VII Weekly | June 22, 2018

L.S. holds Lily, his favorite doll, at the beach in BeiHai, China, 17 May 2018. L.S. is a 28 year old Chinese boy who began to be interested in silicone dolls after the end of a tormenting relationship with a girlfriend. L.S. recounts that the worst part of his relationship with his ex was the exhausting daily quarrels that strongly traumatized him. L.S. says that the relationship he has established with his dolls has helped him to find serenity again. L.S. loves to return home, sit on the sofa and drink tea with his dolls. He says he can spend hours talking with his dolls without having to be afraid of argument. At night, L.S. also finds comfort in embracing his favorite doll and occasionally having sex with her. He considers the dolls to be an integral part of his life.

VII Mentor Program photographer Valentina Sinis’ new story “DollMates” is featured in this week’s newsletter. In “DollMates,” Valentina explores the market and culture surrounding silicone dolls in China.

“The DollMates market in China is segmented into three main groups: those who buy silicone dolls purely for sexual use, those who buy them because they want a life partner – someone to love and take care of without the economic and mental pressure of human-to-human relationships – and those who buy them to dress them up and take pictures for use on social media.”

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