formento’s photographic skills and SexDolls.com’s commitment to providing their customers with ultra-realistic playthings.
Though asked to write about them and Formento + Formento’s images featuring their merchandise, I’d nevertheless be enthusiastically praising SexDolls.com.
For one thing, opposed to other companies that appear to be forever trapped behind the Great Porn Wall, forever mistakenly believing the only way to reach their audience is to make themselves look as cheap and/or sleazy as possible, SexDolls.com is refreshingly elegant and enticingly refined.
The same is true for how they categorize their products, offering them by manufacturer, with or without mechanical movements or artificial intelligence, and then onto hair color, skin tone, body shape, and so on.
I particularly like how SexDolls.com takes the time … er, rather space on their website to explain important points like TPE versus silicone—in how the first feels more lifelike while the second looks it—as well as providing a brief history of sex dolls with an emphasis on some of the industry’s more crucial turning points.
Great range of products? Undoubtedly. Commitment to quality? Unquestionably. Provides their customers with useful information? Surely.
But there’s something else about SexDolls.com, that they’re remarkably conscientious and caring regarding why people would want to buy their products, made extra-exceptional because they put it right out there.
They certainly didn’t have to go this extra mile, evidenced by those other sex doll companies, you know, the ones hemmed in by that Great Porn Wall I mentioned that put the least amount of thought into who’s actually purchasing their merchandise or why.
SexDolls.com, however, does--and then some.
Like how people struggling with “Social Phobia, Sexual Inexperience and Physical Disabilities” might enjoy an artificial playmate, writing: "Anyone from an average, everyday person to someone with a silicone doll fetish can benefit from connecting with a sex doll. It allows people with social phobias, disabilities, and trouble connecting with other people to explore a sexual relationship they may not otherwise have."
Then, right after, that monogamous partners or anyone in a long-distance relationship also may find emotionally and sexually happiness with their dolls. Followed by how couples might use one to “—fulfill fantasies involving twosomes or orgies, without any emotional complications.”
It seems like it was only yesterday when sex dolls were nothing but a joke—and a bad one at that. Sold along with dribble glasses and whoopie cushions to embarrass friends or as a lazy way for unimaginative filmmakers to identify a character as a (gasp) pervert.
Now, in the awesomely futuristic-sounding year of 2022, we have plastic playmates practically indistinguishable from the real thing. Or, after gazing once more at Formento + Formento’s photography once, it’d be more accurate to drop that no longer accurate “practically.”
In conjunction with hyperrealism, we’re also beginning to understand that just as Pygmalion adored his sculpture, people can and do feel passionately about their artificial companions.
Something both Formento + Formento, through their hauntingly sensual imagery and SexDolls.com’s, with their obvious customer appreciation and support, not only acknowledges but actively celebrates.
Hopefully, we’ll continue to move towards an age of sexual and social enlightenment, when everyone will be sexually informed, responsible, and conscientious. Then, from there, giving us a world where we can do whatever with whoever—as long as it is consensual, of course.
With Formento + Formento and SexDolls.com doing what they can to get us, thereby reminding us “whatever with whoever” is respecting everyone’s needs and desires.
Especially people who, like Pygmalion, have found unconditional love as well as joyful lust in the arms of someone who was not born … but made.