This weblog is also based on emails I write with other ScoonimDoll enthousiasts. Of course I only publish an email or a part of it with permission of my respondent.
Subject: What to do about the lovedoll taboo
I think I am going to write an article.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the international secret doll meet in Wales. The secret part concerns the doll owners and collectors that
attended the meeting. Because with the exception of a few their strict policy was to keep it a secret that they were in fact lovedoll owners.
The doll meeting was organized by and for forum members of both Dollforum (TDF) and Gibbmodoll’s UK Lovedollforum (UKLDF). OurDollCommunity forum (ODC),
which is the 3rd major lovedoll forum unfortunately does not participate due to issues from the past.
It was the second time for me to attend this meeting and again I experienced it to be a real treat. The guys attending are all such a pleasure to be
with. They are respectful, openminded, acceptant, cooperative and have integrity and compassion. And I share with them a mutual interest. Which is the
creating of a fantasy world in which dolls are alive.
Even though I do not own a lovedoll, I have been a member of the TDF for already quite some time. According to The TDF records my membership started
in 1970. Now obviously this is not correct. It must have been about 6-7 years ago that I applied for membership. At that time my interest in TDF and the other fora was solely
because the guys flocking around these fora have a high profile for potential customer of my work.
But over the years I have found out that this group of people is worthy of a lot more of my time. The houserules of these fora dictate to be respectful to others and prohibit polemic writing.
The result is that the sphere on the fora is very friendly, open minded, positive and constructive.
During the meeting we had company from two professional photographers, both lovely girls with honorable intentions to make sincere documentary reports of men
with (love) dolls. And we also had a student film crew that was working on making a documentary about one of the guys. I also have no doubt about the
intentions of the film crew, but...
There is a huge difference between a photo documentary and a film. Film has endlessly more impact both on primary and sublevel. And the sub level is
in this case my point of concern.
Clearly the guy who’s in the center of the documentary film has consented to this and, as mentioned, I have no doubt that the intentions of the girl directing the film are honorable.
(The lovely doll holding the camera is Benita Marcussen, one of the professional photographers attending the meeting.)
Before I come to my ‘but...’ I need to forward some facts.
- Fact is that most lovedoll owners are men.
- Fact is that there is a lot of them. TDF has more than 40.000 registrated members. Because the language on TDF is english it is reasonable to presume
that the not english speaking lovedoll owning part of the world is not represented in this number. So the amount of lovedoll owners is likely bigger to much bigger.
- Fact is that there are at least 35 different successful lovedoll manufacturers, making together yearly a huge amount of new lovedolls for a huge amount of new lovedoll owners.
- Fact is that society does not accept lovedolls and has casted a strong taboo spell.
- Fact is that therefore – except for a handful – not one single man will admit that he owns a lovedoll.
- Fact is that men that have or like lovedolls are found equally over the entire society. Rich and poor, little and high educated, isolated and social types.
- Fact is that the guys with a high position job and the guys that have a rich social life (outside the scene), which are the guys you like to be
ambassadors, they have the most to loose when their secret is put in the open. They will be the last to come forward.
- Fact is that till now I have not once seen a documentary that shows the real average lovedoll owner.
The ‘but’ part concerns mainly the last fact. This because the lovedoll owner that is interviewed and that will be regarded like the representative for
the group of lovedoll owners, so to speak, a ‘veteran doll owner’. His
attitude breathes many years of experience with lovedolls. But... and it grieves me to say this, because I am very fond of this guy and he is immensly respected
within the scene (and with reason!), but he is not the type that will evoke acceptance in our society for this group.
The consequence of him being the center of the documentary is that once more it will be virtually impossible present a truthful picture of the real world of
lovedoll owners. For the man does not represent the average lovedoll owner, nor can he show what happened before the seclusion, or the first emotional struggles, the
personal achievements, the increasing inventiveness and creativity. He can show the value that he has developed for our society, but I doubt if it will be
recognized by the spectators. This because he is one of the few that do not care anymore what the neighbours thinks of him, while on the sublevel
the main characteristic and bonding element of this group is that the members do mind very much about what the neighbours think and try to avoid conflict as
much as possible. Now this, when put in documentary film, would evoke a very different and no doubt much more positive response from society about this group.
