What’s Current: Italy’s first sex doll brothel raided; shut down

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • Italy’s first sex doll brothel has been raided and shut down after being open for just nine days.
  • McDonald’s restaurant workers have voted to stage a one-day strike in 10 US cities next week to protest the company’s inaction on sexual harassment of female employees.
  • Amelia Tiganus, a sex-trade survivor from Romania who was prostituted in Spain, tells her story and talks about her current efforts to end the sex trade and violence against women.
  • Richard Bailey, a man with a long history of convictions for crimes of violence against women, was sentenced to 29 years in jail in a UK court for the murder of Charlotte Teeling. The judge rejected Bailey’s defence that Teeling consented to “rough sex,” including the strangulation that caused her death.
  • Tanzanian President John Magulfi told rally attendees that women across the country should stop using birth control, saying the only reason women access contraception is because they are too lazy to do the work of raising large families.
  • A new survey of 622 sexual health services, youth workers, schools and families in New Zealand found that genital injuries, sexual aggression and sexual assault have increased among youth as a result of “pornography that depicts violence as normal.”
Lisa Steacy
Lisa Steacy

Lisa Steacy is an Assistant Editor at Feminist Current. She has a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. However, the women she met in her five years as a frontline worker and collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter deserve almost all of the credit for her feminist education. She lives in Vancouver with her partner and their cats.

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  • Hekate Jayne

    For the dudes that buy their own plastic fuck corpse, I expect a completely new strain of STDs to come about.

    Males are notoriously filthy, as they do not possess the minimal intellect required to clean literally anything to basic hygienic standards. And they are lazy, expecting someone else to clean up after them. I wouldn’t want to imagine what these objects will look like, with dudes using them repeatedly and being too stupid to clean them properly.

    Every time I think that males cannot possibly be any more disgusting, they manage to lower the bar. I can’t understand how they can be so astoundingly gross. Ick.

  • Tobysgirl

    Also a popular pastime in certain U.S. government circles. How to solve? Fire all the men and hire women to replace them; women are used to actually working.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Thanks for sharing.

    Males want us to listen to the”sex workers”.

    But only if they agree with males!

  • susannunes

    There is only one type of john: a sociopath. It takes a sociopath to buy and abuse women.

    The level of dissociation involved with these men is indicative of their sociopathy.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Well, if anyone believes that these dolls are going to last for 6 months with the way the males will treat them, they are idiots.

    I had thought about the cleaning thing before, because who do the males underpay to clean up their disgusting messes?

    Males embody death and destruction. None of this is the least bit surprising

    • Jani

      Can you imagine the smell in those places? Semen, piss, shit, and body odour with one of those sickly air fresheners.

      • Hekate Jayne

        Males like that smell. Maybe it is part of what gives them a boner.

        All that male stink, hanging like a green, toxic fog.

        I think that we have the makings of a horror movie.

  • Jani

    It’s incredible that there’s this whole sordid industry built around male masturbation. I call it the Male Masturbation Industrial Complex. Or MICC. Discarded sex dolls in landfill? And all for what? So some dude can pay someone to provide a lump of rubbery plastic just to wank into? These guys need to be deleted from the gene pool.

  • Wren

    That no one realized these places would be open septic tanks of disease I’ll never understand. Duh.

  • Hanakai

    There is a very good book called The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It by Victor Malarek. Sex buyers are all creeps.

  • Hanakai

    It is difficult to imagine that any Health Department would allow sex-doll brothels to operate. The problems of sanitation and sterilization are considerable.

    First, these dolls would be tremendous disease vectors. Just as AIDS spread rapidly in San Francisco because of promiscuous anonymous sex in bath houses, the dolls would quickly spread all kinds of microbes unless sterilized between sex-doll perverts. If you have any idea of how difficult it is to create a sterile field or sterilize medical instruments, you can see the problems involved with these sex-dolls. If the dolls were sterilized after each pervert, as one would think public health regulations would require, it is hard to imagine that the business would make any profit.

    In cleaning medical instruments, obvious debris is first cleaned with soap, water and alcohol. Then the instruments are autoclaved. An autoclave, or steam sterilization machine, is a pressure-cooker-like machine that sterilizes or disinfects by use of pressure, temperature and steam. For the sex dolls, you would need a HUGE autoclave, since the whole doll would have to go in the pressure chamber. After autoclaving, surgical instruments are also often exposed to UV light and then further chemical disinfectant.

