Finding your perfect companion may often feel like a losing battle. People lie, cheat, argue and put the toilet-paper roll on the wrong way. During the good times, you worry they'll become disinterested in you, hate the new artwork you bought for the bedroom or feign a headache when they're not in the mood. Or maybe the ideal mate you've created in your head simply does not exist or you've grown tired looking for them.
Except in the instance of Sidore Kuroneko. At 5'1" with black and purple hair, bright red lips, and brown eyes, she tends to lean more towards gothic style clothing — as many art students do. Born in Tokyo, but raised in England and speaking with a charming Manchester accent, she often is seen walking around with a tattered copy of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath under her arm. Sidore was exactly the woman Davecat was looking for.
She's also a Real Doll.
Many have heard about the Real Doll from Adult Entertainment Expos in previous years. The love dolls always are a hit with fans mesmerized by the lifelike flesh, customizable appearance and movable body.
With the assistance of the staff at the Real Doll booth, the Weekly was introduced to "Davecat," a proud Real Doll owner since 2000. Despite preconceived notions as to what a Real Doll customer might be like, he was neither old or unattractive, nor antisocial and creepy. In fact, Davecat was a pretty cool dude who'd be great to have a cup of coffee with while discussing politics or literature on a Saturday afternoon.
Davecat says he always was interested in the concept of artificial people. "A lot of people don't understand the concept behind Real Dolls or synthetic companions in general because it's so out of they're realm of experience," he says. "It's a case of either they don't want to understand or it's just so strange to them."
He used his creativity to imagine the physical and personality characteristics of Sidore. "It took me a couple of months to develop her and what she would look like. But the mental aspect, as a matter of fact, I didn't really come up with a fully fleshed-out history for her until maybe 2001 when we were in the Still Lovers photo shoot by Elena Dorfman. Elena actually was going to show these at a gallery the photos that she'd done with myself and other Real Doll owners and she was like, 'Just out of curiosity, does Sidore have a history?' And I was like, 'You know, I've never really though about it.' So I had Sidore write her back."
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Now, Davecat maintains a Twitter and MySpace account for Sidore. "She's a physical manifestation of a character," he says. "It's fun to write in her voice... especially because not everybody can come around to our place and see her. She's got a lot of followers and a lot of people don't mind the fact that she's a doll. They think it's kind of cool."
As far as a relationship, Sidore is Davecat's only romantic and physical companion. But does having the doll prevent Davecat from real human interaction? "I don't really think she's prevented me from meeting other people," he says. "At this point in my life — maybe I'm getting older or more set in my ways — there comes a point where you really find you want a specific person and that person doesn't exist."
But Davecat doesn't have a split personality as Sidore; he knows she isn't an organic person and maintains a separation between fantasy and reality. "I can't speak for every doll owner, but the thing is, I compare it to the old saw of you know, a kid sees Superman flying through the air, so he straps a towel around his neck and jumps off the roof," Davecat says. "Sidore is, at the end of the day, a doll with a personality that I created for her."
He says the dolls serve as a comfort function to many and there are online forums for doll owners. He also meets up with other owners to discuss doll politics and manufacturers. But Sidore and the other dolls do not go along to the meeting. "We don't go that far," laughs Davecat. "For one, it's awkward to move the dolls, and then have people freaking out thinking there's a dead body or some easily bizarre thing like that."
Davecat says not everyone will ever understand the appeal of doll ownership, but then again, there are a lot of other things people are in to that he personally finds odd. "To each their own," he says and refers to the Wiccan Rede of "An it harm none do what ye will."
"Dolls serve a kind of comfort function for a lot of iDollitors," Davecat says. "You have someone who's always going to be there. There's no risk involved. A lot of people say, 'Okay, if there's no risk, there's no growth.' There is that, however, you get to the point where you're tired of dating, you're tired of being rejected and just want peace and quality of life and that sort of thing. I think a lot of the general populous need to open their minds to the fact that there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a doll or synthetic companion. Whatever makes you happy — as long as you're not harming anyone or yourself — that's the main point."