All photos: Robert Benson

A row of dicks hanging from metal hooks could be the opening shot of a particularly gruesome horror movie, but its only one of the many eerie production stations in the RealDoll shop in San Marcos, California.


Photographer Robert Benson traveled to Japan where he became interested in the spooky eroticism of sex doll factories. He decided they were going to be the subject of his next series. “I dug deeper,” he told Gizmodo over email, “and was surprised to find out that the nations largest ‘love doll’ factory was right in my own neighborhood, near San Diego, California.”

The assembly of these $6,500 sex dolls requires lots of work from skilled craftsmen. The fabrication process includes casting, sculpting, airbrush painting, plus a slew of detail-oriented touches that make the finished dolls look so life-like. The unfinished dolls unfinished dolls fall look like creepy dismembered humans. “All the bodies, and body parts were very lifelike, eerily so,” Benson wrote, “But at the same time it was a marvel to me at how lifelike the artists there can make the body parts.”

That level of craftsmanship also means theres a wide variety of customization that can be requested (though usually at extra cost). To wit: custom skin tones, eyes, ears, hair, nipples, and genitalia. They’ll even make an exact replica of someone if you can get their consent to go to the RealDoll facility for a 3D scan.

RealDoll has also started manufacturing breast and labia prostheses for members of the trans community, women who have undergone a mastectomy, or anyone else who wants to experience what having female genitalia is like.

Check out the rest of the series, as well as Benson’s other work at his website.

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