Sleazy or necessary? Realistic 'dolls' reach Sexpo

IN POLITE society it remains something of a taboo, but behind closed doors there appears to be a growing demand for "anatomically correct" dolls that can provide sexual satisfaction and for some, companionship.

At least according to those behind marketing the devices.

Australian firms are now manufacturing these "hyper-realistic" mannequins that sell for $6000 each.

Promoters of Sydney's Sexpo - which opens today - claim the dolls are an aid for "the mentally and physically handicapped who often find it hard to create sexual opportunities with women and who are often hamstrung with religious or moralistic careers".

And it may not be empty marketing talk for a product with a potentially sleazy reputation.

Research published in 2003 investigating how people with disabilities experience sex suggested those with physical disabilities were likely to have "lower levels of sexual esteem, sexual satisfaction and sexual frequency".

Michael Ruttner has created a range of devices known as "spiders", for reasons that won't be discussed here.

He said the sexual aids were not just growing in popularity with men.

"Many older lesbians, who have been without partners for a while, [are] reporting good feedback," he said.

Sydney Sexpo runs from today until Sunday 8pm. It is an adults only event.