Wednesday, May 16, 2012

cold cold nights under chrome and glass

So, now's time for the other side of the Lolita dollplay coin--and that would be:

(from the dolly album; original photo found on the Lolita Fashion website)

Collection. Collectors are an interesting breed--while there are lesbian adherents, and I'm sure, statistically, there must be female collectors of male dolls out there, for the most part, this is a male collector/female doll demographic. The difference between dollification/objectification and collection isn't as simple as collected dolls wear frillier dresses, because that's not always the case.

But just in-world alone, there are men who own dolly strippers, there are doctors who own doll patients; there are men who own dolly "daughters", and those who marry their dolls (or who keep them as mistresses in the closet). It's a varied roleplay field.

There are some similarities.

(from the dolly album; playing dolly dress-up with Rinmaru Games' flash doll game.
There's also a Sweet/Gothic dress-up game, which leads to
a good six other games depending on what options you pick.)
  • Playing Dress-Up
Is this something most men want to do? Depending on inclination, and I'm sure one likely factors in the desires of the doll in question to be dressed up. But dressing up the dollies--or undressing them--is a major focus of play. Think dolls that come with their own accessories, but this over this.
  • Posing
Whether simply aligning limbs or tying into place; on marionette strings or simple leashed hands or feet with wisps of silk, posting must be acknowledged as a focus, too. This also is variable--is the doll mobile on their own? Do they need to be posed with strings or wires, ropes or pulleys, or will they hold poses once given? Are they naturally limp, passive, and (generally) unresponsive? Is that a detraction or a benefit?
Look more closely, you'll find this theme repeating throughout art and media. There are robotic marionettes, vintage marionettes, dolls tied by ribbons, robot girls, silicon love dolls (NSFW)...They've been seen in public service announcements, television shows, even films (some more successful than others).
The allure of the doll is persistent, and very nearly universal. In childhood, they're toys, and they're found in all cultures. As we age, some of us still want to play with dolls--or be them. We've had coin-operated companions and plaintive doll laments, electronica tributes to plastic girls and Japanese pop renditions to gynoids alike. It's a wide field, and a very wide interest, which is why it keeps popping up.
  • Escorting (and no, that doesn't mean what you think it does)
This is when dollplay expands to the external world, and, as far as I know, is pretty much unique to rubberdolls and Lolita dolls, though it can be seen in other groups. Simply: taking the doll out. For this, costume is important, and while all dollplay carries some aspect of agalmatophilia, this requires the doll to be mobile. (Not all dolls are.)
This can range from simply going to a dance with other enthusiasts (RL or in a virtual space), all the way to very elegant, very formal High Teas. The point to this is to show off, essentially--how polite the doll is, how well-behaved, how well-dressed, how pampered. These gatherings are places for the owner to show off the possession--and any compliments on its behavior, of course, go to the owner, not the doll.
Obviously there's more to all of these categories, and others besides; but those are big. And I'm not saying they shouldn't be; for men and women alike, passivity can also equal innocence, which is a very big draw to a very large number of individuals.

And unfortunately, this one's getting long, so the rest I might have left to say will go into one more entry. (Oh, and one last thing: if you ever wanted the doll look at home, YouTube is probably your best bet for tutorials. Of those, this is the best one for gothic and Lolita dolls.)

(And, if you want a slightly sweeter doll-like look...well, you can watch this but trust me, she's on the unnerving side.)


turnerBroadcasting said...

I think, speaking for men - we like to play with dolls but in different ways than do women.

First, we like to use them to act out our fantasies and replay things as they are or as they should be. For example, you take a GI Joe and he faces up to the scary octopus and shoots it in the face even though you yourself are terrified of it. Or, alternately, you create an Avatar that is either more kind or more cruel than yourself - to help explore that aspect, and you go around either doing good or evil depending. More often than not, I imagine, we try to be better than we are. But this is often less physical than it is relating to the characteristics men use to establish their own hierarchy - things like nerdpower, courage, the ability to out-kink another kinkster, earning power, strength, etc.

The second aspect that, I believe, guys explore when playing with dolls - is, as you say - algamatophilic in nature. You simply like looking at one doll or another and you continue to move forward through whatever fantasy you'd explore - but not in a way to explore any aspect of your own personality inasmuch as it would be to simply admire the artificial one and watch it work in a sort of deistic kind of sense.

The most interesting question in any world, either real or virtual - to me. Is the one posed by Thomas Malthus. He placed a bet that we will all be able to provide for ourselves, but perhaps what he found out was that life transforms.

Shapeshifters can be dangerous to hearts and minds.

Organically, we are not suited for the rigors of space travel. What form will life take next? Humans have about 150 years, at the rate we're going. Whatever forge life finds itself made from - perhaps the next form will survive the cold lifeless vaccuum better than people who need warmth and sunlight. Even if only . Occasionally.

Emilly Orr said...

There was a wonderful series of books by Charles Sheffield (specifically his Proteus series) which posited a future where humanity (with the help of machines, of course) could evolve their own physicality and adapt as needed. There were bioforms adapted for the rigors of hard vaccuum, bioforms that could breathe underwater, bioforms that were living computers, where function trumped form.

And that leaves aside all the 'fashionable' forms that people invented to crawl into.

We know, right now, with plastic surgery still in its infancy, pretty much, that women will go insanely far to match what they think people want to see; men, I think, push that envelope a bit by picking the best 'trophy wife'--which comes down to another subtle (and sometimes, not so subtle) power-over.

Someone very wise once said that give two children the same set of blocks, and the boy will make them fight each other, and the girl will build a house. That's very biased, children will do different things, but I also think that's true in the doll community. Women, largely, want to be the prettiest, or the most delicate, or the most broken, doll in the box; men just want to play with them and see what they'll do. :)