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Sex Doll Podcast #6 – Interview With Dean Bevan

Transcript: Hello everybody. Today we have a special guest with us. He was one of our early customers and has gone on to get in adult in a big way. I guess it just clicked for him. We’ve had some conversations over the years, and his thoughts echo a lot of mine. But perhaps the most important thing about Dean is, one he’s a regular guy, and two, he’s very open about his experience and willing to talk about this. And this is really important for the industry, because there are some people out there not painting the industry in a good light. So I’m really happy to have him with us, and to give you the ambassador that is Dean Bevan.

Graham:
To kick this off, Dean, I’d like to ask you, first of all, why did you get into dolls?

Dean:
I didn’t really set out, back in 2016, to get myself a sex doll as such. Because the only ones that I knew of back then were the high-end silicon Real Dolls made in America. I knew they cost a lot of money, so they weren’t really on my radar, so to speak. The idea popped into my head when I was watching TV actually. I was watching the Syfy show Humans, and I just got it into my head, I wondered what the state of play is with technology where you could have, perhaps, a synthetic person. I knew they wouldn’t be like the TV show, but I just wondered if they would look so realistic that if you got one, it felt like you had company. So the idea popped into my head, and then over the weeks it just wouldn’t go.

Dean:
That was when I started doing my research, and went on the net, and lo and behold, I discovered this relatively new industry of TPE dolls, which were significantly cheaper than the silicon Real Dolls. And they looked great actually, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought, oh God, maybe I should try getting one. It would be disingenuous of me to say that I didn’t find the sexual side interesting as well, but I really wasn’t that convinced back then that it would be that good.

Dean:
So primarily I was thinking of getting a doll, just to see if it would meet this need that I felt I had then, to have some company around my house. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was very lonely, but my kids were growing up and spending more time away, I was finding that I was having a week or two on my own at a time. I can keep myself busy, particularly in the summer, but in the winter months it was getting a little bit lonely, so I thought okay, give it a go. Did a little look, found that by far the best advice would be to go through a vendor. I didn’t know then if there were any in the UK, but I came across Lovedoll UK and then eventually got around to placing an order.

Dean:
My first doll, Sarah, arrived in October of 2016, and completely blew me away. I was really impressed with the realism, she weighed 33 and a half kilos I think, so lifting her out of the box, I was immediately impressed that this wasn’t like a toy. As soon as I connected her head and had her dressed and put a wig on, she just did look very realistic. So I can remember on that first day thinking, “Oh lord, this is going to be a little bit of an interesting experience.”

Graham:
That’s a great story, Dean. It does seem to be a fairly typical journey, and granted, it doesn’t work for everybody, but in most cases when you are getting a high quality doll, the initial meeting does generally seem to actually exceed people’s expectations. So moving on from there, what people will probably want to know at this point is, what do you get out of the continued ownership of a doll, and in your case multiple dolls? How does that journey continue?

Dean:
Certainly, having dolls has given me a lot. It’s a very rewarding hobby, and it continues to surprise me the things that I can do. I never thought that I’d be making documentaries for the BBC a couple of years ago, but I did one in December and it turned out quite nicely. I’ve just done another one recently.

Dean:
To begin with, back in October 2016, when I got my first doll Sarah, my brain began to be fooled that I had company. Which was something that I was hoping for to be honest. Because while I wouldn’t say I was overly lonely, I was finding I was spending, I could go a couple of days without seeing anyone. And in those early few weeks it was quite funny actually, I’d forget that I’d put Sarah in the conservatory, so I’d walk in have a bit of a jump when I realized that it looked like somebody was sitting there. So it was fun, it was a fun time actually. But it wasn’t until a few weeks, several weeks maybe, a month after she’d arrived, that I first started to do a serious photo shoot with her, taking some photographs with a half decent camera. And looking back at the results I was suitably impressed, and I then began to see the potential for using a doll for photography.

