Sex dolls in China treated as members of the family

Custom-made sex dolls are being brought in China to be more than a toy, they are used as family companions.

Businessman Zhenguo Yu lives in a small town in Southwest China with his teenage son and their 11 sex dolls.

It has been years since the Chinese man has been with an actual woman. With his lack of success with romantic relationships, he turned to sex dolls for companionship, he told Quartz News.

"Whenever I order custom-made dresses for them, the tailors would think I'm joking because the measurements are far from the normal size of a human," Yu told Quartz, as he revealed multiple outfits he had brought for his sex dolls.

"Nobody has such big boobs and a small waist."

In China, there are 34 million more men than women according to the latest census which is partially a result of the previous one-child policy. This has resulted in men turning to sex dolls for companionship.

The dolls that are made to look as realistic as possible cost around US$2000 ($3120) each on Taobao, China's largest online shopping platform. The website has estimated that around 1500 sex dolls are sold on the site every day.

Although there is no exact number of how many people in China own the dolls, Yu, who has built an online following among the community of the sex doll owners estimates that number to be at least six digits.

Yu's photos he shares online of his dolls posed on outings and in photoshoots are praised in comments by a growing community of sex doll owners in China. He is so well respected in the doll community that some have asked Yu to adopt their dolls when they get married because they know that the dolls will be in good hands.

His care for his original sex dolls is part of the reason why he has ended up with so many.

Yu previously ran a company that fixed TVs and sound boxes which has allowed him to make and sell adaptors for the sex dolls that allow customers to mix and match the heads and bodies made by different manufacturers.

"If dolls can speak and move just like humans, I bet all men would prefer to spend their life with dolls," Yu revealed.

Artificial intelligence sex dolls are currently in development by a company in China due to China's rapidly growing sex toy industry.