Did you catch the Channel 4 documentary Secrets of the living dolls? First aired in January, it showed the mainstream public the very closeted community of female maskers, men (and a precious few women) who enjoy dressing up as females. Not just using make up and feminine clothes as transvestites do, mind you, but actually donning the (silicone) skin of a lady. And prosthetics to shape their body. And – most of all – full head masks.
The necessarily expressionless masks are just a tad less unsettling than their anatomically correct full-body sculpted latex skinsuits – but the result is sometimes impressive. Some maskers actually look like lifesize, living Barbie dolls. The most unusual part is however why they do it. Having sex while experiencing an alternate identity plays a role, of course, and that’s the reason behind the complex prosthetics some of them use to transform male genitals into a penetrable approximation of female ones. But the real story lies elsewhere.
«I thought that no sexy girl would ever want to be with me» says one of the “dollers” interviewed during the documentary, «so I made my own». That is also the rationale for the behavior of another interesting character, a retired man of 70 who candidly explained how at his age he can only date other seniors, but no old woman will ever look as enticing as his female alter ego. People like them really are going for the aesthetic experience, not for seducing anyone else. As a matter of fact, most maskers never even walk out of their homes while wearing their expensive setups (just a full-body skin is about $2,000). They fear rejection, being ridiculed or harassed. Their most forbidden fantasy is often described in endearingly tame words: «the dream is to do normal things in extraordinary clothes: stuff like walking down the street or go shopping».
To provide an opportunity for these people to meet outside of virtual forums like Dollspride.com, small conventions have popped up. First in the United States, where the biggest event is called Rubberdolls World Rendezvous, and later in Europe. They tend to be very specialized events, since as it often happens with kink, just a little different interpretation of the same fetishism (say, rubberdolling with featureless facemasks, a fetish classic) is frowned upon by purists.
The next big meeting will be in London on the first weekend of October: Dollcon Europe is going to be a bit more inclusive, so much that it will also involve a group night out at the legendary Torture Garden fetish party, and even a… museum visit. Online tickets are already sold out, but if the below video tickles your fancy, the organizers will happily find some way to get you – or your doll persona, more probably – in the dollhouse.