Dean:
Then after doing a little bit more research online I was introduced to the incredible work of the artist and photographer Stacey Lee based in New York, who’d been using dolls from way back in the early noughties using real dolls, her work was just so astounding to me that it propelled me forward. I thought, if I can get anything like those sorts of results, admittedly I wasn’t using a Real Doll, I was using a TPE doll, that’s when it all sort of kicked off for me. After a few weeks of photographing Sarah, I immediately then started thinking, I could do with some variety here. Looked into getting another doll, and then in January of 2017, did. And it really sort of took off from there, and I’ve ended up now with a dozen, I think.

Dean:
So that is the main thing I get out of having a doll, the photography. I have so much fun with it, it’s led me into areas that I hadn’t been to before, like talking to the media. I’ve participated in a few documentaries about it, and that’s all been quite fun. Then of course, what is the sex like with a doll? Well for me it didn’t happen straight away. I was a bit in awe of Sarah, to be honest, when she arrived. I just used to sort of cuddle up with her in bed, and that happened for a few weeks like that, until one night where I think I must have woken up from a dream, and clearly my subconscious had taken over a bit, and I just thought that she was real. And that continued while I was semi-awake. Then things did happen, and it was an incredible experience, I have to say. A far better experience than I could’ve imagined when I was first looking into getting a doll.

Dean:
I’ve got a lot out of having a doll, definitely. It keeps me busy. I’m retired, and I worked previously in a very full-on intensive job, so going from that to not working, and also when you retire, you lose a lot of your social circle as well, so it was good for me to have something extra to do. And having a dozen dolls, there’s a degree of work involved with maintenance and repair, and then there’s the clothing. And of course the photo shoots that I do, they can take up a whole day just doing one shoot. I’m fortunate enough that I have a deal where I provide photographs for a particular company. They don’t put too much pressure on me, but now and again they’ll put in a request for a photo shoot, and that gives me some purpose. Which is important for someone that’s retired, and I’m 59, nearly 60. To get another job now would be difficult in the least, particularly with the experience I had in working in psychiatry.

Dean:
So it’s been great for me to have this outlet. It’s propelled me on really, and helped me to be a little more creative. I can look back at the photographs that I did back in 2016, and I sort of laugh at them now. I like to think I’ve improved considerably in the last three years. I’ve shamelessly nicked ideas from other photographers, and that is the beauty of being part of the doll community. You get to see other people’s work, and there are several notable photographers around the world that, they’re just incredible with what they do. That always encouraging me to try and emulate them, which is just great fun.

Graham:
I think you touched on something really important there, in that the companionship is real enough to elevate the loneliness that many people can feel, and that with a new person in your life, you can have a whole new focus and purpose that can add an additional component to your life, in much the same way any relationship can. So with all these positives, why do you think that they’re still a bit stigmatized, and that guys would still be embarrassed talking about them in a public arena?

Dean:
I guess a lot of it is also wrapped up in our attitudes to sex generally. And it’s not just limited to our culture, you see it throughout the world. But I guess particularly in more religious cultures. Even in an open western society like ours, we do still have some very curious hangups about sex. Saying that, certainly my kids generation seem to be a lot more relaxed and open about things, and thank goodness for that. Because I used to work in psychiatry, and I have seen the damaging effect that it can have when someone’s sexuality has been suppressed, because they may have, for example, been gay and not been comfortable to come out as that, and so felt pressured to conform. But we should also be able to just talk openly about sexual matters without getting embarrassed about it. But we still do, I still find myself, blushing a bit talking about what I do. I haven’t had a relationship with a real woman now for three years, but I do have a lot of fun with my synthetic ladies. Once you relax into the whole concept of being with a doll and use your imagination, it can be very realistic and very impressive actually.

Dean:
I’ve spoken about it a bit before on the doll forum I’m a member of, and my experience seems to mirror other people’s where they were initially perhaps a bit reticent about the whole thing. But once you relax into it, it can be very rewarding and fulfilling. Certainly if people are sitting on the fence about it I would encourage them to at least try. It’s not for everybody though, because these dolls can be very heavy, and require a degree of looking after and maintenance. But for me that’s all part of the fun, I like that. I’ve usually got … Because I’ve got so many dolls, there’s one or two that need a little of attention that we’re working, it doesn’t bother me at all. I quite enjoy it actually. But then I’ve always been a fiddler in my life.

