I am sure that you, like myself and countless women across the country had a collection of dolls and stuffed animals as a kid. And if you are like some girls we know, your collection of toys “matured” a bit as you got older. Sure you may still have your faithful “Mr. Teddy” that comes in handy during situations involving tears and HÃ¤agen-Dazs, but in your nightstand, or maybe under your bed lies another friendâ€”your vibe. If not a vibe, maybe its a nice collection of porn stashed on your hard-drive, some lube so you can let your fingers work it out or anything else that suits your fancy. All of these devices have been created to increase arousal and incite pleasure, and when used with a partner they really add some steam to the bedroom, but in my, and other Parlourista’s experiences, our personal toys are just thatâ€”toys, ie. objects. Like anything that is a source of pleasure, there is a reliance that can come with your new found friend, most of which is perfectly healthy, because sometimes, you just need to come in a pinch. It has been proven that orgasms can, among other things, assist in depression and even help to ease menstrual cramps. And as most of us know, but may not admit, they can help bring a long awaited close to a night of lovemaking with your lover when u guys need a little “kick”. But what happens when that personal friend becomes less than a pal and more of a…lover?
In this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Lisa Katayama takes a look at the growing subculture of 2-D lovers in Japan. 2-D as in 2-dimensional…as in cartoon characters….as in grown men (mostly) who create relationships, both sexual and not, with popular anime girl characters. She goes on to profile one man, Nisan, who carries around a almost-life-sized body pillow with his “girlfriend” Nemutan printed on the surface. He takes her out to dinner (and orders for her) and for rides in his car and carries her around with him everywhere he goes. He also presumably sleeps with her.Â What is more interesting is the men of the 2-D world have politicized their fetish into a movement, with a leader-Toru Honda. The intriguing this is that Honda’s philosophy, while steeped in a sense of self pity, makes a bit of sense:
“Honda argues that romance was marketed so excessively through B-movies, soap operas and novels during Japanâ€™s economic bubble of the â€™80s that it has become a commodity and its true value has been lost; romance is so tainted with social constructs that it can be bought by only good looks and money. According to Honda, somewhere along the way, decent men like himself lost interest in the notion entirely and turned to 2-D. â€œPure love is completely gone in the real world,â€ Honda wrote. â€œAs long as you train your imagination, a 2-D relationship is much more passionate than a 3-D one.â€ Honda insists that heâ€™s advocating not prurience but a whole new kind of romance. If, as some researchers suggest, romantic love can be broken down into electrical impulses in the brain, then why not train the mind to simulate those signals while looking at an inanimate character?”
Basically, why bother with humans who may reject you when your doll can love you forever?
While a body pillow with a half-nude, pre-pubscent character is not the same as a vibrator, the emotional attachment that can form can be looked at in the same light. We all know that relationships are tough, and some of us have had enough bad dates to turn us of from all forms of human contact forever, but is it okay for some of us just to give up and work it out on ourselves and be perfectly happy in life? Not to be confused with the fabled “vibrator addiction” (remember Charlotte in Sex & the City?), objectum sexuals, or even asexuality, is it possible to have a happy and healthy sex life and transfer the emotions meant for another human being to yourself, much like the aforementioned men have done with anime characters? After all, the men above are not in love with the dolls per se‘, but the character, the girl that they represent. I’m not advocating that individuals start walking down the aisle with our beloved Rabbits, Sasis and Astroglide bottles dressed up in little formal get-ups, but with the rapid rise of really bad dates, natural disasters and disease around the globe, is the “Satisfied Self Love aka SSL” [Yup, I made that up] movement a viable and healthy option not to be pitied? We have all witnessed the actions of those who get caught up in love, heartbreak, unwanted/unplanned pregnancy, STDs, abuse, etc just because they wanted to be with someone rather than be alone, so for those that really just want to be alone, they just may be onto something. And if not to be seen as a lifestyle choice, could a prolonged period of SSL a normal way to condition yourself to be with someone else?
The rules of sexuality and attraction aren’t linear, they curve, overlap and just like humans, evolve. It may seem like a bit of a stretch and that the world of 2-D love is allll the way in Japan, but when the public and the private meet in the bedroom, anything can happen.
ps. A special wink to my own love, who after witnessing me write and self-debating this post, promptly reminded me that I need not be a satisfied self lover. Maybe I need to write like this 3-4 times a day?
image: Â© CSA Images
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