Human sexuality has many colors and manifests itself in various ways. For a long time, western societies believed in only one or two acceptable expressions of sexuality, oppressing those who wanted to or were brave enough to go against what was socially viewed as the norm.
Now the picture has changed drastically. We’re more educated on different facades of human nature and experience of sexuality and more open to doing some exploring before we define ourselves. Some people don’t adhere to any labels at all, which is also something that becomes more common and acceptable as time goes on.
Undoubtedly, the road to where we are today took a long time and was marked by many social breakthroughs and changes, some of which were the result of the sex toy market entering the scene and making its presence known.
How exactly does the sex doll industry impact LGBTQ+ communities, and is this impact positive or negative? We bring the answers to you in this article.
What Does LGBTQIA+ Mean?
LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), intersex, asexual, and others. The “plus” represents other sexual identities, including pansexual and Two-Spirit. The first four letters of the acronym have been used since the 1990s, but in recent years there has been an increased awareness of the need to be inclusive of other sexual identities to offer better representation.
The LGBTQIA+ acronym serves an important purpose—not only is it designed to be more inclusive, but it also represents the self-identities of people who are transgender and/or similar gender attracted.
Representation and Inclusivity
One thing that we hear about a lot when it comes to LGBTQ+ is representation. That is, of course, understandable since presence and visibility is what shifts and molds society and cultural norms.
Therefore, a lack of representation and inclusivity is very harmful. Still, representation in the media is something LGBTQ+ people and other minorities were granted only recently.
The adult entertainment industry was somewhat more democratic and ahead of its time in this regard, featuring LGBTQ+ representation long before it became something common in mainstream media and entertainment.
When it comes to the sex doll industry, as soon as high-quality sex dolls hit the market, the representation of various shapes, skin colors, and beauty types was heavily noticeable. Soon after, transgender sex dolls followed suit, creating even more space for LGBTQ+ communities to be represented.
Now, sex doll manufacturers are pioneers in creating sex doll toys that depict every body type and body feature, making room for everyone. And by doing so, they also include people of various sexual orientations and identities in their client base, offering sex dolls for gay men, lesbians, those who are bisexuals, pansexuals, transgender folks, and everyone else.
When it comes to giving people representation, the sex doll industry holds a safe space for people from many communities, offering their products as well as further normalizing many taboo topics.
This also contributes to the education of sex doll enthusiasts who get exposed to and familiarize themselves with this representation – something they might not have experienced in other spaces to this degree.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to inclusivity, the sex doll industry passes the exam with flying colors.
Emotional and Mental Well-Being
Another crucial aspect worth discussing in this article is how the sex doll market helps LGBTQ+ individuals express their sexuality in a healthy and safe environment.
This includes everything from offering people a wider variety when it comes to available sex toys to granting many individuals a truly safe way to express their sexuality without the risks of getting bullied, harassed, or physically harmed (which is a sad reality of being a part of LGBTQ+ communities for many).
The first aspect we already touched on in the previous paragraph. Representation matters, and it is an absolutely good thing that people with various orientations and identities can see themselves represented and can acquire sex dolls and sex toys that will help them realize their desires and sexual needs.
It’s very beneficial for people, in terms of emotional and mental well-being, to feel included and to be able to fulfill their sexual fantasies just like everybody else.
Another thing regards the safety and emotional stability of people who are minorities. Unfortunately, engaging in sexual activities can be risky for those identifying as members of LGBTQ+ communities (for many reasons).
One of the biggest safety concerns is engaging in various activities with people who are intolerant and abusive towards minorities. This risk can be mitigated to zero when choosing a play at home with a sex doll as a companion instead.
Of course, this is not a solution to the problem, nor can it really replace human interactions and sex with another living, breathing person. But for those who struggle with trauma from past experiences or those who want to ease into having relations with other people, buying and using a sex doll can be a great and safe transition.
LGBTQ+ individuals are particularly vulnerable to harm and experiencing trauma, and having this alternative in the form of very realistic and quality sex dolls is not without meaning.
It’s also crucial when we talk about self-acceptance and self-confidence. These are things many LGBTQ+ folks often struggle with as a result of being born and raised in a society that made very little room for accepting a variety of identities and experiences.
Those who struggle with body dysmorphia or serious self-doubt may feel relief from seeing their body type represented on a sex doll or being able to engage in play with love dolls that reaffirm their experience and preferences.
Community Support and Empowerment
As important as it is to be an active ally to individuals from different communities, it’s also as important to support the communities themselves. Engaging in communities’ lives, supporting their actions and goals, showing this support, and making oneself a visible ally help make real, lasting changes.
What does that look like for the sex dolls community? For one, sex toy brands as a whole do a lot of work with LGBTQ+ communities and educators in order to promote awareness and debunk myths regarding sexuality and especially LGBTQ+ people’s sexual health.
This is often done via partnering with various influencers who have already built a platform and can easily reach the target audience with this message.
Some sex toys brands offer their support in the form of donations and physical contributions, supporting local or national organizations. Many of these brands are owned by queer people themselves, offering products designed and made specifically for LGBTQ+ people.
It’s also important how the sex toys market empowers people of different minorities by giving them products for self-pleasure and also by hearing their voices and needs, exemplifying them, and educating others in these communities.
All of this builds people in LGBTQ+ communities up, offering them an outlet to have important conversations, educate the public and themselves, and find joy in their sex life, no matter their experiences and adversities.
Criticisms and Ethical Considerations
We talked a lot about the positive support the sex toy market, and especially the sex dolls market, offers LGBTQ+ friends in our communities. But is it all so constructive and positive all the time?
As a whole, the sex wellness industry brought lots of fantastic changes, popularizing conversations about sex, sexual health, and pleasure. As people are more and more aware of this side of their nature, they’re also becoming less scared and more accepting of the whole spectrum of different sexual orientations and expressions.
Still, it might be worth mentioning that the sex doll market, in particular, is not known for promoting realistic body types or beauty standards. Dolls are the fulfillment of fantasies. They are meant to be somewhat perfect.
This may cause some potential harm to those who experience body dysmorphia or use sex dolls to learn about human anatomy. So, although dolls look very realistic and come as close to humans as possible, it’s still worth keeping in mind they are not meant to be representing what real people should look like.
At the end of the day, these are sex toys, and even though, for many, they can be much more, it’s always important to remember, they are meant to be used for fun and not to for you compare yourself to them.
What are the potential benefits and drawbacks ofthe sex doll industry’s support for LGBTQ+ communities?
One of the most substantial benefits of the sex doll industry’s support for LGBTQ+ communities is increased awareness and visibility. People who are LGBTQ+ not only see themselves represented in the manufacturers’ offers but can also benefit from a much wider choice of products.
Additionally, open support and inclusion increase acceptance and offer more opportunities for people not from the community to learn about different gender and sexual expressions and experiences.
The most significant drawback can be the fact that sex dolls can promote unrealistic, unhealthy body types and patterns of behavior (for example, sexualization and objectification of people), so it’s imperative to educate yourself on these topics before you purchase your first doll.
The sex dolls industry proudly supports and represents all sorts of body types, reflecting the multi-dimensionality of human experiences. Through many different ways, like education, representation, and inclusion, the sex doll market is a safe space for the members of the LGBTQ+ communities.
If you want to learn more about how sex dolls are contributing to sex health ed, spreading awareness, and body positivity, visit our blog! And if you want to discover what kind of sex dolls are waiting for you, check out our collection of lifelike, high-quality dolls!