Dean:
My experience has been, when I’ve introduced people to my dolls, they are impressed by the way they look. I think that some people try not to think of them as something that’s being used in a sexual way, so they’ll focus primarily on my photography. And that’s fine, if it makes them feel comfortable that’s great, but if someone says to me, “Do you have sex with her,” I might say, “Absolutely, and it’s been blooming marvelous.” Or I might say, “No, not with her, because she’s primarily a photo model, but I have done with that other girl over there. So sometimes they’re bemused by that. But I think that the majority of people, it does pique their interest. It’s like the elephant in the room. They’ve got a feeling that’s what’s going on, but they’d rather not know. But then again, some are more open minded and say, “Yeah, tell me all about it.” And if they are like that, I’m happy to do so.

Dean:
But for me, trying to make love dolls more acceptable to the general population, I find that it’s probably more diplomatic for me to not go into too much detail about the sexual aspects. Primarily when I talk to the media I focus on what I do with photography. But I think it would be wonderful in the future if we could just sit down and have a grown up discussion about it and say, “Yeah, I’ve got this doll and I take it to bed and it’s great.” It would be so nice to see that happen in our society, because I think if we did, people would be a lot healthier mentally. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not the deviant behavior as some people paint it to be, it’s perfectly normal and natural, and it can be wonderful.

Dean:
I feel very close to all my ladies that I have. I care for them a lot. I know that sounds a little illogical because they’re not real, but they are to me, to a degree, inasmuch that I care for them more than I would do, say, a piece of furniture or whatever. Of course this is another aspect to it that some people find a little bit worrying, because they think, “That guy’s gone so far down the rabbit hole that he talks to his dolls.” Well I wouldn’t say that I’ve done that, because my feet are still on the ground. But when you spend so much time with something that looks so beautiful, you can’t help but get attached to it.

Graham:
Yeah, I think that’s fairly common sense, you’re right. And I think you’re also right about not purely focusing on the second side of things, because as you’ve demonstrated, there’s so much more than that. I wonder, do you think that a lot of the negativity does come from that narrow focus?

Dean:
Whilst I will say that love dolls have become a bit more pervasive in the public awareness, and there have been some rather positive media representations of them in the last year or so, the truth is they are still quite heavily stigmatized for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if the main one is that, in people’s minds, they still see a doll as one of those inflatable things that you used to get in the 80s, and that I guess are still available, can look a little bit ridiculous, to be honest. Obviously the technology has improved significantly in the last 15 years or so, and so the realism that is available to the manufacturers of TPE dolls and silicon dolls, they can knock your socks off really. When you meet them in the flesh they can look very realistic. That’s certainly been my experience when I’ve taken my dolls out in public for a photo shoot, and occasionally I will get people come up and chat to me and they’ll ask, “What’s that? She looks so real,” they usually say. Then I tactfully explain what she is, and they’re often surprised, and they say, “Oh, that’s not what I thought they would look like.”

Dean:
The stigma’s there. Unfortunately the media, and certainly in the UK, doesn’t help, because it often, to sell papers, tends to oversensationalized the thing, and you can’t get the word sex in there enough. So whenever I have any dealings with the media, one of the first things I will say is, “Can we just drop the whole name sex doll? Just call them dolls if you have to call them anything, because they can be so much more than that.” Yes, sure, they were primarily designed for sexual gratification, but they can be a lot more than that. And I think manufacturers have cottoned onto it, because if you look at the improvements and enhancements in the design, things like the enhanced skeleton with shrugging shoulders and hinged necks, these aren’t things that particularly improve the sexual aspect of a doll, but certainly if you’re using one for photography they do help an awful lot.

Dean:
I think the manufacturers have cottoned onto the multiple uses thing, and hopefully the media will catch up with this and realize that the term sex doll is so limiting. And whilst it may have initially been accurate, because that’s what they may have initially been designed for, they have become more than that. I’m aware of people that have multiple dolls. They don’t use them for sex actually at all, they use them just for company maybe, or just purely for photography.