But then again it is not the intention of the documentary makers to help. They make a document. That is different. So, unless a miracle happens, this
film documentary will be one more on the list of confirming the taboo. And so the taboo will remain. While the actions of the lovedoll owner are completely
similar to the actions of the owner of a fancy car, or the owner of a music instrument, or a fashion addict, or a writer, or a hobbyist of whatever hobby, or the
neighbours... which is us.
(The pretty on the right is a DS lovedoll. The skin is made of TPE .)
I think it might be a good idea if somebody would stand up and would try to show the world that we are still missing the point. Somebody should show the
world that the taboo spell that has been casted on lovedoll owners is totally unjust.
Yes, I think I am going to write an article.
Original (above) Selection, digitally enhanced (below)
Theoretically the making of digital refiments should not be necessary when you do the proper prepairments before you make the photo. But fact is, or
at least it is my experience, that the perfect photo only happens once in a thousand times. So, unless you have this rare gift of making instant
perfection, better get yourself aquainted with some kind, any kind of photo editing program. There is a wide range of them nowadays. Several of them
you can get for free, some will cost a little and unfortunately the standard will cost you a small fortune to get. But trust me that even though
Adobe’s Photoshop has the name, other programs may be as good. They may be not as extensive, but that is not important as long as the tools you
need are there. I myself use Corel Photopaint. Not by choice, It just came with my computer a long time ago and I got myself aquainted with it.
It is not my intention to write an over-all manual. I will describe a few of the steps I usually make when adjusting the photo that
I think may be interesting for you to study.
Step1: Local shape corrections. Shape corrections involve the adjusting of small but obvious mistakes in posing. Like a hand or fingers that float close to the surface while they
were supposed to touch it. Or hair that is too much puffy and needs to be cropped.Or toes that do not touch the floor, eyes that do not look in the
right direction, buttocks that are too stiff looking, etc. For this I mainly use a stir tool. It locally stretches and thickens the pixels of the digital
image without blurring the image. Obviously you cannot stir endlessly, because when you reposition a detail the surroundings get stirred as well. And this
you need to undo as much as possible or adjust it in such a way that it looks natural again.
The sample below is pretty much the maximum you can do with the stir tool. But as you can see, it is quite a lot.
Step 2: Local shade and small color corrections and removing the supports The relocating of details of the first step often still looks unnatural because the shading. So this needs to be added. For this you make a copy of
the selected area that needs to be darker. The in the light setting menu you darken the selection. And finally you use a gumtool ( with fading edge) to
remove all parts of the darkened copy except for the part that resembles the actual shade. When the shade looks natural, then merge the copied part with
the basic picture.
For local color corrections and the removing of supports that are visible on the pic the procedure is pretty much similar as for making shades. But now
I do not use the light setting menu, instead I use an adjacent area with similar colors from which I make a copy. The copied part I lay over the area
that I like to adjust and with a fading gum I remove the edges.
Step 3: Over all color and light adjustment Most photos that I make can use a bit more contrast. If this is also for you the case, I cannot tell. This very much depends on the camera, the
original light and the sphere you want to create. The adjusting of colors and light/contrast/intensity are pretty much standard menus in every editing
program, so I reckon it doen not need any explaining. But you might want to do some experimenting with copied layers that you have given different
color and/or light setting. When you remove a part with the gum tool from the top layer the layer with other settings underneath will appear. The
result can be most surprising and it is often more attractive that the original.
I will end this subject here, simply because it is not my intention to provide a complete teaching program. I very much hope that what I have written
has made sense to you, because it is nearly three decades of experience brought back to a couple of pages. Obviously there is much I have not mentioned.
And most of what I did mention is so much compressed that I can only hope it makes any sense to you. If something is unclear to you and you really want
to know, please feel free to contact me.
Original (above) Selection, digitally enhanced (below)