    Most sex dolls are made of a plastic: PVC, polyvinyl chloride, or silicone. An item being sterilized needs to be in the autoclave for 15 to 30 minutes at a temperature of 250 degrees F (or 120 degrees Celsius). The PVC starts melting at 212 degrees F, and the silicone weakens and decomposes at autoclave temperatures. The problem is obvious.

    So, if the sex-doll business is actually sterilizing the dolls after use, they may as well be replacing them, as the sterilization process will destroy them, not to mention any electronics in them. Sex-dolls cost from $3,000 to $15,000. I would think that local health departments would come in and see that the businesses are not and cannot meet standards for sterilizing the dolls. This is how these sex-doll brothels can be stopped, by getting health regulations passed, by calling in the health department.

    The thought of having to handle or disinfect a used brothel sex-doll is beyond gross. I would want to be in Hazmat Level A protective suit before going near it.

    • Maria Gatti

      Hanakai, thank you for that well-informed comment. Indeed, these can be shut down simply by enforcing health regulations.

      An aside, “she” looks so sad. The doll definitely looks like a young adolescent, not a grown woman, and the stuffed toy emphasises that.

  • Jani

    I read some of the comments on one of those sites and I felt nothing but contempt for those loathsome entitled creeps. I even read about the goings-on in a local premises. The women were likely trafficked, and one punter complained the women hadn’t shaved around her ass properly, and yes there was “she could have at least pretended she was enjoying it”. Mostly their reviews were “it’s OK if you’re desperate for a quick fuck” as if it was the equivalent of fast food when you’re hungry. Just horrible. It was depressing to find out that there were so many brothels and massage parlours under the radar in every part of the city, and that the demand exists. They all seem to want BJs without a condom, and if a woman is willing they let the others know. They call it OWO. I mean, these guys are sticking their dicks down some woman’s throat without protection and then recommending her because of it. I certainly wouldn’t trust their dirty dicks and I dread to think of them going home to the unsuspecting wives. Often it’s when a woman tests positive for infection that she learns she’s been married to a sex buyer for years. It’s the punters who create the demand for sex without condoms, certainly they seek out who will do oral without a condom. These men really are disgusting scum. I don’t buy the “lonely hearts” sob stories. Most of these men have wives/partners and often have kids, plenty have daughters. They are loathsome creatures.

  • Jani

    They demand sex without condoms. That’s how they spread it.

    Agree, as soon as a woman becomes sexually active a whole load of bacteria,fungal spores and viruses are introduced to her body including strains of HPV and all sorts. Even worse if the male doesn’t have good penile hygiene.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah, but there is also the fact that women would probably prefer to watch lesbian porn (and my impression is that, yes, most straight women who watch porn watch lesbian porn) because it’s less violent/misogynist/degrading and isn’t solely showcasing acts that only satisfy men?

    • Hekate Jayne

      Yes, that’s my understanding, too. There are lots of reasons, I suppose.

      When I was looking around, the single biggest reason women who watch porn prefer lesbian porn was the lack of violence, with focus on female pleasure being a close second.

      For myself, I think that female sexuality is almost completely lost until something changes. Even lesbian porn is for males, a lot of it looks like it is pure performance for males.

      What male society calls “sexuality” is basically just dick centered, dick pleasing. All dick, all of the time. I think that if we didn’t have male supremacy, that sexuality would be one of the least important things ever.

      It’s possible that is just my personal aversion to “dickdickdickomgdick” talking. Because after a lifetime of being centered on dick, I am really bored with it.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yeah, the fact that women prefer ‘lesbian’ porn, and that this is what they feel is less bad, even though that porn is still, really, for men, is depressing. I wish women didn’t feel like they had to watch porn at all.

  • Jani

    Yeah, that’s what it’s called by medical staff working in sexual health in the UK health service, as in “Are you sexually active, dear?” But they mean with a dick. And male sexual hygiene in this country isn’t very good. That’s just a bit of tourist information, for people visiting from abroad.

  • Jani

    Yeah. It’s very a profitable industry, getting men to wank to your product.