Dean:
I’m optimistic that the stigma will get chipped away at. It’s still there. I post stuff on social media, and I still get comments now and again that say, “That looks a bit creepy.” Which probably has more to do with the whole concept of the uncanny valley aspect of dolls. When you get something that looks so real, but yet when you meet it in the flesh you can see, ah, that’s not real. Some people react adversely to that. They don’t like it, because they feel like their senses have been tricked. Whereas for me, and I think for the majority of doll owners, we love it. I personally am completely fascinated by the whole thing of dolls, of AI, of robotics, to me it’s just all fantastic. I can’t wait for, say, Harmony for example, to start walking around and making a cup of tea. I’m not sure if I’ll love long enough to see it, but that would be fun.

Dean:
To get back to the whole issue of stigma attached to dolls, I think it’s just down to people like me to maybe just be a bit more open about it, and talk about it. Sure, talk about the things I do with regard to photography. Not to forget the fact that they can also be very good for, certainly, helping lonely people with regard to sex, it can really enhance the sexual experience if you haven’t got a partner. It can be incredible. Al you’ve got to do is have a little imagination.

Dean:
So we’ve got a way to go yet, because they’re not quite mainstream. Certainly you don’t see them being sold in any of your major retail stores just yet. But I can see it coming, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Graham:
Yeah, I can see that coming too. There’s a lot of things, I think, on the cards for the industry. It’s nothing just yet really, I think it’s just getting started. So I’d like to say thanks for everything you’ve done here, and for what you are doing in general. I think it’s absolutely fantastic, I think it’s crucial that you are getting your story out there, and you’re getting it out from a normal, healthy point of view. It will normalize it for a lot of people out there, and it will help push the industry. I’ll talk to you again after this, Dean, and just thanks very much for doing what you do.

2 thoughts on “Sex Doll Podcast #6 – Interview With Dean Bevan

  1. Hi Peter, glad you liked the podcast! Don’t worry as I’m sure 3 years ago that would have most likely been my reaction too! I’ve been on a bit of a journey and certainly wouldn’t be in a place to be as open as I have been without the support of my two kids. In particular my daughter has helped and participated in some of the media stuff that I’ve done as, in her words, she could see what it all meant to me, in terms of keeping me active and lifting my mood etc. It’s important to bear in mind that I’m 59 and retired and have been married twice and no longer feel the pressure to be in a relationship come what may. Don’t get me wrong, if I could find a woman that shared my passion for what I do I would be there like a shot but I’m not going to hang around waiting for that to happen! Once you free yourself from the expectations of others it really is a liberating feeling, so just over a year ago I started to think that I was having such fun why weren’t other folk being more vocal about it? Of course the negative stereotypes seen in the more trashy section of the media don’t help so I guess I’m really trying to act as an alternative to that rather tired and mostly false narrative. Whilst having a ‘doll hobby’ like mine isn’t going to suit everyone I’m sure there are many, both men and women, that could get a lot out of it and I’m thinking particularly of folk who may have retired or are no longer able to work. They may have seen their kids leave home and feel they no longer have a purpose or they may be divorced or bereaved and are struggling to find another partner or maybe just don’t want to go on the ‘dating scene’ again. I’m not advocating having a doll as a replacement for having a partner but rather something that can enhance your life, in often surprising ways! It’s certainly worked for me in any case, an ideal day is working on a photoshoot, I get so much out of it and if others like what I do then it’s the icing on the cake! So I do post some pics on social media and it sounds like you have found them? In which case I’m happy that you like them!

    Cheers
    Dean Bevan

  2. That was some interview, well done Mr B, I’m damn sure I couldn’t have done it. I find your openness and honesty ,frankly, a little disturbing, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because I know I could never be as forthright as yourself, and I’m sure that if any of my family discovered my “guilty secret” then it would not go down too well. I almost want to caution you not to be too transparent, so as not to expose yourself to negativity, but you seem, so far, to be doing Ok….You have “broad shoulders”…..lol, probably all those years you spent in your career…I’m a great admirer of your photography, and look forward to seeing your next batch of pictures…

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